Old Burying Ground (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

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Old Burying Ground
Welsford-Parker Monument at the entrance to the Old Burying Ground in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.jpg
Old Burying Ground (Halifax, Nova Scotia) is located in Nova Scotia
Old Burying Ground (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Nova Scotia
Details
Established 1749
Location Halifax, Nova Scotia
Country Canada
Coordinates 44°38′36″N 63°34′22″W / 44.6434°N 63.5728°W / 44.6434; -63.5728Coordinates: 44°38′36″N 63°34′22″W / 44.6434°N 63.5728°W / 44.6434; -63.5728
Type Closed
Owned by St. Paul's Church (Halifax)
No. of graves 12,000+
Official name Old Burying Ground National Historic Site of Canada
Designated 1991
Type Provincially Registered Property
Designated 1988

The Old Burying Ground (also known as St. Paul's Church Cemetery) is a historic cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is located at the intersection of Barrington Street and Spring Garden Road in Downtown Halifax.

History[edit]

Old Burying Ground

The Old Burying Ground was founded in 1749, the same year as the settlement, as the town's first burial ground. It was originally non-denominational and for several decades was the only burial place for all Haligonians. (The burial ground was also used by St. Matthew's United Church (Halifax).) In 1793 it was turned over to the Anglican St. Paul's Church. The cemetery was closed in 1844 and the Camp Hill Cemetery established for subsequent burials. The site steadily declined until the 1980s when it was restored and refurbished by the Old Burying Ground Foundation, which now maintains the site and employ tour guides to interpret the site in the summer. Ongoing restoration of the rare 18th century grave markers continues.

Over the decades some 12,000 people were interred in the Old Burial Ground. Today there are only some 1,200 headstones, some having been lost and many others being buried with no headstone. Many notable residents are buried in the cemetery, including British Major General Robert Ross, who led the successful Washington Raid of 1814 and burned the White House before being killed in battle at Baltimore a few days later.

The most prominent structure is the Welsford-Parker Monument, a Triumphal arch standing at the entrance to the cemetery commemorating British victory in the Crimean War. This is the second oldest war monument in Canada and the only monument to the Crimean War in North America. The arch was built in 1860, 16 years after the cemetery had officially closed. The arch was built by George Lang and is named after two Haligonians, Major Augustus Frederick Welsford and Captain William Buck Carthew Augustus Parker. Both Nova Scotians died in the Battle of the Great Redan during the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855). This monument was the last grave marker in the cemetery.

The Old Burying Ground was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1991.[1] It had earlier been designated a Provincially Registered Property in 1988 under Nova Scotia's Heritage Property Act.[2]

Prominent tombstones[edit]

Notable interments[edit]

Founding of Halifax (1749–1776)[edit]

Siege of Louisbourg (1745)[edit]

Many of those who first established Halifax arrived from Cape Breton, which the British of New England occupied since their Siege of Louisbourg (1745). The following participated in the Siege:

American Revolution[edit]

Military figures[edit]

Boston Loyalists[edit]

The following were Loyalist refugees who settled in Halifax after they were banished from New York and Massachusetts. Reflective of the fate of many of the Loyalists, the grave of Edward Winslow (scholar) is inscribed: "his fortune suffered shipwreck in the storm of civil war." Part of the devastation of the war resulted from American family members having to choose sides. For example, the story of one American patriot listed below, Benjamin Kent. While in Boston he imprisoned his son-in-law Sampson Salter Blowers for being a Loyalist. Blowers and the rest of Kent's family (including his wife) escaped to Halifax (1776). After the war, Kent eventually moved to Halifax to be with his family, which included Chief Justice Blowers (1885). Both Blowers and Kent are buried in the Old Burying Ground.

New York Loyalists[edit]

French Revolutionary Wars (1792–1802)[edit]

During the French Revolutionary Wars, Prince Edward was stationed in Halifax and personally commemorated three military personnel who died while on duty in Halifax.

Prince Edward Commemorations[edit]

Other[edit]

Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815)[edit]

  • Thornhill, Lieut. M. Johns'n 03 Jan. 1812 HM 99, Prince of Wales Tipper

War of 1812[edit]

Privateers[edit]
  • Captain Benjamin Ellenwood, d. 1815, murdered
  • Captain Ebenezer Herrington, d.1812, HMS Chub, friendly fire[86]

Military Officers (1816–1844)[edit]

Other[edit]

Depictions in Media[edit]

In Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of the Island, Anne moves to Kingsport (Halifax, Nova Scotia) on the mainland and enrols at Redmond (Dalhousie University).[107] She takes lodgings in an apartment that looks out over "Old St. John's Cemetery" - the Old Burying Ground:

They went in by the entrance gates, past the simple, massive, stone arch surmounted by the great lion of England.... They found themselves in a dim, cool, green place where winds were fond of purring. Up and down the long grassy aisles they wandered, reading the quaint, voluminous epitaphs, carved in an age that had more leisure than our own.[107]

The text goes into some depth about the gravestone carvings and styles:

Every citizen of Kingsport feels a thrill of possessive pride in Old St. John’s, for, if he be of any pretensions at all, he has an ancestor buried there, with a queer, crooked slab at his head, or else sprawling protectively over the grave, on which all the main facts of his history are recorded. For the most part no great art or skill was lavished on those old tombstones. The larger number are of roughly chiselled brown or gray native stone, and only in a few cases is there any attempt at ornamentation. Some are adorned with skull and cross-bones, and this grizzly decoration is frequently coupled with a cherub’s head. Many are prostrate and in ruins. Into almost all Time’s tooth has been gnawing, until some inscriptions have been completely effaced, and others can only be deciphered with difficulty. The graveyard is very full and very bowery, for it is surrounded and intersected by rows of elms and willows, beneath whose shade the sleepers must lie very dreamlessly, forever crooned to by the winds and leaves over them, and quite undisturbed by the clamor of traffic just beyond.[107]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Old Burying Ground National Historic Site of Canada. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  2. ^ Old Burying Ground. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
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  5. ^ a b Booth, J. (1816). The Battle of Waterloo: containing the series of accounts published by authority, British and foreign, with circumstantial details, relative to the battle, from a variety of authentic and original sources, with connected official documents, forming an historical record of the operations in the campaign of the Netherlands, 1815 : to which is added the names alphabetically arranged, of the officers killed and wounded, from 15th to 26th June, 1815, and the total loss of each regiment, with an enumeration of the Waterloo honours and privileges, conferred upon the men and officers, and lists of regiments, &c. entitled thereto : illustrated by a panoramic sketch of the field of battle, and a plan of the positions at Waterloo, at different periods, with a general plan of the campaign. Printed for John Booth ..., T. Egerton ... and J. Fairbairn ... (Edinburgh). pp. 1–56. Retrieved 2017-03-10. 
  6. ^ a b "Acadiensis; a quarterly devoted to the interests of the maritime provinces of Canada". archive.org. p. 74. Retrieved 2017-03-10. 
  7. ^ a b Bromley, J.; Bromley, D. (2015). Wellington's Men Remembered Volume 2: A Register of Memorials to Soldiers who Fought in the Peninsular War and at Waterloo- Volume II: M to Z. 2. Pen & Sword Books Limited. p. 296. ISBN 9781473857698. Retrieved 2017-03-10. 
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  10. ^ The location of both Charles Morris and Richard Bulkeley are unknown. Both Charles Morris and Richard Bulkeley have wives buried in the burial ground but they are not. Given the stature of both men, if they had tombstones, they would have been prominent. They both have a hatchment in the church. Given that everyone else who has a hatchment is buried in the church, the assumption is made Morris and Bulkeley are buried in the church. While a display inside the St. Paul's Church (Halifax) states that Bulkeley is buried in the crypt, according to J. Philip McAleer, author of A pictorial history of St. Paul's Anglican Church, Halifax, Nova Scotia, the evidence that Bulkeley was buried in the church is circumstantial. This circumstantial evidence rests on the fact that he helped establish the church and was an active member in it for 51 years. Also Bulkeley is reported to have had the largest funeral ceremony ever to be in Halifax up to that date. Further, his wife Mary Rous has a headstone in the St Paul's Church Cemetery, while Bulkeley does not. Rev Hill, however reports that Bulkeley's grave is marked by a rude stone in St. Paul's Church cemetery, presumably close to the gravestone of his wife Mary Rous. (See Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society, Vol. 2, p. 69)
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  31. ^ Father of Edward Winslow (loyalist) who was one of the founders of New Brunswick; his former home now belongs to the Mayflower House Museum
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  98. ^ Note both children are also named on their father's grave stone in Camp Hill Cemetery.
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External links[edit]