Sir John Chardin

In the nave of Westminster Abbey is a memorial to Sir John [Jean] Chardin, court jeweller to Charles II. It consists of a framed tablet of coloured marbles, with palm branches and a globe marked with Chardin's travels, an hour-glass and books on a pyramid background. The sculptor was Henry Cheere and permission was given to erect it in 1744. The inscription reads:


This can be translated: "Glory to God alone. I will rise again". Above the globe is his motto and at the top his coat of arms: "argent, a chevron sable between two roses in chief and a heathcock in base".

He was born in Paris, France, on 16th November 1643, a son of Daniel Chardin, merchant jeweller, and his wife Jeanne (Guiselin). Working as his father's apprentice he travelled to Persia and India. By 1680 he was a celebrity and wrote about his travels. He emigrated to England and was knighted by the king in 1681 and became a member of the Royal Society. By his wife Esther Peigne he had surviving children, John, George, Julia (who married Sir Christopher Musgrave) and Elizabeth. Chardin helped to expand English trade in the east and was also a charter member of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. He died on 25th December 1712 and is buried at Chiswick church in west London.

Sir John Chardin (the son)

Sir John Chardin, Baronet, died on 26th April and was buried on 10th May 1755 in the south aisle of the nave near his father's monument. Baptized at Greenwich on 6th October 1687 John Evelyn was his godfather, with the Earl of Bath and Countess of Carlisle as sponsors. Created a Baronet in 1720 he died unmarried and his titles became extinct. His will was proved by his nephew Sir Philip Musgrave, son of his sister Julia. Relations named were his cousin Henry Cheere and nephew James Morgan (husband of his niece Catherine)

Further reading

"The travels of Jean Chardin" by J. Chardin, 1686

"Chardin le Persan" by Dirk van der Cruysse, 1998

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004


16th November 1643


25th December 1712



Memorial Type


Material Type


Sir John Chardin
Sir John Chardin by Unknown artist

© National Portrait Gallery, London [Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 3.0]

Sir John Chardin
Sir John Chardin memorial

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