September 24th Mary Kelynack (The Great Exhibition)

On this day in 1851, Gulval – born Mary Kelynack was presented to the Lord Mayor London and then to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Having heard about the Great Exhibition, Kelynack said ‘I'll go and see’n too, I reckon!

She was eighty four years old and, according to The Times, walked the entire, 300 mile, journey in five weeks. 

The paper reported that the Lord Mayor described the encounter to Prince Albert who asked her to be presented to him and the Queen.

The prince gave her £2 which, together with another £3 from other donors, facilitated a rather more rapid journey home.

Despite her fame and her death being reported in the national newspapers she died in poverty and was buried in a pauper’s grave.



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