Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Born: 21 Oct, 1772
Died: 25 Jul, 1834
Field: Poet
Location in the Abbey: South transept, poets corner
Type of memorial: Bust
Type of material: Marble

On a pillar in Poets' Corner Westminster Abbey is a bust in memory of poet and critic Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The inscription reads:

S. T. Coleridge. Born Oct 21. 1772. Died July 25. 1834

The bust is by the sculptor Sir Hamo Thorneycroft and was presented to the Abbey by Dr Mercer, an American citizen. It was unveiled on 7 May 1885 by the United States Minister in London James Russell Lowell. The bust is set high on the pillar above William Wordsworth's statue (it was moved from the base of this pillar when Wordsworth's memorial was re-located to Poets' Corner in 1932).

Samuel was born at Ottery St Mary in Devon, a son of John Coleridge and his wife Ann (Bowden). After the sudden death of his father he was sent to Christ's Hospital in London, a school for orphans. He was appointed by the school to Jesus College, Cambridge. In 1794 he met Robert Southey (whose memorial is near to that of Coleridge) and he later formed a close friendship with William Wordsworth and his sister and lived near them in Somerset and later in the Lake District. He married Sara Fricker and their children were Hartley, Derwent and Sara. His well-known works include 'Kubla Khan' and 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'. He is buried at Highgate cemetery in London.

A photo of the bust can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further Reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004

© 2018 The Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Website design - Design by Structure