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Westminster Abbey and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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James Fullerton

Sir James Fullerton was buried in the north ambulatory, near the steps leading to Henry VII's chapel, in Westminster Abbey on 3rd January 1630/1631 and a monument was later erected for him in the nearby chapel of St Paul.

The alabaster effigies of him and his wife lie on an altar tomb. He wears plate armour and lies on a rush mattress, with an otter (his crest) at his feet. Although his wife's effigy is shown her burial does not occur in the Abbey register and there is a blank space on the monument for her inscription. Attached to the girdle of her dress is a miniature portrait of her husband.

Above the effigies and on the base are shields of arms: "quarterly 1&4: or, three otters heads couped gules (for Fullerton of Craighall) 2&3:argent on a fess sable three mullets of the field, over all an annulet for difference, impaling a bend engrailed". The inscription reads:

Here lyes ye remnant of Sr James Fullerton Knight, First Gentleman of ye Bedchamber to King Charles ye First, Prince and King. A Gratious rewarder of all virtue; a severe reprover of all vice, a profest renouncer of all vanitie; he was a firme pillar to ye Common Wealth a faithful patron to ye Catholique Church; a faire patterne to ye British Court. He lived to ye welfare of his country; to ye honour of his Prince; to ye Glory of his God. He dyed fuller of faith then of feares; fuller of resolucion then of paienes; fuller of honour then of dayes.

Sir James, a Scotsman, was probably a son of John Fullerton and Janet (Mure). He went to Ireland and ran a school in Dublin and one of his pupils, James Ussher, who became Archbishop of Armagh, was later buried near him in the Abbey. He was Fellow of the newly founded Trinity College Dublin and afterwards an ambassador in France. In 1616 he married Magdalen, daughter of Sir Alexander Clerk and widow of Sir Edward Bruce, 1st Baron Bruce of Kinloss. James bequeathed his estates to her and her son Thomas (who later became Earl of Elgin).


3rd January 1631


North Ambulatory; Chapel of St Paul

Memorial Type


Material Type


James Fullerton
Fullerton monument

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2021 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

James Fullerton
Fullerton effigies

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2021 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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I feel very privileged to work here. I take so much pride in working for a beautiful place like the Abbey, it’s unique.

Alex - Abbey Marshal

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