No. 690: Queen Caroline Street, W6
St Paul’s Church, Queen Caroline Street, London, W6. Photo © Roger Dean 2012
Tucked away in a shady corner of St Paul’s churchyard in Hammersmith you will find the tombstone in the above photograph. This grade II listed headstone marks the grave of Richard Honey and George Frances, a carpenter and a bricklayer respectively, who were killed when trouble broke out during the funeral cortège of Caroline of Brunswick. King George IV’s insistence that her body be removed from Hammersmith to Germany had already stirred up people’s feelings and many lined the streets to watch the procession. Fearing trouble the King tried to divert the procession around the city rather than through it but this proved too much for the crowd and they began throwing missiles at the troops accompanying the coffin who retaliated by shooting at the unarmed crowd.
The inscription on the headstone reads:
Here lie interred the mortal remains of
Richard Honey, Carpenter,
aged 36 years, and of
George Francis, Bricklayer, aged 43 years,
who were slain on the 14th August, 1821, while attending the
funeral of Caroline, of Brunswick,
Queen of England
The details of that melancholy event
Belong to the history of the country
In which they will be recorded
Together with the public opinion
Decidedly expressed relative to the
Of that disastrous day
Deeply impressed with their fate
Unmerited and unavenged
Their respective trades interred them
At their general expence [sic]
On the 24th of the same month
to their memory.
Richard Honey left one female orphan.
George Francis left a widow and three young children.
Victims like these have fallen in every age
Stretch of pow’r or party’s cruel rage
Until even handed justice comes at last
To amend the future and avenge the past
Their friends and fellow-men lament their doom
Protect their orphans, and erect their tomb.