Memorial: M1050

Wall monument in Portsmouth Cathedral commemorating Lord High Admiral George Villiers, First Duke of Buckingham RN d. 1628


Cathedral of St Thomas of Canterbury, Portsmouth, England


'GEORGIO VILARIO BUCKINHAM DVCI / QVI MAIIORIBVS VTRIQ. CLARISSIMIS ORIVNDVS: PATRE / GEORGIO VIILERIO DE BROOKSBY IN COMTI: LEICESTR: /MILIT: MATRE MARIA BEAUMONT BVCKINGH: COMITISSE / CVNCTIS NATVRAE FORTVNEQ DOTIBIS / INSIGNIS DVORV PRVDENTISSIMORV PRINCIPVM GRATIA SVISQ MERITIS / VOTA SVORVM SVPERGRESS. RERVM GERENDARV MOLI / PAR SOLI INVIDIAE IMPAR. DVM / EXERCITVS / ITERV IN HOSTE / PARAT HOC IN OPIDO CAEDIS IMANISS: FATALI ARENA / NOVO CRVORIS ET LACHRIMAR INVNDANTE OCEANO / NEFERIA PERDITISSIMI SICARII MANV. / PERCVSSVS OCCVBVIT ANO: DNI: MDCXXVIII: MENSE AVG: DIE XXIII / VIRO AD OMNIA QVAE MAXIMA ESSENT NATO EIVSQ. / SUSANNA SOROR DENBIGHIAE COMITISSA / CVM LACHRIMIS ET LVCTV PERPETVO P: / ANO: DNI: MDCXXXI / TV VIATOR SI QVA TIBI PIETATIS VISCERA TAM INDIGNV / TANTI VIRI CASVM INDIGNABVNDVS GEME / ET VALE.' [Translation] To George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, a man sprung from most famous stock, his father being George Villiers, knight, of Brooksby in the County of Leicester and his mother Mary Beaumont countess of Buckingham. He was distinguished in all endowments of nature and fortune, through the favour of two most prudent princes. By his own merits he surpassed the promise of his own gifts, proving equal to the weight of state affairs and unequal only to envy and jealousy. While he was preparing armies a second time against the enemy, in this very town, fatal theatre of monstrous murder, where a new ocean overflows of blood and tears, he was struck down by the impious hand of a most accursed assassin on the twenty-third day of August in the year of our Lord 1628. To such a man, born to everything of greatest worth, Susanna his sister, countess of Denbigh, in tears and everlasting grief, erected this monument in the year 1631. His bowls, together with hers, are buried here. You, traveller, if you have any bowels of pity, groan with indignation at such unworthy fate of so great a man, and so depart.


Description: Inscription tablet flanked by two allegorical figures-fame holding a trumpet, the other figure holds a heart. At the base of the monument, a skull. Above, an urn in a recess with panels of military trophies on either side. At the top, a pediment on which sit two putti with trumpets, Buckingham's arms in the centre.
Type: Wall monument
Position: South choir aisle
Materials: Marble
Artists: Hubert Le Sueur


Villiers, George
Age: 35
Date of Death: 23/8/1628
Cause of Death: Murdered
Rank / Occupation: Lord High Admiral
Organisation: Royal Navy


Notes: 1st Duke of Buckingham. The monument was originally at the East end of the chancel. It was moved in 1848. The bowels are buried here, the rest of his body in Westminster Abbey.

Bibliography: Nickolaus Pevsner and David Lloyd 'Buildings of England: Hampshire and Isle of Wight' (London, 1996) p. 404; Adam White 'A biographical dictionary of London tomb sculptors', 'Sixty first volume of the Walpole Society' (1999); Nigel Llewellyn 'Funeral monuments in post-reformation England' (Cambridge University Press, 2000) p. 46.

Recorder: B. Tomlinson
Photographer: B. Tomlinson