hideous Golgothas of London — Golgotha was the place where Jesus was crucified. The Hebrew word means "skull" or "place of the skull". The Jews used Golgotha as their place of stoning to death - the punishment prescribed by the Law of Moses - for hundreds of years. The quarry was a convenient spot to stone those found guilty because here were many stones and sharp rock fragments from the chiseling of the temple stone there. The name Golgotha actually came from this beginning since this was the place where skulls were hit against the rocks and often human remains were left there as well.
In de Quincey's context, he is writing about the huge insanitary graveyards in London. There was no legislation governing burials at that time.
Last modified 17 March 2002