The tomb of my early friend and brother officer, the brave and unfortunate Captain Wright, who was murdered in the Temple, is in the cemetery of Vaugirard. I had searched for it in vain at Pere la Chaise, where it was reported he had been buried. It has on it the following inscription, written to his memory by his companion in arms, and in imprisonment, the gallant Sir Sidney Smith:
HERE LIES INHUMED
JOHN WESLEY WRIGHT,
BY BIRTH AN ENGLISHMAN,
CAPTAIN IN THE BRITISH NAVY
Distinguished both among his own Countrymen
For skill and courage;
Of those things which lead to the summit of glory,
Nothing was wanting but opportunity:
His ancestors, whose virtues he inherited,
He honoured by his deeds.
Quick in apprehending his orders,
Active and bold in the execution of them;
In success modest,
In adverse circumstances firm,
In doubtful enterprises, wise and prudent.
Awhile successful in his career;
At length assailed by adverse winds, and on an hostile shore,
He was captured;
And being soon after brought to Paris, Was confined in the prison called the Temple, Infamous for midnight murders, And placed in the most rigid custody:
But in bonds,
And suffering severities still more oppressive,
His fortitude of mind and fidelity to his country
A short time after,
He was found in the morning with his throat cut.
And dead in his bed:
He died the 28th October, 1805, aged 36.
To be lamented by his Country,
Avenged by his God!
This ancient fortress is situate at the entrance of the forest of Vincennes, (now reduced to a wood of small trees, the large timber having been cut down during the revolution) and surrounded by a deep ditch of great width, about two miles from the Barriere du Trone. During many ages, it had been the casual residence of the sovereigns of France. Philip de Valois added considerably to its dimensions in 1337. John continued the works, and during his captivity in England, Charles his son, then regent of the kingdom, finished it.
During the reign of Charles VII. in 1422, Henry VI. of England died in this castle. From this time Vincennes became a royal residence, until the reign of Louis XIV. when that monarch fixed himself at Versailles, from which period it has never been used but as a prison.