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.
A winner will be selected among those who give the correct answer. They will be featured here on Sophie’s World Facebook fan page.
No worries about giving away the answer. Moderation is switched on, and all comments will be published simultaneously.
All is revealed
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.
This is in a garden in Tobago.
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:)
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.
I think it’s Tobago, definitely in the Caribbean, though I admit I’m baffled by the riddle. Interested to know
Plymouth, Tobago 🙂
That’s a very touching story. None of them knows how they have a child. But I know, with God they’re happy.
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.
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.
The marker is in English so I’m going to say the SW coast of England – not hot but warmer than Oslo.
What a cool discovery. OK, did some google research — came up with Plymouth, Tobago. Is that right?
I have no clue but I’m intrigued!
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 🙂
I don’t have the slightest clue 🙂 It looks very interesting though.
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.
I have no idea, but it is so poetic.
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Hey Sophie, you had me stumped for a while but I checked with some friends. Tobago.
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.
Tobago? Missing you at TBU, but your daughter is doing a wonderful job on your behalf.
Thanks, Laurel. I hear hardly anything from her, except brief, very excited texts, saying things like: “I’m in a helicopter.”
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 🙂
Your quizzes always seem to stump me but I love them just the same!
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
“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.
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!!
I have no idea but love the riddle on a gravestone.
Interesting and intriguing!
This is very interesting gravestone and a very intriguing story. I’m so excited to know more about this.
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?…
This is definitely in Tobago as a Trinbagonian i have visited this site quite often