John Pym
Born: 20 May, 1584
Died: 08 Dec, 1643
Field: Statesman
Location in the Abbey: North ambulatory, St Margaret's Church
Type of memorial: Stone

John Pym, politician and leader of the popular party in the Long Parliament, died at Derby House in Westminster on 8 December 1643. His magnificent funeral was held a few days later and both Houses of Parliament followed the coffin. He was buried under the gravestone of Sir John Wyndsore in the north ambulatory of Westminster Abbey. However his body was disinterred in 1661 when Charles II was restored to the throne. His remains, with those of several other followers of Oliver Cromwell, were thrown in a pit in St Margaret's churchyard. The names of those removed are inscribed on the exterior tower of that church.

A small memorial stone was put near his grave which reads:

"Under the gravestone adjoining were buried John Pym M.P. 1643, William Strode M.P. 1645, Colonel Edward Popham 1651. [All these] were removed by Royal Warrant 1661".

He was born on 20 May 1584, son of Alexander Pym and his wife Philippa (Colles) and came from an old Somerset family. He was admitted to the Middle Temple in London and married Anne Hooke. Their sons were John, who died young, Alexander who died unmarried, Anthony and Charles (who became an M.P. and died in 1671). Their daughters were Philippa who married Thomas Symons, Dorothy who married Sir Francis Drake at St Margaret's Westminster on 18 January 1641 and who was buried there on 16 May 1661, and Katherine who died unmarried. The Royalists nicknamed him "King Pym" because of his great influence on Parliament.

Photos of the Abbey stone and carving on the tower can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further reading:

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004.

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