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John Rice

John Rice, sometime organist of Trinity Church, New York USA, was buried with his father in the south cloister of Westminster Abbey on 24th March 1808, aged 84. He has no monument and the gravestone has worn away.

The journals of the day say he was born in Westminster, received a musical education and settled in New York as an organist. There he is said to have made a lot of money but on returning to England became a miser. His will shows, however, that he made many charitable bequests to the poor and to his friends, including ten thousand pounds to the Reverend Mr Moore, bishop of New York. He also gave money to the son of the late Dr William Boyce, the famous musician, who had apparently been very kind to him. His only relation mentioned was a cousin Mrs Powell of Cardiff.

His father John had been buried on 5th February 1768, aged 70. He was an Abbey bell ringer from 1736, and a porter of the Great Cloister and keeper of the water. His residence was in Dean's Yard, in the Abbey precincts, and his wife was Ann, John junior being his only son. He had a sister Nast (Griffith). His will was proved by Dr William Boyce.

Buried

24th March 1808

Occupation

Musician

Location

South Cloister

Memorial Type

Grave

John Rice
South Cloister

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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It’s a privilege to live and work here – the Abbey really is the heart of the country and its history.

Martin - The Dean’s Verger

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