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Handmade Valentine’s Card

A rejected proposal...

“Would you draw fair Eden nearer

and to Earth the angels bring

you must seek the magic mirror

of a golden wedding ring”

In the Museum's Library and Archive are a number of valentines cards sent to or by members of the Kemm family, who lived at Avebury Manor House as tenant farmers in the the 19th century.

We believe this particular card was sent to Marian Kemm (1854-1914) in the mid-late 19th century. Marian (pictured as a young girl) was the eldest daughter of farmer Thomas Kemm and his first wife Matilda Everdell Canning. Thomas and Matilda had 6 children all together.

This beautiful handmade card is love poem (transcribed above) and contains a small ring. As the poem refers to "a golden wedding ring", it may be that Marian has recieved a proposal by a possible suitor.

If this card was indeed sent to Marian, it looks like she refused to marry her would be suitor. She and her sister Everdell remained single and continued to live as tenants in Avebury Manor House for a few years after their father’s death in 1889. The sisters later moved to Yorkshire, however there is no record of either of them marrying before their deaths.

We are currently conducting more research into the Kemm family and hoping to uncover more information about the rejected proposal. If anyone has information on the family, please do get in touch with our Archive: archive@wiltshiremuseum.org.uk

 

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