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Westminster Abbey and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Public worship will resume in the Abbey from 3rd December, and we will be open for visiting on selected days from 11th December.

In the meantime, the Abbey remains open for individual prayer and you are welcome to visit at the following times:

Monday - Saturday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
Sunday: 12:30pm - 2:00pm

Frances, Countess of Hertford

Frances, Countess of Hertford was buried in St Benedict's chapel in Westminster Abbey and has a large wall monument there executed by the Southwark School of tomb makers. This is about twenty eight feet high and mostly of alabaster, with Corinthian columns and a recumbent effigy of the Countess dressed in a red fur lined cloak with a lion at her feet. The inscription is given both in Latin and English:

Here lyeth entombed the noble Francis Countesse of Hertford, deare spouse unto the noble Edward, Earle of Hertford and Baron Beauchamp, sonne of the renowned prince Edward, Duke of Somerset, Earle of Hertford, Viscount Beauchamp and Baron Seymour. A lady descended of right noble lineage, beinge daughter of the noble lord William Baron Howard of Effingham, Companion of the most famous Order of the Garter, High Admirall to Q.Mary and Lord Chamberlaine of the Householde and Lord Privie Seal to Q.Elizabethe: sonne was he to the right noble prince Thomas, Duke of Norfolk and Earle of Surrey, Earle Marshall of England and father to the noble Charles, Earle of Nottingham and Baron Howard of Effingham, of the said most noble Order of the Garter knight and Lord Highe Admirall of England.
This lady highly renowned for her many virtues giftes and graces both of mynde and body greately favored by her gracious sovereign and dearly beloved of her lord, after longe sickness in firme faith in Christe and constant patience departed this life at 44 yeares of age, the 14 daye of Maye MD.LXXXXVIII in the fortithe years of the most happy reigne of our most gracious soveraigne lady Queene Elizabethe. To whose memory the said Earle her loving lord, and husband muche lamenting her death, in testimony of his greate love towardes her and of his carefull diligence in this dolefull duty, doth consecrate this monument

Her mottoes "Foy Pour Devoir" " Desir N'A Repos" are shown with her sculpted and painted coats of arms. The monument was repaired and repainted in 1960.

Her parents were William Howard, 1st Baron Howard of Effingham and Margaret Gamage. She married Edward Seymour as his second wife in 1595 and he was created Earl of Hertford. She died in 1598.


14th May 1598


Chapel of St Benedict

Memorial Type


Material Type


Frances, Countess of Hertford
Frances, Countess of Hertford statue

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Frances, Countess of Hertford
Effigy of Frances

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Related commemorations

At different times of the day, or in different seasons, the light falling in the Abbey will light up something that you have walked past a million times and never seen before.

Vanessa, Head of Conservation

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