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Saturday 1 April 1933 - Emily Hartwell, England's oldest woman sexton

Category Wickhamford
The Cheltenham Chronicle
Transcription of article


Record Of Mrs. Hartwell, Of Wickhamford

There lives at Wickhamford, a village about three mile from Broadway. A woman who is known to be England’s oldest woman sexton. She is Mrs. Emily Hartwell, and is 81 years of age.

Mrs. Hartwell has been a caretaker of St. John the Baptist Church for 40 years, and has carried out the duties of sexton for 30 years. This is a remarkable record, and Mrs Hartwell is very proud to own it. She is one of 10 of a Broadway family, and during her younger days was a Cotswold shepherdess, working for eightpence a day.

She rises regularly every morning at 5.30 a.m. One of her duties is to ring the bell for each service. The church at which she is sexton has an interesting history, and was the last resting-place of Penelope Washington, a member of George Washington’s family.

Emily Hartwell (1854-1933)
Emily Hartwell (1854-1933)