'IN AFFECTIONATE MEMORY
SAMUEL ORCHART BEETON,
AUTHOR EDITOR PUBLISHER
BORN 1830 – DIED 1877.
AND HIS WIFE AND FELLOW WORKER
IN MANY OF HIS LITERARY ENTERPRISES
ISABELLA MARY (MAYSON)
BORN 1836 – DIED 1865.
ALSO OF THEIR TWO ELDEST SONS,
WHO DIED IN INFANCY 1857 & 1863.
THIS STONE WAS ERECTED BY THEIR TWO SURVIVING SONS IN 1933,
IN REPLACEMENT OF THE ORIGINAL FALLEN INTO DECAY.'
This grave is one I forgot to post in 2012, although Robert Hughes (great-nephew of Lionel Britton) quite by chance jogs my memory by telling me of a book Lionel gave his brother Bob and sister-in-law Maisie Britton, Robert's maternal grandparents, as a wedding present on 30 July 1914. This was Isabella Beeton's immensely successful Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management (1862), which was added to through the years, and Wikipedia claims that it had sold almost two million copies by 1868.
Funny how the inscription on the headstone pushes Samuel's literary works so much but not those of his 'wife and fellow worker', because Samuel Orchart Beeton, if he's remembered at all today, is only remembered as Isabella Beeton's husband. According to Wikipedia again, biographers Nancy Spain and Kathryn Hughes make the suggestion that Samuel 'had unknowingly contracted syphilis in a premarital liaison with a prostitute, and had unwittingly passed it on to his wife'. Another page is of more interest: 'The 2006 TV drama The Secret Life of Mrs Beeton, based in part on Kathryn Hughes' biography The Short Life & Long Times of Mrs. Beeton, implied that Isabella Beeton suffered from syphilis contracted from Samuel, and that this could have led to her early death and those of her first two children, and an alleged number of early miscarriages, although there is no firm evidence for this speculation'.