Thursday, July 5, 2007

First Parish Cemetery, Newbury Massachusetts

After a long drive down Route 1A to Swampscott, we came back the same way and stopped at First Parish Cemetery in Newbury around 3:00pm. So far I’ve found (after several tries) that’s been the best time to get the light on the face of the gravestones.

Newbury once included Newburyport, West Newbury, parts of Rowley and Byfield. This particular cemetery hosts some of the towns earliest and most prestigious founders. Members and founders in America of the Stickney, Chase, Lunt, Coffin, Sewall, Dole and many others. Too bad its such a mess.

There are several stones here from the 1670’s-1740’s, all carved by early Boston artisans. One of the more interesting stones belongs to Henry Sewell:

MR HENRY SEWALL SENT BY
MR HENRY SEWALL, HIS FATHER
IN Ye SHIP ELISABETH & DORCAS
CAPT WATTS COMMANDER
ARRIVED AT BOSTON 1634
WINTERD AT IPSWICH HELPD
BEGIN THIS PLANTATION 1635
FURNISHING ENGLISH SERVANTS
NEAT CATTEL & PROVISIONS
MARRIED MRS JANE DUMMER
MARCH Ye 25, 1646
DIED MAY Ye 16, 1700
ÆTAT. 86 HIS FRUITFULL
VINE, BEING THUS DISJOIND,
FELL TO Ye GROUND JANUARY
Ye 13 FOLLOWING; ÆTAT 74
PSAL · 27 · 10

and Judeth Coffin, virtuous wife of Deacon Tristram Coffin, Esq., who lived to see 177 of her own children and grandchildren.

Many of the older stones were made of Schist and are deteriorating. And of course the 19th century marble and limestone stones are melting away. There are some broken stones but not a large amount by comparison.

The biggest problem seems to be the landscaping. Its tended too rarely. And although I’m happy they’re saving the monuments from weed wacker scars, the grass and plant-life are certainly taking over.

The newest photos can be seen at the end of the gallery at http://gravematter.smugmug.com/gallery/937112 or go to the index page at http://www.gravematter.com/cem-ma-newbury2.asp

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just visited this burial ground yesterday. I am a descendant of Jane and Henry Sewall, and their son John -- all buried there.