So That's Where I Get It From

February 1, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday: How Many Tears Have Bathed Thy Honoured Bier

Now that I have the awful internet connection problem fixed, although not quite 100% yet, this is my first Tombstone Tuesday for quite a while!!

This is the tombstone of Michael Read, the great grandson of my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read.

original photograph taken by me at Lower Winchendon, Buckinghamshire – copyright 2011

Transcript of Monumental Inscription


Memory of

Michael, Son of

Richard and Sarah Read

who died October 20th 1844

Aged 26 years


Oh friend, for ever lov’d, for ever dear,

How many tears have bathed thy honoured bier,

What sighs reechoed to thy parting breath,

Whilst thou wast struggling in the fangs of death


Afflictions semblence bends not o’er thy tomb,

Afflictions self deplores thy youthful doom,

To all save one, is consolation known,

Whilst solitary friendship sighs alone


Layt Aylesbury


I’m a little intrigued by the verse, the last part of the verse especially.  “To all save one …”   does that mean God or someone Michael was unfriendly with?  And what does “whilst solitary friendship sighs alone” mean?

Other than knowing that Michael died in London (it mentions this in the burial register) although the gravestone does say he was  late of Aylesbury (Buckinghamshire) I do not have much more information about him.  I am thinking that maybe I really need to get his death certificate, at least that will give me an idea of why he died so young. 




  1. What a sad but very touching poem. The way I read it, the author is saying that others may find consolation but he/she is beyond consolation?

    “Whilst solitary friendship sighs alone” could be the author stating the fact that he is now alone in the friendship that Michael was the other half of?

    It’s a really beautiful memorial, thank you for sharing. 🙂

    Comment by MarDi — February 2, 2011 @ 6:36 pm

    • Hallo MarDi, Thanks for popping over to my blog and for your comment. I wasn’t thinking about the author who wrote the poem, and now in view of what you have said I am wondering if the author was a family member? Friend? rather than maybe verses the vicar kept for tombstones for the bereaved if they wanted something on the stone. And what you say makes sense. I thought the whole verse was quite different from the types of verse I have seen on tombstones.

      Hope you’re having a good week!

      Kind regards,

      Christine (rootsresearcher)

      Comment by rootsresearcher — February 2, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

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