Sunday, 1 June 2014

The Stone Infant

The Church of St Michael's and All Angels in the Bronte village of Haworth in Yorkshire has a graveyard that is visited by thousands of tourists every year. There are many poignant reminders of the high children's mortality rate of the time with 40% of children dying before the age of six.

The Haworth Church website records that there are estimated to be 42,000 burials in the graveyard and that many of the graves, from the time of the Bronte family, hold entire families including a number of infants. English Heritage, in its Haworth-Village of the Brontes leaflet, that one memorial records that Joseph Heaton buried seven infant children and that there are many similar gravestones in the village's burial grounds.

Joseph Heaton was a highly skilled stone mason and the memorial he carved for his family is the most visited grave in the graveyard. Locally, the grave is referred to as 'The Stone Infant' for it includes a representation of a child [said to be James Whitham Heaton] laid with its head resting on a pillow. A canopy above shelters the child.

The inscription reads;
the memory of James William
Son of
Joseph & Elizabeth Heaton
of Haworth
who died
in the 1st year of his age
ALSO three infants of theirs
ALSO James Whitham
Their son died July 19th 1878
in the 2nd year of his age
ALSO Elizabeth their daughter
who died June 19th 1885
ALSO an infant son of theirs
ALSO of the above named
Joseph Heaton
who died March 18th 1914
in his 69th year
ALSO Elizabeth his wife
who died April 22nd 1917
in her 71st year
'Sweet Rest At Last'

1 comment:

Beneath Thy Feet said...

Such a lovely monument and such a sad loss for the family. We really don't know how lucky we are to live in the age we do.

Thank you for ,linking up with Cemetery Sunday.

Welcome to the Graveyard Detective

An illustrated look at the World of Graveyards and Cemeteries. There are many Stories behind the Stones that Stand in them. Who knows what we might find?


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