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Westminster Abbey and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Public worship will resume in the Abbey from 3rd December, and we will be open for visiting on selected days from 11th December.

In the meantime, the Abbey remains open for individual prayer and you are welcome to visit at the following times:

Monday - Saturday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
Sunday: 12:30pm - 2:00pm

Arthur Phillip

A memorial stone to Admiral Arthur Phillip, founder of New South Wales in Australia, can be seen in the centre part of the nave of Westminster Abbey, just to the west of David Livingstone's grave. The floor stone was unveiled on 9th July 2014 by Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The sandstone memorial is by sculptor Ken Thompson. The main inscription is in the centre and reads:

Admiral Arthur Phillip Royal Navy 1738-1814

Around this in a circular inscription:

First governor of New South Wales & founder of modern Australia

At the base is a carved kangaroo.

Arthur was born in London on 11th October 1738, son of Jacob and Elizabeth (Breach) and was educated at the school of the Royal Naval College in Greenwich. By the time he was nine years old he was serving at sea. He rose to be Commander of the First Fleet and he was known for the humane treatment of his men and his excellent navigation skills. As well as being a world-class seaman he was also a linguist, espionage agent against the French and a commodore in the Portuguese Navy. He served in the West Indies, South America and the Mediterranean. The New South Wales colony was founded in 1788, after overcoming extraordinary odds, with Phillip as its first Governor. He attained the rank of Admiral for his naval service. On 19th July 1763 he married widow Margaret Denison and his second wife was Isabella Whitehead. He had no children. He died at his house in Bath on 31st August 1814 and was buried at St Nicholas' church, Bathampton. In that church and in Bath Abbey he is commemorated by an Australia chapel, a window and tablet.

Further reading

"Arthur Phillip…his voyaging" by A. Frost, 1987

"Admiral Phillip…" by L. Becke and W. Jeffrey, 1899

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

Order of Service for A Service to Dedicate a Memorial to Admiral Arthur Phillp RN (PDF, 523KB)

Born

11th October 1738

Died

31st August 1814

Memorial

9th July 2014

Occupation

Sailor

Location

Nave

Memorial Type

Stone

Arthur Phillip
Arthur Phillip stone

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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.

Pamela - Rector's Secretary

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