29 October 2012

Anthony Hervey (c. 1796–1850)

'In Memory
of
ANTHONY HERVEY.
He died in the triumph of faith,
on the 26th of March, 1850.
AGED 54 YEARS.
His last word was "Victory."
Hebrews 6 Ch. 17, 18, 19, 20 Ver.
He was the author of the "Sherwood Gipsy","
and was engaged as the humble and devoted
Missionary amongst the Aged inmates of
COLLINS', and LABRAY'S
Alms-houses in Nottingham.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Reader! the monumental stone we raise,
Is to the Saviour's, not the sinner's praise.
Sin was the whole that he could call his own,
His good was all derived from Christ alone;
His conflicts, pains, and griefs to sin he owed,
His conquering faith, and patience, Christ bestowed,
Oh! may'st thou too obtain like precious faith
To smile in anguish, and rejoice in death.'

According to Robert Mellors in Old Nottingham Suburbs: Then and Now (1914), Hervey earned a living as a framework knitter in Carrington and died in Wilford.

The Sherwood Gipsy (again according to Mellors) went through forty-seven editions, not all of which bore exactly the same title, although the longest appears to be The Sherwood Gipsy: or, The blessed results of the meeting of the superintendent of Sion Chapel Sunday School, Nottingham, and a gipsy girl, on Sherwood Forest, near that town, on Sunday morning, June 9, 1844. The gipsy girl was seventeen-year-old Matilda Harrison, and the narrator met her on Mapperley Common, where there was a gipsy encampment. Hervey gave her a copy of the Bible and some religious tracts. The girl later wrote to him telling him she'd been converted, although he learned of her death from consumption shortly after.

The first edition was in 1845, although the British Library's copy is dated the following year – and has seventeen pages and is in twelvemo (or duodecimo if you prefer). I'm grateful to Rowena Edlin–White for drawing my attention to Anthony Hervey and his grave in Nottingham General Cemetery.

Writers and literary associations in Nottingham General Cemetery:

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Robert Goodacre (1777–1835)
Ruth Bryan (1805–1860)
Sarah Ann Agnes Turk (1859–1927)
Annie Matheson (1853–1924)
Josiah Gilbert (1814–1892)
Charles Bell Taylor (1829–1909)
James Prior's Parents
Ann Taylor (1782–1866)
Robert Millhouse (1788-1839)
Henry Hogg (1831-74)

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