Westmacott's memorial to Commander Charles Cotton

Memorial to Commander Charles Cotton

Sir Richard Westmacott (1775-1856)

c.1828

Grey and white marble

St Mary Magdalene Church, Madingley, Cambridgeshire

The church of St. Mary Magdalene stands near the entrance to Madingley Hall, which for several generations was owned by the Hynde (or Hinde) Cotton family. There are a number of memorials to different members of the family here. This beautifully designed one by Westmacott (probably the older Westmacott, since the name goes unqualified in the three sources given below) stands out for its strongly naval theme. It shows a rostral column with a ship's prow, sword and belt, seashells and shelving rocks below, and an urn above. According to the inscription, it commemorates Admiral Cotton's youngest son, who in 1828 died of a fever at sea after an arduous rescue operation and was buried in Malta. He was only twenty-five.

Photograph and text 2008 by Jacqueline Banerjee

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