Thomas Sydenham's funeral tablet

A marble funeral tablet to the memory of Thomas Sydenham can be found inside St James's Church, Piccadilly, in London (197 Piccadilly), along a staircase near the entrance to the church (Piccadilly side).

A previous memorial tablet was erased at the beginning of 19th century and replaced in 1810 with the present one. “Within a symbolic border of poppies, olive branches and a coiled serpent is this Latin inscription, probably composed by Sir Henry Halford, President of the Royal College of Physicians in 1820:

Prope hunc locum sepultus est / Thomas Sydenham / Medicus in omne aevum nobilis / Natus erat A.D.1624. / Vixit annos 65. / Deletis veteris sepulchri vestigiis / Ne rei memoria interiret / Hoc marmor poni jussit collegium / Regale medicorum Londinense A.D. 1810 / Optime merito.

Near this place is buried / Thomas Sydenham,/ Renowned as physician through all ages. / He was born A.D. I624. / He lived 65 years. / The traces of his old burial place being erased,/ That memory of it should not perish, / The Royal College of Physicians of London / Ordered this marble to be set up, A.D. 1810,/ For his outstanding services.

Sydenham was buried inside the church, but his grave cannot now be identified. Nor are any records of his epitaph to be found as many documents were destroyed in an eighteenth-century fire in the vaults of the church, which was again damaged in 1940"1.

  • Photos by ti.supmacinu|ihgrob.l#ihgroB acuL (July 2011), courtesy of the Parish Secretary of St James's Church.

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