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Freeman Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon

The ashes of Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon are buried in the nave of Westminster Abbey. His wife was later buried with him. The small lozenge shaped stone originally read:

Freeman Freeman-Thomas 1866-1941 1st Marquess of Willingdon, Viceroy of India & Governor General of Canada. Whatsoever thy hand findest to do, do it with thy might

but the last line was replaced with

And Marie his wife 1875-1960.

He was born in Sussex on 12th September 1866, the only son of Freeman Frederick Thomas and his wife Mabel (Brand). In 1892 he assumed the additional surname of Freeman. Educated at Eton and Cambridge he joined the army and was later Member of Parliament for Hastings, acting as a secretary to Asquith. He married Marie, daughter of Baron Brassey and they had two sons, one of whom was killed in 1914. In 1910 he was created a Baron and appointed a lord in waiting to George V and often played tennis with him. In 1913 he became governor of Bombay and later of Madras. He was created a Viscount and appointed governor general of Canada in 1926 and in 1931 Viceroy of India. On returning to England he was created a Marquess, constable of Dover Castle and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. He died on 12th August 1941 and was succeeded by his son Inigo.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

Many members of the family are buried in Willingdon Church

Born

12th September 1866

Died

12th August 1941

Field

Politician; soldier; statesman

Location

Nave

Freeman Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon
Thomas Freeman, 1st Marquess of Willingdon grave

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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Tim - Gardener

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