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Document of the Month


Anniversary card marking first anniversary of Joséphine's death, 1875

Joséphine died in February 1874 and her funeral was held in the church of Ste. Trinité, Paris.  Following French custom, her coffin remained at the church for a year and then an anniversary service was held.  This card was probably sent to John by one of Joséphine’s circle of female friends to mark the anniversary.  The coffin was then taken to the chapel at Gibside, another Bowes property in County Durham, while a memorial chapel was to be built in the Museum grounds.  The chapel was not completed before John’s death in 1885.  Eventually the Trustees and the Roman Catholic diocese of Hexham exchanged land and the Bowes Memorial Church was consecrated in 1928, when the coffins of John and Joséphine were interred just outside the church. (Ref. JB/8/5)

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