E is for Anthony Ettricke

I am again focusing on the famous, the forgotten and the misbegotten for Round 25 of the popular ABC Wednesday meme. But finding suitable characters is getting harder, so apologies in advance if there are repeats of previous posts.
The Man in the Wall

The Man in the Wall

This post is as much about a place as a person and the letter E takes me to Wimborne Minster in Dorset and the rather eccentric Anthony Ettricke.

Ettricke was a 17th-century barrister who was called to the bar in 1652 and from 1662 to 1682 served as the Recorder and Magistrate of Poole and Wimborne.

His sole claim to fame in law was to send the Duke of Monmouth for trial and execution following the Monmouth Rebellion and the attempted overthrow of James II.

But royal power politics aside, Ettricke is better known as The Man in the Wall.

As a prominent member of the community, he did many good works for the town of Poole and for the church, but for some unrecorded reason he fell out with the church authorities. Petulantly, he swore that he would not be buried inside the minister or in its graveyard, neither above nor below ground.

The Man in the WallEttricke relented and made his peace with the church, but felt he could not go back on his word – lawyers did that sort of thing back then – and so he came up with a novel solution.

He arranged for his tomb to be installed in the wall of the church so that it was half inside and half outside and half above ground and half below it.

Ettricke wasn’t very good at foretelling the future though. He had prophesied that he would expire in 1693 and was so confident that he had the year inscribed on his tomb.

In the event, he lived ten years longer than he expected to and if you enlarge the photo above right you’ll see that the date had to be changed to read 1703.

Ethelred of WessexWimborne Minster is also the resting place for another E in King Ethelred (not the Unready one), the fourth son of Ethelwulf who succeeded his brother Ethelbert as King of Wessex and Kent in 865.

He died in 871 fighting the Danes and was succeeded by his more memorable brother, Alfred the Great, but you can read more about Ethelred here.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

5 comments… Add yours
  • Jackie 7th August 2019

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading about this character! You managed a lot of other Es as well. Good job.

  • ABC Wednesday 8th August 2019

    Another intriguing person who has left his prints in the past

    Have a heartwarming en splendid ABC-Wednes-day / -week
    M e l o d y (team ABC-W)

  • Roger O Green 8th August 2019

    all in all, he was another brick in the wall

  • Yorkshire Pudding 11th August 2019

    Eetricke? Sounds like a posh person talking about football. “Oh I say Lord Rhodes, did one watch young Sterling’s eetricke against Western Ham?”


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