English Cemetery, Naples
|Owned by||Commune of Naples|
The English Cemetery, Il Cimitero degli Inglesi, or more correctly, Il Cimitero acattolico di Santa Maria delle Fede, is located near Piazza Garibaldi, Naples, Italy. It was the final resting place of many Swiss, Germans, Americans, Irish, Scottish and English who lived in Naples, were passing through on the Grand Tour, or were merchants or seamen.
In 1826, the British Consul, Sir Henry Lushington, bought land within the gardens of the church of Santa Maria della Fede for a Protestant cemetery. The cemetery was the burial place of the (mainly foreign) Protestants who died in Naples, although people of other religions ended up here as well. It was a unique memorial to the foreigners who formed part of the commercial elite of Naples at that time.
The cemetery was closed for burials in 1893 and its maintenance given over to the British consulate. Over the following half-century what was once a romantic memory of the bourgeoisie of 18th-century Naples was scandalously allowed to fall into disrepair. Statues were vandalized and stolen and the entire cemetery became overgrown with weeds and vegetation. At the end of the 1950s the cemetery was donated to the Commune of Naples and a plan was drawn up for the re-utilization of the area. This foresaw the conversion of the cemetery into a public park, retaining some of the memorials as a reminder of the history of the cemetery and those interred in it. However, while most of the remaining land area of the cemetery was retained, only a fraction of the memorials were renovated and preserved, and the original ambience was almost obliterated in the construction of the public park.
Since its re-opening as a park in the early 1990s, some of the remaining memorials have been vandalized.
Burials and inscriptions
When the cemetery was given by the British Consulate to the City of Naples the area was made over as a park. Most of the graves were transferred to the main municipal Cemetery of Poggioreale. However, records remain of those who were buried here in the 19th century, along with some inscriptions.[a]
Mary Somerville (née Fairfax) was a noted Scottish mathematician and theoretical astronomer of the nineteenth century. In the 1850s she and her husband came to Italy. Her husband died in 1860 in Florence and she moved to Naples. She experienced the 1872 eruption of Vesuvius in Naples, and died a few months later at the age of 92. Also buried in that grave are her daughters Martha, died 1879 and Mary, died 1875. Her memorial statue was the work of Francesco Jerace (1854–1937).
Dionysius Lardner was one of the most popular scientific writers of the 19th century. He was born in Dublin, Ireland. His Cabinet Cyclopaedia appeared in 1830 and was completed in 135 volumes in 1844. He was resident in Paris until shortly before his death, when he came to Naples and died there on 29 April 1859.
Davide Vonwiller (or Von Willer) was an industrialist from St. Gall in Switzerland. Through the textile business he became one of the richest inhabitants of the city. In the early 19th century Naples became the principal supplier to the Swiss, German and French textile industries, as a result of which many textile workers came from these countries to Naples. Also, the silk and cotton industries of Switzerland had been badly damaged by the blockage against Napoleon, and many entrepreneurs saw Naples as a way out of their predicament.
Anton Sminck van Pitloo (Arnhem 1790 - Naples 1837) was an influential Dutch painter who was invited to Naples in 1815 by a Russian diplomat. He was the originator of the Posillipo School in painting. He died during a cholera epidemic.
Le Normand Brabazon, born 18 May 1839 and died 7 August 1844, eldest son of William, Lord Brabazon, 11th Earl of Meath, Ireland, (1803-1898) and his wife Harriot Brooke. The Earl's second son became the 12th Earl.
Maria (Mary) Beauclerk Countess of Coventry, born 30 March 1791 and died 11 September 1845, daughter of Aubrey Beauclerk, 6th Duke of St Albans. She was the second wife of George Coventry, 8th Earl of Coventry, with whom she eloped to Scotland in 1811. Shortly after their marriage she had affairs with two of George's younger brothers, amongst others.
William Gell (1777–1836) was an English archaeologist, traveller and writer. He was a friend of the Irish archaeologist Edward Dodwell and also of Keppel Richard Craven, with whom he lived towards the end of his life.
Keppel Richard Craven (1779-1851) was an English traveller and dilettante and long-time friend of William Gell. Son of Elizabeth Craven and friend of Lady Blessington. In 1834 he bought a convent near Salerno where he generously entertained his friends and visitors.
Elizabeth Craven, Princess Berkeley and Margravine of Brandenburg-Ansbach (1750-1828) was an English socialite, playwright and travel writer. Twice married, she resided with her second husband, the Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach at Craven Villa in Posillipo.
Edward Arthur Butler, died 7 November 1829. The son of Frances Mauleverer and Colonel the Hon. Henry Edward Butler (1780-1856, second son of Henry Butler, 2nd Earl of Carrick). Edward was born at Carrick on Shannon, Leitrim, Ireland. His father served in Egypt and in the Peninsular War.
Francis John Bateman-Dashwood, English nobleman, died 14 September 1861, is commemorated with an obelisk, the work of Francesco Jerace, who also designed two of the statues in the cemetery.
Felice Zerman was a Swiss Consul-General in Naples.
Graves of people killed in Naples
Thomas Welch Hunt, died Friday 3 December 1824, aged 28 years. From Wadenhoe, Northants, he had been married ten months to Caroline Isham (23) and they were shot by brigands when on an excursion to Paestum, on 3 December. The bullet went through both the husband and the wife who died two days later. There is a plaque to them in Christ Church, the Anglican church in Naples, as well as in their local church in Wadenhoe.
Henry Rodefeldt, born in Germany, and died February 1852, aged 28 years. His headstone was erected by the Marine Officers and Guard of the United States Razee Independence. He was murdered in Naples while on liberty between the 6 and 23 February.
Henry Hind, died 1 March 1875. The son of Maria and James Hind, born 28 April 1834, he was murdered in Naples. He had been a British officer but gave up his commission to follow Garibaldi to Naples and Sicily. He had started a flower business, and was found murdered and thrown in a well. His gardener was arrested.
Others buried in the cemetery
Among the British buried here were seven members of the crew of HMS Hannibal, which was used to transport Garibaldi's soldiers. The ship arrived in Naples in July 1860. In November a smallpox epidemic broke out, and in ten days the British admiral reported that ninety men had caught the disease, including himself. Most survived, including the admiral. A memorial was erected by the crew of HMS Hannibal in memory of their shipmates.
John Connellan Deane was the son of the prominent architect Thomas Deane, from Ummera, County Cork, Ireland. John was educated at Midleton College, Cork and matriculated in 1831 at Trinity College, Dublin at the age of sixteen. He trained for the bar at the King's Inn in Dublin and Gray's Inn in London. He died at Posillipo on 24 February 1887, aged 71.
Emily Armit, died 28 June 1839, at La Cava. The youngest daughter of Mary and John Armit, late of Dublin. Mary Armit, died 16 December 1843, aged 81 years, the widow of John Armit and mother of Emily. The wife and daughter of John Armit, banker, of Dublin, who died in Dublin in 1835.
Charles Carroll Bayard, died 19 February 1850, aged 21 years. A Midshipman in the United States Navy, his death was caused by a wound received on Mount Vesuvius during the eruption of the night of 9 February 1850.
John Donnelly, born 2 March 1811 and died 22 February 1850. Former Captain, 9th Regiment. The second son of Admiral Sir Ross Donnelly.
William John Johnston, died 25 February 1837, aged 26 years, from Magheramena, County Fermanagh, Ireland.
Letitia Macartney, died 19 September 1854, from cholera, at Portici. The fourth daughter of Arthur Chichester Macartney, of County Down, Ireland. Anne Macartney, died 24 August 1855, aged 60 years. Sister of Letitia Macartney. All three sisters in the same grave. Matilda Macartney, died 15 December 1857, aged 50 years. Sister of Letitia and Anne Macartney.
St. Clair Kelburn Mulholland, died 11 April 1861, aged 20 years, at Sorrento. The only son of S.K. Mulholland, of Eglantine, Hillsborough, County Down, Ireland. He had always been delicate, and went to Italy for his health. A church was built in his memory in Hillsborough.
Charles O’Reilly, died 12 April 1849, aged 69 years, a surgeon, resident in Naples for 36 years. Emily Winter O’Reilly, died 9 June 1851, aged 72 years, the widow of Charles O’Reilly. Their daughter Lydia also died in Naples, in 1895.
Maria Pattison, née Gregg, died 7 October 1870. The daughter of J.W. Gregg of Dublin and the wife of Thomas T. Pattison. Same grave as Emily A. Pattison. The Pattison family were engineers and shipbuilders in Naples.
Reverend Angelo Power, died 9 May 1843. A native of Ireland and a Roman Catholic priest, he was on his way from Naples to Rome, when he burst a blood vessel from violent seasickness. His memorial was erected by the Reverend J.N. Palmer, of St John's College, Oxford, who also arranged the funeral.
Nina Radice, died 23 August 1866, aged 25 years, after 48 hours illness. Born in Monkstown, Ireland, 24 April 1841, the daughter of Colonel Evasio Radice, of the Sardinian Army and Maria Hutton his wife. Evasio had taught at Trinity College, Dublin.
Lizzie Strangman, died 17 April 1881. The wife of J.P. Strangman, of County Waterford, Ireland.
Jane Taggart, died 31 January 1842, aged 22 years. The daughter of Mary and the late Alexander Taggart, of Knocknaconey, County Down, Ireland.
The following were also buried here: Emma d'Abbey, Charlotte Maxwell, James Close, Charlotte Lovelace, Gerald Vanneck, Marie Christine Berner.
- G.S. Parry writing in 1907 described the cemetery thus "THE old Protestant Cemetery at Naples is divided into two unequal portions by a broad path, running roughly east and west, connecting the two entrance gates. The western gate is reached from a dirty little 'piazza' on the east side of the Corso Garibaldi. The following inscriptions (taken in May last) are all on the north side of the path that is, to the left as one enters by the western gate and are either on or immediately under the north wall" (Parry 1907, p. 62).
- Alisio 1993, p. 9.
- Alisio 1993, p. 35-42.
- Parry 1907, Inscriptions at Naples.
- Clerke 1898, p. 255.
- Alisio 1993, p. 27.
- Boylan 1998, p. 215.
- Davis 1981, pp. 107-115.
- Croome Coventry Family History
- Alisio 1993, p. 25.
- Alisio 1993, p. 23.
- British Local History
- New York Times
- Alisio 1993, p. 28.
- O'Dwyer 1997, p. 18.
- Eglantine Local History
- Radice Family
- Alisio, Giancarlo (1993), Il Cimitero degli Inglesi, Naples, ISBN 88-435-4520-5
- Boylan, Henry (1998), A Dictionary of Irish Biography, 3rd Edition, Dublin: Gill and MacMillan, p. 215, ISBN 0-7171-2945-4
- Clerke, Ellen Mary (1898), "Somerville, Mary", in Lee, Sidney, Dictionary of National Biography, 53, London: Smith, Elder & Co, pp. 254–255
- Davis, John A. (1981), Merchants, Monopolists, and Contractors: A Study of Economic Activity and Society in Bourbon Naples 1815-1860, Ayer Publishing, ISBN 978-0-405-13986-4
- O'Dwyer, Frederick (1997), The Architecture of Deane and Woodward, Cork University Press, ISBN 0-902561-85-5
- Parry, G. S. (July–December 1907), "Inscriptions at Naples", Notes and Queries, Tenth, VIII, pp. 62–63, 161–162
- Naples: Life, Death & Miracles website
- Mercer, William (January–June 1908), "Inscriptions at Naples (follow-up)", Notes and Queries, Tenth, IX, pp. 17–18