J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rousseau Peers into Old North’s Crypt, 14 April

In January I did a series on the corpse of Maj. John Pitcairn, once (and still?) laid to rest under the Old North Church. But his body was only one of those in that space.

On Wednesday, 14 April, at 6:00 P.M., Jane Lyden Rousseau will speak at the New England Historic Genealogical Society on “The Burial Crypt at Boston’s Old North Church.” The society’s description of the event says:

As they learn of the building's rich history, and marvel at the beautiful simplicity of its architecture, visitors remain largely unaware that more than one thousand of Christ Church’s earliest parishioners rest directly below their feet. Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, crypts were continually built within the church’s cellar to receive the mortal remains of Bostonians and their families. Within these ancient tombs lie not only these remains, but a fascinating aspect of the history of the Old North Church and of Boston’s rich historic past that has yet to be explored.
Rousseeau is a Scholar in Residence at the Old North Church, and a Curatorial Assistant at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. She has a Master’s degree in Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology from the University of Sheffield, and has done fieldwork in Ireland, the U.K., and here in New England.

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