Monday, 1 October 2012

Westminster Abbey


The Tombs in Westminster Abbey
Henry W. Lucy
The North American Review
 (1892)
© Godric Godricson


"Westminster Abbey slowly became the place of sepulture for men who had claims to eminence other than the adventitious circumstance of royal birth. In the last year of the sixteenth century Spenser was buried in the spot now known as the Poets' Corner. Next followed Beaumont, Drayton, and Ben Jonson. It is, however, in the present century that the Abbey obtained the peculiar place in English history which connects it with the roll of supremely great Englishmen. Pitt and Fox were both buried there within the same year. Brinsley Sheridan was buried in 1816. To what strange uses the noble fane might still be put is shown on turning over the record by finding that in the next year there was buried in the Abbey a still-born daughter of their royal highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cumberland. Grattan was buried here in 1820; Canning in 1827; Wilberforce, 1833; Lord Chatham, 1835; Thomas Campbell, 1844; Stephenson, 1859; Macaulay, 1860; Outram and Clyde, 1863; Lord Palmerston, 1865; Dickens, 1870; Lord Lytton, 1873; Dr. Livingstone in the following year, and Lord Lawrence and Sir Rowland Hill in 1879, whilst in 1881 Dean Stanley, who during the term of his deanship had watched over the building with infinite solicitude, had a place found for him in Henry VII.'s chapel".

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