Nottingham Famous Graves- Charles Bell Taylor:

by Joe Earp


This grave is of the above. It is an interesting grave located in the General Cemetery. It is the only grave that I can recall which actually has an image of the deceased on the tomb.

From Robert Mellors, Old Nottingham suburbs: then and now, (1914):

CHARLES BELL TAYLOR was a surgeon occulist. His father, brother, and nephews were, or are, veterinary surgeons in Nottingham. He lived and died at Beechwood Hall, Mapperley Park. He took the degree of Doctor of Medicine at Edinburgh in 1854, became F.R.C.S. (Edinburgh) in 1867, and in addition had quite a long list of medical qualifications. He was at one time President of the Parisian Medical Society. He was appointed surgeon of the Nottingham Eye Infirmary in 1859, and filled that office with great distinction for nearly half-a-century. As an operator he was without a rival. He was the first to perform the operation for cataract without leaving a scar. He had a world-wide reputation. His rooms were crowded. He would have a hundred consultations in a day, and say ten operations. He frequently lectured on his special subjects, and many of his lectures were reported in the Lancet between 1884 and 1895, one of the most valuable being entitled “Eye Diseases in General Practice.” “These lectures,” says the Lancet, “were models of simple, clear, and incisive style, and they were further illustrated with careful drawings, made and engraved upon wood, for Dr. Taylor never would have a process block of any kind.” The amount of work he did was enormous. “Probably,” says the British Medical Journal, “his abstemious mode of living, combined with his great vitality to produce this result; he never had more than two meals a day, and he abstained altogether from alcohol, tobacco, and even from tea and coffee. Certainly it is given to few men to perform as he did at 80 years of age, the most exacting operations, with a hand as steady as in his prime.” He contributed papers to the Medical Times for upwards of thirty years, the last being only a month before his death.

He was very kind to the poor. He was a great lover of animals, and was never tired of writing against vivisection. The Animals Guardian was a favourite publication of his. He had two white carriage horses, which, with his brougham, were well known. They followed him to the graveside. He was a strong individualist, and hated compulsion. He invariably quoted Pope’s words, both in relation to human beings and animals, for they represented the religion of his life :—

“Teach me to feel another’s woe,
To hide the faults I see, That
mercy I to others show That
mercy show to me.”

His remains were cremated, and the ashes were buried in the Nottingham General Cemetery, where, east of the top chapel, there is a striking monument, having a medallion portrait of the deceased, with, at the foot, a dog in repose. He died in 1909, aged 80.


About nottinghamhiddenhistoryteam

Originally formed in 1965 to try to save or at least record before destruction the cave sites continually discovered during the major redevelopment of the City that took place in Nottingham in the 1960′s. Almost every day new sites were unearthed and destroyed before anyone was notified; last thing they wanted was someone telling them to stop what they were doing; TIME is MONEY. The word HIDDEN in the Team’s title is because a lot of what was being invisibly lost in the redevelopment was our early history in the caves, they are under most, if now all, of Nottingham. In the 80’s and 90’s the Team conducted with the help of Dr Robert Morrell and Syd Henley, research and work on Nottingham’s history, folklore and local archaeology. The Team published quarterly magazines on their findings. The Team lapsed for a few years after the death of Paul Nix who was the team leader for thirty plus years. The Team has reformed and is now back working on Nottingham local history. On this blog you will find a series of history, folklore and archaeological related articles and information. Most of the material published will be specifically related to Nottingham/shire local history.
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