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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 47, November 18, 2007, Article 10

ROBERT MYLNE AND THE LONDON BLACKFRIARS BRIDGE CORNERSTONE MEDALS

Regarding Paul Sherry's September 23, 2007 E-Sylum
submission, web site visitor Robert Ward writes: "I came
across your article while Googling ‘Robert Mylne’, whose
biography I recently wrote. It was published in April 2007
and might interest your readers.

"It includes an account of the prize-giving ceremony in
Rome, and of Mylne’s various deposits of medals in different
parts of the structure of the old Blackfriars Bridge,
uncovered when the bridge was demolished in the 1860s,
with some relevant illustrations.

"It also relates the previously unpublished events concerning
Nelson’s burial. Briefly Robert Mylne, who as cathedral surveyor
of St Paul’s was responsible for constructing the tomb, agreed
with Matthew Boulton to make a secret deposit of some of Boulton’s
coins and medals under Nelson’s coffin."

"Surviving correspondence between Mylne and his longstanding
friend Boulton, which had lain unnoticed among Boulton’s
papers for two centuries, describes this extraordinary plan
in detail.  Mylne asked for ‘a compleat Series of all you
have ever done ... even to farthings’ and explained that his
motive was ‘to bury your Glories for the instruction and
admiration of future times, what was done in this Country
in these times; along with the Glories of the Greatest Seaman
and Warior that has ever existed...’

"Boulton in turn proposed that the coins and medals should
be laid in the tomb in pulverized glass between sheets of
plate glass enclosed with a frame of slate or marble,
explaining that ‘the principle of preservation of Metals
is perfect exclusion from air and moisture’.

"If, as seems likely, Mylne’s deposit is still in place, it
must rank as one of the most tantalising of buried treasures.
Under the hero’s coffin in the base of a massive granite tomb
in St Paul’s crypt, precisely under the centre of the cathedral’s
dome, it is safe from all interference - a time capsule awaiting
the arrival of some archaeologist from the remote future,
just as Mylne intended."

[Robert Ward's book, "The Man Who Buried Nelson, The Surprising
Life of Robert Mylne" was published in paperback by Tempus in
2007 at £14.99.

This is indeed a tantalizing revelation.  In London this past
summer I visited St. Paul's Cathedral.  From high in the dome
I looked down on the center and later walked past Nelson's
massive tomb in the crypt below.  Who knew I was also looking
at the resting place of a complete set of Matthew Boulton's
coins and medals, assembled by Boulton himself?  Has this time
capsule been mentioned before in numismatic literature?
-Editor]

 LONDON BLACKFRAIRS BRIDGE CORNERSTONE MEDALS
 esylum_v10n38a17.html

 WAYNE'S LONDON DIARY 11 AUGUST, 2007: SAMUEL JOHNSON'S HOUSE, ST. PAUL'S
 esylum_v10n32a18.html

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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