How Benedict Arnold Ended Up Buried Next To A Fish Tank

In an article for Smithsonian Magazine, John Hanc tells of his encounter with Arnold’s grave while on a London tour. The focus of the tour had been on places of relevance related to those American loyalists who had opted to flee America for England in the wake of the American Revolution, rather than face whatever fate otherwise awaited them. When the group visited St. Mary’s Church, they were brought to a space intended for Sunday school, with all the expected facets of a classroom. In the wall, though, near the class’s fish tank were the graves of Arnold, his wife, and their daughter (via Changes in Longitude).

While there was admitted thought put into the grave, the morbid nature of a classroom being so peacefully set up near it raises the question of why this happened. The answer it seems, is that the British were so disinterested in Arnold that they didn’t even put up the current headstone. Credit for that lay with former US State Senator Bill Stanley, who had it installed out of empathy in 2004. The addition gives Arnold more respect than he had arguably ever received in his lifetime — which given his continued basement-classroom surroundings isn’t saying much (via Mental Floss).

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