Merton is a village lying in the
Brecklands - a couple of
miles south of Watton.
Merton Old Rectory
The poet and translator Edward FitzGerald (1809-1883) died in the
Old Rectory at Merton (actually located in nearby
Thompson) in 1883 while visiting his friend
George Crabbe (the grandson of the poet). However,
was taken back to Suffolk and is buried in Boulge
churchyard next to other members of his family.
FitzGerald visited Merton every summer - a journey
of sixty miles from Woodbridge - which involved him in
five station changes and took the whole day. The rectory
is now known as Silver Dale.
Fitzgerald is best remembered for his free translation
The Rubáiyát of Omar
Chapter 8 of W.G. Sebald's book The Rings of Saturn
is devoted to FitzGerald. Here is the section relating
to his death: