Wednesday, 17 August 2011

John Amies Died . April 24th 1837

John Amies April 24th 1837
Aged 78 years
© Godric Godricson

"Dealings with the Dead" (1856) warns us against  burying the dead in vaults in the urban environment. However,  John Amies  in Trunch was buried a few years before the Sextons admonishment and is evidence of a trend towards burials within Churches. John Amies was laid to rest (like so many before him) in the floor.

Public health messages took time to become entrenched. The 'Gentleman' could still be buried within the parish Church along with his ancestors and in effect built up a cultic centre of ancestor worship.

Monday, 15 August 2011


© Godric Godricson

The Maltese people have a way of marking the passing of the dead with a dignity that is hard to surpass. They acknowledge the passing of the dead and at the same time they live their own lives in the hot Mediterranean sunlight. They are not a melancholy people and they incorporate the sadness of death with the happiness of this world. the flowers on shrines and monuments are bright and joyful and integrated into a lively existence. The wayside shrines are a way of remembering the dead and a way of remembering the saints.

The Gateway - Malta

The gateway
© Godric Godricson

The entrance to Maltese vaults are often ornate and a public witness to the descent into the underworld. This picture represents is a sort of 'marker' to the place where the living descend to the world of the dead. The humid air rises from the vaults as you descend to the depths and the sound of talkative visitors becomes more hushed as they are aware of the change in location and atmosphere. We are visiting our collective ancestors!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011