Southwark Cathedral Photo, John Gower tomb

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Southwark Cathedral photo, John Gower tomb

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This magnificently decorated memorial in the north aisle is to John Gower (d. 1408). Gower was the poet laureate to both Richard II and Henry III, and was one of the first poets to write in English. For this reason he has been dubbed 'England's first poet'. Gower lived within the precincts of the priory of St Mary Overie, near the current cathedral. He had a chantry chapel built on the north side of the nave but this no longer exists. If you look closely you can see that Gower's effigy rests his head on three books, one which he wrote in Latin, one in French, and one in English.

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