Daniel Pulteney

In the south cloister of Westminster Abbey is a monument to politician Daniel Pulteney. His effigy reclines on a sarcophagus in classical robes and he holds a book on his right knee. The sculptor was James Leoni and the figure is by Michael Rysbrack. The Abbey burial book shows that his body was moved to a grave in front of the monument and his wife Margaret and daughter Frances also lie with him but the gravestone is not inscribed. The inscription on the monument reads.

Reader; if thou art a Briton, behold this tomb with reverence and regret; here lye the remains of DANIEL PULTENEY: the kindest relation, the truest friend, the warmest patriot, the worthiest man: he exercised virtues in this age, sufficient to have distinguished him even in the best. Sagacious by nature, industrious by habit, inquisitive with art, he gained a compleat knowledge of the interests of Britain, foreign and domestick, in most, the backward fruit of tedious experience; in him, the early acquisition of undissipated youth. He served the Crown several years, abroad, in the auspicious reign of Queen Ann, at home, in the reign of that excellent Prince King George the first. He served his country always, at the Court independent, in the Senate unbiased, at every age, and in every station, this was the bent of his generous soul, this the business of his laborious life. Publick men, and publick things, he judged by one constant standard, the true interest of Britain; he made no other distinction of party, he abhorred all other. Gentle, humane, disinterested, beneficient, he created no enemies on his own account: firm, determined, inflexible, he feared none he could create in the cause of Britain. Reader, in this misfortune of thy country, lament thy own, for know, the loss of so much private virtue is a public calamity.

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This monument and various mural tablets in these cloisters were restored by Dr Nathaniel Rogers, who resided in Westminster from AD 1858 to 1866. And who also placed a coloured window bearing his name in Poets' Corner.

The unpainted coat of arms shows "a fess dancette, in chief three leopards faces, a crescent for difference" for Pulteney, impaling "vair, a chief".

Daniel was the son of John Pulteney and his wife Lucy (Colville) and was baptised in 1682 at St Martin in the Fields church in London. His grandfather was Sir William Pulteney and his first cousin was William, Earl of Bath. Educated at Westminster School and Christ Church Oxford he later toured abroad and became envoy extraordinary to Denmark and a commissioner of trade in France. In 1717 he married Margaret Tichbourne (died 22nd April 1763 aged 64). He served as a Member of Parliament.

Of their several children only Frances (buried 8th June 1782) reached maturity and married William Johnstone, politician, who took the surname Pulteney.

Daniel died on 7th September 1731 and was first buried at St James church Westminster and moved to the south cloister on 17th May 1732.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

History of Parliament online

Died

7th September 1731

Buried

17th May 1732

Occupation

Politician

Location

Cloisters; South Cloister

Memorial Type

Grave; statue

Material Type

Marble

Daniel Pulteney
Daniel Pulteney statue

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2021 Dean and Chapter of Westminster