Sir Robert Taylor
On the wall of the south transept of Westminster Abbey is a memorial to eminent architect Sir Robert Taylor. It is of white and coloured marble enriched with festoons of flowers, with a shield of arms beneath, ornamented with sprays of oak. The inscription reads:
Sacred to the memory of Sir ROBERT TAYLOR, Knt. whose works entitle him to a distinguish'd rank in the first class of British Architects. He was eminently useful to the public as an active and impartial magistrate. He rendered himself deservedly dear to his family and friends by the uniform exercise of every social and domestic virtue. He died on the 26th day of September 1788 aged 70 years
The arms show "sable, a lion passant argent, langued gules, an annulet for difference or". He was the son of Robert Taylor (died 1742), master of the London Masons Company, and born in 1714. He worked as a pupil to sculptor Sir Henry Cheere and his first major work was the pediment of the Mansion House in London. His monuments in the Abbey are to Captain Cornewall and General Guest. By now he was wealthy and designed interiors for rich patrons, competing with fellow architects Robert Adam and William Chambers. He also designed many public buildings, notably the Bank of England. After service as a magistrate and as sheriff of London he was knighted. He is buried in St Martin in the Fields in London. His only son Michael Angelo Taylor (1757-1834) was educated at Westminster School and became a politician and married Frances Vane.
"Sir Robert Taylor " by M. Binney, 1984
This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library
Image © 2023 Dean and Chapter of Westminster