William Dalrymple

In the south choir aisle of Westminster Abbey is a white and yellow marble monument to William Dalrymple. The sculptor was Robert Adam. William's father, Sir John Dalrymple of Cousland (1726-1810), was a client of Adam. Sir John had thirteen children, eight of whom pre-deceased him. John Hamilton Macgill Dalrymple succeeded as 5th Baronet.

The inscription reads:

To the memory of William Dalrymple, Midshipman, eldest son of Sir John Dalrymple, Baronet, one of the Barons of Exchequer in Scotland & of Elizabeth Hamilton Macgill, representative of the Viscounts of Oxford.
Who, though heir of ample estates, preferred to a life of indolence and pleasure the toilsome and perilous profession of a seaman, when his country was in danger. At the age of eighteen he was kill'd off the coast of Virginia in a desperate engagement, in which Captain Salter in the Santa Margareta took the Amazone, a French ship of superior force almost in sight of the enemy's fleet; receiving in the public despatches of his skilful and generous commander the honourable testimony, that "he was a worthy and deserving youth, who, had he lived, would have been an ornament to his profession"; and leaving to his once happy parents, in whose fond eyes he appeared to promise whatever could be expected from genious, spirit, and the best gift of God, a kind and melting heart, the endearing remembrance of his virtues: Father of all, grant to the prayers of a father and mother, that their surviving children may imitate the qualities of such a brother, and that there may never be wanting to the British youth, the spirit to pursue that line of public honour which he marked out for himself and for them. Obiit 29th July 1782

Above is a sculpted coat of arms (of Dalrymple and Macgill) and crest, with a viscount's coronet.


29th July 1782




South Choir Aisle

Memorial Type


Material Type


William Dalrymple
William Dalrymple memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

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