03/14/2022 “Epithets”   2 comments

For many years after moving to New England, I spent a great deal of time in dozens of local cemeteries in southern Maine, checking out epithets, and anything else interesting that I could find. There was a time when I would stretch T-shirts over old tombstones and do rubbings of family names and places which I then sold in a local gift shop. Business became so brisk I was able to take requests from certain families to memorialize their long dead relatives. It was a little weird at times but very interesting. I also got to meet a few of the local law enforcement officers who repeatedly stopped to check me out. The epithets were remarkable since most of the early deaths were colonists from England, the home of the limerick. What follows are not the ones I discovered back then but discoveries made by other morbid folks who were also fascinated by them. Here are a few priceless ones I think you might enjoy.

Sacred to the memory of Anthony Drake,

Who died for peace and quietness’ sake.

His wife was constantly scolding and scoffin’,

So, he sought for repose in a twelve-dollar coffin.

Burlington Massachusetts


Here lies Ann Mann;

She lived an old maid and

She died an old Mann.

Bath Abbey, England


Sacred to the memory of

Elisha Philbrook and his wife Sarah

Beneath these stones do lie,

Back-to-back, my wife and I!

When the last trumpet the air shall fill,

If she gets up, I’ll just lie still.

Sargentville, Maine


Sacred to the memory of

Jared Bates

who died August 6, 1800.

His widow, age 24, lives at 7 Elm

Street, has every qualification for a

good wife and yearns to be comforted.

Lincoln, Maine




2 responses to “03/14/2022 “Epithets”

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  1. I want you to write mine and I want it published in my Obituary. I hope that everyone gasps,
    turns red, and laughs their asses off!

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