Unusual Epitaphs
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        ABINGDON, John
Died in 1817
Buried in Ludlow churchyard, Shropshire, England

    John Abingdon
    who for forty years drove the Ludlow stage to London,
    a trusty servant, a careful driver, and an honest man.

    His labor done, no more to town,
    His onward course he bends;
    His team's unshut, his whip's laid up,
    And here his journey ends.
    Death locked his wheels and gave him rest,
    And never more to move,
    Till Christ shall call him with the blest
    To heavenly realms above.

    Source : Andrews 1899

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

ADCOCK, William
Died 1786
Buried : Melton Mowbray churchyard, Leicestershire, England

    My sledge and hammer lie reclined,
    My bellows too have lost their wind,
    My fire's exausted, forge decayed,
    And in the dust my vice is laid,
    My coal is spent, and I am gone,
    My last nail's drove, my work is done.

    Source : Johnson 1883

ADLAM, Richard
Epitaph : Kingsteignton, Devon, England

    Richardus Adlam hujus ecclesiae Vicarius obit
    Feb. 10, 1670. Apostrophe ad Mortem.
    Dam'n'd tyrant, can't profaner blood suffice?
    Must priests that offer be the sacrifice?
    Go tell the genii that in Hades lye
    Thy triumphs o'er this Sacred Calvary,
    Till some just Nemesis avenge our cause,
    And force this kill-priest to revere good laws!

    Source : Norfolk 1866

AISQUITH, George, Ann Olevia, Alexander, John, Ann.
Buried in a cemetery in Maryland

    Sacred to the memory of George Aisquith, Ann Olevia Aisquith, Alexander
    Aisquith, John Aisquith, and Ann Aisquith, children of John and Mary
    Aisquith, of the city of Baltimore. George, was born December 27, 1783,
    and died September 10, 1789, in St. Mary's county. Ann Olevia, was born
    December 27, 1801, and died July 24, 1803. Alexander, was born June 13,
    1795, and died November 11, 1803. John, was born April 17, 1786, and
    departed this life May 29, 1804. Ann, was born February 8, 1791, and
    died November 18, 1792, in St. Mary's County.
    Lo where a parent seeks repose,
    And often o'er their children cries;
    Waiting the hour that shall disclose,
    Them once more to their longing eyes.
    Bereav'd sweet innocence of you,
    One, two, three, four, ah! five have died;
    Was e'er maternal love more true,
    Or more alas! severely tried.
    Hence let the tributary tear,
    Stream from each eye that reads this verse;
    And ah! ye tender mothers here,
    In sighs your sympathy rehearse.

    Source : Memoirs 1806

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

ALLEN, Elisha
Memorial inscription : Princeton, Massachusetts

    In memory of
    Capt. Elisha Allen
    who was inhumanly mur-
    dered by Samuel Frost,
    July 16th 1793.
    aged 48 years.
    Passengers behold! my friends and view
    Breathless I lie; sent to the grave;
    Jesus my only hope - to save;
    No warning had of my sad fate
    Till dire the stroke, alas! to late.

    Source : Kippax 1877

ALLEN, Thomas
Inscription in the cloisters of Chichester Cathedral, Sussex, England

    In Memory of
    Captn. Thomas Allen
    late Commander of his Majesty's Ship
    on whose brave & benevolent Spirit
    on the 23rd Jany 1781 in the 55th Year
    of his age, The Curtain of this
    World's Stage untimely dropt.

    Source : Maiben 1870

Essex Highwayman
Buried : Churchyard at Nayland, Suffolk, England

    Here sleepeth in dust,
    Ned Alston
    The notorious Essex Highwayman,
    Ob. Anno Dom. 1769
    Aetat. 40.
    My friends, here I am - Death at last has prevail'd,
    And for once all my projects are baffled,
    'Tis a blessing to know, tho', when once a man's nail'd,
    He has no further dread of the scaffold.
    My life was cut short by a shot thro' the head,
    On his Majesty's highway at Dalston-
    So as now 'Number One''s numbered one of the dead,
    All's one if he's Alston of All-stone.

    Source : Johnson 1883

ANDERSON, Miss Margaret
Died December 26, 1811
Buried in the crypt of the Monumental Church, Richmond, Virginia

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

Stone in the old abbey church at Pershore, Worcestershire, England

    the Memory
    Sarah Andrews : a faithful Domestic
    Mr. Herbert Woodward
    of this Place
    In whose Service she died
    on the 10th Feby, 1814
    Aged 80
    having filled the Duties of her humble
    Station with unblemished Integrity
    for the long Period
    52 Years.

    Source : Andrews 1899

ANTOINE, Christophe
Born in France
Buried : St Pancras, Middlesex, England.

    In Testimony of
    The long and faithful services of
    Christophe Antoine,
    A native of France,
    An honest, zealous, grateful, and pious man,
    who died at Holland House, Kensington,
    on the 29th of November, 1812,
    in the 55th year of his age.
    This stone is erected
    over his mortal remains,
    which in compliance with his wishes
    are deposited near those of the Countess of Gand
    His former mistress
    whose memory he cherished for many years
    after her decease,
    having followed her fortunes in exile
    and sacrificed
    to his sense of gratitude and duty
    the savings of his industry,
    the prospect of competence and ease,
    and the hopes of worldly advancement.

    Source : Cansick 1869

Memorial slab in a church in Bramfield, Suffolk, England

    Between the Remains of her Brother EDWARD, And of her Husband ARTHUR, Here lies the Body of BRIDGETT APPLEWHAITE Once BRIDGETT NELSON. After the Fatigues of a Married Life, Born by her with Incredible Patience, For four Years and three Quarters, bating three Weeks; And after the Enjoiment of the Glorious Freedom Of an Easy and Unblemisht Widowhood, For four Years and Upwards, She Resolved to run the Risk of a Second Marriage-Bed But DEATH forbad the Banns -. And having with an Apoplectick Dart (The same Instrument with which he had Formerly Dispatcht her Mother,) Touch’t the most Vital part of her Brain; She must have fallen Directly to the Ground, (as one Thunder-strook,) If she had not been Catch’t and Supported By her Intended Husband. Of which Invisible Bruise, After a Struggle for above Sixty Hours, With that Grand Enemy to Life, (But the certain and Mercifull Friend to Helpless Old Age,) In Terrible Convulsions Plaintive Groans, or Stupefying Sleep, Without Recovery of her Speech, or Senses, She Dyed, on the 12th: day of Sept. in ye Year of our Lord 1737 and of her own Age 44. Behold! I come, as a Theif. Rev: 16th: ch: 15th: V But Oh! Thou source of Pious Cares Strict Judge Without Regard Grant, tho’ we Go hence Unaware, We Go not Unprepared

    Source : Martin Beckford : BBC reveals Britain's most unusual epitaphs. The Telegraph (UK), September 24, 2007.

Tombstone at Kempsey, Worcestershire, England

    To the Memory of
    Mrs. Sarah Armison,
    who died on the 27th of April
    Aged 88 years.
    77 of Which she passed in the
    Service of the Family
    of Mrs. Bell
    Justly and deservedly lamented
    by them,
    for integrity, rectitude
    of Conduct, and Amiable

    Source : Andrews 1899

ARMSTRONG, Dr. P. M., mentioned in the epitaph of :
Buried near Hoosick Falls, New York

    Ruth Sprague, Daughter of Gibson and Elizabeth Sprague.
    Died June 11, 1846, aged 9 years, 4 months, and 3 days.
    She was stolen from the grave by Roderick R. Clow, dissected at Dr. P. M. Armstrong's office in Hoosick, N. Y., from which place her mutilated remains were obtained and deposited here.

    Her body dissected by fiendish man,
    Her bones anatomized,
    Her soul, we trust, has risen to God,
    Where few physicians rise.

    Source : Eaton 1900

ATKINSON, Elizabeth
Seller of shell-fish
Died January 1, 1786; aged 77
Epitaph : Chichester Cathedral, Sussex, England

    Periwinks! Periwinkles!
    Was ever her cry;
    She labour'd to live,
    Poor and honest to die.
    At the last day again
    How her old eyes will twinkle!
    For no more will she cry,
    Periwinks! Periwinkles!
    Ye rich, to virtuous want rejoicing give;
    Ye poor, by her example, learn to live.

    Source : Johnson 1883

Go to Main Page for a more detailed list of sources.