Ghosts Wiki
Advertisement

Stephanie "Fanny" Button, Lady Button[4] (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

Fanny was born to a wealthy family in the Edwardian era. It appears as though her parents had no sons and that she was an only child. Her father was a successful businessman and her mother Lavinia was a very traditional woman. She believed business was for men and that a lady's duty was to marry and produce an heir. Fanny vehemently disagreed with these views. She had an outstanding education of literacy and arithmetic, and also learnt the skills of needlework and cooking.

It seems that Fanny's father was a failed man who preferred to gamble more than run the business he inherited. Fanny wanted to help him and be its owner someday. Her mother Lavinia wanted her to get married, though Fanny was not interested and seems to have avoided men a lot.

One day Lavinia's friend Adelaide Pembroke's daughter, Felicity, had become engaged and she was seven years younger than Fanny. Lavinia tried to use this story to persuade Fanny to get married, but to no avail. Not long after, men came and began taking away furniture from their stately home. It was revealed that Fanny's father had been gambling and lost almost all the family's money. Fanny and her parents were on the verge of ending up on the streets.

Lavinia begged her sister to lend them some money but her husband refused, stating that they couldn't afford to give away any of their money and that it would cause scandal for both their families. Lavinia began to cry, and her brother-in-law suggested one last option. The son of Fanny's uncle's cousin - a handsome but "wayward" young man called George - was just slightly younger than Fanny and his family were looking for a wife for him. Fanny and her mother met George when he visited their home. They later wed.

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[5]. 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 a threesome with their groundsman and their butler in their bedroom, George pushed Fanny 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.[6] 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". It becomes apparent later in series 3 that she only nags the other Button House residents as a way to ignore her own problems, and when there is nothing to be annoyed at she doesn't quite know what to do. It's rare to see her show anything past her rough exterior, although on some occasions she has shown sympathy for others. For example in the episode Perfect Day, in which her traditional views on same-sex marriage are changed once she realizes that if her husband, George, was allowed to marry who he chose, she wouldn't have been killed and she could have married some one who she really loved. She also shows a considerable amount of sympathy for Nicholas in the episode He Came!, she argues that judging him is unfair and that no one knows the events that led to him becoming homeless, since she and her mother almost became homeless at some point.

Quotes

  • "She's no niece of mine, look at her, shes exposing her knees and shes got a tattoo" (Who Do You Think You A re?)
  • "A lady does not hold a carrot like that" (Who Do You Think You Are?)
  • "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)
  • "Off the lawn! Off the lawn!" (The Grey Lady)
  • "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, 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. "And Simeon is in continual dialogue with his creditors" - Lavinia, He Came!
  3. "You see, I have a cousin, a wealthy family, who has this somewhat wayward son. Do you know the Buttons at all?" - Fanny's Uncle by marriage, He Came!
  4. Fanny's actual title is unknown. He Came! indicates that she is not born into the Aristocracy and inherited the title of "Lady Button" on marriage. 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 Honorable Miss [first name] [surname] (i.e The Honorable 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 being an Earl or higher. There are more than 8 such families in British history, where the title is also the surname, including: Spencer, Russell, Cadogan, Talbot, Fortescue and Grey.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
Advertisement