The Project Gutenberg eBook, Gleanings in Graveyards, by Horatio Edward

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Title: Gleanings in Graveyards
       a collection of Curious Epitaphs

Author: Horatio Edward Norfolk

Release Date: November 10, 2010  [eBook #34273]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


This ebook was transcribed by Les Bowler.


a collection of



collated, compiled, and edited

honorary secretary to the chelsea athenæum.





p. ii


printed by p. pickton,
perry’s place, 29, oxford street.


p. iiito
h.m. keeper of mining records, etc. etc.


is inscribed

with every feeling of respect

as a small tribute of gratitude

for many acts of kindness

at his hands,






Epitaphs in England








p. viiPREFACE.


Although this country may be behind many others in the poetic or classic character of its monumental inscriptions, it is certainly not so in the production of Epitaphs of a curious and absurd character.  Whether it is that the British are, as a nation, witty and humorous, and that they are desirous that their peculiarities should be recorded even in the sanctuaries of their dead, or that they consider true records of the departed to be of little or no value, has yet to be shown.  It is, however, remarkable that if we refer to the epitaphial records of other nations, we find that they are, as a rule, noted for their beauty, elegance, or truth, whereas of the many graveyards in Great Britain there is scarcely one that does not afford examples of humourous effusions.

The Egyptians, although they do not furnish us with many epitaphs worthy of note, do not seem to have devoted themselves to the production of frivolous inscriptions, but contented themselves with inscribing on their sarcophagi and coffins, the name, descent, and functions of the departed.

The Greeks (as Mr. Pettigrew remarks in his Chronicles of the Tombs), “wrote their epitaphs in elegiac verse, and afterwards in prose, and the collections published by various hands are well known to, and duly appreciated by, scholars.”

The Roman tombs also afford us an example worthy of imitation, in the purity and simplicity of their inscriptions.  They usually began with D. M. (Diis Manibus), followed by the name, office, and age of the deceased, and a conclusion, which informed the reader by whom or through what means the inscription was erected.

Whether the Saxons or the Danes used monumental p. viiiinscriptions, either in their own or in the Latin tongue, has been doubted.  The few which we have for people of the Saxon times, are probably the compositions of a later date.  Three or four small slabs, however, bearing crosses and some early British female names, supposed to be those of nuns, were dug up some years ago at Hartlepool.

We are informed also, by the above quoted author, that “in this country, in early times, were inscriptions prohibited to be engraven on any tombs but those belonging to persons distinguished either by their high position, as governors of the kingdom or as military commanders, or remarkable for their wisdom and virtues.”  Since this prohibition has been removed, however, no time seems to have been lost in showing the necessity for, and the advantage of, such regulation.

The following pages are intended to convey some idea, to those who have not the opportunity to search our churchyards for themselves, of the extent to which the practice has been carried of inscribing tombstones with verses remarkable either for their quaintness, or their rude attempts at humour.

It has been thought advisable to intersperse with the curious Epitaphs a few inscriptions, more elegant in their composition, and more praiseworthy in their purport.

The Miscellaneous are for the most part authentic, and so frequently placed on gravestones, that to prevent repetition it has been thought best to arrange them in a chapter by themselves.

It is hoped, that while this collection of curious Epitaphs may afford amusement to all, that it will not prove offensive to any, nor fail to convey the salutary lesson that a healthful smile may be elicited from the homely record of human woe.

H. E. N.

Chelsea Athenæum,
   1st April, 1861.




Here is a magnificent monument, erected in 1611, by Lady Dyer, in memory of her deceased husband, Sir William Dyer, the inscription upon which tells us that “they multiplied themselves into seven children.”  Beneath are the following quaint lines:—

My dearest dust, could not thy hasty day
Afford thy drowsy patience leave to stay
One hour longer, so that we might either
Have set up, or gone to bed together!
But since thy finished labour hath possessed
Thy weary limbs with early rest,
Enjoy it sweetly, and thy widow bride
Shall soon repose her by thy slumbering side!
Whose business now is to prepare
My nightly dress and call to prayer.
Mine eyes wax heavy, and the days grow old,
The dew falls thick—my blood grows cold:—
Draw, draw the closed curtains, and make room,
My dear, my dearest dust, I come, I come.


Here lies father, and mother, and sister, and I,
We all died within the space of one year,
They be all buried at Whimble except I,
And I be buried here.

p. 2LUTON.

In the “Wenlock Chapel” in the above church, on an embattled altar-tomb is a recumbent figure of a priest—representing William Wenlock, who died 1392.  Round the verge of the tomb is inscribed, in ancient characters,—

. . . .  Ilemus hic tumulatus de Wenlock natus; in ordine presbiteratus; alter hujus ille: dominus meus fuit ville: hic jacet indignus: anime Deus esto benignus!

On the side of the tomb,—

In Wenlock brad I: in this town lordshcippes had I! here am I now lady: Christes moder help me lady.  Under these stones: for a tym shal I rest my bones; deyn mot I ned ones.  Myghtful God gra’t me thy woues.  Ame’.

Formerly in a window of this chapel was a portrait of Wenlock, with the following inscription:—

Jesu Christ, most of might,
Have mercy on John de Wenlock, knight,
And of his wife Elizabeth,
Which out of this world is passed by death,
Which founded this chapel here,
Help thou them with your hearty prayer,
That they may come unto that place,
Where ever is joy and solace.

On an altar-tomb in the tower is the following:—

Thomas Gilbert here doth stai
Waiting for God’s judgment day,
Who died August 25, 1566.

A slab on the floor of the south aisle bears this inscription,—

Here lyeth the body of Daniel Knight,
Who all my lifetime lived in spite.
p. 3Base flatterers sought me to undoe,
And made me sign what was not true.
Reader take care, whene’er you venture
To trust a canting false dessenter,
Who died June 11th, in the 61st year of his age,

A friend of Daniel Knight (at whose instigation the above epitaph was engraved during his lifetime, and the future tombstone used as a cupboard door) prepared an inscription for his own tomb,—

“Here lies the body of Thomas Proctor
Who lived and died without a doctor.”

But fate, jealous of the reputation of the faculty, broke his leg, and compelled him to sacrifice to Æsculapius.



Here lyeth the body of Samuel Wightwicke, Esqre. 1662.

   Heaven only knowes the Blisse his soul inioyes,
   Whil’s wee on earth seeke after fading toyes,
And doe not mind how saints and angells singe
To see him thron’d with his eternall king.


In the old church near Newbury, is the following epitaph to the memory of Sir Ben Rudyerd:—

John Grant, in memory of his deare and honoured Master Sir Benjamin Rudyerd, knight, hath affixed this stone over his grave with this epitaph made by Sir Benjamin in his younger years:—

p. 4Fond world, leave off this foolish trick
Of making epitaphs upon the dead;
Rather go write them on the quick,
Whose soules in earthly flesh lye buried.
For in this grave lyes nought of me
But my soules grave, two graves well turned to one.
Thus do I live, from death made free;
Trust me, good friend, I am not dead, but gone
To God and Christ, my Saviour alone.


When this you see remember me
As I lay under ground,
The world say what it will of me,
Speak of me as you have found.


There is a vulgar tradition that in this place four Johns were buried, and they are described as follows:—John Long, John Strong, John Ever-afraid, and John Never-afraid.  They say that John Ever-afraid was afraid to be buried either in the church or out of it, and was consequently buried under the wall, where the arch appears on the outside, by the south church door.


The following is a copy of an epitaph, now almost obliterated, in Speen Churchyard, and which, admired for its simple pathos, has been handed to us for insertion:—

In memory of John Matthews, of Donnington, Berks,

When Heaven with equal eyes our quick’ning dust
Shall view, and judge the bad and praise the just,
His humble merits may perhaps find room
Where kings shall wish, but wish in vain to come.


p. 5In Sunning Hill Churchyard is the following epitaph on the late Right Hon. Colonel Richard Fitzpatrick, written by himself:—

Whose turn is next?  This monitory stone
Replies, vain passenger perhaps thine own;
If idly curious, thou wilt seek to know
Whose relicks mingle with the dust below,
Enough to tell thee, that his destin’d span,
On earth he dwelt, and like thyself a man.
Nor distant far th’ inevitable day
When thou, poor mortal, shalt like him be clay;
Through life he walk’d un-emulous of fame,
Nor wish’d beyond it to preserve a name.
Content, if friendship, o’er his humble bier
Dropt but the heart-felt tribute of a tear;
Though countless ages should unconscious glide,
Nor learn that even he had lived and died.


On Elizth Daughter of James Bond, 1659.

Low, here she is, deprived of lyfe,
Which was a verteous and a loving wife;
Until the graves again restore
Their dead, and Time shall be no more;
She was brought a-bed, but spous above,
And dyed to pay the living pledge of love.


On Mr. Hugh Shepley, sometime Rector of Newbvrye, 1596.

Full eight and twenty years he was your pastor,
As hee was taught to feede by Christ, his Master;
By preaching God’s Word, good life, good example,
(Food for your soules, fitt for God’s house or temple)
p. 6Hee loved peace, abandoned all strife,
Was kinde to strangers, neighbours, children, wife;
A lambe-like man, borne on an Easter daye,
So liv’d, so dide, so liv’s again for aye;
As one Spring brought him to this world of sinne,
Another Spring the Heavens received him in.


In the Parish Church of Aldermaston is the following:—

To the precious memorie of four Virtuous Sisters,
daughters of Sir H. Forster, 1623.

Like borne, like new-borne, here like dead they lye,
Four virgin sisters, decked with pietie;
Beavtie and other graces, which commend
And make them all like blessed in their end.


To the memory of Mary, wife of Thomas Nelson, of this parish, who died 1618, beinge of the age of 30 years, and had issue 7 children.

If thou religious art that passest by
Stay and reade on; as thou art so was I:
If thou art blest with children, and dost crave
In God’s feare them trayned up to have
Reade on agayn, and to thyself thus tell
Here she doth lye that was my parallel;
Or art thou bounteous, hospitable, free,
Belov’d of all, and they beloved of thee;
Meeke, full of mercy, and soe truly good
As flesh can be, and spronge of gentle blood?
If thou art soe, to thine own dear selfe saye,
Who on her grave my monument did lay?
But if to these thou knowst thyselfe but chaffe,
Pass on thy waye, reade not my epitaphe.

p. 7Also Dorothy Nelson, wife of William Nelson, who died
1619, being of 86 years, and had issue 7 children.

It was not many years that made mee good,
Neither was it in the vigor of my blood;
For if soe then my goodness might have past,
And as I did, have ceast to be at laste.
But ’twas the grace my Maker did enshrine
In my meeke breast, which cleerely there did shine.
As my soul now amongst the chosen blest,
Under this stone although my bones doe rest.


Here lies the body
Lady O’Looney,
Great niece of Burke, commonly
called the Sublime.
      She was
Bland, passionate, and deeply religious;
Also she painted in water colours,
And sent several pictures to the Exhibition.
She was first cousin to Lady Jones.
And of such is the kingdom of heaven.


Here lies a modell of frail man,
A tender infant, but a span
In age or stature.  Here she must
Lengthen out both bedded in dust.
Nine moneths imprisoned in ye wombe,
Eight on earth’s surface free; ye tombe
Must now complete her diarie,
So leave her to aeternatie.

p. 8Buckinghamshire.


epitaph on two sisters.

A tender mother, aunt, and friend,
They continued to their end.


Death is a fisherman; the world we see
A fish-pond is, and we the fishes be;
He sometimes angles, like doth with us play,
And slily take us, one by one away.


On William Hawkins.

Once at his death, and twice in wedlocke blest;
Thrice happy in his labour and his rest;
Espoused now to Christ, his head in life,
Being twice a husband, and in death a wife.

On a Lady.

Two happy days assigned are to men—
Of wedlocke and of death.  O happy then,
’Mongst women was she who is here interred,
Who lived out two, and, dying, had a third.

On Richard Carter.

An honest man, a friend sincere,
What more can be said?  He’s buried here.


A sudden death, a mind contented;
Living beloved, dead lamented.


Here lies one, whose rest
Gives me a restless life;
Because I’ve lost a good
And virtous wyfe.



Epitaph of a Wine Merchant.

“In Obitum Mio Johannis Hammond Ænopolæ Epitaphium
“Spiritus ascendit generosi Nectaris astra,
“Juxta Altare Calex hic facet ecco sacrum
“Corporu αναδταδει cū fit Communia magna
“Unio tunc fuerit Nectaris et Calicis.”



To God


To Prince






























In Zeal












And Store



He hath so lived, and so Deceased



It consists of four lines, each of which contains five ambusses, or ten syllables (which is evident, from the rhyming) and therefore it should be read thus:—

To God, to Prince, Wife, Kindred, Friend, the Poor,
   Religious, Loyal, True, Kind, Stedfast, Dear.
In Zeal, Faith, Love, Blood, Amity, and Store,
   He hath so liv’d, and so Deceas’d, lies here.

p. 10The meaning appears to be, that the deceased was Religious to God, Loyal to his Prince, true to his Wife, Kind to his Kindred, Stedfast to his Friend, and Dear to the Poor; that he was endued with those qualities all his life, and died in the possession of them.—As to the Figures, most likely they were used to distinguish particularly the relation which a word in one line bore to that, which in another line had the same figure.


At BABRAHAM is this on Orazio Palovicini, who was the last deputed to this country to collect the Peter pence; but instead of returning to Rome, he divided the spoil with the Queen, and bought the estate at Babraham.

Here lies Orazio Palovicin,
Who robb’d the Pope to pay the Queen.
He was a thief.  A thief?  Thou liest!
For why?  He robbed but antichrist.

Him Death with besom swept from Babraham,
Unto the bosom of old Abraham;
Then came Hercules, with his club,
And knocked him down to Beelzebub.


She took the cup of life to sip,
     Too bitter ’twas to drain;
She put it meekly from her lip,
     And went to sleep again.


At WOOD DITTON, on a gravestone in which is fixed an iron dish, according to the instructions of the deceased:—

p. 11On William Symons, ob. 1753, æt. 80.

Here lies my corpse, who was the man
That loved a sop in the dripping pan;
But now, believe me I am dead,
See here the pan stands at my head.
Still for sops to the last I cried,
But could not eat, and so I died.
My neighbours, they perhaps will laugh,
When they do read my epitaph.


On William Webbe.

A richer Webb than any art can weave,
The Soule that Faith to Christ makes firmly cleave.
This Webbe can Death, nor Devils, sunder nor untwist,
For Christ and Grace both groundwork are and List.


At CASTLE CAMPS the following quaint epitaph on a former rector:—

Mors mortis morti mortem nisi morte dedisset,
Æternæ Vitæ Janua clausa foret.

The translation is obviously,—

“Unless the Death of Death (Christ) had given death to death by his own death, the gate of eternal life had been closed.”

A poetic specimen of declension!


An angel beckoned and her spirit flew,
But oh! her last look it cut our souls in two.


On John Foster, Esq. of that town.

Nomen, decus, Tellus meum,
   Quid referunt hæc ad te
Genus etiamque meum,
   Clarum quid aut humile?

Forsan omnes alios longè
   Ego antecellui,
Forsan cunctis aliis valdè
   (Nam quid tunc?) succubui.

Ut hoc tu vides tumulum
   Hospes certè satis est,
Ejus tu scis benè usum
   Tegit—“Nihil” interest.


My name, my country, what are they to thee?
What, whether high or low, my pedigree?
Perhaps I surpassed by far all other men,
Perhaps I fell below them all, what then?
Suffice it, stranger, that thou seest a tomb,
Its use thou knowest; it hides—“no matter whom.”


Here lies interred, beneath this stone,
The bones of a true hearty one,
Who lived well and died better,
And sings in Heaven Glory for ever.

p. 13ELY.

In the Cathedral is the following numerical curiosity:—

Human Redemption.









































y 30







m 3


d 31





h 3







Nations make fun of his
S. M. E.
Judgments begun on Earth.
In memory of
James Fountain,
Died August 21, 1767,
Aged 60 years.


Philippa Brown, died November 22nd, 1738, aged 63.

Here I lie, without the door,
The church is full, ’twill hold no more;
Here I lye, the less I pay,
And still I lie as warm as they.
When thou art dead, let this thy comfort be,
That all the world by turn, must follow thee.


On Luke Simon, died May 25, 1784, aged 63.

Man’s life’s a snare, a labyrinth of woe,
Which mortal men are doomed to struggle this;
p. 14To-day he’s great, to-morrow he’s undone,
And thus with hope and fear he travels on:
Till some disease, or else old age,
Calls us poor mortals trembling off the stage.


Copied from the tombstone of Mr. Samuel Johnson, commonly called Maggoty Johnson, who was interred in a plantation or wood, belonging to the Earl of Harrington, in Gawsworth, near Macclesfield, 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.


Beneath this stône lyes Edward Green,
Who for cutting stône famous was seên.
But he was sênt to apprehend
One Joesph Clarke, of Kerredge End,
For stêaling Deer of Squire Dounes,
Where he was shôt, and died o’th wounds.


On David Berkenhead.

A tailor by profession,
And in the practice, a plain and honest man.
He was a useful member of society;
For, though he picked holes in no man’s coat,
He was ever ready to repair
The mischief that others did.
And whatever breaches broke out in families,
He was the man to mend all,
And make matters up again.
He lived and died respected.

Forty years’ service in Lord Penryhn’s family, induced Lady Penryhn to bestow this stone to his memory.


On an Old Woman who sold Pots.

Beneath this stone lies Cath’rine Gray,
Changed to a lifeless lump of clay.
By earth and clay she got her pelf,
Yet now she’s turn’d to Earth herself.
Ye weeping friends, let me advise,
Abate your grief, and dry your eyes.
For what avails a flood of tears?
Who knows, but in a run of years,
In some tall pitcher or broad pan,
She in her shop may be again?


Periwinks! Periwinkle! was ever her cry,
She laboured to live Poor and honest to die;
At the last day Again how her old Eyes will twinkle,
For no more will she cry, Periwinks! Periwinkle!
Ye Rich, to Virtue’s want rejoicing give,
Ye Poor, by her Example learn to live.


On a Sexton.

Hurra! my brave Boys, let’s rejoice at his fall,
For if he had lived he had Buried us all.


On a Parish Church.

There lies entomb’d within this vault so dark,
A Tailor, cloth draw’r, soldier, and a clerk.
Death snatch’d him hence, and also from him took
His needle, thimble, sword, and prayer book.
He could not work nor fight, what then?
He left the world, and faintly cry’d—Amen.


On a swift-footed Man.

Here lies the swift racer; so fam’d for his running,
In spite of his boasting, his swiftness and cunning,
In leaping o’er hedges, and skipping o’er fields,
Death soon overtook him, and tript up his heels.


         Reader, take notice,
   That on ye 12 Feby 1760,
      Tho: Corbishley,
A brave veteran Dragoon
   Here went into his quarters.
p. 17But remember that when
   The trumpet calls
He’ll out and march again.



A Dyer born, a dyer bred,
Lies numbered here among the dead;
Dyers, like mortals doomed to die,
Alike fit food for worms supply.
Josephus Dyer was his name,
By dyeing he acquired fame;
’Twas in his forty-second year,
His neighbours kind did him inter.
Josephus Dyer, his first son,
Doth also lie beneath this stone;
So likewise doth his second boy,
Who was his parents’ hope and joy.
His handiwork did all admire,
For never was a better dyer.
Both youths were in their fairest prime,
Ripe fruitage of a healthful clime;
But nought can check Death’s lawless aim,
Whosoever life he choose to claim;
It was God’s edict from the throne,
“My will upon earth shall be done.”
Then did the active mother’s skill
The vacancy with credit fill,
Till she grew old, and weak, and blind,
And this last wish dwelt on her mind—
That she, when dead, should buried be
With her loved spouse and family,
At last Death’s arm her strength defied;
Thus all the dyeing Dyers died.

p. 18“A prolonged medical statement of the disease of which the departed may chance to have died, is extremely popular.  At Acton, in Cornwall, there is this particular account of how one Mr. Morton came by his end:—

“Here lies entombed one Roger Morton,
Whose sudden death was early brought on;
Trying one day his corn to mow off,
The razor slipped and cut his toe off:
The toe, or rather what it grew to,
An inflammation quickly flew to;
The parts they took to mortifying,
And poor dear Roger took to dying.”


“Here is what a Cornish gentleman finds it in his heart to inscribe upon his dear departed:—

“My wife is dead, and here she lies,
No man laughs and no man cries,
Where she’s gone, or how she fares,
Nobody knows and nobody cares.”


Here lies William Smith,
And what is somewhat rarish,
He was born, bred, and
Hanged in this parish.


Susanna Jones,

All you that read those lines
Would stop awhile and think,
That I am in eternity,
And you are on the brink.


p. 19Mary Matthews,

This harmless dove, our tender love,
Flew from this world of vice,
To peace and rest, for ever blest,
With Christ in Paradise.


On Dolly Pentreath.

Old Doll Pentreath, one hundred age and two,
Both born and in Paul parish buried too;
Not in the church ’mongst people great and high,
But in the church-yard doth old Dolly lie!


Life’s like an Inn, think man this truth upon,
Some only breakfast and are quickly gone;
Others to dinner stay and are full fed,
The oldest man but sups and goes to bed.
Large is his score who tarries through the day,
Who goes the soonest has the least to pay.


Beneath this stone lies Humphrey and Joan,
Who together rest in peace,
     Living indeed,
     They disagreed,
But now all quarrels cease.


Here lyeth the body of Theodore Paleologus, of Pesaro, in Italye, descended from the imperyal line of the last p. 20Christian Emperor of Greece, being the sonne of Camillo, the sonne of Prosper, the sonne of Theodore, the sonne of John, the sonne of Thomas, the second brother of Constantine Paleologus, that rayned in Constantinople until subdued by the Turks, who married with Mary, the daughter of William Ball, of Hadlye, in Suffolk, gent., and had issue five children, Theodore, John, Ferdinando, Maria, and Dorothy; and departed this life at Clyfton, the 21st of January, 1636.


On Sir Francis Vere.

When Vere sought death, arm’d with his sword and shield,
Death was afraid to meet him in the field;
But when his weapons he had laid aside,
Death, like a coward, struck him, and he died.


Here lies the body of Joan Carthew,
Born at St. Columb, died at St. Cue,
Children she had five,
Three are dead, and two alive,
Those that are dead chusing rather
To die with their Mother, than live with their Father.


Read backwards or forwards—

Shall we all die?
We shall die all.
All die shall we—
Die all we shall.

p. 21GRADE.

Date 1671.

Why here?—why not, it’s all one ground,
And here none will my dust confound.
My Saviour lay where no one did—
Why not a member as his head,
No quire to sing, no bells to ring,
Why so thus buried was my king.
I grudge the fashion of the day
To fat the church and stane the lay,
Though nothing now of the be seen,
I hope my name and bed be green.


James Berlinner, killed at Huel Bedford, 1844.

Consider well both old and young,
   Who by my grave do pass,
Death soon may come with his keen scythe,
   And cut you down like grass.
Tho’ some of you perhaps may think
   From danger to be free,
Yet in a moment may be sent,
   Into the grave like me.


William Kellaway,

My body is turned to dust,
   As yours that living surely must,
Both rich and poor to dust must fall,
   To rise again, when Christ doth call.


p. 22Elizabeth Roskelly,

Farewell, dear husband, I bid adieu,
I leave nine children to God and you;
I hope you’ll live in peace and love,
I trust we all shall meet above.
Tho’ months and years in pain and tears,
Through troubled paths I’ve trod,
My Saviour’s voice bids me rejoice,
And calls my soul to God.


Here lieth the body of John Robyns, of this parish, buried the 27th day of December, 1724, about the 80th year of his age.

“Prosopeia Defuncti.”

“Mark thou that readest, and my case behold,
Ere long thou shalt be closed in death’s fold,
As well as I; nothing on earth can save
Our mortal bodies, from the darksome grave.
Then timely think thereon, to mind thy end;
Wisely to be prepared when God shall send
To fetch thee hence; and then thou shalt but die,
To live at rest with Christ eternally.
“Here lieth John Robyns, in his bed of dust,
Who in the Lord did ever put his trust;
And dying, gave a pension to the poor,
Yearly for ever, which unlocks the door
Of everlasting bliss, for him to reign
With Christ his head, his great, and truest gain:
p. 23And with the holy angels sit and sing
Eternal anthems to the heavenly king.”
“If this stone be not kept in repair,
The legacy devolves unto his heir.”


Here lies the Body of John Meadow,
His life passed away like a shadow.


      Here lies we
      Babies three,
Here we must lie
Until the Lord do cry,
“Come out, and, live wi’ I!”



On a defunct Parish Clerk.

The vocal Powers here let us mark,
Of Philip our late Parish Clerk,
In Church was ever heard a layman,
With clearer voice say Amen?
Who now with Hallelujah sound
Like him can make the roofs rebound?
p. 24The Choir lament his choral tones;
The town so soon here lie his bones.
Sleep undisturbed within thy peaceful shrine,
Till angels wake thee with such notes as thine.



By Dr. Walcot, alias Peter Pindar.

To the Memory of Margaret Southcotte, who died the 27th of August, 1786, aged 12 years and 9 months.

Beneath this stone, in sweet repose,
   The friend of all, a fair one lies:
Yet hence let Sorrow vent her woes,
   Far hence let Pity pour her sighs;
Tho’ every hour thy life approv’d,
   The muse the strain of grief forbears;
Nor wishes, tho’ by all belov’d,
   To call thee to a world of cares.
Best of thy sex, alas! farewell,
   From this dark scene remov’d to shine,
Where purest shades of mortals dwell,
   And virtue waits to welcome thine.

An ill-natured critic wrote the following under these beautiful lines:—

Can a Southcotte be said to deserve all the praise
   Which above in the rhymes may be seen?
But ’tis not impossible, since the stone says
   She had not reached the age of thirteen!


“Here lies, in a horizontal position,
the outside case of
George Routleigh, Watchmaker,
whose abilities in that line were an honour to his
Integrity was the mainspring, and prudence the regulator
of all the actions of his life;
Humane, generous, and liberal, his hand never stopped
till he had relieved distress:
So nicely regulated was his movements,
that he never went wrong,
except when set a-going
by people who did not know his key:
Even then he was easily set right again.
He had the art of disposing of his Time,
so well,
That his hours glided away in one
continual round of pleasure and delight,
Till an unlucky moment put a period to his existence.
He departed this life November 14, 1802,
aged 57, wound up,
in hopes of being taken in hand by his Maker:
and of being thoroughly cleaned, repaired, and set a-going
for the world to come.”


Under this stone lies three children dear,
Two be buried at Tawton, and the other here?


p. 26Here is a still more entertaining one, upon a certain lady in Devonshire, singularly free from any nonsensical pretence or idle bravado:—

“Here lies Betsy Cruden,
She wood a leaf’d but she cooden,
’Twas na grief na sorrow as made she decay,
But this bad leg as carr’d she away.”


Vos qui ici venez
Pur l’alme Philip priez,
Trente jours de pardon
Serra vostre guerdon.


On Richard Adlam.

Richardus Adlam hujus ecclesiæ Vicarius obit
Feb. 10, 1670.  Apostrophe ad Mortem.
“Dam’n’d tyrant, can’t profaner blood suffice?
Must priests that offer be the sacrifice?
Go tell the genii that in Hades lye
Thy triumphs o’er this Sacred Calvary,
Till some just Nemesis avenge our cause,
And force this kill-priest to revere good laws!”


Billeted here by death
In quarters I remain,
When the last trumpet sounds,
I’ll rise and march again.


On a man who was too poor to be buried with his relations in the Church:—

Here lie I, at the Chancel door;
Here I lie, because I’m poor;
The further in the more to pay;
Here I lie as warm as they!


“Her marriage day appointed was,
And wedding-clothes provided,
But when the day arrivéd did,
She sickened and she died did.”


“Here lies two brothers by misfortune surrounded,
One died of his wounds and the other was drownded.”


To Bartholomew Doidge—And Joan his wife.

Joan was buried the 1st day of Feby.’ 1681.
Bartholomew was buried the 12th day of Feby.’ 1681.
“She first deceas’d—he a little try’d
“To live without her—lik’d it not, and died.”


Here lie the remains of James Pady, Brickmaker, late of the parish, in hopes that his clay will be remoulded in a workmanlike manner, far superior to his former perishable materials.

Keep death and Judgement always in your eye,
Or else the devil off with you will fly,
And in his kiln with brimstone ever fry.
If you neglect the narrow road to seek,
Christ will reject you, like a half Burnt Brick.

p. 28MAKER.

John Phillips, 1837.

Vain man, in health and strength do not confide,
This I enjoyed, yet in my bloom I died.
Not long before as likely for to live,
As any of the livliest sons of Eve.
But death may come in an untimely way,
Therefore prepare against that solemn day.


John Linning, 1824.

Stop, reader! stop and view this stone,
And ponder well where I am gone.
Then, pondering, take thou home this rhyme—
The grave next opened may be thine.


Richard Snell, 1801.

At first I had a watery grave,
Now here on earth a place I have;
Wife and children don’t weep for me,
Fortune and Fate none can forsee.


On Eadulph, Bishop of Devon, ob. 932.

Sis testis Christe, quod non jacet hic lapis iste,
Corpus ut ornetur, sed spiritus ut memoretur.
Quisquis eris qui transiris, sta, perlege, plora;
Sum quod eris, fueramq; quod es; pro me precor ora.
Christ! bear me witness, that this stone is not
Put here t’adorn a body, that must rot;
But keep a name, that it mayn’t be forgot.
Whoso doth pass, stay, read, bewail, I am
What thou must be; was what thou art the same;
Then pray for me, ere you go whence ye came.


Elizabeth Farington, wife of John Farington, of the county of Nottingham.  Twenty-five Knights were born in this family.  1738.

In Oxford born, in Lydford dust I lie,
Don’t break my grave until ye judgment day.
Then shall I rise, in shining glory bright,
To meet my Lord with comfort and delight.


Wife of John Coleirm.  1694.

If thou be curious, friend, peruse this stone;
If thou be not soe, pray let it alone.
Against Death’s poison Virtue’s the best art,
When good men seem to die, they but depart.
Live well, then, all; with us thoult feele,
Bare dying makes no Death, but dying weal?

[The last word was obliterated.]


John Spry and Margaret his wife.

In a good old age,
   By death we did fall,
And here we must lie
   Until Christ doth call.


Gregory Nicholas.  1840.

—Sleep here awhile, Thou Dearest
Part of me, and in a little while I’ll
Come and sleep with thee.


p. 30Thomas Ching.  1857.

In health and strength from home I went,
I thought so to return;
But while at work I lost my life,
And left my friends to mourn.
Then thou who knowest my fate,
While pondering o’er my sod,
So short may be thy date,
“Prepare to meet thy God.”


On the tomb of Edward Courtenay, third Earl of Devon, commonly called “the blind and good Earl,” an Epitaph, frequently quoted, appears.  The Earl died in 1419, and his Countess was Maud, daughter of Lord Camoys.

Hoe! hoe! who lies here?
I, the goode Erle of Devonshire;
With Maud, my wife, to me full dere,
We lyved togeather fyfty-fyve yere.
What wee gave, wee have;
Whatt wee spent wee had;
What wee left, we loste.


Richard Shortridge.  1831.

      Hark! what is that noise so mournful and slow,
      That sends on the winds the tickings of woe,
      In sound like the knell of a spirit that’s fled,
      And tells us, alas! a brother is dead?
      Yes, gone to the grave is he whom we lov’d
      And lifeless the form that manfully mov’d,
      The clods of the valley encompass his head,
This tombstone reminds us our brother is dead.

p. 31Dorsetshire.


John Penny.

Here honest John, who oft the turf had paced,
And stopp’d his mother’s earth, in earth is placed,
Nor all the skill of John himself could save,
From being stopp’d within an earthly grave.
A friend to sport, himself of sporting fame,
John died, as he had lived, with heart of game—
Nor did he yield until his mortal breath
Was hard run down by that grim sportsman—Death.
Reader, if cash thou art in want of any,
Dig four feet deep, and thou wilt find—a Penny.


Since Man to Man is so unjust,
That no Man knows what man to trust,
My Roads are good, my Toll’s just,
Pay to-day, to-morrow I’ll trust.


In memory of Eniah Harisdin.

Also 4 sons who received the shock,
Whereof 3 lies here, and one do not.
What caused their parents for to weep,
Because that one lies in the Deep.


I poorly lived, I poorly died,
And when I was buried nobody cried.


Not born, not dead, not christen’d, not begot,
So! here she lies, that was, and that was not;
She was born, baptized, is dead, and what is more,
Was in her life, not honest, not a -----
Reader, behold a wonder rarely wrought,
And whilst thou seem’st to read, thou readest not.


Frank from his Betty snatch’d by Fate,
Shows how uncertain is our state;
He smiled at morn, at noon lay dead—
Flung from a horse that kick’d his head,
But tho’ he’s gone, from tears refrain,
At judgment he’ll get up again.


Here lies a piece of Christ—
   a star in dust;
A vein of gold—a china dish,
   that must—
Be used in Heaven, when God
   shall feast the just.

p. 33Durham.


To the memory of Thomas Bouchier, dated 1635.

   The petterne of conjugale love, the rare
         Mirroure of father’s care;
   Candid to all, his ev’ry action penn’d
         The copy of a frend,
   His last words best, a glorious eve (they say)
         Foretells a glorious day,
Erected and composed with teares by his pensive
         sonne, James Bouchier.


Amongst the ludicrous and eccentric Epitaphs, perhaps one of the worst is that at Gateshead, on Robert Trollop, architect of the Exchange and Town Court of Newcastle:—

“Here lies Robert Trollop,
Who made yon stones roll up:
When death took his soul up,
His body filled this hole up.”



“Here lies Isaac Greentree.”

A man passing through the churchyard wrote as follows:—

There is a time when these green trees shall fall,
And Isaac Greentree rise above them all.


          Here lieth buried
          John Porter, Yeoman,
          who died 29th of April, 1600,
          who had issue eight sons and
          four daughters by one woman.
Learn to live by faith, as I did live before,
Learn u to give in faith, as I did at my door,
Learn u to keep by faith, as God be still thy store,
Learn u to lend by faith, as I did to the poor;
Learn u to live, to give, to keep, to lend, to spend,
That God in Christ, at day of death, may prove thy friend.


Jane L. Andrews, æt. 22.

How could we wish for her to stay below,
When joys in heaven for her prepared?
May we, like her, our passport have, and know,
Assuredly, that we shall gain admittance there;
Then will her joys be ours, and own her cry,—
We are content to live, but we would rather die.


“Here lies the man Richard,
And Mary his wife;
Their surname was Pritchard
They lived without strife;
And the reason was plain,—
They abounded in riches,
They had no care or pain,
And his wife wore the breeches.”


Martha Blewitt,
of the Swan, Baythorn-End,
of this Parish,
buried May 7th, 1681.
p. 35Was the wife of nine Husbands
successively, but the 9th outlived her.
The Text to her Funeral Sermon was:—
“Last of all the Woman died also.”


To the memory of Herbert George Anna, a third child, all born at one birth, the son and daughters of Samuel and Mary Lines, of this parish, who departed this life 30th of April, 1847, aged 3 days.

Weep not for me my mother dear,
Rather be you glad;
In this world our time was short,—
The longer rest we have.


                 Here lies
       the body of Richard Clarke,
         who died ----
            Aged -- years,
Who lies here?  Who do you think?
Poor old Clarke—give him some drink.
What! dead men drink?  The reason why,—
When he was alive he was always dry.
         And four of his children.


In Memory of
Smart Leithceulier, Esq.

A Gentleman of polite literature and elegant taste; an encourager of art and ingenious artists; a studious promoter of literary inquiries; a companion and friend p. 36of learned men; industriously versed in the science of antiquity; and richly possessed of the curious productions of Nature: but who modestly desired no other inscription on his tomb than what he had made the rule of his life:—

   “To do justly—to love mercy—
   And to walk humbly with his God.”
Born, November 3, 1701.  Died without issue.
                August 27, 1760.


To the Memory of
Thomas Hanse.

“Lord, thy grace is free,—why not for me?”

This man dying greatly in debt, and being a bankrupt, one of his creditors, being ruined by him, wrote under it:—

And the Lord answered and said,—
“Because thy debts a’nt paid!”


J. F. Hefeall.

With long affliction I was sore oppressed,
Till God in goodness kindly gave me rest;
I left my widow’d wife and children dear
To His all gracious, providential care,
Who said do thou alone depend—
Who am the widow and the orphan’s friend.


“Who lists to se and knowe himselfe,
May loke upon this glase,
And vew the beaten pathe of dethe,
Which he shall one day passe;
p. 37Which way J. Rainford Kellingworth,
With patient mind, have gone,—
Whose body here, as death hath changed,
Lies covered with this stone;
When dust to dust is brought again,
The earth she hath her owne,—
This shall the lot of all men be,
Before the trumpe be blowne!”
            April 17th, 1575.


To Sir Edward Denny.

“Learn, curious reader, ere thou pass,
That once Sir Edward Denny was
A courtier of the chamber,
A soldier of the fielde,—
Whose tongue could never flatter,
Whose heart could never yield!”


On a decayed monument in Horndon Church is the following inscription:—

“Take, gentle marble, to thy trust,
And keep unmixed this sacred dust
Grow moist sometimes that I may see
Thou weep’st in sympathy with me;
And when, by him I here shall sleep,
My ashes also safely keep—
And from rude hands preserve us both, until
We rise to Sion’s Mount from Horndon-on-the-Hill.”


Paul Whitehead, Esq.
Of Twickenham, December, 1774.

“Unhallow’d hands, this urn forbear,
   No gems, nor Orient spoil,
Lie here conceal’d, but what’s more rare,—
A heart that knows no guile!”


On a brass plate in this church is the following inscription:—

“Before this tabernaculle lyeth buryed Thomas Greene, some tyme bayle of this towne, Margaret, and Margaret, his wyves—which Thomas dyed the 8th day of July, 1535.  The which Thomas hath wylled a prest to syng in this church for the space of 20 years, for hym, his wyves, his children, and all men’s soules.  And, moreover, he hath wylled an obyte, to be kept the 8th day of July, for the term of twenty years, for the soules aforesaid, and, at every tyme of the said obyte, bestowed 20s. of good lawful money of England.”


On the south wall are the following lines, ih memory of Anne, wife of William Napper, who died in 1584:—

In token of whose vertuous lyfe,
And constant sacred love,
And that her memory should remaine,
And never hence remove,
Her husband, in his tyme of lyfe,
This monument did leave his wyfe.


This disease you ne’er heard tell on,—
I died of eating too much mellon;
Be careful, then, all you that feed—I
Suffered because I was too greedy.


Here lies the body of Mary Ellis, daughter of Thomas Ellis, and Lydia, his wife, of this parish.  She was a virgin of virtuous character, and most promising hopes.  She died on the 3rd of June, 1609, aged one hundred and nineteen.

p. 39Gloucestershire.


On Anne, daughter of Joseph Baynham,
Died 16th Aug. 1632.

Shee had not spunn out Thirtie dayes,
but God from paine took her to joyes;
Let none their trust in worldly Bliss,
All youth and age must come to This,
but Manner how, place where, time when,
Is known to God, but not to men;
Watch, Pray, Repent, and sinne forsake,
Lest, unprepared, Death thee should take,—
Then happy Thou that so shall dye,
To Live with God Eternalye.


In Memory of Robert Berkeley, Esq. who died
Feb ye 2nd, 1690, aged 76 yeares.
And Rebecca, his wife, who died August ye 16th, 1707,
Aged 83.  This monument was erected
by their most Dutiful and most obsequious
Daughter, Rebecca Berkeley.


My time was come!  My days were spent!
I was called—and away I went! ! !


On Thos. Turar and Mary, his wife.  He was Master of the Company of Bakers.

Like to the baker’s oven is the grave,
Wherein the bodyes of the faithful have
p. 40A setting in, and where they do remain,
In hopes to rise and to be drawn again;
Blessed are they who in the Lord are dead,
Tho’ set like dough they shall be drawn like bread!


   Ye witty mortals! as you’re passing by,
   Remark that near this monument doth lie,
               Centered in dust,
               Described thus:
         Two Husbands, two Wives,
         Two Sisters, two Brothers,
         Two Fathers, a Son,
         Two Daughters, two Mothers,
A Grandfather, a Grandmother, a Granddaughter,
An Uncle, and an Aunt—their Niece follow’d after!
   This catalogue of persons mentioned here
   Was only five, and all from incest free!


I went and ’listed in the Tenth Hussars,
And gallopped with them to the bloody wars;
“Die for your sovereign—for your country die!”
To earn such glory feeling rather shy,
Snug I slipped home.  But death soon sent me off,
After a struggle with the hooping cough!


Here lies poor Charlotte,
Who died no harlot;
   But in her virginity,
Of the age nineteen,
   In this vicinity,
Rare to be found or seen.


Here lies the Earl of Suffolk’s fool,
Men call’d him Dicky Pearce,
His folly serv’d to make folks laugh,
When wit and mirth were scarce.
p. 41Poor Dick, alas! is dead and gone!
What signifies to cry?
Dickeys enough are still behind,
To laugh at by and by.
            Buried 1728.


Our bodies are like shoes, which off we cast,—
Physic their coblers, and Death their last.


   Mercye, God of my misdede;
   Ladye, help at my most neede;
   On a brass plate under theyre feete,
   Reye gracious I ha to Endles lyfe at thy grete
dome, where alle Schalle apere, Hughe Norys Groe, and
Johan, hys wyf, now dede in Grave and Buryed here;
Yo P’yers desyringe therre soules for chere, the x
day of July, the yere of oure Lorde God, mdcccccxxix.

This epitaph appears on a flat stone, with the effigies of a man and woman.


On Two Infants.

Two lovelier babes ye nare did se
Than God A’mighty gaed to we,
Bus the was o’ertaken we agur (ague) fits,
And hare tha lies as dead as nits!


Here lieth, ready to start, in full hopes to save his distance,
Timothy Turf, formerly Stud Groom to Sir Mamaduke Match’em, and
Late Keeper of the Racing Stables on Cerney Downs:—
            p. 42But
Was beat out of the world on the 1st of April last, by
         that inivincible
            Rockingham Death.
N.B.—He lived and died an honest man.


“Here lies I and my three daughters,
Killed by a drinking the Cheltenham waters;
If we had stuck to Epsom salts,
We’d not been a lying in these here vaults.”


To the Memory of Jeremiah Buck, Esq. died 1653.

J  Intomb’d here lies a pillar of the State,—
E  Each good man’s friend, to th’ Poor compassionate,
R  Religion’s patron, just men’s sure defence,
E  Evil men’s terror, guard of innocence;
M  Matchless for virtues which still shine most bright,
I  Impartially to all he gave their right;
A  Alas! that few to heart do truly lay,
H  How righteous men from earth depart away.

B  By’s death we loose, but he much gain acquires,
V  Vnto his body rest: His soul aspires
C  Celestial mansions where he, God on high,
K  Knows and enjoys to all eternity.


On Eleanor Freeman, æt. 21.

A Virgin blossom, in her May
Of youth and virtues, turned to clay,—
Rich earth, accomplish’d with those graces,
That adorn saints in heavenly places;
Let not death boast his conquering power,
She’ll rise a star that fell a flower.


Thomas Tyndale dyed the 28th of April, buried 31 May, 1571.

Ye see how death doth Spare no age nor Kynd,
How I am lapt in Claye and dead you fynde,
My Wife and Children lye here with me,
No Gould, no friend, no strength, could ransome bee,
The end of Vayne delighte and Ill Intente,
The End of Care and Matter to repent,
The End of faere for frynd and Worldly Wo,
By Death we have; and of lyke thousand mo,
And Death of Tymes in us hath made an End,
So that nothing can ower Estate amend.
Who would not be Content such Change to make
For worldly things Eternal Life to take.


On a brass plate, let into the stone, is the following:—
Johns Yate Lond. ex Vico Basing Lane Naroec Aldermar.
Renatus 28 Iulii 1594. Coll. Em Cantab Olim Soc.
   S. Th. B.
Inductus in hanc Eccl. vespijs Dominicæ in Albis 1628
Mortalitatem exvit die 10 Jan Anno Doni 1668.
Nodvs Iob rediens vt venerat ecce recessit
Rodmerton, quondam qui tibi pastor erat.
Is, qvia, qvae solitvs neqvit ex ambone monere
Clamat et e tumvlo prædicat ista svo.
Mors tva, mors Christi, fravs mondi, gloria cœli
Et dolor inferni, svnt meditata tibi.
   Trvst not the world remember deth,
      And often think of Hell:
   Think often on the great reward
      For those that do live well.
   Repent, amend, then trvst in Christ,
      So thov in peace shalt dy;—
   And rest in bliss, and rise with Ioy
      And raine eternally.


p. 44Engraved on the Coffin of Mr. Pitcher, a noted Ale-house keeper in Gloucestershire.

Stop mourning friends and shed a grateful tear
Upon thy once loved Pitcher’s moving bier,
He quits this world without regret or railing,
Life’s full of pain—he always has been aleing.
Resigned he fell contented with his lot,
Convinced all Pitchers soon must go to Pot.


In memory of Katherine Purye, who died Dec. 1, 1604.
Ao 1604.
Dece 1.  Ætat. 67.
Quæ defuncta jacet saxo tumulata sub illo
Bis Cathara, haud ficto nomine, dicta fuit.
Nomen utrumque sonat mundam, puramque piamq
Et vere nomen quod referebat, erat,
Nam puram puro degebat pectore vitam,
Pura fuit mundo, nunc mage pura Deo.—
Πάντα καζαρα τοις καζαραις
Omnia pura puris,
Tit. 1. ver. 15.

She whom this stone doth quietly immure
In no feign’d way had twice the name of Pure:
Pure, pious, clean, each name did signify,
And truly was she what those names imply;
For in pure paths, while yet she lived, she trod;
Pure was she in this world, and now more pure with God.


In a vault underneath lie interred several of the Saunderses, late of this parish, particulars the last day will disclose.—Amen.


Here lies alas! long to be lamented, Benjamin Dobbins, Gent., who left his Friends sorrowing.  Feb. 2, 1760.  Aged 42.



Here sleeps in peace a Hampshire grenadier,
Who caught his death by drinking cold small beer;
Soldiers beware, from his untimely fall,
And, when your’e hot, drink strong, or none at all.


“Severely afflicted—, yet, when most depressed,
Resigned, he endured it as all for the best,
Praised God for his goodness, both present and past;
He yielded his spirit in peace at the last.

“Let friend forbear to mourn and weep,
While in the dust I sweetly sleep;
This frailsome world I left behind,
A crown of glory for to find.

“While in this world I did remain,
My latter days was grief and pain;
But, when the Lord He thought it best,
He took me into a place of rest.”


Joseph Robins, Jany. 21, 1811.

The blustering Winds and raging sea
Have tossed me to and fro
Tho’ some have found their watery Grave,
I am Anchored here below;
p. 46Thus, at an Anchor safe I lie,
With the surrounding Fleet,
And hope one day we shall set sail,
Our Saviour Christ to meet;
My change I hope is for the best,—
To live with Christ and be at rest.


William Cullum, d. 1841, aged 20.

Weep not for me, my tender parents dear,
Taken from your care in early years;
Oh! grieve not, the LORD’S will be done,—
Your dutiful and affectionate son.


On Hannah, wife of Jeremiah Soffe, died 1832.

When I am dead and in my Grave,
And all my Bones are Rotten.
This when you see, Remember me,
Or lest I should be forgotten.


Thomas Burnett.

At midnight he was called away
From his employment on the sea,—
Altho’ his warning was but short,
We hope he’s reached the heavenly port.


On an Exciseman.

No Supervisor’s check he fears,
   Now, no commissioner obeys;
He’s free from cares, entreaties, tears,
   And all the heavenly orb surveys.


To the Memory of Robert Dyer, who was drowned,
Aged 19.

Ah! cruel death that would not spare
A loving husband was so dear;
This world he left, and me behind,
The world to try, and friends to find.


Christ our Saviour is above,
And him we hope to see—
And all our friends that are behind
Will soon come after we.


This Stone
was erected by the
of Lodge cxi. of
Free and accepted
As a token of respect
for their departed
Jonathan Triggs,
who received a
From the Great Architect
Of the Universe,
At the hour of High Twelve,
on the 24 day of October.
A.L. 5819.
A.D. 1819.
Aged 38 years.


On a Loving Couple.

Of life he had the better slice,
They lived at once, and died at twice,



A virtuous woman is 5s. 0d. [48] to her husband.


Here a lovely youth doth lie,
Which by accident did die;
His precious breath was forced to yield,
For by a waggon he was killed!


Alas! no more I could survive,
For I is dead and not alive;
And thou and time no longer shalt survive,
But be as dead as any man alive.



That which a Being was—what is it?  Show
That Being which it was, it is not now;
To be what ’tis, is not to be, you see,—
That which now is not, shall a Being be.

p. 49ST. ALBANS.

Hic jacet Tom Shorthose,—
Sine tomba, sine sheet, sine riches;
Quid vixit,—sine gowne,
Sine cloake, sine shirt, sine breeches.


The Dame, who lies interred within this tomb,
Had Rachel’s charms, and Leah’s fruitful womb,
Ruth’s filial love, and Lydia’s faithful heart,
Martha’s just care, and Mary’s better part.


A comparison of the virtues of the deceased and those of Scripture characters is found on a monument of Sir Charles Cæsar at Bennington, Herts:—












Beneath this stone, where now your eye you fix,
Ann Harris lies, who died in sixty-six;
John Harris after her his exit made
In eighty-two, and now is with her laid.


“Sacred to the memory of Miss Martha Gwynn,
Who was so very pure within,
She burst the outer shell of sin,
And hatched herself a cherubim.”


Captain Henry Graves, died 17th Aug. 1702,
Aged 52 years.

Here, in one Grave, more than one Grave lies—
Envious Death at last hath gained his prize;
No pills or potions could make Death tarry,
Resolved he was to fetch away Old Harry.
Ye foolish doctors, could you all miscarry?
Great were his actions on the boisterous waves,
Resistless seas could never conquer Graves.
p. 50Ah! Colchester, lament his overthow,
Unhappily, you lost him at a blow;
Each marine hero for him shed a tear,
St. Margaret’s, too, in this must have a share.



“Grieve not for me, my husband dear,
I am not dead, but sleepeth here;
With patience wait, prepare to die,
And in a short time you’ll come to I.”


“I am not grieved, my dearest life;
Sleep on,—I have got another wife;
Therefore, I cannot come to thee,
For I must go and live with she.”


John Robinson.

Death parts the dearest Lovers for awhile,
And makes them mourn, who only used to smile,
But after Death our unmixt loves shall tie
Eternal knots betwixt my dear and I.



On a Wrestler.

Here lyes the Conqueror conquered,
Valient as ever England bred;
Whom neither art, nor steel, nor strength,
Could e’er subdue, till death at length
Threw him on his back, and here he lyes,
In hopes hereafter to arise.

p. 51Kent.


Here lieth the body of Peter Isnel (30 years clerk of 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 service.

The life of this clerk was just three score 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 treble, 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 three score and ten,
And now, with three wives, he waits, till again
The trumpet shall rouse him to sing out Amen!


Palmers al our faders were,—
I, a Palmer, lived here,
And travylled till, worne with age,
I endyd this world’s pylgrymage
On the blyst Assention-day,
In the cheerful month of May,
A thousand with foure hundryd seven,
And took my jorney hense to Heven!


To Thomas, son of Thomas Danson, late a Preacher
in this town.  Born Oct. 23, 1668; died Oct. 23, 1674.

Upon October’s three and twentieth day
The world began, (as learned Annals say,)
That was this child’s birthday, on which he died,
The world’s end may in his be typified:
Oh! happy little world, whose work is done
Before the greater, and his rest begun.


Several years since, an inhabitant of Woolwich died, leaving a testamentary order that his tombstone should be inscribed with the well-known lines:—

Youthful reader, passing by,
As you are now, so once was I,
As I am now, so you must be,
Therefore prepare to follow me.

The widow of the deceased, who did not honour her lord more than the ordinary run of wives, obeyed her late husband’s injunctions, but added a postscript of her own composition—

To follow you I am not content,
Until I know which way you went.


On Mrs. Lee and her son Tom.

In her life she did her best,
Now, I hope her soul’s at rest;
Also her son Tom lies at her feet,
He liv’d till he made both ends meet.


Sixteen years a Maiden,
One twelve Months a Wife,
One half hour a Mother,
And then I lost my Life.


Though young she was,
Her youth could not withstand,
Nor her protect from Death’s
Impartial hand.
Like a cobweb, be we e’er so gay,
And death a broom,
That sweeps us all away.


“Stop ringers all and cast an eye,
You in your glory, so once was I,
What I have been, as you may see,
Which now is in the belfree.”


“God takes the good too good on earth to stay,
And leaves the bad too bad to take away.”

The person was very aged on whose tomb-stone the above was written!


In the village churchyard, near the Castle, is a rather singular inscription upon a gravestone, which was put up by the deceased during his life-time; and when first placed there, had blanks, for inserting his age and the time of his death.  These blanks have long since been filled up, and the whole now reads as follows:—

“In memory of James Barham, of this parish, who departed this life Jan. 14, 1818, aged 93 years; and who from the year 1774, to the year 1804, rung, in Kent and elsewhere, 112 peals, not less than 5,040 changes in each peal, & called bobs, &c. for most of the peals; & April 7th & 8th, 1761, assisted in ringing 40,320 bob-majors on Leeds-bells, in 27 hours.”


God gave me at Kinardington in Kent,
My native breath, which now alas is spent,
My parents gave me Tylden Smith for name,
I to the Park farm in this Parish came;
And there for many ling’ring years did dwell,
Whilst my good neighbours did respect me well.
But now my friends, I go by Nature’s call,
In humble hopes my crimes will measure small.
Years following years steal something every day,
And lastly steal us from ourselves away.
Life’s span forbids us to extend our cares,
And stretch our hopes beyond our fleeting years.
Mary Farminger, my wife, from East Marsh place,
Lies mouldering here like me, in hopes of grace.


The following Epitaph is to be found in the parish church of Ightham, erected to Mrs. Selby of the Mote House, Ightham, who was a beautiful worker of Tapestry, whose death is said to have been caused from her pricking her finger when working one Sunday.  There is a marble figure of her, holding a steel needle in her hand, and underneath is the following inscription:—

            She was a Dorcas,
Whose Curious needle turned the abused stage
Of this lov’d world, into the goldenage,
Whose pen of steele, and silken inck unroll’d
The acts of Jonah in records of gold,
Whose art disclosed that Plot, which had it taken,
Rome had tryumphed, and Britains wall had shaken.
            She Was
In heart a Lydia, and in tongue a Hanna,
In zeale a Ruth, in wedlock a Susanna,
Prudently simple, providently wary,
To the world a Martha, and to Heaven a Mary.
                        Died 1641


Here lyeth the Body of Mary the daughter of Wm Maiss & Mary his Wife, who died Sept. 9, 1703, aged 22 years.

Here lyes a piece of Heaven, t’others above,
Which shortly goes up to the World of Love,
The Brightest Sweetest Angels must convey
This spotless Virgin on the starry way;
That glittering quire sings but a lisping song,
Till she appears amidst the shining throng.


Robert Needler.

My resting road is found
Vain hope and hap adieu,
Love whom you list
Death hath me rid from you.
The Lord did me from London bring,
To lay my body close herein.
I was my father’s only heir,
And the first my mother bare.
But before one year was spent
The Lord his messenger for me sent.


Rebecca Rogers.

A house she hath it’s made of such good fashion,
The tenant ne’er shall pay for reparation;
Nor will her landlord ever raise her Rent,
Or turn her out of doors for non-payment;
From chimney money too this Cell is free,
To such a house who would not tenant be.


p. 56Henry Jeffry, leaving 8 children.

A faithful friend, a father dear,
A loving husband lieth here;
My time is past, my glass is run,
My children dear, prepare to come.


My wife lies here beneath
Alas! from me she’s flown,
She was so good, that Death
Would have her for his own.



On John Scott, a Brewer.

Poor John Scott lies buried here,
Tho’ one he was both stout and hale,
Death stretched him on this bitter bier,
In another world he hops about.


My death did come to pass,
Thro’ sitting on the derty grass;
Here I lie where I fell,
If you seek my soul go to Hell.


On a profligate Mathematician.

Here lies John Hill,
A man of skill,
p. 57His age was five times ten:
He ne’er did good,
Nor ever would,
Had he lived as long again.


The world is full of crooked streets,
Death is a place where all men meets,
If life were sold, that men might buy,
The rich would live, the poor must die.


On Paul Fuller and Peter Potter, buried near each

’Tis held by Peter and by Paul,
That when we fill our graves or urns,
Ashes to ashes crumbling fall,
And dust to dust once more returns.
So here a truth unmeant for mirth,
Appears in monumental lay;
Paul’s grave is filled with Fuller’s earth,
And Peter’s crammed with Potter’s clay.


Tim’s Bobbin’s Grave.

“Here lies John and with him Mary,
Cheek by jowl and nevery vary;
No wonder they so well agree,
Tim wants no punch, and Moll no tea.”

p. 58Leicestershire.

In Nichols’s history of Leicestershire, is inserted the following Epitaph, to the memory of Theophilus Cave, who was buried in the chancel of the Church of Barrow-on-Soar:—

“Here in this Grave there lies a Cave,
We call a Cave a Grave;
If Cave be Grave, and Grave be Cave,
Then reader, judge, I crave,
Whether doth Cave here lie in Grave,
Or Grave here lie in Cave:
If Grave in Cave here buried lie,
Then Grave where is thy victory?
Go, reader, and report here lies a Cave,
Who conquers death, and buyes his own Cave.”


The world’s an Inn, and I her guest:
I’ve eat and drank and took my rest,
With her awhile, and now I pay
Her lavish bill and go my way.


Francis Fox, vicar, died 1662.

My debt to Death is paid unto a sand,
And pay thou must, that there doth reading stand;
And am laid down to sleep, till Christ from high
Shall raise me, although grim Death stand by.

p. 59HARBY.

Mary Hill, died 1784.

With pain and sickness wasted to a bone,
Long time to gracious Heaven I made my moan;
Then God at length to my complaint gave ear,
And sent kind Death to ease my pain and care.
Physicians could no longer save the life
Of a tender mother and a loving wife.


The following quaint memorials of the unhonoured dead, are by the minister of the small and retired village of Waddingham. They have, at all events, the charm of originality, and were long ago inscribed in that quiet nook, where “many a holy text around is strewn, teaching the rustic moralist to die.”

In love we liv’d, in peace did part,
All tho it cot us to the heart.
O dear—what thoughts whe two had
To get for our 12 Children Bread;
Lord! send her health them to maintain:—
I hope to meet my love again.


O angry death yt would not be deny’d,
But break ye bonds of love so firmly ty’d!
She was a loving wife, a tender nurse,
And a faithful friend in every case.


On Henry Fox, a weaver.

Of tender threads this mortal web is made,
The woof and warf, and colours early fade;
When pow’r divine awakes the sleeping dust,
He gives immortal garments to the just.


p. 60On the south side of the Sleaford Church, sculptured in the cornice of the water-table, is the following inscription:—

Here lyeth William Harebeter, and Elizabeth, his wife.
Cryest ihu graunte yem everlastyng lyfe.

It is noticed in Gough’s great work on Sepulchral Monuments, where, speaking of inscriptions cut on the ledges of stones, or raising them in high relief, he says, “Of this kind on public buildings, I know not a finer sample than in the water-table, on the south side of Sleaford Church.”


On William Gibson.

Who lies here?—Who do you think?
’Tis poor Will Gibson,—give him some drink;
Give him some drink, I’ll tell you why,
When he was living, he always was dry.


Peck has given from the Palmer MS. the following Epitaph, than which nothing can be more pompous or ridiculous:—

On a monument erected in 1735.

Near this place,
lye the remains
of Edward Barkham, Esq.
Who in his life time at his own expense
Erected the stately altar piece in this church;
Furnished the communion table
With a very rich crimson velvet carpet,
a cushion of the same, and a beautiful Common Prayer
Likewise with two large flagons,
a chalice with a cover, together with a paten,
All of silver plate.
p. 61But above all (& what may very justly
preserve his name to latest posterity)
he gave and devised by will
To the curate of Wainfleet St. Mary’s and his successor
for ever
The sum of 35£. per ann. (over and above his former
with this clause, viz.
‘provided the said curate and his successors
do and shall read prayers and preach
once every Sunday in the year for ever.’
So extraordinary an instance of securing a veneration
for the most awful part of our religion,
And so rare and uncommon a zeal
For promoting God’s worship every Lord’s Day.


Near this place are interred the wives of Richard Jessap; viz.—Alice, on Sept. 27, 1716, aged 25, and Joanna, on Aug. 31, 1720, aged 29.

How soon ye objects of my love
By death were snatcht from me;
Two loving matrons they did prove,
No better could there be.
One child the first left to my care,
The other left me three.
Joanna was beyond compare,
A phœnix rare was she;
Heaven thought her sure too good to stay
A longer time on earth,
In childbed therefore as she lay,
To God resign’d her breath.


Here lyeth the body of
Michael Honeywood, D.D.
Who was grandchild, and one of the
Three hundred and sixty-seven persons,
That Mary the wife of Robert Honeywood, Esq.
Did see before she died,
Lawfully descended from her,
Sixteen of her own body, 114 grand children,
288 of the third generation, and 9 of the fourth.
Mrs. Honeywood
Died in the year 1605,
And in the 78th year of her age.


John Palfreyman, who is buried here,
Was aged four & twenty year;
And near this place his mother lies;
Likewise his father, when he dies.


Here Lies the body of Old Will Loveland,
He’s put to bed with a shovel, and
Eased of expenses for raiment and food,
Which all his life-time he would fain have eschewed.
He grudged his housekeeping his children’s support,
And laid in his meat of the cagge-mag sort.
No fyshe or fowle touched he when t’was dearly Bought,
But a Green taile or herrings a score for a groate.
            No friend to the needy
            His wealth gather’d speedy,
   And he never did naught but evil,
            He liv’d like a hogg,
            He died like a dogg,
   And now he rides post to the devil.


In remembrance of that prodigy of nature, Daniel Lambert, a native of Leicester, who was possessed of an excellent and convivial mind, and in personal greatness he had no competitor. He measured three feet one inch round the leg; nine feet four inches round the body, and weighed 52 stone 11 lb. (14 lb. to the stone.) He departed this life on the 21st of June 1809, aged 39 years.  As a testimony of respect, this Stone is erected by his friends in Leicester.



On Mary Angel.

To say an angel here interr’d doth lye,
May be thought strange, for angels never dye;
   Indeed some fell from heav’n to hell;
      Are lost and rise no more;
   This only fell from death to earth,
      Not lost, but gone before;
Her dust lodg’d here, her soul perfect in grace,
Among saints and angels now hath took its place.


On Daniel Saul.

Here lies the body of Daniel Saul,
Spitalfield’s weaver—and that’s all.


William Wheatly.

Whoever treadeth on this stone,
   I pray you tread most neatly;
For underneath the same doth lie
   Your honest friend, Will Wheatly.


(In the Abbey.)

Beneath this stone there lies a scull,
Which when it breath’d was wondrous droll;
But now ’tis dead and doom’d to rot,
This scull’s as wise, pray is it not?
As Shakspear’s, Newton’s, Prior’s, Gay’s,
The Wits, the sages of their days.


On John Ellis.

Life is certain, Death is sure,
Sin’s the wound, and Christ’s the cure.


On Admiral Blake,
Who died in August, 1657.

Here lies a man made Spain and Holland shake,
Made France to tremble, and the Turks to quake;
Thus he tam’d men, but if a lady stood
In ’s sight, it rais’d a palsy in his blood;
Cupid’s antagonist, who on his life
Had fortune as familiar as a wife.
A stiff, hard, iron soldier, for he
It seems had more of Mars than Mercury;
At sea he thunder’d, calm’d each rising wave,
And now he’s dead sent thundering to his grave.


In Parliament, a Burgess Cole was placed,
In Westminster the like for many Years,
But now with Saints above his Soul is graced,
And lives a Burgess with Heav’n’s Royal Peers.


Underneath where as you see,
There lies the body of Simon Tree.


Here lies one More, and no More than he,
One More, and no More! how can that be?
Why one More and no More may well lie here alone,
But here lies one More, and that’s More than one.


On William Bird.

One charming Bird to Paradise is flown,
   Yet are we not of comfort quite bereft:
Since one of this fair brood is still our own,
   And still to cheer our drooping souls is left.
This stays with us while that his flight doth take,
   That earth and skies may one sweet concert make.


On Walter Good.

A thing here singular this doth unfold,
Name and nature due proportion hold;
In real goodness who did live his days,
He cannot fail to die well, to his praise.


On Gervase Aire.

Under this marble fair,
Lies the body entomb’d of Gervase Aire:
He dyd not of an ague fit,
Nor surfeited by too much wit,
Methinks this was a wondrous death,
That Aire should die for want of breath.


On Sir Henry Croft.

Six lines this image shall delineate:—
   High Croft, high borne, in spirit & in virtue high,
Approv’d, belov’d, a Knight, stout Mars his mate,
   Love’s fire, war’s flame, in heart, head, hand, & eye;
Which flame war’s comet, grace, now so refines,
   That pined in Heaven, in Heaven and Earth it shines.


Poor Ralph lies beneath this roof, and sure he must be blest,
For though he could do nothing, he meant to do the best,
Think of your soules, ye guilty throng,
Who, knowing what is right, do wrong.


On Mr. Sand.

Who would live by others’ breath?
   Fame deceives the dead man’s trust.
Even our names much change by death,
   Sand I was, but now am Dust.


On Robert Thomas Crosfield, M.D. 1802, written by himself.

Beneath this stone Tom Crosfield lies,
Who cares not now who laughs or cries;
He laughed when sober, and, when mellow,
Was a harum scarum heedless fellow;
He gave to none design’d offence;
So “Honi soit qui mal y pense!”


In the churchyard on a headstone now removed, was the following inscription to William Newberry, who was p. 67hostler to an inn & died 1695, in consequence of having taken improper medicine given him by a fellow servant.

Hic jacet-Newberry Will
Vitam finivit-cum Cochiœ Pill
Quis administravit-Bellamy Sue
Quantum quantitat-nescio, scisne tu?
   Ne sutor ultra crepidam.


R. Brigham.

The Father, Mother, Daughter, in one Grave,
Lye slumbering here beneath the marble Stone;
Three, one in Love, in Tomb, in hope to have
A joyful sight of him that’s Three in One.


On Stephen King.

Farewell, vain world, I knew enough of thee,
And now am careless what thou say’st of me,
Thy smiles I court not, nor thy frowns I fear,
My soul’s at rest, my head lies quiet here.
What faults you see in me, take care to shun,
And look at home, enough’s there to be done.


transcript of an inscription

With the abbreviations and spelling, as it was taken from
the plate itself, June 28th, 1751.

I pye the Crysten man that hast goe to see this:
to pye for the soulls of them that here buryed is |
And remember that in Cryst we be bretherne:
the wich hath comaundid eu’ry man to py for other |
This sayth Robert Midleton & Johan his Wyf.
p. 68Here wrappid in clay.  Abiding the mercy |
Of Almyghty god till domesdaye.
Wych was sutyme s’unt to s’ gorge hasting knyght |
Erle of huntingdunt passid this tnscitory lyf,
in the yere of our Lord god m cccc...... |
And of the moneth of ......
On whose soull Almyghty god have m’cy amen |

“This Inscription (says a writer in The Gentleman’s Magazine, for 1751) was in Gothic letters, on a plate of brass, in the middle aisle, on the floor near the entrance into the chancel.  It contains six lines, the end of each is marked thus |; and it appears to have been laid down in the life-time of Robert Midleton, because neither the year, day, nor month are set down, but spaces left for that purpose.  I observe, that the inhabitants of Islington want to make their church older than I presume it is, and quote this inscription as it is in Strype, 1401, in support of that notion, when it is plain 1500, and is all that it says; and Sir G. Hastings was not created Earl of Huntingdon till the 8th of December, 1529, so that this inscription must be wrote after that time.  The oldest date that appears anywhere about the church, is at the south-east corner of the steeple, and was not visible till the west gallery was pulled down, it is 1483; but as these figures are of a modern shape, it looks as if it was done in the last century; the old way of making these characters was in Arabic, and not as they are now generally made.”


She’s gone: so, reader, must you go.  But where?


On Lady Molesworth.

A peerless matron, pride of female life,
In every state, as widow, maid, or wife;
Who, wedded to threescore, preserv’d her fame,
She lived a phœnix, and expired in flame.


William Lamb.

O Lamb of God which Sin didst take away,
   And as a Lamb was offered up for Sin.
Where I poor Lamb went from thy Flock astray,
   Yet thou, O Lord, vouchsafe thy Lamb to Winn
   Home to thy flock, and hold thy Lamb therein,
That at the Day when Lambs and Goats shall sever,
Of thy choice Lambs, Lamb may be one for ever.


Mary Gaudy, Aged 22, 1671.

This fair young Virgin for a nuptial Bed
More fit, is lodg’d (sad fate!) among the Dead,
Storm’d by rough Winds, so falls in all her pride,
The full blown rose design’d t’ adorn a Bride.


Here are deposited the remains of Mrs. Ann Floyer, the beloved wife of Mr. Rd Floyer, of Thistle Grove, in this parish, died on Thursday, the 8th of May, /23.  God hath chosen her as a pattern for the other angels.


Keep well this pawn, thou marble chest,
Till it be called for, let it rest;
For while this jewel here is set,
The grave is but a cabinet.


My wife she’s dead, and here she lies,
There’s nobody laughs, and nobody cries;
Where she’s gone, and how she fares,
Nobody knows, and nobody cares.


Here lies Dame Dorothy Peg,
Who never had issue except in her leg,
So great was her art, and so deep was her cunning,
Whilst one leg stood still the other kept running.


The illustrious Hogarth is buried in this churchyard, and the following lines, by David Garrick, are inscribed on his tomb:—

Farewell! great painter of mankind,
   Who reached the noblest point of art,
Whose pictur’d morals charm the mind,
   And through the eye correct the heart.
If genius fire thee, reader stay,
   If nature move thee, drop a tear,
If neither touch thee, turn away,
   For Hogarth’s honour’d dust lies here.


Here lyeth, wrapt in clay,
The body of William Wray;
I have no more to say.


On Theodore, King of Corsica, written by Horace Walpole.

Near this place is interred.
Theodore, King of Corsica,
Who died in this parish Dec. 11, 1756,
Immediately after leaving the King’s Bench prison,
By the benefit of the Act of Insolvency,
In consequence of which he resigned
His Kingdom of Corsica
For the use of his creditors.

p. 71The grave great teacher to a level brings
Heroes and beggars, galley slaves and kings,
But Theodore this moral learn’d ere dead,
Fate pour’d its lessons on his living head,
Bestowed a kingdom and denied him bread.



Here or elsewhere (all’s one to you or me),
Earth, air, or water, gripes my ghostly dust,
None knows how soon to be by fire set free;
Reader, if you an old try’d rule will trust,
You’ll gladly do and suffer what you must.
My time was spent in serving you and you.
And death’s my pay, it seems, and welcome too.
Revenge destroying but itself, while I
To birds of prey leave my old cage and fly;
Examples preach to the eye—care then (mine says)
Not how you end, but how you spend your days.


For thirty years secluded from mankind,
Here Marten lingered.  Often have these walls
Echoed his footsteps, as with even tread
He paced around his prison.  Not to him
Did Nature’s fair varieties exist,
He never saw the sun’s delightful beams,
Save when through yon high bars he poured
A sad and broken splendour.


p. 72In the passage leading from the nave to the north aisle in this church, is interred the body of Henry Marten, one of the Judges who presided at the trial of Charles 1st with the following Epitaph over him, written by himself:—

            Here Sept. 9th 1680,
                  was buried
         A true born Englishman.
Who, in Berkshire was well known
To love his country’s freedom like his own,
But being immured full twenty years,
Had time to write as doth appear.


John Lee is dead, that good old man,
You ne’er will see him more,
He used to wear an old brown Coat,
All buttoned down before.


Here lyeth entombed the body of Theodoric, King of Morganuch, or Glamorgan, commonly called St. Theodoric, and accounted a martyr, because he was slain in a battle against the Saxons (being then Pagans) and in defence of the Christian religion.  The battle was fought at Tynterne, where he obtained a great victory.  He died here, being on his way homewards, three days after the battle; having taken order with Maurice his son, who succeeded him in the kingdom, that in the same place he should happen to decease, a church should be built and his body buried in the same, which was accordingly performed in the year 600.

p. 73Norfolk.


Miles Branthwaite.

If Death would take an answer, he was free
From all those seats of ills that he did see,
And gave no measure that he would not have
Given to him as hardly as he gave:
Then thou, Miles Branthwaite, might have answer’d Death,
And to be so moral might boyle breath,
Thou wast not yet to die.  But be thou blest,
From weary life thou art gone quiet to rest,
Joy in the freedom from a prison, thou
Wast by God’s hands pluckt out but now,
Free from the dust and cobwebs of this vale;
And richer art thou by the heavenly bail
Than he that shut thee up.  This heap of stones
To thy remembrance, and to chest thy bones,
Thy wife doth consecrate; so sleep till then,
When all graves must open, all yield up their men.


Thomas Legge.

That love that living made us two but one,
Wishes at last we both may have this tomb.
The head of Gostlin still continues here,
As kept for Legge, to whom it was so dear.
By death he lives, for ever to remain,
And Gostlin hopes to meet him once again.


Sarah York this life did resigne
On May the 13th, 79.


p. 74Here lies the body of honest Tom Page,
Who died in the 33rd year of his age.


On Bryant Lewis, who was barbarously murdered upon the heath near Thetford, Sept. 13, 1698.

Fifteen wide wounds this stone veils from thine eyes,
But reader, hark their voice doth pierce the skies.
Vengeance, cried Abel’s blood against cursed Cain,
But better things spake Christ when he was slain.
Both, both, cries Lewis ’gainst his barbarous foes,
Blood, Lord, for blood, but save his soul from woe,


John Powl.

Though Death hath seized on me as his prey,
Yet all must know we have a judgment day,
Therefore whilst life on earth in you remain,
Praise all your God who doth your lives maintain,
That after death to glory he may us raise,
Yield to His Majesty honour, laud, and praise.


Henry Hall.

The phœnix of his time
Lies here but sordid clay;
His thoughts were most sublime;
His soul is sprung away.
Then let this grave keep in protection
His ashes until the resurrection,


Urith Leverington.

The night is come; for sleep, lo! here I stay,
My three sweet babes sleep here—we wait for day.
That we may rise, and up to bliss ascend,
Where crowns and thrones, and robes shall us attend.
Thy worst is past, O Death; thous’t done thy part,
Thou could’st but kill, we fear no second dart.


Thos Heming—Attorney.

Weep, widows, orphans; all your late support,
Himself is summon’d to a higher court:
Living he pleaded yours, but with this clause,
That Christ at death should only plead his cause.


Mrs. Sarah Mills,
Mrs. Rebecca Ward.

Under this stone, in easy slumber lies
Two dusty bodies, that at last shall rise:
Their parted atoms shall again rejoin,
Be cast into new moulds by hands divine.


John Kett.

Though we did live so many years,
Prepare, O youth, for Death,
For if he should at noon appear,
You must give up your breath.


William Salter.

Here lies Will Salter, honest man,
Deny it, Envy, if you can;
True to his business and his trust,
Always punctual, always just;
His horses, could they speak, would tell
They loved their good old master well.
His up-hill work is chiefly done,
His stage is ended, race is run;
One journey is remaining still,
p. 76To climb up Sion’s holy hill.
And now his faults are all forgiven,
Elijah-like, drives up to heaven,
Takes the reward of all his pains,
And leaves to other hands the reins.


I am not dead, but sleepeth here,
And when the trumpet sound I will appear.
Four balls through me pierced their way,
Hard it was, I had no time to pray.
The stone that here you do see
My comrades erected for the sake of me.


Acrostic Epitaph on Robert Porter, a noted miser.

R  iches and wealth I now despise,
O  nce the delight of heart and eyes;
B  ut since I’ve known the vile deceit,
E  nvy has met its own defeat.
R  egardless of such empty toys,
T  ell all to seek for heavenly joys.
P  ull’d down by age and anxious cares,
O  ppressed am I by dismal fears,
R  elating to my future state,
T  o know what then will be my fate.
E  ternal God! to Thee I pray
R  emove these fearful doubts away.


On a Lawyer.

Here lieth one, believe it if you can,
Who tho’ an attorney was an honest man,
The gates of heaven shall open wide,
But will be shut against all the tribe beside.


My grandfather was buried here,
My cousin Jane, and two uncles dear;
My father perished with a mortification in his thighs,
My sister dropped down dead in the Minories.
But the reason why I am here, according to my thinking,
Is owing to my good living and hard drinking,
Therefore good Christians, if you’d wish to live long,
Beware of drinking brandy, gin, or anything strong.


When on this spot, affection’s down-cast eye
   The lucid tribute shall no more bestow;
When Friendship’s breast no more shall heave a sigh,
   In kind remembrance of the dust below;

Should the rude Sexton, digging near this tomb,
   A place of rest for others to prepare,
The vault beneath, to violate, presume,
   May some opposing Christian cry, “Forbear—

“Forbear, rash mortal, as thou hop’st to rest,
   When death shall lodge thee in thy destin’d bed,
With ruthless spade, unkindly to molest
   The peaceful slumbers of the kindred dead!”


On an Actor.

“Sacred to the memory of Thomas Jackson, Comedian, who was engaged December 21st, 1741, to play a comic cast of characters in this great theatre, the world, for many of which he was prompted by nature to excel—The season being ended—his benefit over—the charges all paid, and his account closed, he made his exit in the tragedy of Death, on the 17th of March, 1798, in full assurance of being called once more to rehearsal, and p. 78where he hopes to find his forfeits all cleared, his cast of parts bettered, and his situation made agreeable by Him who paid the great stock debt, for the love He bore to performers in general.”


William Scrivener,
Cook to the Corporation.

Alas! alas! Will Scriviner’s dead, who by his art
Could make death’s skeleton edible in each part;
Mourn, squeamish stomachs, and ye curious palates,
You’ve lost your dainty dishes and your salades;
Mourn for yourselves, but not for him i’ th’ least,
He’s gone to taste of a more Heav’nly feast.



An Innkeeper.

Man’s life is like a winter’s day,
Some only breakfast and away;
Others to dinner stay and are full fed,
The oldest man but sups and goes to bed;
Large is his debt who lingers out the day,
Who goes the soonest has the least to pay;
Death is the waiter, some few run on tick,
And some, alas! must pay the bill to Nick!
Tho’ I owe’d much, I hope long trust is given,
And truly mean to pay all debts in Heaven.


Sir Richard Worme.

Does worm eat Worm?  Knight Worme this truth confirms,
For here, with worms, lies Worme, a dish for worms.
Does worm eat Worme? sure Worme will this deny,
For Worme with worms, a dish for worms don’t lie.
’Tis so, and ’tis not so, for free from worms,
’Tis certain Worme is blest without his worms.


Jane Parker.

Heare lyeth a midwife brought to bed,
Deliveresse delivered;
Her body being churched here,
Her soule gives thanks in yonder sphere.


Here lies the body of Betty Bowden,
Who would live longer, but she couden;
Sorrow and grief made her decay,
Till her bad leg card her away.


William Houghton.

Neere fourscore years have I tarryed
To this mother to be marryed;
One wife I had, and children ten,
God bless the living.  Amen, Amen.


Pray for me, old Thomas Dunn,
But if you don’t, ’tis all one.


p. 80Here lies the corpse of Susan Lee,
Who died of heartfelt pain;
Because she loved a faithless he,
Who loved not her again.



Beneath the droppings of this spout, [80a]
Here lies the body once so stout,
          Of Francis Thompson.
A soul this carcase long possess’d,
Which for its virtue was caress’d,
By all who knew the owner best.
The Rufford [80b] records can declare
His actions, who, for seventy year,
Both drew and drank its potent beer.
Fame mention not in all that time,
In this great Butler the least crime,
          To stain his reputation.
To Envy’s self we now appeal,
If aught of fault she can reveal,
          To make her declaration.
          Then rest, good shade, nor hell nor vermin fear;
          Thy virtues guard thy soul—thy body good strong beer.
  He died July 6, 1739, aged 83.


From earth my body first arose,
And now to earth again it goes:
I ne’er desire to have it more,
To tease me as it did before.

p. 81Northumberland.


         Here lies poor Wallace,
         The prince of good fellows,
         Clerk of Allhallows,
         And maker of bellows.
He bellows did make to the day of his death,
But he that made bellows could never make breath.


Here lies James, of tender affection,
Here lies Isabell, of sweet complexion,
Here lies Katheren, a pleasant child,
Here lies Mary, of all most mild,
Here lies Alexander, a babe most sweet,
Here lies Jannet, as the Lord saw meet.


Here lieth Martin Elphinston,
Who with his sword did cut in sun-
der the daughter of Sir Harry
Crispe, who did his daughter marry.
She was fat and fulsome;
But men will some-
times eat bacon with their bean,
And love the fat as well as lean.


Wha lies here?
Pate Watt, gin ye speer.
Poor Pate! is that thou?
Ay, by my soul, is ’t;
But I’s dead now.


Under this stone lies Bobbity John,
Who, when alive, to the world was a wonder;
And would have been so yet, had not death in a fit,
Cut his soul and his body asunder.



Fair Rosomond’s Tomb.

Rosomond was buried at Godstow, a small island formed by the divided stream of the Isis, in the parish of Wolvercot, near Oxford.  The following quaint epitaph was inscribed upon her tomb:—

“Hic jacet in Thumba, Rosa Mundi, non Rosamunda,
Non redolet sed olet, quæ redolere solet.”

Imitated in English.

“Here lies not Rose the chaste, but Rose the Fair,
Her scents no more perfume, but taint the air.”

Another translation.

“The Rose of the World, a sad minx,
   Lies here;—let’s hope she repented:
She doesn’t smell well now, but stinks,—
She always used to be scented.”


Here doth Fayre Rosamund like any peasant lie:
She once was fragrant, but now smells unpleasantly.


p. 83On Meredith—an Organist.

Here lies one blown out of breath,
Who lived a merry life, and died a Merideth.


On a Letter Founder.

Under this stone lies honest Syl,
Who dy’d—though sore against his will;
Yet in his fame, he shall survive,—
Learning shall keep his name alive;
For he the parent was of letters,
And founded, to confound his betters;
Though what those letters should contain,
Did never once concern his brain,
Since, therefore, Reader, he is gone,
Pray let him not be trod upon.


Old Vicar Sutor lieth here,
Who had a Mouth from ear to ear,
Reader tread lightly on the sod,
For if he gapes, your’ gone by G--.


Here lieth the body of Ann Sellars, buried by this stone,
Who dyed on January 15th day, 1731.
Likewise here lies dear Isaac Sellars, my Husband and my Right,
Who was buried on that same day come seven years, 1738.
In seven years time there comes a change! observe, and here you’ll see
On that same day come seven years, my husband’s laid by me.


p. 84E. G. Hancock, died August 3, 1666.
John Hancock, Sen.   ----  4, ----
John Hancock, Jun.   ----  7, ----
Oner Hancock,        ----  7, ----
William Hancock,     ----  7, ----
Alice Hancock,       ----  9, ----
Ann Hancock,         ---- 10, ----

What havoc Death made in one family, in the course of Seven days.


On John Green.

If true devotion or tryde honesty
Could have for him got long lives liberty,
Nere had he withered but still growne Green,
Nor dyed but to ye Poor still helping been.
But he is tane from us yet this we comfort have,
Heaven hath his Soule still (Green) though body is wasting Grave,
   In progeniêm filii defunctam adjacentam.
My fruit first failed here we low ly,
Live well then, fear not all must dy.


Here do lye our dear boy,
Whom God hath tain from me:
And we do hope that us shall go to he,
For he can never come back again to we.


Both young and old that passeth by,
Remember well that here lies I,
Then think on Death, for soon too true,
Alas twill be that here lies you.


p. 85A doctor of divinity, who lies in the neighbourhood of Oxford, has his complaint stated for him with unusual brevity, as well as his place of interment:—

“He died of a quinsy,
And was buried at Binsey.”



John Spong, Jobbing Carpenter.

Who many a sturdy oak had lain along,
Fell’d by Death’s surer hatchet, here lies Spong,
Posts oft he made, but ne’er a place could get,
And liv’d by railing, though he was no wit:
Old saws he had, although no antiquarian,
And stiles corrected, yet was no grammarian.



On an Old Maid.

Here lies the body of Martha Dias,
Who was always uneasy, and not over pious;
She lived to the age of threescore and ten,
And gave that to the worms she refused to the men.


p. 86On a Watchmaker.

Thy movements, Isaac, kept in play,
Thy wheels of life felt no decay
   For fifty years at least;
Till, by some sudden, secret stroke,
The balance or the mainspring broke,
   And all the movements ceas’d.


August 7th, 1714, Mary, the wife of Joseph Yates, of Lizard Common, within the parish, was buried, aged 127 years.  She walked to London just after the Fire, in 1666; was hearty and strong at 120 years; and married a third husband at 92.


Charles Dike.

Joyous his birth, wealth o’er his cradle shone,
Gen’rous he prov’d, far was his bounty known;
Men, horses, hounds were feasted at his hall,
There strangers found a welcome bed and stall;
Quick distant idlers answered to his horn,
And all was gladness in the sportsman’s morn.

But evening came, and colder blew the gale,
Means, overdone, had now begun to fail;
His wine was finished, and he ceas’d to brew,
And fickle friends now hid them from his view.
Unknown, neglected, pin’d the man of worth,
Death his best friend, his resting-place the Earth.


The following is copied from a head-stone, set up in the churchyard of High Ercall.  Those who are fond of the sublime, will certainly rejoice over this precious poetical morsel:—

p. 87Salop, Oct. 1797.
Elizabeth the Wife Of Richard Baarlamb,
passed to Eternity on Sunday, the 21st of May,
1797, in the 71st year of her age.

When terrestrial all in Chaos shall Exhibit effervescence,
Then Celestial virtues in their most Refulgent Brilliant essence,
Shall with beaming Beauteous Radiance, thro’ the ebullition Shine;
Transcending to Glorious Regions Beatifical, Sublime.


On a Thursday she was born,
On a Thursday made a bride,
On a Thursday put to bed,
On a Thursday broke her leg, and
On a Thursday died.



Sarah Higmore, æt. 6.

Ye modern fair, who’er you be,
   This Truth we can aver:
A lesson of humility
   You all may learn from her.
She had what none of you can boast,
   With all your Wit and Sense—
She had what you, alas! have lost,
   And that was—Innocence.


James Waters.

Death, traversing the western road,
And asking where true merit lay,
Made in this town a short abode,
And took this worthy man away.


John Webb,

Son of John and Mary Webb, Clothiers, who died of the
measles, May 3d, 1646, aged 3 years.

   How still he lies!
   And clos’d his eyes,
That shone as bright as day!
   The cruel measles,
   Like clothier’s teasels,
Have scratched his life away.

   Cochineal red,
   His lips have fled,
Which now are blue and black.
   Dear pretty wretch,
   How thy limbs stretch,
Like cloth upon the rack.

   Repress thy sighs,
   The husband cries,
My dear, and not repine,
   For ten to one,
   When God’s work’s done,
He’ll come off superfine.

p. 89Staffordshire.


On Anthony Cooke, who died on Easter Monday.

At the due sacrifice of the Paschall Lambe,
April had 8 days wept in showers, then came
Leane, hungry death, who never pitty tooke,
And cause the feast was ended, slew this Cooke.
On Easter Monday, he lyves then noe day more,
But sunk to rise with him that rose before;
He’s here intomb’d; a man of virtue’s line
Out reacht his yeares, yet they were seventy-nine.
He left on earth ten children of eleven
To keep his name, whilst himself went to heaven.


In Mem. of Mary Maria, wife of Wm Dodd, who died Decr 12th, A.D. 1847, aged 27.  Also of their children, Louisa, who died Decr 12th, 1847, aged 9 months; and Alfred, who died Jany 3rd, A. D. 1848, aged 2 years and 9 months.

All victims to the neglect of sanitary regulation, and specially referred to in a recent lecture on Health in this town.

And the Lord said to the angel that destroyed, it is enough, stay now thine hand.—1 Chron. xx. 17.


In Mem. of Joseph, son of Joseph and Mary Meek, who was accidentally drowned in the cistern of the day school adjoining this church, April 30th, 1845, aged 8 years.  This distressing event is recorded by the minister, as an expression of sympathy with the parents, and caution to the children of the school—a reproof to the proprietors of the open wells, pits and landslips; the want of fencing p. 90about which is the frequent cause of similar disaster in these districts; and as a memento to all of the uncertainty of life, and the consequent necessity of immediate and continued preparation for death.


“And if any man ask you, Why do you loose him?  Then shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.” [90]—Luke xix. 31.


Near to this stone John Barnett lies,
There’s no man frets, nor no man cries,
Where he’s gone, or how he fares,
There’s no man knows, nor no man cares.


Here Leah’s fruitfulness,
   Here Rachael’s beauty;
Here lyeth Rebecca’s faith,
   Here Sarah’s duty.


Ann Jennings.

Some have children, some have none;
Here lies the mother of twenty-one.


Live well—die never;
Die well—live for ever.

p. 91Suffolk.


The following whimsical epitaph appears upon a white marble slab, in a conspicuous part of the church of St. Mary:—

Near this place are deposited the remains of Gedge, Printer, who established the first newspaper that has been published in this town.  Like a worn out type, he is returned to the founder, in the hope of being recast in a better and more perfect mould.


The charnel mounted on this w     )
Sits to be seen in funer          )
A matron plain, domestic          )
In housewifery a princip          )
In care and pains continu         )
Not slow, nor gay, nor prodig     ) all.
Yet neighbourly and hospitab      )
Her children seven yet living     )
Her 67th year hence did c         )
To rest her body natur            )
In hope to rise spiritu           )


On little Stephen, a noted fiddler.

Stephen and Time
   Are now both even;
Stephen beat Time,
   Now Time beats Stephen.


Life is only pain below,
When Christ appears, then up we go.


John Warner.

I Warner once was to myself,
   Now Warning am to thee,
Both living, dying, dead I was,
   See then thou warned be.


On ---- More, of Norwich.

More had I once, More would I have;
   More is not to be had.
The first I . . . the next is vaine;
   The third is too too bad.
If I had us’d with more regard
   The More that I did give,
I might have made More use and fruit
   Of More while he did live.


Here she lies, a pretty bud,
Lately made of flesh and blood;
Who as soon fell fast asleep
As her little eyes did peep.
Give her strewings, but not stir
The earth that lightly covers her.


Quod fuit esse quod est, quod non fuit esse quod esse.
Esse quod est non esse, quod est non erit esse.


What John Giles has been,
Is what he is (a batchelor);
What he has not been,
Is what he is (a corpse);
p. 93To be what he is
Is not to be (a living creature).
He will not have to be
What he is not (dust).


Here lies Jane Kitchen, who, when her glass was spent,
Kickt up her heels, and away she went.



William Palin.

Silent grave, to thee I trust
This precious pearl of worthy dust.
Keep it safe, O sacred tomb!
Until a wife shall ask for room.


Here lies the wife of Roger Martin,
She was a good wife to Roger—that’s sartain.


The Lord saw good, I was topping off wood,
   And down fell from the tree;
I met with a check, and I broke my blessed neck,
   And so Death topped off me.


Sweet Saviour, Jesus, give me wings
   Of Peace and perfect Love,
As I may move from Earthly Things,
   To rest with thee above.

p. 94For sins and Sorrows overflow
   All earthly things so High,
That I can’t find no rest below,
   Till up to thee I fly.


In memory of Mr. WMachell, who departed this life Oct. 10, 1808.  Aged 88 years.

Whilst in this world I remained, my life was
A pleasure and health and gain.  But now
God thought best to take me to his everlasting rest,
               And I thank God for it.


On the South Wall of this Church is the following remarkable Inscription:—Elizabeth, wife of Major-Genl Hamilton, who was married 47 years, and never did ONE thing to disoblige her Husband.


Sir Edward Court.

“Alone, unarm’d, a tiger he oppress’d,
And crush’d to death the monster of a beast:
Thrice twenty mounted Moors he overthrew
Singly on foot, some wounded, some he slew,
Disperst the rest; what more could Sampson do?”

Note.—This is only part of the inscription, which relates that, being attacked in the woods by a tiger, he placed himself on the side of a pond, and when the tiger flew at him, he caught him in his arms, fell back with him into the water, got upon him, and kept him down till he had drowned him.


Reader, pass on, ne’er waste your time
On bad biography and bitter rhyme;
For what I am, this cumb’rous clay insures,
And what I was, is no affair of yours.


Thomas Greenhill.

Under thy feet interr’d is here
A native born in Oxfordshire;
First life and learning Oxford gave,
Surry him his death and grave;
He once a Hill was fresh and Greene,
Now withered is not to be seene;
Earth in earth shovell’d up is shut,
A Hill into a Hole is put;
But darksome earth by Power Divine,
Bright at last as the sun may shine.


On Captain John Dunch, who died in 1697, aged 67.

Though Boreas’ blasts and Neptune’s waves
   Have tossed me to and fro,
In spight of both, by God’s decree,
   I anchor here below,
Where I do now at anchor ride,
   With many of our fleet,
Yet once again I must set sail,
   Our admiral, Christ, to meet.


Richard Wade, died Oct. 21, 1810, aged 53.
Giles Wade, died Dec. 8, 1810, aged 53.

Near together they came,
Near together they went,
Near together they are.

p. 96Sussex.


All you that come my grave to see
Prepare yourself to Follow me,
Take care Young men repent in time
For I was taken in my Prime.

As I was going through a Barn
I little thought of any harm,
A piece of Timber on me fell,
And penetrated through my Skull.

My Eyes were Blinded I could not see,
My Parents they did weep for Me,
My Time was come I was Forced to go,
And bid the World and Them Adieu.

Just six and thirty hours I lay
In great Pain and Agony,
Till the Archangel bid me come,
And called my Soul to its last Home.


A certain noble lord of no very moral life, dying, had inscribed upon his tomb, the phrase, “Ultima Domus,”—Collins, the poet, is said to have pencill’d those lines under the words:—

Did he who wrote upon this wall,
   Believe or disbelieve St. Paul?
Who says where-er it is or stands,
   There is another house not made with hands,
Or do we gather from these words,
   That house is not a house of lords?


p. 97Here lies an old soldier whom all must applaud,
Who fought many battles at home and abroad;
But the hottest engagement he ever was in,
Was the conquest of self in the battle of sin.


On a Young Lady.

I lay me down to rest me,
And pray to God to bless me,
And if I sleep and never wake,
I pray to God my soul to take
This night for Evermore—Amen.


Vast Strong was I, but yet did dye,
And in my Grave asleep I Lye,
My Grave is Stoned all round about,
But I hope the Lord will find me out.


Oh reader! if that thou can’st read
Look down upon this stone;
Do all we can, Death is a man,
What never spareth none.


Here lies the body of Edward Hide,
We laid him here because he died,
We had rather
It been his father,
If it had been his sister
We should not have missed her,
But since ’tis honest Ned,
No more shall be said.


p. 98Here lies my poor wife, without bed or blanket,
But dead as a door nail, God be thanked.


Mr. Samford, Blacksmith.

My Sledge and hammer lie reclined,
My Bellows, too, have lost their wind;
My fire’s extinct, my forge decayed,
And in the dust my vice is laid;
My coal is spent, my iron gone,
My nails are drove, my work is done.


I was as grass that did grow up,
And wither’d before it grew,
As Snails do waste within their Shells,
So the number of my days were few.


Elizabeth Ellis (1757).

If love and virtue doth conduce to grace the fair,
These was once possessed by her who lieth here;
But alas! by fate the object of her love was drowned.
By death surprized in trying to save a hound.
Which such effect had on her tender mind
It brought her into a deep decline.
With him her transitory bliss is fled,
And she a cold companion of the dead.
Since this catastrophe cannot fail to show
How uncertain all earthly joys are here below.


His fate was hard, but God’s decree
Was, drown’d he should lie—in the sea.

p. 99Warwickshire.


By a Lady on her Husband.

Oh! cruel death, how could you be so unkind,
To take him before, and leave me behind.
You should have taken both of us—if either,
Which would have been more pleasant to the survivor.


My time is out, my glass is run,
I never more shan’t see the sun;
To live for ever, no man don’t,
The Lord does not think fitting on’t.


Upon a rich Merchant’s Wife.

She was What was,
But words are Wanting to say what a One.
What a Wife should be,
She was that.


On Shakspeare’s Monument are engraved the following distich and lines:—

“Judicio Pylium, genio Socratem, arte Maronem,
Terra tegit, populus mœret, Olympus habet.”

“Stay, passenger, why dost thou go so fast?
Read, if thou canst, what envious death hath placed
Within this monument; Shakspeare, with whom
Quick nature died; whose name doth deck the tomb
Far more than cost, since all that he hath writ
Leaves living art but page unto his wit.”

p. 100Westmoreland.


Here lies a Wife,
Mary Metcalf,
Where I was born, or when,
It matters not,—
To whom related, or
By whom begot.


John Robinson Hunter,
Aged 30.

He lived; and died
Unplaced, unpensioned—
No man’s heir
Or slave.

“Can the inhabitants of Ravenstonedale look at either of these monuments without blushing?  Can the freeholders of that parish look at the latter, and not consider it prophetically as the voice of one speaking from the dead?”



“Innocence embellishes, divinely compleat,
The pre-existing co-essence, now sublimely great.
He can surpassingly immortalize thy theme,
And perforate thy soul, celestial supreme.
When gracious refulgence bids the grave resign
The Creator’s nursing protection be thine.
So shall each perspiring æther joyfully arise,
Transcendantly good, supereminently wise.”


p. 101In the morning I was well,
In the afternoon from a cart I fell,
An accident somewhat severe,
In less than a fortnight brought me here.


Mary Best lies buried hear,
Her age it was just ninety year;
Twenty-eight she liv’d a single life,
And only four years was a wife;
She liv’d a widow fifty-eight,
And died January 11, eighty-eight.


God worketh wonders now and then,
Here lies a miller, and an honest man.



Mr. John Mole.

Beneath this cold stone lies a son of the earth;
His story is short, though we date from his birth;
His mind was as gross as his body was big;
He drank like a fish, and he ate like a pig.
No cares of religion, of wedlock, or state,
Did e’er for a moment encumber John’s pate.
He sat or he walked, but his walk was but creeping,
And he rose from his bed—when quite tir’d of sleeping.
p. 102Without foe, without friend, unnotic’d he died;
Not a single soul laughed, not a single soul cried.
Like his four-footed namesake, he dearly lov’d earth.
So the sexton has cover’d his body with turf.


Mammy and I together lived
   Just two years and a half;
She went first, I followed next,
   The cow before the calf.


In memory of Thomas Maningly.

Beneath this stone lies the remains,
Who in Bromsgrove-street was slain.
A currier with his knife did the deed,
And left me in the street to bleed;
But when archangel’s trump shall sound,
And souls to bodies join, that murderer
I hope will see my soul in heaven shine.


Pain was my portion, physic was my food,
Grones my devotion—drugs done me no good.
Christ was my physician—he knowed what was best,
He took me to Himself, and put me here at rest.


Richard Philpots.

To tell a merry or a wonderous tale
Over a chearful glass of nappy Ale,
In harmless mirth was his supreme delight,
To please his Guests or Friends by day or night;
p. 103But no fine tale, how well soever told,
Could make the tyrant Death his stroak withold;
That fatal Stroak has Laid him here in Dust,
To rise again once more with Joy we trust.

On the upper portion of this Christian monument are carved, in full relief, a punch-bowl, a flagon, and a bottle, emblems of the deceased’s faith, and of those pots which Mr. Philpots delighted to fill.


“Near to this is a fine tombstone to the memory of Paradise Buckler (who died in 1815), the daughter of a gipsy king.  The pomp that attended her funeral is well remembered by many of the inhabitants.  I have heard one of my relatives say that the gipsies borrowed from her a dozen of the finest damask napkins (for the coffin handles)—none but those of the very best quality being accepted for the purpose—and that they were duly returned, beautifully ‘got up’ and scented.  The king and his family were encamped in a lane near to my relative’s house, and his daughter (a young girl of fifteen) died in the camp.

C. Bede.”



Under this stone do lie six children small,
Of John Wittington of the North Hall.


On a Learned Alderman.

Here lies William Curtis, late our Lord Mayor,
Who has left this here world, and is gone to that there.

p. 104SELBY.

Here lies the body of poor Frank Row,
   Parish clerk, and grave-stone cutter;
And this is writ to let you know,
What Frank for others us’d to do,
   Is now for Frank done by another.


On a Marine Officer.

Here lies, retired from busy scenes,
A first lieutenant of marines,
Who lately lived in gay content
On board the brave ship Diligent.
Now stripped of all his warlike show,
And laid in box of elm below,
Confined in earth in narrow borders,
He rises not till further orders.


This is to the memory of old Amos,
Who was, when alive for hunting famous,
But now his chases are all o’er,
And here he’s earthed—of years fourscore.
Upon this stone he’s often sat,
And tried to read his epitaph;
And thou who dost so at this moment,
Shalt, ere long, somewhere lie dormant.


We joined was in mutual love,
   And so we did remain,
Till parted was by God above,
   In hopes to meet again.

p. 105LEEDS.

Hic jacet sure the fattest man,
That Yorkshire stingo made;
He was a lover—of his can,
A clothier by his trade.
His waist did measure three yards round,
He weighed almost three hundred pounds;
His flesh did weigh full twenty stone—
His flesh, I say, he had no bone,
At least ’tis said that he had none.


   Hic jacet Walter Gun,
   Some time Landlord of the Sun;
Sic transit gloria mundi.
   He drank hard upon Friday,
   That being a high day,
Then took to his bed and died upon Sunday.


Wm. Rd. Phelp, a Boatswain of H.M.S. Invincible.

When I was like you,
For years not a few,
On the ocean I toil’d,
On the line I have broil’d,
In Greenland I’ve shiver’d,
Now from hardships deliver’d;
Capsized by old Death,
I surrendered my breath,
And now I lay snug,
As a bug in a rug.

p. 106LEEDS.

Here lies my wife,
   Here lies she;


Here lies the body of William Wix,
One Thousand, Seven Hundred & Sixty Six.

p. 107Wales.

p. 109Carmarthenshire.


A hopeful youth, and well beloved,
Has to the earth his body bequeathed.



Here lieth the body of Nicholas Hooker, of Conway, Gent.
Who was the one and fortieth child of William Hooker,
Alice his wife, and the father of twenty-seven children.
   He died on the 20th day of March, 1637.


Dust from dust at first was taken,—
Dust by dust is now forsaken;
Dust in dust shall still remain,
Till dust from dust shall rise again.



Here lies a Church-warden,
A choice flower in that garden,
Joseph Critchley by name,
Who lived in good fame
Being gone to rest,
Without doubt he is blest.

p. 110Montgomeryshire.


All you that come our grave to see
A moment pause and think,
How we are in eternity
And you are on the brink.


Farewell, my dear and loving wife,
Partner of the cares of life,
And you my children now adieu,
Since I no more can come to you.


Beneath this yew tree
Buried would he be,
Because his father, he,
Planted this yew tree.



Who Ever hear on Sonday,
Will practis playing at Ball,
It may be be Fore Munday
The devil Will Have you All.



In health and strength unthinking of my fate,
Death like a thief knock’d at my Bolted gate,
I hasted down to know the reason why
That noise was made, Death Quickly did Reply,
For thee I Call, thy Soul is now Requir’d,
I trembling gaz’d and Instantly Expir’d.

p. 111Scotland.

p. 113Ayrshire.



Here lies John Smith
who was shot by Col.
Buchan and the laird
of Lee.  Feb. 1685.
For his adherence to the
word of God and Scot
land’s covenanted w-
ork of reformation,
Rev. 12, ii.  Erected in the
year 1731.



When proud apostates
did abjure Scotland’s
reformation pure And
fill’d this land with perj
ury and all sorts of In-
iquity Such as would not
with them comply They pe
rsecute with hue and
cry.  I in the flight
was overtane And fo
r the truth by them
was slain.

p. 114Caithnessshire.


Sir Jno. Graham.

Here lies Sir John the Grame both right and wise,
One of the chiefs rescued Scotland thrice,
An better knight ne’re to the world was lent
Than was good Grame of truth and hardiment.



Here lyes a man, who all his mortal life
Past mending clocks but could not mend hys wyfe.
The ‘larum of his bell was ne’er sae shrill
As was her tongue, aye clacking like a mill.
But now he’s gane—oh, whither? nane can tell—
I hope beyond the sound o’ Mally’s bell.


Here lies John Speir
Young John?—Fy Fy.
Old John?—Ay Ay.



Here lie I, Martin Eldinbrode,
Ha’ mercy on my soul, Loord Gode;
As I would do, were I Lord Gode,
And thou wert Martin Eldinbrode.


p. 115John McPherson
Was a wonderful person,
He was six feet two
Without his shoe,
And he was slew
At Waterloo.


Here lies Donald and his wife
Janet Mac Fee,
Aged Forty hee,
Aged thirty shee.


Here lieth the limbs of a lang devil,
Wha! in his time has done much evil,
And oft the ale wybes he opprest,
And blest be God he’s gone to rest.


John Carnagie lies here,
Descended of Adam and Eve,
If any can gang higher
He willingly gives him leave.

This epitaph is undoubtedly that from which Prior borrowed those beautiful and well-known lines he once intended for his own monument.


Wha lies here?
   I Johnny Dow.
Hoo! Johnny, is that you?
   Ay, man, but a’m dead now.

p. 116Fifeshire.


On a drunken Cobbler.

Enclosed within this narrow stall
Lies one who was a friend to awl.
He saved bad soles from getting worse,
But damned his own without remorse.
And tho’ a drunken life he passed,
Yet saved his soul by mending at the last.



William Rymour.

Through Christ, T’me not inferiour
To William the Conqueror.—Rom. 8, 37.  (! !)


Walter Coupar, Tailor.

Kynd commorads! here Coupar’s corpse is laid,
Walter by name, and Tayleour to his trade,
Both kind and true, and stout and honest-hearted,
Condole with me that he so soon departed.
For, Tavou, he never weyl’d and sheer
Had better parts, nor he that’s bur’yd here.

p. 117DUNDEE.

Three Scottish worthies were once appointed to compose an Epitaph on a departed Provost: subjoined are the productions of two of them, which were supposed to have been the means of killing the third candidate in a fit of laughter.

Here lies the Provost of Dundee,
Here lies him, here lies he.
Hi-diddle-dum, Hi-diddle-dee,
A, B, C, D, E, F, G.


Here lies the body of John Watson,
Read this not with your hats on,
For why—he was Provost of Dundee,
      Hallelujah, Hallelujee.


Here lyes the bodeys of George Young and Isbel Guthrie, and all their posterity for fifty years backwards.
November 1757.



William Matthison here lies,
Whose age was forty-one,
February 17, he dies,
Went Isbel Mitchell from,
Who was his married wife
The fourth part of his life.
The soul it cannot die,
p. 118Though the body be turned to clay,
Yet meet again they must
At the last day.
Trumpet shall sound, archangels cry,
“Come forth Isbel Mitchell and meet Will
Matthison in the sky.”


If modesty commend a wife
And Providence a mother,
Grave chastity a widow’s life,
We’ll not find such another
In Haddington as Mareon Gray,
Who here doth lie till the Domesday.


Hout, Atropos, heard-hearted hag,
To cut the sheugh o’ Jamie Craig!
For had he lived a wheen mae years
He’d been o’er teugh for thy auld shears.
But now he’s gane, sae maun we a’,
Wha wres’les Death’s aye shure to fa’;
Sae let us pray that we at last
May wun frae Death a canny cast.


   “Here lies John Smith,
   Whom Death slew, for all his pith
The starkest man in Aberlady,
God prepare and make us ready.

p. 119Lanarkshire.


Our life’s a flying shadow, God’s the pole,
The index pointing at him is our soul;
Death’s the horizon, when our sun is set,
Which will through Christ a resurrection get.


Here lies Mass Andrew Gray,
Of whom ne muckle good can I say:
He was ne Quaker, for he had ne spirit,
He was ne Papist, for he had ne merit.
He was ne Turk, for he drank muckle wine,
He was ne Jew, for he eat muckle swine.
Full forty years he preach’d and le’ed,
For which God doomed him when he de’ed.



Margery Scott.

Stop, passenger, until my life you read,
The living may get knowledge from the dead:
Five times five years I lived a virgin life,
Five times five years I was a virtuous wife,
Five times five years a widow, grave and chaste,
Tired of the elements, I am now at rest;
Betwixt my cradle and my grave were seen
Eight mighty kings of Scotland and a Queen;
Thrice did I see old Pulacy pulled down,
And thrice the cloak did sink beneath the gown.

p. 120Stirlingshire.


John Adamson’s here kept within,
Death’s prisoner for Adam’s sin,
But rests in hope that he shall be
Let, by the second Adam, free.



Here lies John Taggart, of honest fame,
Of stature low, and a leg lame;
Content he was with portion small,
Kept a shop in Wigtown, and that’s all.

p. 123Miscellaneous.

A servant maid was sent by her mistress to Ben Jonson for an epitaph on her departed husband.  She could only afford to pay half-a-guinea, which Ben refused, saying he never wrote one for less than double that sum; but recollecting he was going to dine that day at a tavern, he ran down stairs and called her back.  “What was your master’s name?”—“Jonathan Fiddle, sir.”  “When did he die?”—“June the 22nd, sir.”  Ben took a small piece of paper, and wrote with his pencil, while standing on the stairs, the following:—

On the twenty-second of June,
Jonathan Fiddle went out of tune.


On Shadrach Johnson,

Who kept the Wheatsheaf, at Bedford, and had twenty-
four children by his first wife, and eight by his second.
Shadrach lies here; who made both sexes happy,
The women with love toys, and the men with nappy.


On a Cricketer.

I bowled, I struck, I caught, I stopt,
   Sure life’s a game of cricket;
I block’d with care, with caution popp’d,
   Yet Death has hit my wicket.


On a Puritanical Locksmith.

A zealous locksmith died of late,
And did arrive at heaven gate;
He stood without and would not knock,
Because he meant to pick the lock.


p. 124On John Cole,
Who died suddenly, while at dinner.

Here lies Johnny Cole,
Who died, on my soul,
   After eating a plentiful dinner.
While chewing his crust,
He was turned into dust,
   With his crimes undigested—poor sinner!


On Mr. Death, the Actor.

Death levels all, both high and low,
Without regard to stations;
Yet why complain,
If we are slain?
For here lies one, at least, to show,
He kills his own relations.


“The following reference to one departed Mr. Strange, of the legal profession, is rather complimentary; and I have only to hope that the fact of the case is as stated, and that the writer was not led away by the obvious opportunity of making a point, to exaggerate the virtues of the deceased.  It looks a little suspicious.”  (Dickens).

“Here lies an honest lawyer,
And that is Strange.”


“Dr. I. Letsome wrote the following epitaph for his own tombstone; but it is not likely that he allowed his friends, or at least his patients, to read it until he was under the turf, or out of practice:”—

“When people’s ill, they comes to I,
   I physics, bleeds, and sweats ’em;
Sometimes they live, sometimes they die;
   What’s that to I?  I. Letsome.”  (lets ’em.)


p. 125On Mr. Foot.

Here lies one Foot, whose death may thousands save;
For Death himself has now one Foot i’ th’ grave.


On a Gentleman who expended his Fortune in

John ran so long, and ran so fast,
No wonder he ran out at last;
He ran in debt, and then to pay,
He distanced all—and ran away.


On a Miser.

They call’d thee rich, I deem’d thee poor,
Since, if thou dar’dst not use thy store,
But sav’d it only for thy heirs,
The treasure was not thine—but theirs.


Lines written by Robert of Gloucester upon King Henry the First, who died through over-eating of his favourite fish:—

“And when he com hom he willede of an lampreye to ete,
Ac hys leeches hym oerbede, vor yt was feble mete,
Ac he wolde it noyt beleve, vor he lovede yt well ynow,
And ete as in better cas, vor thulke lampreye hym slow,
Vor anon rygt thereafter into anguysse he drow,
And died vor thys lampreye, thane hys owe wow.”


On John Sydney,
Who died full of the Small Pox.

In this sacred urn there lies,
Till the last trump make it rise,
A light that’s wanting in the skies.
p. 126A corpse inveloped with stars,
Who, though a stranger to the wars,
Was mark’d with many hundred scars.

Death, at once, spent all his store
Of darts, which this fair body bore,
Though fewer had kill’d many more.
For him our own salt tears we quaff,
Whose virtues shall preserve him safe,
Beyond the power of epitaph.


Upon Two Religious Disputants,
Who are interred within a few paces of each other.

Suspended here a contest see,
Of two whose creeds could ne’er agree;
For whether they would preach or pray,
They’d do it in a different way;
And they wou’d fain our fate deny’d,
In quite a different manner dy’d!
Yet, think not that their rancour’s o’er;
No! for ’tis 10 to 1, and more,
Tho’ quiet now as either lies,
But they’ve a wrangle when they rise.


On a disorderly fellow, named Chest.

Here lies one Chest within another.
   That chest was good
   Which was made of wood,
But who’ll say so of t’other?


On John Death.

Here lies John Death, the very same
That went away with a cousin of his name.


p. 127Lord Coningsby.  By Pope.

Here lies Lord Coningsby—be civil;
The rest God knows—perhaps the Devil.


On General Tulley.

Here lies General Tulley,
Aged 105 years fully;
Nine of his wives beside him doth lie,
And the tenth must lie here when she doth die.


A Bishop’s Epitaph.

In this house, which I have borrowed from my brethren worms, lie I, Samuel, by divine permission late Bishop of this Island, in hope of the resurrection to Eternal life.  Reader, stop! view the Lord Bishop’s palace, and smile.


On a Welchman,
Killed by a Fall from his Horse.

Here lies interr’d, beneath these stones,
David ap-Morgan, ap-Shenkin, ap-Jones;
Hur was born in Wales, hur was travell’d in France,
And hur went to heaven—by a bad mischance.


Card Table Epitaph on a Lady, whose Ruin and Death
were caused by gaming.

Clarissa reign’d the Queen of Hearts,
   Like sparkling Diamonds were her eyes;
But through the Knave of Clubs, false arts,
   Here bedded by a Spade she lies.


p. 128Reader, in that peace of earth,
In peace rest Thomas Arrowsmith.
In peace he lived, in peace went hence,
With God & men & conscience:
Peace for other men he sought,
And peace with pieces sometimes bought.
Pacifici, may others bee,
But ex pace factro hee.


Ann Mitchell.

Loe here I lye till Trumpets sound,
And Christ for me shall call;
And then I hope to rise again,
   And dye no more at all.


O Merciful Jesu that Brought
   Mans Sôule from Hell;
Have Mercy of the Sôule
   of Jane Bell.


On a very idle Fellow.

Here lieth one that once was born & cried,
Liv’d several years, & then—& then—he died.


On a Great consumer of Bread, Cheese, and Tobacco.

Here gaffer B . . . Jaws are laid at Ease,
Whose Death has dropped the price of Bread & Cheese.
He Eat, he drank, he smoked, and then
He Eat, and drank, and smôked again.
So Modern Patriots, rightly understood,
Live to themselves, and die for Public Good.


p. 129Thin in beard, and thick in purse,
Never man beloved worse;
He went to the grave with many a curse:
The devil and he had both one nurse.


They were so one, that none could say
Which of them ruled, or whether did obey,
He ruled, because she would obey; and she,
In so obeying, ruled as well as he.


   Good People draw near,
   There is no need of a tear,
Merry L . . . is gone to his Bed;
   I am placed here to tell,
   Where now lies the shêll,
If he had any soûl it is fled.
   Make the Bells ring aloud,
   And be joyful the croud,
For Mirth was his favourite theme,
   Which to Praise he turned Poet,
   Its fit you should know it,
Since he has left nothing more than his name.


On an Ass (by the late late Dr. Jenner).

Beneath this hugh hillock here lies a poor creature,
So gentle, so easy, so harmless his nature;
On earth by kind Heav’n he surely was sent,
To teach erring mortals the road to content;
Whatever befel him, he bore his hard fate,
Nor envied the steed in his high pamper’d state;
Though homely his fare was, he’d never repine;
On a dock could he breakfast, on thistles could dine;
No matter how coarse or unsavoury his salad,
Content made the flavour suit well with his palate.
Now, Reader, depart, and, as onward you pass,
Reflect on the lesson you’ve heard from an Ass.


p. 130On a Henpecked Country Squire.

As father Adam first was fool’d,
   A case that’s still too common,
Here lies a man a woman rul’d,
   The devil rul’d the woman.


On a Potter.

How frail is man—how short life’s longest day!
Here lies the worthy Potter, turned to clay!
Whose forming hand, and whose reforming care,
Has left us full of flaws.  Vile earthenware!


It was his usual custom in company when he told anything, to ask, d’ye hear? and if any one said no, John would reply, no matter, I’ve said.

Death came to John
And whisper’d in his ear,
You must die John,
      D’ye hear?

Quoth John to Death
The news is bad.
No matter, quoth Death,
      I’ve said.


Punning Epitaph.

Cecil Clay, the counsellor of Chesterfield, caused this whimsical allusion or pun upon his name to be put upon his grave-stone;—Two cyphers of C. C. and underneath,
Sum quod fui, “I am what I was.”


Oldys thus translates from Camden an epitaph upon a tippling red-nosed ballad maker, of the time of Shakespeare:—

p. 131Dead drunk, here Elderton doth lie:
Dead as he is, he still is dry;
So of him it may well be said,
Here he, but not his thirst, is laid.


On a Juggler.

Death came to see thy tricks, and cut in twain
Thy thread.  Why did’st not make it whole again?


To a Magistrate’s Widow.

Her husband died, and while she tried
To live behind, could not, and died.


Epitaph on the Parson of a parish.

Come let us rejoice merry boys at his fall,
For egad, had he lived he’d a buried us all.


On a Baker.

Richard Fuller lies buried here,
Do not withhold the crystal tear,
For when he liv’d he daily fed
Woman and man and child with bread.
But now alas he’s turned to dust,
As thou and I and all soon must,
And lies beneath this turf so green,
Where worms do daily feed on him.


An Original.

Here lies fast asleep, awake me who can,
The medley of passion and follies, a Man
Who sometimes lov’d licence and sometimes restraint,
Too much of the sinner, too little of saint;
From quarter to quarter I shifted my tack;
Gainst the evils of life a most notable quack;
p. 132But, alas! I soon found the defects of my skill,
And my nostrums in practice proved treacherous still;
From life’s certain ills ’twas in vain to seek ease,
The remedy oft proved another disease;
What in rapture began often ended in sorrow,
And the pleasure to-day brought reflection to-morrow;
When each action was o’er and its errors were seen,
Then I viewed with surprise the strange thing I had been;
My body and mind were so oddly contrived,
That at each other’s failing both parties conniv’d,
Imprudence of mind brought on sickness and pain,
The body diseas’d paid the debt back again.
Thus coupled together life’s journey they pass’d,
Till they wrangled and jangled and parted at last;
Thus tired and weary, I’ve finished my course,
And glad it is bed time, and things are no worse.


On a Publican.

Thomas Thompson’s buried here,
And what is more he’s in his bier,
In life thy bier did thee surround,
And now with thee is in the ground.


On a Porter, who died suddenly under a load.

Pack’d up within these dark abodes,
Lies one in life inur’d to loads,
Which oft he carried ’tis well known,
Till Death pass’d by and threw him down.

When he that carried loads before,
Became a load which others bore
To this his inn, where, as they say,
They leave him till another day.


p. 133On a Publican.

A jolly landlord once was I,
And kept the Old King’s Head hard by,
Sold mead and gin, cider and beer,
And eke all other kinds of cheer,
Till death my license took away
And put me in this house of clay,
A house at which you all must call,
Sooner or later, great and small.


On a Parish Clerk.

Here lies, within this tomb so calm,
Old Giles, pray sound his knell,
Who thought no song was like a psalm,
No music like a bell.


Here lies John Adams, who received a thump
Right in the forehead from the parish pump,
Which gave him his quietus in the end,
Tho’ many doctors did his case attend.


On Mr. Cumming.

“Give me the best of men,” said Death
To Nature—“quick, no humming,”
She sought the man who lies beneath,
And answered, “Death, he’s Cumming.”


On Sir Philip Sidney.

England hath his body, for she it fed,
Netherland his blood, in her defence shed;
The Heavens hath his soul,
The Arts have his fame,
The Soldier his grief,
The World his good name.


p. 134There is a touching sorrow conveyed in the following most ungrammatical verses; evidently composed by one of the unlettered parents themselves:—

Beneath this stone his own dear child,
Whose gone from we
For ever more unto eternity;
Where we do hope that we shall go to he,
But him can never more come back to we.


On a Chemist.

Here lyeth, to digest, macerate, and amalgamate
With Clay,
In Balneo Arenæ
Stratum super Stratum,
The Residuum, Terra damnata, and Caput
Of Boyle Godfry, Chemist
And M.D.
A man, who in his earthly Laboratory
Pursued various Processes to obtain
Areanum Vitæ
Or the secret to live;
Also Aurum Vitæ,
Or, the art of getting, rather than making Gold.
Alchemist like,
All his Labour and Profection,
As Mercury in the Fire evaporated in Fuomo
When he dissolv’d to his first Principles,
He departed as poor
As the last Drops of an Alembic;
For riches are not poured
On the Adepts of this world.
Though fond of News, he carefully avoided
The Fermentation, Effervescence,
And Decrepitation of this Life.
p. 135Full Seventy years his exalted Essence
Was Hermetically sealed in its Terene Mattras,
But the radical Moisture being exhausted,
The Elixir Vitæ spent,
And exsiccated to a Cuticle,
He could not suspend longer in his Vehicle
But precipitated Gradatim
Per Campanam.
To his Original Dust.
May that light, brighter than Bolognian
Phosphorus, Preserve him from the
Athanor, Empyremna, &
Of the other
Depurate him from the Taces and Scoria of
Highly Rectify’d & Volatize
His Ætheral Spirit,
Bring it over the Helm of the Retort of this
Globe, place it in a proper Recipient,
Or Chrystalline Orb,
Among the elect of the Flowers of Benjamin,
Never to be Saturated,
Till the General Resuscitation,
Deflagration, Calcination,
And Sublimation of all Things.


On Mr. Partridge, who died in May.

What! kill a partridge in the month of May!
Was that done like a sportsman?  Eh, Death, Eh?


On Du Bois,
Born in a Baggage Waggon, and killed in a Duel.

Begot in a cart, in a cart first drew breath,
Carte and tierce were his life, and a carte was his death.


p. 136On Mr. Nightingale, Architect.

As the birds were the first of the architect kind,
   And are still better builders than men,
What wonders may spring from a Nightingale’s mind,
   When St. Paul’s was produced by a Wren.


On Mr. Churchill.

Says Tom to Richard, “Churchill’s dead.”
   Says Richard, “Tom, you lie;
Old Rancour the report has spread,
   But Genius cannot die.”


On Foote, the Mimic and Dramatist,
Who, several years before his death, lost one of his
nether limbs.

Here a pickled rogue lies whom we could not preserve,
   Though his pickle was true Attic salt;
One Foote was his name, and one leg did him serve,
   Though his wit was known never to halt.
A most precious limb and a rare precious pate,
   With one limb taken off for wise ends;
Yet the hobbler, in spite of the hitch in his gait,
   Never failed to take off his best friends:
Taking off friends and foes, both in manner and voice,
   Was his practice for pastime or pelf;
For which ’twere no wonder, if both should rejoice
   At the day when he took off himself.


On James Straw, an Attorney.

Hic jacet Jacobus Straw,
Who forty years, Sir, followed the law,
   And when he died,
   The Devil cried,
   “Jemmy, gie’s your paw.”


p. 137On Robert Sleath.

Who kept the turnpike at Worcester, and was noted for having once demanded toll of George III., when his Majesty was going on a visit to Bishop Hurd.

On Wednesday last, old Robert Sleath
Passed through the turnpike gate of death.
To him would death no toll abate,
Who stopped the King at Wor’ster gate.


On Ned Purdon.

Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery free
   Who long was a bookseller’s hack.
He led such a damnable life in this world
   I don’t think he’ll ever come back.


On Stephen Remnant.

Here’s a Remnant of life, and a Remnant of death,
Taken off both at once in a Remnant of breath.
To mortality this gives a happy release,
For what was the Remnant, proves now the whole piece.


A form of enigmatical epitaph is in Llandham Churchyard, Anglesea, and has been frequently printed.  From the Cambrian Register, 1795 (Vol. I. p. 441), I learn that it was translated by Jo. Pulestone, Feb. 5, 1666.  The subject of it was Eva, daughter of Meredidd ap Rees ap Howel, of Bodowyr, and written by Arthur Kynaston, of Pont y Byrsley, son of Francis Kynaston.

Here lyes, by name, the world’s mother,
By nature, my aunt, sister to my mother;
My grandmother, mother to my mother;
My great grandmother, mother to my grandmother;
My grandfather’s daughter and his mother;
All which may rightly be,
Without the breach of consanguinity.


p. 138On Robert Pemberton.

Here lies Robin, but not Robin Hood;
Here lies Robin that never did good;
Here lies Robin by heaven forsak’n;
Here lies Robin—the devil may tak’n.


On a Stay Maker.

Alive, unnumber’d stays he made,
   (He work’d industrious night and day;)
E’en dead he still pursues his trade,
   For here his bones will make a stay.


Brevity of life.

Man’s life’s a vapour,
   And full of woes;
He cuts a caper,
   And down he goes.


By Boileau, the Poet.

Here lies my wife, and Heaven knows,
Not less for mine, than her repose!


Here lies poor Thomas, and his Wife,
Who led a pretty jarring life;
But all is ended—do you see?
He holds his tongue, and so does she.


If drugs and physic could but save
Us mortals from the dreary grave,
’Tis known that I took full enough
Of the apothecaries’ stuff
p. 139To have prolonged life’s busy feast
To a full century at least;
But spite of all the doctors’ skill,
Of daily draught and nightly pill,
Reader, as sure as you’re alive,
I was sent here at twenty-five.


Poor Jerry’s Epitaph.

Here lies poor Jerry,
Who always seem’d merry,
   But happiness needed.
He tried all he could
To be something good,
   But never succeeded.
He married two wives:
The first good, but somewhat quaint;
The second very good—like a saint.
   In peace may they rest.
And when they come to heaven,
May they all be forgiven
   For marrying such a pest.


On three infants.

If you’re disposed to weep for sinners dead,
About these children trouble not your head,
Reserve your grief for them of riper years,
They as has never sinned can’t want no tears.


On a Drunkard.

The draught is drunk, poor Tip is dead.
He’s top’d his last and reeled to bed.


p. 140On a Rum and Milk Drinker.

Rum and milk I had in store,
Till my poor belly could hold no more:
It caused me to be so fat,
My death was owing unto that.


On Joseph Crump, a Musician.

Once ruddy and plump,
But now a pale lump,
Beneath this safe hump,
Lies honest Joe Crump,
   Who wish’d to his neighbours no evil,
Who, tho’ by Death’s thump
He’s laid on his rump,
Yet up he shall jump
When he hears the last trump,
   And triumph o’er Death and the Devil.


On Sir Isaac Newton.

Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night,
God said, “Let Newton be!” and all was light.


An Attorney.

Here lieth one who often lied before,
But now he lies here he lies no more.


On Peter Wilson,
Who was drowned.

Peter was in the ocean drown’d,
   A careless, hapless creature!
And when his lifeless trunk was found,
   It was become Salt Peter.


p. 141Here lies the body of an honest man.
And when he died he owed nobody nothing.


Good Friend for Jesus SAKE forbeare
To diGG T--E Dust encloAsed HERE.
Blest be T--E Man Y--T spares T--Es Stones
And curst be He Y--T moves my Bones.


Underneath this stone doth lie,
As much beauty as could die;
Which, when alive, did vigour give
To as much beauty as could live.


To the memory of Mary Clow, &c.

A vertuous wife, a loving mother,
And one esteemed by all that knew her.

And to be short, to her praise, she was the woman that Solomon speaks of in the xxxi. chapter of the book of Proverbs, from the 10th verse to the end.


Old Epitaph.

As I was so are ye,
As I am You shall be,
That I had that I gave,
That I gave that I have,
Thus I end all my cost,
That I left that I lost.


Epitaph on a Bell Ringer.

Stephen & time now are even,
Stephen beat time, now time’s beat Stephen.


p. 142Here lies
Elizabeth Wise.
She died of Thunder sent from Heaven
In 1777.


On a Family cutt off by the Small Pox.

At once depriv’d of life, lies here,
A family to virtue dear.
Though far remov’d from regal state,
Their virtues made them truly great.
Lest one should feel the other’s fall,
Death has, in kindness, seiz’d them all.


George Hardinge much indulged himself in versifying, and a curious instance in illustration occurred at Presteigne, in the spring of 1816, a few hours before his decease.  An application was made by Messrs. Tippens, addressed to the judge “if living, or his executors,” for the payment of a bill.  The answer was penned by the Judge only three hours prior to his death, and was as follows:—

“Dear Messrs. Tippens, what is fear’d by you,
Alas! the melancholy circumstance is true,
That I am dead; and, more afflicting still,
My legal assets cannot pay your bill.
To think of this, I am almost broken hearted,
Insolvent I, this earthly life departed;
Dear Messrs. T., I am yours without a farthing,
For executors and self,

George Hardinge.”


The manner of her death was thus,
She was druv over by a Bus.


p. 143Here lies Martha wife of Hugh,
Born at St Ansell’s, buried at Kew,
Children in wedlock they had five,
Three are dead & two are alive,
Those who are living had much rather
Die with the Mother than live with the Father.


“The Body
Benjamin Franklin, Printer,
(like the cover of an old book,
its contents torn out,
and stripped of its lettering and gilding),
lies here, food for worms;
yet the work itself shall not be lost;
for it will, as he believed, appear once more
in a new and more beautiful edition,
corrected and amended
The Author!”


Singular Epitaph.

Careless and thoughtless all my life,
Stranger to every source of strife,
And deeming each grave sage a fool,
The law of nature was my rule.
By which I learnt to duly measure
My portion of desire and pleasure.
’Tis strange that here I lie you see,
For death must have indulged a whim,
At any time t’ have thought of me,
Who never once did think of him.


p. 144On Earle the boxer.

Here lies James Earle the Pugilist, who on the 11th of April 1788 gave in.


She lived genteely on a small income.


Epitaph on a Gamester.

Here lies a gamester, poor but willing,
Who left the room without a shilling,
Losing each stake, till he had thrown
His last, and lost the game to Death;
If Paradise his soul has won,
’Twas a rare stroke of luck i’faith!


On the death of Miss Eliza More, aged 14 years.

Here lies who never lied before,
And one who never will lie More,
To which there need be no more said,
Than More the pity she is dead,
For when alive she charmed us More
Than all the Mores just gone before.


On a Wife (by her Husband.)

Beneath this stone lies Katherine, my wife,
In death my comfort, and my plague through life.
Oh! liberty—but soft, I must not boast;
She’ll haunt me else, by jingo, with her ghost!


“Here is a gentlewoman, who, if I may so speak of a gentlewoman departed, appears to have thought by no means small beer of herself:”—

A good mother I have been,
Many troubles I have seen,
All my life I’ve done my best,
And so I hope my soul’s at rest.


p. 145On the death of a most amiable and beautiful young lady, of the name of Peach.

by mr. bisset.

Death long had wish’d within his reach,
So sweet, so delicate a Peach:
He struck the Tree—the trunk lay mute;
But Angels bore away the Fruit!


Here lies my poor wife,
Without bed or blanket,
But dead as a door nail,
God be thanked.


Epitaph on a violent Scold.

My spouse and I full many a year
Liv’d man and wife together,
I could no longer keep her here,
She’s gone—the Lord knows whither.

Of tongue she was exceeding free,
I purpose not to flatter,
Of all the wives I e’er did see,
None sure like her could chatter.

Her body is disposed of well,
A comely grave doth hide her,
I’m sure her soul is not in hell,
For old Nick could ne’er abide her.

Which makes me guess she’s gone aloft,
For in the last great thunder,
Methought I heard her well known voice
Rending the skies asunder.


p. 146On a Scolding Wife who died in her sleep.

Here lies the quintessence of noise and strife,
Or, in one word, here lies a scolding wife;
Had not Death took her when her mouth was shut,
He durst not for his ears have touched the slut.


Here lies my wife a sad slattern and shrew,
If I said I regretted her—I should lie too.


On a Scold.

Here lies, thank God, a woman who
Quarrell’d and stormed her whole life through,
Tread gently o’er her mould’ring form,
Or else you’ll raise another storm.


On a Wife (by her Husband).

Here lies my poor wife, much lamented,
She’s happy, and I’m contented.


One was our thought, One life we fought,
   One rest we both intended,
Our bodies have to sleepe one grave,
   Our soules to God ascended.


Conjugal Epitaph.

Here rest my spouse, no pair through life,
So equal liv’d as we did;
Alike we shared perpetual strife,
Nor knew I rest till she did.


p. 147An Epitaph upon a Scolding Woman.
Another version.
(From an old Book of Job.)

We lived one and twenty yeare,
   Like man and wife together;
I could no longer have her heere,
   She’s gone, I know not whither.
If I could guesse, I doe professe,
   (I speak it not to flatter)
Of all the women in the worlde,
   I never would come at her.
Her body is bestowed well,
   A handsome grave doth hide her,
And sure her soule is not in hell,
   The fiend could ne’er abide her.
I think she mounted up on hie,
   For in the last great thunder,
Mee thought I heard her voice on hie,
   Rending the clouds in sunder.


Within this place a vertvous virgin lies,
Much like those virgins that were counted wise,
Her lamp of life by Death being now pvt ovt,
Her lamp of grace doth still shine rovnd abovt,
And thovgh her body here doth sleep in clay,
Yet is her sovl still watchfvl for that day,
When Christ the Bridegroom of her sovl shall come,
To take her with him to the wedding roome.


Amy Mitchell,
1724 aged 19.

Here lies a virgin cropt in youth,
A Xtian both in name and truth,
Forbear to mourn, she is not dead,
But gone to marry Christ her head.


p. 148On a Woman who had three Husbands.

Here lies the body of Mary Sextone,
Who pleased three men, and never vexed one,
That she can’t say beneath the next stone.


Marianne S--.

Conjuge (i?) nunquam satis plorandæ
Inane hoc, tamen ultimum,
Amoris consecrat testimonium,
Maritus, heu! superstes.

The above Epitaph, inscribed on a plain marble tablet in a village church near Bath, is one of the few in which the Latin language has been employed with the brief and profound pathos of ancient sepulchral inscriptions.


Short was her life,
Longer will be her rest;
Christ call’d her home,
Because he thought it best.

For she was born to die,
To lay her body down,
And young she did fly,
Into the world unknown.

      5 years & 9 months.


Here lies my wife in earthly mould,
Who when she lived did naught but scold.
Peace! wake her not for now she’s still,
She had, but now I have my will.


p. 149Epitaph written by Sarah Dobson, wife of John Dobson, to be put on her tombstone after her decease:—

I now have fallen asleep—my troubles gone,
For while on earth, I had full many a one,
When I get up again—as Parson says,
I hope that I shall see some better days.
If Husband he should make a second suit
His second wife will find that he’s a brute.
He often made my poor sad heart to sigh,
And often made me weep from one poor eye,
The other he knocked out by a violent blow,
As all my Kinsfolk and my Neighbours know.
I hope he will not serve his next rib so,
But if he should, will put the two together,
And through them stare while Satan tans his leather.


On Jemmy Jewell.

’Tis odd, quite odd, that I should laugh,
When I’m to write an epitaph.
Here lies the bones of a rakish Timmy
Who was a Jewell & a Jemmy.

He dealt in diamonds, garnets, rings,
And twice ten thousand pretty things;
Now he supplies Old Nick with fuel,
And there’s an end of Jemmy Jewell.


On Thomas Knowles & his Wife.

Thomas Knolles lies under this stone,
And his wife Isabell: flesh and bone
They were together nineteen year,
And ten children they had in fear.
His fader & he to this church
Many good deed they did worch.
Example by him may ye see,
That this world is but vanity;
p. 150For whether he be small or great,
All shall turn to worms’ meat;
This said Thomas was lay’d on beere,
The eighth day the month Fevree,
The date of Jesu Christ truly,
Anno M.C.C.C. five & forty.
We may not pray; heartily pray he,
For our souls, Pater Noster and Ave.
The swarer of our pains lissed to be,
Grant us thy holy trinity.  Amen.


On one stone, exhibiting a copy of that very rare inscription beginning with “Afflictions sore,” the second line affords the following choice specimen of orthography:—“Physicians are in vain.”

Think nothing strange,
   Chance happens unto all;
My lot’s to-day,
   To-morrow yours may fall.
Great afflictions I have had,
   Which wore my strength away;
Then I was willing to submit
   Unto this bed of clay.


On Burbridge, the Tragedian.

Exit Burbridge.


On the late Mr. Suett.

Here lies to mix with kindred earth,
A child of wit, of Glee and Mirth;
Hush’d are those powers which gave delight;
And made us laugh in reason’s spite:
Thy “gibes and jests shall now no more
Set all the rabble in a roar.”
p. 151Sons of Mirth, and Humour come,
And drop a tear on Suett’s Tomb;
Nor ye alone, but all who view it,
Weep and Exclaim, Alas Poor Suett.


On the Tomb of a Murdered Man.

O holy Jove! my murderers, may they die
A death like mine—my buriers live in joy!


On a Magistrate who had formerly been a Barber.

Here lies Justice;—be this his truest praise:
   He wore the wig which once he made,
And learnt to shave both ways.


To the Memory of Nell Batchelour,
The Oxford Pye-woman.

   Here into the dust,
   The mouldering crust
Of Eleanor Batchelour’s shoven;
   Well versed in the arts
   Of pyes, custards, and tarts,
And the lucrative skill of the oven.
   When she’d lived long enough
   She made her last puff—
A puff by her husband much praised;
   Now here she does lie,
   And makes a dirt-pye,
In hopes that her crust may be raised.


On a Volunteer.

Here lies the gallant Captn King,
   He’s finished Life’s review;
No more he’ll stand on either wing,
   For now he flies on two.

p. 152He was a gallant Volunteer,
   But now his Rifle’s rusty;
No more at drill will he appear,
   His uniform is dusty.

No more he’ll hear the Bugle’s sound
   Till Bugler Angels blow it,
Nor briskly march along the ground,
   His body lies below it.

Let’s hope when at the great parade
   We all meet in a cluster,
With many another martial blade
   He’ll readily pass muster.

Seraphic sabre in his fist,
   On heavenly drill reflective,
May he be placed upon the list,
   Eternally effective.


On a Sailor.
Written by his messmate.

Here is honest Jack—to the lobsters a prey,
Who lived like a sailor free hearty and gay,
His riggings well fitted, his sides close and tight,
His bread room well furnished, his mainmast upright;
When Death, like a pirate built solely for plunder,
Thus hail’d Jack in a voice loud as thunder,
“Drop your peak my old boy, and your topsails throw back!
For already too long you’ve remain’d on that tack.”
Jack heard the dread call, and without more ado,
His sails flatten’d in and his bark she broach’d to.


Laconic Epitaph.



p. 153On a Seaman.

My watch perform’d, lo here at rest I lay,
Not to turn out till resurrection day.


Laconic Epitaph on a Sailor.

I caught a feaver—weather plaguey hot,
Was boarded by a Leech—and now am gone to pot.


On an honest Sailor.

Whether sailor or not, for a moment avast;
Poor Tom’s mizen topsail is laid to the mast;
He’ll never turn out, or more heave the lead;
He’s now all aback, nor will sails shoot ahead;
He ever was brisk, &, though now gone to wreck,
When he hears the last whistle he’ll jump upon deck.


Epitaph on a Sailor.

Tom Taugh lies below, as gallant arous.


On a Man who was killed by a blow from a Sky Rocket.

   Here I lie,
Killed by a Sky
Rocket in my eye.


On a Post Boy, who was killed by the overturning of a Chaise.

Here I lays,
Killed by a Chaise.


Here lies I no wonder I’se dead,
For a broad wheeled Waggon went over my head


p. 154On a Miser.

Here lies one for medicine would not give
   A little gold, and so his life he lost;
I fancy now he’d wish to live again,
   Could he but know how much his funeral cost.


On a Miser.

Iron was his chest,
   Iron was his door,
His hand was iron,
   And his heart was more.


On a Miser.

Here lies old father GRIPE, who never cried “Jam satis;”
’Twould wake him did he know, you read his tombstone gratis.


On an Old Covetous Usurer.

You’d have me say, here lies T. U.
   But I do not believe it;
For after Death there’s something due,
   And he’s gone to receive it.


On an Usurer.

Here lies ten in the hundred
   In the ground fast ram’d,
’Tis an hundred to ten,
   But his soul is damned.


Epitaph on the grave of a Smuggler killed in a fight with Revenue Officers.

Here I lies
Killed by the XII.


p. 155On a Miser.

Here lies one who lived unloved, and died unlamented; who denied plenty to himself, and assistance to his friends, and relief to the poor; who starved his family, oppressed his neighbours, and plagued himself to gain what he could not enjoy; at last Death, more merciful to him than he was to himself, released him from care, and his family from want; and here he lies with the grovelling worm, and with the dirt he loved, in fear of a resurrection, lest his heirs should have spent the money he left behind, having laid up no treasure where moth and rust do not corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal.


On John D’Amory, the Usurer.

Beneath this verdant hillock lies
Demar the wealthy and wise.
His Heirs, that he might safely rest,
Have put his carcase in a Chest.
The very Chest, in which, they say
His other Self, his Money, lay.
And if his Heirs continue kind
To that dear Self he left behind,
I dare believe that Four in Five
Will think his better self alive.


On William Clay.

A long affliction did my life attend,
But time with patience brought it to an end,
And now my body rests with Mother clay,
Until the joyful resurrection day.


Written on Montmaur,
A man of excellent memory, but deficient in judgment.

In this black surtout reposes sweetly, Montmaur of
happy memory, awaiting his judgement.


p. 156On an Invalid.
Written by Himself.

Here lies a head that often ached;
Here lie two hands that always shak’d;
Here lies a brain of odd conceit;
Here lies a heart that often beat;
Here lie two eyes that dimly wept,
And in the night but seldom slept;
Here lies a tongue that whining talk’d;—
Here lie two feet that feebly walked;
Here lie the midriff and the breast,
With loads of indigestion prest;
Here lives the liver full of bile,
That ne’er secreted proper chyle;
Here lie the bowels, human tripes,
Tortured with wind and twisting gripes;
Here lies the livid dab, the spleen,
The source of life’s sad tragic scene,
That left side weight that clogs the blood,
And stagnates Nature’s circling flood;
Here lies the back, oft racked with pains,
Corroding kidneys, loins, and reins;
Here lies the skin by scurvy fed,
With pimples and irruptions red;
Here lies the man from top to toe,
That fabric fram’d for pain and woe.


On Sir John Vanbrugh.

Lie heavy on him, earth! for he
Laid many heavy loads on thee.


The following Epitaph was written by Shakespeare on Mr. Combe, an old gentleman noted for his wealth and usury:—

p. 157Ten in the hundred lies here ingraved:
’Tis a hundred to ten his soul is not saved:
If any man ask, Who lies in this tomb?
Oh! oh! quoth the devil, ’tis my John-a-Combe.”


On Dr. Fuller.

Here lies Fuller’s earth.


On a Card-maker.

His card is cut; long days he shuffled through
The game of Life; he dealt as others do.
Though he by honours tells not its amount,
When the last trump is played his tricks will count.


On a Man and his Wife.

Stay, bachelor, if you have wit,
A wonder to behold:
Husband and wife, in one dark pit,
Lie still and never scold.

Tread softly tho’ for fear she wakes;—
Hark, she begins already:
You’ve hurt my head;—my shoulder akes;
These sots can ne’er move steady.

Ah friend, with happy freedom blest!
See how my hopes miscarry’d:
Not death can give me rest,
Unless you die unmarry’d.


Here lie the remains of Thomas Woodhen,
The most amiable of Husbands, and the most excellent of men.

N.B.—The name is Woodcock, but it would’nt come in rhyme!”


p. 158On Marshal Sare.

N.B.—The figures are to be pronounced in French as un, deux, trois, etc.

Ses vertus le feront admiré de chac


Il avait des Rivaux, mais il triompha


Les Batailles qu’il gagna sont au nombre de


Pour Louis son grand cœur se serait mis en


En amour, c’était peu pour lui d’aller à


Nous l’aurions s’il n’eut fait que le berger Tir’


Pour avoir trop souvent passé douze “Hie-ja”


Il a cessé de vivre en Decembre


Strasbourg contient son corps dans un Tombeau tout


Pour tant de “Te Deum” pas un “De profun”




      He died at the age of


a.  Tircis, the name of a celebrated Arcadian shepherd.

b.  A great personage of the day remarked that it was a pity after the Marshal had by his victories been the cause of so many “Te Deums,” that it would not be allowed (the Marshal dying in the Lutheran faith) to chant one “de profundis,” over his remains.


On Thomas Jones.

Here for the nonce,
Came Thomas Jones,
In St. Giles’s Church to lye;
Non Welch before,
None Welchman more,
Till Show Clerk dy.

He tole his bell,
He ring his knell.
He dyed well,
He’s sav’d from hell,
And so farewell,

Tom Jones.


p. 159On Dr. Walker, who wrote a book called “Particles:”—

Here lie Walker’s Particles.


The tomb of Keats the Poet.

This grave contains
that was mortal
of a
young English Poet,
on his death bed,
in the bitterness of his heart
at the malicious power of his enemies,
desired these
words to be engraved on his tombstone:
“Here lies one
whose name was writ in water.”
February 24, 1821.


On Mr. Quin.

Says Epicure Quin, Should the devil in hell,
In fishing for men take delight,
His hook bait with ven’son, I love it so well,
Indeed I am sure I should bite.


Here lies Sir John Plumpudding of the Grange,
Who hanged himself one morning for a change.


On John Bell.

I Jocky Bell o’ Braikenbrow, lyes under this stane,
Five of my awn sons laid it on my wame;
I liv’d aw my dayes, but sturt or strife,
Was man o’ my meat, and master o’ my wife.
If you done better in your time, than I did in mine,
Take this stane aff my wame, and lay it on o’ thine.


p. 160On Mr. Havard, Comedian.

“An honest man’s the noblest work of God.”

Havard from sorrow rest beneath this stone;
An honest man—beloved as soon as known;
However defective in the mimic art,
In real life he justly played his part!
The noblest character he acted well,
And heaven applauded when the curtain fell.


On Robin Masters, Undertaker.

Here lieth Robin Masters—Faith ’twas hard
   To take away our honest Robin’s breath;
Yet surely Robin was full well prepared,
   Robin was always looking out for death.


On an Undertaker.

Subdued by death, here death’s great herald lies,
And adds a trophy to his victories;
Yet sure he was prepared, who, while he’d breath,
Made it his business to look for death.


On a Cobler.

Death at a cobler’s door oft made a stand,
And always found him on the mending hand;
At last came Death, in very dirty weather,
And ripp’d the sole from off the upper leather.
Death put a trick upon him, and what was’t?
The cobler called for’s awl, Death brought his last.


p. 161On a Dustman.

Beneath yon humble clod, at rest
Lies Andrew, who, if not the best,
   Was not the very worst man;
A little rakish, apt to roam;
But not so now, he’s quite at home,
   For Andrew was a Dustman.


Here lies the body of John Cole,
His master loved him like his soul;
He could rake hay—none could rake faster,
Except that raking dog, his master.


Mr. Langford, Auctioneer.

So, so, Master Langford, the hammer of Death
Hath knock’d out your brains, and deprived you of breath;
’Tis but tit for tat, he who puts up the town,
By Devil or Death must at last be knock’d down.


On a man named Stone.

Jerusalem’s curse was not fulfilled in me,
For here a stone upon a Stone you see.


On Thomas Day.

Here lies Thomas Day,
Lately removed from over the way.


Epitaph by Burns.
(On a man choked by a piece of bread!)

Here I lie, killed by a crumb,
That wouldn’t go down, nor wouldn’t up come.


p. 162On John Treffry, Esq.

Here in this Chancel do I lye,
Known by the name of John Treffry.
Being born & made for to die;
So must thou, friend, as well as I.
Therefore good works be sure to try,
But chiefly love & Charity;
And still on them with faith rely,
To be happy eternally.

This was put up during his life, who was a whimsical man.  He had his grave dug, & lay down and swore in it, to show the sexton a novelty, i.e., a man swearing in his grave.


On -- Hatt.

By Death’s impartial scythe was mown
Poor Hatt—he lies beneath this stone;
On him misfortune oft did frown,
Yet Hatt ne’er wanted for a crown;
When many years of constant wear
Had made his beaver somewhat bare,
Death saw, and pitying his mishap,
Has given him here a good long nap.


Here I, Thomas Wharton, do lie,
   With Lucifer under my head,
And Nelly my wife hard bye,
   And Nancy as cold as lead.

O, how can I speak without dread
   Who could my sad fortune abide?
With one devil under my head,
   And another laid close on each side.


p. 163On William Jones, a Bone Collector

Here lie the bones of William Jones,
Who when alive collected bones,
But Death, that grisly bony spectre,
That most amazing bone collector,
Has boned poor Jones so snug and tidy,
That here he lies in bonâ fide.


The late Rev. John Sampson, of Kendal.

In memoriam viri doctissimi et clerici, Joannis Sampson,
   olim hujusce sacelli ministri, itemque ludi literarii apud
   Congalum triginta septem ferè annos magistri seduli;
   hoc marmor ponendum quidam discipulus præceptorem
   merens curavit.
Ob: An: ætatis suæ LXXVII; A.D. MDCCCXLIII.
Foris juxta januam e dextrâ introeunti sepultum est
Problemata plurima geometrica proposuit ac solvit; ad
   hæc accedunt versus haud pauci, latinè et manu suâ
   scripti; quorum exemplum infrà insculptum est; adeo
   ut Christiano tum mentem, tum viri fidem cognoscere

“αὐτòς ἔφη.”

   “Quandocunque sophos clarus sua dogmata profert,
     “Nil valet αὐτòς ἔφη, ni documenta daret;”
   “At mihi cùm Christus loquitur, verum, via, vita,
     “Tum vero fateor sufficit αὐτòς ἔφη.”


Epitaph on the Mareschal Comte de Ranzan, a Swede, who accompanied Oxenstiern to Paris, and was taken into the French service by Louis XIII.  He died of hydrophobia in 1650.  He had been in innumerable battles, had lost an eye and two limbs, and his body was found to be entirely covered with scars.

Stop, passenger! this stone below
Lies half the body of Ranzan:
p. 164The other moiety’s scattered far
And wide o’er many a field of war;
For to no land the hero came,
On which he shed not blood and fame.
Mangled or maim’d each meaner part,
One thing remain’d entire—his heart.


At Arlington, near Paris.

            Here lie
Two grandmothers, with their two granddaughters
Two husbands with their two wives,
Two fathers with their two daughters,
Two mothers with their two sons,
Two maidens with their two mothers,
Two sisters with their two brothers.
Yet but six corps in all lie buried here,
All born legitimate, & from incest clear.

The above may be thus explained:—

Two widows, that were sisters-in-law, had each a son, who married each other’s mother, and by them had each a daughter.  Suppose one widow’s name Mary, and her son’s name John, and the other widow’s name Sarah, and her son’s James; this answers the fourth line.  Then suppose John married Sarah, and had a daughter by her, and James married Mary, and had a daughter also, these marriages answer the first, second, third, fifth, and sixth lines of the epitaph.


Sudden and unexpected was the end
Of our esteemed and beloved friend.
He gave to all his friends a sudden shock
By one day falling into Sunderland Dock.


p. 165At Sakiwedel.

Traveller, hurry not, as if you were going post-haste; in the most rapid journey you must stop at the post house.  Here repose the bones of MATTHIAS SCHULZEN, the most humble and most faithful Postmaster, for upwards of Twenty-five years, of His Majesty, Frederick, King of Prussia.  He arrived 1655; and afterwards travelled with distinction in life’s pilgrimage, by walking courses in the Schools and Universities.  He carefully performed his duties as a Christian, and when the post of misfortune came, he behaved according to the letter of divine consolation.  His body, however, ultimately being enfeebled, he was prepared to attend the signal given by the post of death; when his soul set off on her pleasing journey for Paradise, the 2nd of June, 1711; and his body afterwards was committed to this silent tomb.  Reader, in thy pilgrimage through life, be mindful of the prophetic post of Death!


Dear Husband, now my life is past,
And I am stuck in Earth so fast,
I pray no sorrow for me take,
But love my Children, for my sake;—



“O   Mors   Cur   Deus   Negat   Vitam
be   te    bis    nos    bis    nam.”


O! Superbe! Mors Super--te!
Cur Superbis?
Deus Supernos! negat Superbis
Vitam Supernam.


p. 166On the Duke of Burgundy’s tomb in St. George’s Church, near Condé:—

“Carolus hoc busto Burgundæ gloria gentis,
Conditur, Europæ qui fuit ante timor.”


Near the left wall in the Protestant-ground at Rome is a monument to Lord Barrington, and a tombstone to the infant child of Mr. William Lambton:—

Go thou, white in thy soul, and fill a throne
Of innocence and purity in heaven!


Silo Princeps Fecit.






























































































































































































































































































At the entrance of the Church of St. Salvador in the city of Oviedo, in Spain, is a most remarkable tomb, erected by a prince named Silo, with this very curious Latin inscription which may be read 270 ways by beginning with the capital letter S in the centre.


p. 167On a tombstone in the churchyard at Hochheim, a village where one of the best species of Rhenish is produced, and from the name of which our generic Hock is derived:—

This grave holds Caspar Schink, who came to dine,
And taste the noblest vintage of the Rhine;
Three nights he sat, and thirty bottles drank,
Then lifeless by the board of Bacchus sank.
One only comfort have we in the case,—
The trump will raise him in the proper place.


Here lies Peg, that drunken sot,
Who dearly loved her jug and pot;
There she lies, as sure as can be,
She killed herself by drinking brandy.



AT. HT, Hi S: ST--
Oneli: E: Skat. .
He, Ri, N. eg. Rayc--
. F . R.
O! mab. V, Syli, Fetol--
IF . . Ele:
Ayb...  Year.
.  Than.
: Hego.
. Fand.
No, WS. He: stur
N’D to Ear,
p. 168TH, h, Ersel
Fy! EWE: EP....
In: G. F. R: IE: N
D. S. L.
Et, mea D
V: I
Sea: ...... Batey.
O! V: rg.....
RiE .... Fan.
. D. D.
Yes.  F.O.R W: H
. ATa.
Vai ....  LS. a. flo.
O! do. F. Tea. R.
SW: Hok: No: WS:
Buti. nar. U.
No! Fy: Ear, SI: N.
SO: Metal:
L. Pit. c.
HERO: . . r. Bro, a:
D. P.
ANS, Hei
N. H.
Ers. Hop. ma:
Y. B.
Ea: Gai .... N. .


The following was written by Capt. Morris on Edward Heardson, thirty years Cook to the Beef Steak Society.

His last steak done; his fire rak’d out and dead,
Dished for the worms himself, lies honest Ned:
We, then, whose breasts bore all his fleshly toils,
Took all his bastings, and shared all his broils;
p. 169Now, in our turn, a mouthful carve and trim,
And dress at Phœbus’ fire, one scrap for him:—
His heart which well might grace the noblest grave,
Was grateful, patient, modest, just, and brave;
And ne’er did earth’s wide maw a morsel gain
Of kindlier juices or more tender grain;
His tongue, where duteous friendship humbly dwelt,
Charmed all who heard the faithful zeal he felt;
Still to whatever end his chops he mov’d,
’Twas all well seasoned, relished, and approv’d:
This room his heaven!—When threatening Fate drew nigh
The closing shade that dimm’d his ling’ring eye,
His last fond hopes, betray’d by many a tear,
Were—That his life’s last spark might glimmer here;
And the last words that choak’d his parting sigh—
“Oh! at your feet, dear masters, let me die!”


Ann Short.

Ann Short, O Lord, of praising thee,
   Nothing I can do is right;
Needy and naked, poor I be,
   Short, Lord, I am of sight:
How short I am of love and grace!
   Of everything I’m short,
Renew me, then I’ll follow peace
   Through good and bad report.


Under this stone lies Meredith Morgan,
Who blew the bellows of our Church organ;
Tobacco he hated, to smoke most unwilling,
Yet never so pleased as when pipes he was filling;
No reflection on him for rude speech could be cast,
Tho’ he gave our old organist many a blast.
p. 170No puffer was he,
Tho’ a capital blower;
He could fill double G,
And now lies a note lower.


In the Cathedral of Sienna, celebrated for its floor inlaid with the History of the New Testament, is the following singular Epitaph, probably placed there as a memento to Italian Toby Philpots:—

“Wine gives life; it was death to me, I could not behold the dawn of morning in a sober state.  Even my bones are now thirsty.  Stranger, sprinkle my grave with wine; empty the flaggons and come.  Farewell Drinkers!”


Over a grave in Prince Edward’s Island.

Here lies the body of poor Charles Lamb,
Killed by a tree that fell slap bang.


Here lies the body of Gabriel John,
Who died in the year of a thousand and one;
Pray for the soul of Gabriel John,
You may if you please,
Or let it alone;
For its all one
To Gabriel John,
Who died in the year of a thousand and one.


Here lies John Bunn,
Who was killed by a gun;
His name wasn’t Bun, his real name was Wood,
But Wood wouldn’t rhyme with gun, so I thought Bun should.


p. 171In Memory of
the last of a long line
whose origin in England commenced
in the year 1569,
which, after a series of tedious complaints,
on the
18th day of October, 1826.
During a period of 257 years, the family
flourished under the powerful protection
of the
British Parliament;
the minister of the day continuing to
give them his support for the
improvement of the revenue.
As they increased, it was found that their
continuance corrupted the morals,
and encouraged a spirit
of speculation and gambling among the
lower classes of the people;
thousands of whom fell victims to their
insinuating and tempting allurements.
Many philanthropic individuals
in the Senate
at various times for a series of years,
pointed out their baneful influence
without effect,
His Majesty’s Ministers
still affording them their countenance
and protection.
The British Parliament
being at length convinced of their
mischievous tendency,
His Majesty George IV.,
p. 172on the 9th July, 1823,
pronounced sentence of condemnation
on the whole race;
from which time they were almost
Neglected by the British Public.
Very great efforts were made by the
Partisans and friends of the family to
the public feeling in favour of the last
of the race, in vain:
it continued to linger out the few
moments of its existence without attention
or sympathy, and finally terminated
its career, unregretted by any
virtuous mind.


’Twas by a fall I caught my death;
No man can tell his time or breath;
I might have died as soon as then
If I had had physician men.


On a Grocer.

Garret some call’d him,
   but that was too hye;
His name is Garrard
   who now here doth lie;
Weepe not for him,
   since he is gone before
To heaven, where Grocers
   there are many more.




F. Pickton, Printer, Perry’s Place, 29 Oxford Street.


[48]  A crown.

[80a]  The stone joins to the south wall of the church, under one of the spouts.

[80b]  Rufford Abbey, then the seat of Sir George Saville, Baronet, in whose family the person had lived as butler.

[90]  A woman inferring that her husband is an ass colt.


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