|Death:||Oct. 3, 1678, Barbados|
Lieut Ferdinando Paleologus|
Ferdinando Paleologus died in Barbados in 1678. His family descended from Emperor Constantine the Great (i.e.Constantine XI, the last Christian emperor of the Byzantine Imperial family). The Turks drove the family from the throne of Constantinople. Paleogogus fled to Barbados after the Battle of Naseby and the death of his father Theodoro in 1636. (His father's monument is near the Llandulph Church in Cornwall) His mother's family (the Balls) had some property in Barbados. He was a church warden of St. John's Parish and later died there.
His will mentions his wife Rebecca and a son Theodorius who died young. He probably had no other children. His sisters Mary and Dorothy Arundell had small legacies left to them.
When Paleologus died, he was buried in the St John's Parish Church. The rumor was that he was buried 'backways'. Nearly 200 years later in 1844, a curious church official ordered the vault opened to see.
Paleologus' lead coffin was found in the vault of Sir Peter Colleton under the organ loft. As the lid was opened, his skeleton was seen to be lodged in quicklime. He was buried according to Greek orthodox traditions, which was that the dead person's head should point to the west and their feet to the east.
A memorial was erected in the churchyard by public subscription in the form of a Greek temple made of Portland stone with Doric columns surrounding the cross of Constantine carved in the centre. The inscription was copied as closely as possible from his father's monument in Wales.
Here lyeth ye body of
Descended from ye imperial lyne
Of ye last Christian
Emperors of Greece
Churchwarden of this Parish
Vestryman, Twentye years
Died Oct. 3 1678
Saint Johns Parish Church Cemetery
Saint John, Barbados
Created by: RosalieAnn
Record added: Oct 07, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 22004314