The village of Stoke St Mary was the scene of festivities on Thursday when Miss Anna Wiley completed 50 years of service as confidential attendant to Miss Woodforde, a lady of considerable means who renders generous aid to the village in the dispensing of which she is assisted by Miss Willey.  Miss Woodforde entertained the whole of the villagers and their children to tea, and Miss Willey was the recipient of an illuminated address and a diamond and sapphire ring from the risident in the parish and an address and a purse containing 30 guineas from the relatives and friends of Miss Woodforde.

Western Daily Press, Bristol, Saturday 23 August 1902  [Mary  Ann Woodforde was born in  1868 and died in 1928 aged 93]


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Woodfordes Staff


Among records which have been collected of the length of years spanned by two and three generations in the same family is that of Miss Mary Woodforde, of Stoke St Mary, Taunton, now in her 93rd year.  Miss Woodforde's father was born in 1777, just 150 years ago.  As a boy of five he was taken to see, in extreme old age, Elizabeth Broadmead, one of the fair maids of Taunton who welcomed Monmouth before the Battle of Sedgemoor in 1685.  

Elizabeth Broadmead claimed to have been born in 1670, so that three generations (one still living) cover 257 years. Mr FJ Cooke, of Keynsham, writes "her cottage on the Blackdown Hills was still being pointed out to the young and curious".

A lithograph of the old lady taken from a minature of her in the museum at Taunton Castle, states that she was born in 1670.  The late Miss Mary Woodforde’s grandfather stated that the old lady was born in 1666, but both these dates may be wrong and placed too early.

Notes and Notions

The Western Times - 9 September 1927

To read more about Elizabeth Broadmead - press here