Charles McIlvaine

In St Faith's chapel in Westminster Abbey is a small brass wall plaque for Charles Pettit McIlvaine, bishop of Ohio, USA. The inscription reads:

In this chapel during Easter week of 1873 by desire of the Dean Arthur Penrhyn Stanley rested the remains of the Right Reverend Charles Pettit McIlvaine D.D., D.C.L.Oxon. L.L.D.Cam. Bishop of Ohio, USA on their way from Florence where he died to their interment in his own diocese. This tablet commemorates the honour paid to a prelate widely respected and deeply beloved, whose life and work helped to draw together England and America in one communion of faith and love.

His body lay for four days in the chapel and Dean Stanley arranged a special service to express the sympathy of the Church of England with that of America. The pall bearers included the Earl of Shaftesbury, Benjamin Moxon (of the American Legation) and the Earl of Harrowby. The body was taken to Liverpool and then to America and he was buried at Spring Grove cemetery.

The McIlvaines descended from a family in Ayrshire in Scotland. Charles was born on 18th January 1799 in Burlington, New Jersey, a son of Joseph, a lawyer, and his wife Maria (Reed). He graduated from Princeton and was ordained in 1820. He married Emily Coxe on 8th October 1822 and was elected chaplain and professor at the US Military Academy at West Point. He had a ministry in Brooklyn and he travelled to England several times and met many important people. In 1831 he was consecrated bishop of Ohio.

Further reading

"Memoirs of Charles Pettit McIlvaine" edited by William Carus, 1882


18th January 1799




St Faith's Chapel

Memorial Type


Material Type


Charles McIlvaine
Charles McIlvaine memorial

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