Some cool Headstones images:
Image by Svadilfari
A headstone in the South Douglas Cemetery of Douglas, Massachusetts that says Father and Mother and has two Masonic Square and Compasses. It is in the Sibley section
Printer’s Headstone – 1759, NYC
Image by ilovebutter
A headstone in the Trinity Church graveyard in New York City. It reads:
Here lies the Body of Mr. WILLAIM BRADFORD
Printer who departed this Life May 23
1759, aged 92 Years. He was born in
[can't make out], in Old England in 1660
and came over to America in 1682 before
the City of Philadelphia was laid out. He
was Printer to this Government for upwards
of 50 Years and being quite worn out
with Old age and labour, he left this
mortal State in the lively Hopes of a
Reader reflect how soon you’ll quit this Stage.
You’ll find but few atain to such an Age.
Life’s full of Pain. Lo here’s a Place of Rest.
Prepare to meet your GOD then you are blest.
Here also lies the Body of Elizabeth Wife to
the said William Bradford who departed
this Life July 8 1731 aged 68 Years.
Restored with the original inscription by
the vestry of Trinity Church May 1863
I find several things interesting about this tombstone. First, the lettering is just beautiful – I took the picture with the intent of making a font with it some day. I also found it interesting that a printer received such a prominent headstone. Printing was a very important trade back then; today we take it for granted. How many printers do you know?
Second, notice the capitalization pattern – certain words like Life and Hope are capitalized when you wouldn’t expect them to be. I am curious what the tradition is for this. Update: it appears the nouns are capitalized, which is also done in the German language. So, I think this is a Germanic carryover which is no longer employed in present-day English.
Third, William lived to be 92 and his wife 68. This was back in the 1700s – before we had antibiotics, Lipitor, surgery – hell back then they didn’t even have the concepts of steralization and sanitation. Yet William lived to what we would consider a ripe old age, and his wife didn’t fall terribly short of current-day life expectancy. My point? We’re always told that people “back then” lived to an average age of 40.
Bullshit. People have this idea that everyone was dropping dead at 40. A lot of babies and small children died ([an 80 year old + a baby/2] = average age of 40), women died in childbirth and men were often done-in by accidents. But, if you could survive those things and the occaision plague that came along, people routinely lived into their 60s, 70s and 80s (walk around an old graveyard sometime) — without the “benefit” of pharmaceuticals and medical procedures. Frankly, I think they were much healthier than we are.
Comments or thoughts? I would love to know what people think about this.Tags: Headstone, Masonic