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Edmund Kyrton

Edmund Kyrton or Kirton was Abbot of Westminster from 1440 until his resignation in 1462. He is buried beneath a now lost brass in St Andrew's chapel Westminster Abbey. The brass was originally on a raised altar tomb and survived until the 18th century. It showed the abbot in mass vestments with mitre and crozier under an elaborate canopy with two crowned eagles at his feet. William Camden, in his guide published in 1600, gives the inscription, which is translated from the Latin as:

A peaceable pastor, a man gentle towards those under him, rests buried beneath this marble slab, Edmund Kyrton, who was sometime Abbot here over a period of twenty two yers, an honest, indeed a most honourable doctor of divinity, scion of the illustrious Cobildike famiy. He preached before Pope Martin, on account of which he received many plaudits and honours. He died 3 October year of Our Lord 1466

The abbot gave a screen for the chapel adorned with coats of arms but this was destroyed (an illustration of it survives in the Abbey archives). He seems to have belonged to a Lincolnshire family and was possibly a son of Sir John Copledike (or Copledyke) and took his name from one of two places in the county called Kirton. He was a scholar at Oxford 1407-1416 and from 1421-1427 was Prior of Gloucester Hall (now Worcester college) Oxford, a place set aside for Benedictines to study. At the Abbey he held various posts including treasurer and sacrist before becoming abbot.


3rd October 1466




Chapel of St Andrew

Memorial Type


Edmund Kyrton
Edmund Kyrton grave

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Edmund Kyrton
Drawing of the destroyed screen

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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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.

Pamela - Rector's Secretary

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