The Hidden Necropolis

A friend and I had an interesting afternoon visiting St Peter in Eastgate graveyard in Lincoln this week.

My wife thinks my passion for visiting graveyards and cemeteries is morbid, but I find it enjoyable and the gravestone often give interesting information about people buried there.  If you are researching your family history it can be very profitable to visit the graveyards where your ancestors are bornjoseph ruston, lincoln, ruston proctor

One of the first graves we came across was that of Joseph Ruston.  Most people in Lincoln would know the name Ruston, who founded Ruston Proctor & Co.

But it wasn’t Mr Ruston who interested me. At the foot of the cross are two plaques, the one on the left was badly weathered and had some letters missing but, using soft- ware on my computer, I was able to decipher it:

george john bennett, lincoln cathedral

George Bennett married Marion Ruston in 1900.  In the 1911 census they lived at North Place, Nettleham Road.  They had four children the eldest, Robert Ruston Bennett, aged 9, was at Northdown Hill boarding school in Margate. Apart from four live-in servants they also had a Monthly Nurse, two nurses and an under nurse, all under the same roof.  A monthly nurse would care for a mother and her baby, the youngest child was 4, so why so many nurses? Marion died in 1919 at age 53, so it may be her the nurses were caring for.

William Watkins and one of his sons are buried in the graveyard.  William and his son, William Gregory, were architects in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  They produced some of the finest buildings in Lincoln and were particularly noted for using terracotta decoration on their buildings.  You can read about one of his buildings.

William Watkins

William Watkins                                                                                                  William Gregory Watkins

What is more remarkable about the Watkins is their longevity:

  • William Watkins, senior, died in 1926 aged 91
  • William’s wife, Kate Deveraux died in 1931 aged 90
  • William Gregory died in 1959 aged 90
  • W.G.’s wife Alice Mabel died in 1968 aged 95

What was their secret?Sir louis William Smith mp lincoln

Louis William Smith was born in Grimsby in 1869 in the 1911 census he listed his occupation as managing director of Clarkes Crank & Forge Ltd.  He lived at Holly Grove, South Park.

In 1928 he entered Parliament as MP for Sheffield Hallam, he was knighted on 7th July 1938 and died in March 1939.

In the graveyard there are also monuments to Scorers, Trollopes and Sewells.  Unfortunately there are many gravestones that have been ravaged by the east wind.

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4 Responses to The Hidden Necropolis

  1. Really enjoyed looking at these photos and the information about the people. I too think graveyards & cemeteries interesting

  2. David Robinson says:

    Excellent article Phil.

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