On this drizzle-dismal day Jackie cut my hair and I scanned another batch of Black and White negatives from
Brompton Cemetery in September 2008. The entrance gates bear the name of West London and Westminster Cemetery Company which opened the facility in 1840. Freshly dug graves, awaiting the settling of the soil, occupy the foreground of the penultimate picture.
Two notable tombs in Brompton are those of pugilist John “Gentleman” Jackson, shared with his beloved niece and adopted daughter, Elizabeth; and of actor and dramatist Henry Pettitt.
Jackson (1769-1845) lies beneath the apt figure of a lion. ‘He was considered an exceptional amateur boxer prior to 1788. On 9 June 1788, aged around nineteen, Jackson defeated William Futrell at Smithham Bottom, England, in a bout lasting one hour, seven minutes. Futrell was a giant of a man, undefeated, and held a string of 18 victories, when he faced the younger Jackson.
In his second bout on 12 March 1789, against John Ingleston, on a rainy day at Ingatestone, England, he lost in five rounds, in a bout lasting twenty minutes and suffered a broken leg, not entirely uncommon during the brutal English bouts of the late 18th century. His injury was likely caused by a slip from the muddy ground. Many present believed Jackson would have won the bout if not for his unfortunate accident. Likely distressed by his injury, he announced his retirement after his loss, but would return six years later in his most important win.‘ (Wikipedia)
In 1795 he defeated Daniel Mendoza to become Champion of All England from which he retired the following year. In 1803 he opened a Boxing Academy in London’s Bond Street. ‘Jackson’s academy was popular with the nobility and gentry and became a profitable business. His friend, the famed English poet George Gordon Byron, known as Lord Byron, an avid boxing fan, related in his diary that he regularly received instruction in boxing from Jackson. Jackson also profited from providing exhibitions for English and foreign lords and celebrities. Included among those for whom he arranged exhibitions were the Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia, the Prince of Wales, and the Prince of Mecklenburg. Jackson’s introduction of the sport to English and European royalty, made boxing a more admired and to some extent accepted sport in England. Jackson was charitable and held benefits for numerous charities, once raising £114 for a Portuguese town destroyed by the French, and later £132 for the benefit of British prisoners in France.‘ (Wikipedia)
His Pugilistic Club, in which he arranged fights adhering to honest rules, followed in 1814. ‘In 1821, Jackson was asked to supply a force of unarmed men to preserve order at  King George IV’s Coronation, where he also served as a page. With his boxing connections, he selected 18 prizefighters to protect the King, and to keep back those unauthorized to attend.‘ (Wikipedia)
‘Henry Alfred Pettitt (7 April 1848 – 24 December 1893), was a British actor and dramatist [whose portrait appears in bas-relief on his monument] .
With Augustus Harris, he wrote the play Burmah, produced on Broadway in 1896. With G. R. Sims, he created a substantial body of very successful works, including In the Ranks (1883, 457 performances at the Adelphi Theatre) and The Harbour Lights (1885, 513 performances at the Adelphi). Their Gaiety Theatre musical burlesques included Faust up to date (1888), which remained a hit for several years and coined a new meaning for the phrase “up-to-date”, meaning “abreast” of the latest styles and facts. Their next hit was Carmen up to Data (1890). Both of these were composed by the Gaiety’s music director, Meyer Lutz.’ https://peoplepill.com/people/henry-pettitt/
This evening we dined on Mr Chan’s excellent Hordle Chinese Take Away fare, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Mendoza Malbec 2019.