Frederic and Cyril Farrar
Field: Writer; priest
Location in the Abbey: St Margaret's Church
Type of memorial: Window; plaque

The Revd.Frederic William Farrar and his son Cyril Lytton Farrar have memorials in St Margaret's church Westminster. Frederic was Rector at the church from 1876 until he became Dean of Canterbury and he is buried in Canterbury cathedral. 

Frederic William Farrar

His memorial with a bronze portrait head is in the west porch and is by sculptor Nathaniel Hitch. Lord Peel unveiled in on 21 November 1904. The inscription reads:

"Frederic William Farrar D.D. F.R.S. 1831-1903. Head master of Marlborough 1871; Rector of S Margaret's 1876; Dean of Canterbury 1895; love gave him light to know his Lord, to teach & serve his fellow men. Erected by his assistant curates".

He was born in Bombay, India, a son of the Revd. Charles Farrar, a Church Missionary Society chaplain, and his wife Caroline (Turner). He was sent to England to live with his aunts and his school on the Isle of Man was the inspiration for his well known book Eric, or Little by Little. At Marlborough College and Harrow School he taught as assistant master, and was later Head Master of the former. In 1860 he married Lucy Cardew and they had five sons and five daughters. He published more novels and was an Honorary Chaplain to Queen Victoria. In 1876 he was made a Canon of Westminster and was well known for his sermons and lectures.. His son Cyril died in China and his father erected a memorial tablet and window to him in the church. Son Eric became a vicar and Reginald wrote a life of his father. Daughter Sybil married Revd.Sidney Savage in St Margaret's in 1889 and another daughter was Lilian.  He died on 22 March 1903.

Cyril Lytton Farrar

His white marble memorial is on the south wall of the church and has a border of mosaic in gold, white and red. The coat of arms shows "Argent, on a bend engrailed sable three horse shoes of the field" for Farrar. The inscription, composed by Oliver Wendell Holmes, reads:

"To the dear memory of Cyril Lytton Farrar. Born at Harrow March 19th 1869, Died at Peking February 2nd 1891. Afar he sleeps whose name is graven here where loving hearts his early doom deplore, Youth, promise, virtue, all that made him dear, heaven lent, earth borrowed, sorrowing to restore. O.W. Holmes"

In addition his father put a stained glass window in the south window of the inner vestry with a verse written by Cyril's godfather Lord Lytton. But this has now gone through war damage. It was by Edward Frampton and in the lower lights showed figures of St Anthony in a monk's habit, and St George fighting the dragon, adapted from Pisano's picture. The face of St George was a likeness of Cyril. At the top were allegorical symbols of the Last Day or the Second Coming with a Cross and angels with keys. The inscription, in opus sectile work, read:

"In memory of Cyril Lytton Farrar. Born at Harrow March 18th 1869. Died at Peking, February 2nd 1891 aged 21 years. Dead almost ere his day of life began, far is his boyhood's grave in bright Cathay, further beyond our reach the future man, whose life has now begun a larger day"

Photos of the memorials can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further reading:

"Life of F.W.Farrar" by Reginald Farrar, 1904

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

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