William Booth

On 2nd July 1965 a memorial bust was unveiled in St George's chapel in Westminster Abbey to William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army. This is a replica in white Palombino marble of a bronze bust by the General's grand-daughter Mary, in the possession of the Salvation Army. The inscription reads:

William Booth Founder and First General of the Salvation Army 1829-1912

He was born in Sneinton, Nottingham on 10th April 1829, a child of Samuel Booth and his second wife Mary (Moss). His family were poor and he was apprenticed to a pawnbroker and later became a lay preacher. Moving to London he married in 1855 writer Catherine Mumford (died 1890) and they had three sons, (William) Bramwell Booth, Ballington and Herbert and five daughters, preacher Catherine Booth-Clibborn, Emma (Tucker), Marian, Evangeline and Lucy (Hellberg). Ten years later they set up the Christian Mission in the Whitechapel area of east London, which became the Salvation Army. The movement spread and tours were made to the USA and India. He died on 20th August 1912 and was buried with his wife (and son William) at Abney Park cemetery, Stoke Newington in London.

Further reading 

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

"Life of William Booth" by H. Begbie, 2 vols. 1920

William Booth birthplace museum


10th April 1829


20th August 1912


2nd July 1965


Priest/Minister; philanthropist


St George's Chapel

Memorial Type


Material Type


William Booth
William Booth (1829-1912), known as General Booth. English religious leader and founder of the Salvation Army

Granger / Bridgeman Images

William Booth
William Booth memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2023 Dean and Chapter of Westminster