Where is the Old General buried?

Benjamin Mayo (c.1779–1843), the Old General
By Thomas Barber (1771-1843)
Nottingham City Museums and Galleries

Benjamin Mayo was originally buried at the Broad Marsh Burial Ground. Writing about this burial ground in his book, The Nottingham Graveyard Guide (1911), Alfred Stapleton quotes ‘The Notts. Directory of 1832’ as saying, ‘In 1831 a new burial ground, containing 16,000 square yards, near the Workhouse in the Broad Marsh, was opened for the use of St Peter’s Parish.’

Stapleton informs us that, ‘This little-known ground, which for some distance forms the rear boundary of the properties on the east side of Carrington-street, and is perhaps best remembered as the burial-place of Benjamin Mayo, the “Old General,” has evidently been considerably encroached upon in the course of modern building operations.’

The section of Carrington Street that Stapleton is referring to now forms the southern part of Lister Gate. The site of the burial ground was eventually covered over by the Broad Marsh Shopping Centre, though not before the remains of those buried there (which may or may not have included those in the areas affected by the ‘building operations’ that Stapleton mentions) had been removed to Wilford Hill Cemetery, sometime after the land was sold in 1965.

The Old General’s grave at the Broad Marsh Burial Ground does not appear to have been marked, but some time after his death, a slate memorial plaque was placed in the General Cemetery. It can still be seen today and is located next to an old pedestrian entrance that gave access to the cemetery from Clarendon Street, but which now seems to be permanently closed.

Unfortunately, it seems likely that we will never know for sure whether the Old General’s remains lie on the Broad Marsh site or on Wilford Hill.