Blennerhassett Family Tree
Genealogy one-name study - by Bill Jehan
 
 
Blennerhassett Inscriptions at 
Bunhill Fields Dissenters' Burial Ground, London
non-conformist
 
 
 
Bunhill Fields Dissenters' Burial Ground in the borough of Islington, London, was established in 1665 near Bunhill Fields, an open area of fen outside the ancient walls of the City of London. The name Bunhill derives from Bonehill, a popular name given a much older burial place in the vicinity.

As unconsecrated ground, this became the last resting place for many London people who were Quaker or Non-Conformist, Protestant but not belonging to the established Church of England. These included John Bunyan, Daniel Defoe, William Blake, Isaac Watts, and many other notable people.

 
 
 
 
 
CORPORATION OF LONDON
BUNHILL FIELDS, 35 CITY ROAD, LONDON EC1
 
 
 
 
 
Left-hand pillar of entrance gate from City Road 
 
Right-hand pillar of entrance gate from City Road 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
THIS BURIAL GROUND OF 
THE NONCONFORMISTS,
KNOWN ANCIENTLY AS 
BUNHILL IN THE FIELDS,
WAS ENCLOSED WITHIN A
BRICK WALL, AT THE
SOLE CHARGE OF THE
CITY OF LONDON, IN THE
MAYORALTY OF SIR JOHN
LAWRENCE, KNIGHT, ANNO
DOMINI 1665 AND
AFTERWARDS, THE GATES
HEREOF WERE BUILT
FINISHED IN THE MAYORALTY
OF SIR THOMAS BLUDWORTH,
KNIGHT, ANNO DOMINI
1666. 
 
THIS BURIAL GROUND
WAS BADLY DAMAGED
DURING THE WAR OF
1939-45. RESTORATION
UNDERTAKEN BY THE
CORPORATION OF LONDON
IN 1954 INCLUDED THE
LAYING OUT OF PART
OF THE GROUND AS A
PUBLIC GARDEN.
 
 
 
 
 
 

BUNHILL FIELDS

AT THE TIME OF THE
CLOSING OF THIS GROUND,
IN 1852*, MORE THAN 120,000
BODIES HAD BEEN INTERRED
THEREIN. IN THE YEAR 1867
IT WAS COMMITTED BY ACT
OF PARLIAMENT TO THE CARE
OF THE CORPORATION OF
LONDON, AND HAVING BY
THEM BEEN PLANTED AND
RESTORED FOR PUBLIC
RESORT, IT WAS OPENED
BY THE RT. HONBL. JAMES
CLARKE LAWRENCE, M.P.
LORD MAYOR, ON THE
14TH OF OCTOBER, 1869.

CHARLES REED, ESQ. M.P.
CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE
FOR THE PRESERVATION
OF THIS GROUND. 
 
 
 

* the last recorded interment
took place on 5th January 1854
 
 
 

 
 
 
Lt.-Col. WILLIAM BLENNERHASSETT (b.c1623 d.6-Jan-1699/1700)
CITIZEN & MERCHANT TAYLOR of LONDON
 
William Blennerhassett, in his will dated 31-Jul-1699, proved 18-Jan-1699/1700 [PCC, NA PROB 11/454] , wrote:
"My body I comit to the earth to be buried privately by or near Colonel Mathew Shepperd in the new ground near Bunhill..."
 
NOTES:
Many headstones at Bunhill are badly eroded, their inscriptions illegible or almost illegible.
 
Bunhill Fields Graveyard records are held at Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section. These are also available on microfilm at London Metropolitan Archives.
Ms.897/9 is a plan of the burial ground in 1869 showing sites of inscriptions visible at the time. This does not represent the burial ground as it is now, many gravestones having been moved since 1869.
Ms.389/87 includes plans of the location and sections from 1973 showing sites of gravestones and the surnames on the monuments.

Other records of inscriptions are:
 
1. "Bunhill Memorials: Sacred Reminiscences of Three Hundred Ministers and other persons of note, who are buried in Bunhill Fields, of every denomination. With the inscriptions on their Tombs and Gravestones, and other historical information respecting them, from authentic sources", Edited by J. A. Jones, 1849.
 
2. Several MS. volumes of Epitaphs of persons buried at Bunhill Fields between 1665 and 1794, collected by Rev. Dr. John Rippon in the early 19th century, are in the library of the College of Arms. These are on microfilm at London Metropolitan archives.
 
3. "Epitaphs: Quaint, Curious, and Elegant" by Henry James Loaring, pub. 1873 by William Tegg, London, in the chapter "Elegant Epitaphs", p.65, contains, under: "Inscriptions on tombs in the Dissenters' Burial-place, near Bunhill Fields"
 
 
 
NOTE: Haysell should read Haysett, this is an error in reading the eroded inscription
 
 
 
 Near this Place lyeth interred
 
the Body of
 
LT.-COLL. WILLAM BLENNER HAYSETT,
 
who was a Lover of Arms,
 
and of Christian and English Liberties.
 
Obiit 6o Jan. 1699. AEtate 76.
 
In Hope of the Resurrection of the Just.
 
 
 
 
 
    
 
 
4. "Bunhill Fields Burial Ground: Proceedings in Reference to its Preservation, with Inscriptions on the Tombs", by Charles Reed et al, 8 vols, London 1867
 
This work contains an Appendix reprinting Curll's rare book "on Tombs in Bunhill-fields" 1717, this being a survey of inscriptions on the stones and tombs in the grounds, including on appendix p.69 the following:
 
 
 
NOTE: Haysell should read Haysett, probably an error in reading the eroded inscription
 
 
On a Grave-stone adorned with Warlike Trophies, is this Inscription.
 
Near this Place lyeth
interred the Body of
Lt. Coll. William Blenner
Haysett, who was a Lover
of Arms, and of Christian
and English Liberties.
Obiit 6o Jan. 1699. AEtate
76. in Hope of the
Resurrection of the Just.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The same Appendix lists a few other headstones in the immediate vicinity of of William Blennerhassett's stone.
These are shown below so that, on a future visit to Bunhill, they may assist in locating William's grave :
 
 
APPENDIX p.69
"On a Grave-stone, near the Artillery-Ground Wall, is this Inscription."
 
Tumulus Dnse.
E L I Z. C A E L I L E,
hac vita decessit,
Mar. 13. A. S. 1710. A.
M. 45. Vos estote
parati. Mar. 24. 44. 
  
 
 
 
"On a Grave-stone adorned with Warlike Trophies, is this Inscription."
 
(here appears the William Blenner Haysett
headstone inscription, illustrated above...) 
  
 
 
 
"On a Grave-stone, next the former, is this Inscription."
 
Here lyes interred the Body of Mr.
Thomas Holmes, Citizen and Haberdasher
of London, and Son of Mr. Thomas Holmes,
of Wigson, in the County of Leicester, who
yielded to Nature the 4th Day of December,
1694. in the 38th Year of his Age.

Dear Holmes hath found
A Home amongst the Blest,
His wearied body for to rest :
For no where can his Flesh
True Slumber have ;
But in this Trust Home on Homely Grave,
His Soul in Heavenly Tunes doth sing,
Hell, where's thy Triumph ?
Death, where is thy Sting ? 
 
 
 
 

 
APPENDIX p.70
"On a Grave-stone, near the former, is this Inscription."
 
Here rests the
Body of Mr. Samuel Rand,
A most Learned, Pious,
and Judicious Gentleman, who
left this Life for a Better,
April the 10th. 1712. in the 78th
Year of his Age.

This Stone was erected
by his loving and tender Nephew,
Daniel Meckween.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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