St Edmund's church, East Mersea
East Mersea is a scattered village on Mersea Island on the Essex coast. The island has one village and one town, the town being West Mersea. The island is joined to the mainland by a causeway which is dry only at low tide.
The parish church is St Edmund's.
Grave of Sarah Wrench
The grave of Sarah Wrench (1833-1848), by the north wall of the chancel at St. Edmund's Church in East Mersea is unusual for an Essex grave because it is covered by a mortsafe, a protective cage used at the time more usually in Edinburgh to protect corpses from graverobbers; there was a hunger for fresh corpses amongst the medical schools of that city in those days.
Richard Jones, in Myths of Britain and Ireland, refers to popular speculation that Sarah Wrench was a witch, and that the cage was designed to keep her from escaping her grave after death, though Victorian Essex was not known for witches or witch trials any more than for grave-robbers.
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