Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- Yarmouth -
- St James's Church Sir Robert Holmes Memorial -


St James's Church, The Square, Yarmouth, Isle of Wight
See map on

The Holmes memorial chapel includes a statue of Sir Robert Holmes, which was reputed to have been originally a statue of a King of France. The statue was stolen from the French and remodelled for Sir Robert Holmes, by replacing the head.

Yarmouth St James's Church Sir Robert Holmes memorial

Yarmouth St James's Church Sir Robert Holmes memorial

HENRICI HOLMES de Mallow Comitatus Corkensis in Hibernia Armigeri Fililus natu Tertius ab ineunte Adolescentia ad acquirendam armis gloriam intentus Militia Nomen dedit et sub serenissimi Regis Caroli vexillis Tyrocinia ponens contra perduelles fortiter feliciterqs pugnavit. Pari deinde aimo, Pari Iaude Navalibus se immiscuit praeliis et sub Anspiciis Cellillimi principus Ruperti egregie meruit. Cum vero videret Caulum Regiam armis ultra defendi non polse ad exteros lese principes Contulit, et in Gallia, Germania, Flandria rebus Belli pulchre geltis inclaruit. Rege Carolo 2do fauste Tandem prospereque restaurato, abeo Castelli de Sandon in vectis insula praefecturam (tanquam veteris Meriti praemuim) accepit, et subinde Militis Titulo ornatus est Anno 1666, Copiarum Navalium, que Rubris vexillis in signiuntur, legatus alter Constitutus Portum Batavum de Ulij exigua classe intravit Cumq. illic Naves centum et octoginta Concremasset in Scellingam descendit et Branderium istius Insulae primarium oppidum incendio delvit. Ob haec et alia multa praeclare acta eum Serenillimus Rex haud indebitis illius et virtui, et fiedi praemiis honoravit Insulceq. vectis ducem, et Gubernatorem durante vita naturali praefecit quinetiam Faecialium principi Mandavit ut Ipsius gentilitiis insignibus Leo Anglicus adscriberetur nec non Crista nempe Brachium Armatum e navali corona porrectum, et Tridentum gerens. Hos Honores qua arte acquisivit eadem etiam tuebatum Gir Fortillimus, nimirum bene merend, fideli semper in Reges et in Patriam Studio. Obijt An : Dom : 1692 Nov : 18

Honoratissimo Patruo infra Sepulto hoc Monumentum posuit HENRICUS HOLMES
Armiger vectis Insulae praefecti Authoritate Regia locum tenens.

Translation (by Brian Bishop, to whom I am extremely grateful)

The third son of Henry Holmes, Gentleman, from Mallow in the county of Cork in Ireland, being determined from his early youth to win glory by his feats of arms, enlisted for military service, and, undergoing his first engagements under the banners of his most serene Majesty Charles I, fought loyally and successfully against the enemies of the realm. Then, with equal zeal and equal merit, he was involved in naval engagements, and served with distinction under the protection of the most noble Prince Rupert. However, when he saw that the royal cause could no longer be defended by arms, he offered his services to foreign princes, and gained fame for his deeds in France, Germany and Flanders. When at last King Charles II had been auspiciously and successfully restored, he received from him the office of Lieutenant of Sandown Castle in the Isle of Wight (by way of reward for his previous service). And straightway in the year 1666 he was decorated with the title of Knight. Having been appointed as one of the two Admirals of the Red in charge of naval forces, he entered the Dutch harbour of Vlie with a small squadron. And, when he had set fire to a hundred and eighty ships in that place, he turned to Terschelling and destroyed with fire Brandaris, the foremost town of that island. Because of this and many other deeds, his most serene Majesty honoured him with not undeserved rewards for his courage and devotion. And he appointed him Captain and Governor of the Isle of Wight for the duration of his natural life. Moreover he instructed the Garter Principal King of Arms that the Lion of England should be added to his armorial bearings and also on the crest an armed arm brandishing a trident rising from a naval crown. This most gallant hero respected these honours with the same skill as he had obtained them, by being marvellously well deserving of them, and with loyal attention to his Monarchs and to his motherland. He died on November 18th in the year of Our Lord 1692.

Henry Holmes, Gentleman, holding the position of Governor of the Isle of Wight by royal assent, erected this memorial to his most distinguished uncle buried beneath.

Further Information

The Life of Sir Robert Holmes

page updated 22nd June 2010 (English translation added)


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