William Whitfield Dakins

William Whitfield Dakins, minor canon of Westminster, is buried in the south cloister of Westminster Abbey. The inscription on the stone was re-cut in 1950 but is now rather worn. This includes two badges in bronze of the Brigade of Guards and the Army Chaplains. It reads:

To the memory of William Whitfield Dakins D.D. Minor Canon & Precentor of this Abbey: Chaplain to the Brigade of Guards: principal Chaplain to the Forces 1830-1844, founder of the Royal Military Chapel, Wellington Barracks. Born 4th Feb 1767: Died 10th Jan.1850. He shall give thee thy heart's desire. Also of Susannah his wife, died 5th Dec. 1834, aged 69 and his infant son William, died 1800.

He was the son of William and Sarah and was born at Romsey in Hampshire. Educated at Oxford he obtained his Doctor of Divinity from Lambeth. His wife was daughter of John Shorter and they married at Witney on 24th November 1792. Several children were baptised in the Abbey: John Horsley Dakins in 1799 who was also a chaplain to the forces, priest in ordinary to William IV and Queen Victoria and domestic chaplain to the Dukes of York and Cambridge and the King of Hanover. He was vicar of Holy Island and married in 1823 Sophia Mansel, daughter of the bishop of Bristol and died 28th December 1873. Daughter Laura Anne was baptised in 1801 and married William Selby Kirby at St Margaret's Westminster and died in 1841. Daughters Elizabeth and Frances were baptised in 1802 and married respectively Louis Henry Desanges and Reverend George Cowell, both at St Margaret's Westminster.

Further reading

The Guards' Chapel at Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, can be visited


4th February 1767


10th January 1850




Cloisters; South Cloister

Memorial Type


William Whitfield Dakins
William Whitfield Dakins memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2024 Dean and Chapter of Westminster