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George Savile, Marquess of Halifax

George Savile, Marquess of Halifax is buried in the north aisle of Henry VII's chapel in Westminster Abbey in the vault first used by General George Monck. Near his grave is a large monument of white, grey and black marble which includes a full face relief portrait medallion. On the top pilasters are two owls and his coat of arms is also shown ("on a bend, three owls"). The inscription reads:

Sr GEORGE SAVILE born 11th Nov. 1633. Created by King Charles ye 2nd Baron of Eland & Viscount Halifax aftewards Earl & lastly Marquess of Halifax. He was Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal for some time in the reigns of three Kings, Charles 2, James 2, William 3. And at the beginning of the reign of King James 2 he was for a few months Lord President of the Council. He dyed on ye 5th of April 1695

He was born at Thornhill Hall in Yorkshire, a son of Sir William Savile and his wife the Hon. Anne Coventry. He attended Shrewsbury School with his brother William and was then sent abroad. In 1660 he became a Member of Parliament and in 1668 was made Baron Savile of Eland and Viscount Halifax, finally being created Marquess of Halifax. He married Lady Dorothy Spencer and had five children. He married secondly Gertrude Pierrepont and had one daughter. He had the nickname of "The Trimmer". The historian Burnet recalls that he was "a man of very great and ready wit, full of life and very pleasant; much turned to satire but with relation to the public he went backwards and forwards and changed sides so often that in conclusion no one trusted him". He died after eating an undercooked chicken. Gertrude died 1st October 1727 and was buried with him, as was their daughter Elizabeth, who married Philip Stanhope, who was buried 11th September 1708. A stone over the vault records their names.

His eldest son Henry Savile, Lord Eland married Esther de la Tour de Gouvernet but had no children. She was buried on 26th May 1694 in a vault in the north ambulatory opposite the chapel of St Paul. Her grandmother Hester Vimar and her mother Esther, Marchioness de Gouvernet (nee Hervart) were buried with her on 7th December 1697 and 10th July 1722 respectively.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Born

11th November 1633

Died

5th April 1695

Location

Lady Chapel

Memorial Type

Vault

Material Type

Marble

George Savile, Marquess of Halifax
George Savile, Maquess of Halifax

[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

George Savile, Marquess of Halifax
George Savile, Marquess of Halifax monument

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2020 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

I’ve worked here for over thirty years and have seen many of the major services - it’s strange to realise that you are in a small way part of history.

Pamela - Rector's Secretary

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