The death masks of Luigi Isepponi

From Helen Petrie, Scotland

 Luigi Isepponi was a sculptor who arrived in Scotland around 1828. He exhibited his work in the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh over the years 1830 to 1834.

He is said to have travelled to Scotland with a priest and another man who abandoned him. It is thought he was born around 1810. He was my great great grandfather. The story goes that he lived near to Lake Como. It is also said that he was born in Rome.

There is no paperwork to show the truth. He was a educated  man who wrote extremely well in English as one letter survives. Luigi was involved in making the death masks of 2 famous body snatchers turned murderers Burke and Hare.

He had a large family and although the name Isepponi has disappeared within the family he is highly respected by all who are related to him. He died aged 60 and is buried in the historic town of Dunfermline in Fife Scotland.

The family would love to know more about his origins as other descendants must surely exist. The name Isepponi would appear to be linked to Switzerland as it is now.

Any clue would be so appreciated. Thank You.

7 thoughts on “The death masks of Luigi Isepponi

  1. I am also a great-great grandchild of Luigi Issepone. My family migrated to Canada as part of the Lamont diaspora of the early 20th century. I have been in touch with Maureen Mohan (also a GGC of L/I) who has provided me with some previously unknown facts about the old gentleman. At the present time, my first cousin Stuart is on holiday in Scotland. He is an avid genealogist. I have his general itinerary and could provide some possible contact information, should you so desire. Sincerely, Ronald Lamont Somerville

  2. Hello Ronald

    My grandfather as you may already know was Ronald Francis Xavier Lamont son of Henry Lamont and Jessie Isepponi.

    I have had recent contact with Maureen who has been researching the family history for a long time. I began around 2 years ago. I would welcome contact with Stuart and indeed yourself. I was unaware that part of the Lamont family had moved to Canada. I am based in Edinburgh and my email address is

    Thank you for leaving the message.
    Kind regards

  3. Hello. My Name is Tom (Thomas Frederick McColm) – age 66
    Father – Robert Frederick McColm
    Grandfather – Frederick McColm
    Mother – Audrey Ann Somerville
    Mom’s Father – Robert Somerville
    Mom’s Mother – Mary Lamont

    Is there a connection to Luigi Isepponi
    I may be able to get you more info from my mother who is now 91 years old.
    Would like to hear from you.
    Thank you.
    Tom McColm – Victoria, British Columbia. Canada

  4. Hello Tom

    I replied to your question above directly by email…perhaps you didn’t receive it?

    Your maternal grandmother Mary Somerville nee Lamont was the eldest child of Henry Lamont and Jessie Isepponi.

    Jessie was the child of Luigi or Louis Isepponi and Mary Isepponi nee McLachlan. Your grandmother and my grandfather Ronald Lamont were sister and brother.

    I would welcome hearing from you.
    Kind regards Helen

  5. Hi Helen,
    I am not a relative but I have just been watching a video about a relative of yours via Luigi Isepponi connection. Being fascinated by this video, I googled your ancestor name & came across your blog. Australian comedian Magda Szubanski was recently the guest of the Australian version of Who do you think you are? Due to time constraints of the programme, part of the family research was not used but posted on the website of Australian TV station SBS. It was about Magda’s ancestor Luigi Iseponni whom she is descended through his daughter Jessie. The episode is well worth checking out — I found it very interesting & I am even not related! The epsisode can be found at — go to last video clip entitled WDTYA Web-Exclusive Scene Magda Szubanski. The full episode about Magda is available on DVD — but sorry to say without the footage relating to Luigi Iseponni. But contact SBS TV station, they may provide a copy of the missing footage.


  6. Hello Caroline

    Many thanks for your email . I so appreciate your interest. Magda is my second cousin. I was involved in the making of the ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ programme alongside other family members who had been involved in researching the life of our great great grandfather Luigi Isepponi.

    When the material for the programme was edited the decision was made to take out the section about Luigi Isepponi which made sense. I often think that I would not be here had a young italian sculptor remained in the country of his birth……descendants of the family that he and his scottish wife created live in Scotland,England, Australia and Canade…….a familiar story
    Best Wishes Helen

  7. Hello, Tom in Victoria.
    This is Ronald Lamont Somerville, your first cousin. Your mother Audrey was my Dad’s little sister. I have a little intra-Somerville information that might interest you. If you care to, you can contact me at

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