Photograph and text by Robert Freidus. Formatting by George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Victorian Web and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one.]
Monument for Jane Maria Clouson (d. 1871, 17 years). Sculptor: J. Lord. Portland stone. Brockley Cemetery, with Ladywell). Brockley Road, London SE4. [Click on the image and those below to enlarge them.]
According to the British Listed Buildings site, Lord, the Deptford mason, created the monument, which was paid for by public subscription. It consistis of the praying child plus a “relief of a pointing hand emerging from clouds, bible and cross with flanking wings, billing doves, circle of eternal torches. Inscription to: a motherless girl who was murdered in Kidbrooke Lane Eltham on the night of Tuesday 25th of Apri1 1871. She was taken to Guy's Hospital where she died on Sunday Apri1 30th 1871. Aged 17 years. She was agreeable in manner, amiable and affectionate in disposition. Her last words were: ‘Oh! Let me Die.’”
According to the second edition of Hugh Mellor's London Cemeteries,
The seamier side of life is also represented by the monument erected by public subscription for Jane [sic] Clouson. On a plinth crouches the image of a pathetic waif and beneath the sorry explanation: ‘A motherless girl who was murdered in Kidbrooke Lane Eltham age 17 in 1871. Her last words were, “oh, let me die.” The case became a Victorian cause célèbre when it was discovered that the girl was pregnant and had recently been dismissed by her employer, Ebenezer Pook, on account of intimacy with his son Edmund. There was overwhelming evidence against Edmund but despite that he was aquitted at his trial.
Mellor refers to the figure as a pathetic waif, but in fact this is another copy of Luigi Pampaloni's Prayer or Samuel in Prayer, now in the Nervi Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Genoa. It is a finer copy than the simplified version seen in many cemeteries.
Mellor, Hugh, and Brian Parsons. London Cemeteries: An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer. London: Sutton Publishing, 2008.
“Tomb of Jane Mary Clouston, Brockley Cemetery, Lewisham.” British Listed Buildings. Web. 23 March 2013.
Last modified 12 March 2013