Cemetery: Inscriptions from St. Peter's 

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives
Dublin Index


File contributed by:  C.Hunt & M. Taylor

  [From the Rev, R.S. MAFFETT]

'The ground attached to this church is very neatly kept, and 
now apparently free from the occasional cabbage-stalk or 
other missile, with which our juvenile population too often 
think it "good form to assail the tombs of the dead.

One of the most interesting inscriptions to be met with here 
is that to the memory of the celebrated clergyman, the Rev. 
Philip SKELTON.  The stone bearing it is placed against the 
north wall of the churchyard near the west entrance gate.

The epitaph consists of about 40 lines, 13 of which can be 
read, being above ground. The Rev. J. G. CARLETON, senior 
curate of the parish, very kindly supplied me with a 
manuscript giving 28 lines, some of the last of these being 

He says: - "I had the tombstone dug up a few years ago at 
the request of the late Bishop of Down, and copied the 
inscription on it ....... Part of the stone was either 
broken off or the words on it were defaced, I forget which"  
In the 9th line the word before "Reflection" which was left 
a blank in Mr. CARLETON'S MS. I made out on examination of 
the stone to be 'attentive."

The ends of the lines from the 20th to the 28th and the 
concluding part of the inscription I have taken from the 
Rev. Samuel BURDY'S "Life of SKELTON" and therefore placed 
within brackets.  

According to this most entertaining memoir, written by a 
contemporary, SKELTON was born in February, 1706/7, in the 
parish of Derriaghy, near Lisbum, where his father. once a 
gunsmith, held at that time a farm: his grandfather who was 
an engineer had been sent over by Charles I to inspect the 
Irish fortifications. 

The first few lines of the epitaph, as given by BURDY 
present a good many trifling differences when compared with 
the inscription on the stone.  One divergence is however 
correct as to fact, being the substitution of "81st for 
82nd" as the year of SKELTON'S age.  The first 13 lines of 
the inscription appear as 18 lines in the memoir, the longer 
ones being occasionally divided into two.

Mr. BURDY tells us that SKELTON was privately buried at six 
in the morning near the west door of St. Peter's Churchyard, 
and introduces the epitaph with the following statement, in 
which he seems to have erred as to the material of the 
memorial: -

"A marble tomb-stone has been placed over him at the expense 
of Miss LESLIE, whom he appointed his residuary legatee, 
with the following inscription, the composition, it is said 
of the Rev, Robert BURROWS, Junior Fellow of Trinity 
College, Dublin" :-

"Beneath this Stone are deposited the Remains of The Revd 
PHILIP SKELTON Prebendary of Donacabbey in the Cathedral of 
Clogher Who departed this life on the 4th of May 1787 In the 
59th year of his Ministry and 82nd Year of his Age

Liberally endowed by Providence with intellectual 
Perfections He did not suffer them to lie waste through 
Inactivity Nor did he pervert them by Mis-direction His 
understanding he habituated to attentive Reflection And 
pursuing the noblest End by the means best adapted He 
laboured industriously to promote the Happiness of Mankind 
By advancing the Influence of the Christian Religion

	   His Arguements evinced the Reasonableness of it 
Doctrines While his Example showed at once The 
Practicability and the Amiableness of its Precepts For As 
his opinions were Orthodox his manners were Primitive His 
conversation was Candid and Unreserved For he harboured no 
thoughts which required C[oncealment] Impressing on his 
Hearers the rightful [authority of Virtue] And with 
indignant Elocut[ion and nervous diction] Holding out [her 
Adversaries] Pious without Su[perstition, and zealous 
without Bigotry;] H[is life was practical devotion,] And his 
Co[ontroversies the earnest efforts of Philanthropy] 
[Leading infidels to truth and sinners to salvation] With a 
heart which felt for the distresses of the Indigent, He had 
a hand still open to relieve them.

	Denying himself even moderate gratifications That he 
might more liberally provide for the Necessities of others.

	And without ostentation he long continued to enjoy It.

		 A friend to the poor, an ornament to the church, 
Admired for his talents and revered for his virtues, He was 
at length called to the rewards of a Patriarchal life, In 
the immediate presence of that God, Whose name he had 
worshiped with such piety		And whose word he taught 
with success.]

the south transept of the church there is a tablet with the 
following inscription:-

"Sacred to the memory of Mary wife of James GRACEY Esqre of 
Downpatrick who departed this life 28th May 1826 aged 33 
years,  Favoured with outward beauty and elegance of person 
But supremely blessed in a mind and disposition highly 

During her short earthly course She was pre-eminently 
distinguished, for sincere piety and Christian benevolence:  
For purity and warmth of heart And all those domestic 
qualities which rendered Conjugal felicity complete.  

Her mortal remains lie buried with some of her kindred, in 
the tomb of their near relative, The Revd. Philip SKELTON, 
in the Cemetery of this Church"
					[December 29th, 1894]


Journal of the Association for the Preservation of the 
Memorials of the Dead in Ireland, 1894. FHL# 1279252