Blind Fanny Winton

Blind Fanny Winton

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I’ve known about Old Shoreham’s blind Fanny Winton for many years but never got round to reading Martha Rigden’s account in her 1873 book ‘By A Way They Knew Not.’

In clearing some old papers recently I discovered this anonymous resume of the book that condenses Fanny’s story of a hard life, going blind, travelling to Brighton for (somewhat harsh) treatment, bedridden for 30 years etc., and also tells us a little of the area and the people in it.

Some of the writing discloses the intense religious beliefs of Victorian times that we perhaps shy from nowadays but as a relatively well known figure from Shoreham’s past, Fanny and this abridged work deserve further inclusion in our town’s history.

Roger Bateman

Shoreham

November 2015

 

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The Winton house in The Street

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The house in Connaught Avenue where Fanny spent her last years. Both houses still survive.

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Fanny’s gravestone in St. Nicholas churchyard.

Footnote:- Interestingly one Winton descendant has confirmed she has eye problems as did her father – perhaps a genetic condition?

Photos from the Winton Collections, Marlipins Museum (Sussex Archaeological Society) and John Simpson

Roger Bateman

Shoreham

November 2015