History of the Old English Cemetery: a new page of the blog. Wednesday, Feb 22 2012 


The survey of the Old English Cemetery of Livorno which I began in 2009 and my subsequent analysis of the data has revealed an elevated amount of discrepancies. Some examples are: the position of the existing tombstones not matching the complete survey made in 1906 (see below), the great number of missing slabs and tombstones, the astonishing collages of inscription fragments mounted together with no apparent logic, some artistically/historically incoherent monuments, the total loss of the iron railings that were enclosing a number of graves, the mysteriously empty areas, the enormous quantities of debris, dumping material and objects found everywhere, etc…

The very limited local bibliography on the subject lacks any detail on the history of the cemetery, and gives only opinions and hypotheses. It relays unreliable information from previous books and articles and transmits oral statements of unknown origins. Everything about this place has always been uncertain, from the year of its foundation (historians have dated it anywhere from 1594 to 1737), to the events of World War II. On the other hand, Prof. Stefano Villani has provided some very interesting evidence about the enclosure of the cemetery and other documents related to the first hundred years of the burial ground’s existence. I recently discovered the testament of a Leghorn merchant which finally establishes, for the first time, the year of the foundation of this cemetery (see related article on this blog).

Read the new page: History of the Old English Cemetery of Livorno: an outline.

Old English Cemetery of Livorno: Survey and analysis Monday, Apr 12 2010 

Actual Status (with a lucky meeting…)

A few weeks ago I started the first deep survey of this exceptional burial ground, having the chance of finding there a guy who was cleaning up volountarily the “jungle” that keeps growing and literally swallowing the monuments, graves and, with them, the centuries of history that are trying desperately to communicate with us. I have to say that many of the graves have already been “eaten” by the vegetation, and it’s a really hard work to figure out where they were placed in the cemetery and which pieces of stones belong to them if still readable.
Below I posted a few images of the actual state “before and after”. My good fellow (more…)

Montgomery Carmichael on the Old British Cemetery of Leghorn Friday, Apr 9 2010 

The text that follows, written by Carmichael,  is the beautiful introduction to the book “The inscriptions in the Old British Cemetery of Leghorn” by Gery Milner-Gibson-Cullum and Francis Campbell Macauley (1906). I tried to reproduce it here with the notes and some hyper-text links.

To read his monuments, to weigh his dust,
Visit his vaults, and dwell among the tombs.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I widen my horizon, gain new powers,
See things invisible, feel things remote,
Am present with futurities; think nought
To man so foreign, as the joys possest,
Nought so much his as those beyond the grave.

It was not without considerable diffidence that (more…)

A dispute on Tobias Smollett’s burial in Livorno dated 1898. Wednesday, Apr 7 2010 


In the Notes and Queries periodical, year 1898, 9th series, vol.1, p.201, 309 and 510 appeared an interesting exchange between R.N. Captain James Buchan Telfer and the British Vice-Consul at Leghorn Montgomery Carmichael. I thought it would be interesting to offer a copy of the originals (more…)

Burials at the Old English Cemetery of Livorno (Via Verdi) Wednesday, Jan 20 2010 

This list is based on the book « The Inscriptions of the Old British Cemetery of Leghorn » by Gery Milner-Gibson-Cullum and Francis Campbell Macauley, Giusti, Livorno, 1906. The order of the burials follows the original order of the book. The first part of the list (black) contains Englishmen and Americans, the last part of the list ( blue) are people from other nationalities. Married women have both their surnames; I used the form: ‘married name’ née ‘former name’ if this can be clearly deducted from the inscription. The date of death is the one that appears on the funeral inscription as reported by the 1906 book. An asterisk beside the date indicates that the person has then been removed from Livorno. An exclamation mark indicates a correction apported by further knowledge (i.e. internet users, researches, etc…), followed by the correction. (more…)

The “Chapel Registers” of Livorno 1707-1824 Sunday, Nov 8 2009 

As you probably read in the Sources [Livorno], there are two registers of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials kept by the British Factory Chaplain at Leghorn dating from 1707 all the way to 1824. These records do not just include Anglican people but all the foreigners dwelling in Livorno and surrounding areas (Genoa, Florence, Pisa, etc…) who where not catholic, so one can find in it Swiss, French, Germans, Russians, Austrians, etc…

Many years ago (more…)

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