Tag Archives: st peters episcopal

Thomas Hewson’s Mourner


This is a wonderfully detailed gravestone in the St. Peter’s Episcopal section of the Church Grounds.  The tympanum features an excellent example of a mourner similar to those described in this blog post.  The mourner wears a contemporary dress, complete with a bow tied at the back and what appears to be some sort of cap or bonnet.  In her hands, she holds an object which could be either a fan, handkerchief, a wreath or garland to be laid on the grave, or even some sort of purse or reticule.  The figure is shown leaning towards a monument, bowed under the weight of grief.  The monument depicted is an obelisk atop o a square pedestal (a common style in the early to mid-19th-century).  Both the mourner and the monument are positioned beneath the branches of a willow tree.

The bottom of the stone is broken and several small portions of the inscription are missing.  However, the epitaph was transcribed in the burial records.  The complete inscription reads:

Beneath this sod is interd the remains of Thomas E. Hewson who died Sept. 28th, 1818 in the 27th year of his age.

And are thou gone sweet friend ne’er to return To charm thease eyes and soothe this aching bre’st.  Must weeping friendship scatter oer thy urn Her tributary tears with grief opprest But heaven decread and heaven’s decree is just Thine earth should mingle with it’s native dust.




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Upright Stones – Eliza Maxwell


One of several stones set upright along the edge of the Church Grounds, the gravestone of Eliza Maxwell is broken, stained and spotted with lichen.  Despite the damages, it remains a beautiful and detailed monument.  The upper portion features a pair of clasped hands, often a symbol of eternal affection.  Above the joined hands, the stone is crowned with a heavy arrangement of flowers and foliage centered around a rose.

The inscription on this gravestone reads:

Eliza Wife of James Maxwell Died Nov. 2, 1858 Aged 32 year.  A loving wife to me most dear, A faithful comrade I parted here, Her days ith me was short but sweet, I hope with her in Heaven to meet.

Eliza was first interred in the Episcopal section of the State Street Burying Ground and brought to the Rural Cemetery in the general removal of remains and markers when the old graveyard was transformed into Washington Park.

There were several James Maxwells residing in Albany at the time of Eliza’s death.  One is listed in the city directories as a marbleworker residing at 40 Park Avenue.  It is quite possible that this was Eliza’s husband and that he carved this stone for her grave himself.

See other upright stones in the Church Grounds.

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The Book of Burials – In The English Church

The Book of Burials also contains the names of individuals who were, for reasons not stated, buried at the English and Dutch churches, but included in the Dutch Reformed Church’s burial records.

 The English church was St. Peter’s Episcopal which, at the time, stood in the center of State Street near Lodge Street.  Its graveyard was on the north side of the church. Continue reading

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The West Lodge ca 1900

13westlodge copy

A view of the old West Lodge at the edge of the Church Grounds.  The lodge overlooked the road connecting to Loudonville via the adjacent Beth Emeth Cemetery.   One of the Boyd family monuments can also be seen in the background.

The headstone visible to the left of the cottage is that of Charles Fairfield.  Born in Nottingham, England on December 28, 1825, he was one of the proprietors of the Windsor Restaurant on Maiden Lane.  An ad for the establishment can be seen here.  He died at the age of sixty-nine on December 13, 1894 and was interred in the Church Grounds lot assigned to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.  His granite headstone is one of the few upright markers in the entire section.


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Featured Gravestone – Henry Cuyler


Section:  St. Peter’s Episcopal

Material:  Sandstone

Heavily discolored stone with large lichen patches.  Most edges are embedded in the soil.  Inscription is generally legible despite the darkened and lichen.

Inscription:  This Tomb is erected over the remains and in memory of Henry Cuyler, Esq.  Late of Green Bush Who departed this life Feby. 5th 1803 Aged 67 years 5 months & 10 days

Henry Cuyler, Esq., a merchant and British sympathizer during the Revolution, is profiled by the Colonial Albany project.  His biography can be found here.


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Featured Gravestone – Elizabeth Fenimore Cooper

DSC04608Section:  St. Peter’s Episcopal

Material:  White marble

A small stone broken across the middle and with significant breakage to the lower portion and right finial.  Inscription is worn, but legible with some effort.

Inscription:  Cooper, Elizabeth Fenimore aged 8 years daughter of Richard F. & Ann L. Cooper of Cooperstown, Obit 29 Sept 1814

This damaged little stone marked the grave of a niece of Last of the Mohicans author, James Fenimore Cooper.

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A Cherub


Although very weathered, this little sandstone cherub in the Episcopal section of the Church Grounds is a wonderful find.  Full-length figures angels on headstones in this section are quite rare (see the Ann Brown angel for another example) as winged faces were a more common depiction of cherubs or soul effigies.  This carving features a naked cherub with flowing hair in the stone’s tympanum.  The finials, too, have eroded and it’s difficult to say just what the original design was.  Unfortunately, due to the soft nature of this reddish-brown sandstone, the inscription on the stones tablet has eroded so much that only a few words (or parts of words) can be read now, such as “wife.”  There is not enough of the inscription left to match the stone with the burial records on file with the Cemetery office or with the list of inscriptions compiled by the Albany Common Council before this stone was removed from the State Street Burying Grounds.

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