Unusual Epitaphs - Scotland

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  • Aberdeenshire

    CRAN, Alexander
    Buried in Monquhitter, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

      Erected by Sophia Stewart, in memory of her beloved husband, Alexander Cran, feuar in Cuminestown, who died 16th June 1833, aged 60 years, by mutual concent of Andrew Lorimer, his Successor.

      Source : Jervise 1875


    REYNOLD, Alexander; FORBES, Margaret
    Buried in Aberdour, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

      Here lyes Mr Alexander Reynold, a faithful servant of God in the ministry, being admitted thereto at Aberdour, September 17, 1665, and dyed August 9, 1691, and Margaret Forbes, his spouse, who dyed Feb. 28, 1695:
      This dormitory which thou sees,
      Was once the object of my eyes;
      But now my body is in dust,
      Thine also death will hither thrust.

      Source : Jervise 1875



  • Angus

    ALEXANDER, Robert
    Died June 19, 1738
    Buried in Kirkden, Angus, Scotland

      In hopes of a blessed resurrection, here lyis the dust of Robert Alexander, sometime Tennent in Parconon, late husband to Isobel Scot, betwixt whom were procreate six children, vizt., William, Jean, Isobel, Robert, John, and Thomas Alexander. He died the 19 of June 1738, of age 43 years -

      The penetrating art of man,
      Unfold this secret never can,
      How long men shall live on the Earth,
      And how, or Where give up their Breath.
      The person of whom this I write,
      Ah! dy'd by a mournfull fate;
      An old clay chimney that downfell
      Kill'd both his servant and himsell,
      Which should alarm men every where
      For their last hour well to prepare,
      That death may never them surprise;
      For as the tree falls so it lies.

      Quae mea sors hodie cras fore vestra potest
      (My fate to-day may be yours to-morrow.)

      Source : Jervise 1875


    BLACK, James; WALLIS, Jannet
    He died October 24, 1750
    She died June 6, 1745
    Buried Lethnot, Angus, Scotland

      This stone was erected by James Black tenant in Wood, in the parish of Edzell, in memory of his spouse Jannet Wallis, who died the 6 of June 1745, aged 65 years; and sd. James Black was of age 68 years: -

      Ah Sin! hence momentary life, hence breath,
      Sighs for ye silent grave and pants for death:
      What means ye warning of ye passing bell?-
      A soul just gone to Paradise or Hell.
      To darkness tends ye broad, but slippry way,
      O frightful gloom, deny'd each cheering ray;
      While such as walk in paths divinely bright
      shall shine within ye Courts of endless light.

      James Black
      Born at Mill of Lethnot, dy'd Oct. 24, 1750, at Wood of Dalbog. Chiefly built the Bridge of Gannochie, and doted for the support of it 50 merks Scots : Besides 1000 merks for other Bridges and pious uses : vix. 500 merks for a Schoolmr. at Tillibardin : and 300 merks toward building a Bridge at Balrownie, with 200 merks to the poor of Fettercairn.
      No Bridge on Earth can be a Pass for Heav'n,
      To generous deeds Let due Praise be given.
      Memento - 1746 - mori.

      Source : Jervise 1875


    CHRISTISON, Daniel
    Died June 4, 1751
    Buried Lochlee, Angus, Scotland

      Here lies Daniel Christison, who departed this life June 4th, 1751, aged 36:-
      From what befalls us here below,
      Let none from thence conclude,
      Our lot shall aftertime be so -
      The young man's Life was good.
      Yet Heavnly wisdom thought it fit,
      In its all sovereign way,
      The flames to kill him to permit,
      And so to close his day.

      Source : Jervise 1875


    LAWRANCE, William
    Died October 1787
    Buried Maryton, Angus, Scotland

      Wm. son of Wm. Lawrance, vintner, Usan, was drowned in a draw-well, Oct. 1787, a. 3 years : -
      Doth Infant's pain and death proclaim,
      That Adam did Rebel?
      His destiny declares the same,
      Being drowned in a Well.
      Let all who mourn his early death,
      Hate sin the fatal cause,
      And flee to Jesus Christ by faith
      Who saves from Satan's jaws.

      Source : Jervise 1875


    MASON, Robert; JACKSON, Jean
    He died April 20, 1748
    She died April 20, 1708
    Buried in Newtyle, Angus, Scotland

      Erected by George & Alexander Masons in memory of there father Robert Mason, late tennant in Pitnepie, who died Aprile 20th 1748, aged 84 years; & Iean Iackson, his first Spouse, who died Aprile 20th 1708, aged 40 years, by whom he had 5 children. His second spouse, Isobel Spankie, survives him, by whom he had 2 children.

      Struck by the fiery dart of Death,
      Here Robert Mason Lies,
      Awaiting the Eternal Call
      Of Christ beyond the Skies.
      He while on Earth mankind did aid,
      & genarously befriend,
      For which we hope, Almighty God
      has bless'd his latter end.
      He by god's blessing often did,
      Lame people Safe restore,
      To wonted Strength, although their bones,
      were bruised very sore.
      MEMENTO MORI.

      Source : Jervise 1875


    MILLE, Gilbert (the deceased's name only appears in the epitaph as an acrostic, being spelled out by the first letter of each line)
    Buried in Newtyle, Angus, Scotland

      G. M : K. B : M. B.
      1675
      Great is the Wonders God hath Worked
      In Heaven, and Earth, and Sia;
      Lykuays he many mercies hath,
      BeStoued Wpon Me.
      Euen in this World, an Hundred Years,
      Remain'd I honestlie;
      Tuo Weded Wifes the tym I had;
      Much Comfort was to Me.
      In Wedlocks Band ue Procreat
      Lauffully Ws Betuix;
      Loues Pledges, Whos Right number wer,
      Euen tuo tymes tenn and Six.

      My Spritt to God, I do committ,
      My Body to the Graue;
      When Christ shall com and jidg shall sitt,
      Shall them Both Recauie.

      Source : Jervise 1875



  • Banffshire

    HENDRIE, John; CAMERON, Penual
    Buried Inveravon, Banffshire, Scotland

      This stone was erected here by John Hendrie who died the 24th Dec. 1815 in the 63d year of his age with the concurrence of Penual Cameron his spouse who died 7 May 1818 in the 57th year of her age. &c.

      Source : Jervise 1875



  • Bute

    ADAM, Rev. James
    Died 25th June, 1831, aged 83
    Buried in Milport churchyard, parish of Cumbray, Bute, Scotland

      Fideles moralis et innuptus
      Sine natis, sine curis
      Vixit, obit et surget.

      Tho' here on a damp cold bed he lies,
      Without a friend to close his eyes;
      Wrapt in his usual unsocial pride,
      Indifferent to all the world beside.

      Sed quid sunt est vel erit
      Magnus dies declarabit.

      Source : Rogers 1871 v.2



  • Clackmannanshire

    JOHNSTON, Robert
    Buried in Alloa Parish churchyard, Clackmannanshire, Scotland

      Before this Monument of stones
      Lies honest Robert Johnston's bones;
      He lived devoutly, died in peace,
      Prompt by religion and grace,
      Endow'd a preacher for this place.
      With consent of his wife to lie
      Here by him when she falls to die,
      At her expense this tomb was raised
      For him whose worth she prized, and praised.
      Obit R. J. Aug. 16, A.D. 1739.

      Source : Rogers 1871 v.2


    McISACK, James; bookseller
    Died 15th May, 1834, aged 66.
    Buried in Alloa Parish churchyard, Clackmannanshire, Scotland

      For all the books I've bound
      Here now with valley clods,
      In sheets I'm rotting under ground,
      Death makes as mighty odds!

      Waiting the final dawn
      Mine ashes here are laid;
      Life's labour's o'er, and I'm withdrawn,
      Here have I found my bed.

      Source : Rogers 1871 v.2


    MORTON, Betty; RUSSEL, Mary
    Buried in Dollar Parish, Clackmannanshire, Scotland

      Sacred to the Memory of Betty Morton and Mary Russell, who lived as
      faithful nurses and servants in the family of Crawfurd Tait, Esq., of
      Harviestoun, the former for 30, the latter for 50 years.
      «Not with eyeservice as menpleasers, but as the servants of Christ,» -
      The cherished our childhood,
      They comforted our youth.
      They directed our thoughts to that heavenly country, where, through our
      Redeemer's love, we hope to meet them again.
      Erected by the family, - 1856.

      Source : Rogers 1871 v.2



  • Dumfriesshire

    ANDERSON,Robert
    Painter and glazier
    Died May 24, 1792, aged 80
    Tombstone in Dumfries, Scotland

      They may write epitaphs who can,
      I say here lies an honest man!

      Source : Johnson 1883



  • Fife

    BROWN, Charles
    Buried : Parish of Leslie, Fife, Scotland

      Here lies the dust of Charles Brown,
      Some time a wright in London town,
      When coming home parents to see,
      And of his years being twenty-three,
      Of a decay with a bad host
      He died upon the Yorkshire coast
      The 10th of August 1752
      We hope his soul in Heaven rests now.

      Source : Rogers 1871 v.2


    HAY, Laur; PITULLOCH, Andrew; HACKSTON, David.
    Monuement in old churchyard, parish of Cupar, Fife, Scotland

      Here lie interred the heads of Laur Hay : and Andrew Pitulloch, who
      suffered martyrdom at Edinburgh, July 13th, 1681, for adhering to the
      word of God, and Scotland's covenanted work of reformation; and also
      one of the hands of David Hackston, of Rathillet, who was most cruelly
      martyred at Edinburgh, July 30th, 1680.

      Our persecutors filled with rage,
      Their brutish fury to assuage,
      Took heads and hands of martyrs off,
      That they might be the people's scoff.
      They Hackston's body cut asunder,
      And set it up a world's wonder
      In several places; to proclaim
      These monsters' glory and their shame.

      Source : Rogers 1871 v.2



  • Lanarkshire

    M'KAY, Alex.
    From Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland
    Buried : Churchyard of Hanslope, Buckinghamshire, England

      Sacred to the memory of
      Alex. M'Kay,
      (Late of Glasgow)
      Who died 3rd June, 1834,
      Aged 26 years.
      Strong and athletic was my frame;
      Far from my native home I came,
      An manly fought with Simon Byrne;
      Alas! but lived not to return.
      Reader, take warning of my fate,
      Lest you should rue your case too late;
      If you ever have fought before,
      Determine now to fight no more.

      Source : Andrews 1899



  • Midlothian

    COCHRANE, Rupert John and Isabella
    Monumental inscription : St. John's Episcopal Churchyard, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland

      This tablet records the deaths (within a space of two months) of a
      father and mother whose beloved memory seven orphan children cherish
      and revere. Rupert John Cochrane, Esq., of Halifax, N.S., died in
      London, 28th June 1851, aged 50 years; and was buried at Battersea.
      Isabella Maccomb Cochrane, of New York, United States, America, died
      in Edinburgh, 3rd September, 1851, aged 42 years; and was buried in
      the Dormitory attached to this chapel.
      The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away : blessed be the name of the Lord - Job i. 21.

      Source : Rogers 1871 v.1


    DUNBAR, Eliza; wife of Captain Tod
    Died in 1804
    Buried : St. Cuthbert's churchyard, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland

      Ah! whither fled, ye dear illusions, say?
      Lo! pale and silent lies the lovely clay.
      How are the roses on that cheek decayed,
      Which beauty's bloom to every eye displayed?
      Health on her form each sprightly grace bestowéd,
      With life and thought each speaking feature glowéd.
      Fair was the blossom, soft the vernal sky,
      Elate with hope, we deeméd no tempest nigh;
      When lo! a whirlwind's instantaneous gust
      Left all its beauties withering in the dust.

      Source : Rogers 1871 v.1


    GIB, Adam
    Buried : Greyfriars churchyard, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland

      Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Adam Gib, an able and faithful
      minister of Christ; endued with a large share of natural talent,
      improved by education, study, and use : in language concise,
      clear, nervous, and expressive; with freedom, acuteness, zeal, and
      assiduity, he long preached the pure doctrines of the Gospel, and
      contended to instruct, warn, and reprove a degenerate and declining
      age. Born 15 April, 1714, he died on the 14th of June, 1788, aetatis 74.

      Source : Rogers 1871 v.1


    MACKENZIE, John, and HAY, Margaret, his wife
    Monumental inscription : Lady Yester's Churchyard, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland

      Translated from Latin :
      Here, or elsewhere, perhaps nowhere, are to be laid up the
      bones of John Mackenzie and Margaret Hay, mutually loving
      with chaste care - rewards of their faith, not works in humble hope
      expecting. For this square place, extending to five elnes, from the
      town council, to bury them and their heirs they obtained in the
      year of the Sun of Righteousness 1702.

      Source : Rogers 1871 v.1


    ROBERTSON, James
    Monumental inscription : St. John's Episcopal Churchyard, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland

      Sacred to the memory of Captain James Robertson, 9th Regiment Madras
      Native Infantry, and assistant Commissary General, third son of the late
      Colonel David Robertson Macdonald, of Kinlochmoidart. Born 22nd July,
      1806. He died on board the Bucephalus on his passage to the Cape of
      Good Hope, lat 25° 9′ south, long. 62° 31′ east, February 15th, 1851.

      Source : Rogers 1871 v.1


    WILLIAMSON, Adam
    Lived in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland

      Sacred to the memory of
      Adam Williamson,
      Pressman-Printer, in Edinburgh,
      Who died Oct. 3, 1832
      Aged 72 years.
      All my stays are loosed;
      My cap is thrown off; my head is worn out;
      My box is broken;
      My spindle and bar have lost their power;
      My till is laid aside;
      Both legs of my crane are turned out of their path;
      My platen can make no impression;
      My winter hath no spring;
      My rounce will neither roll out nor in;
      Stone, coffin, and carriage have all failed;
      The hinges of my tympan and frisket are immovable;
      My long and short ribs are rusted;
      My cheeks are much worm-eaten and mouldering away:
      My press is totally down:
      The volume of my life is finished,
      Not without many errors;
      Most of them have arisen from bad composition, and
      are to be attributed more to the chase than the press;
      There are also a great number of my own;
      Misses, scuffs, blotches, blurs, and bad register;
      But the true and faithful Superintendent has
      undertaken to correct the whole.
      When the machine is again set up (incapable of decay),
      A new and perfect edition of my life will appear,
      Elegantly bound for duration, and every way fitted
      for the grand Library of the Great Author.

      Source : Andrews 1899



  • Perthshire

    SCOTT, Margary
    Died in 1738
    Tombstone in Dunkeld, Perthshire, Scotland

      Stop, reader, here, until my life you've read,
      The living may gain knowledge from the dead:
      Five times five years I've lived a virgin's life,
      Ten times five years I was a married wife;
      Ten times five years a widow grave and chaste;
      Now, wearied of this mortal life, I rest.
      I from my cradle to my grave have seen
      Eight mighty kings of Scotland and a queen;
      Four times five years the commonwealth I saw,
      Ten times the subjects rise against the law;
      Twice did I see old prelacy put down,
      And twice the cloak did sink beneath the gown:
      An end of Stuart's race I saw, -nay, more,
      I saw my country sold for English ore;
      Such dissolution in my time has been,
      That I've an end of all perfection seen.

      Source : Johnson 1883



  • Stirlingshire

    COCHRANE, Jean
    Parish of Kilsyth, Stirlingshire, Scotland

      Beneath this stone are deposited the remains of Jean Cochrane,
      Viscountess of Dundee, wife of the Honourable W. Livingston, of
      Kilsyth, and of their infant son. Their deaths were caused by the
      falling in of the roof, composed of turf, of a house in Holland.
      Mr. Livingston was with difficulty extricated. The Lady, her child,
      and the nurse were killed. This occured in the month of October,
      MDCXCV (1695). In MDCCXCV (1795), the vault over which the church at that
      time stood having been accidentally opened, the bodies of Lady Dundee
      and her son, which had been embalmed and sent from Holland, were found
      in a remarkable state of preservation. After being for some time
      exposed to view, the vault was closed. This lady was the daughter
      of William, Lord Cochrane, who predeceased his father, William, first
      earl of Dundonald. She married, first, John Graham, of Claverhouse,
      Viscount of Dundee, who was killed at the battle of Lillicrankie,
      MDCLXXXIX (1689); and secondly, the Honourable William Livingston, who
      succeeded his brother as third Viscount of Kilsyth in MDCCVI (1706). Lord
      Kilsyth married, secondly, a daughter of Macdougal, of Makerstoun,
      but dying under attainder at Rome in MDCCXXXIII (1733), without surviving
      issue, this noble family became extinct. This stone was erected by
      Sir Archibald Edmonston, of Duntreath, Bart., MDCCCL (1850).

      Source : Rogers 1871 v.2



  • Wigtownshire

    COWAN, Andrew, William, and John
    Buried in Wigtown graveyard, Wigtownshire, Scotland

      Here lies the corps of Andrew Cowan, of Croft Angry, who died June 6th, 1776, aged 70 yeard. And his son William lies beside him, who died the 21st February, 1778, aged 17 years.
      And his son John of honest fame,
      Of stature small and a leg lame;
      Content he was with portion small,
      Keeped shop in Wigtown, and that's all.
      Died August 21st, 1779, aged 32 years.

      Source : Eaton 1900




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