Robert Adam
Born: 03 Jun, 1728
Died: 03 Mar, 1792
Field: Architect
Location in the Abbey: South transept, poets corner
Type of memorial: Grave
Type of material: Stone

In the south transept of Westminster Abbey is the grave of the celebrated Scottish architect Robert Adam. The stone was re-cut in 1974 and reads:

ROBERT ADAM Esquire, ARCHITECT born at Kirkaldie 3rd July 1728 died in London 3rd March 1792

James Macpherson, the Scottish poet, and Sir William Chambers, architect, are buried either side of him. The sculptor Joseph Nollekens designed a monument for Adam but this was never erected (design is at the Victoria & Albert Museum).

Robert was the second son of William Adam (d.1748), architect, and his wife Mary (Robertson). He was educated in Edinburgh and joined his father’s firm, as did his younger brother James (d.1794). After spending some time in Italy he went to London to set up his practice. He became architect to King George III and is well known for designing country and town houses and also furniture.

Six monuments in the Abbey were designed by him - to Elizabeth, Duchess of Northumberland, Roger Townshend, John Andre, James Thomson, Mary Hope and William Dalrymple.

He died unmarried in London and left his effects to his sisters Elizabeth and Margaret. His brothers John (d.1792) and William (d.1822) were also architects.

A photograph of the gravestone can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further reading for Robert, John and William the elder:

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

“The Complete Works of Robert and James Adam...” by David King, 2001

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