November 29. —… Made another pilgrimage, escorted by Captain Pigot and several of his officers. We took a more accurate view of this splendid structure [Church of St. John]. I went down into the vaults and made a visiting acquaintance with La Valette, whom, greatly to my joy, I found most splendidly provided with a superb sepulchre of bronze, on which he reclines in the full armour of a Knight of Chivalrie.
Sir Walter Scott is touring Malta on November 29th, 1831, as he records in his journal. La Vallette is known best for his leadership in resisting Ottoman Turks during the Siege of Malta (1565), despite being vastly outnumbered. The Siege of Malta was the subject of Scott’s last novel, which was published only recently.