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Frederick Cavendish

In St Margaret's church Westminster is a memorial window and a brass plaque to Lord Frederick Cavendish, Member of Parliament, who was murdered in Dublin. The brass, by H. Young & Co. of Pimlico, shows a weeping female relief at the top with a sunburst, shield and Greek helmet. The inscription was written by W.E. Gladstone, son of the Prime Minister, and reads:

Dedicated by his fellow members of the House of Commons to the beloved memory of Frederick Charles Cavendish, son of William 7th Duke of Devonshire, Member for the north division of the west riding of Yorkshire for 17 years and chief secretary for Ireland. Born on the feast of St Andrew 1836 and, like him, permitted in singleness and humility of heart to follow his Lord, and with his blood to seal a life devoted to duty. On the day of his arrival in Dublin, in company with and in attempted defence of his colleague Mr T.N.Burke, he was murdered in the Phoenix Park May 6th 1882

The window, at the west end of the south aisle, was designed by Henry Holiday and made by James Powell & Sons. The upper lights contain angels in various attitudes of devotion and the lower lights are divided into eight panels illustrative of various texts concerning sacrifice. It is thought to be one of the finest specimens of Victorian glass left in the church. On the sill is inscribed:

In memoriam Frederick Charles Cavendish

He was a son of William Cavendish and his wife Blanche. His brother was Lord Hartington, also a Liberal politician. Frederick served in the cavalry and was private secretary to Gladstone. His wife was Lucy, daughter of Baron Lyttelton. The murder plot was aimed against Burke but unfortunately Cavendish was killed as well. He is buried at Edensor church near his family seat of Chatsworth in Derbyshire.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

The 100 best stained glass sites in London by C. Swash, 2015

Field

Politician

Location

St Margaret's Church

Memorial Type

Window; plaque

Material Type

Glass; brass

Frederick Cavendish
Lord Frederick Cavendish window

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2018 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Frederick Cavendish
Frederick Cavendish brass plaque

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2018 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

The biggest challenge we face is maintaining such a large physical collection of material within a historic building – believe it or not, there’s just not enough space for it all.

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