WRITING MY FIRST BOOK
In the previous posts, I mentioned how I found Grace on an Ancestry site when I started researching my family tree. I found her fascinating, especially after hearing whispers throughout my childhood of a ‘mysterious’ relative who’d caused a great scandal many years ago. Although at the time I’d never realised it was so long ago, in the eighteenth century.
Not only were there whisperings about a scandal, but a vast family fortune had been lost to all Grace’s decedents, because of a fraudulent act by one of her relatives. More rumours have been circulated over the years, and I’ve even found paper cuttings of some of the Hazlehurst (Grace married John Hazlehurst) families taking the case to court. But, alas nothing has ever come of it. The fortune today wouldn’t be worth much spread across the world to all of Grace and John’s decedents.
The claim was taken out by a Samuel Hazelhurst in 1831 and was thought to be for around £1.2 million pounds against the descendants of Jane Hardman, the wife of one of the Hardman brothers,, who was believed to have falsified documents. She managed to transfer the Hardman’s wealth to her own family instead of Grace’s family after 99 years. Samuel Hazelhurst also claimed murder had been committed in order to prevent the documented evidence ever reaching the courts.
WRITING THE STORY
So, what has all this got to do with me being compelled to write Grace’s story? Not much, only it is a tantalising story. But there isn’t too much evidence, except the rumour that any of this happened.
I wasn’t a writer, and writing was not my forte. But, I continued researching my family tree and continued my nursing career. I had no time for writing.
It was only when Grace started to visit me when I was experiencing drug-induced hallucinations from my chemotherapy I was receiving. Sounds weird, I know. But, she appeared to give more and more snippets of her life. I spent hours working out, how she must have lived her life. Once strong enough I began to write – very badly at first. I didn’t know where or how to start.
I did it though, all by myself. With loads of errors but a deep, deep satisfaction. Grace and John’s love story is now out there, for everyone to read.
From writing about Grace, I realise who and what I am.
I am Grace Roscoe’s fifth great-grandchild with the same stubbornness and strong will I think Grace had. In fact, all the women on Grace’s side have all been strong women.
I’m Grateful to Grace and John in many ways and admire the strength of their love. They both faced danger, scandal and poverty for their love for each other and without that love, I would never have been born. Their story is a heartwarming one of enduring love and devotion.
Read the first three chapter of GRACE ROSCOE here