Epitaph in Latin for Elizabeth Hooton Warren

in by Warren

Date: May 17, 1773
Epitaphium Dominae Elisae War***.
Omnes, flete, dolete, cari virtutis amici:
Heu! Nostras terras Dulcis Elisa fugit.
Quisnam Novit eam gemitus que negare profundos
Posset? permagni est criminis ille reus. – D…..

[Editor’s translation from the Latin]:
Epitaph of Mistress Elisa War[ren]
Everyone, weep, grieve, dear friends of virtue.
Alas! Our lands sweet Elisa has fled.
Who knew her and is able to deny deep groans?
That one is guilty of a great crime.

Source: Boston Gazette, Issue 945, Page 2
Commentary: Following the first epitaph in the Boston Gazette by two weeks, previous biographer John Cary (1961) suggested that this second piece probably also was written by Joseph Warren. I disagree. I do not picture Warren himself writing the parting sentiment, that anyone not deeply saddened by her demise was guilty of a crime. I judge it more likely to have been written by a close friend or associate, one who coincidentally was showing off Latin literacy and refinement.
Of Warren’s associates, the otherwise anonymous author is identified with a first letter ‘D.’ I suspect that this piece could have been written by D[r. Benjamin Church, Jr.] or D[r. Thomas Young], both Sons of Liberty and members of the Boston Committee of Correspondence. Young had previously written and published an epitaph for one of his patients. Dr. Church had published poems memorializing notables. If Thomas Young had written this, it would have served as an opportunity for him to extend publicly a sympathetic and friendly hand to Warren, bringing them closer follwing their rancor of the Philo Physic malpractice controversy of 1767. Another candidate for authorship is a reverend doctor and fellow Patriot Samuel Cooper. In addition to Patriotic and social activities in common, Reverend Cooper officiated at the marriage of Elizabeth and Joseph and the baptisms of their children.

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