Memorial: M4812

Monument in Westminster Abbey, London commemorating Rear Admiral Richard Tyrrell RN d. 1766


Westminster Abbey, Westminster, London, England


'Sacred to the Memory of RICHARD TYRRELL Esqr / who was descended / from an Ancient Family in Ireland and died Rear Admiral / of the White on the 26th day of June 1766 in the 50th Year of his Age / Devoted from his Youth to the Naval Service of his Country and being found under / the Discipline and animated by the Example of his renown'd Uncle Sr. Peter Warren / He distinguished himself as an able and Experienced officer in many Gallant / Actions particularly on the 3rd Nov. 1758 when commanding the Buckingham / of 66 Guns and 472 Men. He attacked and defeated three French ships / of War one of which was the Florisant of 74 Guns and 700 Men / but the Buckingham being too much disabled to take possession of her / after she had struck the enemy under the cover of Night escaped / In this Action he received several Wounds and lost three Fingers / of the right hand. Dying on his return to England / from the Leeward Islands where he had for three Years / Commanded a Squadron of His Majesty's Ships / His Body according to his own desire was committed / to the sea with the proper Honours and / Ceremonies', 'The Sea shall give up her dead / and every one shall be rewarded / according to his works'


Description: Naval Chronicle' Vol.10.pp 364 'On the top of the monument is an archangel descending with a trumpet, summoning the admiral to eternity from the sea, the clouds moving an separating to discover the celestial light and choir of cherubs, who appear singing praises to the Almighty Creator. The background representing darkness. The admiral's countinance with his right hand to his breast, is expressive of concientious hope, while the position of his left arm appears significant of his seeing something awful and impressive. He appears rising out of the sea behind a large rock, where are placed his arms, with the emblems of valour, prudence and justice. The sea is discerned over the rock at the extremity of sight where clouds and water seem to join. On one side of it an angel has written this inscription 'The sea shall give up her dead and every one shall be rewarded according to his works'. In her left hand is a celestial crown, the reward of virtue and her right hand is extended towards the admiral with a countenance full of joy and happiness. Hibernia, leaning on a globe, with her finger on that part of it where his body was committed to the sea, appears lamenting the loss of her favourate son, in all the agony of heartfelt grief. On one side of the rock is the the Buckingham (the admirals ship), with the masts appearing imperfect. On the other side is a large flag with the trophies of war.'
Type: Monument
Position: South wall nave
Materials: Marble
Artists: Nicholas Read
Vessel: Buckingham

Event Category

1756-1763 Seven Years War


Tyrrell, Richard
Age: 49
Date of Death: 26/6/1766
Cause of Death: Infectious disease
Rank / Occupation: Rear Admiral of the White
Organisation: Royal Navy


Notes: Top part of monument removed. The admiral's figure is now displayed in the 'Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries' (2018). Tyrrell owned plantations in Jamaica and Antigua.

Bibliography: 'The history of the Abbey of St Peter's Westminster' Published R. Ackermann, vol. ii (1812). Plate facing pp. 33 an engraving of the complete monument. Matthew Craske 'Extracting the meaning of a pile of pancakes: an analysis of Nicholas Read's monument to Admiral Tyrrel' in 'The British School of Sculpture c. 1760-1832' edited by Jason Edwards and Sarah Burnage (London, 2017).
Recorder: B. Tomlinson
Photographer: B. Tomlinson