Friday, 30 April 2010


This old tombstone is to be found in the churchyard of what was, formerly, St Mary's-at-Lambeth (next to the London home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth Palace) and what is now The Garden Museum.

The tablet commemorates Mrs Frances De Cleve and her husband, Mr Vincent De Cleve, who died, at the age of 67, in 1827 and who is remembered with this epitaph...

Or, turning all those 'f's back into 's's...

Here lies an honest Man:
To say more would be unnecessary

It's probably an unneceffary question, but how many contemporary obituary-writers could be as succinct?

Image: Brian Sibley © 2010, uploaded via my flickr Photostream.


Geno said...

I love seeing things like this. Thanks for sharing it. I am actually reading a book by H.V. Morton titled "In Search of London" written right after WWII that is filled with interesting little histories of a similar nature. Quite nice to put my book down for a few minutes and then find this post of yours.

Jen said...

and how many people would be worthy of such an epitaph? The Garden Museum is a London gem, and the legendary Captain Bligh also rests there!

Suzanne said...

Good epitaph... How many people can you actually say that about them?

Eudora said...

I like it!!, unusual too.

In the cemetery of the village where I live, there is only one curious epitaph. Some verses that I'll try to translate:

Como te ves, me ví,
como me ves, te verás.
Haz cuenta por nosotros,
Del mundo no esperes más.

As you see yourself, I saw myself.
As you see now myself, you will see yourself.
Make an assessment by us,
from the world don't wait nothing more.

As you can see, there are a few verses full of optimism and hope........

Brian Sibley said...

GENO - H V Morton was a fascinating writer who wrote a great many interesting books, including a very vivid description of places in the gospel narratives (In the Steps of the Master); I must seek out his London book, thank you.

JEN and SUZANNE - Two minds with but a single thought... :)

EUDORA - Brilliant! It's not exactly cheerful, but it does, as they say, tell it like it is!

SharonM said...

I think I would prefer 'kind and honest man' - it's possible to be honest, but not very nice.

My cousin, who died in his fifties, had 'Is it that time already' put on his stone.

Brian Sibley said...

I like that! How nice to think that your gravestone could put a smile on people's faces long after you've personally lost the ability to make a joke!