Sunday, 31 July 2011

John Porteous' Gravestone

I have become more and more interested in graveyards but am too busy at the moment to become involved in any organized registrations so as are done for various graveyards all over Scotland by volunteers. So I have it in my head to go and gradually photograph every gravestone in my local graveyard, West Linton, as well as making a note of the text on them as far as it's still readable. Just to record what is left while it's still possible to see most of the inscriptions. It's already too late for some of the tombs.

This one was randomly chosen to be the first, mainly because it concerns a previous inhabitant of Macbiehill, where we live now.

It reads:

Here lies John Porteous, mason, son to George Porteous, in Macbiehill, who dyed the 21 of July 1784, aged 27 years.

The name Porteous still has many entries in the local telephone book, so definitely a local family. Does anyone still visit John, or remember him? Did he make gravestones in his job as mason? And did he foresee when he made them, how soon it would be time for someone else to make his gravestone? I won't ever know the answers to any of those questions, but for a brief moment in time this morning I did think of John, who was born in 1757, and remembered him.

My interest in graveyards bloomed when I started to blip. Blipfoto is a site where you can upload one picture for every day, provided that picture is taken on the day you upload it too. Here is my page on Blipfoto. You can see my latest picture in the sidebar of this blog as well. I started going to neighbouring graveyards and then discovered that the one in West Linton, my nearest one, had many fascinating tombstones of it's own. Hence this new project. I hope one day to have all the gravestones there featured here, on this blog.