Beggars Bridge, Glaisdale, Yorkshire. Click to enlarge.
A good friend of this blog once wrote the story of how his parents came to be married. His father was a working man, a miner, below the station of his mother and her father intimated it wouldn't be wise to ask for her hand in marriage until he had made something of himself financially. Working in the mines just wouldn't do. The story of how he traveled the world and found his fortune was very interesting to read. In the end, he won the fair maiden and our friend was one of the results of this happy ending.
A similar story unfolded four hundred years ago, in Yorkshire instead of Wales. Poor man loves girl in wealthier family and her father is not keen on her lover. Lover makes good and comes back and marries her.
Like Relax Max's puppeteer, this young man's name was also Tom, so there is a secondary interest here. There is a legend that the poor boy, on the eve of his departure to seek his fortune, went to tell the young lady he was going, but was unable to do so because the river Esk was at flood stage and he couldn't cross. Well, this legend neglects to mention there was a bridge not far from the spot, Duck's bridge, but legends of love sometimes require the suspension of mere facts; so let's forget the other bridge and just say the unfortunate suitor couldn't get across the raging river that night.
Later, when he returned to Glaisdale a much wealthier man, he not only married the fair maiden, but also built a bridge across the Esk at the spot he had been unable to cross that night. So goes the legend.
This was in 1619. The young man's name was Tom Ferris, his love's name was Agnes Richardson, and the name of the bridge he built (some say rebuilt) was (and is) called Beggars Bridge (or Beggar's Bridge, depending on which story you read.) It is not far from Whitby, of earlier post fame on this blog.
Whitby, Glaisdale, Beggars Bridge, Yorkshire. And our friend's blog name, whose true story at the beginning of this post inspired this little account, is Soubriquet. His very interesting blog is highly recommended reading.