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Lady Fanny Button[2] (d. between 1912 and 1919) is the ghost of a former land-owner from the Edwardian era. She is the late Lady Heather Button's great grandmother.

History

When she and George married at Winchester Cathedral, Fanny was "given away by the Marquess of Granby and the guests included the Duchess [of somewhere]". Their marriage occurred sometime between 1888 and 1906[3]. Despite her husband clearly not interested in sex with women, George clearly would have had sex with his wife on at least one occasion, and they must have given birth to at least one child, as they became great grandparents. After she discovered her husband having sex with their groundsman and their butler in their bedroom, her husband George pushed her out the bedroom window, an event she subconsciously reenacts every time the clock chimes at three in the morning, the time of her death (prompting some of the other ghosts to set the clock back). Out of all of the ghosts, she is Alison's closest relative.[4] Fanny died when she was in her late 50s or early 60s.

Because of the dramatic manner of her death, a legend has arisen in the local area that Fanny haunts Button House as a ghost - though only Alison and Mike know that she really does. The story is so famous that when real photos of "the grey lady" go viral, the Coopers are accused of faking them to cash in on the legend.

Personality

A stickler for etiquette and maintaining a good reputation, as Alison quickly discovers, Fanny has a Hair-Trigger Temper, which prompts many complaints about modern life. She often tells Alison how to behave as a "lady".

Quotes

  • You thieving git! (Getting Out)
  • I find myself having a conniption fit. (Redding Weddy)
  • Lace brassiere! (The Thomas Thorne Affair)
  • Oh just leaving the witness alive are we, not even a threat of violence? At least take some identification and say you'll be back if he contacts the authorities. (Bump In The Night)
  • What have I become? (Bump In The Night)
  • Well times change don't they, we should know. After all if George had been free to love as he chose well, I wouldn't have been murdered and I could have had a husband instead who wanted to know me. And when I say know I mean given me a really good- (Perfect Day)

Notes

  1. Thomas mentions in Who Do You Think You Are? that "the garden view comes with the screaming woman!". Mary notes that "you gets used to it after hundred years". Assuming Mary is being literal (and can count!), then Fanny was killed in 1919. She certainly died no earlier than 1912, when she was conned out of a place on RMS Titanic and the Edwardian Era, which Fanny comes from, ended in 1910, but is sometimes extended to end with WWI beginning in 1914. This indicates that she died sometime between 1912 (when the Titanic sank) and 1919 (which correlates with Mary's "hundred years" statement).
  2. Fanny's actual title is unknown; she is not referred to as Lady Fanny but only Lady Button by people outside of the household, implying she is not born into nobility and only obtained the title by marriage - people inside the house, such as The Captain, only ever call her Fanny too and the Captain, knowing the importance of titles, would use Lady Fanny if she was noble born; in About Last Night, Pat also refers to her as Lady B. However, the fact that the great-granddaughter of her and George - Heather Button - is known as Lady Heather and was unmarried implies that George (or one of their descendants) later became at least an Earl as the daughters of Viscounts and Barons do not receive the title of Lady, merely The Honourable Miss [first name] [surname] (i.e The Honourable Miss Heather Button). This implies that Fanny is only known as Lady Button because that was her husband's title at the time, with him then possibly becoming an Earl or higher. There is only one exception in British history of a family with a title of anything higher than Viscount keeping the family surname in the title of the Earldom: that of Princess Diana's family being known as Earl Spencer.
  3. Charles Manners, 6th Duke of Rutland, was Marquess of Granby between 1815 and 1857, so could not be the Marquess who gave her away as that would make Fanny 70 or 80 at her death, when she actually died in her 50s or 60s; the next person to be known as Marquess of Granby was his grandson, Henry Manners, 8th Duke of Rutland, but he did not become Marquess of Granby until 1888, so her marriage must have occurred sometime between that date and 1906, when he became Duke.
  4. They are still not very closely related; Heather is Fanny's Great granddaughter, and Alison in turn likens her own relationship to Heather to a "Step great niece" though it's actually more distant than that.
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