Samuel Taylor Coleridge

On a pillar in Poets' Corner Westminster Abbey is a bust in memory of poet and critic Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The inscription reads:

S. T. Coleridge. Born Oct 21. 1772. Died July 25. 1834

The bust is by the sculptor Sir Hamo Thorneycroft and was presented to the Abbey by Dr Mercer, an American citizen. It was unveiled on 7th May 1885 by the United States Minister in London James Russell Lowell. The bust is set high on the pillar above William Wordsworth's statue (it was moved from the base of this pillar when Wordsworth's memorial was re-located to Poets' Corner in 1932).

Samuel was born at Ottery St Mary in Devon, a son of John Coleridge and his wife Ann (Bowden). After the sudden death of his father he was sent to Christ's Hospital in London, a school for orphans. He was appointed by the school to Jesus College, Cambridge. In 1794 he met Robert Southey (whose memorial is near to that of Coleridge) and he later formed a close friendship with William Wordsworth and his sister and lived near them in Somerset and later in the Lake District. He married Sara Fricker and their children were Hartley, Derwent and Sara. His well-known works include 'Kubla Khan' and 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'. He is buried at Highgate cemetery in London.

Further Reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Born

21st October 1772

Died

25th July 1834

Occupation

Poet

Location

South Transept; Poets' Corner

Memorial Type

Bust

Material Type

Marble

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge bust

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2021 Dean and Chapter of Westminster