Tag Archives: Edinburgh

The Mylne Tomb

In the historic cemetery known as Greyfriar’s Kirkyard in Edinburgh is the tomb of the Mylne family who were architects and master masons to the Kings of Scotland. Enclosed with an iron fence the memorial is attached to the east wall of a tenement building on Candlemaker Row. The tomb contains the remains of John Mylne, Robert Mylne, William Mylne and Thomas Mylne.

geograph ccl kim traynor
Creative Commons License, Kim Traynor. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2034883

The pediment at the top of the memorial hosts two cherubs flanking the heraldic shield of the Mylne family identified by a knight’s armoured helmet, and a shield containing a Patonce cross with three 5 point stars.

Directly beneath the shield is a grotesque representing a dragon. Additional examples of Memento Mori are present in winged effigies, skulls, an hourglass and crossed torches.

Greyfriars_grotesques

The main inscription written in Latin is displayed in Drapery held in the mouth of a ram:
“John Mylne, who, at the expiry of fifty-five years of this frail life, sleeps softly here, sixth Master-Mason to the King of the family of Mylne, of remarkable skill in the building art, frequently Deacon-Convener of the Trades of Edinburgh, the circumspect and faithful representative of the metropolis on several occasions in the public Parliament of the Kingdom; a man adorned with gifts of mind above his condition in life, of a remarkably handsome person, upright, sagacious, pious, universally respected.
Robert, his brother’s son, emulous of his virtues, as well as his successor in office, has, out of gratitude, erected this monument, such as it is, to his uncle. He died 24th Dec. 1667, in the fifty-sixth year of his age.

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John Mylne’s character is described in a smaller shield:
Great artisan, grave senator, John Mylne,
Renown’d for learning, prudence, parts, and skill,
Who in his life Vitruvius’ art had shown,
Adorning others’ monuments: his own
Can have no other beauty, than his name,
His memory and everlasting fame.
Rare man he was, who could unite, in one,
Highest and lowest occupation;
To sit with statesmen, councillour to kings,
To work, with tradesmen, in mechanick things;
Majestick man, for person, witt, and grace;
This generation cannot fill his place.

cartoucheTwo Corinthian columns are inscribed with dedication.
The left column commemorates Robert Mylne:
Sacred to the Memorie of Robert Mylne of Balfargie,
Master Mason to severall Kings of Scotland;
and Survieor to this Citie,
who, duringe ane active life of honest fame,
Builded amonge manie extensive warks
Mylne’s Court, Mylne’s Square, and
the Abbie of Halie rud house,
Leaving by ane Worthie Wife,
Eight Sonnes and Six Daughters,
All Placed in the World with Credit to himself,
and consecrated this Monument,
To the Honour of his Ancestrie.
Died Decr. 10th, 1710; aged 77.”

Edinburgh places and people

The column on the right:
To the Memory of Thomas Mylne Eldest son of William
Mylne a Deacon of the Masons in Edinburgh
Who Died 5th March1763
To the Memory of William Mylne Master Mason
Eldest son of Robert Mylne of Balfargie
Who Died 9th March 1728.

A cartouche at the base of the stone is inscribed:
Reader, John Mylne, who maketh the fourth John,
and, by descent, from father unto son,
Sixth master mason to a royal race
Of seven successive Kings, sleeps in this place.

 

 

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The Rope Maker

Samuel Gilmore was a rope maker who owned property on the south side of the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh. His large rope-making factory and retail outlet were located on the north side of Gilmore Street (later renamed Gilmore Place). He also owned a mansion house called Lochrin Lodge whose entrance was on the north side of Home Street adjacent to the factory.

His burial place is in St. Cuthbert’s cemetery, Edinburgh, and his gravestone features many examples of iconography.

  • The headstone is capped with a winged effigy which represents the deceased soul in flight.
  • Skulls on each side of the stone symbolize death, mortality, penitence, and sin.
  • The Masonic compass and set square is a symbol used to represent the Order of Freemasons who view God as the architect and builder of the universe hence the use of these tools. The perfect right angle of the square indicates justice and truth, and the compass, capable of drawing a perfect circle, represents the all-embracing love of God.
  • The arches on each side of the stone denote an entrance to Heaven or a passageway to eternal life.
  • The drape drawn back represents the veil of death.

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Although the inscription has all but disappeared due to weather erosion, the original details are recorded on the clipping below. (#616 Obelisk refers to the square base with inscription next to Samuel’s grave.)

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Monument Conundrum

THE LOCATION
The east wall, Greyfriars’ Churchyard, Edinburgh, Scotland. The name ‘Greyfriars’ comes from the color of the habit worn by the Franciscan monks who established the sacred ground in the 15th century.

THE LANDSCAPE
The churchyard consists of four courtyards: lower, upper, southern and western. The graveyard has a wide south slope and a narrow north slope. A significant change in the ground level (the largest slope ratio is up to 10%) required a retaining wall to be built to support the soil on the upper level of the graveyard.

THE MONUMENTS
This post makes reference to three neighbouring monuments on the east wall from north to south; Alexander Bethune, Sir Robert Dennestoun, and Alexander Miller.

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The dedication on the monument to Sir Robert Dennestoun translated from Latin reads; Behold, the world possesseth nothing permanent. Sir Robert Dennestoun lies under this tomb. He was formerly the King’s ambassador; and for thirty years, conservator of the Scottish privileges in Holland. He was also sent to, and behaved with glory, among English and Spaniards; true to his country; counsellor to his Prince; and, being full of days, having lived 78 years, he now liveth in the heavens.

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HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE 19TH CENTURY
The photographs circa 1848 are from the photography studio of Hill and Adamson. David Octavius Hill was a famous painter who partnered with Robert Adamson to create Scotland’s first photographic studio where they produced calotype negatives.

The Dennestoun monument consists of a stone inscription marker flanked by Corinthian columns surmounted by a tablet containing arms terminating with a horse’s head in a broken pediment.

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1848 Greyfriars_kirkyard

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Note that a fence on the left side of the images is mounted atop a retaining wall.

CURRENT STATUS 
The fence and retaining wall no longer exist. An altar base has appeared on both the Dennestoun and Miller monuments.

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CONUNDRUM 

  • When the retaining wall was built were large amounts of soil dumped, raising the level and concealing the altar base of the monuments on the higher level?
  • When the fence and wall were removed was the soil excavated to reveal the altar bases?

That seems likely when comparing the images below; the current status shows the Dennestoun and Miller monuments (middle and right) are at the same relative level as they were in the 1840s.

However…

  • The Bethune monument is not sitting at the same height relative to the other monuments.
  • The retaining wall and fence as seen in the image below are on the left side of the Bethune monument, in contradiction to other historical images that show the wall and fence to the left of the Dennestoun monument.

…Within this famed, haunted graveyard perhaps everything is fluid…rising, sinking, changing position?

The Blind Evangelist

This gravestone located in Newington Cemetery, Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh celebrates the Reverend Archibald Turnbull who was a blind Evangelist. He died in Dalkeith on Christmas Day 1927 when he was 80 years old. An inscription memorializes his memory, He Served His Lord In Darkness, Light Denied, But Now He Serves Before The Shining Throne.

His wife, Elizabeth, and children are also remembered on the stone. Elizabeth died the year before her husband when she was 78 years old. Sadly, their children died before them in early adulthood. James was only 16 years old and their daughter 25 years old when she passed.

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Rev. Archibald Turnbull, known as the Blind Evangelist, was a member and proponent of the Temperance Movement. In Nov 1883, Rev. Turnbull conducted a grand Blue Ribbon meeting in the primitive Methodist chapel in Shildon, Northern England where 45 signed an oath and 100 people donned the blue ribbon badge. The Blue Ribbon was a symbol worn by those who pledged abstinence from alcohol consumption. It was inspired by a verse from the bible Numbers 15:38-39; “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments, throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: and it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them.

Miller Mausoleum

Located on Christie Miller Avenue in the Craigentinny area of Edinburgh, Scotland, it is surrounded, by bungalows built in the 1930s.

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William Henry Miller 1789 -1848 inherited Craigentinny House and Estate from his father, and although he spent a great deal of his life in England as an M.P. for Newcastle- under-Lyne he left instructions that he should not be buried in a church yard rather in the open fields at Craigentinny. His last will and testament directed that he should be buried at the bottom of a 40ft stone lined shaft beneath a giant monument commemorating the arts, and that on top of his coffin should be placed a heavy stone slab.

The Mausoleum was completed in 1856 by 80 labourers in a field to the north of Edinburgh between Piershill and Portobello. The tomb, designed by David Rhind, was an adaptation of the Temple of Vesta in Rome. The site was consecrated by the Bishop of Edinburgh on 13 September 1860.

Several years later, a relative named Samuel Christie Miller commissioned Alfred Gatley to create finely sculpted 12ft x 6ft bas relief panels. Created in the style of the Elgin Marbles in British Museum, London (hence the nickname of the Mausoleum as the Craigentinny Marbles) they depicted two biblical scenes. The foreboding imagery of the ‘Overthrow of Pharaoh in the Red Sea’ on the north, and the jubilation of ‘The Song of Moses and Miriam’ in the south elevation are in strong contrast to each other. They were completed and attached to the sides of the monument in 1866.

A commemorative granite plaque is located on the north perimeter wall:
This Monument Was Erected To The Memory Of / William Henry Miller / And His Parents / William Miller And Martha Rawson Or Miller / Here Are Interred. / Martha Miller Died 11th January 1827 / William Henry Miller / M.P. For Newcastle-Under-Lyme / Born 13th February 1789. Died 31st October 1848 / Sarah Marsh / Born 20th April 1792 Died 8th August 1860 / Ellen Marsh / Born 29th August 1801. Died 4th November 1861 / All Of Craigentinny And Britwell, / Buckinghamshire
The Site Was Consecrated On 13th September 1860 / The Sculptures Were Added In 1866
Architect / David Rhind / Edinburgh
Sculptor / Alfred Gatley / Rome

The William Henry Miller Mausoleum/Craigentinny Marbles was listed a category A historic building on 14 December 1970.

 

Warriors

With the approach of Remembrance Day ceremonies throughout the Commonwealth, it is a good time to honour the millions killed in conflicts throughout the world.

Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind. J. F. Kennedy

Source: http://thebignote.com/
Source: http://thebignote.com/

SQUADRON LEADER D M DAVIDSON, DFC
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE
6TH JANUARY 1946 AGE 26
UNTIL THE DAWN BREAKS
AND WE MEET AGAIN
ALWAYS IN OUR THOUGHTS.
Squadron Leader D M Davidson received the Distinguished Flying Cross. He flew a Spitfire XIV TZ106 with 453 Squadron. The aircraft entered low cloud at about 100 feet and was seen to emerge from the cloud and strike the ground in Wichling, Kent, England.

 

http://thebignote.com/
http://thebignote.com/

3797 PRIVATE
HOLLOWAY
ROYAL NEWFOUNDLAND REGT.
17TH OCTOBER 1918 AGE 22

No loved one stood beside him to bid a last farewell,
No word of comfort could he leave to those he loved so well.
We little thought his time so short in this world to remain,
Nor that from when his home he went he would never return again.

 

http://thebignote.com/
http://thebignote.com/

16/988 LANCE CPL.
KATAU
N.Z. CYCLIST BATTALION
6TH OCTOBER 1918 AGE 23
The Cyclist Battalion was intended as a mobile light infantry. Read more at http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/anzac-cyclists

 

bignote_ramc
Source: http://thebignote.com/

COLONEL
J.D. ALEXANDER CBE DSO
ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS
9TH JULY 1922 AGE 55
The CBE, Commander of the British Empire, is the 3rd highest level that can be achieved within the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime.

Do not ask us if we miss him,
There is such a vacant place;
Can we e’er forget that footstep,
And that dear familiar face.

 

bignote2
Source: http://thebignote.com/

LIEUTENANT
JOSEPH HALL HEWITT RNVR
HMS “ARROGANT”
26TH FEBRUARY 1919 AGE 34
RNVR is an acronym for the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.
HMS “Arrogant” was built in 1895. It was in service during WWI as the Dover depot ship for submarines and motor launches.

Far away in a distant land,
Suddenly struck by death’s strong hand
A loving son, strong and brave,
Lies buried in a soldier’s grave.

 

Edinburgh_Newington_SoldiersTHEIR NAME LIVETH FOREVER MORE
TO THE HONORED MEMORY OF ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY NINE BRITISH SAILORS AND SOLDIERS WHO GAVE
THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY DURING THE GREAT WAR1914-1918 AND WHO ARE BURIED IN THIS CEMETERY
FIFTY THREE OF WHOM LIE IN THIS PLOT AND TWELVE OTHERS WHO ARE NOT COMMEMORATED ELSEWHERE.
Located at Newington Cemetery, Edinburgh, Scotland.

No one knows the silent heartache,
Only those can tell
Who have lost their loved ones
Without saying one farewell.
We pictured him safely returning,
We longed to clasp his hand,
But God has postponed the meeting,
Till we meet in a better land.

France_Paris_MontparnasseMontparnasse Cemetery, Paris, France
France_Paris_Montparnasse_War weeping

No one knows the silent heartache, 
Only those that have lost can tell 
Of the grief that’s borne in silence 
For the one we loved so well. 

 

France_Paris_Pere lachaise_Polish MemorialThis memorial is located in Père-Lachaise-Cemetery in Paris, France. It commemorates the Polish soldiers who were killed during the liberation of France in the Second World War.
French: Aux Polonais/ Morts/ Pour La France
Polish: Polakom / Polegeym/ Za Francie

 

The Los Angeles National Cemetery is located in West Los Angeles, California, at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Sepulveda Boulevard. The 114 acre cemetery was dedicated on May 22, 1889. The chapel was renamed the Bob Hope Veterans Chapel on May 29, 2002 (Hope’s 99th birthday), in “celebration of his lifelong service to our American Veterans”.

 

londonTHE WOMEN OF WORLD WAR II, LONDON
Located near the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, England, this memorial was unveiled in 2005 to honour the service of women during the Second World War. It was sculpted by John W. Mills.

 

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A SOLDIER OF THE 1939/1945 WAR. SUDAN DEFENCE FORCE
This unknown soldier was a member of the British Army unit, the Sudan Defence Force (SDF.) It was formed in 1925 to maintain the borders of the Sudan under the British administration.

He marched away so bravely, His young head proudly held;
His footsteps never faltered, His courage never failed,
There on the field of battle, He calmly took his place,
He fought for King and Country, And the honour of his race.

 

Orangeville Forest Lawn1914-1918 & 1939-1945
TO PERPETUATE THE MEMORY OF VETERANS WHO REST IN THIS PLOT ERECTED BY ORANGEVILLE BRANCH NO. 233 CANADIAN LEGION 1946

 

south african
Source: http://thebignote.com/

22086 BURG.
COETZEE
2DE Z.A. INFANTERIE
23 OCTOBER 1918
South African infantry

This final image of Sutherlin, Oregon, USA, needs no words.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/curtis4x5/6002805377/in/pool-douglascntyor/ - Sutherlin oregon
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/curtis4x5/6002805377/in/pool-douglascntyor/ – Sutherlin oregon

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Harry Potter Connection

J. K. Rowling, the famed author of the Harry Potter series of books, wrote the saga while living in Edinburgh. Many of the characters’ names were consciously, or subconsciously, chosen from Edinburgh’s streets, landmarks and graveyards.

In Greyfriars Kirkyard near the George Heriot school gate is a tablet marking the grave of William Topaz McGonagall, (George Heriot’s school may have been the template for Hogwarts.) Professor Minerva McGonagall was the head of Gryffindor house at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry.

William Topaz McGonagall who was born in March 1825, died on 29 September 1902. He was a poet whose poems are considered the worst in English literature. Audiences threw rotten fish at him and his performances were banned leaving him a pauper when he died.

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william mcgonagall tripadvisor

William McGonagall / Poet and Tragedian / Died 2nd September 1902 / Buried near this spot
“I am your Gracious Majesty
ever faithful to thee
William McGonagall , The Poor Poet,
That lives in Dundee.”
W. McG. 6th. Sept. 1877

The grave of Thomas Riddell also in Greyfriars Kirkyard, was chosen as the real name of the Dark Lord Voldemort. This character appeared in the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which was released in 1997.

Thomas Riddell, who died in 1806 aged 72, shares his gravestone with members of his family.

riddell Tom-Riddle-tombstone-375x500

Sacred / to the Memory / of Thomas Riddell Esq. / of Befsborough, / in the County of Berwick / who died in Edinburgh / on the 24. Novm. 1806, / aged 72 years.
ALSO / of Thomas Riddell Esq. his Son, / Captain of the 14. Regiment, / who died at Trinidad in the West Indies / on the 12. Septm. 1802, / aged 26 years.
AND / of Christian Riddell, / his Daughter, / who died in Edinburgh / on the 29. Oct, 1808, / aged 31 years.
ALSO / Maira Jane Riddell, / his daughter / died 5th Sept. 1819 / aged 47″

Contradictory feelings on notes have been left at the graveside by people from all over the world.

“RIP Tom, thank you for making us all believe in magic. You are an inspiration.”

“Dear idiots, you know there’s a difference between fiction and reality, right?”