David William Watkins who lived in Aberaman died in 1789 who at his request”was buried perpendicularly beneath the tablet” in St John’s the Baptist Church at Aberdare. It has been long accepted that this meant he was so buried within the wall of the church. A story has grown up regarding the plaque and the burial. It is told that his servant “Shoni Mawr” who was taller than him had him buried below him so in his death that he could look down on his servant instead of looking up at him when they were alive.
It is thought, however, that Watkins was granted the perpendicular burial that he was, as a Quaker, entitled to request. Sadly, the lettering of the tablet is disintegrating rapidly, and unless restitution is possible, the story of this strange burial, will live on in written history only.