John Clare Memorial. 1869. Ketton stone. Helpston, Northamptonshire. Photograph by Ann Pilling, 2009, with commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]

Paid for by subscription, this memorial cross is "square below, with rope moulding at the angles and large quatrefoil panels on each face. The next story is also square, turned a quarter round, and supported at each angle by a buttress. The third story is a circular shaft, surmounted by a cone and carved finial" (Markham 61). The verse ("The bard his glory ne'er receives") is from Clare's "To John Milton." On the other two faces, not shown here, are incised, "O let one wish, go where I will, be mine, / To turn me back and wander home to die, / 'Mong nearest friends my latest breath resign, / And in the churchyard with my kindred lie" (from "A Wish"); and, ""The grave its mortal dust may keep, / Where tombs and ashes lie: / Death only shall Time's harvest reap, / For Genius cannot die" (the closing stanza of Clare's "Genius").

Other Views and Related Material


Markham, Christopher A. The Stone Crosses of the County of Northamptonshire. London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co, and Northampton: Jospeh Tebbutt, 1901. Available in the internet archives here.

Last modified 10 June 2009