Church Monuments Society

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Query on design of New England gravestones

By CMS in Uncategorised

Donna La Rue (who wrote that fascinating Monument of the Month and blog post on the gravestones of two Charleston midwives)

asks:

Is there anyone in CMS who’s worked on gravestones as well as
monuments…..specifically, for starters, in say, the Groton
Hall/Leicestershire (I think) area (whence came Gov. John Winthrop); York,
especially Newcastle-upon-Tyne (whence several early families came to
Cambridge (MA), possibly together); or Lancaster (whence Rev. Richard
Mather, the scion here of the colonial ministers Increase, Cotton, et
al.)?

I’m trying to pin down possible design precursors to stones here, as a way
of seeing if we can work backwards to identify a half-dozen or so early
carvers whose hands we can identify from several exempla, but whose names,
backgrounds, and training (minimal in some cases) are unknown.

I’m guessing some may have also been housewrights or masons, with basic
carving knowledge, who filled a need for markers here and then began to
focus on that work.

But they clearly did so with certain conventions, like interruptive
punctuation, the joint-stemmed THE, and the thorne (ye, w/ the ‘e’
superscript), in mind, so I’m thinking localities might help sort them
out.

If you can help, you can contact Donna via the Publicity Secretary on the Contacts page https://churchmonumentssociety.org/contact-us


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