Anna Sewell (1820-1878)

Death: 25th April 1878
Location: Old Quaker Meeting-House, Lamas, Norfolk, England
Cause of death: Hepatitis and Tuberculosis
Photo taken by: julia and keld
Buy books by Anna Sewell

English writer who is best remembered for the classic children’s novel Black Beauty. Sewell was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk into a Quaker family. When she was fourteen years old she sustained an injury to her ankle which prevented her from walking or standing for long periods of time for the rest of her life. Because of this she relied heavily on horse-drawn carriages to get around and this led to her love of horses. She never married and lived at home with her mother and the pair spent their time doing charitable works. 
Black Beauty was published in 1877 when Anna was fifty-seven years old; it was her only published work. The novel tells the story of a mistreated horse and was extremely influential in improving the treatment of horses. Anna died five months after Black Beauty was published; her cause of death has been attributed to both hepatitis and tuberculosis.
Sewell was buried in the Quaker burial-ground at Lamas.  The meeting house itself has now been converted into a house and on 1st September 1984 the graveyard was bulldozed by contractors without prior warning or permission. Tombstones, graves and trees were removed in an act that was condemned by locals and the Council.  The gravestones of Anna, her parents and maternal grandparents were subsequently placed in a flint-and-brick wall outside the Old Quaker Meeting-House.