Saturday, August 10, 2013


Burial Wishes of James Howell

James Howell (1594?–1666), Epistolae Ho-elianae: The Familiar Letters of James Howell, Historiographer Royal to Charles II, ed. Joseph Jacobs, Books II.-IV. (London: David Nutt, 1892), letter II.29 (March 26, 1643), "To Sir Edw. Sa., Knight", pp. 421-423 (at 422-423):
This little sackful of bones, I thought to bequeath to Westminster-Abbey, to be interred in the Cloyster within the South-side of the Garden, close to the Wall, where I would have desir'd Sir H.F. (my dear Friend) to have inlay'd a small piece of black Marble, and cause this Motto to have been insculped on it, Hucusque peregrinus, heic domi; or this, which I would have left to his Choice, Hucusque Erraticus, heic Fixus: And instead of strewing my grave with Flowers, I would have desir'd him to have grafted thereon some little Tree of what sort he pleas'd, that might have taken root downward to my dust, because I have been always naturally affected to woods and groves, and those kind of vegetables, insomuch, that if there were any such thing as a Pythagorean Metempsychosis, I think my soul would transmigrate into some Tree, when she bids this body farewell.
According to D.R. Woolf, "Howell, James (1594?–1666)," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, "Howell died in the parish of St Andrew's, Holborn, and was buried on 3 November 1666 outside the Temple Church. A monument of Howell's design was erected in the Temple Church at a cost of £30." The inscription on the monument (destroyed in World War II) read:
Jacobus Howell Cambro-Britannus, Regius Historiographus (in Anglia primus), qui post varias peregrinationes, tandem naturae cursum peregit, satur annorum & famae, domi forisque huc usque erraticus, hic fixus 1666.
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