King's Chapel Burying Ground
The burial ground in 2007
Tremont and School Streets, Boston, MA
King's Chapel Burying Ground is a historic graveyard on Tremont Street, near its intersection with School Street, in Boston, Massachusetts. Established in 1630, it is the oldest graveyard in the city and is a site on the Freedom Trail. Despite its name, the graveyard pre-dates the adjacent King's Chapel (whose first structure was built in 1688); it is not affiliated to that or any other church.
King's Chapel Burying Ground was founded in 1630 as the first graveyard in the city of Boston. According to custom, the first interment was that of the land's original owner, Isaac Johnson. It was Boston's only burial site for 30 years (1630–1660). After being unable to locate land elsewhere, in 1686 the newly established local Anglican congregation was allotted land in the graveyard to build King's Chapel.
Today there are 505 headstones and 59 footstones remaining from the more than one thousand people buried in the small space since its inception. There are also 78 tombs, of which 36 have markers. This includes the large vault, built as a charnel house, which was converted into a tomb for children's remains in 1833. The earliest tombs are scattered among the grave markers. Most are in tabletop form.
- Charles Apthorp, merchant
- Mary Chilton, Plymouth Pilgrim, first European woman to step ashore in New England
- Captain Roger Clapp, member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, died February 2, 1691, formerly lived at Dorchester (Capt. Clapp's son Desire is also interred close by)
- John Cotton, Puritan theologian
- John Davenport, Puritan theologian
- William Dawes (disputed), American Revolution hero
- William Emerson (father of Ralph Waldo Emerson)
- Robert Keayne, first captain of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts
- John Oxenbridge, Puritan theologian
- Elizabeth Pain, whose headstone is apocryphally claimed to be the inspiration for Hester Prynne's in The Scarlet Letter
- Major Thomas Savage, distinguished settler and soldier, son-in-law of Ann Hutchinson
- Frederic Tudor, Boston's "Ice King"
- Hezekiah Usher, first bookseller and book publisher in the British Colonies.
- John Wilson Puritan theologian
- John Winthrop, first Puritan governor of Massachusetts
John Winthrop's Tomb (died 1649)
Mary Chilton Winslow's burial spot in the Winslow Tomb (died c. 1679)
- Boston Parks and Recreation
- Foote. Annals of King's Chapel. Boston: Little, Brown, 1896.
- The Clapp Memorial: Record of the Clapp Family in America, Ebenezer Clapp, David Clapp & Son, Boston, 1876
- Fletcher, Ron (2005-02-25). "Who's buried in Dawes's tomb?". Boston Globe.
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| Locations along Boston's Freedom Trail
King's Chapel Burying Ground
site of the first public school, Boston Latin School