William and Mary Carnegie
Field: Priest
Location in the Abbey: Nave, St Margaret's Church
Type of memorial: Grave

The ashes of William Hartley Carnegie, Sub-Dean of Westminster, and his second wife Mary Endicott Carnegie are buried at the west end of the nave of Westminster Abbey. The inscription on his stone reads:

"William Hartley Carnegie Canon of Westminster and Rector of St Margaret's 1913-1936 Sub Dean 1919-1936. Born 27 February 1859. Died 18 October 1936"

and on her small stone:

"Also his wife Mary Endicott. Died 17 May 1957 aged 93".

He was born on 27 February 1860, son of Robert Carnegie of co.Dublin in Ireland. After attending Oxford university he travelled the world, shooting and yachting before being ordained in 1887. He worked as a curate in Yorkshire and east London before becoming rector of Great Witley 1889-1903, rector of St Philip, Birmingham 1903 and Honorary Canon of Birmingham. From 1916-36 he was Speaker's Chaplain at the House of Commons. In 1892 he married Albinia (died 1902) daughter of Sir Thomas Crawley Boevey, 5th Baronet of Flaxley Abbey and they had five daughters. Four of them married in Westminster Abbey - Frances to James Peto in 1920, Mary to George Slade in 1923 and Rachel to Alfred Chaytor in 1929 and Kathleen married Kenneth Gibbs in 1941. In 1916 in Henry VII's chapel in the Abbey he married Mary, the widow of the Rt.Hon.Joseph Chamberlain, and daughter of Judge William Endicott of the USA.

The rectory of St Margaret's Westminster was then at 17 Dean's Yard and they entertained widely. He was tall with white hair and a slight Irish lilt and it was thought he might become Dean of Westminster after Herbert Ryle's death in 1925 but this did not happen. He died on 18 October 1936 and his funeral was at St Margaret's.

Memorial in St Margaret's church.

His tablet on the south wall of this church reads:

"In memory of William Hartley Carnegie 1859-1936 Rector of this church for twenty years, chaplain to three Speakers of the House of Commons. Erected in 1939 by Members and Officers of the House". 

His daughters erected a memorial window to him in that church. This is one of the series by John Piper erected in the south aisle after war damage to previous glass. The tablet below reads:

"This window was given in memory of Canon William Hartley Carnegie Rector of this Church 1913-36 & of Mary Endicott his wife by his five daughters Frances, Mary, Kathleen, Jocosa and Rachel January 1967".

A photo of the gravestones and window can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Joseph Chamberlain has a memorial bust not far from Mary's grave.

Further reading  for Mary Carnegie:

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004 (under Chamberlain entry)

Mistress of herself by Diana W.Laing, USA, 1965

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