Wednesday 22 February 2012: North Leith Churchyard
Down in Leith today and on our way to the Water Of Leith footpath noticed some very old gravestones. We discovered this was North Leith Churchyard, where there are burials dating from 1664 to 1820. Typical of the period there are depictions of skull-and-crossbones, winged cherubs and hourglasses carved in the stones and, being in Leith, tools of the shipping trade. However, one stone struck me as particularly poignant, carved with a boyish cherub, skull and quite detailed head, the text reads (see in large):
Iames Home Ship Mr In Leith And Elizabeth Burton His Spous Caused This Ston To Be Erected In Memory Of William Home Their Son Uho Departed This Life August 26 1768 Aged One Year 11 Month
Infant mortality was not uncommon at this time and, indeed, several stones noted children in addition to the inscription of the parents. This was the only stone I saw dedicated solely to the one child and I found it terribly sad.