Dean Jonathan Swift
 

 

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Dean Jonathan Swift 1667-1745

Born in Dublin. After obtaining his degree from Trinity College Dublin only by “special grace” he went to England where he became secretary to Sir William Temple, at whose house he first met Esther Johnson. He returned to Ireland, was ordained and served in a number of parishes, before going back again to London. He supported the Tories but in return he received only the deanery of St Patrick’s Cathedral. After the death of Queen Anne in 1714, he returned to Ireland to live out the rest of his life. Swift was one of the great satirists and his commentary on political life and human kind in general brought him a wide audience in his own lifetime. His work is still in print and today has a worldwide audience. His best known works include A Tale of a Tub, Gulliver’s Travels, Drapier’s Letters, The Battle of the Books and Journal to Stella. He is buried in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. Swift wrote his own epitaph which is on the wall close by his grave. It reads: Hic Depositum Est Corpus/ Jonathan Swift S.T.D./ Hujus Ecclesiae Cathedralis/ Decani/ Ubi Saeva Indignatio/ Ulterius/ Cor Lacerare Nequit/ Abi Viator/ Et Imitare, Si Poteris,/ Strenuum Pro Virili/ Libertatis Vindicatorem/ Obiit 19 Die Mensis Octobris/ A.D. 1745 Anno Aetatis 78

 Stella1.jpg (33307 bytes)                          Esther Johnson 1682-1728 was Swift’s Stella. He was her tutor and she later became his friend and companion. Beneath the plaque to Swift is another one to Stella. It is not known who wrote the inscription. It reads: Underneath Lie/ Interred The Mortal Remains

Of Mrs Hester Johnson Better/ Known To The World By The Name Of Stella/ Under Which She Is Celebrated In The Writings Of/ Dr Jonathan Swift Dean Of This Cathedral./ She Was A Person Of Extraordinary swift and stella.jpg (50714 bytes)Endow-/ Ments And Accomplishments In Body, Mind And Be-/ Haviour, Justly Admired And Respected, By All Who/ Knew Her, On Account Of Her Many Eminent Vir-/ Tues, As Well As For Her Great Natural And/ Acquired Perfections./She Dyed January The 27th 1727-8/ In The 46th Year Of Her Age And/ By Her will Bequeathed One/ Thousand Pounds Towards The/ Support Of A Chaplin To/ The Hospital Founded In/ This City By / Doctor/ Steevens.

            The graves of Swift and Stella are side by side in the south aisle of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin and are marked on the floor with separate inscriptions: Swift/ Dean 1713/ Obt 19oct 1745/ Aet 78

Stella’s grave has the inscription:

Esther/ Johnson/ (Stella)/ Ob/ 28 Jan 1728

Further information, location and directions to the grave are to be found in "The End - An Illustrated Guide to the Graves of Irish Writers".  Click here to order a copy of this book