Richard Ridley is buried in St John the Baptist Church burial ground, Egglescliffe. Grave number 332598. The actual date of birth is not officially recorded, this tapestry embroidery sampler states it was February 15, 1808, date of death January 10, 1870. Richard Ridley calculated age at death was 61. On Richard Ridley gravestone the grave occupants including two infants, are listed below.
The words on this tapestry say: “In Memory of Richard Ridley, Yarm, Born February 15 1808, Died January 10 1870. The righteous are taken from the evil to come (they) Pass a few swiftly – fleeting years. And all that now in bodies live, Shall quit like me this vale of tears. Their righteous sentence to receive, But all, before they hence remove, May mansions for themselves prepare, In that eternal house above, And O’ My God, Shall I be there?”
I found this tapestry embroidery sampler in a junk shop in Leeds. I purchased it because of its Yarm and Stockton connection. It appears to have been the custom then, in some denominations, Stockton 1870, to have a burial tapestry made to record a loved one’s memory and passing. I have traced the author of the prayer on it, to John Wesley, Editor-Poet-Priest, 1782, the Methodist Church founder, and horseback travelling famous Northern missionary.
Image and details courtesy of Bob Wilson.