Name: Florence Wadham 1
Occupation: Was buried alive!
MEM: Watchet, Somerset; St Decuman's: brass
Change Date: 16 FEB 2012
Sister of the founder of Wadham College.
Florence, was the wife of John Wyndham and it is her ghost that has haunted Kentsford Manor for centuries.
About a year after her marriage in 1556v Florence collapsed - apparently dead -as she ran to meet her husband returning home. She was buried the next day in the Wyndham Crypt below the chancel. However the sexton - one Tom Hole - having seen the rings on Florence's body, returned to the crypt that night in an attempt to steal them. He used a knife to prize the rings from her fingers but in doing so scratch her hand so Florence awoke from her coma. Tom Hole fled, never to be seen again. Florence climbed out of her coffin and managed to return home. Seeing his wife return in her grave clothes, John fainted and it took some time to convince him she was neither ghost nor witch. A year later she gave birth to a son and later twins. To this day members of the Wyndham family are not buried until three days have elapsed.
In 1556 she married Sir John Wyndham of Orchard Wyndham and a year later was taken ill and thought to have died. She was buried in the Wyndham family vault in St Decuman?s church at Watchet, Somerset and that same night a covetous sexton opened her coffin in order to remove her rings and cut one of her fingers in the process. She had in fact fallen into some sort of cataleptic trance, and was now awakened by the pain and rose from her coffin. The sexton fled leaving his lantern behind him; and with its aid she made her way home across the fields to her astounded family.
Soon afterwards she gave birth to her only son, Sir John Wyndham (1558-1645), from whom every member of the Wyndham family is descended (apart from a branch of the family in the United States whose progenitor is Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Wyndham, Henry VIII's distinguished naval commander).
Her remarkable survival and importance is celebrated in the family by successive generations naming the eldest son Wadham Wyndham, most especially by the Salisbury branch of St Edmund's College founded by Sir Wadham Wyndham.
Father: John Wadham
Mother: Joan Tregarthen b: ABT 1498 in Of Thorne, Devonshire
- John Wyndham b: 1558
- Type: Book
Periodical: A Family History. The Wyndhams of Norfolk & Somerset
Author: HA Wyndham