Westminster Abbey - final resting place of many of my relatives.
Last week, while on a quick vacation to London, England, I had the pleasure of visiting Westminster Abbey and taking a tour of the inside for the first time. I had walked past Westminster Abbey many times in my prior trips to London, and even decided to visit inside during my 2015 trip, but the BBC had the Abbey tied up for a documentary of some sort so this was my fist actual visit inside Westminster.
Since my last trip to London in 2015, I have discovered an enormous number of famous relatives, either related by direct bloodline or by marriage, and through my research I knew that Westminster Abbey was the final resting place of many of these people. I was excited to go inside and see if I could find any names I recognized.
Almost immediately I began to find names of relatives listed in my family tree as well as those to whom I am related by marriage. I also found numerous historical figures that played rolls in the lives of my ancestors. It was overwhelming and exciting at the same time. I have spent years researching my family, and in the past year my disocoveries of many historical figures that were either immediately family or friends has been surprising, and here I was in one of the world's most famous places, and it is the final resting place of many of the people that I have been researching.
To those that have been inside Westminster Abbey you will know just how much there is to try and see in a brief visit - it is overwhelming. I could literally spend months going from tomb to memorial and back again and probably still not see everything.
Since the time of my visit I have discovered that Westminster Abbey has a list and photos of most of the tombs and memorials, something I was thrilled to find since photos are not allowed while visiting the Abbey.
Some of my immediate family that I found that were either memorialized or entombed in Westminster Abbey were:
Lady Augusta Frederica Stanley (nee Bruce) and her husband, the Very Reverend Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (Augusta was my cousin).
Victor Bruce, 9th Earl of Elgin, also a cousin of mine and brother of Augusta.
Charlotte & Emily Bronte, friends of Lord Tennyson, father in-law of my cousin Eleanor Bertha Mary Locker.
Lord Alfred Tennyson, father in-law of my cousin Eleanor Bertha Mary Locker.
Charles Dickens, friend of my cousin Charlotte Christian Bruce's husband, Frederick Locker-Lampson.
Sir Winston Churchill, famous WWII British Prime Minister and friend and co-worker of several family members.
John Keats, another friend of my cousin's husband, Frederick Locker-Lampson.
Admiral Viscount Horatio Nelson, friend and comrade of my cousin's sister in-law's husband, Philip Charles Henderson Calderwood Durham.
Admiral Richard Kempenfelt, also a friend of my cousin's sister in-law's husband, Philip Charles Henderson Calderwood Durham.
James Oswald, Great Grandfather of my cousin, James Townsend Oswald.
There are thousands buried or memorialized at Westminster Abbey and as my search continues to yield new relatives I am sure I will find more familiar names at this historic and holy place.
Note: All photos from Westminster Abbey website.