Judge Nathaniel Beverley Tucker is buried with his wife beneath a prominent granite obelisk just outside the west entrance to Bruton Parish. The east face of the stone is shown above, containing the details of their births and deaths, including the names of their parents. Most people today might recognize him best as a son of St. George Tucker, although Nathaniel's accomplishments are also impressive.
In case you have trouble reading the epitaph in this image of the south face of the monument, the inscription reads:
Descended from Virginia's best blood
Was by birth, and training, a gentleman of the old school. He filled with credit, and distinction positions of trust and dignity. Was Judge of the U.S. Court in the Territory of Missouri, and after his return to his native State was the Professor of Law in the College of William and Mary till his death. His influence in developing the minds and character of his pupils was a prominent trait in his character. He was a ready, accurate, and elegant writer. He was hospitable, benevolent, and charitable, And his honour and integrity were without a stain. This eminent scholar and author, upright Judge, learned jurist, constant friend, affectionate Husband and Father, died as he lived a Sage, a Patriot, and a Christian.
Wow. That sounds pretty impressive.
Even though Mr. Tucker's epitaph is impressive, I think I prefer the epitaph on the north face of the stone, which describes his wife, Lucy Ann. Her text reads:
Was admired, respected, and beloved. She lived an ornament of the society in which she moved. The kind neighbor, and friend, the charm of her household, the faithful wife, the devoted mother, the pure christian. In her life and character were happily blended gentleness and firmness, affability and dignity. She died lamented, as living she was beloved, by all classes of the community.
In both cases, few of us live up to the descriptions carved on this stone, but if I perceive Judge and Mrs. Tucker correctly, I think they may have doubted whether they actually lived up to these words as well.
Finally, I'm sorry that I don't remember what's written on the west face of the monument.