Dame Mary James

In the north choir aisle of Westminster Abbey, not far from her grave in the north transept, is a black and white marble monument to Dame Mary James, wife of Sir John James. On a pedestal stands a large urn with a spiralled base. At the sides are four shields of arms showing the uncoloured coat of arms of James and Killigrew, twice (that for James shows "two bars counter embattled" and that for Killigrew "an eagle displayed, with two heads, within a border bezanty, a cross for difference"). The monument was originally in the north transept but was moved when Admiral Peter Warren's memorial was erected in its place in the 1750s. The inscription reads:

M.S. [Sacred to the memory] Here lyeth interred ye boddy of Dame Mary James, late wife of Sir John James, Knight, descended from ye aintient familye of ye Dukes of Hostrick in ye Province of Holland and daughter of Sr. Robert Killigrew, some time vice chamberlaine to Mary [Henrietta Maria], late queen of England and wife to his sacred Ma [jesty] King Charles ye first (of blessed memory), by whome she had issue one son named John and one daughter named Elsabeth which died in there infancy. Ye said Dame Mary James departed this mortuall life on ye sixt day of novem. in ye year of Our Lord MDCLXXVII [1677].

Her gravestone, now worn away, had the same inscription and arms shown on it.

Her mother was Mary (Woodhouse) and she was baptised at St Margaret Lothbury church in London in 1623. Sir John's family originally came from Haestricht near Utrecht in Holland (called Hostrick on the monument).

Further reading

See also the entry for Killigrew Family.


North Choir Aisle

Memorial Type

Grave; urn

Material Type


Dame Mary James
Mary James monument

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2021 Dean and Chapter of Westminster