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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 October, 2003, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
Memorial for tiger death woman
Grave of Hannah Twynnoy
Hannah Twynnoy is buried in the graveyard at Malmesbury Abbey
Residents of a Wiltshire town are to hold a memorial to mark the 300th anniversary of the death of a woman mauled by a tiger there.

Hannah Twynnoy died in Malmesbury on October 23, 1703. Folklore says she was mauled by a tiger which had escaped from a passing circus or fair.

Her gravestone bears a rhyme claiming she died aged 33 after being attacked by a "tyger fierce", and the story has become a local legend.

To mark the tercentenary of her death, the townspeople are holding a special ceremony in the grounds of Malmesbury Abbey.

Floral tribute

A group of girls, each named Hannah, from local schools will lay posies of flowers on the former inn worker's grave.

Former mayor of Malmesbury, Councillor John Bowen said: "The story is very well known in Malmesbury and the surrounding areas - it is one of those legends which should not be forgotten.

"The tombstone has attracted huge numbers of visitors over the centuries.

"Hannah has been one of Malmesbury's best ambassadors, and yet we know hardly anything about her."

Mystery of 300-year-old death
06 Nov 02  |  England

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