Grave-tober 27 – Elizabeth Goldthwait

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October 27, 2018 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)


Mrs. Elizabeth wife

of Mr Thomas

Goldthwait, died

Novr the 8th 1796: in

the 22nd year

of her age.

Behold! & fee as you pafs by

As you are now so once waf I;

As I am nos so you muft be

Prepare for death & follow me.

This stone for Elizabeth Goldthwait can be found at the Northbridge Center Cemetery aka Old Cemetery; it is one of those cemeteries that was left behind by the town that created it.  It is no longer at the center of Northbridge, indeed it is a rather suburban spot in the shadow of a water tower.

I like this stone for a couple of reasons:

  1. It has an unusual shape.  I’ve not seen a lot of gravestones with a tympanum like this one.
  2. The carver, James New, has an off-beat, slightly amateurish style.  He favored faces with exaggeratedly large, tear-drop shapped eye.  I wonder if he actually engaged in something close to portraiture – Charles BrighamPeter Bancroft, Hannah Fish & Rev. Elisha Fish, Lt. Nathaniel Thayer, or Capt. Joseph Phillips – all have more personality than the average human figure on a colonial-era gravestone. Vincent Luti profiled James New in Marker XVI.The mementoe mori at the bottom is both dramatic (“Behold!”) and imperfectly done, a profoundly human artifact. New makes the same error in layout in EVERY ROW. There’s a lesson here.
  3. It may me silly, but my first thought when I saw the figure on this stone was “Huh. Looks like Velma”.


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