John Oliver burial tomb. Highdown Hill Near Worthing East Sussex UK. .John Olliver (the contemporary spelling) was born in 1709 but little is known about his early life. In 1750 he took over his father's mill on Highdown Hill near Worthing, then known as Caesar's Hill..Sometime around 1765 he obtained the permission of the then landowner, William Richardson, to build himself a brick and stone tomb on the hill a short distance from his cottage on the eastern slopes. He also made himself a wooden coffin set on casters, which he kept underneath his bed..Its claimed that he became heavily involved with smuggling, the open aspect of his house providing an ideal prospect over the surrounding area and out to sea.  It is also believed that he passed messages about the positions of both ships and customs officers onto his accomplices by judiciously placing the sails of his mill in prearranged positions. Furthermore, the tomb and coffin were both receptacles for storing his share of the contraband, using the premise that no one in their right mind would search inside a coffin. Credence was added to this theory when his friends made a beeline for them both upon hearing of his demise..John died in 1794 aged 84, his funeral being held on 22nd April. His coffin was attended by a host of maidens dressed in white - a custom normally reserved for the young and sinless. The party was swelled by up to 2000 mourners who, following the miller's express wish, dressed themselves in flamboyant clothes..The funeral lesson was read by a 12 year old girl who, dressed in white, read a passage that John himself had written. The wake, however, finished in a drunken riot. So, nearly 30 years after its construction the prominent tomb finally received its intended occupant. It remains finely carved with pious verses including one surmounted by an effigy of Time and Death, the latter shown as a skeleton in the guise of the Grim Reaper. Underneath are the words: Why start you at?that skeleton??'Tis y
THE MILLERS tomb PHOTO IMAGE PHOTOGRAPH Highdown Hill Near Worthing East Sussex UK.
John Oliver burial tomb. Highdown Hill Near Worthing East Sussex UK. .John Olliver (the contemporary spelling) was born in 1709 but little is known about his early life. In 1750 he took over his father's mill on Highdown Hill near Worthing, then known as Caesar's Hill..Sometime around 1765 he obtained the permission of the then landowner, William Richardson, to build himself a brick and stone tomb on the hill a short distance from his cottage on the eastern slopes. He also made himself a wooden coffin set on casters, which he kept underneath his bed..Its claimed that he became heavily involved with smuggling, the open aspect of his house providing an ideal prospect over the surrounding area and out to sea. It is also believed that he passed messages about the positions of both ships and customs officers onto his accomplices by judiciously placing the sails of his mill in prearranged positions. Furthermore, the tomb and coffin were both receptacles for storing his share of the contraband, using the premise that no one in their right mind would search inside a coffin. Credence was added to this theory when his friends made a beeline for them both upon hearing of his demise..John died in 1794 aged 84, his funeral being held on 22nd April. His coffin was attended by a host of maidens dressed in white - a custom normally reserved for the young and sinless. The party was swelled by up to 2000 mourners who, following the miller's express wish, dressed themselves in flamboyant clothes..The funeral lesson was read by a 12 year old girl who, dressed in white, read a passage that John himself had written. The wake, however, finished in a drunken riot. So, nearly 30 years after its construction the prominent tomb finally received its intended occupant. It remains finely carved with pious verses including one surmounted by an effigy of Time and Death, the latter shown as a skeleton in the guise of the Grim Reaper. Underneath are the words: Why start you at?that skeleton??'Tis y

Filename: John Oliver burial tomb. Highdown Hill Near Worthing East Sussex UK. 002.jpg
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Date: 12 Apr 2011
Location: Worthing EAst Sussex UK
Credit: HOMER SYKES
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