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Westminster Abbey and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Abbey is no longer open for public worship, general visiting or private prayer. Meanwhile, the community of Abbey clergy, privately and following guidance given, will sustain the worship of a building that has been a witness to God’s grace and glory for over a thousand years.

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Thomas Millyng

Thomas Millyng, bishop of Hereford, and Abbot of Westminster from 1469-1474, was buried in the centre of St John the Baptist's chapel in Westminster Abbey in 1492. A stone coffin with a cross fleury carved on it, said to be his, was formerly in the chapel after having been removed from its burial place (the body was presumably re-buried). The coffin lid is now outside in the ambulatory and is a re-used, possibly 13th century, coffin. A (possibly unique) wax funeral taper, said to belong to this abbot's burial, is in the Abbey collection.

He entered the Benedictine monastery in 1450 and held various offices before becoming Prior in 1466. He was Abbot when Queen Elizabeth Woodville, wife of Edward IV, took Sanctuary at Westminster for the first time on 1st October 1470 with her mother and three young daughters (Elizabeth, Mary and Cecily). Her son, the future Edward V, was born in Sanctuary and baptised in the Abbey and Thomas was one of his godfathers. He continued the building of the nave with money given by the king. Edward rewarded Millyng for his protection of the queen with the bishopric of Hereford and he was consecrated in the Lady Chapel in 1474. He was also made a Privy Councillor.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Occupation

Abbot

Location

Chapel of St John Baptist

Memorial Type

Grave

Thomas Millyng
St John the Baptist Chapel

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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