Pestel(l), Thomas


b ?Leicester 1584/5, d Leicester 1667 (1659?). Queen’s Coll Cambridge; he was then ordained and became Rector of Packington, nr Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leics, until handing over to his son, with whom (unusually) he worked as his curate. He became chaplain to the Earl of Essex and later to the king. In 1638 and also later some of his sermons were published. But in 1646 the Pestels were both charged with ‘observing ceremonies’ and removed by the Westminster Assembly. He was imprisoned several times for ecclesiastical offences. When his goods and cattle were stolen, he lived largely on the generosity of his friends. In 1659 he published Sermons and Devotions, Old and New, which contained his hymns, one of which has became a minor classic. The title page continues: ‘Revived and publisht as an obligation of gratitude to all such of the nobility, gentry and clergy as retain the noble conscience of having ministered to the weak condition of the Author, now aged 73…by Thomas Pestel, the meanest among his late Majesties Chaplains in Ordinary’. The date of his death remains uncertain; James Mearns in Julian tentatively places it soon after this publication. No.355.

Hymns and songs by Pestel(l), Thomas

Number Hymn Name
355 Behold, the great Creator makes