James and Mary Kendall

James Kendall and his niece Mary are buried in Westminster Abbey.

James Kendall

James Kendall, politician and governor of Barbados, is buried in the south choir aisle of Westminster Abbey. On a pillar nearby is a white marble cartouche with winged cherub heads and a winged skull. The inscription reads:

Near this place lyeth the body of JAMES KENDALL Esqr. [Esquire]. He was first chosen a Member of Parliament in the year 1684, and serv'd in most of the succeeding Parliaments. He was five year's Governour of Barbados & soon after his return to England was appointed by his Majesty King William one of the Commissioners for executing the office of Lord High Admiral. Some years before his death he retir'd from all publick business excepting only his service in Parliament. He dyed at Casehalton [Carshalton] in Surry the 10th day of July 1708 in the sixty first year of his age.

At the top is his coat of arms "argent a chevron sable between three dolphins". He was baptised on 17th June 1647 a son of Thomas Kendall and was educated as a lawyer. Then he joined the army and served in the Coldstream Guards until 1685. He inherited his father's West Indian plantations and became a politician. His elder brother acquired the manor of Killigarth in Cornwall by marriage and James was later appointed guardian to his brother's daughter Mary. James had close links with the Earl of Rochester in the last years of James II's reign but he switched allegiance to William III. On 5th July 1689 he was appointed governor of Barbados. Later he was appointed to the board of Admiralty and resided in Birdcage Walk, near the Abbey. He had one son by his mistress.

Mary Kendall

James's niece Mary Kendall was buried in the chapel of St John the Baptist in the Abbey and has a monument there with a kneeling alabaster figure of herself. The inscription, written by the Dean of Westminster Francis Atterbury, reads:

Mrs MARY KENDALL daughter of Thomas Kendall Esqr. and of Mrs Mary Hallet, his wife, of Killigarth in Cornwall, was born at Westmr. [Westminster] Nov.8 1677 and dy'd at Epsome March 4 1709/10, having reach'd the full term of her blessed Saviour's life; and study'd to imitate his spotless example. She had great virtues, and as great a desire of concealing them: was of a severe life, but of an easy conversation; courteous to all, yet strictly sincere; humble, without meanness; beneficient, without ostentation; devout, without superstition. These admirable qualitys, in which she was equall'd by few of her sex, surpass'd by none, render'd her every way worthy of that close uion and friendship in which she liv'd with the Lady CATHERINE JONES; and in testimony of which she desir'd that even their ashes, after death, might not be divided: and, therefore, order'd her selfe here to be interr'd where, she knew, that excellent Lady design'd one day to rest, near the grave of her belov'd and religious mother, ELIZABETH, Countess of RANELAGH. This monument was erected by Capt. CHARLES KENDALL.

Her name was inscribed on the vault stone in front of the monument in the late 19th century. Mary's father Thomas Kendall, son of a merchant, died in 1684 and Mary lived with the Earl of Ranelagh's family while James was in the West Indies. Lady Catherine Jones (d.1740) was the Earl's daughter. Charles was Mary's cousin and was in the Royal Navy. Her estates were left to her cousin Canon Nicholas Kendall. The coats of arms show those for Kendall and also "or, a chief gules overall on a bend engrailed sable three bezants" for Hallet.

Further Reading

"Killigarth. Three centuries of a Cornish manor" by James Derriman (1994)

A monument to Thomas, his wife and daughter, was erected in the Killigarth family chapel in Talland church, Cornwall



10th July 1708




Chapel of St John Baptist; South Choir Aisle

Memorial Type

Grave; tablet

Material Type


James and Mary Kendall
Mary Kendall monument

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2021 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

James and Mary Kendall
James Kendall monument

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2021 Dean and Chapter of Westminster