Memorial Plaque to Richard Merrett 1767

Here lie the Remains of Richard Merrett
Who died under Inoculation on Dec. 17. 1767
Aged 57 Years

He was an ingenious Mechanic,
A sincere Friend;
And a Christian true to the faith
Of his Redeemer.

It was his request therefore
Let no sacrelegious hand disturb his Ashes
But permit them to rest in this gloomy mantion
Till the last Trumpet
Shall awaken him to Life
And Immortality.

Let those who to these awful Cells repair,
To waste an hour or ease the Soul of care,
Stop one short moment near this plaintive Stone
And with the tears of friendship mix their own;
Then take the last advice by Merrett given,
Be virtuous now _ leave all the rest to Heaven.

Richard Merrett's death occurred before Edward Jenner became a GP (1773) in Berkeley where he eventually embarked on a series of experiments (in the 1790s) to find a cure for smallpox. Perhaps the inoculation referred to in this inscription was "variolation" which was another, and often successful, means of combating smallpox. It was a procedure introduced into England (1721) from the East by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, wife of the British Ambassador in Turkey.