Howard and Enid Nixon

The ashes of Howard Millar Nixon OBE, Librarian of Westminster Abbey, were buried just beside the Library door in the east cloister. The original inscription was cut by Arthur Ayres.

He was a younger son of the Reverend Leigh Hunter Nixon, Abbey Minor Canon and Precentor 1912-1933, and his wife Harrie (Millar). Born on 3rd September 1909 at his father's house at 4A Dean's Yard he was educated at Marlborough College and Keble College, Oxford. From 1932-1936 he was an assistant to Lawrence Tanner in the Abbey Library. He went on to the British Museum's department of printed books and retired as Head of the Rare Books collection at the British Library. During the second world war he served in the Royal Artillery.

He was a leading authority on English bookbinding and published Five Centuries of English Bookbinding, British bookbindings presented by Kenneth H.Oldaker to the Chapter Library of Westminster Abbey, among others, and his Lyell lectures were published as The history of decorated bookbinding in England.

On 31st March 1951 he married Enid Dorothy Bromley and they had three sons, John (who was an Abbey Lay Vicar 1985-2013), David and Anthony. On retirement he became Librarian at the Abbey and lived at 4 Little Cloister, until his sudden death on 18th February 1983 in hospital. His wife, born 31st March 1928, was appointed Assistant Librarian from 1983-1993. She died on 3rd August 2019 and her ashes were interred with her husband in January 2020. The stone was rededicated with an additional inscription. The stone reads

HOWARD MILLAR NIXON 1909-1983 LIBRARIAN OF THIS ABBEY CHURCH 1973-1983 and ENID NIXON his wife 1928-2019


3rd September 1909


18th February 1983


Writer; historian


Cloisters; East Cloister

Memorial Type


Howard and Enid Nixon
Howard Nixon

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2024 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Howard and Enid Nixon
Howard and Enid Nixon gravestone

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2024 Dean and Chapter of Westminster