Alan Don

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The Very Revd
Alan Don
Dean of Westminster
Church Westminster Abbey
In office 1946-1959
Predecessor Paul de Labilliere
Successor Eric Abbott
Other posts Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons (1936–1946)
Chaplain and Secretary to the Archbishop of Canterbury (1931–1941)
Provost of St Paul's Cathedral, Dundee (1921–1931)
Ordination 1917
Personal details
Born 1885
Dundee, UK
Died 1966 (aged 80–81)
Nationality British (Scottish)
Denomination Anglican
Spouse Muriel Gwenda McConnel
Alma mater Magdalen College, Oxford

Alan Campbell Don KCVO (3 January 1885 – 3 May 1966) was a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, editor of the Scottish Book of Common Prayer,[1] chaplain and secretary to Cosmo Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury, from 1931 to 1941, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons from 1936 to 1946 and Dean of Westminster from 1946 to 1959.

Early life and ordained ministry

Born into a manufacturing Dundee family,[2] the son of Robert Bogle Don and Lucy Flora Campbell, he was educated at Rugby and Magdalen College, Oxford. Deciding the family business was not for him,[3] studied for ordination at Cuddesdon College before becoming a curate in Redcar followed by an incumbency in Yorkshire.

There then followed a 10-year period as provost of the cathedral in his native city. From 1931 until 1941 he was secretary to Cosmo Gordon Lang and became a chaplain to King George V.[4] Already the speaker’s chaplain[5] in 1941 he became a canon of Westminster Abbey as rector of St. Margaret's, Westminster, the parish church of the Houses of Parliament.

Dean of Westminster

This was followed in 1946[6] by elevation to the post of Dean of Westminster,[7] a post he was to hold for 13 years-a period which included the Queen's Coronation [8]


He retired to Canterbury where, although he was married,[9] he and his wife met only once a week for lunch.[10] He died on 3 May 1966.[11]


  1. London, SPCK 1929
  2. The Times, Wednesday, 4 May 1966; p. 14; Issue 56622; col F Dr. Alan Don Former Dean Of Westminster
  3. “Who was Who” 1897-1990 London, A & C Black, 1991 ISBN 0-7136-3457-X
  4. The Times, Saturday, 27 October 1934; p. 15; Issue 46896; col E Chaplain to the King-new appointments
  5. The Times, Friday, 21 February 1936; p. 14; Issue 47304; col G Speaker's Chaplain
  6. The Times, Thursday, May 16, 1946; pg. 4; Issue 50453; col F The Deanery Of Westminster Canon A. C. Don Appointed
  7. Lambeth Palace Library “Westminster Abbey. Order of service for the installation of the Reverend Alan Campbell Don, D.D., as dean of the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter, on Thursday, June 6th, 1946” Catalogue number G199 37.04
  8. The Times, Monday, Jun 01, 1953; pg. 15; Issue 52636; col A The Coronation 1953
  9. To Muriel née McConnell, from 1914 until her death in 1963-”Who was who (Ibid)
  10. Vickers, Hugo (2006). Elizabeth: The Queen Mother. London: Arrow Books/Random House. ISBN 0-09-947662-2
  11. Lambeth Palace Library Westminster Abbey. Alan Campbell Don KCVO DD, dean of Westminster 1946-1959. Wednesday, 1 June 1966, 12 noon H5199.D6C4