Sir Charles Villiers Stanford
Born: 30 Sep, 1852
Died: 29 Mar, 1924
Burial Date: 03 Apr, 1924
Field: Musician; composer
Location in the Abbey: North choir aisle
Type of memorial: Stone
Type of material: Stone

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, eminent musician, was buried in the north choir aisle of Westminster Abbey, near the graves of Henry Purcell, John Blow and William Sterndale Bennett. The funeral service was held on 3 April 1924. Adrian Boult, who succeeded Sir Charles as professor at the Royal College of Music, conducted the College orchestra in the nave. Prior to the service they played the prelude to Stanford's Stabat Mater and the slow movement of his symphony in D. His setting of The Lord is my Shepherd was sung by the Abbey choir and his tune to the hymn "Now the labourer's task is o'er" was used. His Funeral March from Becket concluded the burial service. The inscription on the gravestone reads:

SIR

CHARLES

VILLIERS

STANFORD

BORN 30TH SEPTEMBER 1852

DIED 29TH MARCH 1924

A GREAT

MUSICIAN

Charles was born in Dublin, son of John James Stanford and his wife Mary (Henn), both amateur musicians. He was educated in Dublin and took organ lessons at the cathedral. Later he was a choral scholar at Queen's College, Cambridge and studied in Berlin. On 6 April 1878 he married Jane Wetton and they had two children. His works included operas, choral music and symphonies and he is well known for his Anglican cathedral music. He also published collections of Irish folk songs and was conductor of the London Bach Choir. In 1902 he was knighted and his many pupils included Herbert Howells and Ralph Vaughan Williams, both of whom lie buried near him.

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

Further reading:

Paul Rodmell "Charles Villiers Stanford", 2002.

J.Dibble "Charles Villiers Stanford: man and musician", 2002.