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Mary, Duchess of Brittany

Mary of Brittany, fourth daughter of Edward III and his queen Philippa of Hainault, has a small bronze statuette on the tomb of her father in Westminster Abbey. Originally there were twelve statuettes, or weepers, of their children but only six now remain. They can be viewed from the south ambulatory. The tombs of Edward and Philippa are in St Edward's chapel.

She was born at Waltham near Winchester in October 1344. In 1361 at Woodstock she married Jean V, Duke of Brittany, K.G. (died 1399) but they had no children. She died in late 1361 or early 1362 and was buried, with her sister Margaret, at Abingdon Abbey in Oxfordshire.

Her sister Blanche and brother William of Windsor both died as infants and they have a small tomb with miniature effigies in the chapel of St Edmund at Westminster Abbey. William also has a statuette on Edward III's tomb (together with Edward the "Black" Prince, Lionel of Antwerp, Edmund of Langley and Joan). Her brother Thomas of Woodstock was buried near his father's tomb.


St Edward’s Chapel; South Ambulatory

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Mary, Duchess of Brittany
Mary, Duchess of Brittany memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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

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