Remembered in wax

Who was Sarah Hare?

Sarah Hare was the spinster daughter of a minor member of the gentry. She died in 1744, at the age of 55, after pricking herself while sewing and contracting septicaemia.

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Sarah would be entirely forgotten by posterity but for an extraordinary clause she included in her will. She stated that: “I desire to have my face and hands made in wax… and put in a case of Mahogany with a glass”. Her wax effigy survives and can be seen in Holy Trinity Church, Stow Bardolph in Norfolk. Visitors can still open the door of a mahogany cabinet and gaze upon the uncannily lifelike features of this very ordinary, indeed rather plain and dumpy, woman who died two and a half centuries ago.

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Answered by: Nick Rennison