Isabella Burrowes 1840 - 1873

Isabella Burrowes was the first person to be buried in the cemetery, her burial taking place in the Catholic section of the cemetery on 14th October 1873. No burials could take place in the Anglican part of the cemetery until the ground had been consecrated by the Bishop of Chichester, and at the time he was abroad and could not be contacted.

Isabella was born in Ireland in about 1840, the third daughter of Sir Edward Leeson. Her Husband was Captain Thomas Augustus Burrowes who had served with the 45th Foot. He came from a military family and grew up at Dangan Castle, County Westmeath, Ireland. They married in 1866 and he died in 1869. They did not have children. She lived at Culverden Lodge in the Culverden Down area of Tunbridge Wells.

She had close ties with St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, Tunbridge Wells, and her funeral Mass there was a grand affair, with members of the choirs from St. George’s Catholic Cathedral and Farm Street Jesuit Church augmenting the church’s own choir.

Her grave is marked by a plain white marble cross, and the now barely legible inscription reads,

‘Pray for the soul of Isabella Mary, widow of T.A. Burrowes of Dangan, Ireland, who died fortified by the last sacraments October 9th 1873 aged 31’.

Isabella Burrowes’ cousin Maria Catherine O’Connor Morris lies next to her, her grave covered by an impressive granite ledger that is engraved with Celtic knotwork. She was married to William Henry Bishop, and their home was The White House, Culverden Down, Tunbridge Wells.

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