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
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 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
John Mayo, the first representative from Harwich to the general court in 1711 is buried in Brewster Old Burying Ground, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States. Aged 70 years at the time of his death he was born in 1655 in Oyster Bay, Nassau County, New York.
His grave is marked with a table gravestone and a dedication engraved in stone which was cleaned in 2006. John Mayo / Died Feb 1, 1725 / Et. 70 Years / First Representative To The General / Court From The Town Of Harwich
Note: Old English abbreviation Et. or Aet means ‘aged’.
He was representative of the general court for six years and the town treasurer for three years.
John’s wife, Hannah Freeman, was a direct descendant of Mayflower passengers William Brewster & Mary Wentworth. Hannah was born in 1665 and died in 1743.
Here Lyes Y Body / Of Mrs Hannah / Mayo Relict Of / Mr. John Mayo / Who Died February / Y 15th 1743 + In Y / 80th Year Of Her Age.
Translated as, Here lies the body of Mrs. Hannah Mayo widow of Mr. John Mayo who died February the 15th 1743 + in the 80th year of her age.
The sphinx is a mythical creature with the head of a human and the body of a lion, protector of the dead, it is historically connected to the pyramid, the ultimate in tombs.
There are two types of sphinx; most famously the Egyptian sphinx modeled after the Great Sphinx at Giza which represents a male. The head is dressed with a neme, the striped headcloth worn by pharaohs in ancient Egypt.
Occasionally a false beard is displayed. As beards were associated with the gods, Pharaohs wore false beards for ceremonies to express their importance and divine ranking.
In March 1865 Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dr. Jacob Bigelow proposed that the Mount Auburn Cemetery commission “a public monument in memory of the heroes who have fallen in the present war for the preservation of the Union.” When the trustees postponed making a decision he commissioned the Irish-born sculptor, Martin Milmore, to create a Sphinx to be cut from a single block of Hallowell granite, 15 feet long and about 8 feet high.
The Sphinx was chosen as it represented the strength of a lion and the beauty and benevolence of a woman. The inscription was composed by Dr. Bigelow “American Union Preserved; African Slavery Destroyed; By the Uprising of a Great People; By the Blood of Fallen Heroes.”
The Brunswig tomb in Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans, Louisiana was built to commemorate Lucien Napoleon Brunswig’s wife, Annie Mercer Brunswig and their son Lucien Mercer Brunswig (1882-1892) who died within a month of each other. His testament instructed his family to bury him inside the tomb with his wife and child. Brunswig is also interred with his two daughters, Henrietta Rosalie Brunswig (1879-1963), and Annie Brunswig Wellborn (1881-1982) and her husband.
In Greek tradition, the sphinx was in the form of a female who was often bare-breasted and is therefore associated with maternal love.
Many neo-Egyptian designs in modern cemeteries feature the Greek variety which is often portrayed with the wings of a bird.
Within the Hildburghausen Cemetery in Germany a winged Sphinx sits atop the headstone belonging to the 19th century Egyptologist, Doctor Friedrich Carl Ludwig Sickler.
A pyramid marks the Schoenhofen Tomb in the Graceland Cemetery, Chicago. The entry door with a snake coiled on the handle is flanked by a sphinx and an angel. It is the final resting place of Peter Schoenhofen, a Chicago brewer.
The Drake Mausoleum contains members of the family and extended relatives. Originally at Laurel Hill Cemetery it was moved to West Laurel Hill, Philadelphia where it is guarded by a winged Sphinx at each corner of the roof. Thomas Drake Martinez Cardeza and his mother Mrs. Charlotte Drake Martinez Cardeza were surviving passengers of the Titanic shipwreck in 1912. Charlotte was a rich philanthropist who donated millions of dollars to the poor.
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.
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.
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.
The active cemetery of 250 acres is so large that pathways have been named. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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.
Removed from the Roxbury tomb in Boston Common in 1895
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
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.
A Soviet funeral monument in the Roman style encased in glass, Novodevichiy Cemetery, Moscow
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).
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
The unbearable grief of losing a child was commonplace in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, the Holmes family of Glastonbury was dealt an unfair share of grief when they lost four sons in the span of two months. The Holmes children’s grave is located in Eastbury Cemetery, Glastonbury, Connecticut, U.S.A.
Four profile heads divided by the tree of life are carved across the top of the stone. The tree of life contains 13 branches; 4 of which have been cut short. The shortened branches on the right and the three heads with right facing profile symbolize those who died in 1795. Burridg, the left facing profile, who died in 1794, is represented by the shortened branch on the left.
This monument is erected to the memory of four lovely / And promising sons of Mr. Appleton & Mrs. Lydia Holmes / Appleton died Feb 24th AD 1795 / In the 9th year of his age / Ozias died Feb 23rd AD 1795 / In the 7th year of his age / Burridg died Dec 20th AD 1794 / In the 12th year of his age / Calvin died Feb 25th AD 1795 / In the 12th year of his age.
Ye living mortals see in earthly Bloom Four lovely of springs lie beneath this tomb. The Afflicted mother weeps from day to day, To see those lovely branches torn away. But whilst you weep the Lamb of Calvary slain Feeds the young branches which shall sprout again. Whilst God the FARTHER who all heaven supplies Shall wipe the sorrow from the parents eyes.
REBECCA GIBSON PARK
Buried in Burgess Cemetery, Grafton, Vermont, U.S.A., Rebecca Gibson Park, mother of 15 children of whom only one survived infancy, died in 1803 at age 40. She shares a headstone with her husband.
In Memory of Mrs. / Rebecca Park Wife of / Mr. Thomas K. Park / Who died Septr. 23d / 1803 in the 40th year / of her age.
Behold and fear as you pass by,
My fourteen children with me lie,
Old or young you soon must die,
And turn to dust as well as I.
The children are also remembered on their father’s gravestone. In Memory of / Thomas K. Park Junr. / And thirteen Infants, / Children of Mr. / Thomas K. Park and / Rebecca his wife.
Youth behold and shed a teer. Se fourteen children slumber here. Se their image how they shine. Like flowers of a fruitful vine.
The stone arch above Thomas’ inscription contains an engraving of the tree of life with 12 branches. At the top of the tree and at the end of each branch is a circular non-smiling face. The arch above Rebecca’s inscription contains a large non-smiling face within a rectangle surrounded by a weeping willow. A small arch joining the headstones contains a non-smiling face.
On 31st October 1780, Salla Barns, age 18 years, and her infant died during childbirth and are buried in Somers, Connecticut, U.S.A. She was the wife of Dr. Samuel Barns.
Remember friends the solumn Hour. I was a Mother and a Tomb: In Dreadful pains a Corps I bore; And soon a Corps myself became.
Lucy Maynard died in 1793 and is buried in the Old Cemetery, Mendon, Massachusetts, U.S.A. Sic transit gloria mundi (Latin phrase meaning Thus passes the glory of the world)
SACRED / to the memory of / Mrs. LUCY wife of / Mr. William Maynard / who departed this life / on the 26th of Jan / 1793 aged 55 years / 2 months and 12 days
An amiable Mother a loving wife, Who of the small-pox departed this life. Now beneath these clods Lies awaiting the call Of Christ her savior.
HANNAH & MARY ROBINSON
In Myles Standish Burying Ground, Duxbury, Massachusetts, U.S.A. is a memorial to a mother and daughter who drowned while travelling from Duxbury to Boston.
Here lyes the Body of / Mrs Mary Robinson, / Daughter of the Reverend Mr John / Robinson of Duxbury / & Mrs Hannah his wife, / drowned with her mother / in the passage from Duxbury / to Boston, September 22nd, 1722 / Aetatis (Latin phrase meaning at the age of) 16 / Then they are quiet, because / they are at Rest. Psalm 107 30.