Copp’s Hill Burying Ground


Portrait by Artist to Come




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Founded in 1659 as North Burying Ground and later named after William Copp, a shoemaker who once owned the land, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground was the cemetery for merchants, artisans, and crafts people who lived in the North End. It is Boston’s largest burial ground.

Notable interred are Cotton Mather and his father Increase Mather, associated with the Salem witch trials; sexton Robert Newman, who hung the lanterns on the night of Paul Revere’s ride; and Edmund Hartt, builder of the USS Constitution.

Because of its height, the British used Copp’s Hll as the vantage point to train their cannons on Charlestown during the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775.

Part of the Freedom Trail™.

Associated People

American artillery captain John Henry, the twenty-year-old son of Virginia governor Patrick Henry, had distinguished himself in battle [at Saratoga in 1777]. After the cataclysm died down, he wandered the field, staring at the faces, the blue lips, dead staring eyes and glistening teeth, of men he had known. The sight unhinged him. He broke his sword in half and went raving mad. He disappeared for months and never fought again.

Jack Kelly
Band of Giants: The Amateur Soldiers Who Won America’s Independence (2014)