History of Rumney Marsh Burying Ground

Ye Olde Rumney Marsh Burying Ground

This First Period cemetery served as final resting place for settlers of what was then the village of Rumney Marsh, settled in 1630 and named after the town in England. The first recorded internment was in 1693, the last in 1929. Here lie buried numerous veterans of both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

Rumney Marsh Burying ground sat on the north edge of the Cole Farm. The cemetery was purchased by William Hasey in 1654. His sons William and Joseph were some of the first to be buried here. In 1693, the wife of Capt. John Smith was buried behind the Masonic Temple, originally a church on the same land. In 1740, the Hasey family sold Rumney Marsh Burying Ground to the Cheever Family and in 1748, RMBG was deeded/bequeathed to the town of Revere.

Styles and historically important motifs of RMBG:

Dark Slate, Marble, Limestone and Granite are the types of stones that are located in the burying ground. Winged skull motifs were prominent for much of 17th century gravestones, winged cherubs signify the styles of 18th century stones. Stylized floral borders/fruit and leaf motifs were popular from the 19th century on.

Some significant people buried in the RMBG:

  • 7 veterans of Colonial Wars.
  • 20 veterans of the Revolutionary War.
  • 4 veterans of the War of 1812.
  • 13 veterans of the Civil War.
  • Dean Winthrop, Gov. Winthrop’s son is buried here.
  • Rev. Phillip Payson, hero from battle of Lexington is buried here. Reverend Payson was also known for his advocacy for separation of church and state during the writing of the constitution.
  • Also, 16 slaves/former slaves are also buried here. Their graves are be unmarked but they are forever memorialized at RMBG.

Some additional facts about the RMBG and Revere, MA:

  • It is the resting place to 545 of Revere’s earliest settlers
  • The 3×2 wide wall was built as a WPA project from the 1930s.
  • The inscriptions are facing west and bodies east towards the rising sun.
  • The earliest record of white settlers in Revere are dated back to 1625.
  • In 1739, Rumney Marsh was considered a part of Chelsea and became a part of North Chelsea in 1846. In 1871, the name was officially changed to Revere.

Information from: The Rumney Marsh Burying Ground DVD, courtesy of Sound and Vision Media, Revere, MA.

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