E.J.Wilkins

01 Dec 2008 771 views
 
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photoblog image Southampton Old Cemetery

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
SACRED
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

ALSO OF
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 -  on Wikipedia.

.....

FOSOC records 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
.

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
SACRED
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

ALSO OF
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 -  on Wikipedia.

.....

FOSOC records 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
.

comments (10)

Nice photo, Ellie.
Very interesting theories, and I followed the link to the FoSOC. Very interesting indeed, good site. thanks.
EJWilkins: A conundrum though, don't you think? The Victorians were so heavily into symbolism that they didn't imagine the meanings would be lost
  • Tracy
  • Staffs Moorlands England
  • 1 Dec 2008, 08:34
This is a really unusual head stone Ellie and on reading your script very meaningful.
Followed your link and found it intersetingsmile
EJWilkins: I think it's unique, no idea what it means though
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 1 Dec 2008, 11:10
An impressive memorial- an interesting introduction ( no blogger is so informative and educative like you!) and a very interesting question (12 months, 12+12 hours; a kind of ball game Sir Henry James preferred to play; the 12 fruits of Holy Spirit- the 12-number has many meanings and you can divide it through 3 or 4)- I very like to read memorial inscriptions and sometimes I write them down, especially if a young person has died. My respect to FOSOC!
EJWilkins: Lots of ideas Philine, thanks
Fine capture Ellie. Thanks for the interesting links!
EJWilkins: Thanks Richard
  • Laurie
  • United States
  • 1 Dec 2008, 11:36
I cannot help you with these questions but they are interesting. Perhaps they are simply just decorative ornamentation with no other symbolic designation?

Great shot. Nicely composed.
EJWilkins: No Laurie, I didn't really expect anybody to know, but maybe somebody will come along who does.
  • Frida
  • Sweden (swe)
  • 1 Dec 2008, 14:49
I find things like this very interesting and have read what you have written but I can't help in solving this. Beautiful image!
EJWilkins: No matter Frida, but the question is now public and maybe somebody who knows the answers will stumble upon the picture. Hope so
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 1 Dec 2008, 15:13
I like the picture's composition and the point of interest in your description. Being from far away, I can't help - but liking history I found it of interest.
EJWilkins: Ah, but you never know - you might come across something obscure in your reading that's relevant to this particular memorial, the military or even cartography. wink
Sounds as though you are involved in something quite interesting Ellie. Lovely old gravestone which looks as though it needs a bit of TLC in its surroundings.
EJWilkins: The Council has a strict mowing programme, dictated in part to ensure that wildlife is protected, so parts to look quite neglected whilst other areas are more pristine.
  • Aussie
  • Brisbane
  • 1 Dec 2008, 23:25
Lovely bit of history and a beautiful image.
EJWilkins: Thanks Aussie
Very interresting - I Went on you links and It's really well done ! Bravo !

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