Jake Jenkinson reads the words of Sarah Youdale, the “Queen of Borrowdale”(1768/9−1869), who lived to be over 100 years old. She lived a self-sufficient lifestyle − making her own clothes, curing meat for the winter and always attending church every Sunday.
Introduction – David Woodthorpe
Sarah’s story of Borrowdale – Jake Jenkinson
13 Mar 1869 (from the Carlisle Journal):
“THE QUEEN OF BORROWDALE.- Borrowdale has lost a celebrity. Miss Sarah Youdale, or, as she was more familiarly called, ‘Old Sally Youdale,’ finished her career on earth on Tuesday, February 23. She was born on Christmas-day, 1768, and consequently was upwards of 100 years of age, and during her extended career deserved and obtained the respect of all who knew her. Few visitors to Borrowdale, but made her acquaintance, and were gratified by her wonderful powers of conversation and her prodigious memory, which she retained until within a few days of her death, and which gave her a claim to the title of the Queen of Borrowdale, most cheerfully conceded to her by all who saw her. As an instance of her extraordinary constitution, only last season she assisted in the hayfield, and there was no one who enjoyed it more or whose laugh and shout were more jocund. It may be further stated that, except on one occasion, when she visited Whitehaven, she was never out of the parish of Crosthwaite, in which Borrowdale is situate, in her long life. Although she did not claim for her ancestors their arrival in England with William the Conqueror, it is an indubitable fact that on the suppression of the monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII the name occurs repeatedly in the records of the time as holders of small properties. She was the last of her race.”