St Giles' Church Wrexham Wrexham_County Wales
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Elihu Yale (1648-1721) is perhaps best known for his benefactions to the famous American University but he also had strong associations with the town of Wrexham. Elihu was born in America, but spent most of his adult life in India where he served as Governor of Madras. Following his retirement in 1699, he moved to Britain and began spending time at Plas Grono, Wrexham, the house which he had inherited from his Welsh ancestors. He became a benefactor of St Giles Church, Wrexham and paid for major building work and improvements which included: the wrought iron chancel gates (1707); a gallery at the east end of the nave (this gallery was moved to the west end in 1715); and in 1718 he presented the church with a painting of King David playing a harp. On his death in 1721 he was buried in the churchyard. During the Second World War, American troops who were stationed nearby attended a special commemoration service in the church for Elihu Yale, and in September 1945 the colours of the US Marine Corps were presented and laid in the church. The Yale Tomb is a chest tomb with angle pilasters on a raised base, reputedly restored in 1820, again in 1874, and in 1968 by Yale alumni. It is located immediately south west of the tower. His self composed Epitaph is carved on the north side of the tomb.| Born in America, in Europe bred, In Africa travell'd and in Asia wed, Where long he liv'd and thriv'd: in London dead. Much good, some ill, he did; so hope all's even, And that his soul thro' mercy's gone to Heaven. You that survive and read this tale, take care, For this most certain exit to prepare: Where blest in peace, the actions of the just Smell sweet, and blossom in the silent dust.
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