George Hayton (1852-1943)
George was the Parish Clerk and Sexton of St Mary the Virgin for over 30 years from about 1891 to around 1925.
He was born on 16th October 1852 in Martham to William Hayton & Rebecca, nee Kerrison. He lived at Church Terrace, Black Street throughout his life. George was baptised a month after his birth at St Mary’s on 14th November. In both 1871 and 1881 he lived with his parents at Black Street and was a labourer but by 1891 he had become the Sexton at St Mary’s. When he was 22, he married Emma Dove, the daughter of William & Maria Dove, on 10th April 1875 at St Mary’s. They went on to have seven children who were: –
- Alice Maud Mary, who was born in 1878 and died on 12th September 1931.
- Georgiana Matilda, who was born in 1879 and died on 15th January 1974.
- George William, who was born on 14th September 1882 and sadly was killed on 15th July 1918 during WW1 in France & Flanders.
- Leopold, who was born in 1884 and died on 10th March 1916 in the USA.
- Edmund James, who was born in 1885 and died on 19th November 1962.
- James Alfred, who was born in 1888 and died on 19th May 1920.
- Ruth, who was born in 1890 and died on 19th December 1966.
George’s first wife, Emma, died on 16th November 1893 when he was 41 and she was 37. George then married Harriet Wiseman at St Mary’s on 8th May 1894. They were married for nearly 30 years until Harriet died on 17th February 1923.
When he was 73, George married Lucy Ann Edwards in 1926 at Great Yarmouth and they had seventeen years together until he died in Martham on 10th October 1943. He is buried in St Mary’s at section A, plot G3 not far from the main door of the church and his home at Black Street. His third wife Lucy died in 1953.
A Sexton is a person whose job it is to take care of a church building and its graveyard, and sometimes acting as beadle, verger, grave digger, custodian, watchman and bell ringer.