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Symbols and Emblems on Gravestones.

In the olden days many people couldn't read and write, so that on the gravestones symbols were sometimes used instead of writing. Tools and insignia of trades were sometimes carved on the stones as an indication of the trade of the deceased. It was customary to carve on the tombstones, representations of skulls, crossbones, hour glasses, coffins and crossed spades as reminders of the transitory nature of life. These and the phrase 'memento mori' are used as 'emblems of mortality'

Examples in Tullibody Auld Kirkyard - there are more.
31 (cherub, crown, hammer and ? - emblems of mortality ) RD ID CC IP View picture
36 1729 IS EM (coulter, emblems of mortality) View Picture
66. 1763 PH AM (emblems of mortality, weavers shuttle and stretcher) View Picture
78 1721 DR IM (hammer, shovel and another tool shaped like a cricket bat) View Picture
160 1734 J L M W- (coulter & harrows) see picture of stone
161 WL HW AF 1777 - see picture of stone
162 1734 J L MW (star, coulter, rest buried;. almost a replica of 160) - see picture
199 1764 M F IMc (emblems of mortality) - picture of 198 & 199
278 (long slab on end) (on top) 17 J C ES J C E P 36; ( emblems of mortality. plough) 1729 E S E(P or R); (on back) intended for John Colley, wife and & children (emblems of mortality, plough & harrows?) View Picture
301 1764 RK MM(emblems of mortality, plough) View Picture
302 1750 R K M M (emblems of mortality) View Picture - also picture of 301&302
342 1699 T K I D - view picture
350 - 1793 WEIC - see picture of stone
360 1763 I S I M: (On back) 1698 IC H W (emblems of mortnlity)See Picture
393 A 16 I S M M I S (fish - emblems of mortality) View picture
394 1747 I M K M - see picture of stones 394 & 395
407 - 1763 (emblems of mortality) - (on back) JBMG - see picture

Examples - all of these are not present at Tullibody
Barber -razor, comb and bleeding bowl
Cooper or wheelwright--spokeshave?, compasses, hammer & chopper-like tool
Farmer- coulter - ploughshare - harrows Tullibody 160--plough Tullibody 248, 301, 33l---plough & harrows Tullibody 278 plough & oxen yoke
Gardener?--spade, shovel., rake, dibble
Hammerman-crown & hammer with a peculiar instrument
Maltster --sieve, broom & shovel
Mason - hammer & chisels - see also Wright
Merchant--- figure 4 symbol & scales
Miller-rhynd with some other objects - St. George's cross within double circle Tullibody 252, 258;
Shoemaker (cordiner)--crown & shoemaker's knife Tullibody 219, 284;
Slater --special shape of hammer & axe
Soldier--gun & bayonet
Smith- - horse-shoe & pincers, Hammer & other instruments Tullibody 409;
Tailor- --- scissors & tailor's goose (iron) Tullibody 276;
Weaver- ---- shuttle & stretcher.. Tullibody 64, 66, 135 --shuttle, stretcher & loom?
Wheelwright, see cooper;
Wright or Mason---square & compasses - Tullibody 49--square, compasses & Axe Tullibody 139; unidentified objects





Tullibody Auld Kirk Stories about the Auld Kirk Family Names on Gravestones Inscriptions on Gravestones Symbols and Emblems on Gravestones