Hello my loves. After many months of research and developing my novel, I believe I have found the true identity of the White Lady of the infamous Iron Bridge of Andover.
Now if you haven't read my Lets Talk Ladies Walk article, give it a quick read first and then come back here.
If you already have, thank you very much and let us begin!
***This is your warning that this is a horrific story***
Now, I want to start with I have a novel in draft that goes into detail about the life of the Lady before her tragic demise. I will be gatekeeping some details and research to prevent anyone attempting to steal all my hard work and, most importantly, her story.
I am still putting all the pieces of the puzzle together and filling in gaps where I can. But I couldn't wait to tell you all what I have discovered.
The White Lady's name is Hannah. A young unmarried lady who suffered greatly. Like many people in Andover during the 1800s, Hannah found herself in the workhouse accused of infanticide. This was nothing more than hearsay and slander, and the poor girl suffered the consequences of small-town syndrome.
In 1846, Parliament opened up an inquiry about the Andover Union Workhouse after hearing inmates were eating bone marrow, and being abused, particularly the female inmates. If you wanna know more about this, I wrote an article on the Scandal of Andover Workhouse a few months back.
Hannah was one of these women who found herself pregnant in the workhouse, with no father to be seen. Or so the reports would have it. In the workhouse, if they found a woman pregnant out of wedlock, her skirt would have the colours of black and yellow to let everyone else know she is a harlot and, to put it plainly, deserves everything she gets.
In other words, they just hated women. Not much has changed, ey?
I bet you didn't think the Iron Bridge, and the Workhouse had a connection, right? Well they do, and it's (excuse my French) fucking bloody awful.
Skipping straight to her inevitable fate. Hannah lost her child in the workhouse at the age of around five months. It wasn't uncommon for women to lose their child in this era; I mean - you were very lucky for your child to reach the age of five and over, so sadly lots of babies didn't make it, especially those born into the workhouse. Children born into the workhouse didn't stand much of a chance against the infections, diseases, and lack of nutritious food.
Hannah, because of the previous slander, was accused of murdering her own child, however the autopsy tells us the baby died of natural causes. Did the Master of the house care? No, of course not. He was a fucking tyrant. Instead, he punished her again for infanticide and forced her to carry her dead child through the town for a mile to be buried in an unmarked unceremonial grave.
Oh, and you'll never guess the distance from the workhouse to the iron bridge... 1.1 miles. Yep.
This was known as skirmishing and was a common punishment for women in Hannah's position.
Now I have got one of three routes that I believe Hannah took. It is important to remember that at the time the Guildhall (built in 1825) was at the center of the town, so it is very likely she would have walked past this building coming out from the old alley way next to The Globe (George Yard). She then walked down the high street and up what is now the 'strip of Andover' to Ladies Walk.
The bridge however wasn't actually built until 1851, and this incident happened a decade earlier, so I theorise is that there was A). another bridge before the one we had today, or, B) she fell/jump/pushed off the chalk cliffs straight onto the old Roman road.
However, I believe she didn't kill herself, it just doesn't sit with her character. I believe she was chased and killed.
To quickly re-visit the White Lady story. Some versions claim she was chased and fell off the Iron Bridge. Others suggest she was pushed.
So baring that one in mind, I believe this is story is actually a crime that has been covered up or overshadowed by the Workhouse Scandal.
Hannah's story is a harsh, complex tragedy, and like I said, I've really gate-kept some of the research to keep you all coming back for the novel The White Lady of the Iron Bridge, which will be coming out end of 2023.
You AI writers can find your own stories and learn the craft properly. Don't be lazy.
So there you have it. The story of the White Lady is somewhat true and is based on a real woman's terrible demise. Her name is Hannah. Don't forget that.
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Stay tuned for the novel at the end of the year, and as always;
Stay safe, stay hopeful and stay blessed :)
About the Creator
Hello, my lovelies! Welcome, I write everything from the very strange to the wonderful; daring and most certainly different. I am an avid coffee drinker and truth advocate.
Follow me on Twitter/X @rosiejsargent97