Where in the World: Tobago – and a riddle!

Where in the World

The skis have long since been packed away, yet winter decided to make a quick reappearance in Oslo this morning: snow! As if that isn’t enough, I’m heading north tomorrow, past the Arctic Circle!

Today’s mystery location is found on warmer shores. 21 years ago, I stumbled over this grave stone (literally).

Where in the world can you read these cryptic words? (Bonus points if you can solve the riddle).

She was a mother without knowing it – and a wife without letting her husband know it, except by her kind indulgences to him.

No worries about giving away the answer. Moderation is switched on, and all comments will be published simultaneously.


Update 21 April 2012:

As many of you knew, guessed or googled, this mystery grave is found on the Caribbean island of Tobago, in Plymouth, the island’s oldest settlement. As for the riddle, well, if you expected a clear-cut answer, I’m sorry I have to disappoint you. Various theories have been put forth, and many of the comments below touch upon them. Sadly, it’s all speculation. No one knows why young Betty Stivens (23 when she died) was a mother without knowing it – or even a wife without her husband knowing it.

To see more travel photos – or to submit one of your own – head over to Budget Travelers Sandbox for this week’s edition of Travel Photo Thursday.


29 Responses to “Where in the World: Tobago – and a riddle!”

  1. A Cook Not Mad (Nat) 18 April 2012 1632 #

    This is in a garden in Tobago.
    A Cook Not Mad (Nat) recently posted..A Mexican Dish From The Yucatán

  2. ItalianNotes 18 April 2012 1733 #

    Quick research on the Internet tells me the mystery tomb stone can be found in Plymouth, Tobago. The theories on the riddle seem a bit to speculative for me, apart from the fact that she may have been unconscious while giving birth. Looking forward to a quiz on artic Norway:)
    ItalianNotes recently posted..Marche for shoe fetishists

  3. shelly 19 April 2012 0854 #

    Thanks for sharing that Sophie! That is SUCH a unique tombstone and what an interesting story -I found this:
    Tobago Mystery Tombstone

    “…She was a mother without knowing it, and a wife without letting her husband know it, except by her kind indulgences to him…”

    That inscription on a tombstone in the village of Plymouth has perplexed people for well over a century.

    The tombstone is that of Betty Scott, who around 1781 married a sailor, Alexander Stivens.

    Betty Scott became pregnant and died in childbirth on November 25, 1783. Her father, a significant member of the island’s community, was heartbroken at the death of his favorite daughter.

    He buried his daughter in a corner of his sizable garden, and erected a large tombstone on her grave bearing the above inscription.
    shelly recently posted..Laos to Vietnam Border Crossing -Adventures of Border Crossing

  4. Mark Hodson 19 April 2012 1120 #

    I think it’s Tobago, definitely in the Caribbean, though I admit I’m baffled by the riddle. Interested to know
    Mark Hodson recently posted..Deal of the Day: Save £170 pp on Italian Lakes in May

  5. Vi 19 April 2012 1333 #

    Plymouth, Tobago 🙂
    Vi recently posted..You can’t dive Titanic, but there is President Coolidge

  6. Born27 19 April 2012 1340 #

    That’s a very touching story. None of them knows how they have a child. But I know, with God they’re happy.

  7. sharingmyitaly 19 April 2012 1413 #


  8. Jackie Smith 19 April 2012 1606 #

    Brrrrrr. . .your opening lines made me shiver. This reminds me of the types of grave stones we saw on a cruise stop in Nassau, Bahamas.
    Jackie Smith recently posted..Signs: Preventing “Lost” ~ Providing “Laughs”

  9. Easy Hiker 19 April 2012 1622 #

    How very intriguing. A mother without knowing? But most of all, a wife to a man who didn’t know she was his wife. I would hazard a guess that she was a servant to her “husband” who impregnated her.
    Easy Hiker recently posted..The Auvers Sur Oise Van Gogh Knew

  10. Leigh 19 April 2012 1814 #

    The marker is in English so I’m going to say the SW coast of England – not hot but warmer than Oslo.
    Leigh recently posted..Scenes from Ireland’s Skellig Islands

  11. Cathy Sweeney 19 April 2012 1904 #

    What a cool discovery. OK, did some google research — came up with Plymouth, Tobago. Is that right?

  12. I have no clue but I’m intrigued!
    Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista recently posted..Historic Guild Signs

  13. Thanks to google, I can see that the tombstone is found in Plymouth, Tobago, but I honestly have no idea what the riddle means! I’m hoping you have some insight 🙂
    Andi at The Particular Traveler recently posted..Five Reasons I Love India

  14. Sabrina 19 April 2012 2237 #

    I don’t have the slightest clue 🙂 It looks very interesting though.
    Sabrina recently posted..Texas Weekend Getaway: Galveston Beaches

  15. walkingon travels 20 April 2012 0432 #

    I’m going to have to guess New England somewhere. I get how she was a mom without knowing it (I’m guessing they both died in childbirth). Maybe she didn’t nag her husband and that’s why she was a “wife” without letting her husband know it.
    walkingon travels recently posted..Toddler Palooza at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

  16. Jessica 20 April 2012 0454 #

    I have no idea, but it is so poetic.
    Jessica recently posted..Art Car Museum

  17. InsideJourneys 20 April 2012 0746 #

    Hey Sophie, you had me stumped for a while but I checked with some friends. Tobago.
    InsideJourneys recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday: Clouds

  18. Dick Jordan 20 April 2012 0759 #

    Cemeteries, as it turns out, are among the most interesting places that one can wander through when traveling, often revealing a great deal about the history of the place and its people.
    Dick Jordan recently posted..Travel Canada: Rockies By Rail

  19. Laurel 20 April 2012 1120 #

    Tobago? Missing you at TBU, but your daughter is doing a wonderful job on your behalf.
    Laurel recently posted..Rome Coliseum: Day or Night?

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 21 April 2012 1330 #

      Thanks, Laurel. I hear hardly anything from her, except brief, very excited texts, saying things like: “I’m in a helicopter.”

  20. Jenna 20 April 2012 1619 #

    Very interesting. I can’t figure out the second part of the riddle, and I have no idea where this is. The difference is some of the letters piqued my interest, too, so I’ll wait for the answer to be revealed 🙂

  21. Maryden25 20 April 2012 1654 #

    “She was a mother without knowing it” –this means that Alley done her part to take good care of her children and did her responsibilities as a mother without any hesitations but purely did it through her heart.. Same with “She’s a wife without letting her husband know it, except by her kind indulgences to him”, she just did what wife should done for her husband. Everything she had vowed during their wedding she stands for it.

  22. Lisa 20 April 2012 1715 #

    What an interesting gravestone! I’d guess that it’s somewhere in the Caribbean but have no idea where. Perhaps she died during childbirth and didn’t get the opportunity to know her child?? No idea how she could be a wife without letting her husband know it. Can’t wait to see the answer to this one!!
    Lisa recently posted..A Return to Eze

  23. Ayngelina 21 April 2012 0211 #

    I have no idea but love the riddle on a gravestone.
    Ayngelina recently posted..Food Friday: How to make burrata

  24. Nancie 22 April 2012 0144 #

    Interesting and intriguing!
    Nancie recently posted..Travel Photo Thursday — April 19, 2012 — Chaing Mai’s Chinatown Street Food Alley

  25. Heidi19 24 April 2012 1615 #

    This is very interesting gravestone and a very intriguing story. I’m so excited to know more about this.

  26. FreshMom 11 June 2012 2024 #

    I found sth like this:

    “The tombstone is that of Betty Scott, who around 1781 married a sailor, Alexander Stivens.

    Betty Scott became pregnant and died in childbirth on November 25, 1783. Her father, a significant member of the island’s community, was heartbroken at the death of his favorite daughter.”

    Maybe the thing is that her husband wasn’t home that often?…


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