A Member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits


Friday 29 April 2011

Friday's Funerary Symbols ~ Sundials

All Saints, Gt. Chesterford, Essex

St.Mary's, Garthorpe, Leicestershire

St.Peter and St. Pauls, Aldeburgh, Suffolk

The Sundial symbolises the fleeting passage of time, in much the same way as the symbol of the hourglass does.
It also reminds us of of Psalm 97 v 11 'Light shines on the righteous'. With the sunlight being seen as basking in God's love and blessings.

Shame that the names and dates on the sundials above were so badly worn as to make them unreadable.
The sundial below, was not being used as an individual headstone, but was in the garden of remembrance, for the interment of ashes at Stotfold Cemetery.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Wednesday's Child

Little Son
March 9 1930 March 15 1931
How little a boy to leave so
great a grief

Little David was the son of Peregrine Francis Adelbert Cust ~ 6th Baron Brownlow , close friend and Lord~in~Waiting to the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII.

Peregrine Cust stands on the right, next to Wallis Simpson.

On Sunday we discovered the small headstone of David, whilst we were visiting Belton House in Lincolnshire, which was the ancestral home of the Cust family.
A small gate beside the Orangery, led to the Parish Church of St.Peter and St. Paul's. There are some wonderful tombs there and I shall post some of them in the near future.

Click bold italics above for more info


Saturday 23 April 2011

Lilies of the Field ~ The Great Escape

I love the way these Lily~of the~Valley appear to have pushed down the kerb stone and are now making a Great Escape.

In Loving Memory
a dear Father and Mother
George Payne
died 21st Dec. 1946 aged 82 years
Mary Ann Payne
died 15th April 1951 aged 88 years

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin
Matthew 6:28


Friday 22 April 2011

A Crown of Thorns

An Easter Tribute

At first I thought this was just the remains of some ivy branches after having been removed. But the delicate and amazingly still intact Crown of Thorns, is also carved from the stone.
It has endured, even though some of the inscription has worn away with time.

In Loving Memory of
Susannah Hayward
? Nov   190?

Thursday 21 April 2011

Not As Old As It Looks

In the Churchyard of All Saints, Gt. Chesterford, I was delighted and surprised to find this headstone, whose design and style was popular in the 1700's. When I took another look, I noticed it had a far more recent date carved upon it. 

In Memory of
Dr David Leonard Clarke
a most dearly beloved
husband and father
who died
28th June 1976
Aged 38 years
Loved with a love beyond
all telling
Missed with a grief beyond
all tears


Wednesday 20 April 2011

Wednesday's Child

In Loving Memory
Darling Tommy
younger son of
Sylvia and Ian
3rd August 1954
2nd October 1962

All Saints Churchyard, Great Chesterford

Monday 18 April 2011

Monday Morning's ~ Mausoleum

The Ongley Family purchased the Old Warden Estate in 1700 from the Bolingbroke Family. They owned Old Warden Park until 1872 when it was sold to Joseph Shuttleworth. This family's mausoleum was built in 1790 with space for 42, however from 1790 to 1877, only 10 were interred here. Family memorials are in St. Leonards Church.

This monument rests on the plinth with dedication shown below

Near this place is desposited the remains of
Sr. Samuel Ongley Kt.
Who by his indefatigable Industy acquir'd a very plentifull Estate,
was charitable to the Poor, and very bountifull
to his Relations, was free from Pride and Ostentation,
always easy of Access, a kind Neighbour, a sincere Friend
and delighted in doing good offices to all Mankind.
he was formerly a director of the East India and the first
Deputy Govenour of the South Sea Companys, and at his
death being Govenour to three Hospitals, was a Liberall
Benefactor to each: he serv'd his Country impartially as
member of Parliment for Maidstone in the County of Kent 
(his native place) Who for his good Services received the
Honour of Knighthood.
He departed this life the 25th day of August 1726
in the 80th year of his Age

Friday 15 April 2011

Friday's Funerary Symbols ~ The Anvil

Verdriet en Geluk Lopen Samen
( Sorrow and Happiness Travel Together )
Chris Kotterer
13~02~1918     19~12~1997

Traditionally the Anvil symbolises the essential forging of the Universe and the one pictured above has an Anchor etched on it, which symbolises hope.

Saint Clement ~ who features in the Legend below ~ was the patron saint of Blacksmiths 
He was a Roman bishop, who died in 100AD.
He was martyred after having been bound to an anchor and thrown into the Black sea on November 23 of that year.

Legend of The Blacksmiths Anvil

People of the Ancients worlds regarded Blacksmiths as being endowed with supernatural skill, and therefore they were thought of as magicians, with divine powers. Because they worked with the elements of fire and air, they were able to turn rock ore into metals that made tools for farming, domestic implements and weapons for protection. This exclusive knowledge of metal-working was an art shrouded in mystery.
Throughout worldwide mythologies, blacksmiths were magical craftsmen who were looked upon as superior to other artisans, owing to their faculty of working with fire and of manipulating iron with ease and dexterity. It was believed that their wondorous abilities were above the plane of ordinary mortals, surely because they had received supernatural instruction. .
The importance of the blacksmith's art in early mediaeval times is told in the following tale.

King Alfred the Great ~ 849~899AD ~ assembled together seven of his main craftsmen, to appoint one of them as the Chief above the others. It would be awarded to the one whose craft could sustain the longest, without the assistance of the others.
Alfred invited them all to a banquet,  and commanded them to bring a specimen of their handiwork and the tools with which it was made. 
The blacksmith brought his hammer and a newly forged horse-shoe, the tailor his scissors and a newly sewn garment.
The baker brought his wooden bread-shovel and a loaf of freshly baked bread, the shoemaker brought his awl and a pair of newly stitched shoes.
The carpenter brought his saw and a squared plank, the butcher brought his boning-knife and a large piece of meat and the mason brought his trowel and a corner-stone.

After careful consideration, a decree was made that the tailor's work made him the best choice and so he was chosen to be the Chief of the artisans.
The blacksmith felt aggrieved and vowed to work no more, for as long as the tailor was chief, so he closed his forge and left.

Soon after, the King's horse lost a shoe and the remaining craftsmen, one after another wore down their tools. Although the tailor continued to ply his trade longer than the others, he too was soon obliged to cease work.
Whereupon the King and his artisans decided to try their hands at blacksmithing.
The King's horse trod on his royal master, the tailor burnt his fingers whilst the others met with various mishaps.

They began to quarrel among themselves and in the fracas, the anvil was overturned with a crash. Saint Clement appeared, arm in arm with the blacksmith and the King welcomed them respectfully, saying:
"I have made a bad mistake, my friends, in allowing myself to be beguiled by the tailor's fine cloth and his skillful handiwork; in common fairness the blacksmith, without whose aid the other workmen can accomplish nothing, should be proclaimed chief artisan."
The tradesmen, with the exception of the tailor, begged the worthy Blacksmith to make new tools for them, which he proceeded to do, including a brand-new pair of scissors for the tailor.
Then the King reorganized the society of artisans and proclaimed the Smithy as Chief, who was greeted with wishes for good health and happiness.
As celebrations began, a song entitled 'The Merry Blacksmith' was sung and can still be heard to this day at the festivities of tradesmen's guilds in England.

Saint Eligius ( Eloy ), is also represented as the guardian of farriers and blacksmiths. He flourished in the seventh century, and in his youth served as an apprentice to a goldsmith at Limoges, where he became very proficient in the art of working the precious metals.
According to a well-known legend, Saint Eligius was shoeing a horse, which refused to stand still, he is said to have cut off the animal's foot, to put on the shoe. After making the sign of the cross, he replaced the foot and the horse experienced no harm or ill effects.

Thursday 14 April 2011

Village Death and Life

My Dad has been staying with us for a couple of weeks and the weather has been wonderful ~ a national obsession here in England.
He suggested we should spend an afternoon discovering the local village churchyard of All Saints, in Great Chesterford  as I had not visited it before ~ he sure knows how to keep me entertained !

Great Chesterford has been inhabited for centuries, with archaeological finds from the Bronze Age and in the 1st century AD, a Roman - British settlement became an important site here.
In Medieval times, Chesterford is first mentioned in a document in 1004, and again in 1086 in the Domesday Book. In 1459 the Rector Thomas Hyll endowed a charity for the benefit of needy parishioners, that exists to this day.

This row of headstones belong to the 'Boons' of Great Chesterford, each stone displays the Cross and Crown symbol, which shows the Sovereignty of Christ. The two trumpets, symbolise the call to Judgement and the two torches, represent the continued existence of the soul in the next realm. The two olive branches on either side depict eternal peace. 

These two rows of headstones, belong to the 'Greens' of Great Chesterford. Unfortunately the individual names and dates on these stones and on those of the Boons, are so badly worn, that they are now almost entirely illegible.

As we left the churchyard we passed the village school, where the children were practising Maypole dancing  for the forth coming May Day celebrations. An indication that traditonal village life still goes on, as it always has done.  

Click on the bold type above for more information

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Wednesday's Child

In Loving Memory of
Alec Gordon
younger son of
Chas. F and Lilian Smith
who fell asleep
Sept. 26th 193? aged 7 years

Unfortunately the lead lettering was badly damaged and I could not make out which year in the 1930's, that young Alec had died in. Also I may not have the age correct, but it looked like a number seven. 

Tuesday 12 April 2011

Alchemical Symbol ?

Does anyone know what the symbol above represents ?
I have found similar glyphs to the one above, like the Alchemical symbol for 'Tin'

and also the symbol for the planet Jupiter,
however both of these are in reverse to the symbol above.

I have also taken a look at Cyrillic alphabets, Runes, and Occult symbols,
but so far, it's still a Mystery to me ? 


Many thanks goes to Henk van Kampen for putting this information my way.
I think that the symbol may be a Trading Symbol used by the Schoute family. And the Dirk Schoute whose headstone is featured here, shows him to be of the 4th generation of this family.
Please click the bold typed family name above for more info ~ Information is in Dutch.
Unfortunately I do not speak Dutch, so I'm unable to give anymore info and the Google translation always fails on this particular page.
If anyone would care to give any further updates, please leave a comment.

Saturday 9 April 2011

Beloved Village Doctor

Adam Arco
by 755 Patients
and Friends
1856 ~ 1901
Brave, Gentle
'I was sick
poor and needy
and ye visited me'

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Wednesday's Child

Treasured Memories
Greta Roberts
who died 22nd July
Aged 7 years
Safe with Jesus

Tuesday 5 April 2011

Police Inspector

In Loving Memory of
Frederick William Busby
Late Inspector of Police
died at Woburn
3rd May 1926
aged 45 years
and his wife
died 4th April 1976
aged 93 years

The British Police Force

The Metropolitan Police, were founded in 1829 by Sir Robert Peel. Those early 'Peelers' as they were known, were paid 19 shillings (95p) a week, of which approximately four shillings would have been spent on their accommodation.

They received no pension or payment for injury or disablement. The job was harsh and they were expected to walk their entire beat at least once every 15 minutes. They did however, receive an annual allowance of enough cloth to make two uniforms.

Moustaches were part of the uniform for the police of
Barnet, Hertfordshire in 1910

A Police Inspector ~ A Sargeant ~ Two Constables circa 1920
The constable's powers were considerable, he had the right to enter any house without a warrant, where he thought adultery and fornication were taking place. A reflection of the values of those times.

Earlier policing methods had changed little since medieval times. Each year local Parishes elected an unpaid constable to serve for a year ~ or got the poor man to pay for someone else to do the job ~ and an assistant constable, called a headborough. There are records of such appointments going back to the 1600s.

The job of patrolling the parish streets was done by a small team of watchmen, under the guidance of the parish constable. The watchmen consisted of the very poor and the simple-minded men of the Parish, who were widely regarded as figures of fun and called 'Charlie', hence the derogatory phrase ' A Proper Charlie'.

Monday 4 April 2011

Monday Mourning's Mausoleum

There were only a few headstones remaining in the Churchyard of St. Nicholas's Church, Loughton, Essex. But there was also this beautiful little Gothic Mausoleum, belonging to Mary French.

Here rests
the body of
wife of
Jos. FRENCH of
Little Burstead
in this County Est.
? Feb. 11th 1860
? 77 

I did take a peek into the window at the back, but there were only a few old LP album covers from the '60's in there and nothing else, so it looks as though someone had sadly used it as a litter bin.

Sunday 3 April 2011

The Door Finally Closes

Whilst watching 'The Tudors' tv programme last night, I had one of those moments, when the penny finally drops and you make one of those connections, that has always been there.
I knew of our small towns links to other well~known Historical figures ~ some of them at least. 
But I had not associated the 'Howard' name, on this particular Vault, to the historical characters portrayed in the programme about King Henry VIII's dynasty. 

It was only because of the episode featuring Henry's sixth wife, 'Catherine Howard', that stirred my old brain cells into action and made me think, 'Well I wonder?'. 
It had been the date on the vault that had thrown me, and caused me to initially think that it was a more recent tomb.      

This Entrance
To The Howard Vault
Was Closed A.D. 1860

You can see from the differing stone work and it's colour that the Howard family vault of St. Mary's Church, Saffron Walden, had its door way closed and sealed for the final time in 1860.

The Howard vault contains the bodies of Baron Audley who had served under Henry VIII and who had seen several of his Queens come and go. The Howard Vault was built by him and the Sanctuary inside the Church is raised, in order to accommodate such a grand vault as this.

Ten Earls of Suffolk and Lord Howard de Walden who served Elizabeth I and James I, is also interred here with his two wives.

Please click the bold type above for more information.

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