Saturday, 15 October 2011

Suffer the Little Children

Childrens Headstone Leeds
Picture of childrens memorial in a Leeds churchyard.

Whilst mooching around the churchyard of St John the Evangelist in Wortley, Leeds a couple of days back I looked at and photographed several of the more readable and accessible gravestones.

Several of these old headstones are quite large and even though some of them are now lying in the grass to get a decent photo a step ladder would be handy. Not having a ladder, a friend gave mine away, thinking I did no longer need it.

This headstone in the above photo is broken in two pieces and they lie slightly off kilter, not being 8 feet tall did not help.

The words on this early Victorian stone memorial gave me pause for thought when I first saw them and again just now when I copied out the wording of their short lives here in Leeds.


John, Son of James and Hannah Johnson,
of Wortley, who died Augst 26th, 1828, Aged 8 Months and 3 Weeks.

Also Samuel, Son of the above, who died March 3rd 1833, Aged 3 Months.

Also William, Son of the above, who died June 15th 1837 in the 16th Year of his Age.

Also David, Son of the above, who died Nov 17th 1838, Aged 6 Days.

Also Emma, Daughter of the above, who died April 1st 1840, Aged 5 Months and 14 Days.

Also Selina, Daughter of the above, who died Jan 11th 1841, in the 5th Year of her Age.

Also Ann, Daughter of the above, who died Jan 16th 1841, in the 7th Year of her Age.

Farewell dear Children the parting _ _ _ _ _ hard
Your course was short but _ _ _ _ _ reward

I could not make out some of the last few words but to lose 4 sons and 3 daughters must have sorely challenged their faith. There is another Victorian monument in this same small churchyard to 11 young girls who died in a fire adjacent to the church on New Years Day 1891.


  1. Heart-breaking. The last two within five days. I wonder if there was some epidemic at that time.

    On a more cheery note, if I hear of a photographer who looks like a window-cleaner, carrying a step-ladder and a tripod, I'll know it's you.

  2. It certainly does give pause to realise how our life differs ... just because they had more children I am sure they were no less loved and their loss hard.

  3. They were tough times to live in, diphtheria and TB were rife and no antibiotics. We have quickly forgotten what a life saving discovery they were.

    Seems right to have the gravestone scattered with fallen leaves, nice composition (despite no step-ladder!)


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