Have you ever seen a headstone that carries incorrect information? Should it be corrected? Left as a historical object? Or should a correction be added?
I have just read this BBC article relating to the correction of an error on author Anne Brontë’s grave in Scarborough, North Yorkshire.
The error, her age at death, which should have been 29 rather than 28 years, has stood in the churchyard since 1849, but now the Brontë Society has made the corrections by adding a plaque alongside the original standing stone.
This is not the first time her headstone has been corrected – her sister Charlotte arranged the correction of five earlier errors.
This reminds me of my own Great x 5 Grandmother, Elizabeth Yarrow (née Wright), whose own age, date, and year of death differs by two years depending on whether you’re reading the headstone, or one of the two parish registers that record her burial.
Dates range from 1837 to 1839, and her death seems to not to be covered by certification.
What do you think? Is it right to correct a headstone, preserve it with its error, or add an ‘erratum’?