Paul de Labilliere
Died: 28 Apr, 1946
Field: Dean
Location in the Abbey: Nave
Type of memorial: Grave

The ashes of the Right Reverend Paul de Labilliere, Dean of Westminster, and his wife are buried in the nave of Westminster Abbey. The lozenge shaped gravestone not far from Newton's monument has a carved mitre at the top and the inscription:

"PAUL FULCRAND DELACOUR de LABILLIERE DEAN OF WESTMINSTER 1938-46"

He was born in 1879, the son of Francis de Labilliere, barrister, and his wife Adelaide (Ravenshaw). He was educated at Harrow school and Oxford and in 1902 he was ordained. After serving as a curate in Liverpool and Plymouth he became domestic chaplain to the Bishop of Durham and worked in South Africa for a while. There he married in 1909 Ester Morkel and they had a son Bertrand and a daughter Adelaide who married Thomas Dunbabin (two of their children were baptised in the Abbey). While he was temporary chaplain to the Forces 1916-19 he served in Egypt and was mentioned in despatches. Later he was Suffragan Bishop of Knaresborough and Archdeacon of Leeds. During his time at the Abbey he did much to enhance the services and during the war showed many hundreds of visiting troops around the Abbey. His home, the Deanery, was blitzed in 1941 and the King and Queen offered him accommodation at Buckingham Palace but he preferred to stay within the Abbey precincts. A contemporary described him as tall, slender with white hair who dressed beautifully and was punctual. He died of a brain haemorrhage on 28 April 1946. His wife died on 18 March 1954.

A bronze bust of the Dean by Gilbert Ledward is kept in the Deanery.

A photo of his gravestone and portrait painted by H.Harris Brown which hangs in the Deanery can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

© 2017 The Dean and Chapter of Westminster

Website design - Design by Structure