King's Chapel Burying Ground
King's Chapel burial ground, looking east from near the gate
Tremont and School Streets, Boston, MA
King's Chapel Burying Ground is an historic graveyard on Tremont Street, near its intersection with School Street, in Boston, Massachusetts. 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; 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 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 Lambert, pirate who sailed under John Quelch
- Capt. ISAAC PITMAN, Continental Army Officer and Boston Tea Party member
- 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
- Dr. Comfort Starr, early Cambridge physician and a founder of Harvard College
- 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.
- Snow, Edward Rowe. Pirates and Buccaneers of the Atlantic Coast. Boston: Yankee Publishing Co., 1944.
- The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. LXIV, The New England Historic Genealogical Society, Henry Fitz-Gilbert Waters, Published by the Society, Boston, 1910
- Dr. Starr's daughter Hannah was the wife of John Cutt, the first President of the Province of New Hampshire.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to King's Chapel Burying Ground.|
| Locations along Boston's Freedom Trail
King's Chapel Burying Ground
site of the first public school, Boston Latin School