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Sophia Fairholm, Marchioness of Annandale & sons

In the south choir aisle of Westminster Abbey is a monument to Sophia, Marchioness of Annandale. She was buried with her son Lord William Johnstone (or Johnston) in the nearby south transept. The monument is signed by sculptor James Gibbs and consists of a white marble monument with a grey marble sarcophagus. Above is a re-painted achievement of arms, including the arms of Johnstone "a saltire, in chief three woolpacks". The Latin inscription can be translated:

Sacred to the eternal memory of the most rare matron, the Lady Sophia Fairholm, Marchioness of Annandale, born in Scotland, whose elegance of sense and behaviour contended for preference, with an excellent and beautiful form of body. Renowned for the praises of the mother and wife, so diligent a governess in her family, that she sustained the weight of her family affairs with a manly conduct equal to it; adorned with such and so many virtues, that she finished a life admired by all, by a death as universally lamented. This monument as a token of duty and gratitude is erected by her afflicted son James Johnstone, her eldest son, Marquis of Annandale. She died 13 December 1716 aged 49. Here also by direction of the aforesaid Marquis, are buried the relics of Lord William Johnstone, his dear brother, second son of the aforesaid Marchioness, who died 24 December 1721, aged 26

On the base is a further inscription in English:

Near this place is also interr'd James MARQUIS of ANNANDALE, a nobleman of great parts & many excellent qualities, who died at Naples 21st Feb. 1730.

His coat of arms is cast in lead and gilded.

Sophia, daughter of John Fairholm of Craigiehall, Edinburgh, married William Johnstone, Earl of Annandale and Hartfell who became 1st Marquess of Annandale, when she was just 13 years old on 2nd January 1682. He was a politician and they had five children.

Her son Lord James succeeded as 2nd Marquess. He died unmarried of consumption in Italy and was buried in the north transept on 25th September 1730. Henrietta was Sophia's daughter (wife of Charles Hope, 1st Earl of Hopetoun) who inherited Craigie Hall.

Born

19th March 1668

Died

13th December 1716

Buried

18th December 1716

Location

North Transept; South Transept; South Choir Aisle

Memorial Type

Tomb; grave

Material Type

Marble

Sophia Fairholm, Marchioness of Annandale & sons
Sophia Fairholm, Marchioness of Annandale and sons memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Sophia Fairholm, Marchioness of Annandale & sons
Inscription to James

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2019 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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The work can be tough, but even the cold and rain don’t bother me as I enjoy it so much. I love every day that I spend at the Abbey – just being here makes me smile.

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Tim - Gardener

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