…. blooming loads of things! Baptisms, births, books, Bible Christians, blogging, brick walls…. but I decided to go for burials for today’s B. There is so much which could be said about burials, why some people’s lives are commemorated with memorials, epitaphs, grand vaults and such like, whilst the graves of others go unmarked.
If the purpose of an epitaph was to perpetuate the memory of the departed, then a great many writers of such epitaphs succeeded very well. Virtues and faults may all have been recorded; cheerfulness would sometimes creep in, together with humour and happily for us today, trades and professions were often referred to.
Perhaps the finest example of any ‘trade’ tombstone in Britain comes from Lydford, Devon. Over two centuries, the stone lid of the outside grave on which the epitaph was inscribed became so worn that it was in danger of being lost so the decision was made to bring the original lid into Lydford’s St. Petrock’s Church where it now hangs on the wall – the grave in the churchyard being re-covered with a replacement stone. The extraordinary inscription upon the stone lid reads:
Here lies, in horizontal position the outside case of GEORGE ROUTLEIGH, Watchmaker;
Whose abilities in that line Were an honour to his profession,
Integrity was the Mainspring, and prudence the Regulator,
of all the actions of his life.
Humane, generous and liberal, his hands never stopped till he had relieved distress.
So nicely regulated were all his motions, 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 his time so well,
that his hours glided away in one continual round of pleasure and delight,
Until an unlucky minute put a period to his existence.
He departed this life Nov. 14, 1802: aged 57, wound up,
In hopes of being taken in hand by his Maker;
And of bring thoroughly cleaned, repaired and set a-going in the world to come.
So, what do you think C is for….?