Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Archibald Wilson

This is without doubt one of the most interesting gravestones in West Linton Graveyard. It portrays a man dressed in wonderful costume and cloak. The writing must once have been on the other side of the stone
as seen above but it has now entirely disappeared. In Sheila A. Scott's book Peeblesshire Monumental Inscriptions - pre 1850, it merely stated that it belongs to Archibald Wilson and as can still be seen, just underneath the crossbones, it dates back to 1705. I think the costume was contemporary to that time. Also note the splendid skull and spirals at the top and the very ornately carved pillars and garland. Whoever he might have been Archibald Wilson must have been very well-to-do. This gravestone required an expert mason who no doubt charged a pretty penny.
I'm almost sure he was the Archibald Wilson who was born in 1651 and had a wife called Margaret Hope (born in 1655) who are mentioned in archives here . The gravestone also get a mention on the ancient monuments Scotland site under West Linton. Can we see his face above? Sadly it has received a few dents over time but his wig still looks very impressive. This became my blip for today.
 The details of the carving are beautiful such as the shoe buckle above
and his fabulous costume down to the last button. He seems quite at peace with his folded hands. I wish I knew more about him but sadly this is not to be. However his amazing gravestone means that he won't be forgotten!


Anonymous said...

Hello! Wow, your website is amazing! I cannot imagine how much work this has taken! I am looking for a great-grandmother of mine who I think has been buried in this cemetery, and I was wondering if you had seen her gravestone. Her name is Helen Taylor and her date of birth should be about 1906 and date of death about 1997. Thank you! Again, good work on the website!


friedaquilter said...

I haven't yet, Catherine. I have been concentrating on the older gravestones but I'll keep an eye out for her!

Anonymous said...

Look forward to seeing more - thank you so much

Angela Brown said...

Hi Frieda

I found your post because I was am doing family history research and looking for Archibald Wilson and trying to trace my Wilson line in Ayrshire. There are a lot of Archibald Wilson's in my tree, (the name Archibald stays in the wilsons until 1889), but I haven't made it back to the 1600s with my search yet.

I was very interested to find this post, because although members of my family weren't necessarily well to do, the Wilson's did have marvelous gravestones because they were stonemasons (as well as freemasons). So it could be that this monument even depicts the stately robes of a proud freemason? This is just speculation of course. :)

Angela Brown said...

Hi Frienda

I was interested to find this post as I was looking for information on my GGGG grandparents Archibald and Margaret Wilson in Ayrshire but I'm not at the 1600s yet with my research and have only got to 1769.

My Wilson line tend have grand gravestones, but not because they were well do to (although who knows, perhaps they were) but the main reason is that the males were stonemasons and, interestingly freemasons.

It strikes me that this gravestone you show here, could even share that reason for it's grandness - in fact, it could also be depicting the ceremonial robes of a freemason? That's just my speculation of course, but just another angle to think about.

Wilson is a common name in Ayrshire, so it's not that likely that this headstone is my ancestor,and even if it was, I think I'm going to struggle to trace back that far (searching from Australia) but it's lovely to think it could be a relations somehow. ;-)

Angela Brown said...

Sorry to post a follow up so quickly, but I've just read that crossed bones on a gravestone can be a depiction of a master mason!