Continuing our theme of obsessively looking for Jonathan Swift in the records, we found him again in the recently released Registers of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Hardly surprising given that Swift is a former Dean of St. Patrick’s. In the records we find Swift buried in the same coffin as “Stella”.
Swift’s relationship with Stella remains debatable to this day. While in England, circa 1689, Swift obtained the position of Secretary to the retired diplomat Sir William Template, a distant relative. He lived with Temple at Moor Park, Surrey. It was here that the twenty-two year old Swift met the young daughter of one of the estate’s employees, six year old Esther “Stella” Johnson. They formed a profound and lasting friendship, as evidenced in Swift’s “Journals to Stella”. Swift became friend, tutor and mentor to her. In 1701 Swift returned to Dublin to undertake his Ph.D taking Stella and his friend Rebecca Dingley with him. Although Swift was reported to have had many admirers it is possible that in 1716 he may have married Stella. Leslie Stephen, an expert on the life and work of Swift, has allowed the theory credibility after careful examination but declares it inconclusive.
On 28 January 1728 Esther "Stella" Johnson died. Swift had rushed to her bedside and was overcome by grief. His health had started to decline, from Meniere's disease and on 19 October 1745 Jonathan Swift died. He requested to be buried in the same coffin as his beloved Stella where they now both lie in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland.
Search for your Irish ancestors in the Register's of St.Patrick's Cathedral
More information on the Registers of St.Patrick's Cathedral