The Friends of St. Peter's Berkhamsted

Friends of St Peter's, Great Berkhamsted

Burn, Richard 1778 -1842

Grave Number 300

This is believed to be the earliest surviving gravestone in the Cemetery. Interestingly, a piece appeared in the Herts County Press as follows:

GREAT BERKHAMPSTEAD – A grave-stone has recently been erected in the new burial ground here, having the following rather curious inscription:- “Here rests the mortal remains of Mr. Richard Burn, a relation of Burn’s Justice, thirty-two years butler to James Smith Esq, of Ashlyn’s Hall. Died 28th November, aged 64 years. A good and faithful servant.” We do not profess to understand the above; but we think we can perceive a strong inclination on the writer to that vanity which exists only in little minds – of claiming for his father’s butler relationship to Richard Burn, L.L.D, the author of the very talented and well-known work called Burn’s Justice’[1]

Apart from helping to reinstate the full inscription, the above article appears to be intended as a political snipe at Augustus Smith himself. Further research is required to prove the relationship to Richard Burn, but there seems little reason why there shouldn’t be a familial connection between the two.

Our Richard is recorded in the 1841 Census resident at Ashlyns Hall, with only Augustus Smith, aged 36 living there as the proprietor and one other male servant and four female servants.

The headstone is now extremely worn and at some point has been propped.

Cliveden Survey 2016

Eric Holland’s Survey Card, 29/10/88









[1] Reported in Lincolnshire Chronicle 6th October 1843. Richard Burn (1709-1785) lived in Westmorland. He and his wife had one son John (b.1744)

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