William Gordon Rutherfurd

In St Margaret's church Westminster is a small white marble tablet on the north wall to William Rutherfurd, who fought at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 with Admiral Lord Nelson. He and his wife are buried in a vault in the church. The inscription, in black, red and gold, reads: 

In memory of William Gordon Rutherfurd, C.B. [Companion of the Order of the Bath] Captain of H.M.S. Swiftsure at the battle of Trafalgar. Died 14 Jan. 1818. Also of Lilias Rutherfurd his wife, died 5 Nov. 1831. Both buried here

He was born at Wilmington, North Carolina in 1765 and educated in Edinburgh and St Andrews in Scotland. In 1778 he joined the Royal Navy and served with Admiral Jervis at Martinique and was in the West Indies for some time. In 1814 he was appointed a captain of Greenwich Hospital and he died there.

Further reading

"The Trafalgar captains, their lives and memorials" by C. White, 2005


14th January 1818




St Margaret's Church

Memorial Type


William Gordon Rutherfurd
William Gordon Rutherfurd by Peter Alexander Hay

[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

William Gordon Rutherfurd
William Gordon Rutherfurd memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2024 Dean and Chapter of Westminster