Archibald Campbell Tait

On a pillar in the south transept in Westminster Abbey is a white marble bust, with a shield of arms below, to Archibald Campbell Tait. This was unveiled on 13th November 1884 and is signed by the sculptor H.H. Armstead R.A. The inscription reads:

Archibald Campbell Tait Born Dec 21st 1811. Died Dec. 3rd 1882

He was born in Edinburgh, a son of Craufurd and his wife Susan (Campbell) and was educated in his home town, in Glasgow and Oxford. In 1836 he was ordained and succeeded Thomas Arnold as Head Master of Rugby School. Later he was Dean of Carlisle and Bishop of London. In 1843 he married Catherine Spooner, philanthropist, and they had eight daughters and one son. Tragically five daughters died of scarlet fever within weeks of each other and son Craufurd, who also became a clergyman, died before his parents. Daughter Edith married Randall Davidson, a future Archbishop of Canterbury. In 1868 on the strong recommendation of Queen Victoria Archibald was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury, the first Scot to hold this post. He and his wife were buried at Addington in Surrey near their official country residence (although burial in the Abbey had been offered for Archibald but declined).

Further reading for Archibald and Catherine

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

"Life of Archibald Campbell Tait" by W. Benham and R. Davidson, 2 vols. 1891

"Catherine and Craufurd Tait...a memoir" edited by W. Benham, 1879

St Mary's Church, Addington


21st December 1811


3rd December 1882


13th November 1884




South Transept

Memorial Type


Material Type


White marble bust of Archibald Campbell Tait
Archibald Campbell Tait

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

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