26/04/2017
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Who's Buried Where in London - five remarkable Scots

c289197e-a8a4-47ec-8ed9-c7066852c046

Discover the final resting places of five remarkable Scots, with Peter Matthews, author of Who's Buried Where in London.

1. Mary Queen of Scots, Westminster Abbey

The outstanding tomb of Mary, Queen of Scots (1542–87) was erected by her son James I. Mary was a Catholic and a great threat to Elizabeth I, who had her captured, imprisoned and, eventually, executed. Her tomb is even grander than Elizabeth’s. 

2. John McDouall Stuart, Kensal Green Cemetery

An obelisk monument marks the final resting place Scottish-born explorer John McDouall Stuart (1815–66). 

Emigrating to Australia in his twenties, he carried out six expeditions to explore and survey its interior. He was the first person to cross the country from south to north, for which he was awarded £2,000. Several geographical features are named after him, as well as the Stuart Highway, which follows his route across the country. The obelisk was damaged by a bomb in the Second World War, and it was replaced in 2012.

3. James Thomson, Westminster Abbey

Buried in the north- west corner of the church is the Scottish poet James Thomson (1700–48), who lived in Richmond in his later years. His most important work is The Seasons, but he is best known as the author of Rule Britannia, which was set to music by Thomas Arne. The fine brass plaque on the west wall was added in 1792.

4. Sir Alexander Fleming, St Paul's Cathedral

On the inner wall of St Paul's Cathedral is an elegant marble plaque to Sir Alexander Fleming (1881–1955), who discovered penicillin while working at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for physiology.

5. John Murray, Kensal Green Cemetery

The cross pictured above marks the grave of John Murray (1778–1843), one of the most influential publishers of his time. Taking over his father’s business in Fleet Street, he was soon able to move to Albemarle Street, where he entertained important literary and political figures.

He published authors such as Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott and Coleridge, and had a particularly close relationship with Lord Byron, who became a star overnight when Murray published the first two cantos of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. However, Byron’s posthumous memoirs proved so controversial that Murray burnt them, a great loss to posterity.

Who's Buried Where in London by Peter Matthews, published by Bloomsbury Shire, is the perfect read for family historian ‘tombstone tourists’. For many of us, there’s nothing better than whiling away a summer’s day in a Victorian cemetery or old parish graveyard. If this strikes a chord with with you, then the delightfully informative Who’s Buried Where in London is right up your street.

Researched and written by Peter, a former London Tourist Board employee and Blue Badge Guide, this richly illustrated handbook to the capital’s many cemeteries, churches and graveyards is packed with information on the vast range of memorials worth a visit, and fascinating biographical details of those laid to rest there.

Back to "Features" Category

26/04/2017 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

The Burrell Collection was opened - On this day in Scottish history

The Burrell Collection was opened on 21 October 1983.


Colin Campbell 1st Baron of Clyde was born - On this day in Scottish history

Colin Campbell, 1st Baron Clyde was born on 20 October 1792.


The first public sedan chairs in Scotland became available - On this day in Scottish history

Scotland's first public hire sedan chairs became available on 19 October 1687.


Queen consort Margaret Tudor died on 18 October 1541

Queen consort Margaret Tudor died on 18 October 1541.


Other Articles

The best Scottish castles to visit – History Scotland’s ultimate castles guide

Which are the best Scottish castles to explore? Which castles in Scotland are open during the winter? Plan ...


History events in Scotland - November 2018

Discover things to do in Scotland in November with our round-up of history-inspired events. ...


Craigmillar Castle to stage Mary Queen of Scots light projection event - 1 to 4 November 2018

Experience Craigmillar Castle in a different light with a new after-dark event ‘Spotlight on Mary Queen of ...


The Skye Bridge opened - on this day in Scottish history

The Skye Bridge opened on 16 October 1995.