Southampton Old Cemetery
Lieutenant General Sir Henry James (1803 - 1877) his wife and daughter
This memorial has led to the Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery making an online appeal for information - A Question of Symbolism -
where there are other pictures of this memorial. Please take a moment to read what they say.
The hole in the stone is believed to represent Lt Gen Sir Henry James's interest in church architecture. It's likely that the outer area of the upper part of the stone is meant to resemble a fancy compass rose.
The question relates to the 12 spheres circling the hole, and the additional 6 in the lower part of the memorial. The balls forming a circle do not
represent the points of a compass, nor could they represent the planets, and thus his interest in astronomy.
Each of the little balls has three indentations, a little bit like tiny bowling balls. They represent his military background - ordinance - and the holes are where gunpowder would have been placed.
If anybody can help could they either respond here on my site or directly via the FOSOC site linked above.
The inscription reads
TO THE MEMORY OF
Lt GENL SIR HENRY JAMES
DIRECTOR OF THE ORDNANCE SURVEY
FROM 1855 TO 1875.
BORN AT TRURO 8th JUNE 1803
DIED AT SOUTHAMPTON 14th JUNE 1877
LADY JAMES HIS WIDOW
WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE ?0th JUNE 1893 AGED 72 YEARS.
AND OF THEIR DAUGHTER
MARY FRANCES EDITH JAMES
WHO DIED 19th JUNE 1892 AGED 42 YEARS
Lieutenant Sir Henry James was responsible for bringing Ordnance Survey
to Southampton, following a fire in its premises in the Tower of London in 1771. The offices are still in Southampton.
Ordnance Survey is responsible for map making (cartography), which was originally done under the auspices of the Royal Ordnance Corps, for military purposes.
You can read more about Ordnance Survey History - here -
and - here -
More about Lt. Gen Sir Henry James - here -
suggest the inscription may be incorrect
Henry James 16/6/1877 age 74
Mary Frances Edith James 23/6/1892 age 42 daughter
Anne Emma James 22/6/1893 age 73 wife.