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Thu, 26 Sept


Burford Baptist Church

'The Water Gypsy' - Julie Ann Godson

How a Thames fisher girl became a Viscountess.

'The Water Gypsy' - Julie Ann Godson
'The Water Gypsy' - Julie Ann Godson

Time & Location

26 Sept 2024, 19:30 – 20:30

Burford Baptist Church, 34 Witney St, Burford OX18 4SN, UK

About the Event

At dusk on a snowy evening in 1766 a tired young couple made out the welcoming lights burning in the windows of the creaky old Berkshire manor house that was to be their home. He was Viscount Ashbrook, she was Betty Ridge, daughter of a humble Thames fisherman. Earlier that day they had been married in a little village church in Oxfordshire, and now Betty was embarking on a new life in the alien world of the aristocracy. It was an episode which culminated in the most glittering dynastic match in the entire history of the Ashbrook family when Betty's granddaughter became Duchess of Marlborough and chatelaine of Blenheim Palace. Secret marriage, aristocratic duelling, Court balls and fabulous country houses: all the greatest hits of the period are here. Based on the author's original research, The Water Gypsy traces the truth behind this charming story for the first time.

Julie studied history at the University of Oxford, and publishes books on the history of our county. Let her take you on this fascinating journey through the pages of her book.


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