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.
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