John Rogers was a Bible translator who became one of 60 Protestant martyrs burnt at the stake in the churchyard of St Bartholomew the Great during the reign of Queen Mary. Using the pseudonym of Thomas Matthew, he published the Matthew Bible in 1537, which was based on William Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament and as much of the Old Testament that he was able to complete before his execution in 1536. The translations of Myles Coverdale were used for the remaining parts of the Old Testament.
John Rogers died on 4 February 1555 and there is a memorial to him and two other Protestant martyrs on the wall opposite the church’s Tudor gateway.
“I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land.”
The great 18th century English poet, William Blake, died 190 years ago, today.
Blake was influenced by the ideals of the French and American revolutions and was a non-conformist who was opposed to organised religion. He was buried in the Dissenter’s burial ground in Bunhill Fields.
There is a memorial window to William Blake in Wesley’s Chapel, across the road from Bunhill Fields.
The poet and revolutionary, Ugo Foscolo, (see previous blog) has an impressive monument in Santa Croce. In the same church are the tombs of many other great Italians such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, and Rossini.
The Italian poet, Ugo Foscolo, lived in London for the last eleven years of his life. He died in Turnham Green, a suburb adjoining Chiswick, and was buried in the graveyard of St Nicholas, Chiswick – the same resting place as for William Hogarth (see previous blog).
In 1871, at the behest of the King of Italy, Foscolo’s remains were moved to Santa Croce in Florence.
It’s a short walk from Hogarth House to the church of St Nicholas where William Hogarth is buried in an impressive tomb.
The Bacon family had a country estate on the outskirts of St Albans, Hertfordshire. The Tudor era house there, built by the father of Francis Bacon and known as Gorhambury, is now a ruin. But there is a monument to Francis Bacon (see previous post) in the nearby church of St Michael.
St Michael’s is an interesting church, with a history going back to Anglo-Saxon times, as well as having a 12th century Norman window and 13th century Early English lancet windows.
Samuel Pepys’s wife Elizabeth was only 29 years old when she died of typhoid fever. Pepys had a monument made for her which is still on a wall inside St Olave. When he died in 1703, he was buried next to his wife in the nave of the church.
A City of London church that escaped the Great Fire of London in 1666, St Olave Hart St has quite a few literary connections. Anthony Bacon, the subject of a Daphne du Maurier’s biography (see previous blog post) was buried in the church in 1601. As Secretary of State for the Earl of Essex, Bacon’s duties included controlling a network of spies in Scotland, Spain and Italy.
Interestingly, Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth I’s spymaster, lived in a house next to the church. And du Maurier did a lot of detective work herself, to discover that St Olave was the final resting place of Anthony Bacon.
The previous post was a photo of Oscar Wilde’s grave in Pere Lachaise cemetery as it was a few years ago. Now his tomb is protected by a layer of glass. Admirers still leave a lipstick kiss on the glass.