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Gilbert Murray

Classical scholar Gilbert Murray, renowned for his translations of Greek plays, was buried in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey on 5th July 1957. His gravestone, designed by S.E. Dykes Bower, is on the west side near Isaac Casaubon's monument. The Latin inscription was written by T.F. Higham, Public Orator at Oxford and can be translated:

GILBERT MURRAY O.M. An example of true humanity, while he lived the letters of the ancient Greeks lived again, nor was there any reason to despair of the harmony of peoples. 1866  1957

He was born in Sydney, Australia on 2nd January 1866, a son of Sir Terence Murray and his second wife Agnes (Edwards). He was sent to England to be educated at Merchant Taylors' School and Oxford university. He became professor of Greek at Glasgow university and was Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford. In 1889 he married Lady Mary Howard and their children were Rosalind, Denis and Agnes. Best remembered for his translation of Euripedes he also published his History of Ancient Greek Literature. He was a chairman of the League of Nations Union and was made a member of the Order of Merit in 1941 but he declined a knighthood. He died on 20th May 1957 and the United Nations Association applied to the Dean of Westminster for the burial of his ashes in the Abbey. 

Further reading

"Gilbert Murray. An unfinished autobiography" edited by J. Smith and A. Toynbee, 1960.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography


2nd January 1866


20th May 1957


5th July 1957




Poets' Corner

Memorial Type


Gilbert Murray
Gilbert Murray memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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