Richard Steward
Field: Priest; dean

Richard Steward was nominated Dean of Westminster in 1645 but he followed the future Charles II into exile during the English Civil War so was never installed. An oil painting of him, probably copied from that by Adriaen Hanneman, was purchased by the Abbey in 1954 and hangs in the Deanery.

He was a son of Nicholas Steward of Northamptonshire and his first wife Anne (Madox) and was baptised on 3 August 1595. He had a brother George. Some sources say he was educated at Westminster School but he does not appear in their lists. Later he was a Fellow of All Souls college Oxford and held several posts including prebendary of Worcester cathedral, Canon of Salisbury, Dean of Chichester, prebendary of St Paul's cathedral and Dean of the Chapel Royal. He also was Clerk of the Closet and Chaplain in Ordinary to the King. His wife was Jane, daughter of Sir William Button, and they had two sons - Charles died in 1698. Richard died in Paris on 14 November 1656 and was buried in the Protestant cemetery at St Germain des Pres. He has no memorial in the Abbey.

A photo of the Abbey portrait can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further reading:

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004.

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