William Thaddeus Harris.

Epitaphs from the old burying-ground in Cambridge. With notes (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryWilliam Thaddeus HarrisEpitaphs from the old burying-ground in Cambridge. With notes (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 9)
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When at the first I took my pen in hand,
Thus for to write, I did not understand
That I at all should make a little book
In such a mode."





More than three years ago, having read in Presi-
dent Quincy's " History of Harvard University," that
the Reverend Henry Dunster, the first president of this
institution, was buried in Cambridge, near the seat of his
labors, I was led to look for his grave-stone in our old
burying-ground. Though unable to find any inscription
to his memory, I soon became interested in conning the
old Latin epitaphs, and began to copy and compare
them with those contained in Alden's collection, and
found much pleasure in thus passing some of my leisure
hours. After a considerable number had been copied,
it occurred to me that a collection of all the inscriptions
might interest other persons, and might be of some use
to the biographer and the historian. With this im-
pression, I was encouraged to continue what had been
begun only for amusement ; and thus the present col-
lection has been made, and is now offered to the

The settlement of this town, originally called Newton
or the New Town, was begun in 1631. In 1632 w^as
built " the first house for public worship at Newtown,
with a bell upon it," and on the 11th of October, 1633,
Rev. Thomas Hooker was ordained pastor, and Mr.
Samuel Stone, teacher. Early in the year 1636, Mr.
Hooker and his congregation removed to Hartford,
Conn. " These people and Church of Christ being


thus departed from New-towne, the godly people, who
came in their roomes, gathered the eleaventh Church of
Christ, and called to the Office of a Pastor, that gra-
tious sweete Heavenly minded, and soule-ravishing
Minister, Mr. Thomas Shepheard.''^ Thus, on the 1st
of February, 1636, was formed the first permanent
church at Newtown. In 1636 an appropriation was
made by the General Court for a pubHc school, and in
163S, Rev. John Harvard, of Charlestown, having
made a large addition to this appropriation, the School
became a College, bearing the name of its benefactor,
and the town was called Cambridge.

The first mention in the Town Records of a grave-
yard bears date January 4, 1635, when, after various
enactments, "It is further ordered that the Burying-
place shall be paled in ; whereof John Taylcot is to
do 2 Rod, Georg Steele 3 Rod and a Gate, Thomas
Hosmer 3 Rod, Mathew Allen 1 Rod, and Andrew
Warner appointed to get the remainder done at a pub-
lick charge and he is to have iii^ a Rod."

As late as the year 1702 the grave-yard was leased
out as a pasture for sheep, as appears from the following
records : —

" At a meeting of the selectmen, 10 March, 1700-1:
Leiv^ Aaron Bordman requesting that he might have
the improvement of the Burying-yard, (to keep sheep in)
the selectmen did consent that he should have the im-
provement of said yard, (for the use above mentioned)
for one year next ensuing ; provided he would cut the
gate of said yard in sunder, and hang the same with
suitable hooks and hinges, also fix a stub-post in the
ground, and a rail from post to post cross the gates, for
them to shut against ; all to be done in good workman-


like order ; — which the said Bordman promised to do."
March 31, 1702. " It was then concluded, that Liev^
Aaron Bordman should have the improvement of the
Burying-yard for this present year, he paying for the
same six shillings."

In the burying-ground there are several monuments,
consisting of a horizontal slab of hard stone, resting
upon a foundation of brick or slate. In the upper sur-
faces of these slabs, are cavities, of various shapes,
designed to admit a softer stone, or, perhaps, a leaden
tablet, bearing an inscription. Either by the ravages of
time, or by some sacrilegious hand, these tablets have
been removed, and thus no memorial is left of those
whose ashes rest beneath. In several places the foun-
dations of monuments have been found, sunk beneath
the surface of the soil.

It is rather surprising, that, in this age of improve-
ment, Cambridge should fall behind her neighbours, and
suffer her ancient grave-yard to lie neglected. Interest-
ing as it is from containing within its limits the " tombs
of the prophets," the spot is often visited by the curious
stranger ; but it is to be feared that he as often leaves
it with feelings of regret at its desolate appearance.

Many of the tombs are without the names of the own-
ers ; many of the grave-stones have been broken, and
more are broken every year ; brambles abound instead
of shrubbery ; and what might be a beautiful cemetery
is converted into a common passage-way. Unfitting is
it, indeed, that the sod beneath which rest the ashes of
a Shepard, a Dunster, and a Mitchel, should be rioted
over by every vagrant schoolboy.

In the following pages will be found a complete trans-
cript of the epitaphs in the burying-ground, from the


earliest date to the year 1800. In the years succeed-
ing 1800, with a few exceptions, the names only of
those, to whose memory monuments have been erected,
are given.

The arrangement, nearly chronological, is according
to New Style, in which, it must be remembered, the
number of the year differs by one from that in Old Style,
with respect to all dates between the 1st of January
and the 25th of March, with which day the year began,
according to O. S. For instance, under the year 1663,
in this book, is a death purporting to have taken place
March 5, 1662 ; this is probably correct by O. S., as
the year 1663 would not commence till March 25th,
but, according to New Style, the year 1663 began on
the 1st of January preceding.

In several instances the chronological arrangement
has been deviated from, to avoid dividing a long epitaph.
Such instances occur on pages 70, 113, &c.

With regard to any discrepancies which may appear
between the statements in the notes and those in Farm-
er's excellent " Genealogical Register," I will merely
say, that I have, in all cases, followed the original Rec-
ords of the Church and Town in preference to any
other authority.

Beside the Church and Town Records, free use has
been made of Farmer's Register, Holmes's Cambridge,
Allen's Biographical Dictionary, Quincy's and Peirce's
Histories of Harvard University, Thomas's History of
Printing, and of several town histories.

I take this opportunity to render my grateful ac-
knowledgments to Rev. Lucius R. Paige, the indefatiga-
ble antiquary and matchless Town Clerk of Cambridge,
both for his personal advice and assistance, as well as


for his kindness in giving me free access to the Records
in his possession.

To Mr. W. S. Tiffany, of the Senior Class in
Harvard University, I am indebted for the design of
the Vassall Monument, which graces my Appendix.

Probable as it is that many errors will be detected in
the following pages, it is hoped that such will be regard-
ed with an indulgent eye, and not attributed to any want
of care on the part of the author.

Cambridge, May, 1845.


" Go where the ancient pathway guides,

See where our sires laid down
Their smiling babes, their cherished brides,

The patriarchs of the town ;
Hast thou a tear for buried love ?

A sigh for transient power?
All that a century left above,

Go, read it in an hour." — Holmes.


Here lies y® body of Ann

Erinton Aged 17y^^- dec'^.

Decern^ 25: 1653.

" A sister" of the church ; mother to the wife of John Watson,
Sen., and probably to Abraham Errino^ton, who died in 1677. The
date of her death in the Town Records is 11.10.1653.


Here lyes y^ body of

Elizabeth Cutter wife to

Richard Cutter aged

about 42 years died

March 5 1GG2.

The first wife of Richard Cutter.




Catharine Chauncy

Aged. LXVI Dyed Jan. XXIIII


The wife of President Chauncy ; daughter of Robert Eyre,
Esq. of Wiltshire, Eng. We have found, in manuscript, the fol-
lowing epitaph : —

" Upon y^ death of y* pious Mother in God

M"- Katherine Chauncy, deceased. 24. 11. 67.

Here lies enterr'd w''^ in this Shrine
A spirit meeke, a Soule divine,
Endew'd w"^ grace, & piety,
Excelling in humility :
Preferring Gods commands above
All fine delights, & this Worlds love,
Whilest here she live'd, she tooke delight
In reading, praying day, & night ;
In faith she was a Puritan
Daily from selfe to Christ she ran
For aid & help, whilest here she staid :
O This was y^ sweet, heavenly trade
Of this renowned matron ! which
Was to all saints a Pattern rich,
Most richly fraught w"^ grace sublime,
With meekenesse, & w^'' love divine :
By hope she live'd, in faith she stood
Washt from her sins w*'' X'^ own blood :
Active, & constant she was here,
In heaven above y* palme she weares :
W'^ X' she reignes, in heaven she sings
Hosannas to her Lord, & King

Death was y* key, w'^'' let her out

Pale ghastly death hath sent his shaft
And hath by Chance nigh broke our heart
Deaths volleys sound, sad stormes appeare.
Mourning draws on : Poore Harverd feare,
Least this sad stroke should be a signe
Of suddeine future death to thine.

J. B. 24.11.67."



John Remington

died April y® 6


Jonathan ) Martha Re

Remington ) mington died

Both in April 16G9.

Jonathan and Martha were the children of Jonathan and Martha


Francis Moore

Aged 85 yeares

Dyed the 20 day

of Au[gu]st 1671.

Francis Moore, freeman 1639, member of the church ; his first
wife, Catharine, died Dec. 28, 1648, and he married Elizabeth
Periman, Dec. 6, 1653.


hie est corpus


S. S. Theologiae Baccalaur :


Collegii Harvardini nov-Angl.

Per XVII annorum spatium,

prsesidis vigilantissimi,

viri plane integerrimi,

concionatoris eximii,


pariter ac liberaH eruditione



Qui obiit in Domino Feb. XIX.

An. Dom. M.DC.LXX.I.

et aetatis suae, LXXX.II.

Rev. Charles Chauncy, 5th son of George Chauncy, of Hert-
fordshire, Eng., was born at Yardley in 1592 ; came to N. E. in
1638; settled at Scituate in 1641; president of Harvard College
from November, 1654, til] his death. His wife was Catharine,
daughter of Robert Eyre, Esq., of Wiltshire, Eng.


Here lyeth intered the body of

Samuel Bridge who was born

February. 14. Anno. Dom. 1652.

And dyed February, 25. Anno. Dom.


The Town Records give his birth Feb. 17 ; he was the son of
Mathew Bridge, who was of the Ar. Co. in 1643, and who mar-
ried Anna, daughter of Nicholas Danforth ; Mathew was son of
John, — of Cambridge in 1632, freeman 1635, representative 1637,
deacon of the church, and selectman 1635, 1637 - 1639, 1641 - 1643,
1646, 1647, 1649, 1652, — whose wife was Elizabeth.

Elizabeth y^ Wife

of IoNAH^ Clarke

Aged : 41 : y''^ Dyed : y^

25 : Day : of : March


Her maiden name was Clarke, and she married Jonas Clarke
July 30, 1650, being his second wife. The date of her death in
the Town Records is March 21, 1673.

Here lyeth interred

the body of Thomas Bridge

Who was born . June . 1 . Ann.

Dom. 1655. and died March

28. Anno. Dom. 1673.

The Town Records give his birth June 1, 1656 ; he was a broth-
er of Samuel, above.

cambridge epitaphs.

Nathanael Micthel
Aged : 17 years : Died the
15. Day : 5. Month : 1673.

Nathaniel Mitchel, born March 4, 1656 (0. S.), was son of
Rev. Jonathan Mitchel, and Margaret his wife, daughter of Rev.
Thomas Shepard, whom he married Nov. 19, 1650.

Sarah Hasting :
Wife of Walter Has

ting aged 34 years

Dyed the 27 of August


The first wife of Deacon Walter Hastings ; her maiden name
was Meen. See Walter Hastings, 1705.

Walter Hasting

Aged a. lly'"^ dec'^.

September y° 19




Aged 21 years
Dyed the 10 1 : 1673.

The date of his death in the Town Records is 1.10.1663 instead
of '73 ; he was the son of John and Margaret Bowtell, of Cam-
bridge in 1646.


Elizabeth Woodmanse

Daughter of John &

Elizabeth Woodmanse

Aged one yeare and

6 weekes Died the

2 of October 1675.

" Mr. John Woodmancy and Elizabeth Clarke " were married

July 23, 1672.




John Poulter
Aged 41 Died
May 20, 1676.

Ann Watson Aged

Ten yeares Dyed the Tenth

of October 1676.


Here lies y® body of

Abraham Erinton Aged

55 y'^^ dec'^. May y^ 9


Abraham Errington, member of the church, married, 1649, Re-
becca, daughter to Robert Cutler of Charlestown ; he was prob-
ably the son of "Anne Errington, sometimes a sister of this
[Cambridge] church."


Here lies y® body of

Samuel Swaine. Aged 21 years

Deceased June y^ 19. 1678.

He was the son of John Swan, by his second wife Mary, whom
he married March 2, 1655 (0. S.). The date of his death in the
Town Records is 20.4.1678.

Here lies y^ body of

John Stedman aged

36 y'^^ Dec^. y« 24 of y° 9


John Stedman was son of Robert, freeman 1638, member of the
church, and his wife Anne ; he married Elizabeth Remington, May
14, 1666, and died of the small-pox, Nov. 24, 1678.


Memento te esse mortalem. Fugit Hora.

Here lies y° body of John

Watson Aged 25 y". dec'^.

November 25 Anno 1678.

Son of John, Sen., and Rebecca, daughter of Anne Errington ;
according to the Town Records, he died of the small-pox.


Memento mori. Fugit Hora.
Here lieth the body of EphraIxM

Angier aged about 27 years

departed this hfe January the IG^^


The son of Edmund Angier and his wife Ruth, daughter of
Rev. William Ames, D. D.

Memento mori. Fugit Hora.

Here lyes buried

y® body of Anna

GoFFE wife to Sam=

UEL GoFFE aged 44 y^:

Dec*^. in April 1679.

The second wife of Samuel Goffe, Sen. ; her maiden name was

Amos Wodward

Aged 38 y'"^ Dec^.

October y« 9^^


Here lies y® body of

John Gibson aged

48 y^^: Dec*^. Octob^ y«

15 . 1679.

The son of John and Rebecca Gibson, of Cambridge in 1634,
members of the church ; he married, first, Joanna Prentice, July
24, 1662, and second, Rebecca Errington, Dec. 9, 1668.


Memento te esse mortalem.
Fugit Hora.

Here lies y^ body of Thomas

Foster Aged 39 y"" Dec*^.

Octob'-. 28 1679.

The date of his death in the Town Records, is 16.7.1679.


Ruth W

ife to



Aged 39


Dec'^. Jan''

. y«6






Here lyeth buried

y® body of Elizabeth

Belcher • who was

formerly the wife of

Andrew Belcher late

of Cambridg deceased

who departed this life

June y^26 1680

iEtatis suae 62,

She was the daughter of Nicholas Danforth, and grandmother
of Governor Belcher. (See Andrew Belcher, Appendix.)



Uriani Oakesii,

cujus quod rellquuni est

clauditur hoc tumulo ;

Explorata integritate, summa morum


Omniumque meliorum artium insigni peritia,

spectatissimi clarissimique omnibus modis


theologi merito suo celeberrimi,

concionatoris vere melliflui,

Cantab, ecclesiae doctissimi et orthodoxi

in Collegio Harv. Praesidis vigilantissimi,
maximam pietatis, eruditionis, facundiae,

laudem adepti ;
Qui, repentina morte subito correptus,

in Jesu sinum efflavit animam

Julii XXV. A. D. M.DC.LXXX.I.

memoriae ;

iEtatis suai L.

Plurima quid referam, satis est si dixeris unum

hoc dictu satis est — Hie jacet Oakesius.

Urian Oakes, the son of Edward Oakes, who was freeman 1642,
member of the church, selectman 1643-1646, 1648, 1649, 1655,
1657-1664, 1666-1668, 1670-1678, representative, and who died
at Concord, Oct. 13, 1689, and of Jane his wife, was born in Eng-
land ; graduated at Harvard College, 1649 ; w^ent to England,
and was the minister of Tichfield, in Hampshire ; was silenced as
a Nonconformist, 1662 ; returned to America, at the earnest request
of the church of Cambridge, and was installed Nov. 8, 1671 ;
freeman 1672 ; entered upon his duties as president of Harvard
College, April 7, 1675, and died July 25, 1681.


Memento mori. tj ^

MicHELsoN Green

Aged 7 M° & 7 Days

Died October y^ 21


Memento mori. Fugit Hora.

Here lyes y® Body of

Edward Michelson

Aged 77 years Dec^.

March y« 7 1681.

Edward Michelson, Cambridge 1636, member of the Ar. Co.
1639, member of the church, was Marshall-General of the Col-
ony ; he married Ruth Bushell.

Here lyes y® Body

of Ellen Fox wife

to Thomas Fox

Aged 82 y'\ T>ec^: May

27 1682

She was the widow of Percival Green, who died Jan. 25, 1639
(0. S.).

Here lyeth buried

the body of
Judeth Poaste.

Aged 57 years.

Dyed y^ 6 of

June 1682.



Memento te esse mortalem.

Here lyeth interred

the body of Elder

John Stone aged

64 years who de

parted this Hfe the

5 of May 1683.

John Stone, Sudbury 1640, member of the church ; Cambridge,
freeman 1665, representative 1682 and 1683, was son of Deacon
Gregory Stone, freeman 1636, representative 1638, one of the
proprietors of Watertown, who died Nov. 30, 1672, aged 82, and
of his wife Lidea, (whom, as the widow Cooper, he married in
England,) who died June 24, 1674.

Here lyes the Bo[dy of]

John Taylor aged [73 years]

Dec'J. September 6^^ 168 [3]

He was a useful man in Hi[s]

Generation, a lover of Piety

A Lover of Learning, a faithful

Servant of Harvard Colledg

About 40 years.

John Taylor, freeman 1651, member of the church ; his wife's
name was Catharine.

Here lyes y° body

of Francis Whit=

MORE, aged 62

Years Deceased

October 12


Francis Whitmore, Cambridge 1653, member of the church ;
his first wife, Isabell, died March 31, 1665 (0. S.), and he married
Margaret Harty, Nov. 10, 1666. The date of the death of Fran-
cis Whitmore (or Whittimore) in the Town Records is Oct. 12,


Elizabeth y^ wife

of Francis Moore

Aged 84 years y^ 5

Day of November


She was the second wife of Francis Moore, Sen. ; her maiden
name was Periman, and she married Mr. Moore, Dec. 6, 1653.


Qualis Vita, Finis ita.

Here lyes inhumd y®
body of Percivall
Green who dyed July
10^^ Anno ^tatis 25
Annoq. Christi 1684.

Percival Green, son of John and Ruth Green, grandson of Per-
cival and Ellen Green, was born in Cambridge, March 29, 1660
(O. S.), and graduated at Harvard College 1680, the first of the
name at that institution.


Here lyes y^ body

of Lydia Twing

Aged 3 year

& 9 Months

Dyed y« 30 of

April 1685.


Here lyes the
body of Thomas


Aged about

68 years Dyed

May 6 1685.

Thomas Longhorn, or Langhorne, Cambridge 1647 ; his wife
was Sarah, daughter of Bartholomew and Elizabeth Green. He
was the town-drummer, as appears by the following record,
bearing date 5 (9.) 1646. "It is ordered by the Townsmen that
there shall be fifty shillings paid unto Tho. Longhorne, for his
service to the Town in beating the Drum this two years last past."

Memento Mori. \ ^'^^

Here Lyes y^ Body of

Anna Fillebrowne

Aged 18 Years & 10 M^

Dec^. August 9'^ 1685.

Daughter of Gordon Fillebrown, of Cambridge in 1666.



Clarke in his

gth yggj. Departed

this life June

y« 14 1686.


Here lyes the body
of Joseph Pierpont

who departed this
hfe y«25 of Feb. 1686
in y^ 21 year of his age.

Probably the son of John Pierpont of Roxbury, and grandson
of James Pierpont of Ipswich, and if so, lie was born at Roxbury,
April 8, 1666.



Here lyeth intered

y^ body of Major Gen^^.

Daniel Gookings aged

75 yeares. who

departed this life

y^ 19 of March,


Daniel Gookin came with his father, from the county of Kent,
Eng., to Virginia, in 1621, whence he came to N. E. in 1644 ; he
was admitted member of the Boston church, March 26, 1644, was
dismissed to Cambridge, Sept. 3, 1648, freeman 1644, member of
the Ar. Co. 1645, representative of Cambridge 1649 and 1651,
selectman 1660-1672, Speaker of the House 1651, Assistant
1652-1686, appointed Superintendent of the Indians in 1656
(which office he held till his death) ; in 1662 appointed, with
Mr. Mitchell, one of the licensers of the printing-press in Cam-
bridge ; elected major-general of the colony, May 11, 1681 ; his
first wife's name was Mary ; his second wife, Hannah, died Oct.
28, 1689.

Here lyeth buried

the Body of

Richard Frances

Aged 81 year or

There about died

March y^ 24 168?

Richard Francis, Cambridge, freeman, 1640, member of the
church; his wife's name was Alse (Alice).

Here lyes y® body of

Andrew Bordman

who died July 15

1687 & in yM2

year of his age.

Andrew Bordman, " Steward and Cook of Harv. College,"
was the son of William Bordman, — of Cambridge, and freeman in
1652, member of the church, — and of Frances, his wife ; he mar-
ried Ruth Bull, Oct. 15, 1669.



Here lyes y^ body of

Anna Angier wife to

Edmund Angier of Cam

bridge Merchant Dyed

the 3^' of October 1688.

Being in her 58 year.

She was the second wife of Edmund Angier, to whom she was
her maiden name was Batt.

Here lyes y® body of

M^^. Hannah Gookin

Wife to Major General

Daniel Gookin who

Died October 29

1688 Aged 48 years.

The second wife of Major-General Gookin ; the Town Records
give her death, Oct. 28, 1689.

Here lyes y® body of Lieut.

Edward Winship, who

died December the 2 1688

& in the 76 year of his age.

Also y® body of Elizabeth

his wife who died the

19 of September 1690.

& in the 58 year of

her age.

The memory of y^ Just is blessed.

Lieutenant Edward Winship, member of the church, freeman
1635, member of the Ar. Co. 1638, was selectman 1637, 1642, 1644,
1648, 1650, 1651, 1662, 1663, 1673, 1682, 1684; representative
1663, 1664, 1681-1686; his first wife was Jane, who died be-
tween 1648 and 1651 ; his second wife was Elizabeth.



Here lyeth buried
y^ body of Eliz
ABETH Andrew,
Wife to Samuel
Andrew aged 57
years Died y^ 24
of January 1688.

Her maiden name was White, and she married Samuel Andrew,
Sept. 22, 1652.

Here lyes y® body of

Sarah Bow wife to

NicKcoLAs Bow Aged

27 years deceased

the 26 of January


Here lyes their child.

Nicholas Bow married, for his first wife, Sarah Hubbard, June
26, 1684 ; [the date of her death in the Town Records is Jan. 26,
1688 (0. S.) ;] for his second wife he marred Dorcas Champney,
May 6, 1690.

Here lyeth buried

y^ body of

Francis Moore Jun"".

Aged 69 years.

Died February y^ 23


Francis Moore, son of Francis Moore, Sen., by his first wife,
Catharine, was admitted freeman in 1652, a member of the church,
selectman 1674-1681, 1683, 1685-1687; he married, Sept. 7,
1650, Albee Eaton.


Memento Fiigit

mori. Hora.

Here lies the body of

Jane Dickson Wife

to William Dickson

Aged about 73 years.

Deceased December

the 4 1689.

In memory of

Mr. Jacob Hill,

who departed this life

Dec^ 12^^ 1689

in the 34^^. year

of his age.

This death in the Town Records is 12.10.1690.


Here lyes y^ Body

of Habaiah Gookin

son of Nathanael

& Hannah Gookin

who Died August the I 1690

Being 6 Months


Here lyes Buried

The Body of Henry

Thompson who died

September 1690

And 17 year

of His Age.



Memento Fugit
mori. Hora.

Here lyes y^ body of

Rebekah Watson

wife to John Watson

Aged 65 years

Died November y^ 11


The memory of y^ Just is blessed.

Wife of John Watson, Sen., mother to Ann, John, Abraham,
and Jacob, who died in 1676, 1678, 1705, and 1724 ; her maiden
name was Errington, and she was the daughter of Anne Erring-
ton, who died 1653.

Here lyes y® body

of Robert

Browne aged

70 years

Died November

23 1690.

Robert Browne, Cambridge, freeman 1639, member of the
church ; he married Barbara Eden, May 8, 1649.

Here lyes buried Hannah Hu-
bert y® loving wife of James
Hubert a tender & loving

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Online LibraryWilliam Thaddeus HarrisEpitaphs from the old burying-ground in Cambridge. With notes (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 9)