Saturday, April 9, 2011

Trinity Church, Manhattan

I recently visited the Trinity Church on Manhattan Island, New York ( The church itself is of great interest, however I visited to look at the church burial ground. The burial ground sits either side of the church, with a number of historical figures buried there. Many of the headstones dated from the 1700's and early 1800's, with some restorations also present. The headstones appear to largely generated from a local stone which has not fared well - it appears expansion of frozen water has cracked away the faces of many headstones, and the burial ground headstones were unaffected by the World Trade Center attacks, despite the fact that a large sycamore fell during the damage created on that day.

I thought I'd post a small number of pictures, with transcripts where relevant.

General view of the burial ground.

In memory of
Captain JAMES LAWRENCE of the United States Navy
who fell on the 1st day of June 1813, in the 32nd year of his age,
in the action between the frigates Chesapeake and Shannon.
He was distinguished on various occasions, but especially when commanding
the sloop of war Hornet he captured and sunk his Brittanick Majesty's sloop of war Peacock
after a desperate action of fourteen minutes.
His bravery in action was equalled only by his modesty in triumph,
and his magnaminity in to the vanquished.
In private life He was a Gentleman of the most endearing qualities the whole nation
mourned his loss and the Enemy contended with his Countrymen who should most honor his remains.

A modest headstone, initials "E.M."

Here lies the Body of Mr. WILLIAM BRADFORD
Printer who departed this Life May 23
1752 aged 92 Years: He was born in
Leicestershire, in Old England, in 1660:
and came over to America in 1862, 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
blessed Immortality.
Reader reflect how soon you'll quite 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.

Sidney Breese June 9 1767
Made by himself
Ha sidney sidney
Lyest thou here
I Here Hye
Till time is flown
(Bottom line obscured by soil)

A young child's headstone at right.