Tuesday 7 February 2012

The Grave of Theodore of Corsica

I recently went on a treasure hunt around Soho and Chinatown, one of the most interesting things I came across was the grave of Theodore of Corsica in the Church of Saint Anne in Soho. Anyone who fancies seeing the grave can wander in before 5pm.

King Theodore was a German nobleman who briefly became King of Corsica and died penniless after declaring himself bankrupt and handing Corsica over to his creditors. All in all, an interesting man then.

His grave was funded by Strawberry Hill man and writer of 'The Castle of Otranto', Horace Walpole, who also wrote the inscription.

"Near this spot is interred Theodore King of Corsica, who died in this parish, December 11, 1756, immediately after leaving the King's Bench prison, by the benefit of the Act of Insolvency, in consequence of which he registered his kingdom of Corsica for the benefit of his creditors:

"The grave, great teacher, to a level brings 
Heroes and beggars, galley slaves and kings! 
But Theodore his moral learn'd ere dead, 
Fate poured its lessons on his living head,
 Bestow'd a kingdom, and deny'd him bread!"

Just one of many interesting things in the area. Chinatown itself is where the Turk's Head tavern was, (the building remains, now a supermarket) as well as Burke's house, and Dryden's. I might do an eighteenth century people/ Chinese food tasting thing at some point... 

No comments:

Post a Comment