Thursday, 8 July 2010

Upside Down On Box Hill (Again)


Those familiar with Box Hill may know of the strange gravestone of a certain Peter Labelliere that can be found there. The gravestone proclaims that this eccentric resident of Dorking was buried there head downwards on the 11th July 1800. But if I had a chisel, I would carve the full story on the stone : but it would need to be a fine chisel because what a story it is. Labelliere was a soldier, a friend of Edmund Burke, John Wilkes and John Adams, a outspoken opponent of the British war against the American settlers, a brave campaigner for political reform and a gifted thinker who predicted many 19th and 20th century inventions long before they came to pass. And he was a writer. He would write about anything. He would write frequently. He would publish pamphlets and send them to everyone he knew. I like to think of him as an eighteenth century blogger. Now he is remembered simply for being an eccentric and for being buried feet up. He had a logical reason for this however. Like many of us older people he believed that the world had gone topsy-turvey. He wanted, he said, to be the right way up when, at the end of the day, things returned to normal. Major Peter, I raise a glass of beer in your honour.

6 comments:

Mildred said...

What an interesting post Alan. Very intriguing.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Wonderful..and it is a great story too! Yes he probably would have been the earliest blogger ever..cool. It was almost a shock to my system to see a tombstone marked 1800..we do not have them like that around here..1860's..now I will have to make note of some of the dates I run across..:)

Valerie said...

How interesting. Poor man will never be the right way up though, not the way the world is right now.

The Retired One said...

Sounds like a great man! I would've liked him!

L. D. Burgus said...

Ok, this is a new one for me. I would hate to have been the grave digger.

TICKLEBEAR said...

sounds like an interesting man, but i just wikkied him, and indeed, nothing ismentionned of his lifetime. sad to be forgotten. now, that is true death.
:/~
HUGZ