Skull and Cross Bones Grave’s of St Marys Churchyard in Whitby

On Sunday Simon took a visit to Whitby, which I asked him to take a look for the graves in St Mary’s in Whitby which have the Skull and cross bones on them. I have not been able to find them on my visits before and of course Simon found them straight away.

Since posting them there is conflicting information on who these two graves belong too, from pirates to one belonging to Dracula himself and freemasons. I’ve also seen that there is a belief that the skull and cross bones was a warning to grave robbers that those buried here had the plague.

But what is the truth?

Well we know for a fact that there is no record of a Count Dracula ever being buried in St Mary’s Churchyard. There is no evidence to suggest that those buried here were not pirates or sailors or had the plague.

The most common belief is that they could have been freemasons, The Skull and Cross-bone markers have been placed on graves all over Britain, most prominently in Scotland – though these grave markers are believed to mean a member of the Knights Templar is buried there. However, Simon pointed out that less than 200 yards away from these two, there is a masons grave and upon that grave is a masons compass to suggest this and that the graves with the skull and cross bones simply seem to small.

The truth is nobody actually knows why, there isn’t much research into the graves at Whitby to see why they’re there or why the skull and cross bones have been sculpted onto the side.

Documented in the book ‘Foul Deeds and Suspicious Deaths on the Yorkshire Coast’ the suggestion is that the graves belonged to two men that were shot by French Privateers, but again there is no evidence that can fully prove who these graves belonged to.

Another thought is amongst historians, same as the grave with the skull and cross bones marker in Eyam in Derbyshire, is that the Skull and crossbone marker could simply be a reminder to the living about thier own mortality.

Have you seen them? what are your thoughts, let us know.

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