November 12. [1886]

MS location unknown. Printed in Coleridge, Life, 306.

My dear Lizzie-

. . . Yes, I saw the Spectator on Chantry House, but indeed I did not put in the ghost for the sake of variety or sensation, but to work out my own belief and theory. I could tell you things I quite believe that chime with it. One I must tell, not that it is a ghost probably, it is so curious. The poor people in the Torquay outskirts think a thing walks in the few remaining woods of the Abbey which they call a Widdrington.1 Now Miss Roberts has hunted up that the last Abbot was accused before Henry VIII. of having murdered a monk named Widdrington, whom however he produced safe and sound. Don’t you think the live man must have been seen after he was thought dead and so left his name? –

Your most affectionate

1Christabel Coleridge, who lived many years in Torquay, commented ‘I have never come across this belief.’ A similar story is told of a fourteenth-century abbot by J. T. White, History of Torquay (1878), 26, but the allegedly murdered man's name was Hastings.

Cite this letter

The Letters of Charlotte Mary Yonge(1823-1901) edited by Charlotte Mitchell, Ellen Jordan and Helen Schinske.

URL to this Letter is: https://c21ch.newcastle.edu.au/yonge/2845/to-elizabeth-barnett-19

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