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Richard Pecksall

In the chapel of St Edmund in Westminster Abbey is a large alabaster and marble monument to Sir Richard Pecksall (d.1571), Master of the Royal Buckhounds, a post he inherited from the Brocas family. It consists of arched recesses with columns and many small shields. A figure of Richard kneels in the centre recess flanked by kneeling figures of his two wives. Below are small kneeling figures of four daughters by his first wife. The monument was re-painted in the late 1950s. The Latin inscription can be translated:

To God and future ages. Here rests, expecting the glorious Resurrection of Christ, Richard Pecksall Knight, excellent in his religion and probity; he married first Alianor, daughter of William Paulet, Marquess of Winchester, and Lord Treasurer of England, who bore him four daughters. His second wife was Alianor, daughter of John Cotgrave, and after his death married to Sir John Savage Knight of the county of Chester; who out of respectful regard towards her dear husband, and in perpetual memory of their marriage faith, hath, at his charge, freely and willingly erected this monument.

Below his two wives are Latin verses, translated as “Death cannot disjoin whom Christ hath joined in love. Life leads to death, and death to life above”. There were originally other lines on the base of the monument “In Heaven is a happier place, frail things despise. Live well, to gain of future life the prize”.

The main coat of arms shows “argent on a cross formy fleury engrailed sable between four Cornish choughs [birds] proper, a mullet or, for difference” (for Pecksall) impaling "sable a lion rampant guardant or, langued gules", with a motto and the crest of a Triton’s head. The shield above the figure of his first wife (who wears a pink costume) is "sable three swords in point, proper" (for Paulet) impaling "gules a lion rampant between three cross crosslets fitchee or" (for Capel). Her mother was Elizabeth daughter of William Capel. The shield above the figure of his second wife shows "gules a fess dancette ermine between three bugle horns, stringed or" (for Cotgrave) impaling "four ermine in cross, a crescent for difference".

According to a short article by his great grandson Thomas Brocas, printed in a 1713 book on the Abbey, Sir Richard was a son of Ralph Pexall or Pecksall (?d.1538) by Edith daughter of William Brocas of Beaurepaire in Hampshire. Richard’s eldest daughter Anne married Bernard Brocas of Horton Hall in Buckinghamshire and had a son Sir Pexall Brocas. (There is a monument to an earlier Sir Bernard Brocas (d.1395) adjoining the Pecksall monument).

Location

Chapel of St Edmund

Memorial Type

Statue

Material Type

Marble; alabaster

Richard Pecksall
RIchard Pecksall monument

© The Dean and Chapter of Westminster

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

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