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Not all verses or texts have been looked up using search engines. Do you know
the origin if it is not listed here?
Have you noticed any errors?
A few of the verses listed are not complete. If you are able to supply the probable missing words, please let me know.
Using these verse and text databases should eventually be easier and faster than using a search engine.
Listed below are a few samples of inscriptions which were found to be quoted
from well known sources.
At Stow Bedon, Norfolk on a headstone in the churchyard
In/ loving memory of/ James FLETCHER/ who died April 8th/ 1896/ aged 67 years/ late of the Royal Artillery/ When I am dead my dearest/ Sing no sad songs for me/ Plant thou no laurels at my head/ Nor dainty cypress tree/ Be the green grass above me/With showers and dew drops wet/ And if thou wilt remember/ And if thou wilt forget.
[A song by Christina Rosetti]
At Northwold, Norfolk on a tomb in the churchyard
Sacred/ to the memory of/ Louisa the daughter of/ Thomas and Susan ROAN/ who died October 19th 1820/ aged 20 years/ Bright be the place of the soul/ No lovelier spirit than thine/ Ever burst from its mortal control/ In the orb of the blessed to shine/ On Earth thou was all we could wish/ As thy soul shall immortally be/ And our sorrow may cease to repine/ When we know that thy God is with thee.
["Bright be the place of thy soul" from "Hebrew Melodies" by Lord Byron]
At churchside cemetery. Downham Market, Norfolk on the west side of a Celtic
In loving memory of/ Henry William TURNER/ who died October 5th/ 1914/ aged 74 years/ God's finger touched him and he slept.
[Alfred Lord Tennyson]
At Churchside cemetery, Downham Market, Norfolk on a headstone
In loving memory of/ Matthew GARNER/ who departed/ this life 14th July 1913/ aged 71 years [burial register says from Salters Lodge]/ In that great cloistered stillness and seclusion/ By guardian angels led/ Safe from temptation safe from sin's pollution/ He lives whom we call dead.
["Resignation" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow]
At Kingsway Cemetery, Downham Market, Norfolk on the north east side of a
cross set in a boulder
Constance Emily/ second daughter of/ Thomas Lancelot/ and Catherine REED/ died October 24 AD 1881/ aged 10 years/ O Blessed Lord whose mercy then removed/ A child whom every eye that looked on loved/ Support us, teach us, calmly to resign/ What we possessed and now is wholly thine.
["Six months to six years added he remains" by W Wordsworth]
At South Pickenham, Norfolk on a headstone in the churchyard
To the glory of God and/ in loving memory of/ Piers Roger/ MORETON/ June 3rd 1946 June 30th 1967/ Goodnight sweet prince/ and the flights of angels/ sing thee to thy rest.
[From "Hamlet" last lines of the play by William Shakespeare]
At Garboldisham, Northwold and Burnham Norton
How loved how valued avails thee not/ to whom related or by whom begot/ a heap of dust alone remains of thee/ 'tis all thou art and all the proud shall be
[from "Elegy to the memory of an unfortunate Lady" by Alexander Pope 1717]
At Denver St Mary on a headstone now laid flat
Susan/ the beloved wife of/ James BEAZLEY/ who died June 20th/ 1885/ aged 43 years/ Like crowded forest trees we stand/ And some are marked to fall/ The axe will strike at God’s command/ And soon will strike us all/
[William Cowper 1787]
At Hevingham, Norfolk on a headstone in the churchyard
In memory of/ Elizabeth/ the wife of/ Thomas SMITH/ who died I of April 1782/ aged 31 years/ Stop reader let this solemn truth Your weary heart and soul engage/ A worm is in the bud of youth/ As well as at the root of age.
[Based on “Read ye that run, the solemn truth/ With which I charge my page/ A worm is in the bud of youth/ And at the root of age” William Cowper 1787]
At Swaffham, Norfolk on a headstone in the churchyard
Beneath/ are deposited the/ remains of/ George RAVEN/ who died Oct 25th/ 1834/ aged 64 years/ Oh! Thou Being of beings, source of all
entity have mercy/ upon me thou Great Being.
[Something similar in original Latin, appears on the tomb of the Second Duke of Buckingham buried at Westminster Abbey 1687, but it may be traceable as far back as Aristotle. /Or was it used by Freemasons?]
At Calthorpe, Norfolk on a headstone in churchyard
Richard Mark/ SHEPHERD/ died 13th August 1992/ aged 11 years/ Lived his life with joy/ and set an example in dying/ All I ask is a tall ship
and a star to steer her by
[From "Sea fever" by John Masefield]
At Burgh next Aylsham, Norfolk
Emma/ Louise HURLEY 28 Sep 2009/ Life shrinks or expands/ in proportion to our courage
[Quotation: Anais Nin]
At Houghton in the Dale, St Giles
Polly GOUGH 4 Jan 1963 - 9 Dec 1982/ In small proportions/ we just beauties see/ and in short measures/ life may perfect be
[Quotation: Ben Jonson]
At Burnham Sutton
Here sleepeth till the morning breaks/ [Ann Elizabeth]/ the dearly loved wife of/ John PLATTEN/ December 15th 1832/ January 4th 1896/ To will what God/ doth will, that is the only science/ that gives us any rest/ and/ John PLATTEN/ September 29th 1832/ December 24th 1904/ Life’s work well done/ now comes rest [Quotation Francois de Malherbe]
Thou wert the morning star among the living ere thy fair light had fled/ Stella Maria/ NORMAN/ 1947 – 1992 [Quotation from Adonais by Percy Shelley]
Jo REYNOLDS/ 1936 – 1990/ Only when you drink/ from the river of silence/ shall you indeed sing/ and when you have/ reached the mountain top/ then you shall begin to climb/ and when the Earth/ shall claim your limbs/ then shall you truly dance [Kahlil Gibran]
In loving and happy memory of/ Arthur Ernest DOWNER/ aged 52 years/ who entered into the light perpetual/ on the 9th of December 1930 [BR says of Reigate]/ Peace peace! He is not dead he doth not sleep/ he hath awakened from the dream of life/ and of Edith Bertha his wife/ who died June 11th 1962/ aged 81 years/ May they rest in peace [Quotation from Adonais by Percy Shelley]
God rest the soul/ of/ Desmond Plunkett/ DUNPHY/ devoted husband/ father, grandfather/ and dedicated doctor/ 1920 – 1998/ and/ at the same age of 77 years/ Margaret Mary ‘Peg’/ DUNPHY/ darling wife/ mother, grandmother/ and inspiration to all/ 1925 – 2003/ I will arise and go now for always night and day/ I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore/ while I stand on the roadway or on the pavements grey/ I hear it in the deep heart’s core["The Lake Isle of Innisfree" by W B Yeats]
Mentions of some notable people.
At West Dereham
In/ loving memory of/ Emanuel GAMINARA/ born at Genoa 1794/ died at Downham Mkt [21 Dec] 1892/ He was a soldier in the 2nd/ Imperial Guards under the great/ Napoleon and was also one of/ the grand army who survived/ the terrible retreat from Moscow
At Hilgay [In churchyard] Here lies the body of/ George William MANBY/ Captain Royal Navy/ born 1766 died 1854/ inventor of an apparatus for saving life in shipwreck/ grant him Lord/ eternal rest.
[He pioneered the use of rockets to fire ropes from the rescue vessel to the sinking vessel]
At Swaffham [Metal tablet on east wall of War Memorial Chapel] To the/ glory of God/ and in memory of/ Admiral of the Fleet/ Sir Arthur/ Knyvet WILSON bt/ VC GCB OM GCVO DCL/ born March 4th 1842 died May 25th 1921 [and in churchyard: ] In memory of/ Admiral of the Fleet/ Sir Arthur Knyvet WILSON, bart/ V.C. G.C.B O.M. G.C.V.O D.C.L/ died May 25 1921/ aged 79 years/ None of us liveth to himself/ Romans XIV 7/ Katherine Knyvet WILSON/ died Decr 20th 1931/ aged 86 years/ Whether we live therefore or die we/ are the Lord’s
[Headstone and kerb]
In/ affectionate memory/ of/ Fairman Joseph MANN/ who died/ January 26th 1913/ aged 75 years/ I will lay me down in peace and
take my rest
[plaque in kerb]
In/ loving memory of/ Mary E MANN/ born August 14th 1848/ died May 19th 1929/ We bring our years to an/ end, as it were a tale that
[She wrote of the lives of late 19thC farmers.]
At Quidenham [Brass on South wall of nave]
Glory be to God most high/ to the sacred memory of/ Augusta/ youngest daughter of/ George Thomas VIst Earl of ALBEMARLE/ and wife of Ernest NOEL/ who placed the chimes in this church tower/
In loving memory of one of God’s true saints/ She pleased not herself but by her beautiful life/ of loving service to others brought hope and peace to/ many sorrowful hearts among both poor and rich/
Her books have been widely read and valued and/ many who never knew her personally reverence her/ memory on account of their blessed influence/ thus she being dead yet speaketh/
Her large sympathy her deep trust in an ever/ present Saviour and the sincere devotion of her life/ were a daily witness to the reality of our holy faith/
She died at Hingham Hall on the 31st Jany 1902 and/ was laid to rest amongst her kindred in this churchyard/
Thanks be to God which giveth us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ/ I Cor XV 57
At Bridgeham [Ledger stone in north east corner of church]
Sacred/ to the memory of/ the Reverend/ Stephen George COMYN/ 36 years rector of this parish/ who died/ 17th of March 1839/ aged 73 years/ Chaplain to Vice Admiral Lord NELSON/ was with him in the battle of the Nile/ and at Copenhagen/ and was presented to the Rectory of/ this parish by the Chancellor through the intercession of Lord NELSON/ during the space of 36 years he enjoyed/ an unremitted state of good health till/ the last fortnight when it pleased the/ Almighty to afflict him with severe/ sufferings which he bore with great/ resignation and may his soul rest in peace/ in hope of a joyful Resurrection
At Heydon [Brass plate on east wall of Lady Chapel]
In loving memory of/ Emma Gertrude/ daughter of Henry John and Elizabeth IRELAND Salle/ (late of Wood Dalling) who after faithful work/ at the Government Civil Hospital Hong Kong/ passed to her rest May 5th 1898/ known and beloved as “Sister Gertrude”
[Sister Gertrude was one of the last people to see Joseph Merrick “The Elephant Man”, alive as she attended him just before transferring to Hong Kong. She died of bubonic plague as a result of nursing a colleague who caught it from a patient]
At Burnham Norton [In churchyard]
David/ Auldjo JAMIESON V.C./ The Royal Norfolk Regiment/ 1920 – 2001
[1 Oct 1920 – 15 May 2001]
At Burnham Norton
[Kerb with anchor and plaque. The words on plaque and kerb are identical]
In loving memory of Richard WOODGET Master of the Wool Clipper “Cutty Sark” born Novr 21st 1846 passed on March 5th 1928 R.I.P. So He bringeth them unto their desired haven
At Clenchwarton Burial register entry: Charles BROWN 15 May 1827 aged 82 years. Kt of the Prussian Order of the Red Eagle formerly principal physician to the King of Prussia
At Tottenhill A warning: [Coped stone] East: Deut/ XXVII . 17 [Cursed be he
that removeth his neighbour’s landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen]
South: William Henry HENSLOWE/ born December 29 1802/ died September 2 1890/ for nearly 50 years vicar of the parishes of Tottenhill and Wermigey/ He will keep the feet of his saints/ 1 Sam 11 . 9 [= Ch 2 v 9]
North: Louisa Colin wife of/ William Henry Henslowe/ born May 1809/ died March 8 1894/ Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid/ surely goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life/ Psalm XXIII . 6
At North Pickenham A Welsh inscription: In/ loving memory/ of/ Sarah Florence/ Margaret BOWLES/ died June 18th 1938/ aged 60 years/ Efe a ymaflood yn ei llaw hi/ “He took her by the hand”
At Burnham Overy A Gaelic inscription: [Cross and kerb] To
the dear memory of/ Robert GRAHAM 1874 – 1942/ beloved husband of Margaret/ THA [E] AIR
DOL DACHAIDH [Gaelic = He has gone home]/ also Margaret Cameron GRAHAM/ 1874 –
1953 [BR says of Chingford]/ and of his grandson/ Robert Alan GRAHAM/ aged 9
months/ In my Father’s house are many mansions [BR says of Chingford]
[plaque] and also of/ Robert [Malcolm]/ GRAHAM/ 1919 – 1977 [BR says of Hockley Essex]
At Burgh next Aylsham A French inscription: M le Professeur/ Maurice POLLET/ Bourganeuf 27 Juin 1910/ Aylsham 26 Decembre 1999/ Mme Myrtle Florence/ POLLET/ Barrow-in-Furnace/ 2 January 1916/ Aylsham 22 February 2001
At East Raynham
At Downham Market A Hebrew word: In loving memory of/ Hephzibah R[ebecca] M[aria] FRETWELL wife of Leonard FRETWELL died April 4th 1932 aged 67 years/ Mizpah/ also of Leonard FRETWELL died January 3rd-1936 aged 73 years
and at Downham Market 3/8094 Serjeant/ T[homas] YOUNG/ Norfolk Regiment/ 8th September 1915 aged 46/ Thy will be done/ his wife Harriett Grace/ 20-4-49 age 71 Mizpah
and also at Downham Market [Kerb] Sacred to the memory of/ Lily beloved wife of B M STARLING/ died Sept 12-1937 aged 41 years [BR says of West Downham]/ Mizpah/ In loving memory of/ John GLOVER died Feb 11-1949 aged 83 years/ Susan beloved wife of John GLOVER/ died Feb 14-1951 aged 82 years/ In loving memory of/ Mabel GLOVER/ died Feb 10-1968 aged 73 years [Mizpah originally meant "watch tower" then "may God watch over you" but has now come to mean ‘may good fortune follow you wherever you are’]
At Burnham Market
In/ loving/ memory of/ a dear husband/ Graziano/ AVERSA-MAY/ 1954 – 2006/ Nite nite luv you
For no particular reason, other than the fact that there is room here to show it:
The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds.
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the moon complain,
Of such as wand'ring near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
The cock's shrill clarion, and the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care,
No children run to lisp their Sire's return,
Nor climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke,
How jocund did they drive their team afield,
How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stoke!
Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys and destiny obscure,
Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile,
The short and simple annals of the poor.
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike th'inevitable hour,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If mem'ry o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where, through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Can storied urn, or animated bust,
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of death?
Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid,
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire,
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre.
But knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll,
Chill penury repress'd their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear,
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Some village Hampden, that with dauntless breast,
The little tyrant of his fields withstood,
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood.
Th' applause of list'ning senates to command,
The treats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their hist'ry in a nation's eyes.
Their lot forbad: nor circumscribed alone,
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined:
Forbad to wade through slaughter to a throne,
Or shut the gates of mercy on mankind.
The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenious shame,
Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride,
With incense, kindled at the muse's flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life,
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way.
Yet ev'n these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memories still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Their name, their years, spelt by th' unletter'd muse,
The place of fame and epitaph supply;
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralists to die.
For who to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e'er resing'd,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing ling'ring look behind?
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
Even from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
Even in our ashes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who mindful of th' unhonour'd dead,
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate:
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall enquire thy fate.
Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
'Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn',
'Brushing with hasty steps the dews away',
'To meet the sun upon the upland lawn'.
'There, at the foot of yonder nodding beech',
'That wreaths its old fantastic roots so high',
'His listless length at noontide would he stretch',
'And pore upon the brook, that babbles by'.
'Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn',
'Muttering his wayward fancies, would he rove';
'Now drooping, woeful-wan, like one forelorn',
'Or crazed with care, or cross'd in hopeless love'.
'One morn I miss'd him from the custom'd hill',
'Along the heath, and near his fav'rite tree';
'Another came; nor yet beside the rill',
'Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he'.
'The next with dirges due in sad array,'
'Slow through the churchway path we saw him borne',
'Approach and read, for thou cans't read, the lay',
'Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn'.
The Epitaph Here rests his head upon the lap of earth,
A youth, to fortune and to fame unknown;
Fair science frown'd not on his humble birth,
And melancholy mark'd him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere;
Heav'n did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to mis'ry all he had, a tear,
He gain'd from heav'n ('twas all he wish'd) a friend.
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose),
The bosom of his father, and his God.
By Thomas Gray (1716-71).