Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gravestone of the Day: Thomas Livermore

Thomas Livermore, 1761, Grove Hill Cemetery, Waltham, MA
Here lie the Remains of THOMAS
LIVERMORE. Justly esteemed for his
Uprightness & Piety, a kind Husband,
tender Parent, an obliging Neighbour
& endearing Friend: Who Sustained the
Office of a Deacon in ye Church more than
forty Years to universal acceptance a
lover of Gods House, constantly attending
his publick Worship he lived under the
Influences of the Christian Hope & died
in Expectation of a blessed I~mortality on
may 8th 1761. AEts. 86 years.

I don't know whether I've ever seen that abbreviation for a double m on a Massachusetts gravestone before. It doesn't seem like it would save time for the carver and he didn't use it on any other consonants.

1 comment:

Robert J. said...

That's quite interesting. The circumflex over the m is a common scribal abbreviation of the kind found in medieval and early-modern manuscripts. Although that line is indeed a bit cramped, I'd say here it's more like an intentional stylistic archaism, similar to the v-shaped cross bar you sometimes see on capital A's. The carver is orthographically quite sophisticated, with fine ligatures and small caps, so he certainly would have been aware of what he was doing.