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John and Avis Freeman

In the west cloister of Westminster Abbey is a white marble tablet to John and Avis Freeman. Called "Honest Brother Freeman" he was a member of the Abbey choir in 1692-1693 and from 1715 to his death and a Gentleman Extraordinary of the Chapel Royal in 1700. He was in the St Paul's Cathedral choir from 1702. The inscription reads:

Near this place lyes the body of Avis Freeman (the wife of John Freeman a member of this Collegiate Church) who died October the 30th 1732 aged 60. Also near this place lyes the body of Mr John Freeman, one of the Gentlemen of His Majesty's Chapel Royal, a member of St Paul's cathedral and this Collegiate Church. He died December the 10th 1736 aged 70

He was a soloist in Henry Purcell's The Fairy Queen and one of that composer's leading singers. A few songs by Freeman were published. He married Avis Wallet in the chapel at Charterhouse in London and their daughter Elizabeth married organist James Kent.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - John Freeman




West Cloister

Memorial Type


Material Type


John and Avis Freeman
John and Avis Freeman memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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At different times of the day, or in different seasons, the light falling in the Abbey will light up something that you have walked past a million times and never seen before.


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