Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Beltingham Part Two

My visit to Beltingham was brief, and there were things I should have spent more time hunting down.  I had read somewhere that the church contains the first memorial in the UK to a victim of an automobile accident!

And only later did I read that the church also has a perfect "leper's squint", a diagonal niche carved in the stone during the Middle Ages to allow those not allowed into the church to wittness the Elevation of the Host.  Darn, I simply must research things more intently prior to my travels!

But I did find a couple of  unexpected curiosities.  There was a tombstone from the 1870s in memory of Mary, wife of Septimus Wraune.  A most unusual name, did it relate to local antiquarian studies? 

And check out this tombstone from near the Saxon Cross:
Fairly standard stuff, if a bit better preserved than most of the stones in this location.  The odd thing was on the back side:

This is quite weathered and I have had to play with the contrast settings to bring it out.  It reads:

Our life hangs on a single thread
Which soon is cut then we are dead.
Then boast not reader of thy might.
Alive at noon and dead at night.

Affliction sore long (illegible) I bore,
Physicians were in vain.
Till God did please to give me ease
And take me from my pain.

Well.  Rather gloomy stuff from someone who died at the tender age of 20.  But to me it sounds a bit like a sort of standard inscription.  Something along the lines of: "As you are I once was, as I am you shall be." and similar sentiments you find on tombstones from Colonial times in New England.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Life But Hangs, quote is on a distant relative's convict grave in Rylstone NSW, Australia. He passed on in the 1800s.