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Samuel and William Bradford

Priest and Dean

Bishop Samuel Bradford was buried in the north transept of Westminster Abbey on 22nd May 1731. He was Dean of Westminster and Bishop of Rochester. A monument of white marble by sculptor Henry Cheere was placed on the wall of the west aisle of this transept. This shows his coat of arms above with the Star of the Order of the Bath between palm branches below. The arms show the See of Rochester impaling "argent on a fess azure three bucks heads erased, or" for Bradford. The Latin inscription can be translated:

"Opposite here is buried SAMUEL BRADFORD, S.T.P. [professor of sacred theology], long time Rector of St Mary le Bow in London, sometime Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, Bishop first of Carlisle, then of Rochester, Dean of this Church and of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath. He was a tireless preacher, so long as his health permitted; dignified, venerable, and holy, as in his habits, so in his precepts: wise, honest, and blameless, both in the rest of life's duties, and, particularly, in his pastoral office; his spirit was so felicitously tempered with equable self-possession that scarcely ever was he angry or discomposed. Everywhere he contrived to affirm and promote Christian charity and civil liberty. All that this most humble, most humane, leader, nay, evangelist, performed (with piety, benevolence, and compassion), in secret - and he performed much -He will reveal in his own time - He who rewards openly those things seen in secret. He died on the 17th of May 1731 in the 79th year of his age"

He was born on 20th December 1652 in London, a son of William Bradford. He was educated at St Paul's School, Charterhouse and Cambridge. After being a private tutor he was ordained in 1690. He was installed as a prebendary of Westminster in 1707 and was Dean and bishop of Rochester from 1723-31. He married Jane Ellis. Their only surviving son was William. Their daughter Jane (died 1761) married Revd.Reuben Clarke, archdeacon of Essex and two of their children were buried in the Abbey. Daughter Susanna (1703-80) married Revd. John Denne and three of their children were baptised at the Abbey and two buried.

A gravestone for Jane and her son William can be found near the entrance to the transept:

"Here lies the body of the Revd. WILLIAM BRADFORD, M.A. who dyed (truly beloved and lamented by all who knew him) July 15 A.D. 1728 aged 32 years. In the midst of life, we are in death. He was Archdeacon of Rochester, Vicar of Newcastle upon Tyne & only son of the Rt.Revd SAMUEL Ld.Bp. of Rochester Dean of this Collegiate Church who died May 17 1731 aged 78. Here also lyeth JANE BRADFORD wife of Samuel Lord Bishop of Rochester she died Feb.26 1738 aged 80".

William's wife was Anne.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

Born

20th December 1652

Died

17th May 1731

Buried

22nd May 1731

Field

Priest; dean

Location

North Transept

Memorial Type

Grave; tablet

Material Type

Marble

Samuel and William Bradford
Samuel and William Bradford memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2018 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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