Sunday, August 14, 2011

George Griffith's last resting place, Melbourne 1878

When George Griffith was buried here in 1878, the Melbourne General Cemetery was on the outskirts of Melbourne.  Melburnians could enjoy the quiet walks and gardens when they came to visit family graves.  Over the next century the city crept towards the cemetery.

George died on 31 December 1878.  The gravestone records the death date as 21 December and reads: "In memory of George Griffith died 21st Decr 1878 aged 54 years.  Also his daughter Annie died 29th Novr 1884 aged 23 years and his dearly beloved son George died 1st Octr 1897 aged 21 years and 7 months".

The grave is in the Church of England Section, plot 537.

The ability to purchase a private plot in a cemetery and erect a gravestone was an indication of middle class respectability, and that the family had done well.  Those who had not the means were buried in common graves, and the destitute were buried in pauper's graves.   It might be interesting to discover who paid for the gravestone.

According to his death certificate, George died at 49 Little George Street, Fitzroy.  He was a musician by profession, and aged 54 years giving an estimated birth year of 1824.  He died of Bright's disease, a disease of the kidneys.  His eldest daughter, Mary Jane Griffith, was unable to provide the names of his parents, but she thought his father's occupation was Bootmaker.  He was born in Liverpool, England, and at the time of his death had 7 surviving children, the youngest George Henry aged two, later interred with his father when he died aged 21.

The death certificate also indicates that George had spent periods in Victoria and New Zealand.

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