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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 Gadbury

Dr John Gadbury, writer, astrologer and astronomer, was buried in St Margaret's Church Westminster on 28th March 1704. The burial register entry says "author of that almanac that bore his name". He has no gravestone or memorial.

He was born on 31st December 1627, son of William, a farmer, and his wife (a daughter of the Curzon family of Waterperry in Oxfordshire). First he was apprenticed as a tailor but then went to study at Oxford before moving to London where he lived near the home of astrologer William Lilly. Returning to Oxford to study astrology with Nicholas Fiske he later published various works on the subject. He also published works on astronomy and natural philosophy. In 1655 he published his first annual almanac. He was famously taken to task for not including in this the anniversary of the Guy Fawkes plot. He was married twice but details of his wives are not known. Later he became a bitter rival of Lilly and was arrested for a time for allegedly plotting against William III. After his death his cousin Job continued to publish the almanac for a few years.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

John Gadbury
St Margaret's Church

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2021 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Related commemorations

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.

Vanessa, Head of Conservation

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