Skip to main content

Frederick Denison Maurice

A white marble bust to theologian and Christian socialist Frederick Denison Maurice stood for many years on the west window sill of St George's chapel in Westminster Abbey, next to that of his friend Charles Kingsley. The bust has been moved several times. It was originally in St John the Baptist's chapel and then on the east wall of what is now St George's chapel. The original corbel support for the bust was removed in 1882. It was moved to a position on the west side of this chapel in 1932. Due to re-siting of another monument within the chapel in 2014 it has been removed and re-erected on the window sill in the east aisle of Poets' Corner, together with the bust of Kingsley. It is a replica of Thomas Woolner's bust of the writer.

The inscription at the front of the bust gives his name and on the left side is:

Born August 27 1805. Died April 1 1872. Buried at Highgate April 5 1872

He was born near Lowestoft in Suffolk, the only son of Michael Maurice and his wife Priscilla (Hurry). Educated by his father and at Cambridge he started writing and edited several magazines. He was a friend of the poet Alfred Tennyson. In 1834 he was ordained and was a chaplain to Guy's Hospital in London. He married Anna Barton in 1837 and they had two sons including John Frederick. After her death he married Georgina Hare-Naylor. He was a professor at King's College London and was an impressive lecturer. With Kingsley and others he founded Queen's College for the education of women. He continued his writing, including "The Kingdom of Christ", and served at St Peter's church in Vere Street. He was principal of the Working Men's College, which he had founded. The family declined burial in the Abbey on his behalf and he is buried at Highgate cemetery.

Further Reading

"The life of Frederick Denison Maurice" by F. Maurice, 2 vols. 1884

"Frederick Denison Maurice" by Florence Higham, 1947

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004.

"A biographical dictionary of Sculptors in Britain..." by I. Roscoe 2009

Born

27th August 1805

Died

1st April 1872

Occupation

Writer

Location

Poets' Corner

Memorial Type

Bust

Material Type

Marble

Frederick Denison Maurice
(John) Frederick Denison Maurice by Samuel Laurence

© National Portrait Gallery, London [Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0]

Frederick Denison Maurice
Frederick Denison Maurice bust

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Related commemorations

Edward Bulwer Lytton

Edward Bulwer Lytton

1803-1873
Writer
Photograph of Charles Darwin as an old man

Charles Darwin

1809-1882
Scientist and Writer
Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Gaskell

1810-1865
Writer and Novelist
Thomas Babington Macaulay

Thomas Babington Macaulay

1800-1859
Poet and Historian

You are surrounded by history at the Abbey, not like a museum where it’s just displayed, but here you are standing where history has happened.

Gerlinde - Abbey Marshal

Twitter logo Tweet this