London and Westminster Abbey

I decided today that waiting for the weather to improve before embarking on a day of exploration around London could make for a very long wait. So, off we went, rain and all to visit Parliament Square, St. Margaret's Church and Westminster Abbey.

Absolutely fascinating...would have been even better if I had taken the time to stand in line to pick up the audio tour at Westminster Abbey but with three fidgety teenagers trailing behind me I thought it might be asking to much.  Within the first three minutes of walking into this majestic building I was mesmerised by the tomb of William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle (1593-1676) and his wife Margaret (1623?-1673).

I was so taken by the inscription underneath the effigies that I had to write it down. 

"Here lyes the Loyall Duke of Newcastle and his Dutches his second wife, 
by whome hee had noe issue, her name was Margarett Lucas yongest sister 
to the Lord Lucas of Colchester a noble familie for all the Brothers were Valiant 
and all the Sisters virtuous. This Dutches was a wise wittie & learned Lady, 
which her many Bookes do well testifie. She was a most Virtuous & a Loveing & 
carefull wife & was with her Lord all the time of banishment & miseries & 
when he came home never parted from him in his solitary retirements."

Margaret was a young bride of 20 when she married 52 year old widower William Cavendish, The Duke of Newcastle.  She was a poet, philospoher and the 'only seventeenth century woman writer to publish numerous books on natural philosophy'. It appears she was a force to be reckoned with. A book has been written about her life.... 

Mad Madge: The Extraordinary Life of Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle, 
the First Woman to Live by Her Pen

Images 1-4 taken by my on a cold and balmy day in London, others via Google and Information researched on Wikipedia

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