Cartmel Priory: Lord Frederick Cavendish


In the northwest corner of the nave in Cartmel Priory is the above Cavendish memorial. The impressive alabaster tomb chest bears a marble effigy of Lord Frederick Cavendish, son of the 7th Duke of Devonshire, who was Chief Secretary to Ireland in Gladstone’s government. Lord Cavendish was assassinated in Phoenix Park in Dublin in 1882 along with Thomas H Burke,¬†permanent undersecretary for Ireland. Born in 1836, Lord Cavendish was a British politician who entered parliament in 1865. He became financial secretary to the Treasury from 1880 and in 1882, he became Chief Secretary for Ireland. As part of a goodwill emissary from England at the height of the Irish Crisis, Lord Cavendish was murdered by a Fenian splinter group, known as the Invincibles, the day after his arrival in Dublin.


The fine tomb chest is the work of the 19th century English sculptor and poet Thomas Woolner. Each of the base panels are flanked by richly ornamented engaged pilasters. The chest features the Cavendish crest (below) and the inscription reads “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord, or who shall rise up in his holy place? Even he that hath clean hands and a pure heart.”


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