Pechell, George Richard Brooke (DNB00)

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PECHELL, Sir GEORGE RICHARD BROOKE (1789–1860), vice-admiral, born on 30 June 1789, son of Sir Thomas Brooke Pechell, bart., and younger brother of Sir Samuel John Brooke Pechell [q. v.], entered the navy in 1803, served in the Triumph in the fleet off Toulon under Lord Nelson in 1804, and afterwards in the Medusa, at the capture of the Spanish treasure-ships off Cape St. Mary on 5 Oct. [see Gore, Sir John; Moore, Sir Graham]. In 1806 he was in the Revenge off Brest and Rochfort, and in 1809 in the Barfleur in the Tagus. On 25 June 1810 he was promoted to be lieute- nant of the Cæsar, from which he was moved in 1811 to the Macedonian, and in 1812 to the San Domingo, commanded by his brother, and carrying the flag of his uncle, Sir John Borlase Warren [q. v.], on the North American station. By Warren he was appointed to the acting command of the Colibri brig, and afterwards of the Recruit, in both of which he cruised with some success on the coast of North America. On 30 May 1814 he was promoted to the rank of commander, and in May 1818 commissioned the Bellette for the Halifax station, where he was employed in enforcing the treaty stipulations as to the fisheries. In October 1820 he was appointed by Rear-admiral Griffith to the command of the Tamar frigate, which, being very sickly, had come north from Jamaica, and had lost her captain and a large proportion of her officers and men. The commander-in-chief on the Jamaica station, however, claimed the vacancy, and the matter being referred to the admiralty, all the promotions were disallowed, and Pechell returned to the Bellette. While in the Tamar he had obtained the authority of the Haytian government for putting a stop to piracy committed by vessels pretending to be Haytian, and for searching all suspected vessels. He accordingly captured a large brigantine, with a crew of ninety-eight men, and forged commissions from the different independent states of South America. On 26 Dec. 1822 Pechell was advanced to post rank. In July 1830 he was nominated gentleman-usher of the privy chamber, and in April 1831 equerry to Queen Adelaide. In 1835 he was returned to parliament as member for Brighton, which he continued to represent in the whig interest during his life, taking an active part in public affairs, and especially in all questions relating to the navy, the mercantile marine, or the fisheries. On the death of his brother on 3 Nov. 1849 he succeeded to the baronetcy, and took the additional surname of Brooke; he became a rear-admiral on the retired list on 17 Dec. 1852, and vice-admiral on 5 Jan. 1858. He died at his house in Hill Street, Berkeley Square, on 29 June 1860. He married, in 1826, Katharine Annabella, daughter and coheiress of the twelfth Lord de la Zouche, by whom he had issue a son and two daughters. The son having predeceased him, the baronetcy passed to his cousin.

[O'Byrne's Naval Biogr. Dict.; Times, 30 June 1860.]

J. K. L.