John Dart's Westmonasterium

John Dart, chronicler of Westminster Abbey, wrote this description of Sir Cloudesley Shovell’s memorial in the Abbey in 1723. He includes an etching of the memorial by artist J. Cole. Dart said famously of the memorial, “instead of the brave rough English Admiral, which was the distinguishing character of that plain gallant man, he is represented on his tomb by the figure of a Beau, reposing himself against velvet cushions”.
The etching by J. Cole.
Dart’s description of Shovell’s memorial.

In 1723, writer John Dart published the Westmonasterium or The History and Antiquities of the Abbey Church of St Peter’s Westminster, a written record of over one hundred monuments and tombs in Westminster Abbey as of the early eighteenth century. Some of the Abbey’s most famous tombs are recorded in the work, including the monument of Sir Cloudesley Shovell.

Dart was not at all impressed by the tomb, saying that it represented Shovell not as the staunch English admiral, but of some sort of dishonourable, pompous ancient Roman. Not only did Dart complain about the portrayal of Shovell, but he also complained about the tomb showing the admiral only in death, rather than leaving any record of his life.

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