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John and Elizabeth Warren

John Warren, bishop of Bangor, and his wife Elizabeth, philanthropist, are buried in the north transept of Westminster Abbey. Both have monuments in the west aisle of this transept. That to Dr John Warren is by sculptor Sir Richard Westmacott. It consists of a monument of white and grey marble with a figure of Religion and an angel pointing to a cross, standing either side of a rock on which is shown the inscription. At the base is a group of the Bible, a mitre and a crozier. The inscription reads:

Near this place are interred the remains of the Right Reverend JOHN WARREN D.D. Bishop of St David's in 1779 and translated to the see of Bangor in 1783. These episcopal stations he filled for more than twenty years, with great ability and virtue. His charity, liberality, candour and benevolence will long be remembered. His eminent learning and unwearied application rendered him highly serviceable to the laws, as well as the religion of his country, towards which he was most sincerely attached. He was son of RICHARD WARREN D.D. Rector of Cavendish and Archdeacon of Suffolk; and brother of RICHARD WARREN, M.D. celebrated for his knowledge and successful practice and many years Physician in Ordinary to his Majesty. He married ELIZABETH SOUTHWELL, daughter of HENRY SOUTHWELL Esqr. of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire who, fully sensible of his many distinguished virtues, has offered this grateful tribute to his memory, with the most unfeigned sincerity and respect. He died on the 27th of January 1800 in the 72nd year of his age.

Nearly opposite this monument is one to Elizabeth, again by Westmacott, Permission was given for the monument in 1825. This is often called "The Distressed Mother" as it shows a seated figure of a poor ragged woman with a shawl nursing a baby, with a bundle at her feet. The inscription reads:

Sacred to the memory of Elizabeth Warren, daughter of Henry Southwell, Esq. of Wisbech in the county of Cambridge, and widow of the Right Reverend John Warren D.D. late Lord Bishop of Bangor. She was distinguished for the purity of her taste and the soundness of her judgement. Her prudence and discrimination were in no instances more conspicuous than in selecting the objects of her extensive charity. The widow and the fatherless were protected and relieved, and the virtuous who had fallen from prosperity had peculiar claims to her benevolence. Though mild and gentle in her manners, yet she was remarkable for the firmness and vigour of her mind. Stedfast in the faith of Christ, she lived to illustrate His precepts and died reposing on His merits and intercession. She departed this life March 29th 1816 aged 83. Her surviving sister, Mary widow of the Right Honorable Sir James Eyre, Kt, Lord Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, in testimony of her sincere affection has erected this monument to her memory.

John was born at Cavendish in Suffolk on 12th May 1730, a son of Richard Warren and his wife Priscilla (Fenner). He was educated at Bury St Edmunds and Gonville and Caius College Cambridge. In 1754 he was ordained and was chaplain to the bishop of Ely and held rectories in the county of Cambridgeshire. On 12th April 1777 he married Elizabeth Southwell at St Margaret's Westminster but they had no children.

Further Reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - John Warren

Sir Richard Westmacott, sculptor by M. Busco, 1994


27th January 1800


Priest/Minister; philanthropist


North Transept

Memorial Type


Material Type


John and Elizabeth Warren
John Warren monument

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2021 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

John and Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren monument

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2021 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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Gerlinde - Abbey Marshal

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