Marble pedestal tomb with leaded lettering, c.1846.
Reason for Listing
The monument to Admiral Sir Robert Waller Otway is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: commemorates a celebrated naval officer of the early C19.
* Design interest: a large and imposing Gothic monument.
* Group value: with other listed monuments in the Grade I registered Kensal Green Cemetery.
Robert Waller Otway (1770-1846) was a highly successful and much admired British naval commander during and after the Napoleonic wars. During six years as captain of various vessels in the West Indies he was said to have captured or destroyed 200 enemy privateers and merchantmen. He commanded the flagship Royal George at the battle of Copenhagen in 1801, and took part in numerous actions in the Mediterranean, the Channel and the Bay of Biscay. Among other appointments, he was British commander-in-chief in South America from 1826. He was made a baronet in 1831, a full admiral in 1841 and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in 1845.
The Cemetery of All Souls at Kensal Green was the earliest of the large privately-run cemeteries established on the fringes of London to relieve pressure on overcrowded urban churchyards. Its founder George Frederick Carden intended it as an English counterpart to the great Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, which he had visited in 1821. In 1830, with the financial backing of the banker Sir John Dean Paul, Carden established the General Cemetery Company, and two years later an Act of Parliament was obtained to develop a 55-acre site at Kensal Green, then among open fields to the west of the metropolis. An architectural competition was held, but the winning entry – a Gothic scheme by HE Kendall – fell foul of Sir John's classicising tastes, and the surveyor John Griffith of Finsbury was eventually employed both to lay out the grounds and to design the Greek Revival chapels, entrance arch and catacombs, which were built between 1834 and 1837. A sequence of royal burials, beginning in 1843 with that of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, ensured the cemetery’s popularity. It is still administered by the General Cemetery Company, assisted since 1989 by the Friends of Kensal Green.
A very large square Gothic pedestal tomb, in three stages with sloping off-sets, placed diagonally on a square pavement and surmounted by a foliate cross on an octagonal base. The lower stage has four engaged corner piers with trefoil panels. The main inscription describes Otway as having ‘served sixty-two years in the English navy with perseverance and in fulfilment of the duties due to his sovereign and country’, and alludes to his ‘great professional deeds’ and ‘constant flow of parental and Christian kindness’. On the stage below is inscribed a text from John 6:37: ‘All that the father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.’ Other inscriptions commemorate Otway’s wife Clementina (d.1851) and their daughter Clementina Matilda (d.1877).
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.