Miscellany | Published:


Nature volume 88, pages 418423 (25 January 1912) | Download Citation



A STONE has recently been put up in Teddington Church in memory of Stephen Hales, who, in addition to being a distinguished man of science, was for fifty-one years the faithful vicar of that parish. He died in 1761, and was buried under the tower in what now serves as the entrance to the church. The fact that Hales was so buried was perfectly well known, and it is hard to say why a morning paper should assert that a number of learned men have hitherto sought for his tomb in vain. It was also known that the gravestone was being worn by the feet of Teddington congregations, and this it was that suggested the erection of a mural tablet on which the epitaph might be permanently preserved. The necessary funds were raised by subscriptions from a number of leading botanists. The students attending a course of lectures on the history of botany at University College, London, also materially helped with contributions. The Vicar of Teddington, the Rev. A. Cazalet, has taken a kindly interest in the scheme, and has been good enough to put up the tablet on the wall close to the burial place of Hales. The inscription is as follows:—“Beneath is the grave of Stephen Hales. The epitaph, now partly obliterated but recovered from a record of 1795, is here inscribed by the piety of certain botanists. A.D. 1911. ‘Here is interred the body of Stephen Hales, D.D., Clerk of the Closet to the Princess of Wales, who was Minister of this Parish 51 years. He died the 4th of January, 1761, in the 84th year of his age.’”

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