A Washerwoman’s Lament by Catherine Allsop

The Daily Graphic in August, 1905, stated that Catherine Allsop, a Sheffield
washerwoman, hanged herself on a piece of clothes line on July 31st, and that
at the inquest the following lines, copied by her on a piece of sugar-paper,
were read to the jury, whose verdict was suicide during temporary insanity : —

Here lies a poor woman who always was tired,
She lived in a house where help was not hired,
Her last words on earth were ” Dear friends, I am going
Where washing ain’t done nor sweeping nor sewing,
But everything there is exact to my wishes.
For where they don’t eat there’s no washing of dishes.
I’ll be where loud anthems will always be ringing,
But, having no voice, I’ll be clear of the singing.
Don’t mourn for me now, don’t mourn for me never
I’m going to do nothing for ever and ever.”

From: http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/edward-bernard-lewin-hill/verse-prose-and-epitaphs-from-the-commonplace-book-of-lewin-hill-cb-1848-1-lli/page-3-verse-prose-and-epitaphs-from-the-commonplace-book-of-lewin-hill-cb-1848-1-lli.shtml

Date: 1905

By: Catherine Allsop (?-1905)

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2 Comments to “A Washerwoman’s Lament by Catherine Allsop”

  1. A much earlier version of this appeared on a grave-marker in the churchyard in BUSHEY, Hertfordshire sometime before 1860. Locals have narrowed it down to one of two farmers wives, which would explain the inclusion of tasks such as sweeping and dish-washing which aren’t associated with laundresses. It should also be borne in mind that a laundress (“washerwoman”) would never be in a position to have help in the house, whereas a farmer’s wife could expect to have help.

    This verse was fairly widely reported in the 1880s and 90s and also referred to in an article in The Spectator magazine in 1922.

    Here is the original version:

    Here lies a poor woman who always was tired,
    For she lived in a place where help wasn’t hired.
    Her last words on earth were, Dear friends I am going
    Where washing ain’t done nor sweeping nor sewing,
    And everything there is exact to my wishes,
    For there they don’t eat and there’s no washing of dishes.
    I’ll be in a place with loud anthems ringing
    But nobody there will be hearing me singing.
    Don’t mourn for me now, don’t mourn for me never,
    For I’m going to do nothing for ever and ever.

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