Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gravestone of the Day: Rev. Joshua Gardner

Rev. Joshua Gardner, 1716, Haverhill, MA
HERE LYES BURIED IN Ye LAND OF
FORGITFULNESS Wt WAS MORTAL OF
REVd Mr JOSHa GARDNER A MAN
GOOD BETIMES & FULL OF Ye HOLY GHOST
& OF FAITH OF AN EXCELLENT TEM
PER OF GREAT INTEGRITY PRUDENCE
& COURAGE , PASTr OF Ye Chh IN HAV
ERHILL 5 YEARS WHO HAVING FAITH
FULLY IMPROVED HIS TALENT FELL
ASLEEP IN JESUS & WENT TRIUM
PHANTLY TO RECEVE HIS REWARD
IN HEAVEN MARCH Ye 21 ANNO DOMINI
1715/16 [?] ÆTATIS 27 [heb?] 12.9
1 CO[R] 15.19

What a great phrase — "ye land of forgitfulness." It comes from Psalm 88, which is one of the most mournful of all the Psalms.

I'm having some trouble reading those last two lines. It looks like there are two biblical citations, but I can't really make them out.


The first looks like it could be Hebrews 12:9, but I'm not entirely convinced that it is. Those lettrs could be "heb, "  but why would they be lower case when the whole epitaph is upper case?
Hebrews 12:9 — Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

The second could be 1 Corinthians 15:19 or Colossians 1: 15-19. Both verses have something to say about "the dead" and I think Corinthians is probably the most appropriate, but I can't convince myself that that is an "R."

1 Cor 15:19 —
 19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
 20But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. 

Col 1:15-19 —
 15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
 16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
 18And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
 19For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

Guesses?

4 comments:

Roy said...

I can't see how it could be anything but Hebrews, case notwithstanding; nothing else makes sense. And I'd go with 1 Corinthians because that is very definitely a "1" in front of the C. Also, being a calligrapher who likes to study historical developments in pen lettering, that looks like an R instead of an L to me because it looks very much like a chancellery hand-style ligatured R, which would have been common in the handwriting of the time. I can't explain why the lettering is different from the main text, but maybe it was an afterthought added later? Or added by an assistant?

peterfisk said...

Genealogical sidebar:
Sources indicate that this Rev. Joshua Gardner was a son-in-law of Rev. John Pike, the noted journal keeper who was in turn a son of Maj. Robert Pike of Salem Witch Trial fame. (Joshua Gardner married Mercy Pike.)

Bob said...

Here's a logistics tip someone gave me once that have always found useful: Whenever I go out to take gravestone photos the one tool I always bring is a shoe brush (like this). It's great for getting into the crevices of the lettering, and is soft enough to do no harm. I almost always spot things in a photo that I didn't notice when actually looking at the stone, and the brush sometimes cleans out serifs and ligatures that I didn't even realize where there.

Caitlin GD Hopkins said...

That's a good tip, especially for a day like the day I was in Haverhill — there had been a downpour the day before and all the stones were splattered with mud.