Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1832-1862 - Gloucester Road (Kensington)

Politician and poet Count Carlo Pepoli was born in Bologna on 22 July 1796. He descended from an aristocratic family. Members of the Pepoli dynasty took power in Bologna during the struggles between Guelgs and Ghibellines and ruled during the first half of the fourteenth century. They remained prominent landowners and in the seventeenth century the Palazzo Pepoli Campogrande was constructed on their behalf (which today houses the Pinacoteca Nazionale). Carlo Pepoli was active in opposing Austrian rule of Italy and spent much of his adult life in exile. He arrived in London in 1832 from Bologna, where he had been a member of the provisional governing committee during the uprising. He married Elizabeth Fergus of Kirkaldy and the couple settled at Felsina Cottage, no. 6 Gloucester Road. When Panizzi’s appointment to the British Museum necessitated his retiring from the Chair of Italian at University College London (UCL), Pepoli was encouraged by his friends (including John Stuart Mill) to apply for the post. He was appointed in 1838. On his return to Italy, he served as Mayor of Bologna from 1862 to 1866. As a poet, he wrote the libretto for Vincenzo Bellini’s opera I puritani which was presented in Paris on 24 January 1835 at the Théâtre-Italien. He provided the lyrics for Rossini’s La danza’, the eighth song of the collection Les soirées musicales, that same year. He died in his native city in December 1881.

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