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Sir Thomas Lovell

A bronze relief medallion of Sir Thomas Lovell, Chancellor of the Exchequer, who died in 1524, is in the Westminster Abbey collection. The artist was Pietro Torrigiano and the relief probably dates from around 1518. This medallion was presented to the Abbey in 1902 by Sir J.C. Robinson, former Keeper of the Queen's Pictures and it was first hung in Henry VII's chapel near the tomb of Lady Margaret Beaufort. Lovell was executor both to Lady Margaret and her son Henry VII and superintended the erection of their tombs, both by Torrigiano. It had originally come from the gatehouse entry at East Harling, the country house which Lovell built in Norfolk. The relief bust is surrounded by the Garter ribbon and motto and the outer modern frame is decorated with Tudor roses.

Lovell was born about 1449, son of Ralph Lovell. He studied law and later joined the revolt against Richard III. In 1485 he served in Henry VII's Parliament and became Chancellor in the same year. He was rewarded with the Order of the Garter in 1500 and held various posts under Henry VIII. His wife was Isabel, daughter of Thomas, Lord Ros but they had no children. Money was left to the children of his brother Sir Robert and to Francis, son of his cousin Sir Gregory. Thomas was buried at Holywell nunnery, Shoreditch in London but his tomb there was destroyed.

The medallion is on display in the new Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries at the Abbey.

Further reading

"The bronze medallion in Henry VII chapel in Westminster Abbey" by Theodore Cook, Monthly Review xii no. 35, 1903

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

"Henry VII's new men and the making of Tudor England" by Steven Gunn, 2016, which has many references to Lovell

Occupation

Politician; philanthropist; lawyer

Location

Triforium

Memorial Type

Bust

Material Type

Bronze

Sir Thomas Lovell
Sir Thomas Lovell memorial

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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