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Charles Worsley

The presumed grave of Major General Charles Worsley was discovered in the south east apsidal chapel of Henry VII's chapel in Westminster Abbey in the late 19th century. The skeleton was of a man of about 6 feet in height and under middle age. He was in favour with Oliver Cromwell but possibly because he was not in the vault with the other Cromwellians or his grave was not marked his body was not dis-interred with the others at the Restoration of Charles II. He does not occur in the Abbey burial register but a note in the archives records payment for his burial. No coffin plate was found with the burial.

He was born in Manchester on 24th June 1622, a son of Ralph Worsley and his wife Isabel (Massey). He was a captain in the Parliamentary army during the English Civil War, rising to the rank of Major General in 1655. He was mainly stationed in Lancashire. His first wife was Mary Booth and they had a son Ralph and two daughters. His second wife was Dorothy Kenyon by whom he had three children including son Charles. He died at St James' Palace in London and was buried with great state in the Abbey

Further reading

A.P. Stanley Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey, 3rd and subsequent editions, describes the discovery of the skeleton.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

Born

24th June 1622

Field

Soldier

Location

Lady Chapel

Memorial Type

Grave

Charles Worsley
Lady Chapel

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 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.

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Pamela - Rector's Secretary

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