Epitaph For A Quack

Over at The Dabbler, Gaw has been taking a stroll through the “tended decadence” of Abney Park Cemetery, prompting Nige to recall a fine gravestone epitaph in his local churchyard. Which in turn prompts me to recall one of my own favourite epitaphs, that of the quack doctor Lionel Lockyer (1600-1672), whose miracle pills included sunbeams among their ingredients, in Southwark Cathedral:

Here Lockyer; lies interr’d enough; his name

Speakes one hath few competitors in fame;

A name soe Great, soe Generall’t may scorne

Inscriptions whch doe vulgar tombs adorne.

A diminution ’tis to write in verse

His eulogies whch most mens mouths rehearse.

His virtues and his PILLS are soe well known..

That envy can’t confine them vnder stone.

But they’ll survive his dust and not expire

Till all things else at th’universall fire.

This verse is lost, his PILL Embalmes him safe

To future times without an Epitaph


Photo courtesy of Nick Garrod

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