Westburn, Edinburgh raised the subject of sculls and crossbones on
gravestones in the EdinPhoto GuestBook on October 2, 2005.
"Symbols, including tools of trades, were
frequently carved on 17th century and early 18th century gravestones.
Sculls and crossbones were common in the South of Scotland: they were
reminders of the mortality of man. Hourglasses denoted time passing: a
vertical hourglass for a person had lived a full life and a horizontal one
for a person whose life had been cut short. Trumpets and the angels
North Leith Cemetery in Coburg Street dates
from the mid-17th century. It replaced the graveyard beside the North
Leith church of St Nicholas (the patron saint of seamen) which was lost
due to the building of Leith Citadel in 1856."