William Bayne

In the north transept of Westminster Abbey is a tall monument (25 feet high) of white and coloured marbles, known as The Three Captains memorial, by the sculptor Joseph Nollekens. It commemorates Royal Navy captains William Bayne, William Blair and Lord Robert Manners who were killed in 1782. On a column are relief portraits of all three with their names and ages (50, 41 and 24 respectively). A figure of Fame surmounts the column and below is Neptune on a sea-horse and Britannia with a lion. Naval trophies flank the inscription panel which reads:

Captain William Bayne, Captain William Blair, Captain Lord Robert Manners, were mortally wounded in the course of the naval engagements under the command of Admiral Sir George Brydges Rodney, on the IXth and XIIth of April MDCCLXXXII. In memory of their services the King and Parliament of Great Britain have caused this monument to be erected.

The monument was not finished until 1793 and cost £4,000.

Bayne was born in Edinburgh on 4th November 1730, a son of Alexander Bayne of Rires, advocate, and his wife Mary (Carstairs). He became a lieutenant in 1749 and served in North American waters and in the West Indies. On his ship Alfred he was mortally wounded in an engagement with the French off Dominica on 9th April 1782.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004 (online version) for William and his father

The Royal Navy: a history from the earliest times to the present by W.L. Clowes (7 vols, 1897-1903)

Scotlands People

Born

4th November 1730

Died

9th Apr 1782

Occupation

Sailor

Location

North Transept

Memorial Type

Statue

Material Type

Marble

William Bayne
William Bayne memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2022 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

William Bayne
The Three Captains: Bayne, Blair and Manners

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2022 Dean and Chapter of Westminster