SK 27 NW PARISH OF EYAM RILEY LANE 4/63 (North Side) Riley Graves and Graveyard II Six gravestones and a table tomb, enclosed by stone wall. 1666. Gritstone and gritstone rubble. Gritstone rubble wall with rubble copings enclosing six gravestones and a table tomb, those to east, from south to north, inscribed 'ALICE HANCOCKE BUR AUG 9th 1666', 'ANN HANCOCKE, BUR AUG 10th 1666' and 'WILLIAM HANCOCKE BUR AUG 17th 1666'. Ones to west, from south to north inscribed 'JOHN HANCOCKE JUN BUR AUG 3rd 1666', 'ELIZABETH HANCOCKE BUR AUG 3rd 1666' and 'ONER HANCOCKE BUR AUG 7th 1666'. To south, plain table tomb with sides inscribed 'HORAM,NESCITIS, VIGILATE, ORATE'. Top inscribed 'REMEMBER MAN, AS THOU GOEST BY, AS THOU ART NOW, EVEN ONCE WAS I, AS I DOE NOW, SO MUST THOU LYE. REMEMBER MAN THAN THOU MUST DIE'. Memorial to the whole Hancocke family who died of the plague.
The Graves are situated in the village of Eyam in the Peak district, Derbyshire ,England
Within a week he was dead and was buried on 7 September 1665. After the initial deaths, the townspeople turned to their rector, the Reverend William Mompesson, and the Puriton Minister Thomas Stanley. They introduced a number of precautions to slow the spread of the illness from May 1666. These included the arrangement that families were to bury their own dead and the relocation of church services from the parish church of St lawrence to Cucklett Delph to allow villagers to separate themselves, reducing the risk of infection. Perhaps the best-known decision was to quarantine the entire village to prevent further spread of the disease. The plague raged in the village for 14 months and it is stated that it killed at least 260 villagers with only 83 villagers surviving out of a population of 350. This figure has been challenged on a number of occasions with alternative figures of 430 survivors from a population of around 800 being given. The church in Eyam has a record of 273 individuals who were victims of the plague.
When the first outsiders visited Eyam a year later, they found that fewer than a quarter of the village had survived the plague. Survival appeared random, as many plague survivors had close contact with the bacterium but never caught the disease. For example, Elizabeth Hancock never became ill despite burying six children and her husband in eight days (the graves are known as the Riley graves). The unofficial village gravedigger Marshall Howe also survived, despite handling many infected bodies, as he had earlier survived catching the disease.