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meritorious men, and in paying the debt of Gratitude to those who have gloriously contributed to exalt the renown of their Country. Nothing, we are told, can be more honourable to the memory of the dead, or more soothing to the feelings of their families, or more advantageous to the best interests of the State, than those testimonies of National approbation which are usually conferred upon eminent Public Services.
In the long enumeration of Sepulchral Monuments will be seen, how anxious our Predecessors were about depositing the dead bodies of their relations and friends, and erecting Tombs over them, - and whether it proceeded from an affectionate desire to convey to Posterity the names and good actions of their family, or from a religious persuasion and hope of meeting them again in another life, such monuments or memorials have their
and must not hastily be condemned.
The thought, too, that their remains should ever be disturbed, appears to have been very distressing to many persons, and their injunctions, in consequence of such apprehension, are strongly expressed.
It is uncertain whether the request and imprecation upon the Grave-stone of our immortal Bard were written by SHAKESPEARE himself, or by one of his friends, —but they, doubtless, allude to the custom of removing skeletons after a certain time, and depositing them in Charnel-houses,and similar execrations are recorded in many ancient Latin epitaphs,
Good friend for Jesus' sake forbear
In 1681, ROBERT BLANCHARD, by his Will, after desiring that his body should be decently buried in the Parish Church of Fulham, as deep in the ground as conveniently might be, gave 40s. yearly, provided, that it should be so long continued and paid, and no longer, than the place of his interment, (except for the burial of a relation or repairs,) should remain undigged and undisturbed.?
GEORGE WHITING, by his Will, which is dated in 1709, is equally peremptory,– as he declares, that in case the six freestone tombs, and a grave, in which some of his nearest relatives were interred, and the several inscriptions upon them, should at any
time be ruined and destroyed, or be so neglected as not to be sufficiently repaired, or in case any
person should be at any time thereafter (besides himself) buried in any of the same ground, , that in either of these cases, all the charities and pious gifts by him given, shall cease and determine.3
In 1722, Mr. JOHN GEORGE, by his Nuncupative will, gave to the poor
of Croscombe, in the County of Somerset, 51. a year, as long as his Tombstone remains unmoved, and the legacy to cease from the moment his Grave should be
This sum is regularly paid, and distri
Rep. VIII. p. 425. 3 Rep. XII. p. 412.
buted to the Second Poor, upon his Gravestone in the Church of Croscombe.*
In 1728, ELIZABETH Brown charged a freehold messuage in London, with an annual payment to the poor of the parish of Christ Church, during such time as the stone, which then lay on the body of her husband, should after her burial continue unremoved, or until such time as any other person should be buried under the same stone without the consent of her executors first had in writing,—and in case the stone should be removed after her burial, or any other person should be buried under it without such consent, then the annuity to cease.5
Miss Mary DUNNING, by indenture in 1805, granted a yearly annuity of 61., upon condition, that herself, and her nephew, The Right Hon. RICHARD BARRÉ Lord ASHBURTON, and any of his descendants, while there was room without disturbing the remains of those that should have been buried before, and The Right Hon. ELIZABETH Dowager Lady ASHBURTON, and Mary DUNNING, late of Walkhampton, should be permitted to retain for their place of interment, the Burial Place on the South side of the Church of Ashburton, called “ Crews's Aisle,” under which The Right Hon. John Lord ASHBURTON, the deceased brother, John DUNNING, Esq., the deceased father, and AGNES the deceased mother of the said MARY DUNNING had been already interred,—and that the same ground should remain undisturbed by any other person, and that
* Rep. II. p. 392. 5 Rep. IV. p. 88.
every should be excluded from being interred there, but if the same should be refused to be complied with, she declared that the Annuity should cease.
Miss DUNNING was interred in the burial place called “ Crews's Aisle,”—but The Commissioners are not aware, that the remains of any person have since been deposited there.
Rep. vii. p. 175.