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William Foxley Norris

Priest and Dean

The ashes of the Very Reverend William Foxley Norris K.C.V.O., Dean of Westminster, are buried in the nave of the Abbey. The inscripton on his lozenge shaped gravestone reads:

+ WILLIAM FOXLEY NORRIS 1859-1937 DEAN OF WESTMINSTER 1925-1937

He was a son of the Reverend William Norris and was born on 4 February 1859. He was educated at Charterhouse school, Oxford and Leeds Clergy school. He was rector of Barnsley, Archdeacon of Halifax and Canon of Wakefield and was appointed Dean of York in 1917. He married Mary Pott and they had two sons and two daughters. Son Major John Percival Norris died in 1924 as a result of wounds suffered in the Great War and left a widow and two sons. The other son was Arthur, an amateur artist like his father. The daughters married Cecil Rolt and Norman Flower. William's grandsons were Michael Foxley Norris, Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Foxley Norris (a Battle of Britain pilot), John Rolt, who married in the Abbey in 1951, David Rolt, artist, and Cecil Rolt V.C. who was killed during the Second World War. The Dean died on 28th September 1937.

Further reading

"Should the monuments be removed from Westminster Abbey" by W.F. Norris in The Architectural Association Journal Feb 1933

Born

4th February 1859

Died

28th September 1937

Field

Priest; dean

Location

Nave

Memorial Type

Grave

William Foxley Norris
William Foxley Norris, Dean of Westminster

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2018 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

William Foxley Norris
William Foxley Norris grave

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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