Eleanor Rigby document up for auction.

Would the real Eleanor Rigby please stand up? 

Signature of E Rigby, thought to be the inspiration behind Beatles hit Eleanor Rigby

For years, Paul McCartney has defended that Eleanor Rigby was an entirely fictional person. Now it seems that Paul knew more about her than he led us to believe.

A 1911 Corporation of Liverpool accounts book to be auctioned soon includes the signature of E. Rigby, then a 16-year-old scullery maid at the old City Hospital in Parkhill.  Could this indeed be the same E. Rigby that sir Paul laments in the classic Beatle song?

This is not the first time people tried to discern the identity of the real Eleanor Rigby. In the mid-1980s, the gravestone of an Eleanor Rigby (1895-1939) was discovered in the cemetery of St Peter’s Church in Liverpool. In the backyard of the church where John and Paul met.

The coincidences are adding up.  Please, let us know your thoughts, and conspiracy theories (HA HA) in the comments below.  Interesting.

Here’s what we’ve read.

LONDON (Reuters) – A 97-year-old document that contains clues to the identity of Eleanor Rigby, the subject of one of the Beatles’ best-loved songs, is expected to fetch 500,000 pounds when it goes on sale this month.


The manuscript is a salary register from Liverpool City Hospital and features the name E. Rigby, a scullery maid who has signed for her monthly wage. Her annual earnings were 14 pounds.


According to its owner Annie Mawson, the document was sent to her in 1990 by former Beatle Paul McCartney when she wrote to him on behalf of her charity the Sunbeams Music Trust ( www.sunbeamsmusic.org ), which uses music to help people with special needs.


“I wrote … to Paul and asked him for half a million pounds. But by the end of the letter I just said ‘Look, I know you’re a very caring person and I feel it’s a privilege to share my story with you,” she said on Tuesday.


“Nine months later, in June 1990, this amazing envelope arrived in the post. It was nine months after I’d written to him, which was part of the mystery because you always think it ended up in the waste paper basket,” Mawson told Reuters.


She said the envelope containing the document dated 1911 featured an official Paul McCartney tour stamp. The singer was on a world tour around that time.


Mawson did not immediately realise the significance of the register until she read down the list of names and spotted E. Rigby.


The document could be of huge interest to Beatles collectors, because it offers one of the clearest clues yet as to the identity of Eleanor Rigby, the woman in the song of the same name who dies alone with no one to mourn her.


According to music Web sites, previously McCartney has said the heroine of the poignant song was fictional.


The grave of an Eleanor Rigby was also discovered in the churchyard of St. Peter’s in Woolton, Liverpool, close to where McCartney met John Lennon in 1957.


“I wonder just how much Paul McCartney meant to unmask when he passed it on,” said Ted Owen, managing director of the Fame Bureau which is selling the manuscript as part of a pop memorabilia auction on November 27 in London.


Mawson said she needed to raise around one million pounds to fund a centre for her charity in Cumbria, northwest England.


“I thought this was the right time. I got the document out of the bank vault and decided I’ve got to go for it. We think McCartney might want to buy it back — you never know.”

Source: UK Reuters


8 Responses

  1. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a real Elanor Rigby.

    Even 40 years later, the Beatles are full of surprises!

  2. Just coincidence.

    Beatle Bob
    (Bootleg reviewer on Bootlegzone, 910, Beatleglist, etc)

  3. Yeah seems to me like Paul probably stumbled upon it after the fact and thought …”Nifty!”

  4. Paul just made a statement that “Elenor Rigby is a totally fictious character and anyone who wants to spend money on this docuement can go ahead” – or something very close to those words.

    Beatle Bob
    (Bootleg reviewer on Bootlegzone, 910, Beatleglist, etc)

  5. Inconclusive.

  6. E. is for Eleanor . . . and Edith, and Ethel, and Edwina, etc. Take your pick, any English girl’s E-name will fit.

    What about the dates? The doc is reportedly 1911, when the E.Rigby in question was aged 16. That makes her date of birth c.1895. The birth date on the Eleanor Rigby gravestone is 1895. Is this the same person, or just coincidence?

    Look at the postage stamp. It shows Edward VII, who died in 1910. In 1911, stamps of George V were in use. Was the council using up old stock of E7 stamps, or is the document a year or more older than 1911? If it is older, then E.Rigby’s DoB will be pre-1895, which will not match the date on the Eleanor Rigby gravestone.

  7. Another good article you post here.I m waiting for others to share it with my friends.

  8. Your blog is a very good blog. Thanx for all your posts. I hope you ll post more soon. Regards.

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