Category Archives: Memorials

Memorial to Miners

Easthouses is a suburb of the town of Dalkeith in Midlothian, Scotland. The Easthouses pit, now closed,  was owned by the Marquess of Lothian.

Memorial to Miners killed in Easthouses Pit
Memorial to Miners killed in Easthouses Pit

In Memoriam

This memorial is dedicated to the memory of those miners who died in accidents at Easthouses Drift Mine between 1906 and 1969.

John Smith, a pumper aged 67, died on 19 November 1960. Owing to repairs in the shaft he was unable to descend and went to go to work a pump, of which he had charge, by an in-going-eye from the surface; he did not get to the pump, and was missed for a day and search was made, when he was found at the entrance to the in-going-eye quite dead; his death was due to natural causes. (IN-GOING-EYE: a drift or mine starting from the surface of the ground; also the end of the mine at the surface.)

James Knight was killed on 2 February 1926.

Thomas McQue was killed on 14 January 1930 by a fall of material from the roof. M’Que was 45 years of age, and resided at Montieth’s Close, High Street, Dalkeith. He left a widow and a son aged 4 years.

Alexander Fulton, a miner aged 40, died on 18 May 1935 in hospital after being injured several days earlier when a fall of coal occurred in the underground workings. Fulton, who resided at 5 Elmfield Bank, Dalkeith, leaves a widow and three children.

John Taylor, an oversman aged 45, was killed by a fall of stone on 20 November 1938. (OVERSMAN: A person subordinate to the manager, in charge of underground operations.)

John Fairgrieve, a coal crusher attendant aged 31, was caught in a coal-cutting machine on 23 November 1944.

James Galloway, a colliery engineman aged 58, died of heart failure after being struck by a carriage on 25 November 1944.

Murdoch Mckenzie, a coal miner aged 32, was struck by material from shot and killed on 31 December 1946. (SHOT: A blast of gunpowder, or other explosive.)

Thomas Docherty, a brusher aged 51, was killed by a fall of stone on 5 August 1952. (BRUSHER: a person who removes part of the roof or pavement by blasting or otherwise in order to heighten the roadway.)

Frank Watkins, a coal miner aged 47, was killed on 3 October 1952 when he was crushed by two moving hutches. (HUTCH: A small wagon for conveying mineral.)

William Hay Hill, an oncostman aged 46 was killed on 9 June 1956 when he fell from a roof. (ONCOSTMEN: All workmen other than miners paid by days’ wages.)

Alexander Johnston Farquhar, a mine driver aged 36, was killed on 20 December 1957 when scaffolding collapsed and he fell down the pit shaft. (MINE DRIVER: a person who cuts or excavates.)

John Hall Bald, a face worker aged 47, died on 11 September 1958 when he was struck by a steel prop and crushed against a steel arch. (FACE WORKER: a miner who works a wall of mineral.)

David Hogg, a brusher aged 51, was killed by a fall of stone on 9 August 1961. (BRUSHER: a person who removes part of the roof or pavement by blasting or otherwise in order to heighten the roadway.)

Rudolf Robert Rother, a faceman aged 35 years, was killed when he fell from a roof on 18 June 1963. (FACE WORKER: a miner who works a wall of mineral.)

Alexander Shirkie, aged 23, killed on 9 February 1965.

Ne obliviscaris (Latin meaning Forget Not)

Erected by Mayfield and Easthouse Retired Branch of the National Union of Mineworkers & Midlothian Council.

Unveiled by Provost Sam Campbell
28 May 2006

 

 

 

 

 

Patriarchal and Lorraine Crosses

The Patriarchal cross and the Cross of Lorraine are so similar that the names have become interchangeable.
brownPATRIARCHAL CROSS
This unique cross has one vertical post and two horizontal arms. The top arm is shorter than the lower arm.
blue

Juno Beach memorial, France
Juno Beach memorial, France
Free French Memorial, Lyle Hill, Inverclyde, Scotland
Free French Memorial, Lyle Hill, Inverclyde, Scotland http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/417332

As a naval memorial this cross is combined with an anchor. The inscription on the anchor states:
This Monument Is Dedicated To The Memory Of
The Sailors Of The Free French Naval Forces
Who Sailed From Greenock In The Years 1940-1945
And Gave Their Lives In The Battle Of The Atlantic
For The Liberation Of France
And The Success Of The Allied Cause.

CROSS of LORRAINE
Very popular in France this cross has two crossbars, which technically should be placed one above and one below the midpoint.

Variations of this cross show the crossbars the same length or with the lower crossbar being longer.
A massive cross of Lorraine stands at Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises in France as a memorial to General Charles de Gaulle.

Charles de Gaulle memorial
Charles de Gaulle memorial

The Cross of Lorraine was the symbol of the French Resistance group, F.F.I. as seen in the photo below. The grave is located at  the Natzweiler_Struthof Concentration Camp.

scarpbookpages
Source: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Natzweiler/Tour/AshPit.html

A Russian version of this cross contains a short, slanted crosspiece near the foot of the vertical post.

ccl sarang

pravmir
Source: http://www.pravmir.com/patriarch-kirills-ministry-photographs/

PAPAL CROSS
The Papal Cross resembles the Patriarchal Cross, but with a third horizontal bar. This cross is used only in processions that involve the Roman Catholic Pope.
papal cross

Dunbar Barometer

This memorial to fishermen is located at Shore Street on the south corner of Dunbar harbour, East Lothian, Scotland. Dedicated to the fishermen of Dunbar, it houses a weather forecasting mercury barometer.

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The Fishery Storm Barometer, introduced to Scotland by Vice-Admiral Robert Fitzroy with the intention of saving lives lost at sea because of unpredicted storms, was issued to many ports along the coastline. Mr. William Brodie of Seafield Brickwork saw an example of the thermometer in Eyemouth and launched a successful subscription to install one in Dunbar.

Source: http://mtbstravaiger73.blogspot.ca/2013_07_01_archive.html
Source: http://mtbstravaiger73.blogspot.ca/2013_07_01_archive.html

The 15ft high monument of ashlar stone houses the thermometer supplied by Alexander Adie & Son Edinburgh. The year of the monument’s erection, 1856, is displayed in Roman Numerals at the top of the structure. The structure was listed a category B historic building on 5 February 1971.

Source: http://pben.info/albums/Dunbar-East%20Lothian/dunbar_album/slides/12IMG_1923a.html
Source: http://pben.info/albums/Dunbar-East%20Lothian/dunbar_album/slides/12IMG_1923a.html

A plaque beneath the thermometer case is inscribed with the legend;
“O, weel, may the Boatie row,
That wins the Bairnie’s bread!”)
Extract from “The Boatie Rows” by John Ewen (1741-1821
Note: this extract is incorrect, as the second line should read That wins my Bairnie’s bread.
http://www.bartleby.com/333/204.html

Source: http://mtbstravaiger73.blogspot.ca/2013_07_01_archive.html
Source: http://mtbstravaiger73.blogspot.ca/2013_07_01_archive.html

Within the wooden display case are details of:
1.  a history of the structure
2.  the sculpture
3. how to use the barometer
4.  a letter relating displeasure at the lack of maintenance
5.  the restoration of the monument

1. The Fisherman’s Monument
This remarkable monument stands by Cromwell Harbour and holds a mercury barometer for the local fishermen’s use. It was set up by subscription in 1856 at the instance of William Drodie of Seafield at West Barns who had been impressed by the value of a public barometer at Eyemouth. Above the wooden case housing the barometer on a moulded panel there is a plaster group in a relief executed by Alexander Handyside Ritchie of Musselburgh. The group comprises, in the centre, a fisherman in his boat, with his wife evidently begging him not to sail and pointing to the barometer below. In the stern of the boat an old woman, pointing out the cloudy state of the sky to a small boy and at the bow two larger boys preparing to cast off. Above the panel, and framed by a heavy swag of seaweed, shell-fish and shells, a bulging sail hangs from a spur and bears the inscription, “Presented To The Fishermen Of Dunbar To Those Whose Perilous Industry The Burgh Owes So Much Of Its Prosperity.”

Adapted from Miller, J “The History of Dunbar” (1859)
Note: Regarding William Drodie – his name was actually William Brodie, an engineer with Seafield Brick and Tile Works.)

Source:
Source:

2. The Original Sculpture
The sculptor, Alexander Handyside Ritchie was born in Musselburgh in 1804. He trained in Edinburgh and later studied in Rome under the sponsorship of the Duke of Hamilton and Lord Minto. After his death in 1870 fellow sculptors erected a memorial stone to his memory at Inveresk cemetery where he is buried.

Creative Commons License, Stephen C. Dickson. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Handyside_Ritchie#/media/File:Grave_of_Alexander_Handyside_Ritchie,_Inveresk.JPG
Creative Commons License, Stephen C. Dickson. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Handyside_Ritchie#/media/File:Grave_of_Alexander_Handyside_Ritchie,_Inveresk.JPG

Alexander Handyside Ritchie
A.R.S.A.
A devoted sculptor
A brave and true man
Born 1804 Died 1870
Erected to his memory by
Tow brother sculptors W.B. and J.R.

3. Instructions on how to use the barometer are known as Fitzroy’s Rules.

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On the left:
Long foretold Long last
Short notice Soon past
Rising
1st A steady rising Barometer which when continued shews very fine weather.
2nd In Winter the rise of the Barometer presages frost
3rd In wet weather if the Mercury rise high and remain so, expect fine weather, but if the Mercury rise suddenly very high, fine weather will not last long.
4th A rapid rise of the Barometer indicates unsettled weather, a slow movement the contrary.

N.B. The Barometer rises highest of all for North and East winds.

The scale on one side of the Diagram beneath shews the height of the Mercury at different elevations, thus at the top of Ben Nevis the Mercury stands at about 25 inches at the top of Mont Blanc about 17 inches, and at the summit of the Himalayas 5½ miles in altitude at only 11 inches.

On the right:
Fast rise after low
Foretells Stronger blow
Falling
1st If a fall takes place with a rising Thermometer Wind and Rain may be expected from the South Eastward, Southward or Westward.
2nd A fall with a low Thermometer foretells Snow or Rain.
3rd A sudden fall off the Barometer with Westerly Wind is generally followed is a violent storm from N.W. or N.E.
4th A rapid fall indicates Wind or Wind with Rain.
5th In very hot weather the fall off the Mercury denotes Thunder or a sudden fall indicates high wind.

Indications of approaching changes are shewn less by the height of the Barometer than by its falling or rising.

The Mercury falls lowest for wind and rain together, next to that for wind, except it be and East or North-east wind.

4. The following letter was printed in the East Lothian Courier on the 25th April 1865 only nine years after the monument was erected:
‘Dunbar Patriotism’
Sir, The approaching demonstration in connection with the Life-Boat forcibly recalls to mind a very important unimplemented obligation by the magistrates and Town Council meant and equally laudible effort to benefit the seafaring population. I refer to the barometer, encased in that most beautiful building, ornamented with marble sculpture which was presented to the fishermen some nine years ago. In handing over such a legacy to the keeping of the Magistrates and Council, it was stipulated by the donor that, in addition to taking charge of the instrument and building, and having the barometer set regularly by the harbour master, they were to be at the very trifling expense of erecting a lamp so as to allow the seamen to have recourse to the instrument at any hour of the night. How far such obligations (which might have been considered a labour of love) have been implemented, one only has to look at the disgraceful dirty state of the building, damaged by ruthless hands, its beautiful festoon of shells going to ruin for want of an occasional coating of oil to preserve it from the action of the atmosphere – the plate glass broken in more than one place, and a piece of patchwork, in the form of a deal board, as a substitute, reminding one of a house to let. As for a lamp, it does not even appear to have been once thought of. As lucifer matches are now so cheap, it may have been decided to continue to use them instead of a lamp, thus saving a few shillings annually to the town. For an additional protection to the building it was once suggested that the old cannons from the battery should be transformed into a sort of fence, but even that was grudged by an economical Magistracy, and the cannons sent to the founders furnace. The dirty and dilapidated condition of the barometer has become quite a by-word of late, and now that the public mind is being excited to philanthropic efforts to save valuable lives, which may be by stress of storm cast upon our iron-bound coast, I trust the state of the barometer will be immediately considered; else with the memory of many ever-to-be-regretted deeds of former officials this additional neglect may grow with infamy the very name of Dunbar. I am &c.
W.
Dunbar, April 25, 1865

Source: http://mtbstravaiger73.blogspot.ca/2013_07_01_archive.html
Source: http://mtbstravaiger73.blogspot.ca/2013_07_01_archive.html

5. The Restoration of the Monument
The monument was restored by the Dunbar Initiative in 1997. Both replacement carvings, the swag of shellfish, seaweed and shells and the relief below were sculpted by Michelle de Bruin of Sinclairshill. The stone mason work was undertaken by John A. Smith of Athelstaneford. The replica instrumentation was supplied by James Ritchie and Son (Clockmakers) of Edinburgh.

Bronte Street Pioneer Cemetery

The Bronte Street Pioneer Cemetery in Milton, Ontario, Canada

Three decades or more ago this triangular shaped lot, with many very old broken gravestones, toppled over and covered in vines, had a wonderful atmosphere to it. It was in a state of decay yet you could feel the history just by looking over the iron fence.

IMG

The Milton Historical Society undertook the task of preserving the early gravestones, and in 1986 the restoration of the cemetery was complete and a ceremony was held to unveil the plaques and cairn.

In Memory Of / Milton’s Founder / Jasper Martin 1797-1833 / Sarah Coates His Wife 1797-1830 / Settled Here From England In 1818 / The Martin Family.

1986 / Milton Historical Society in co-operation with / The Town of Milton / Maplehurst Correctional Centre.

I can understand the need to preserve these old stones from further deterioration, but the placement of them in concrete slabs bordering the cemetery has given it a clinical feel. It just doesn’t feel like a Pioneer cemetery any longer.

DSCN2455 DSCN2456

This ancient burial ground (the earliest date on a headstone is 1755 and the latest is 1917) is now preserved by the Town of Milton.

 Tho’ lost to sight
To memory clear.

             ѻ

Husband thou art gone to rest
Thou has found thine earthly tomb
For God has summoned thee away
Thy Father called thee home.

             ѻ

Friends and physicians could not save
My mortal body from the grave
Nor can the grave retain it here
When Christ my saviour shall appear.

             ѻ

In death’s cold arms lies sleeping here
A tender parent, a companion dear
In love she lived
In peace she died
Her life was asked
But was denied.

             ѻ

Death is swallowed up in victory.

One of the few remaining gravestones in good condition is a tall column with 4 inset panels bound with rope detail containing two hands in a handshake with oak leaves in 4 corners. An inscription below states, I Am The Resurrection And The Life / Because I Live Ye Shall Live Also. A second panel in bas relief shows a kneeling figure clinging to the crossbar of a cross. The legend is inscribed with Here I Lay My Burden Down / Change The Cross Into The Crown. The top of the column is draped and terminates in an urn with a blaze.

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Symbolism on this memorial stone:

  • Drape represents mourning
  • Figure clinging to cross symbolizes faith
  • Flame depicts eternity or resurrection
  • Handshake means farewell
  • Oak leaves mean strength. The oak is believed to have been the tree from which Jesus Christ’s cross was made. In smaller pioneer cemeteries, it was commonly to situate children’s graves near oak trees.
  • Rope symbolizes eternity
  • Urn represents the soul
  • Urn with a blaze/flame is undying friendship

Slavery

The slave trade began as an exchange for British goods on the West Coast of Africa where African men, women and children were shipped directly to the colonies in the New World.

When slaves died, plantation owners refused to allow them to be buried on valuable land, and for that reason, black cemeteries are often found in marginal areas of fields or forests. Graves were randomly dug and marked with daily objects that the spirit might need. In the south, they were also decorated with seashells and pebbles.

In North Carolina there are over 60 graves located at the edge of the woods in the Edwards-Franklin Cemetery. It was restored and dedicated by the Surry County Historical Society on 26 Aug 2010. During the dedication the names of 60 slaves found in historical records of the estate were read out.

Source: http://cemeterycensus.com/nc/surr/cem421.htm
Source: http://cemeterycensus.com/nc/surr/cem421.htm

A white marble Monument in Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia, honors descendants of Onesimus a runaway slave, whom the apostle Paul received to the faith of Christ. The Monument was placed near the slave graves in 1992 as a joint project of the Bean Creek Baptist Church and the Nacoochee Methodist Church to honor those buried and unknown.

Source: http://www.nacoocheeumc.org/numc/cemetery/slaveCemetery.php
Source: http://www.nacoocheeumc.org/numc/cemetery/slaveCemetery.php

In Woodcock Cemetery, North Attleboro, Massachusetts is the grave of a slave named Caesar.
In memory of Caesar
Here lies the best of slaves
Now turning into dust;
Caesar the Ethiopian craves
A place among the just.
His faithful soul has fled
To realms of heavenly light
And by the blood that Jesus shed
Is changed from Black to White

January 15 he quitted the stage
In the 77 year of his age.
1780

Woodcock Cemetery, North Attleboro, Massachusetts
Woodcock Cemetery, North Attleboro, Massachusetts

In Foxworth, Mississippi, is the grave of the world’s oldest man and last living slave. Reported to be 130 years old when he died, Sylvester MaGee claimed to have been a slave who fought for both sides in the Civil War. Although his claims are unverified, the county historical society memorialized him in the small churchyard of Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church. 

Source: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/32745
Source: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/32745

Believed to have been the last surviving American Slave, MaGee was born in Carpet, North Carolina, and sold at Enterprise, Mississippi, at the age of nineteen. He is believed to have served in the Civil War at both the Siege of Vicksburg and Champion’s Hill. Few records exist to support his life’s claim, yet some have stated that the detail and clarity with which he recounted his life’s experiences would have been impossible without having experienced it first-hand. Though he did not like to recount the worst of his days gone by, he made it known that his faith helped him make it through.

This memorial is dedicated to Sylvester MaGee, perhaps the last citizen of the United States who possessed first-hand knowledge of both institutionalized Slavery and the Civil War.

Erected 2012 by the Marion County Historical Society
Southern Monument Company

In Mount Vernon, Virginia, near the tomb of George Washington there is a slave burial ground containing 150 graves. Originally enclosed within a fenced area there is now a marker of Georgia marble inscribed:
In Memory of the Many Faithful Colored Servants of the Washington Family, buried at Mount Vernon from 1760-1860. Their Unidentified Graves Surround This Spot 1929.

Source: http://www.mountvernon.org/research-collections/digital-encyclopedia/article/slave-burial-ground/
Source: http://www.mountvernon.org/research-collections/digital-encyclopedia/article/slave-burial-ground/
Source: http://www.mountvernon.org/research-collections/digital-encyclopedia/article/slave-burial-ground/
Source: http://www.mountvernon.org/research-collections/digital-encyclopedia/article/slave-burial-ground/

Listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in August, 2012, the Contrabands and Freedman Cemetery is located at 1001 S. Washington St. in Alexandria, Virginia. Escaped slaves who were still the legal property of their masters were labeled as contrabands during the American Civil War and the military occupation of Alexandria. This classification prevented them from being returned to their masters and allowed them to work within the military in a variety of roles including soldiers and sailors.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrabands_and_Freedmen_Cemetery
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrabands_and_Freedmen_Cemetery

Approximately 10,000 black slaves were routed to Britain to become servants to entitled society. Scipio Africanus became a servant to the seventh Earl of Suffolk. Loved by the young Earl and his wife he was treated like a son and was buried in St Mary’s churchyard, Henbury near Bristol, England when he died in 1720 at age 18 years. The gravesite is marked with a painted headstone and footstone with black winged effigies.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/a-flickr-of-interest/5135125068/
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/a-flickr-of-interest/5135125068/

The grave markers were restored on April 2007. The epitaph on the headstone reads:
HERE
Lieth the Body of
SCIPIO AFRICANUS
Negro Servant to the Right
Honourable Charles William
Earl of Suffolk and Bradon
Who died the 21st December
1729 Aged 18 Years.

The footstone is inscribed:
I who was Born a PAGAN and a SLAVE
Now Sweetly Sleep a CHRISTIAN in my Grave
What tho’ my hue was dark my SAVIORS sight
Shall Change this darkness into radiant light
Such grace to me my Lord on earth has given
To recommend me to my Lord in heaven
Whose glorious second coming here I wait
With saints and Angels Him to celebrate.

Some slaves did not survive the journey to new lands. This stone identifying Samboo is located near Glasson, Lancashire, England.

Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/960904
Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/960904

Here lies
Poor SAMBOO
A faithful NEGRO who
(Attending his Master form the West Indies)
DIED on his Arrival at SUNDERLAND.

Full sixty Years the angry Winter’s wave
Has thundering dashed this bleak & barren Shore
Since SAMBO’s Head laid in this lonely GRAVE
Lies still & ne’er will hear their turmoil more.
 
Fully many a Sand bird chirps upon the Sod
And many a Moonlight Elfin round him trips
Fully many a Summer’s Sunbeam warms the Clod
And many a teeming Cloud upon him drips.
 
But still he sleeps – till the awakening Sounds
Of the Archangel’s Trump new Life impart
Then the GREAT JUDGE his Approbation found’s
Not on Man’s COLOUR but his – WORTH OF HEART.
James Watson Scr.                   H. Bell del. 1796

Greyfriars Bobby

The Grave
A red granite stone commemorating a small dog was erected in Greyfriar’s Kirkyard, Edinburgh by The Dog Aid Society of Scotland in 1981. The inscription reads, Greyfriars Bobby / Died 14 January 1872 / Aged 16 Years / Let His Loyalty And Devotion / Be A Lesson To Us All / Erected By The Dog Aid Society / Of Scotland And Unveiled By H.R.H. / The Duke Of Gloucester C.C.V.O. / On 13th May 1981.

Greyfriars_14

Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye terrier, is a legend of questionable historical accuracy. The fact which cannot be disputed is that a little dog lived within the Kirkyard in the mid 19th century and was fed and given shelter by local residents often showing up at Traill’s Restaurant in Greyfriars Place as if summoned by the One O’Clock gun.

1860s_John Trailfamily
John Traill’s family with Bobby

In 1867 a by-law required that all dogs be licensed by their owners with the understanding that stray or unlicensed dogs would be destroyed. The popularity and public knowledge of Bobby persuaded Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Sir William Chambers, a director of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, to purchase a license and award him the Freedom of the City. He also purchased a dog collar inscribed with the words: “Greyfriars Bobby from the Lord Provost 1867 licensed.” The collar is now in the Museum of Edinburgh, Huntly House, on the Royal Mile.

bobby oneoclockgun

There are two versions of the legend of Greyfriars Bobby, a little dog with shaggy hair hanging over his eyes and a stumpy tail that died in 14 January 1872.

britmoviecouk

Legend 1: John Gray, an unemployed gardener, joined the police force as a night watchman and was assigned a dog named Bobby (the British nickname for a policeman) to cover an area of old Edinburgh that included Upper Cowgate, the Grassmarket, Greyfriars Kirkyard, Candlemaker Row, the grounds of Heriot’s Hospital and the Cattle Market. When Gray died in 1858, Bobby followed his master into Greyfriars Kirkyard and was found lying on the grave by the curator the next morning. As dogs were not allowed inside the churchyard he was regularly chased out but continued to return. The curator, James Brown, took pity on the little animal and gave him some food. He also gave him sackcloth to lie on and local residents created a shelter for him to stay warm. He kept vigil at the grave of his master for 14 years until he died. He was then buried just inside the gate of Greyfriars Kirkyard, not far from John Gray’s grave. (Another story relates that special permission was given to open the grave of John Gray to allow his faithful companion to be interred with him.)

Version 2: Bobby, a nuisance stray that frequented Heriot’s hospital, was chased out by the gardener and took refuge in Greyfriars Kirkyard. James Brown, the curator, became fond of him and began to feed him which encouraged the little dog to frequent the churchyard on a regular basis. Visitors to the churchyard who saw Bobby believed he was a devoted dog refusing to leave his master’s grave and encouraged the curator to tell the story of Greyfriars Bobby.

It is also believed that the original Bobby died in 1867. His story had become known nationwide, and to encourage visitation to the graveyard, he was replaced with a younger dog. The Curator continued to relate the story of Bobby in Traill’s Restaurant.

The legends appear to be a fabrication as proven by the blog below which references newspaper reports and minutes of Edinburgh Council meetings. https://roundthewatertrough.wordpress.com/2014/02/03/greyfriars-bobby-a-shaggy-dog-story/

Nevertheless, the gravestone has become a shrine and fetch sticks, toys and flowers are frequently left there.

The Fountain
On 15 November 1873 a drinking fountain with a life size statue of a dog was unveiled near Greyfriars Kirkyard at the corner of Candlemaker Row and George IV bridge in Edinburgh. The red granite fountain offered drinking water to humans using stone drinking cups attached by chains until 1975. Dogs drank from an octagonal trough at ground level.

capitalcollections
Image copyright City of Edinburgh Council, Capital Collections  www.capitalcollections.org.uk

Greyfriars Bobby_Lost Edinburgh

A plaque on the base reads A tribute / to the affectionate fidelity of / Greyfriars Bobby. / In 1858, this faithful dog followed / the remains of his master to Greyfriars Churchyard and lingered near the spot / until his death in 1872. / With permission / erected by the / Baroness Burdett-Coutts.

dogcasradio

Inscribed on the statue is: Greyfriars Bobby, from the life just before his death and W.H. Brodie Sc RSA 1872.

shutterstock

The bronze statue of a terrier was sculpted by William Brodie, and donated by Baroness Burdett-Coutts, the President of the Ladies Committee of the RSPCA.

The backdrop to the monument is Greyfriar Bobby’s Bar, previously known as Traill’s Restaurant. A plaque on the wall states: Greyfriars / “Bobby” / was fed here / from / 1858 to 1872.

wikimedia_kim traynor

The monument was listed a Category A historic building on 29 April 1977 and is Edinburgh’s smallest listed building.

plheineman

When the fountain was first erected a gas street light stood behind the statue, and during the conversion to electricity of the city’s lights, the lamp was removed. It has now been duplicated using historic photographs and salvaged lamp columns with the assistance of a grant from Edinburgh World Heritage.

The fountain suffered damage due to vandalism and a car accident in 1984 which required repair. It was restored the following year. However, a recent custom of rubbing Bobby’s nose for luck removed the black finish and exposed the underlying brass. On 1st October 2013, Powderhall Bronze, a sculpture conservation and restoration specialist, was hired to clean, wax and re-patinate Bobby’s nose.

edinburghspotlight Greyfriars bobby

Circus Family

In Billing Road cemetery Northampton, stands a memorial to ‘Sir’ Robert William Fossett, a circus owner, his wife and their son. The Fossett family’s involvement with the circus as Equestriennes began in 1852. Robert Fossett proclaimed as the champion bare-back rider of the world, gave himself the title of Sir to compete against ‘Lord’ George Sanger, who was one of the most successful circus entrerpreneurs of the 19th century.

The memorial is a pedimented plinth with a gable stone inscribed on one side with the legend, In Loving Memory Of Robert Fossett, Who Died December 31st 1922, Aged 72 Years. He Has Pulled In For His Last Rest And Still Remains With Those Who Knew And Those Who Loved Him Best. Loved Dearly By All His Children.

Fossett Horse2

The other side of the stone hosts the inscription, In Loving Memory Of Mary, The Dearly Beloved Wife Of Robert Fossett. Who Died September 18th 1915, Aged 56 Years. The Face We Loved Is Now Laid Low, The Fond True Heart Is Still, The Hand That Often Clasped In Ours, Lies Now In Death’s Cold Chill. Life’s Race Well Run, Life’s Work Well Done, Life’s Crown Well Won, Then Comes Sweet Rest At Last. “Her Children Arise Up And Call Her Blessed.

Fossett Horse

A carving of crossed whips and a horseshoe encircled with oak leaves is located on the capital beneath the head of the horse. Oak, a dense wood which is strong and hard represents stability, strength, endurance and longevity and is commonly found near children’s graves. An inscription below states, Henry Son Of R. And M. Fossett. Died Nov 14th 1890 Aged 4 Months.

The monument is surmounted with the statue of a horse sculpted in Italian marble by Charles Robinson of Kettering. Erected in 1923 the horse with head bowed and a blanket slipping from its back symbolises the race is over. The horse originally looked down upon an open book of marble inscribed on two pages with the legend: To Our Dear Friend, Robert Fossett. A Token Of Respect From All The Artists At E. H. Bostock’s Circus. The book no longer exists and the horse’s ears have been damaged.

BLB fossett

The monument was recorded as a Grade II British Listed Building on 20 April 2007.

Fossett_blb

 

Glossary

  • Capital, the top of a column that supports the load bearing down on it
  • Pediment, an element in architecture consisting of a gable placed above a horizontal structure
  • Plinth, flat base usually projecting, upon which a pedestal, wall or column rests.