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Elizabeth daughter of Henry VII

In the chapel of St Edward the Confessor in Westminster Abbey is a small tomb with a black marble slab for Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VII and his queen Elizabeth of York. It now stands near Henry III's tomb but it may have been moved from elsewhere in the chapel. The inscription on the verge had already disappeared by the 1700s. The Latin can be translated:

Elizabeth, second child of Henry the Seventh King of England, France and Ireland and of the most serene lady Queen Elizabeth his consort, who was born on the second day of the month of July in the year of Our Lord 1492, and died on the 14th day of the month of September in the year of Our Lord 1495, upon whose soul may God have mercy. Amen

Her gilt effigy has also now gone. A plate at the feet of her likeness read (translated):

Hereafter Death has a royal offspring in this tomb viz. the young and noble Elizabeth daughter of that illustrious prince, Henry the Seventh, who swayed the sceptre of two kingdoms, Attrapos, the most severe messenger of Death, snatched her away but may she have eternal life in Heaven

She died at Eltham Palace in Kent and her body was placed in the choir of the king's chapel there for eleven days with masses and requiems sung every day. The corpse was covered by a pall of cloth of gold with her coat of arms on it, and on lozenges around the chapel. Six horses drew her hearse to Stangate and then across the river to Westminster where the Prior and monks of Westminster met it to escort it to the Abbey. The hearse was placed in the choir with a cloth of black fringed with red and white roses and lettered in gold "Jesus est amor meus". The next day after mass and the office of the dead the body was carried to the grave.

Her brother Edmund born in 1499 and died 19th June 1500 was also buried in this chapel but has no monument. Her sister Catherine, born and died 1503, was also interred in the Abbey without any monument.

Born

2nd July 1492

Died

14th September 1495

Location

Shrine

Memorial Type

Tomb

Material Type

Marble

Elizabeth daughter of Henry VII
Elizabeth Tudor tomb

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2018 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

It’s a privilege to live and work here – the Abbey really is the heart of the country and its history.

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Martin - The Dean’s Verger

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