The ashes of Howard Millar Nixon O.B.E. Librarian of Westminster Abbey are buried just beside the Library door in the east cloister. The inscription, cut by Arthur Ayres, reads:
HOWARD MILLAR NIXON
LIBRARIAN OF THIS ABBEY CHURCH
He was a younger son of the Reverend Leigh Hunter Nixon, Abbey Minor Canon and Precentor 1912-1933, and his wife Harrie (Millar). Born on 3rd September 1909 at his father's house at 4A Dean's Yard he was educated at Marlborough College and Keble College, Oxford. From 1932-1936 he was an assistant to Lawrence Tanner in the Abbey Library. He went on to the British Museum's department of printed books and retired as Head of the Rare Books collection at the British Library. During the second world war he served in the Royal Artillery.
He was a leading authority on English bookbinding and published Five Centuries of English Bookbinding, British bookbindings presented by Kenneth H.Oldaker to the Chapter Library of Westminster Abbey, among others, and his Lyell lectures were published as The history of decorated bookbinding in England. On 31st March 1951 he married Enid Dorothy Bromley (died 2019) and they had three sons, John (who was an Abbey Lay Vicar 1985-2013), David and Anthony. On retirement he became Librarian at the Abbey and lived at 4 Little Cloister, until his sudden death on 18th February 1983 in hospital. His wife was appointed Assistant Librarian from 1983-1993.