Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The over life-size white marble bust of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was unveiled in Poets' Corner Westminster Abbey in 1884, on a pillar near to the tomb of Geoffrey Chaucer. It is by the sculptor Sir Thomas Brock and the main inscription reads:

LONGFELLOW. This bust was placed amongst the memorials of the poets of England by the English admirers of an American poet. 1884

On the left and right sides of the plinth is inscribed:

Born at Portland, U.S.A. February 27th 1807. Died at Cambridge, U.S.A. March 24th 1882.

Longfellow's ancestor, William Longfellow, had emigrated to New England in 1676 from Yorkshire. His parents were Stephen, a lawyer, and Zilpah. Henry taught at Harvard University and his prose romance Hyperion was published in 1839 after the death of his first wife. Ballads and other Poems includes 'The Village Blacksmith' and 'The Wreck of the Hesperus'. The Song of Hiawatha is one of his best known works and he was second only to Lord Tennyson in popularity. His grave is in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Further reading

"England's homage to Longfellow" by E.C. Lathem, 2007


27th February 1807


24th March 1882




South Transept; Poets' Corner

Memorial Type


Material Type


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

after Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2024 Dean and Chapter of Westminster