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 Richard Church

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Richard Church

  • Birth 1784
  • Death 30 Mar 1873
  • Burial Athens, Regional unit of Athens, Attica, Greece
  • Memorial ID 7468827

The inscription, in English on one side and in Greek on the reverse, reads : "Richard Church, General, who, having given himself and all that he had to rescue a Christian race from oppression and to make Greece a nation, lived for her service and died amongst her people, rests here in peace and faith". Richard Church was born in Cork in Ireland, the second son of a Quaker merchant. He ran away from school to join the Army, where he became an ensign in the 13th. Somersetshire Light Infantry and served in Egypt under Sir Ralph Abercromby. In 1809, he accompanied the Army's expedition to the Ionian Islands, which had been under French rule since the Treaty of Tilsit two years previously, but were about to become a British protectorate (until 1864). There he met Theodoros Kolokotronis (who is buried in the same cemetery) and other Greeks in exile from the Ottoman Empire. He was given permission to form two Greek regiments under English pay, but these were disbanded. After Waterloo, he pleaded the cause of Greek independence in London and at the Congress of Vienna, but this was in vain. He was knighted in 1822 and, in March 1827, returned to Greece to fight in the War of Independence, being appointed the Comander in Chief within a month. In 1829, after the campaign in Western Greece, he resigned his command because he opposed the government of Count Kapodistrias. Later, he was appointed the confidential adviser to Sir Edward Lyons, the first British Minister to Greece, and was involved in the bloodless Revolution of 1843 which forced King Otto to agree to a more liberal constitution. There are two stained glass windows of 1875 to the General's memory in St. Paul's Anglican Church, not far from the cemetery. The North window shows Joshua and the fight with Amalek, and Caleb with his spies carrying the grapes from the Promised Land. The inscription, written by W.E. Gladstone, reads : "This window is dedicated by the British Government to the memory of General Sir Richard Church who, after distinguished service in the British Army on the shores of the Mediterranean, devoted himself to the cause of Greece as a soldier and a citizen, and won, by the example of a long noble life, the affection of the people for himself and for England." The South window shows Gideon with the dew and the fleece, and David slaying Goliath. "To the memory of Sir Richard Church, who died at Athens March 30th. 1873, this window is dedicated by his family", one of whom was his nephew, who was the Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

Bio by: Iain MacFarlaine





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Iain MacFarlaine
  • Added: 20 May 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7468827
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Richard Church (1784–30 Mar 1873), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7468827, citing Athens First Cemetery, Athens, Regional unit of Athens, Attica, Greece ; Maintained by Find A Grave .