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Westminster Abbey and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Abbey remains open for worship and you are welcome to join us at our daily Eucharist service if you are able to travel here safely within current government guidelines.

However, for the time being we are unable to open the Abbey and St Margaret’s Church for general visiting.

John Earle

John Earle (or Earles) was Dean of Westminster from 1660-1662 but he has no monument in Westminster Abbey and he is buried at Merton College chapel, Oxford. A portrait of him hangs in the Deanery.

He was the son of Thomas Earle and was born about 1601. Educated at Oxford university he then became chaplain to the Earl of Pembroke and was tutor to Prince Charles in 1641. He was Chancellor of Salisbury and went into exile with the future Charles II, being clerk of the closet to the king. At the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 he was appointed Dean of Westminster but soon moved to be bishop of Worcester in 1662 and bishop of Salisbury the following year. The diarist John Evelyn was a friend and Earle officiated at his wedding. He had no children by his wife Bridget and died on 17th November 1665.

Further information

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004


17th November 1665



John Earle
John Earle

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2021 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Related commemorations

I’ve worked here for over thirty years and have seen many of the major services - it’s strange to realise that you are in a small way part of history.

Pamela - Rector's Secretary

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