William Warham (about 1450-1532) served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1503 until his death. He was a successful diplomatist and lawyer, included Erasmus and Holbein amongst his friends, and was Chancellor of Oxford University from 1506 until he died. He supervised the coronation of Henry VIII and conducted the service for his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. His tomb and memorial, built in 1507, ie 25 years before his demise, proved the last of Canterbury’s great archiepiscopal monuments, at least until the revival of this style in Victorian times. Major restoration in the 19th century brought demolition of a chantry chapel behind the memorial, previously entered through a doorway to the right of the tomb – lines in the stonework on the tomb show where the tomb was moved and lengthened after removal of this door. In its early form this was arguably the largest memorial in the cathedral.
What to see:
- large tomb-like chest with recumbent figure in a huge tri-partite canopy of three gables (Images 1 and 2)
- the stone effigy of Warham wearing full pontifical robes holding an enormous primatial cross, with angels supporting his head cushion and monastic figures at his feet (Image 3)
- the unmistakable Warham coat of arms – a goat and three cockle shells (Image 4)
Sources; see standard cathedral sources