Charles Holmes

In the north ambulatory of Westminster Abbey is a large monument of grey and white marble to Rear Admiral Charles Holmes. This shows the admiral in Roman armour (one of the last monuments in the church to depict an English seaman in this way) leaning against a large cannon mounted on a sea-carriage. Behind are naval trophies including an anchor and coiled rope and a flag. The monument of Abbot Colchester in the adjoining chapel was moved in order to accommodate it. The sculptor was Joseph Wilton. Some of the marble surround was taken away in the late 19th century. The inscription reads:

To the memory of Charles Holmes Esqr. Rear Admiral of the White. He died the XXI of November MDCCLXI, Commander in Chief of His Majesty's fleet statione'd at Jamaica, aged L.Erected by his gratefull neeces Mary Stanwix and Lucretia Sowle.

His coat of arms were formerly painted on the pyramid, showing the arms of Holmes and Keate.

He was a son of Henry Holmes, governor of the Isle of Wight, and his wife Mary (illegitimate daughter of Admiral Sir Robert Holmes). He was baptised at Yarmouth and later served in the navy in the Mediterranean and the West Indies and cruised against the Spanish privateers. Later he served on the North American station. After his promotion to rear-admiral he served under Sir Charles Saunders in the expedition to capture Quebec in 1760. He died 21st November 1761 in Jamaica, aged 50, and is buried at St Andrew's church in Kingston.

Further reading

Oxford Dictonary of National Biography 2004


21st November 1761




North Ambulatory

Memorial Type


Material Type


Charles Holmes
Charles Holmes statue

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

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