Tuesday, October 15, 2013

grave post - Beckett

This gravestone I originally photographed because of the newer blocks all being slightly off centre.

But then I got closer and read the inscription.
The first Edward (Ebenezer) died in 1862. 
A second Edward (Henry) died in May 25, 1867,
followed in very close succession by William, six days later, Richard (who must have been a twin to Edward) five days after that, and finally Minnie, one week and one day later in June.
There was a threat of cholera in 1866, and it is possible that this family were greatly afflicted.

I thought this post was going to be a simple reflection on the deaths of so many children of one family in such a short time, but it seems that in spite of this great loss, the Beckett legacy did not end here.
I wondered why the monument had been restored.

Edward and Mary Ann would have another son in 1869 who would be named Samuel Gustavus. He would grow up to be an architect and with his partner, a Mr William Chadwick, would design many of the houses in Lawrence Park as well as banks, clubs, churches and factories. He would also serve in WWI, rising to the rank of Colonel. In 1915 he formed the 75th (Mississauga) Battalion.
H.M King George V Shakes Hands with Lt-Col Samuel G Beckett

Unfortunately, he was killed in a gas attack in March, 1917 in a "Trench Raid near Carency".

There was also an elder daughter who survived the epidemic of '67 and would, in 1877, marry a Thomas Allen who owned The East End Brewery. Interestingly, Edward Beckett was a well known temperance man. Edward was also an iron foundry owner. This library archives photo of the Globe Foundry at Queen and Bay Streets shows the family (and others)

Inscribed on vso of card: Taken about 1881
Mr. & Mrs. Edward Beckett are in the doorway just right of centre; their son Samuel and Anna Coad Butland are in top left window and two of the children in top right window are Emma and Robert Defries.

The land was soon afterwards expropriated and the building demolished to make way for Old City Hall (which was the new city hall at the time), though I believe that Mr Beckett had already passed on by then leaving Mary Ann and 18 year old Samuel to deal with that fallout.

Taphophile Tragics


  1. Wonderful little history lesson you've posted today.

  2. Most interesting story of a family tragedy. Fine photos. Perhaps the monument is off kilter on purpose?

  3. Fascinating post! I also think it's interesting that the monument looks slightly off-kilter, but it's definitely eye-catching.
    Thanks for sharing this on Taphophile Tragics!!

  4. wonderful historical research post and vintage photos are great ~ carol, xx

  5. I came across your blog via Delores at Under the Porch Light - beautiful pictures of amazing headstones. My grandfather (and several generations before him) was a stone mason and I love wandering round churchyards, appreciating the work that's gone into these memorials that keep the memories of the 'long-gone' still fresh in our minds.

    If you're interested, you might like to take a look at this

    Grandad mainly worked in Carlisle Cemetery, Cumbria, UK - there are some lovely images for it on Google!

    SueH at I refuse to go quietly!
    and The Knitting Assassin!

    Twitter – @Librarymaid

  6. Hi from Scotland. Such an interesting post. I love that last photo with all the people at the windows!


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