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Headstones and Causes of Death

Scarlatina or Scarlet Fever


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This childhood fever was very common in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but isolation of infected children gradually reduced the number of cases.  I also became less severe in its course, for reasons unknown.  It must have killed thousands of children, but is only mentioned on two gravestones, in Ardglass and Knockbreda, and in the Knockbreda stone the words "of scarlatina" were later erased, perhaps because of a perceived stigma.

 

Ardglass Church of Ireland graveyard, County Down

 

Underlieth the mortal remains of Catherine, wife of Capt Michael Cotter, who departed this life the 22nd of January 1857 aged 75 years. Also of John, grandson to the above and son of Arthur Cotter, who died 10th June 1860 aged 12 months. Also his son Thomas Wm who died of scarlatina 13th May 1863 aged 7 years, deeply beloved by his parents and all who knew him. Also Capt Michael Cotter who died 27th Oct 1864 aged 79 years. Also Arthur, son of Michael Cotter, who died 8th Novr 1882 aged 64 years. Also Joseph, son of Arthur Cotter, Capt of SS Lamport, drowned June 1887 aged 40 years.

 

Knockbreda Church of Ireland graveyard, County Down

 

Erected by Alexander Taylor, ironmoulder, In memory of his son, Alexander, who departed this life, on the 2nd of March 1843 aged 47 years Also the above named Alexander Taylor, who departed this life on the 1st of June 1847 aged 78 years And Ann, relict of the above named Alexr Taylor, who departed this life on the 2nd June 186[] aged 92 years James, the beloved son of James Taylor, born 14th April 1852, died of scarlatina 22nd Nov 1857 Also his brother, Wm I died 1st Dec, Little children to come unto Me for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven, Victor Taylor died 8th July 1896 aged 72 years.  [The words, ‘of scarlatina’ have been deleted]

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