Anglican Cemetery of St. George

Apparently, prior to the English Cemetery beginning operations in 1831, non-Catholics weren’t allowed to die in Málaga. Any who did could only be buried at night, in the sand on the beach, in a standing position, which left them vulnerable to waves and animals.

Starting in 1824, the British Consul began lobbying for a plot of land for more respectful internments. The first to ‘benefit’ from the relaxing of the regulations was an English sea captain, who drowned in the harbor (and who happened to be named George but isn’t the St. George in the name.) The second beneficiary and the first buried inside the newly constructed walls was Robert Boyd. Boyd had been shot for his part in an unsuccessful uprising.

That’s him almost in the corner and a memorial outside the original walls more befitting the epitaph, “La primera en el peligro de la libertad.” (First in the struggle for freedom.) I haven’t looked up freedom from whom, by whom, and for whom.

After walking for close to a mile and a half to get there, we learned emphatically that the British weren’t given the best piece of real estate around Málaga for their cemetery for heretics. Right behind the gatehouse is about 50 yards of a grade that is steep enough to be  difficult walking. We had the assistance of a hardy young man for the wheelchair and passenger. The gatehouse was the home of the caretaker until the 1950s; the job was in the same family for almost a century.

The cemetery is still in use. By that, I mean still being used for burials; generally speaking, once a cemetery, always a cemetery.

Violette, since she only lived a month, was of no particular significance except to her mother, María Victoria Atencia, who composed and had inscribed what is considered a very good poem. I don’t try to translate anybody’s poetry. Violette’s grave is on the bottom left; the poem on the right.

The top is the grave of Mary Anne Plews (aka Annie) and the best sculpture in cemetery. Rather modest compared to some in Paris or Milan. I have no photographs but there is a Catholic section in the Anglican cemetery for non-Spaniards; lots of French epitaphs.

Today’s experiment in magic eye photography, taken from the top inside the old walls, immediately in front of Violet’s poem. This is not the steep part. For those who don’t remember Magic Eye, from a foot or two away, maybe more, maybe less, look straight ahead. Let your eyes cross until there is a third image in the center. Focus on the center image and you’re there.

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