Tag Archives: Boston

King’s Chapel Burying Ground

King’s Chapel Burying Ground on Tremont Street in Boston, Massachusetts, was dedicated in 1689 and is the oldest burying place in Boston proper. Although the cemetery is small it contains many stones going back to the 1600s. Burials ceased here in 1796.

Mark the perfect man and behold the uprights for the end of that man is peace. 1924

The cemetery is somewhat overshadowed by the church, adjacent buildings and several trees within the grounds. A bell made in England was hung in 1772 until it cracked in 1814 and was then recast by Paul Revere. It still rings before every service.

Two bronze plaques attached to the railing at the entrance of the cemetery identify some of the more famous people buried here. The burying ground was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

In the early 1800s, many of the gravestones were moved from their original position and placed in rows, so it is impossible to tell the exact location of some of the graves. In olden times a great deal of excitement was caused by a rumor that someone had been buried alive there, but the affair ended uneventfully when the doctor who had attended the deceased testified in the matter.

To him that overcometh and keepeth my work.
To the end will I give the morning star He that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God and God in him. 1900

1693

One of the earliest gravestones I have seen can be found in the Copps Hill Burying Ground in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. It’s interesting to note that in order to keep within the design boundaries of this elaborate gravestone, the text has been scrunched together.

In the surname WALTERS, the letters L, T, E have been overlapped using the downward stroke of L to create T and E. The same process has been used in the word THIS where the downward stroke of T is shared by the letter H.

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The inscription on the gravestone uses Old English text and translates as:
Here Lies Buried
The Body Of Captain
Sampson Walters
Aged 53 Years
Departed This Life
August The 13th
1693

Above the winged effigy is the Latin phrase ‘Hodie Mihi Cras Tibi Sic Transit Gloria Mundi’ which translates as My Turn Today, Yours Tomorrow. And Thus Passes Away The Glory Of The World.

On a side note, this phrase is used in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander historical novel series when Claire visits the tombstone of Lady Sarah Fraser at Beauly Priory.

Forest Hills Cemetery

Located on Forest Hills Avenue/Morton Street, Boston, MA, USA, this cemetery was founded in 1848. It is a superb example of 19th century design of a rural garden cemetery, and a cultural change from the severe style of the burial grounds in colonial New England.

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The active cemetery of 250 acres is so large that pathways have been named. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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There are numerous commissioned sculptures throughout the graveyard. The Sculpture Path was created to allow visitors a special place where they could enjoy a magnificent landscape while visiting friends and family.

The Sentinel by Fern Cunningham. This statue commemorates the artist’s African ancestors and strong women in her family.

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Removed from the Roxbury tomb in Boston Common in 1895

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Remember
Edward Mcclure Peters Jr.
First Lieutenant 16th US Infantry
Commanding Second Company Machine Gun
Battalion, First Brigade, First Division,
American Expeditionary Force
Born On Christmas Day 1892. Killed In Action
At Seicheprey In Lorraine While Trying
To Protect His Men. March 11, 1918
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In 1999, the Forest Hills Educational Trust developed the annual Lantern Festival in 1999 to remember family and friends during a moving ceremony inspired by Buddhist ritual. At dusk, people release hundreds of glowing lanterns bearing personal message onto Lake Hibiscus (located in the center of the cemetery) and watch them float away as the sun sets.

 

Under Glass

Woodlawn Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan, USA

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Source: http://www.citrusmilo.com/mymi/detroit13.cfm

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Source: http://ladyeuphoriadeathwatch.blogspot.ca/2009/05/on-childs-headstone.html

Boston, Massachusettes, USA

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Source: http://ladyeuphoriadeathwatch.blogspot.ca/2009/05/on-childs-headstone.html

A Soviet funeral monument in the Roman style encased in glass, Novodevichiy Cemetery, Moscow

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Source: Tumblr

Martyrs Monument, Valley Cemetery, Stirling, Scotland

In the late 17th century two sisters, Margaret and Agnes Wilson from Wigtown, were arrested for refusing to renounce the Covenanter faith which was in opposition to Royal control over the church. A plea from their father released Agnes; however, Margaret aged 18 refused to swear an oath declaring James VII as head of the church. She was chained to a stake in the tides of the Solway Firth and drowned on 11th May 1685.

A glass tomb memorial commissioned by William Drummond in 1859 was designed by Handyside Ritchie and cast by George Smith & Co. Sun Foundry Glasgow. The cupola which was added in 1867 is capped with a crown resting on a pillow. The tomb contains marble statuary of the sisters and an angel. Margaret, with a look of determination on her face, is seated with a bible in her left hand. Agnes, the younger sister is leaning against her as she looks down at the bible. An angel holding a wreath overlooks the pair, and a lamb is seated at their feet (a symbol of martyrdom).

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Creative Commons License, Stephen C. Dickson. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Handyside_Ritchie

An engraved plaque is located on the stone pedestal.
Margaret / Virgin Martyr Of The Ocean Wave / With Her Like-Minded Sister / Agnes.
Love, Many Waters Cannot Quench God Saves / His Chaste Impearled One In Covenant True / O Scotia’s Daughter Earnest Scan The Page / And Prize This Flower Of Grace Blood-Bought For You.
Psalm IX:XIX

There are four symbols above the legend: the letters nr, a Sun Cross, the Greek letter Omega, and waves or water.

The octagonal stone base has several engravings.
Revelation 22:13-21 is engraved on the stone at the front of the pedestal and is a reference to Christ as “the First and the Last.”
A second biblical reference is Isaiah 17:12-14 which refers to the roar of the seas and mighty waters.
A third panel is engraved with the words Glory To God

Individual glass panes beneath the cupola display the words, It Is / Christ / In Us / Lord / Jesus / King / Judge / Saviour

Copp’s Hill Burying Ground

Copp’s Hill Burying Ground which is in the North End of Boston, Massachusetts, is named after shoemaker William Copp from whom the town purchased the land. Located on a hill, it overlooks the harbour and the banks of the Charles River, and because of its height, the British used this vantage point to train their cannons on Charlestown during the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. The epitaph on Captain Daniel Malcolm’s tombstone at Copp’s Hill is riddled with the marks of British bullets.

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As Boston’s second oldest burying ground, it contains more than 1200 marked graves and 272 tombs, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Most of the stone markers were placed before 1825. The quality of the engravings depended on the skill of the carver and the budget of the person buying the memorial stone. In 1838 new walking paths were installed and the gravestones were arranged in rows. Consequently, many of the gravestones no longer mark the location of their owner’s grave.

O my Friends remember that the Lord giveth
& taketh away, & blessed be the name of the 
Lord. O my Husband & Children, dry up 
your tears, & remember that you must all follow 
me sooner or later, where we must all lie till Christ 
our Saviour bids us arise; for thy will must be done. Amen

80% of the gravestones have a Death’s Head carving used as a symbol of death and mortality since medieval times. Winged skulls evolved during the 18th century and reflected the Puritan religious influence.

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Winged effigies were common in the latter part of the 18th century.

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The urn is a classical symbol for death and the weeping willow is associated with mourning. These two images which are found together became popular during the American Revolution.

Example of the Urn-and-Willow Design
Example of the Urn-and-Willow Design

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Heraldic symbols and coats of arms are also found on headstones within the grounds. The tomb of William Clark, seen here, was later taken by Samuel Winslow, who had his name carved on the gravestone.

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Here Lyes The Mortal Part/ Of / William Clark Esq. The legend is almost illegible describing Clark as An Honorable Counsellor for the Province, and A Despiser of Sorry Persons and Little Actions.

Central Burying Ground

Boston, MA, USA

This cemetery is an open flat ground in the center of the city also known as Boston Common Burying Ground. It is located on Boylston Street between Tremont Street and Charles Street.

Source: Wikimedia
Source: Wikimedia

The town purchased the land for a cemetery in 1756 to alleviate overcrowding at King’s Chapel, Copp’s Hill and Granary Burying Grounds. Brick and stone tombs which were built on the Boylston Street side beginning in 1793 are still in evidence. The earliest burials were likely those of foreigners (early Roman Catholic immigrants) who died in Boston. During the American Revolution, the British dead from the Battle of Bunker Hill, and soldiers who died of disease, were buried in a trench on the northwest corner of the burying ground. Many poor people and young children are also buried here.

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Hail sweet repose now shall we rest
No more with sickness be distressed
Here from all sorrow find release
Our souls shall dwell in endless peace. 1789

In 1826 the cemetery was closed and no new burials were permitted until 1836. That same year, a corner piece of land was reclaimed to connect Boylston Street with Tremont Street. It would become known as the Boylston Street Mall (a walkway lined with trees on both sides). The displaced remains were entombed in a series of vaults known as The Dell. Graves that were not claimed were buried under the walkway.

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidberkowitz/3078646570/in/photostream/
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidberkowitz/3078646570/in/photostream/

No flat ring marble rules the traveler here
The spot is sacred to affections tear
He was in life what artful men pretend
Companion, parent, neighbor, Christian friend. 1802

When construction of the Tremont Street subway under Boylston Street was begun in 1894, the remains of about 910 people were unearthed. These remains were re-interred in a mass grave in 1895 in the northwest part of the grounds. A slate tablet with three boundary stones marks the spot.

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Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25897810@N00/3078646808/

Here Were Interred / The Remains Of Persons / Found Under The Boyston Street Mall / During The Digging Of The Subway / 1895

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Erased

These gravestones have been wiped clean due to weather erosion, or from damage. A life once lived, now even the words of memorium are erased from the stone…

St. Nicholas Church, Dalkeith,  Midlothian, Scotland
St. Nicholas Church, Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland

Meek and gentle was her spirit
Prudence did her life adorn
Modest she disclaimed all merit
Tell me am not I forlorn
Yet I must and will resign her
She’s in better hands than mine
But I hope again to join her
In the realms of love divine.

St. Nicholas Church, Dalkeith,  Midlothian, Scotland
St. Nicholas Church, Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland

Of such is the kingdom of Heaven
Often I stood as you stand now
To view the dead as you do me
Ere long, and you shall lie as low
And others stand and look on thee.

St. Nicholas Church, Dalkeith,  Midlothian, Scotland
St. Nicholas Church, Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland

Tho’ lost to sight
To memory clear.

St. Nicholas Church, Dalkeith,  Midlothian, Scotland
St. Nicholas Church, Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland

Tis but a little tear is shed
For one to mem’ry dear
The tribute of my childhood days
Is but a little tear.

Lasswade Cemetery, Lasswade, Midlothian, Scotland
Lasswade Cemetery, Lasswade, Midlothian, Scotland

As you were, you will always be
Treasured forever in our memory.

Copps Hill,  Boston, MA, USA
Copps Hill, Boston, MA, USA

Come near my friends and cast and eye
Then go your way, prepare to die,
Learn your doom, and know you must
One day like me be turned to dust. 1876

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