Some parting thoughts from days gone by...
Anonymous, Sevenoaks, Kent:
Grim death took me without any warning
I was well at night, and died in the morning.
John Taggart, Wigtown, Galloway:
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.
Mr. Edward Pardon, a Bookseller:
Here lies poor Ned Pardon, from misery freed,
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.
John Round, Norfolk
Underneath this sod lies John Round,
Who was lost in the sea and never was found.
John Gay, Poet, Westminster Abbey:
Life is a jest, and all things show it;
I thought so once and now I know it.
Anthony Drake, Burlington, Massachusetts:
Sacred to the memory of Anthony Drake,
Who died for peace and quietness sake;
His wife was constantly scolding and scoffin',
So he sought for repose in a twelve-dollar coffin.
Thomas Gooding, Norwich Cathedral:
All you that do this place pass bye
Remember death for you must dye.
As you are now even so was I.
And as I am so that you be.
Thomas Gooding here do staye
Wayting for Gods judgementdaye.
Owen Moore is gone away,
Owin' more than he could pay.
Mary Gwynne, Cambridge:
Here lies the body of Mary Gwynne,
Who was so very pure within,
She cracked the shell of her earthly skin,
And hatched herself a cherubim.
We must all die, there is no doubt;
Your glass is running, mine is out.
Captain Tully, Exeter Cathedral:
Here lies the Body of Captain Tully,
Aged an hundred and nine years fully;
And threescore years before, as Mayor,
The sword if this city he did bear;
Nine of his wives do with him lie,
So shall the tenth when she doth die.
William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon:
Good friend, for Jesu's sake forbeare
To dig the dust enclosed here;
Blessed be he that spares these stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones.
Here I lie, and no wonder I'm dead,
For the wheel of the waggon went over my head
John MacPherson was a remarkable person
He stood 6 foot 2 without his shoe,
And he was slew at Waterloo.
Ann Sellars, Egam, North Derbyshire
Here lise ye bodie of Ann Sellars,
Buried by this stone, who died on January 13th, 1731.
Likewise here lise Isaac Sellars
My husband on my right,
Who was buried on that same day seven years. 1738
In seven years there comes a change,
Observe and here you'll see
On that same day come seven years
My husband's laid by me.
Farewell, dear wife! My life is past;
I loved you while my life did last;
Don't grieve for me, or sorrow take
But love my brother for my sake.
Here lies the banes of Tammy Messer,
Of tarry woo' he was a dresser;
He had some faults and mony merits,
And died of drinking ardent spirits.
Infant, 8 months old:
Since I have been so quickly done for,
I wonder what I was begun for.
Nicholas Hooks, Aberconway, Caernarvonshire:
Here lieth the body of
Nicholas Hooks, of Conway, gent.,
Who was the one-and-fortieth child of his father,
William Hooks, Esq., by Alice his wife,
And the father of seventy-and-twenty children;
He died the 20th day of March, 1637.
Mrs. Oldfield, Actress:
This we must own in justice to her shade,
`Tis the first bad exit Oldfield ever made.
Joseph Jones, Wolverhampton, 1690:
Here lies the bones, of Joseph Jones,
Who ate whilst he was able;
But once o'erfed, he drop't down dead
And fell beneath the table.
When from the tomb, to meet his doom,
He rises amidst sinners;
Since he must dwell, in heav'n or hell,
Take him - which gives best dinners.
Here lies 2 brothers by misfortun serounded,
One dy'd of his wounds, and the other was drownded.
Samuel Turner, Blacksmith, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire:
His sledge and hammer lie reclined,
His bellows, too, has lost its wind,
His Coal is spent, his Iron gone,
His nails are drove, his work is done,
His body's here, clutched in the dust,
`Tis hoped his soul is with the just.
Sir Christopher Wren, Architect, St. Paul's Cathedral:
Si monumentum quaeris, circumspice.
(If his monument you seek, look around.)
Infant, Burlington, Iowa:
Beneath this stone our baby lays
He neither cries nor hollers.
He lived just one and twenty days,
And cost us forty dollars.
Beneath this stone lies Johnnie Scott.
Who lived like a fool and died like a sot.
But it is needless to argue
Whether he was so or not;
He as a man was despised ,
And will soon be forgot.
Anonymous, near Warwick:
Poorly lived and poorly died
Poorly buried and no one cried.
William Pepper, ob. 1783, St John's, Stamford:
Tho' hot my name, yet mild my nature,
I bore good will to every creature;
I brewed good ale and sold it too,
And unto each I gave his due.
Eliza, sorrowing, rears this marble slab
To her dear John, who died of eating crab.
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.
Nathaniel Clarke, Rutlandshire:
Here lies the body of Nathaniel Clarke,
Who never did no harm in the light nor in the dark;
But in his blessed horses taken great delight,
And often travelled with them by day and by night.
Robert Burrows, Bedlington, Durham:
Poems and epitaphs are but stuff:
Here lies Robert Burrows, that's enough.
Anonymous, Painswick, near Stroud, Gloucestershire:
My wife is dead, and here she lies,
Nobody laughs and nobody cries:
Where she is gone to and how she fares,
Nobody knows, and nobody cares.
Mrs. Ursula Upture, 77, Ely Cathedral,
Daughter of Dr. Tyndall, dean of Ely:
Tyndall by birth,
Coxee by choice,
Upture in age and for comfort.
(At 20 she married a lover named Coxee; at 42 she became a widow,
and at 77, within two months of her death, she married a youth named Upture `for comfort.')
Here lies interr'd a man o' micht,
They ca'd him Malcolm Downie;
He lost his life ae market night,
By fa'ing aff his pownie.
Aged 37 Years.
Mary Ann Lowder, Burlington, Massachusetts:
Here lies the body of Mary Ann Lowder;
She burst whilst drinking a seidlitz powder;
Called from this world to her heavenly rest,
She should have waited till it effervesced.
Sarah Rickett, Barking, Essex, aged 68, 1767:
Here honest Sarah Rickett lies
By many much esteemed,
Who really was no otherwise
Than what she ever seemed.
Anne Jennings, Wolstanton:
Some have children, some have none,
Here lies the mother of twenty-one.
Dicky Pearce, Berkeley:
Here lies the Earl of Suffolk's fool,
Men called him Dicky Pearce:
His folly served to make folks laugh,
When wit and mirth were scarce.
Poor Dick, alas! is dead and gone,
What signifies to cry!
Dickys enough are still behind,
To laugh at by-and-by.
As you are in health, and spirits gay,
I was, too, the other day;
I thought myself of life as safe
As those that read my epitaph.
Mrs Sally Horne et al, Kent:
To the memory of my four wives,
Who all died within the space of ten years;
But more partickler to the last, Mrs Sally Horne,
Who has left me and four dear children;
She was a good, sober and clean soul,
And may I soon go to her. AD 1732.
Dear wives, if you and I shall all go to heaven,
The Lord be blest, for then we shall be even.
William Joy Horne, Carpenter.
William Green, Manchester:
Here lies William Green, who died in Manchester, Sept. 18, 18__.
Had he lived, he would have been buried here.
Martha Wells, wife of John Wells, ob. 1777, Folkestone:
We far from home did Come
Each other for to join
In peace with all Men here we Liv'd
And did in Love Combine;
But oh remark the Strange
Yet heaven's wise decree:
I'm Lodg'd within the Silent grave,
He's Rouling in the Sea.
Poor Martha Snell! Her's gone away,
Her would if her could, but her couldn't stay;
Her'd two sore legs and a baddish cough,
But her legs it was as carried her off.
Ann Mann, Bath Abbey:
Here lies Ann Mann;
She lived an old Maid and she died an old Mann.
E. B. Browning, 7 months, Kensal Green:
The cup of life just to his lips he pressed,
Found the taste bitter, and resigned the rest;
Averse then turning from the face of day,
He softly sighed his little soul away.
Mrs Shute, Connecticut:
Here lies cut down like unripe fruit,
The wife of Deacon Amos Shute:
She died of drinking too much coffee,
Anno Dominy eighteen forty.
Here I lie, my name is Ball,
I lived, I died, despised by all;
And now I cannot chew my crust,
I'm gone back to my ancient dust.
Bailie William Watson, Glasgow:
Approach and read, now with your hats on,
For here lies Bailie William Watson;
Who was famous for his thinking,
And moderation in his drinking.
Praises on tombs are trifles vainly spent;
A man's good name is his best monument.
John Rose, Belchwood:
John Rose, Died Jan. 27. 1810, aged 10 years.
Dr Friends and companions all,
Pray warning take by me,
Don't venture on the ice too far
As `twas the death of me.
Here lies I and my two daughters,
Killed by drinking Cheltenham waters;
If we had stuck to Epsom salts,
We shouldn't be lying in these here vaults.
Charity Bligh, Devonshire:
Charity, wife of Gideon Bligh,
Underneath this stone doth lie.
Nought was she e'er known to do
That her husband told her to.
William Stratton, Hyden, Yorkshire
Here lies the body of William Stratton, of Paddington,
Buried 18th day of May, 1734, aged 97 years;
Who had by his first wife 28 children;
By his second 17;
Was own father to 45;
Grandfather to 86;
great Grandfather to 23.
In all 154 children.
Reader, pass on! Don't waste your time
O'er bad biography and bitter rhyme:
For what I am this crumbling clay ensures:
For what I was is no affair of yours.
Godfrey Hill, St Pancras:
Godfrey Hill, aet 46.
Thus far am I got on my journey;
Reader: Canst thou inform me what follows next?
Marion Gray, Haddington:
If modesty commend a wife,
And providence a mother,
Grave chastity a widow's life,
We'll not find such another
In Haddington as Marion Gray,
Who here doth lie till the doomsday.
She deceased 29 December, 1655.
And of her age 60.
This spot is the sweetest I've seen in my life,
For it raises my flowers and covers my wife,
Salvino Armolo d'Armati, Florence
Here lies Salvino Armolo d'Armati, of Florence,
The inventor of spectacles.
May God pardon his sins!
The year 1318.
Rebecca Lynne, Steatham, Surrey:
Rebecca, wife of William Lynne
Who died in 1663.
Might I ten thousand years enjoy my life,
I could not praise enough so good a wife.
John & Jenet Burton, 1460, St Michael Bassishaw:
John Burton lyeth under here,
Sometimes of London, citizen and mercer;
And Jenet his wife with their progeny,
Been turned to erth as ye may see.
Frends fere, what so yee bee.
Prey for us we you prey,
As you see us in this degree;
So shall you be another day.
Here lies the body of William Beck,
He was thrown at a hunt and broke his neck.
Harry Hawles, c1430, Arreton, Isle of Wight
Here is ybried under this grave
Harry Hawles, his soul god save
Long tyme steward of the yle of wyght
have m'cy on hym, god ful of myght.
Thomas Kemp, hanged for sheepstealing
Here lies the body of Thomas Kemp,
Who lived by wool and died by hemp;
There nothing would suffice the glutton
But with the fleece to steal the mutton;
Had he but worked and lived uprighter,
He'd ne'er been hung for a sheep-biter.
Anonymous, Areley-Kings, Worcestershire:
Aspice - ut aspicias.'
Time's glass and scythe
Thy life and death declare:
Spend well they time, and
For they end prepare.
Here lies John Hill,
A man of skill,
Whose age was five times ten:
He never did good
And never would
If he lived as long again.
Robert Baxter, Farhouse, murdered 1796 aet 65 years.
All you that please these lines to read,
It will cause a tender heart to bleed,
I murdered was up on the fell
And by the man I knew full well;
By bread & butter which he'd laid ,
I, being harmless, was betray'd.
I hope he will rewarded be
That laid the poison there for me.
Sarah Bloomfield, St Nicholas, Yarmouth:
Here lyeth ye body of Sarah Bloomfield,
Cut off in blooming yuthe we can but pity.
John Cameron [Johnnie Laddie], Brachlach:
Sacred to the memory of a character,
John Cameron, `Johnnie Laddie,'
A native of Cambeltown, Ardersier,
Who died there August 26, 1858, aged 65 years.
Erected to his memory by public subscription.
Sixty winters on the street,
No shoes nor stockings on his feet;
Amusement both to small and great,
Was poor `Johnnie Laddie.'
Daniel Jones, Wrexham:
Here lies interr'd beneath these stones
The beard, the flesh and eye ye bones
Of Wrexham's clerk, old Daniel Jones
John Higley, Belturbet, Ireland:
Here lies John Higley,
Whose mother and father were drowned
In their passage from America.
Had they both lived they would have been buried here.
William Henry Warren, All Saints', Tottenham:
Sacred to the Mortal remains of
William Henry Warren,
Who departed this life July 20th 1828. Aged 33 years.
Tread lightly on his ashes
Ye men of Genius:
For he was your kinsman.
Weed his grave clean,
Ye men of goodness:
For he was your brother.
Anonymous, said to be from near Salisbury:
I bowl'd, I struck, I caught, I stopp'd.
Sure life's a game of cricket;
I block'd with care, with caution popp'd,
Yet Death has hit my wicket.
David Wall, Ashover, Derbyshire:
To the memory of David Wall
Whose superior performance on the bassoon endeared him
To an extensive musical acquaintance.
His social life closed on the 4th Dec. 1796. in his 57th year.
Hodgkinson Paine, Clothier, Cirencester, killed in the Battle of Cirencester, 1642:
The Poores supplie his life & calling gracít
Till warres made rent, & Paine from poore displacít,
But what made poore unfortunate Paine blest,
By warre they lost their Paine, yet found noe rest,
Hee looseing quiet by Warre yet gained ease,
By it Paineís life began, and paine did cease;
And from ye troubles here, him God did sever,
By death to life, by Warre to peace for ever.
Here lies Estella
Who transported a large fortune to heaven
In acts of charity,
And has gone thither to enjoy it.
John Hewit & Sarah Drew, Stanton Harcourt:
Near this place lie the bodies
Of John Hewit and Sarah Drew
An industrious young man and virtuous young maiden of this parish;
Who being at harvest work [with several others]
Were in one instant killed by lightning.
The last day of July, 1718.
Anonymous, Areley-Kings, Worcestershire:
Three things there be in very deede.
Which make my heart in grief to bleede:
The first doth vex my very heart;
In that from hence I must departe;
The second grieves me now and then,
That I must die, but know not when:
The third with tears bedew my face,
That I must die, nor know the place.
I.W. fecit, Anno Dmi. 1687.