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William Calder Marshall, Rome, to John

RA Collection: Archive

Reference code



William Calder Marshall, Rome, to John


22 Sep - 4 Oct 1837



Extent & medium

9 pieces

Content Description

He spends two hours a night at the cafe, reading papers, chatting and drinking lattes. Cholera has decimated the population. Of the English they have lost Burlowe, a sculptor and a lady called Vaughan. He describes the horror of the death carts and mass burials, the disease is carrrying off 500 a day. He despairs of Italy, "How fallen from what they were!".

He wishes to send the figure, bust and bas relief to the Edinburgh exhibition, provides prices although the figure he wishes to carve in marble. Lists books he has bought along with ten cameos and earrings. Describes sundry other curios he has sent, including fresco fragments from the baths of Titus, of the same Tyrian purple as analysed by Sir H.. Davy.

2nd October - The cholera has ended, taking 15,000 dead with it. A great conspiracy for revolution has been foiled, with 150 arrests. He cautions they don't send Tom to a French seminary, as all they are taught are the principles of Tom Paine and Voltaire, he advises they send him to Germany.

Discusses the prospect of leaving Rome and speculates on how he will fare in London, he will write to Chantrey if the opportunity arises. Macdonald is in London en route to Edinburgh, he ran away from Rome when disease broke out, as did Gibson, Wyatt and others. Asks for news of home.

4th October - An account of their excursion, fourteen people in all, frolicking in an omnibus. On arrival at Albano they shot at targets, had dinner, before refilling the barrel for the return journey. The omnibus crashed into a ditch, but none were hurt.