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Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford

Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford and Mortimer and Baron Harley of Wigmore is buried in the vault of the Duke of Newcastle in Westminster Abbey. The vault is in the St John the Evangelist's chapel.

He was the only son of Robert, 1st Earl of Oxford and his first wife Elizabeth (Foley) and was born 2nd June 1689. He was educated at Westminster School and Oxford university and became a Member of Parliament, High Steward of Cambridge and Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1713 he married Henrietta Cavendish Holles, daughter of John Holles, 4th Earl of Clare (later Duke of Newcastle) and his wife Lady Margaret. She sold the manuscripts collected by her husband and his father to the British Museum where they form the Harleian Manuscripts. He was buried on 25th June 1741 and she on 26th December 1755. Neither have any grave marker.

Their only son Henry was buried in 1725. Their daughter Margaret married William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland and she was buried on 30th July 1785 in the Duke of Ormond's vault in Henry VII's chapel with her husband who had died in 1762. Her name and date of burial was inscribed on the vaultstone in the mid 19th century. The Oxford title went to his cousin Edward.

There are no monuments for any of the family.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004 for Edward Harley and Henrietta Cavendish Holles

Born

2nd June 1689

Funeral

25th June 1741

Location

St John the Evangelist

Memorial Type

Vault

Edward Harley, 2nd Earl of Oxford
Chapel of St John the Evangelist

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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The work can be tough, but even the cold and rain don’t bother me as I enjoy it so much. I love every day that I spend at the Abbey – just being here makes me smile.

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