Algernon Coote, Earl of Mountrath
In the chapel of St Michael in Westminster Abbey is a large marble monument to Algernon Coote, Earl of Mountrath and his wife Diana. He died on 27th August 1744 and was first buried in a vault in Henry VII's chapel. His widow died on 14th July 1766. She had made arrangements for a new burial vault to be made in St Michael's chapel and the body of her husband was moved to the new vault where she was also buried.
The monument was designed by Sir William Chambers and made by Joseph Wilton. A life size figure of the Countess rises from her tomb, supported on the left by a descending angel among clouds, who points upwards. Formerly at the top of the monument was the figure of the Earl "seated in glory", with a vacant chair beside him awaiting his wife. In 1876 the monument was reduced in size and the Earl's figure taken away. The Latin inscription can be translated:
Sacred to the memory of Algernon, Earl of Mountrath, and the Countess Diana: she, surviving him, had wished to place this monument, 1771. As love united them happily in life, so love unites them, even after death, in the tomb.
The Countess had left money in her will to put up the monument and the inscription records the date of 1771 when this was completed.
About Algernon Coote
He was the younger son of Charles, 3rd Earl of Mountrath and Lady Isabella Dormer. He was baptised at St James, Westminster on 8th June 1689 and succeeded his brother Henry as 6th Earl in 1720. On 28th November 1721 he married Diana, youngest daughter of Richard, 2nd Earl of Bradford. Member of Parliament and Governor of Queen County in county Roscommon in Ireland. Their son Charles succeeded him.
The contract for the monument is at the Royal Academy.