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Cimitero Acattolico, Piazzale Donatello, 38, 50132 Firenze FI, Italia

Mary Farhill (1784 - 2 April 1854) was an Englishwoman living in Florence, a philanthropist who later in life joined the Order of St. Stephen in Fiesole.

In 1838 Mary Farhill was made honorary citizen by the city of Fiesole, due to her philanthropic efforts towards the indigent people; moreover she lent for free farming grounds and financially supported the construction of roads.[1] Farhill was an eccentric woman, and later in life joined the Order of St. Stephen in Fiesole.[2][1][3]

On 2 April 1854 Farhill was found dead at Villa Il Palmerino, where she was living since 1824. She was 70 years old. Her brother Edward Farhill buried her in the English Cemetery, Florence with an inscription both in English and Italian:[2][1]

"TO THE MEMORY OF MARY FARHILL DECEASED/ SECOND OF APRIL EIGHTEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY FOUR/ AGED 70 THIS TOMBSTONE IS ERECTED AS TESTIMONIAL/ OF FRIENDSHIP AND ESTEEM BY HER ONLY SURVIVING/ BROTHER EDWARD FARHILL// LA GIOVINETTA SVELTA DI PERSONA/ E NEI SUOI SGUARDI IL GENIO RIFULGEA/ A OGNI OPERA GENEROSA, A OGNI OPERA BUONA/ FERVIDO IN SENO IL CUORE LE BATTEA/ PER LEI QUEL SUOL DEL QUALE A NOI RAGIONA/ IL CERTALDESE PIU VAGO SIFEA/ E BELL'ESEMPIO ESSA LASCIO' FRA NOI/ DEL SUO CUOR, DEL SUO OPERA, DEI PREGI SUOI// P.BAZZANTI.F."

Edward Farhill was the author of The Sister of Charity, the Magic Lantern and other poems... from Moliere and Casimir Delavigne published in 1834.

She willed her villa to the Princess Maria Antonia of the Two Sicilies (1814–1898), Grand Duchess of Tuscany. In 1873 it came into the possession of Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford.[4] Alexander Dumas and Queen Victoria were guests under its roof.[5] It later became Vernon Lee's residence.[2][1][6]


  1. Aglietti, Marcella (2009). Nobildonne, monache e cavaliere dell'Ordine di Santo Stefano. EDIZIONI ETS. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  2. Eglise Evangelique-Reformée de Florence Régistre des Morts: Mary Farhill, Iles Britianniques, Domicilié à la Villa Palmieri, sous Fiesole, rentière/ Q 124: 418 Paoli/ Records, Guildhall Library, London: GL23777/1 N° 202, Age 62, Burial 05/04, Rev Greene (A51)/ Maquay Diaries: 3 April 1854/ Registro alfabetico delle persone tumulate nel Cimitero di Pinti: Farhill/ Maria/ / Inghilterra/ Villa Palmieri/ 2 Aprile/ 1854/ Anni 62/ 537/ Belle Arti 1993-1997 scheda. Chiesa Evangelica Riformata Svizzera, 1827-present.
  3. Phillipps, Evelyn March (1919). The gardens of Italy: with historical and descriptive notes. Country Life, ltd. p. 300. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  4. Barni, Chetti (1999). Villa la Magia: una dimora signorile nel contado pistoiese : secc. XIV-XIX. EDAM. p. 192. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  5. The Independent, Volume 68. S. W. Benecdict. 1910. p. 1337. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  6. Florence - Explore Bristol Research - University of Bristol (PDF). Retrieved 1 January 2018.