John Henderson

John Henderson, actor, is buried at the foot of the grave of David Garrick in the south transept of Westminster Abbey. The inscription has now worn away but it read:

Underneath this stone are interr'd the remains of John Henderson who died the 25th day of Novembr. 1785 aged 38 years.

He was born in London in 1747 but his father died a year after his birth and his mother educated her two sons. Although John studied drawing he knew he wanted to take up the acting profession. Garrick auditioned him and he worked in Bath, becoming the talk of the town. He was a friend of Richard Cumberland who was later buried near him. In 1777 he performed in London and was a popular successor to Garrick, excelling in the plays of Shakespeare. He married Jane Figgins in 1779 and they had a daughter Harriet. Jane died on 24th February 1819 aged 67 and was buried on top of her husband's coffin.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography


25th November 1785




South Transept

Memorial Type


John Henderson
South Transept, Poet's Corner

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

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