Pirate or plague?

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Pirate or plague?

Postby PlasticDel » Fri Sep 24, 2004 8:01 pm

What's the deal with this...

Took the picture in Crosbie Kirkyard, Troon, the day. Figured it be someone with the plague or something like that... No?

Or a PIRATE!!!
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Postby JamesMc » Fri Sep 24, 2004 9:35 pm

From what i remember Ronnie telling us on one of his Necropolis tours, the skull and crossbones indicates a very old grave. By the Victorian age, people became reluctant to face up to, or allude directly to death and so would often indicate that the dead were 'sleeping'. Before this however, the skull and crossbones was quite a common thing to have on a stone. Ronnie should be able to clear it up though, hopefully he'll pass through this way at some point. In the meantime, here's another couple of examples.

Graveyard in Edinburgh

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Graveyard of Govan old parish church, two together

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Postby Apollo » Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:23 am

Looking at the detail on the original post, compared to the two samples given later, reminded me of the following item. Note in particular the reference to the positioning of the crossbones and the lack of lower jaw in the Totenkopf.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totenkopf
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Postby JamesMc » Sat Sep 25, 2004 3:35 pm

Well spotted Apollo, i wasn't aware of that.

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Postby Ghost » Mon Dec 05, 2005 8:53 pm

I'm bumping this, as I have long wondered the origins of the skull and crossbones on the gravestones
My wife and I have a habit of wandering round old graveyards when the opportunity presents itself and have seen this in several sites (most notably in towns with a maritime connection) the last ones we spotted were out at Anstruther. We tried to find a Vicar or some such to ask but no one was around.
I would really appreciate an answer for this (if only to get one over on the missus)
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Postby Apollo » Mon Dec 05, 2005 10:07 pm

Know any Masons?
The Skull and Cross bones have long been known to have Masonic connections. It was commonly used as a symbol on Masonic Grave sites in the past. The Skull and Crossbones, Masonic or not point out to us all, our own mortality and eventual death. This image of mortality was believed to figure in Templar ritual. Now while this claim in and of itself seems quite believable, one of the legends of how it came to be is not.

The rest's at http://www.crystalinks.com/skullsidon.html

Found this reference too...
In common with a lot of Scottish cemeteries with graves dating from the 18th century, the stones have figures of skull and crossbones, hourglasses and shovels. A monk at Pluscarden Abbey told me this was because they were a pretty morbid lot around that time - the skull and crossbones signified the person was dead, shovels and spades represented the digging of the grave, and the hourglass was a reminder that your time will come!

There are pics at http://www.pharmcat.demon.co.uk/cemetery/chapel/

Almost missed http://www.pharmcat.demon.co.uk/cemetery/emblem.htm
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Postby Ghost » Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:50 pm

thanks for the info.
Still wish it was Pirates though :(
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Postby Apollo » Tue Dec 06, 2005 10:02 pm

Don't be glum...

No-one said it couldn't be used for pirates :wink:
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Postby DVF » Sat Dec 10, 2005 8:09 pm

I read somewhere that the skull and crossbones were actually used on boats hundreds of years ago, by the Templars. It was their navy flag if you like. Whether they had a habit of plundering other boats, for the cause, I don't know.

Templar sailors' graves?
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