Unusual Headstones

Very few of my ancestors appear to have graves marked with headstones. 
There are two notable exceptions, Jonas Fielding and his wife Ann, 
who were my Great Great Great Grandparents.


Jonas is buried in the graveyard at Bethesda Methodist Chapel in Elland 
and the inscription on his grave reads


“Jonas Fielding of Elland who in consequence of a fall 
from a building, departed this life, April 14th 1843 
in the 56th year of his age. 
The constant examples of life and death should 
instead of religionists at all times teach the living 
to become real Christians and do unto others 
as they would wish others should do unto them.”
 


According to his death certificate, the cause of death was 
“Injuries of the head by a fall from the 2nd floor of Spaw Mill." 
The Halifax Guardian on 22nd April 1843 reported that the inquest was held at 
the Saville Arms, Elland where the verdict was “Accidental Death” . 
Jonas died from injuries to the head and brain occasioned by 
an accidental fall from the second floor at Spaw Mill. 
 


His wife Ann died, according to her death certificate, on 11th September 1840 and 
the cause of death was given as “Decline of Life”

She is buried in St. Mary's churchyard, Elland and her gravestone reads


“On the 12th day of September 1840, was added 
to the pale Nations underground, the remains of Ann, 
the wife of Jonas Fielding, of this town;
after spending a life of anxiety and care, 
death obliged her to let go her hold, 
leaving this world (for her class of society) 
in a far worse condition than she found it 48 years ago.”
 



Were these inscriptions typical of the time? 

And what was meant by “death obliged her to let go her hold, leaving this world (for her class of society) 
in a far worse condition than she found it 48 years ago.”


Richard Dyson
GEHS
 
PS. "A History of Elland Church" by D and A Greenwood (December 1954) says that,
 in relation to the Gravestone inscription of Ann Fielding, 
"Doubtless this was intended to be a reference to the worsened conditions 
consequent upon the Industrial Revolution". (added February 2013) .

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