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Archibald Campbell Tait

On a pillar of St Benedict's chapel in Westminster Abbey is a white marble bust, with a shield of arms below, to Archibald Campbell Tait. This was unveiled on 13th November 1884 and is signed by the sculptor H.H.Armstead R.A. The inscription reads:

"Archibald Campbell Tait Born Dec 21st 1811. Died Dec. 3rd 1882"

He was born in Edinburgh, a son of Craufurd and his wife Susan (Campbell) and was educated in his home town, in Glasgow and Oxford. In 1836 he was ordained and succeeded Thomas Arnold as Head Master of Rugby School. Later he was Dean of Carlisle and Bishop of London. In 1843 he married Catherine Spooner, philanthropist, and they had eight daughters and one son. Tragically five daughters died of scarlet fever within weeks of each other and son Craufurd, who also became a clergyman, died before his parents. Daughter Edith married Randall Davidson, a future Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1868 on the strong recommendation of Queen Victoria Archibald was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury, the first Scot to hold this post. He and his wife were buried at Addington in Surrey near their official country residence (although burial in the Abbey had been offered for Archibald but declined).

Further reading for Archibald and Catherine

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

"Life of Archibald Campbell Tait" by W.Benham and R.Davidson, 2 vols. 1891

"Catherine and Craufurd Tait...a memoir" edited by W.Benham, 1879

www.addington.org.uk

Born

21st December 1811

Died

3rd December 1882

Memorial

13th November 1884

Field

Priest

Location

South Transept; Chapel of St Benedict

Memorial Type

Bust

Material Type

Marble

Archibald Campbell Tait
Archibald Campbell Tait

© The Dean and Chapter of Westminster

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

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I’ve worked here for over thirty years and have seen many of the major services - it’s strange to realise that you are in a small way part of history.

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Pamela - Rector's Secretary

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