History of 140 year old wedding revealed

The story behind the last wedding in St Mary’s Church, before most of it was knocked down to make way for the cathedral, has been revealed. The St Mary’s Aisle Exhibition includes the marriage register entry for the ceremony, held on 11 October 1880. It states that Joseph Cock and Emily Dyer, both aged 21, got married just before the demolition team moved in. They were the last couple to tie the knot, but the details in the register are scanty. They simply state that Joseph was a painter, whose father was a cordwainer (shoemaker), and Emily was a farmer’s daughter, and that they both lived locally in the parish of St Mary’s.

Now, further details have emerged. The groom’s mother, Mary Cock, had been Mary Trewolla before her marriage. Her family had been baptised, married and buried in St Mary’s since the 1600s. At the time of the wedding, Joseph lived with his father and family in what was called Boscawen Row. This was near the viaduct off Pydar Street, and it is interesting that the new development taking place there means that there will be an archaeological excavation of the neighbourhood this autumn.

In the late Victorian period, St Mary’s parish, which included the Row, was a poor area and infectious diseases were rife. The young clergyman who conducted the wedding ceremony, Reverend Carey Dickinson, died just two years after it on 22 November 1882. He was only 31 and is commemorated by a small brass on the western wall under the tower of St Mary’s Aisle.

If your family has connections with St Mary’s Aisle, please get in touch – info@trurocathedral.org.uk. We would love to hear your stories.

To help support the repair and refurbishment of St Mary’s Aisle, visit www.trurocathedral.org.uk/get-involved/st-mary-s-aisle-appeal