These are just a few of the most thought provoking epitaphs that have been found in graveyards throughout the West Country.
In St. Mylor church, near Falmouth, is the gravestone of Joseph Crapp, a shipwright who died on 26th November 1770 aged 43.
Alas friend Joseph
His end was almost sudden
As though a mandate came
Express from Heaven
His foot, it slip and he did fall
Help, help he cries, and that was all.
Daniel Gumb's memorial is in Linkinhorne church. He had a wife and 9 children and lived in a house built under a granite slab near The Cheesewring. He taught himself Mathematics and Euclid so that he could study astronomy. His carvings on the rocks can still be seen today, albeit very faint.
Here I lie by the churchyard door
Here I lie because I'm poor
The further in, the more you pay
But here lie I as warm as they.
In St. Petrock's Churchyard at Lustleigh, Devon is the gravestone of a watchmaker who died in 1802. This is actually a lot longer but I have mislaid the full transcript.
Here lies in horizontal position the outside case of George Routleigh watchmaker,
Wound up, In hope of being taken in hand, By his Maker,
And of being thoroughlye cleaned, repaired, And set agoing,
In the World to come.
This has come from a young man's grave in Cornwall
Weep nor lament, my parents dear,
Nor be no longer sad.
The shorter was my time on Earth,
The fewer sins I had
From Otterham Church, North Cornwall
ABEL MOYSE MEDLAND
Died January 28th 1892 Aged 48
So quick and sudden was my call
I soon was taken from you all
Death does not always warning give
Therefore be careful how you live
In Bampton Churchyard, near Tiverton is a memorial to a child in 1776 that died from an accident with an icicle!!
Bless my iiiiii
Here he lies
In a sad pickle
Killed by icicle.
Something makes me think that it wasn't the parents choice of words.
From a churchyard in Mylor is a memorial stone to a smuggler called Thomas James who on the 7th December 1814 was on his return to Flushing from St. Mawes in a boat, when he was shot by a Customs House officer and died a few days later.
Officious zeal in luckless hour laid wait
And wilful sent the murderous ball of fate;
James to his home, which late in health he left,
Wounded returned--of life is soon bereft.
More to follow soon