The Times online archive (1785-1985) is an amazing source of information with full-text search. I tried to find some interesting citation about the Old English Cemetery of Livorno and came up with the following “enlightening” articles:

Friday, April 18, 1879

TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES.

Sir, – The old British cemetery at Leghorn adjoining the Episcopal church has fallen into a state of neglect and decay. Many of the monuments are dilapidated, and, excepting a few which have been cared for by the friends of the departed, the remainder will before long be reduced to a similar state unless steps be taken to prevent it. Since the closing of the cemetery for interments in 1839 by the late Tuscan Government there have been no funds whatever available for keeping it in proper order.

Lest it should be objected that the British residents here should make good this want, it is necessary to mention that they are relatively few in number, and that probably not more than three or four among them have any friends buried within the old cemetery; also that in 1840 a new cemetery was opened entailing a considerable expenditure. But, independently of this, it must be added that the old cemetery has far more than a mere local interest. It was opened so early as the 16th century, and during many years was the only British burial-ground in Italy, to which the dead were brought also from other parts, such as Rome, Florence, Pisa &c. It contains the remains of Tobias Smollett, Francis Horner, and other distinguished persons of many members of the noble families of Great Britain, of officers of the Army and Navy of our own country and of the United States; of many Americans as well as of Protestants of other nationalities.

On these grounds we venture to ask you to publish this appeal for funds to be applied to the restoration of the cemetery and its permanent preservation in a state befitting the sacred character of the place.

We trust that this will meet with a response from the friends and relatives of those whose remains rest within it. Contributions by cheque or international post-office order, which may be addressed to Mr. William Rae, treasurer, will be thankfully received and acknowledged by,

Your obedient servants,

WILLIAM RAE, THOMAS LLOYD,

J. G. JAGO, JAMES RAE,

The Treasurer and Trustees of the British Episcopal Church.

Leghorn, March 21.

Thursday, February 08, 1827

PROTESTANT CEMETERY IN LEGHORN. – At the outskirts of Leghorn is an interesting and beautiful cemetery for Protestants. It is surrounded by rows of cypresses, willows, and other evergreens; and numerous monuments of Carrara marble white as snow, adorn the interior. The cemetery has been principally used for the interment of the English who have died at Leghorn and Pisa. There is a melancholy interest in viewing the monuments of any class of men who have died far from their native country, their friends, and the last home of their fathers, and we feel this more especially when the departed were our fellow-countrymen: but the powerful emotion is not slightly alleviated by finding them associated with each other even in death, and laid in so tranquil and beautiful resting place. I have never seen a more interesting cemetery than this. We perused the monuments with eagerness, though with sadness. Amongst the rest, we found the grave of Smollett, whose birth-place I recollect in the beautiful valley between Dumbarton and Loch Lomond: the monument of this man of genius bears the following simple announcement: – “Memoriæ Tobiæ Smollett, qui Liburni animam efflavit, 16 Sept. 1773. Quidam ex suis valde amicis civibus, hunc tumulum fecerunt.” Here also is the tomb of the amiable and highly gifted Mr. Horner, whose epitaph you will, I am sure, be desirous of seeing: it is as follows: – “Francis Horner, member of the British Parliament, born Edinburgh, August 12, 1778, died at Pisa, February 8, 1817. In his public life he was distinguished for his splendid talents and spotless integrity; in his private life, as a son, a brother, and a friend, he was dutiful, affectionate, and sincere. His father erected this monument, and offers this tribute to his memory.” The profile of his countenance is carved in bass-relief on the monument. Mr. Horner died of a consumption, which was too far advanced when he left England to be removed by the air of Italy.

Tuesday, Nov 17, 1953

SMOLLETT’S GRAVE [1]

TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES

Sir, – Recently I was in Leghorn, italy, and I made a special trip to the old English cemetery to seek out the grave of Tobias Smollett, who died in Leghorn in 1791. The cemetery is in an abandonate, desolate place and the latest date on the tombs I saw was 1831. It looks as if the graveyard had not been taken care of since that time. Most of the tombs were of English who had died there while working for the “English Factory.” The caretaker, who appears to be employed by an adjoining mortuary, had never heard of Smollett, and after an hour of scrambling through the brambles I could not find the grave. Everything is going into decay in the cemetery, and since many of the inscriptions on the tombstones are now illegible, it is no wonder that I could not find it.

As an American, I do not know too much about how to arouse in your country some interest in the preservation of the grave of one of your great novelists, but perhaps it might be of interest to some of your readers. It would take so little to restore this tiny cemetery to some charm, not only because of Smollett, but because of the other Englishmen who lie here.

Veru truly yours,

HOWARD L. NELSON.

29, Ottenweg, Zürich 8, Switzerland.

Friday, Nov 20, 1953

SMOLLETT’S GRAVE [2]

TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES

Sir, – Readers of Mr. Howard Nelson’s letter in your issue of November 17 will find a full hisory and description of the old British cemetery of Leghorn in The Inscriptions of the Old British Cemetery of Leghorn transcribed by Gery Milner-Gibson-Cullum, F.S.A., and the late Francis Campbell Macauley, with an introduction by Montgomery Carmichael, British Vice-Consul at Leghorn, 1906, printed at Leghorn by R. Giusti, xxvii plus 126 pages, indexed as to surnames, and having as frontispiece an engraving of this burial ground dated about 1805. These 500 inscriptions were copied by them in 1895.

Facing page 57 is a picture of Smollett’s monument – a tall ball-topped obelisk within spiked iron rails, inscribed: Memoriae Tobiae Smollett, qui Liburni animam efflavit, 16. Sept. 1773, quidam ex suis valde amicis, civibus, hunc tumulum fecerunt. At page 6 is printed his widow’s inscription of 1791. The vice-consul’s introduction of 1906, occupying 19 pages, states that this cemetery was closed in 1839 and “now finds itself in the midst of a thickly populated part of the town, and is entirely blocked… by residential quarters, though old people can remember when it was still surrounded by green fields. … It is pictoresque in the extreme, and at the same time extremely deplorable.”

Yours faithfully,

CHARLES PARTRIDGE.

Stowmarket, Suffolk

Friday, Nov 27, 1953

SMOLLETT’S GRAVE [3]

TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES

Sir, – With reference to Mr. Howard Nelson’s recent letter stating that he was unable to find Smollett’s grave at Leghorn, may I say that in February, 1934, I saw the tomb in the old English cemetery there ? Both the tomb and its inscription tallied with the information given in Mr. Charles Partridge’s letter of November 20. If the tomb is indeed no longer there it is most probable that it has been a casualty of war, since it is unlikely that it would have been deliberately removed. The inscriptions on other gravestones were legible and some recorded Englishmen who had spent their working days at Smyrna where, I think, the “English Factory” mentioned by Mr. Nelson was and had retired to end their days in the Duke of Tuscany’s territory, where alone in Italy, at one time, was a cemetery for Protestants permitted.

Your obedient servant,

D. M. LOW.

Flat J, 11, Craven Hill, W.2, Nov. 24.

Tuesday, Dec 01, 1953

SMOLLETT’S GRAVE [4]

TO THE EDITOR OF THE TIMES

Sir, – Your correspondents will be glad to know that the serious war damage to the old English cemetery at Leghorn did not destroy Smollett’s tomb. After the war, thanks to the efforts of Mr. Greenleaves, the British Consul at Florence, the old cemetery was put in decent order and the local Italian authorities undertook to keep it so. When I visited it three years ago the graves of Smollett and many of his compatriots were easily to be found and the inscriptions legible. In fact the cemetery, though now built around, formed a pictoresque and romantic reminder of the days when there was a large British colony in Leghorn.

Yours faithfully,

VICTOR MALLET*.

Wittersham House, Wittersham, Kent.

* Descendant of Jacques MALLET (1749-1800), founder of the Mercure Britannique.

 

Thursday, Dec 17, 1953

SMOLLETT’S GRAVE. – Recent photographs of the old English cemetery at Leghorn, and (right) Smollett’s tomb. The cemetery was damaged during the war, but Smollett’s grave was not destroyed, and, after the war, with other graves of his compatriots, was put in decent order, thanks to the efforts of the British Consul at Florence.

NOTE: these two pictures above are of the highest importance since it’s almost impossible to find any pictures of the interior of the cemetery before and after the war.

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