Curious Epitaphs: Collected from the Graveyards of Great Britain and Ireland: with Biographical, Genealogical, and Historical Notes

by William Andrews FRHS

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How do you summarize a life in just a few words? William Andrews takes readers on a journey through strange and unusual epitaphs of the 19th century in England, featuring a variety of both notable and obscure figures: servants, soldiers, clergy, musicians, clerks and more. Andrews’ work is not only a collection of epitaphs, as he also describes the burial places in detail and contextualizes his findings when possible. The epitaphs remind us of the long and ever changing history of remembering the deceased. As many of these gravestones have disappeared over time, Andrews’ writings are invaluable to scholars.

Andrews had an interest in the macabre. In addition to authoring Curious Epitaphs, he wrote Bygone Punishments, which examined the dark history of criminal justice in England, including pressing, boiling and hanging. He was not all gloom and doom of course, but loved writing, and penned England in the Days of Old, Literary Byways, and edited volumes such as Bygone Chuch Life in Scotland, Ecclesiastical Curiosities, and The Church Treasury of History, Custom, Folk-Lore.