Alexander Pope
Born: 21 May, 1688
Died: 30 May, 1744
Field: Writer; poet
Location in the Abbey: South transept, poets corner
Type of memorial: Window
Type of material: Glass

A memorial to poet and critic Alexander Pope was inserted in the new stained glass window in Poets' Corner Westminster Abbey, above Chaucer's monument, and was unveiled on 7 June 1994. The window was designed by Graham Jones and forms a memorial to Edward Horton Hubbard, architectural historian. A memorial panel to Robert Herrick was unveiled at the same time and empty panels were left in the window to allow future memorials for poets and writers to be added. To date these include Oscar Wilde, A.E.Housman, Frances Burney, Christopher Marlowe and Elizabeth Gaskell. Pope's inscription reads:

1688-1744

ALEXANDER POPE

AND HEAV'N IS WON BY VIOLENCE OF SONG

The quote is from his Epistle to Augustus. At the unveiling readings were given from his Essay on Man, The Rape of the Lock, Epistle to Mrs Teresa Blount and Solitude.

He was born on 21 May 1688, the son of Alexander Pope (died 1717) and his second wife Edith (Turner). He was educated by Catholic priests and one of his early works was the Pastorals. He got to know the literary men of his age such as William Congreve and Richard Steele. His Works was published in 1717. He had a prolific output despite ill health and translated Homer's Iliad and the Odyssey. He composed the epitaphs on the monuments to Godfrey Kneller (the worst he ever wrote, he said), John Gay (monument now in the Abbey triforium) and General Henry Withers (in the Abbey cloisters). Those he composed for Isaac Newton and John Sheffield Duke of Buckingham were not allowed to be put on their monuments. He died on 30 May 1744 and was buried next to his parents in the church at Twickenham where he lived.

A photo of the memorial can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library,

Further reading:

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004