Skip to main content

Westminster Abbey and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Abbey and St Margaret's Church are currently closed for general visiting but we remain open for worship and you are welcome to join us at our daily services.

The Abbey is also open for individual prayer from 10:30am - 12:30pm, Monday to Saturday.

Lancelot Blackburne

Lancelot Blackburne, Archbishop of York, was buried in the middle chancel of St Margaret's church Westminster on 1st April 1743 but he has no monument or gravestone. 

He was born in London on 10th December 1658, a son of Richard and his brother was Dr Richard Blackburne. Educated at Westminster School he went to Oxford university and after ordination went to the West Indies. He was paid at one time for 'secret services' for the King. He married widow Catherine Littleton (nee Talbot) but had no children, except possibly an illegitimate son Thomas Hayter, later bishop of Norwich. He was rector in parishes in Somerset and Cornwall and was a Canon at Exeter cathedral, later becoming Dean there in 1705 and he was also a chaplain to George I. In 1717 he became Bishop of Exeter and was Archbishop of York from 1724 until his death. He was described by Horace Walpole as the "jolly old Archbishop of York who had all the manners of a man of quality though he had been a buccaneer and was a clergyman" Catherine had died in 1726 and he was buried with her.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004


10th December 1658


1st April 1743




St Margaret's Church

Lancelot Blackburne
Lancelot Blackburne

Attributed to Joseph Highmore [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Related commemorations

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.

Vanessa, Head of Conservation

Twitter logo Tweet this