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Christian Shaw's Death

Christian Shaw's Death

Christian Shaw's Burial Record  

Christian Shaw was buried on the 8th of September, 1737, in Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh. She would have been around 51 years of age. There is no record of the actual date or cause of her death. It would almost certainly have happened in the first days of September, given the Scottish tradition of burying people as quickly as possible.

It is perhaps fitting that such an iconic person was laid to rest in one of Scotland's most iconic cemeteries, itself the scene of much historical drama, with a long reputation for being haunted by tortured souls.

Christian Shaw Burial Record

The image here shows her burial record, and also that she had married again, to a William Livingston, who was a Glover. There were five other recorded burials on this day in Greyfriars. The tomb itself was originally that of an Edinburgh Provost, Archibald Tod, who died in 1656. This in itself is interesting, and is a reflection of her standing in the community when she died. Given that she was conversant with the capital's civic and merchant classes, her passing would have been given due respect.

Edinburgh had a steadily flourishing funeral industry by this time, and Christian would have had access to a spohisticated level of services from local undertakers. Like today, Edinburgh was Scotland's service capital, with the highest concentration of wealth in the land. As a successful businesswoman, Christian Shaw would have been able to enjoy an elaborate funeral if she had desired one. There is every chance, however, that her coffin would still have been borne to the grave on foot. At this time, most people were carried to the grave on a bier, and hearses remained an uncommon sight on the city's streets.