Memorial Plaques at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Falmouth

One of the first things you notice when you enter the Falmouth Parish Church of St. Peter the Apostle (St. Peter’s), is its colorful stained glass windows. The most eye-catching one sits over the altar and is flanked by the Apostle’s Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments.

St Peters interior
Interior of St. Peter the Apostle

The first church in the parish of Trelawny and one of the oldest on the island, St. Peter’s was built in 1796 on land that the wealthy planter, Edward Barrett, donated. It was constructed from local limestone and bricks that were imported from Liverpool, England.

In addition to its original pulpit, baptismal font, and furnishings made of Jamaican mahogany, it was difficult to ignore the plaques lining the wall. Most date to the 1800s, and were mounted in memory of prominent people who were likely members of St. Peter’s.

Reading the inscriptions, I smiled at the qualities that were considered commendable back then – cheerfulness, sincerity, generosity, benevolence, piety, usefulness, integrity even a mild disposition – and at some of the phrases that sound so cumbersome and out-of-place now.

Here are a few the ones I found interesting:

Samuel Earnshaw

In Memory of Samuel Earnshaw Esquire, of Colchis Estate in this Parish. A man of unassuming manners and unimpeachable integrity who from a spirit delighting in acts of generosity and benevolence. Distributed the blessings of life bestowed upon by the Divine Power, with a cheerful and liberal hand.

He died at his residence on 19th of September 1824. Affectionately deplored by his afflicted Wife. Regretted by his numerous friends and not unlamented by those, who personally unacquainted with him, yet were sensible of reputed worth and sincerity.

Joseph Hodgson, Esq.
Joseph Hodgson, Esq.
John Marnoch

Sacred to the memory of The Honorable James Stewart, Custos Rotulorum and Representative in Assembly of this Parish, Judge of the Supreme Court and Major General of the Militia who departed this life on the 4th day of August 1828 aged 66 years.

He devoted his life to the public service of this his native country as a legislator. He was no less distinguished for his eloquence than for the wise policy of his measures. As a judge he adorned the seat of justice by the dignity of his character and the integrity of his decisions.

As chief magistrate of this parish, he endeared himself to its inhabitants not alone as the watchful guardian of the public peace

But as the beneficent promoter of their private interests and individual happiness and in testimony of the grateful feelings with which they revere his name they have erected this monument to his memory.

Mary Aitken
Mary Aitken

Linking up this week with Nancie’s Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox. Be sure to stop by and check out more photos and stories from around the world.

24 comments on “Memorial Plaques at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Falmouth

  1. I wonder what amiable manners looked like back in the day. It’s such fun to read these plaques – and in reality they remind me of some of my early report cards where your sense of humour and disposition was commented on.

  2. While at first I chuckled over these, it occurred to me, how nice it would be to have such tributes paid at the time of one’s passing. I wonder what we would write these days, “avid blogger in search of subscribers and followers – her passing might or might not have been noticed in the vast blogosphere in which she spent a good deal of her time” ?? Worth giving a bit of thought as to how we will be remembered. . .great post, Marcia. (BTW, there was a woman at our hotel on our last day who looked so much like you – at least from your photos on the blog – that I swear every time she and I had a chance encounter, I would do a double take thinking it was you! I was hoping it was!!!)

  3. Hi Marcia, What a lovely church. I found those plaques touching. Like you, the inscriptions of the persons’ qualities made me smile. How sweet and pure. These days, those inscriptions may mostly like contain material achievements of a person.

  4. Language certainly has evolved! I am glad my husband didn’t read this. He jokingly used to add Esquire to his name when I first met him, which drove me crazy. I wouldn’t like him to start doing that again. 🙂

  5. Wonderful post Marcia. This reminded me of my visit to St Pauls Cathedral in Melbourne, it was such an uplifting experience. Beautiful photos and it is heart warming to read those plaques!

  6. What a great find, Marcia. Love the stained glass windows and these inscriptions. They certaily knew how to honor people. It’s great to know that “amiable manners” were revered back in the day and enough to merit a plaque. This is so refreshing to read considering the lack f manners in today’s society. Thanks for sharing, Marcia.

  7. Very interesting. I like a attending services in a church with a lot to look at (which probably means that I don’t pay enough attention to the service itself.) I find the inscription that says, “Affectionately deplored by his afflicted wife” quite fascinating. I wonder what that relationship was like.

  8. Beautiful glass stained windows, Marcia. And those inscriptions are touching – it’s wonderful to see people being appreciated and honored for their virtuous qualities, the greatest of all treasures, which eventually make us what we are. Great observation, thank you so much for sharing.

  9. I also found that phrase interesting too. I interpreted it as she became afflicted by his death — I couldn’t imagine what else the poor woman could have been afflicted by. How the language has changed!

  10. Makes me wonder what future generations will think of us, Jackie.
    Hehehe, that’s funny. I’m always hearing that I look like someone else. There was a woman in Toronto that everyone said I favored. When we finally met, she said for years people told her about this woman in Ottawa who looked like her. We didn’t think we looked anything like each other. No, I would’ve let you know before, Jackie.

  11. Those inscriptions do bring a smile! Agree, it will be interesting what they say about us when we are gone 🙂
    Sorry, I am slow getting around this week. The blog has been down more than it’s been up. Thanks for linking up 🙂

  12. Hi Marcia,

    Church is really so beautiful. There is a special relationship between church and me. I love to go church and do prayers. Pictures are so good in this article.


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