New Section: Livorno/Leghorn in Quotes Thursday, Nov 1 2012 

As already done for the Old English Cemetery, I created a new page with a collection of quotes from travellers’ accounts regarding the city of Livorno (or Leghorn). The new section will be evolving with time, as new quotes are found from the travel journals of the 17th-19th centuries. The page is accessible from the main blog page, or by clicking the next link:

-> Leghorn/Livorno in Quotes <-

Gould Francis Leckie (c.1767-1850): the rediscovered grave and a biography. Sunday, Mar 4 2012 

In 2009, during frequent email exchanges with Professor Michela D’Angelo and Dr. Diletta D’Andrea of the University of Messina I was informed that Dr. D’Andrea was carrying out a research on an English Esquire named Gould Francis Leckie. He was a classic scholar and a publicist who lived in England between the end of the XVIII century and the beginning of the XIX. As Dr. D’Andrea had found out, he had also spent some years in Sicily and, later on, had moved to Tuscany where he had probably died, though nobody had ever known where or when exactly, so I was asked by them to check my sources for any further information.

Checking the Chapel Register vol. 2 (1784-1824) and the inscriptions at the Old English Cemetery of Livorno did not reveal any trace of his. Next possibility was to check the Registers of the New Cemetery. Indeed, I felt a strong emotion when I read “Leckie, Gould Francis, 4-9-1850” in the Burial Register kept by the caretaker of the New English Cemetery in Livorno. I made copies of the whole register and wrote down the reference to the location of the grave.

This happened in the winter 2009. The cemetery was completely overgrown. My first attempt at finding the grave ended as soon as I arrived close to the relevant section, where the tomb should be: the whole area was totally covered with brambles to a height of 7-8 feet.

I immediately advised (more…)

Reminiscences of Mary Thompson, daughter of the British Vice-Consul in Livorno Wednesday, Feb 29 2012 

by Piero Posarelli, edited by Matteo Giunti.

On the Internet site, we can read the passage Reminiscences of my young days, written by Mary Thompson, daughter of Frederick Thompson who was British Vice-Consul in Livorno from 1839 to 1852. The first part of the Reminiscences speaks about Mary’s memories of that period, when Livorno was full of revolutionary ideas that brought to the battle of Porta San Marco in 1849. On the site we can also find information about her father and her family.

There is little known about the first years of Frederick Thompson’s life. We know that  he was born about 1805 in Maldon, Essex, England, and that for some unknown reasons he went to Malta where he opened a school. In Malta he met and married Mary Ann [Mary Ann Bingham born 1810, NdR], who was born there from English parents [William Bingham and Eleanor Temple, NdR], and had two children: Fred (born in 1833) and Mary (born in 1835). It is from the information that Mary left us in the form of reminiscences written in her later life in Charlcombe, Somerset, England that it is possible to piece together some of the events surrounding the life of this family. (more…)

Mariners’ casualties in Livorno (1792-1796) Friday, Mar 11 2011 

I extracted the following list from the manuscript ‘Chapel Register‘ of Livorno (1784-1824) by selecting all death/burial acts concerning mariners, sailors and other personnel on board English warships sailing in the vicinity of Livorno or during their stops at the docks in the years 1792-1796.  These ships and their occupants were involved in the English response to the French Revolutionary Wars: Livorno was then used as a supply harbour for the British Mediterranean fleet until the French entered the city during the summer 1796. All English merchant families were forced to flee the town and were able to return only after 1797. Although the sailors and mariners are not directly related to the merchant networks, I thought nevertheless to publish this list as a token of respect in their memory.

Many of the casualties seems related to at least two well known events: the Battle of Genoa (14 March 1795) and the Battle of Hyeres (13 July 1795). The list is ordered alphabetically by ships’ names and, for each ship, individuals are listed chronologically by descending death date. Ships’ classes, type and nominal guns are also included.

I have used the threedecks website as main source for the identification of the ships and the captains’ names. In some rare cases mariners have been buried in the Old English Cemetery of Livorno (they are marked with asterisks in the list) but mainly, as the normal procedure, by the burial-at-sea. Every name is followed by their occupation on board as reported on the death act.

For convenience I made direct hypertext links for ships and captains pointing to the relevant data sheet on In some cases I have indicated two or more captains when either there have been different captains on the ship during the time span of the mariners’ deaths or the captain could not be determined with certainty among two possibilities – in all the other cases data was insufficient to determine the identity of the captain. The mention ‘uncertain data‘ appears also when a doubtful identification of a ship occurs. Finally I added a few mariners whose ship was not revealed by the register. The position on board of each person has been indicated between square brackets and it’s extracted from the register.

If you happen to have any further information on any of these men, please send me an e-mail.

[Ardent-class, third-rate ship-of-the-line, 64 guns]
COTTINGHAM Lewis (-1795) [sailor]
QUINTEN John (-1795) [sailor]
GOWER William (-1795) [sailor]
ROBERTS Daniel (-1795) [sailor]
MITCHEL James (-1795) [sailor]
MEAGLE Stephen (-1795) [sailor]
CORKMAN John (-1795) [sailor]
HAYS John (-1794) [sailor]
LEE Thomas (-1794) [sailor]
JEFFERS Rosswell (-1794) [sailor]

Capt. John Wood, killed in the 1653 Battle of Leghorn and his “forgotten italian grave” Wednesday, Oct 27 2010 

The Battle of Leghorn: Overview

The battle took place on 14 March 1653 (4 March 1652 Old Style), during the First Anglo-Dutch War, in the waters off Livorno. It was a victory of a Dutch fleet under Commodore Johan van Galen over an English squadron under Captain Henry Appleton. Afterward an English fleet under Captain Richard Badiley, which Appleton had been trying to reach, approached but was outnumbered and fled.  Appleton’s squadron comprised two warships: the Bonaventure (44 guns) and Leopard (48), and four armed merchantmen: the Sampson (40), the Mary (30), the Peregrine (30) and the Levant Merchant (30). (more…)

Tunis – St-George’s Church and Cemetery Thursday, Nov 12 2009 

Not many people know about this small corner of paradise in the middle of the Medina at Tunis.

Tunis St-George's View

The church itself was built in 1899-1901 but the cemetery has been in existence since about 1645 and was used until 1885 when a new evangelical section was opened in the municipal cemetery for Europeans at Bab al-Khadra. (more…)

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