Memorial: M4794


Westminster Abbey, Westminster, London, England


'Sacred to the Memory/of/EDWARD VERNON/Admiral of the White Squadron/of the British Fleet/He was the Second Son of JAMES VERNON,/Who was Secretary of State to King WILLIAM III/and whose ability & integrity/were equally conspicuous/In his youth He served under Admirals SHOVEL & ROOKE/By their Example he learned to conquer/By his own merit he rose to command/In the War with Spain of MDCCXXXIX/he took the Fort of Porto Bello with six Ships/A force which was thought unequal to the Attempt/For this he received/the thanks of both Houses of Parliament/He subdued Chagre, and at Carthagena/conquered as far as Naval Force/could carry Victory./After these services he retired/without Place or Title/from the Exercise of Publick/To the Employment of Private/Virtue/The Testimony of a good conscience/was his Reward/The Love and Esteem of all good men/his glory/In Battle: though calm he was Active & though Intrepid, Prudent,/Successful yet not ostentatious/Ascribing the Glory/to God/In the Senate, he was disinterested Vigilant and Steady/on the XXXth day of October MDCCLVII/he died as he had lived/the Friend of Man, Lover of his Country/The Father of the Poor/Aged LXXIII/As a Memorial of his own Gratitude/and of the Virtues of his Benefactor/this Monument was erected by his Nephew/FRANCIS Lord ORWELL/In the Year/1763'


Description: Bust of the admiral on a pedestal crowned by the figure of Fame, flanked by a shield bearing Medusa's head, and classical armour. Behind, flags and a pyramid on which are displayed Vernon's arms.
Type: Monument
Position: North transept
Date Erected: 1763
Artists: John Michael Rysbrack


Vernon, Edward
Date of Death: 30/10/1757
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Admiral of the White
Organisation: Royal Navy


Notes: Buried at Nacton, Suffolk. The design is in the V&A, E433-1946. The sketch shows the figure of Victory on the opposite side holding a flag over the head of Vernon's bust which wears a wig and armour rather than being shown in the classical style as on the completed monument. The sculptor's terracotta model of Victory as executed, is also in the V&A A-1-1969.
Bibliography: K.A. Esdaile 'English Church Monuments' (London, 1946) p. 99; Rupert Gunnis 'Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851' (London 1964) p. 338; John Physick 'Designs for English Sculpture 1680-1860' (London, 1969) pp. 108-9.

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