Sir Robert Peel

In the north transept of Westminster Abbey is a white marble statue to Sir Robert Peel, Prime Minister 1834-1835 and 1841-1846. The over life-size figure is by John Gibson. The inscription reads:

Robert Peel Born Feb. 5. 1788 Died July 2. 1850

The repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 was the marked feature of his last administration, though he is best known today for the reorganisation of the London Police force. The early members of this force were called Peelers, after him.

He was born at Bury in Lancashire, one of eleven children of Sir Robert Peel, 1st Baronet (died 1830) and his first wife Ellen Yates. His father was a Member of Parliament and moved his family down to London and bought Drayton Manor. Robert junior was educated at Harrow School and Christ Church Oxford. In 1809 he became an MP, being Irish Secretary for seven years. On 8th June 1820 he married Julia Floyd and had seven children: Julia, Robert, Frederick, William, John, Arthur and Eliza. In 1822 he was made Home Secretary. He died after falling from his horse and was buried at his own wish beside his parents at Drayton Bassett. His wife died in 1859 and was buried with him.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004


5th February 1788


2nd July 1850




North Transept

Memorial Type


Material Type


Sir Robert Peel
Sir Robert Peel

[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sir Robert Peel
Sir Robert Peel statue

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2024 Dean and Chapter of Westminster