Unusual Epitaphs
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Epitaphs:
A Dying Art





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        BAILES John
A Stone Slab on the Front of All Saints' Church, Northampton, Northamptonshire, England

    Here under lyeth
    John Bailes Born in this
    Town he was above 126
    years old & had his hearing
    Sight and Memory to ye last
    He lived in 3 Centurys
    & was buried the 14th of Apr
    1706.

    Source : Maiben 1870


BAKER, James
Buried in St, Philip's Churchyard, Birmingham, Warwickshire

    To the memory of James Baker, who died January 27th, 1781.
    O cruel Death, how cou'd you be so unkind
    To take him before and leave me behind?
    You should have taken both of us, if either,
    Which would have been more pleasing to the survivor.

    Source : Eaton 1900


BARHAM, James
Buried at Leeds, Kent, England

    In memory of James Barham, of this parish, who departed this life
    January 14th, 1818, aged 93; and who, from the year 1774 to the year
    1804, rung in Kent and elsewhere 112 peals, not less than 5040 changes
    in each peal, and called bobs, etc., for most of the peals; and April
    7th and 8th 1761, assisted in ringing 40,320 bob majors on Leeds bells
    in twenty-seven hours.

    Source : Johnson 1883


BARTHOLOMEW, Isaac
Buried at Cheshire, Connecticut

    Here lies ye Body of Doct. Isaac Bartholomew,
    He died August ye 25, 1710, in ye XI(?) year of his age.
    He that was sweet to my Repose
    Now is become a Stink under my Nose
    this is said of me
    So it will be said of thee.

    Source : Kippax 1877


BASKERVILLE, John
Died in 1775
Printer in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
Epitaph written by himself contained in his will

    Stranger,
    Beneath this cone, in unconsecrated ground,
    A friend to the liberties of mankind directed his body to be inurned.
    May the example contribute to emancipate thy mind
    From the idle fears of Superstition,
    And the wicked Arts of Priesthood!

    Source : Fairley 1873


BAUSMAN, Miss Adeline
Died December 26, 1811
Buried in the crypt of the Monumental Church, Richmond, Virginia

BEADLE, Lydia and her children Ansell Lothrop, Elizabeth, Lydia and Mary
Buried : Wethersfield, Connecticut

    Here lies interred mrs. Lydia Beadle, aged 32 years, Ansell Lothrop,
    Elizabeth, Lydia, and Mary Beadle, her children, the eldest aged 11
    and the youngest 6 years, who on the morning of the 11 of December,
    A. D. 1782, fell by the hands of William Beadle, an infatuated man,
    who closed the horrid sacrifice of his wife and children with his
    own destruction.

    Pale round their grassy tomb bedew'd with tears,
    Flit the thin forms of sorrows and of fears,
    Soft sighs responsive swell the plaintive chords,
    And indignations half unsheath their swords.

    Source : Alden 1814 v.4


BECKE, John
Former rector of Kettlethorpe Church.
Died in 1597.
Memorial inscription on the east wall of the chancel of Kettlethorpe Church, Lincolnshire, England.

    I am a Becke, or river as you know,
    And wat'rd here ye church, ye schole, ye pore,
    While God did make my springes here for to flow:
    But now my fountain stopt, it runs no more;
    From Church and schole mi life ys now bereft,
    But to ye pore four poundes I yearly left.

    Source : Andrews 1899
    Note from Andrews (in 1899) :We may add that the stream of his charity still flows, and is yearly distributed amongts the poor of Kettlethorpe.


BELASYSE, Barbara (Hon. Lady), wife of John Webb
Buried : St Pancras churchyard, Middlesex, England.

    Here lyeth deposited in this vault the remains of the late Honble Lady Barbara Webb,
    Wife of Sr John Webb, of Great Canford, in the county of Dorset, Baronet
    Who departed this life on the 28th day of March, in the year of our Lord 1740.
    This pious lady was the surviving daughter and sole Heiress of the late Honble
    John, Lord Belasyse, by his third wife the Lady Ann Powlett,
    Daughter of the Right Noble John, Marquiss of Winchester, who to avoid the
    expense and vanity of a pompous funeral in her family vault
    made it her death bed request in compassion to the poor to be privately interr'd
    in this churchyard & that the repose of her soul may be remembered
    by all good Christians. This tomb was erected by her disconsolate husband.
    Requiescat in pace. Amen.

    Source : Cansick 1869


BEND, William Bradford, Joseph, Anna Maria, Joseph Hutchins, Anna Catharine, Susan Bradford
Buried in an Episcopal cemetery in Maryland

    In memory of William Bradford, Joseph, Anna Maria, Joseph Hutchins,
    Anna Catharine, children of the Reverend Joseph G. J. Bend and Mary B.
    Bend his wife, who have been in the merciful and wise providence of
    their heavenly Father taken away from the evil to come and added to
    the angelic choirs. Thy will, O Lord, be done. William Bradford was
    born January 27, 1791, and died March 10, 1701. Joseph born November
    20, 1791, died November 22, 1791; Anna Maria born October 17, 1794,
    died January 21, 1795; Joseph Hutchins born February 18, 1796, died
    November 16, 1797; Anna Catharine born May 26, 1800, died July 19,
    1800. Also in memory of Susan Bradford, daughter of the same parents,
    who was born on the 1st October 1804, and died the following day.

    Source : Memoirs 1806


BERNARD, Robert
Inscription : North aisle of Abington Church near Northampton, Northamptonshire, England

    To the Memory of Sir Robt. Bernard Knt. & Bart. Serjeant at Law, Son
    of Francis Bernard Esq; who was 2d Son of Francis Bernard Esq; Lord
    of this Mannor. He was twice very happy; first, in the marriage of
    Elisabeth Tallakerne daughter of Sr. John Tallakerne, by whom he had
    many Sons & daughters. & after her decease, he was very happy a Second
    time in the marriage of Elisabeth Digby, Relict of Robert Ld Digby,
    who was a good Mother though she had no Children. But he was most
    happy in that not weary at all of this Life he was willing to depart
    to a better in the 66th. year of his Age.
    A.D. 1666.
    His Body lies interred near this Monument, which was due to so good
    a Father from his Eldest Son & Heir Sr. John Bernard Knt.

    Source : Le Neve 1718


BETTS, Sarah
Inscription : Petworth, Sussex, England

    In Memory
    of Sarah Betts, widow,
    who passed nearly 50 Years in one Service
    and died January 2, 1792
    Aged 75.
    Farewell! dear Servant! since thy heavenly Lord
    Summons thy worth to its supreme reward.
    Thine was a spirit that no toil coud tire,
    “When Service sweat for duty, not for hire.”
    From him whose childhood cherished by thy care,
    Weathered long years of sickness and despair,
    Take what may haply touch the best above,
    Truth's tender praise! and tears of grateful love.

    Source : Andrews 1899


BILLINGE, William
Longnor churchyard, Staffordshire, England

    In memory of William Billinge, who was Born in a Corn Field at Fawfield
    head, in this Parish, in the year 1679. At the age of 23 years he
    enlisted into His Majesty's service under Sir George Rooke, and was at
    the taking of the Fortress of Gibralter in 1704. He afterwards served
    under the Duke of Marlborough at Ramillies, fought on the 23rd of May,
    1706, where he was wounded by a musket-shot in his thigh. Afterwards
    returned to his native country, and with manly courage defended his
    sovereign's rights in the Rebellion in 1715 and 1745. He died within
    the space of 150 yards of where he was born, and was interred here the
    30th January, 1791, aged 112 years.
    Billeted by death, I quartered here remain,
    And when the trumpet sounds I'll rise and march again.

    Source : Andrews 1899


BIRDSALL, John.
Buried : Edwinstowe churchyard, Nottinghamshire, England

    Attend
    This awful Monitor to Man's Security,
    Richard Neil
    Who after having brav'd
    The boisterous Billows of the Biscan Shore
    The gaping Terrors of the rude Atlantic,
    And fulminating Wrath of haughty France
    In Fights victorious,
    At 39, in Vital Plenitude,
    And the meridian of well-earned friendship
    By some disastrous, unforseen Event,
    Yielded his Social Life
    To the minutia of his Element,
    in Thoresby Lake.

    As did the partner of his fleeting Breath,
    John Birdsall,
    Of youthful 28; but just immersed
    In Joys hymenial,
    Anxious to meet his lov'd, expecting Bride
    Was too arrested by the liquid Wave.
    Alike deserving and alike beloved,
    Fell two lamented youths
    Together, in one unpropitious Night
    The 29 of Jan., 1800;
    And this earth
    Them shall retain

    Source : The New York Times, June 30, 1884


BLACK James
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


BLACKINGTON, Gail A.
South Burial Ground, Warren, Bristol County, Rhode Island

    1870 John Denby D.D.S. 1927
    His wife
    1873 Bertha Daniels 1949
    1901 John H. Denby 1958
    1903 Maurice A. Denby D.M.D. 1964
    1939 Gail A. Blackington 1970
    1913 Dorothy S. Denby 1979
    I'm filling my last cavity
    Me too

    Source : findagrave.com, Memorial# 12139138


BODGER, Samuel.
Great Yarmouth churchyard, Norfolk, England

    To the memory of Isaac Smith, who died March 24th, 1808, and Samuel
    Bodger, who died April 2nd, 1808, both of the Cambridgeshire Militia.
    The tyrant Death did early us arrest,
    And all the magazines of life possest :
    No more the blood its circling course did run,
    But in the veins like icicles it hung;
    No more the hearts, now void of quickening heat,
    The tuneful march of vital motion beat;
    Stiffness did into every sinew climb,
    And a short death crept cold through every limb.

    Source : Andrews 1899


BOND, Thomas and Mary
Buried Horsley-Down, Cumberland, England

    Of Thomas Bond, and Mary his wife,
    She was temperate, chaste, and charitable;
    But
    She was proud, peevish, and passionate.
    She was an affectionate wife, and a tender mother;
    But
    Her husband and child whom she loved,
    Seldom saw her countenance, without a disgusting frown;
    Wilst she received visitors, whom she despised, with an endearing smile.
    Her behaviour was discreet towards strangers,
    But
    Independent in her family,
    Abroad, her conduct was influenced by good breeding;
    But
    At home, by ill temper,
    She was a professed enemy to flattery,
    And was seldom known to praise or commend;
    But
    The talents in which she principally excelled,
    Were, difference of opinion, and discovering flaws and imperfections.
    She was an admirable economist,
    And, without prodigality,
    Dispensed plenty to every person in her family;
    But
    Would sacrifice their eyes to a farthing candle,
    She sometimes made her husband happy with her good qualities;
    But
    Much more frequently miserable - with her many failings;
    Insomuch, that in thirty years cohabitation he lamented
    That maugre all her virtues,
    He had not, in the whole, enjoyed two years of matrimonial comfort.
    At Length
    Finding that she had lost the affections of her husband,
    As well as the regard of her neighbours,
    Family disputes having been divulged by servants,
    She died of vexation, July 20, 1768,
    Aged 48 years.
    Her worn out husband survived her 4 months and 2 days,
    And departed this life Nov. 28, 1768,
    In the 54th year of his age.
    William Bond, brother to the deceased, erected this stone,
    as a weekly monitor to the surviving wives of this parish,
    That they may avoid the infamy
    Of having their memories handed to posterity
    With a Patch Work character.

    Source : Norfolk 1866


BOSHER, Mary (Mrs. John Bosher)
Died December 26, 1811
Buried in the crypt of the Monumental Church, Richmond, Virginia

BOTTS, Benjamin (Esq.) and Jane (his wife)
He was an eminent attorney
Died December 26, 1811
Buried in the crypt of the Monumental Church, Richmond, Virginia

BOWN, Elizabeth and Peter; CHAPMAN, William
Hampstead churchyard, Middlesex, England

    To the Memory of
    William Chapman,
    late of the Parish of St. George,
    Bloomsbury; Painter:
    who died January 9th 1789,
    Aged 69 Years.
    He was a Downright, Upright,
    Honest Man.

    Also Elizabeth Bown,
    of Brownlow Street, Holborn;
    who died of a Broken Heart,
    the 14th of February 1789,
    Aged 37 Years.
    She was a tender Parent,
    and a Virtuous Wife.

    Also her Son Peter Bown,
    who fell a Victim to the allurements
    of the Ice, whilst Skating on the
    serpentine River, December 5th 1796;
    Aged 19 years.

    Source : Roffe 1859


BOXER, Thomas
From a churchyard near Folkestone, Kent, England

    This stone is sacread to the memory of poor old Muster Thomas Boxer,
    who was loste in the goud boate Rouver, jus coming home with much
    fishes, got near Torbay, in the year of our Lord 1722.
    Pray, goud fishermen, stop and drop a tear,
    For we have lost his company here,
    And where he's gone we cannot tell,
    But we hope far from the wicked Bell (beerhouse).
    The Lord be with him.

    Source : Johnson 1883


BOYSON, Elizabeth
Buried in a Methodist cemetery in Maryland

    In memory of Elizabeth Boyson, consort of Captain Thomas Boyson, who
    departed this life on the 1st day of April 1802, aged 24 years, 8 months
    and 20 days.

    Better than boding fears,
    To me thou oft has prov'd;
    Oft observ'd my silent tears,
    And challeng'd thy belov'd.
    Mercy to my rescue flew,
    And death ungrasp'd his fainting prey;
    Pain before thy face withdrew,
    And sorrow fled away.

    Source : Memoirs 1806


BRAXTON, Anna F. (Mrs. Taylor Braxton.)
Died December 26, 1811
Buried in the crypt of the Monumental Church, Richmond, Virginia

BRIDGER, Samuel
Died 1650
Inscription in Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucestershire, England

    Receiver of this College Rents, he paid
    His Debt to Nature, and beneath he's laid
    To rest, until his summons to remove,
    At the last Audit, to the Choir above.

    Source : Howe 1901


BRIGGS, Hezekiah
Buried in Bingley, Yorkshire, England

    In memory of Hezekiah Briggs, who died August 5th, 1844,
    in the 80th year of his age. He Was sexton at this church 43 years,
    and interred upwards of 7000 corpses.

    Here lies an old ringer, beneath the cold clay,
    Who has rung many peals both for serious and gay;
    Through Grandsire and Trebles with ease he could range,
    Till death called a Bob, which brought round the last change.

    For all the village came to him
    When they had need to call;
    His counsel free to all was given,
    For he was kind to all.

    Ring on, ring on, sweet Sabbath bell,
    Still kind to me thy matins swell,
    And when from earthly things I part,
    Sigh o'er my grave, and lull my heart.

    Source : Andrews 1899


BRECK, John
Buried at Milford, Pennsylvania

    John Breck,
    departed this life April 19, 1819, aged 11 years -

    Come all ye mourners to the tomb
    See here a youth cut off in bloom,
    Although he's hurried to his last
    We hope the Lord hath found him rest.

    This be a warning to ye all
    Should at your house a sick youth call,
    It's not a secret for to keep
    But let his parents know of it.

    Source : Kippax 1877


BROADBENT, John
Buried in Saddleworth, Yorkshire

    Here was interred the body of John Broadbent, Sexton, who departed this
    life, August 3rd, 1769, in the 73rd year of his age.

    Forty-eight years, strange to tell,
    He bore the bier and toll'd the bell,
    And faithfully discharged his trust,
    in earth to earth and dust to dust.
    Cease to lament,
    His life is spent,
    The grave is still his element;
    His old friend Death knew 'twas his sphere,
    So kindly laid the sexton here.

    Source : Andrews 1899


BROCK, John and Anne; mentioned in the epitaph of:
MAINWARING, William and Martha
Buried in Nantwich Church, epitaph on a tablet fixed to the east wall of the South Cross.

    Here lyeth interred the body of William Mainwaring of Wiche Malbanke gent.
    who died on the 22th day of Aprill 1637. As also of Martha his Wife
    daughter unto Thomas Mainwaring of the same place Gent She died on the
    7th day of September 1658. leaving issue only one daughter Anne wife
    to John Brock gent both now living.

    Source : Le Neve 1718


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


BROWN, William
Died December 26, 1811
Buried in the crypt of the Monumental Church, Richmond, Virginia

BUCHANAN, Hannah
Buried in a Methodist cemetery in Maryland

    In memory of Hannah Buchanan, who departed this life June 6, 1802,
    in the 56th year of her age
    Though my frail heart did oft despair,
    With grief and sorrow prest;
    I trust in God who heard my prayer,
    And granted my request.

    Source : Memoirs 1806


BUCKETT, John
Gravestone in Old St Peter's Churchyard, Stockbridge, Hampshire, England

    In memory of John Buckett,
    Many year's landlord of the King's
    Head Inn, in this Borough,
    Who departed this life Nov. 2, 1802.
    Aged 67 years.
    And is, alas! poor Buckett gone?
    Farewell, convivial, honest John.
    Oft at the well, by fatal stroke,
    Buckets, like pitchers, must be broke.
    In this same motley shifting scene,
    How various have thy fortunes been!
    Now lifted high - now sinking low.
    To-day thy brim would overflow,
    Thy bounty then would all supply,
    To fill and drink, and leave thee dry;
    To-morrow sunk as in a well,
    Content, unseen, with truth to dwell:
    But high or low, or wet or dry,
    No rotten stave could malice spy.
    Then rise, immortal Buckett, rise,
    And claim thy station in the skies;
    'Twixt Amphora and Pisces shine,
    Still guarding Stockbridge with thy sign.

    Source : Andrews 1899
    See also http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/213568


BUEL, Mary
Memorial inscription : Litchfield, Connecticut

    Here Lies the body of Mrs. Mary, wife of Dr. John Buel, Esq.
    She died Nov. 4 1778, Ætat 90, having had 13 children, 101 grand-
    children, 274 great-grandchildren, 22 great-great-grandchildren; total
    410; surviving, 336.

    Source : Kippax 1877




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