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Westminster Abbey and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Abbey remains open for worship and you are welcome to join us at our daily Eucharist service if you are able to travel here safely within current government guidelines.

However, for the time being we are unable to open the Abbey and St Margaret’s Church for general visiting.

John, 1st Viscount Welles

Soldier John Welles, 1st Viscount Welles, K.G. was buried in Westminster Abbey and early tomb lists say he was buried in the north part of the old (1220) Lady Chapel (which was rebuilt from 1503 by Henry VII). William Camden in his guide published in 1600 records the following (translated from the Latin):

John, Viscount Welles, Knight of the Order of St George, who took to wife Cecily, daughter of Edward IV, died without issue and is buried at Westminster

But he gives no epitaph and nothing now remains of this grave.

He was a son of Leo, 6th Baron Welles and his second wife Margaret Beauchamp, and was a half brother of Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. By Cecily he had two daughters Anne and Elizabeth but both died before him. He was knighted by Henry Tudor when he landed in Wales and fought at the battle of Bosworth. Justice of the Peace, constable of Bolingbroke in Lincolnshire and Master Forester of Rockingham he was also granted the castles of Caerleon and Usk for life. He died on 9th February 1499. Cicely, born in 1469, married secondly Thomas Kyme and died in 1507.

Further Reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography


9th February 1499




Lady Chapel

Memorial Type


John, 1st Viscount Welles
May God grant cross

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2021 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Related commemorations

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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