John Bell tomb

John Bell died in 1820 in Rome and was buried in the parte antica of town’s Protestant Cemetery (Via Caio Cestio, 6). The original gravestone - even if quite wrecked - is still visible on the ground with the following latin inscription on it: “M S / IOANNIS BELL CHIRURGI / EDINBURGENSIS / HAUD MELIUS SCRIPTIS / QUAM EXIMIA ARTIS SUAE PERITIA / INSIGNIS / VIXIT ANNOS LIII / OB: ROMAE DIE XV APRILIS / MDCCCXX”.

In 1891 the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh wanted to enrich the tomb with a beautifully engraved marble cross, bearing on its pedestal the following latin inscription: “JOHANNI BELL / CHIRURGO EDINENSI CELEBERRIMO OPTIME DE ARTE / SUA MERITO HOC MONUMENTUM POSUIT COLLEGIUM / REGIUM CHIRURGORUM EDINENSE. A D 1891 / NATUS. 1762. / OBIIT. 1820.”.

The tomb stands just behind the one of medicine student and celebrated poet John Keats.

The tomb in 2008


The tomb in 2024

  • Photos 1-3 by Luca Borghi ti.supmacinu|ihgrob.l# | (August 2008) and 4 by Virginia Ciavaroli (January 2024)


- J.Beck-Friis, The Protestant Cemetery in Rome. The Cemetery of Artists and Poets, Allhems Förlag, Malmö (Sweden) 2008, p. 36

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