John Hewet & Sarah Drew were both in their twenties & in love.
Sarah’s father had just given his permission for the pair to marry only that morning.
They both worked happily on the harvest at Stanton Harcourt in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds.
Suddenly a storm broke over head, thunder roared & the rain fell.
With the sudden thunder Sarah fainted with fright!
John raked barley around her to protect her from the rain.
Another crack of thunder, a burst of bright light & the barley was left smoking.
Other workers rushed to the sight & found Sarah laying with John’s arm around her as if he was protecting her, both were stiffened in this position, both struck dead!
They were both buried in St Michael’s churchyard in the village.
The poet Alexander Pope was staying with the Lord of the Manor at the time & wrote an epitaph.
This was thought to be too obscure, so he wrote a second one, that was used.
“Think not by rigorous judgment seized,
A pair so faithful could expire,
Victims so pure Heaven saw well pleased,
And snatched them in eternal fire.”