Richard Deane
Burial Date: 24 Jun, 1653
Field: Soldier; sailor
Location in the Abbey: Lady chapel, St Margaret's Church
Type of memorial: Tablet

The body of Richard Deane, army and naval officer, was buried in a vault in Henry VII's chapel in Westminster Abbey on 24 June 1653. But when Charles II was restored to the throne he issued a Royal Warrant, dated 9 September 1661, for the disinterment of the bodies of Oliver Cromwell, his family and supporters. So Deane's body was buried in a pit in the adjoining churchyard of St Margaret's Westminster.

In the 19th century a stone over the vault in the Abbey (in what is now the RAF chapel) was inscribed with the names and dates of death of all those who were once buried there including Deane.

Inscription at St Margaret's Church

In 1966 a memorial inscription was cut into the west wall of the exterior of St Margaret's to record all those re-buried there. This reads:

"This tablet is erected by the Cromwell Association to the memory of the undermentioned whose remains were distinterred from Westminster Abbey at the time of the restoration of King Charles II and were in September 1661 buried in this churchyard of St Margaret's: Colonel Robert Blake, Denis Bond, Colonel Nicholas Boscawen, Mary Bradshaw, Sir William Constable, Elizabeth mother of Oliver Cromwell, Colonel Richard Deane, Jane Desborough, Dr Isaac Dorislaus, Anne Fleetwood, Thomas Hesilrige, Colonel Humphrey Mackworth, Stephen Marshall, Thomas May, Colonel John Meldrum, Colonel Edward Popham, John Pym, Humphrey Salwey, William Strong, William Stroud, Dr William Twiss".

Life

Richard was born at Guiting Power in Gloucestershire and baptised on 8 July 1610, a son of Edward Deane and his second wife Ann (Wass). Through his mother's family he was related to Oliver Cromwell, whom he later served during the English Civil War. He was probably present at the battle of Edgehill and commanded artillery at Naseby and took part in many other engagements with the Royalists. On 21 May 1647 in the Temple Church in London he married Mary Grymesditch and their children were Mary and Hannah. At the trial of Charles I he played an active part and in 1649 was made a general at sea. He was killed by a cannonball while fighting against the Dutch fleet on 3 June 1653. His body lay in state at Greenwich and he had a public funeral at the Abbey. His widow married Colonel Edward Salmon.

A photocopy of the engraving of Deane can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further Reading

Life of Richard Deane by Rev.J.B.Deane, 1870

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

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