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Sir Frederick Bridge

Sir John Frederick Bridge, organist of Westminster Abbey, has a memorial tablet on the wall of the west cloister of Westminster Abbey. The stone tablet, by Eric Gill, has an inscription painted in red and black and this reads:

SIR FREDERICK BRIDGE C.V.O. Emeritus Organist, Organist of Westminster Abbey 1882-1918. Faithful in service, skilled in music, loving in friendship. Born 5 December 1844. Died 18 March 1924.

He was born at Oldbury in Worcestershire and was a son of John Bridge, who became a Lay Vicar at Rochester cathedral, and his wife Rebecca (Cox). Frederick was a chorister at Rochester and later organist at various churches including Manchester cathedral. He studied music under John Goss. In 1875 he was deputy organist and master of the choristers at Westminster Abbey under James Turle and succeeded him in the posts in 1882. He was also a professor of music and of organ and conductor and composer of the Royal Choral Society. In 1897 he was knighted. He conducted the choirs at the 1887 Jubilee service for Queen Victoria and at the 1902 and 1911 coronations. He was editor of the Westminster Abbey Hymn Book and composed anthems. The Organists' Benevolent Fund was founded by him.

In 1872 he married Constance Moore, his second wife was Helen Amphlett whom he married in Westminster Abbey on 3rd January 1883, and his third wife was Marjory Wedgwood Wood whom he married in the Abbey in 1914. His three children were baptised in the Abbey: son Reginald in 1877 (he married Margaret Nix), daughter Mabel in 1878 (she married Frederick Norcup, lay vicar of Westminster Abbey) and Rosalind Flora in 1884. Rosalind married Edward Stainer (son of Sir John) in the Abbey in 1907 and several of their children were baptised there. Frederick's brother Joseph was organist of Chester cathedral. He died at his home in the Abbey cloisters and was buried at Glass in Aberdeenshire. The memorial tablet was unveiled in 1925.

Further reading

"A Westminster Pilgrim" by Sir Frederick Bridge, 1918

Born

5th December 1844

Died

18th March 1924

Memorial

26th May 1925

Field

Musician; composer

Location

Cloisters; West Cloister

Memorial Type

Tablet

Sir Frederick Bridge
Sir Frederick Bridge

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2018 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Sir Frederick Bridge
Sir Frederick Bridge memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2018 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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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.

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Vanessa, Head of Conservation

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