Monday 12 July 2010

Sweet Fanny Adams - Poor Fanny Adams!

If you are of a nervous disposition, I recommend you read no further. Just backpage and visit somewhere else tonight - we'll look forward to seeing you again tomorrow.

Fanny Adams was a sweet, young girl of nearly eight and a half playing with a sister and her friend when a man came along and offered them money. In particular he offered Fanny a whole halfpence to go with him. And that was the start of the nightmare we all fear for our loved ones. I'll spare you the gory details which you can read on the Hampshire Museums' website. The body of Fanny was later found dismembered. This sampler stitched was by Emma Robinson in 1874, some seven years later and records the event which one must assume was impressed upon the memories of young children for times to come in the Alton area of Hampshire. And poor Fanny Adams, not just for the brutal end to her life, but because sailors in the British Navy with their macabre humour over their probably more macabre ships' rations declared their purported lamb stew to be 'Sweet Fanny Adams'.


  1. Now I know the origin of the saying, even if the story is gruesome. I have often heard my mother use the phrase "sweet Fanny Adams". I wonder if she knows where it came from?

  2. Oh my goodness!! That is, rather was, one of my favourite expressions. Now I know what it means I will think of that poor little girl all the time.