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Charles Bagot Cayley (1823 - 1883)

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Charles Bagot Cayley
Born in St. Petersburg, Russiamap
Ancestors ancestors
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in London, Englandmap
Profile last modified 26 Aug 2017 | Created 13 Jan 2016
This page has been accessed 212 times.


Charles Bagot Cayley was born on June 27, 1823[1] near St Petersburg, where and his father was an English merchant. He was educated in England, and studied at King’s College, London, where he was taught Italian by the exiled Gabriele Pasquale Giuseppe Rossetti, and Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating in 1845.[2][3]

For several years he worked in various business ventures, but these were unsuccessful and he spent much of his life in poverty. He devoted most of his time to philology and translation. He was a talented linguist who published several translations from the Greek, but his most successful translation is deemed to be of Dante's Divine Comedy.[2][3]

Cayley was a scholarly, awkward man who cared little for his appearance; his friends the Rossettis nicknamed him the “wombat”. He fell in love with the poet Christina Rossetti but she felt unable to marry him for financial and religious reasons (he was an agnostic and she was an Anglican); they remained close for the rest of his life.[2][3]

Cayley died of heart disease at his London lodgings on December 5, 1883.[4][2][3]


  1. "Россия Рождения и крещения, 1755-1917," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 13 January 2016), Henry Cayley in entry for Charles Bagot Cayley, 27 Jun 1823; citing , reference ; FHL microfilm 563,012, 574,494, 576,998.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Cayley Family History[1]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Charles Cayley, Wikipedia [2]
  4. "England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 13 January 2016), Charles Bagor Cayley, 1883; from "England & Wales Deaths, 1837-2006," database, findmypast ( : 2012); citing Death, St. Giles, London, England, General Register Office, Southport, England.

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