H. suffered from a pulmonary ailment, and during the autumn of 1816, having been advised to winter in a warmer climate, he travelled to Pisa (Italy) with (more…)
The Story of a man, of his diseased body and his grave (including his medallion) Monday, Feb 13 2017
Analysis and Biography and Cemeteries and Old English and Sources British, Burial Practices, Burials, Cemetery, Francis Horner, Henry Englefield, History, Non-Catholic, Old English Cemetery, Parliament of the United Kingdom, Scottish, Sculpture, Sir Francis Chantrey, Sismondi 1:20 pm
New Blog Section: The Old English Cemetery of Livorno in Images Thursday, Aug 23 2012
A whole new section has just been added to the blog’s page about the Old English Cemetery of Livorno:
The new page consists, for now, of a few sub-sections rich of images related to the cemetery:
- 65 Suggestions… (it was originally a blog post, now also transferred to this section)
- The symbolism of death
I plan to add more pictures and themed-sections in the next future. Enjoy!
On Tobias Smollett’s grave(s)… Reality or poetic licence? Thursday, Mar 29 2012
Articles and Biography and Cemeteries and Old English Cemetery, Leghorn, literary gazette, Livorno, Merchants, Montgomery Carmichael, Old English Cemetery, Scotland, scottish writer, short accounts, Tobias Smollett, travel 4:29 am
Tobias Smollett’s grave in the Old English Cemetery of Livorno has always sparked people’s interest: numerous visitors were attracted to the English Cemetery just to see the tomb of the great Scottish writer and historian. Some of them even took pieces of marble off as souvenirs, or left messages inscribed on the monument. Many travellers left short accounts on their visit to the cemetery and to Smollett’s tomb. Later on, the apparent mystery of its wrong inscription led to a written confrontation between Consul Montgomery Carmichael and Col. Buchan Telfer on the pages of The Times. More recently, after WWII, some concerned readers wrote to the Editor of The Times to denounce the state of neglect of the cemetery and of Smollett’s grave. The newspaper even published two pictures of the burial ground, of which one portrayed the writer’s monument at that time (1953).
The following picture shows (more…)
The Old English Cemetery in Quotes: a new page. Friday, Feb 24 2012
For a long time I have been collecting brief excerpts or longer citations regarding the Old English Cemetery of Livorno. Many of these have the power of giving us a glance of what it was like in the past by describing in colourful detail its vegetation, or the railings and low wall enclosing it, or the magic and melancholy atmosphere that could be felt while wandering there, or some of the white marble monuments of all shapes, with their inscriptions in many different languages… These passages were written by people visiting it during a day off at Livorno’s harbour waiting to sail to some other places. Others came just to see the famous tombs of Smollett and Horner, or to look for the grave of an acquaintance or of some other person they particularly respected… Some of them fell in love with it and would even dream of dying in the surroundings so they could be buried in such a wonderful garden, while some others compared it to other cemeteries, or noted its uniqueness in Italy or its age. Certain writers depicted Livorno as the Italian ‘Babel’; it was populated with merchants of all tongues, mariners and pirates, noblemen and their courts passing through on their way back to Florence, and consumptive gentlemen hoping the sea breeze would make their health better.
Here’s one of these excerpts:
Piero Sraffa, M. H. Dobb, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, 10, 1955, 321-322.
Letter, Thursday 24 Oct.r Pisa 
(…) We also saw the English Burying Ground in which we were very much (more…)
History of the Old English Cemetery: a new page of the blog. Wednesday, Feb 22 2012
Analysis and Articles and Books and Cemeteries and Churches and General History and New English and Old English and Places and Saint George (Anglican) and Sources and Update British Factory, Burials, Cemetery, Consuls, Diplomats, English Consul, History, Merchants, Montgomery Carmichael, New English Cemetery, Non-Catholic, Old English Cemetery, Protestant Church, Protestants, Sources 12:28 am
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.
Diplomats buried at the Old English Cemetery of Livorno – Part 1 Friday, Feb 3 2012
Sir John Dick and his mysterious mausoleum
The choice of this beautiful portrait by Gilbert Stuart of Sir John Dick (1721-1804), British Consul at Livorno from 1754 to 1776, was inspired by the strange fact (as some scholars and historians argued) that, in the Old English Cemetery of this place, one cannot find any burial of the several English consuls who lived here since the beginning of the 17th century, until the cemetery was finally closed in 1840 (we will be talking about the New English Cemetery in a specific article sometime later). This “absence” of consular and diplomatic graves is indeed a fact but, as I will show in the next parts of this article, it’s still not entirely true. Sir John Dick himself, or more precisely his grave, is also protagonist of another strange mystery (more…)