Unusual Epitaphs
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Epitaphs:
A Dying Art





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        ISNELL, Peter
Buried in Crayford, Kent, England

    Here lieth the body of
    Peter Isnell
    (Thirty years Clerk to this parish).
    He lived respected as a pious and mirthful man, and died on his way to
    church to assist at a wedding on the 31st day of March, 1811, aged 70 years.
    The inhabitants of Crayford have raised this stone to his cheerful
    memory, and as a tribute to his long and faithful services.

    The life of this Clerk was just threescore and ten,
    Nearly half of which time he had sung out Amen.
    In his youth he was married, like other young men,
    But his wife died one day, so he chanted Amen.
    A second he took - she departed; what then?
    He married and buried a third with Amen.
    Thus his joys and his sorrows were Trebled; but then
    His voice was deep Bass, as he sung out Amen.
    On the horn he could blow as well as most men,
    So his horn was exalted in blowing Amen.
    But he lost all his Wind after threescore and ten,
    And here with three Wives he waits till again
    The Trumpet shall arouse him to sing out Amen.

    Source : Howe 1901


IVES, Edward
Died young in June 1813
Buried in the south-east part of the churchyard of Lee, Kent, England

    Could lettered stone or monumental bust
    Rekindle life, or animate the dust,
    Oh ! what high altars would a mother raise,
    Toil would be rapture, labour would be praise !
    But since the fixed decree can change no more,
    Nor prayers nor tears departed life restore;
    Since vain the sculptor's and the poet's bays,
    Accept, lamented shade, these simple lays;
    Accept the tribute nature offers here,
    A weeping mother hanging o'er thy bier;
    Whose early promise, shrouded in the tomb,
    Spreads o'er her soul more than sepulchral gloom.
    But ah ! the hope of meeting after death,
    Of life renewed, where no pestiferous breath
    Shall blast the early floweret in its pride,
    Nor tear the sapling from its parent's side,
    Shall teach her to resign what once was given,
    Nor mourn AN ANGEL is recalled to heaven.

    Source : Johnson 1883


JACK, John
Buried : Concord, Massachusetts

    God wills us free; man wills us slaves.
    I will as God wills, God's will be done.
    Here lies the body of John Jack, a native of Africa,
    who died, March, 1773, aged about 60 years.
    Though born in a land of slavery he was born free;
    though he lived in a land of liberty, he lived a slave,
    till, by his honest, though stolen labours,
    he acquired the source of slavery, which gave him his freedom,
    though not long before death, the grand tyrant,
    gave him his final emancipation, and set him on a footing with kings.
    Though a slave to vice, he practised those virtues, without which,
    kings are but slaves.

    Source : Alden 1814 v.1


JACKSON, Elizabeth
Buried : Marblehead, Massachusetts

    Here lies the body of mrs. Elizabeth Jackson, wife to captain
    Bartholomew Jackson, who departed this life, 26 July, 1778, aged
    22 years and 5 months. She was a loving wife, a dutiful child, a
    charitable friend. She looketh well to the ways of her household,
    and eateth not the bread of idleness. She worked the works of him
    that sent her, while it was day, now the night cometh she can work
    no more.

    Source : Alden 1814 v.1


JACKSON, Jean
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


JACKSON, Thomas
Old Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts

    To the memory of Thomas Jackson Esqr This monument is erected Obiit September 19, 1794, Aged 67 years
    The spider's most attenuated thread
    Is cord, is cable, to man's slender tie.

    Source : Perkins 1902


JACOBS, Joseph and Elizabeth his daughter
Died December 26, 1811
Buried in the crypt of the Monumental Church, Richmond, Virginia

JANNACK, Howard W.
Burial: Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    Howard W.
    Jannack
    1926-2004
    Lover of little ugly dogs

    Source : findagrave.com, Memorial #41478962


JENKINS, Richard
Memorial inscription in New Hampshire

    Richard Jenkins here doth lay
    (Lately removed from over the way)
    His body's here - his soul's in heaven
    1767

    Source : Kippax 1877


JERROD (Mrs.)
Died December 26, 1811
Buried in the crypt of the Monumental Church, Richmond, Virginia

JOHN, Gabriel
Buried : Islington churchyard, Middlesex, England.

    Pray for the soul of Gabriel John,
    Who died in the year sixteen hundred and one.
    Or if you don't, it is all one.

    Source : Howe 1901


JOHNSON, Betsey or Betsy
A free woman of colour
Died December 26, 1811
Buried in the crypt of the Monumental Church, Richmond, Virginia

JOHNSON, Patience
Buried in St. Paul's, Bedford, Bedfordshire, England

    Patience, wife of Shadrach Johnson
    The mother of 24 children, and died in childbed,
    June 6, 1717.
    Shadrack! Shadrach!
    The Lord granted unto thee
    Patience,
    Who laboured long and patiently
    In her vocation;
    But her patience being exhausted,
    She departed in the midst of her labour,
    Aetat. 38.
    May she rest from her labours!

    Source : Norfolk 1866


JOHNSON, Samuel (commonly called Maggoty Johnson)
Interred in a plantation or wood in Gawsworth, Cheshire

    Under this stone
    Rest the remains of Mr. Samuel Johnson, afterwards ennobled with the
    grander title of Lord Flame. Who, after having been in his life distinct
    from other men by the eccentricities of his genius, chose to retain
    the same character after his death, and was, at his own desire, buried
    here, May 5th, 1773, aged 82 yrs.

    Stay thou, whom chance directs, or ease persuades
    To seek the quiet of these Sylvan shades;
    Here, undisturb'd and hid from vulgar eyes,
    A Wit, Musician, Poet, player lies;
    A dancing master, too, in grace he shone,
    And all the acts of Opera were his own;
    In comedy well skill'd he drew Lord Flame,
    Acted the part and gained himself the name.
    Averse to strife, how oft he'd gravely say
    These peaceful groves should shade his breathless clay;
    That, when he rose again, laid here alone,
    No friend and he should quarrel for a bone;
    Thinking, that were some old lame Gossip nigh,
    She possibly might take his leg or thigh.

    Source : Norfolk 1866


JOHNSON, Sarah
Gravestone in Loughborough, Leicestershire, England

    In memory of Sarah Johnson Wife of Moses Johnson, Who died Aug 4th 1819, aged 28. S Johnson was tapped for ascites 28 times 6 operations by Mr. Vickers. 22 by Mr. Brown of Wimeswould, the following is the stated periods.
    peri’ds G Q P peri’d G Q P peri’d G Q P
    1st 8 .. .. 10 13 .. .. 19 10 3
    2nd 9 .. .. 11 13 2 .. 20 10 2 ..
    3rd 11 .. .. 12 18 3 .. 21 11 .. ..
    4th 10 .. .. 13 14 2 1 22 12 .. .
    5th 12 .. .. 14 12 1 .. 23 10 . ..
    6th 13 .. .. 15 10 1 .. 24 10 .. ..
    7th 11 2 .. 16 10 2 .. 25 9 1 1
    8th 14 .. .. 17 8 2 . 26 8 1 ..
    9th 14 2 .. 18 10 2 .. 27 10 2 .. 28 8 .. ..
    Gal Q P
    Total In 6 years 310. 1. 1.
    Oh Reader reflect when viewing of this stone What sore afflictions in my life I’ve bourne And my debilitated state was given Two tender Babes but death had laid… :

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


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


JOHNSTONE, Alexander
Monumental inscription in New York, New York

    At Sandy Hook lie interred the remains of the honourable Hamilton Douglas
    Halliburton, son of Sholto Charles, earl of Morton, and heir of the
    ancient family fo Halliburton, of Pitcurr, in Scotland, who perished on
    this coast, with twelve more young gentlemen and one common seaman, in
    the spirited discharge of duty, on the 30 or 31 of December, 1783, born,
    the 10 of October, 1763, a youth, who in contempt of hardship or danger,
    though possessed of an ample fortune, served seven years in the British
    navy, with manly courage, and seemed to deserve a better fate. This
    plain monumental stone is erected by his unhappy mother, Katharine,
    countess dowager of Morton, to his dear memory and that of his unfortunate
    companions, James Champion, lieutenant of marines; Alexander Johnstone,
    George Paddy, Robert Haywood, midshipman; Charles Gascoigne, Andrew
    Hamilton, William Scott, David Reddie, William Tomlinson, William Spry,
    John M'Chain, Robert Wood, young gentlemen; George Towers, common seaman;
    cast away, all found dead and frozen, and buried in one grave.

    Source : Alden 1814 v.1


JONES, Joseph
Died 1690
Buried : Wolverhamton Churchyard, Staffordshire, England.

    Here lies the bones
    Of Joseph Jones,
    Who ate whilst he was able;
    But once o'erfed,
    He drop't down dead
    And fell beneath the table.
    When from the tomb,
    To meet his doom,
    He rises amidst sinners;
    Since he must dwell
    In heav'n of hell,
    Take him - which gives best dinners.

    Source : Howe 1901


JORDAN, James
Old Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts

    James Jordan. Drowned in Smelt Pond, June 25, 1837, aged 27 y'rs.
    Buried on the day he was to have been married.

    Source : Perkins 1902


JUDAH, Judith; child of Baruch Judah
Died December 26, 1811
Buried in the crypt of the Monumental Church, Richmond, Virginia

JUDSON, Abigail
Old Burial Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts

    Sacred to the memory of Mrs. Abigail, widow of the late Rev. Adoniram
    Judson who died Jan. 31, 1842, aged 82 years.
    Her hope was in the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
    She felt the balm and efficacy of those leaves which are for the healing of the nations.

    A guilty weak and helpless worm,
    On thy kind arms I fall
    Be thou my guide and righteousness
    My Jesus and my all.

    Source : Perkins 1902




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