Old Burial Hill, Marblehead.
Ministers' Row Cluster — 2
Mrs. Susanna Jayne (1776)
Mrs. Susanna Jayne (1776): detail.
The Susanna Jayne headstone was carved by Henry Christian Geyer. The top part, known as the crown or tympanum, has an unusual shape, although it is obscured by the protective granite now encasing the original stone.
Headstone of Susanna Jayne (1776).

Beneath this Stone the Mortal Part
of Mrs. Susanna Jayne, the amiable Wife of
Mr. Peter Jayne, who lived Beloved
and Died Universally Lamented, on
August 8th 1776 in the 45th
Year of her Age.

“Precious in the Sight of the Lord is the Death of his Saints.”

Here Sleeps the precious Dust — She Shines above,
Whose Form was harmony, whose soul was Love.
What were her Virtues? all that Heaven could Spare
What were her Graces? all Divinity Fair.
Mingling with Angels, they admire a Guest,
As spotless Good, and lovely as the Rest.
Gravestone Symbolism
The Jayne stone features an unusual abundance of symbols. A skeleton, representing Death, is the central figure. It wears a crown of laurels, indicative of victory. In its hands are celestial objects: the moon in one hand and the sun in the other. Behind Death is the scythe it uses to reap its harvest. Encircling Death is a snake, with its tail in its mouth, possibly indicating the neverending nature of eternity. In the upper two corners are winged cherubs, or angels of heaven. In the lower corners are bats of the underworld. The upper panel has an hourglass flanked by bones: Death moves in when time runs out.
Tympanum of Susanna Jayne Headstone.
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