Edward and Francis Smedley

In the west cloister of Westminster Abbey are two white marble tablets to the Reverend Edward Smedley and his son Francis, but neither are actually buried at the Abbey. Edward was the son of Francis Smedley of Holywell in Flint, North Wales. His wife was Hannah Bellas and he died on 8 August 1825. Edward's inscription reads:

In memory of the Reverend Edward Smedley A.M. Rector of Powderham and of North Bovey in the county of Devon: and from 1774 to 1820 one of the Ushers of Westminster School. Born November 5th 1750, Died August 6th 1825. Also of Hannah his wife, daughter of George Bellas Esqr. Born August 21st 1754, Died October 17th 1824. This tablet is erected by their surviving children. To you, dear names, these filial thanks we give for more than life, for knowledge how to live; for many as with Holy wisdom fraught, and works embodying the creed you taught; for faith triumphant, though the lips which told its glowing lessons, now alas are cold; faith which, proclaiming that the dead but sleep, invites us home to those whom here we weep.

Francis wrote to the Dean of Westminster in 1832 saying that he feared the fee for erecting a memorial inside the Abbey would be more than he and his sisters could afford so the Dean agreed that it should be placed in the cloisters.

Francis Smedley

His inscription reads:

To the beloved memory of Francis Smedley, 3rd son of the Revd.Edward Smedley A.M. for 22 years High Bailiff of Westminster. Born Sept. 15th 1791. Died Febry.25th 1859. A kindly spirit ne'er to whom in vain did friendship plead, or poverty complain, an earnest life to useful labour given, a simple trust in the good news from Heaven, if these may win God's mercy, all our pain gladly we bear - our loss, Thy highest gain.

He attended Westminster School, as did his brothers Henry (a lawyer who married Elizabeth French) and Edward (also a clergyman and prebendary of Lincoln, who married Mary Hume). He held the office of High Bailiff of the City of Westminster from 1836 and his wife was Frances Ellison.




West Cloister

Memorial Type


Material Type


Edward and Francis Smedley
Edward Smedley memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2022 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Edward and Francis Smedley
Francis Smedley memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2022 Dean and Chapter of Westminster