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Godfrey Robarts Pearse

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Sir Godfrey Robarts Pearse[1] (August 1848, Watford, England – 25 October 1926[2], Kempsey, Worcestershire, England), known as Sir Godfrey or Lord Pearse, was a fencing sportsman and business broker. He was a partner and stockbroker of the London firm Govett, Pearse & Co.,[3] which later became Govett Sons & Co.[4]

Early life[edit]

Sir Godfrey[5] was a member of a prominent British family descended from the Baron Robartes, the son of Lord Charles John Robartes Pearse and Georgiana Davis Healtely. He was born under the Christian names of Henry-Godfrey[6] and eventually changed his legal name to Godfrey.

Upon the first graduation, he followed the Royal Military Academy distinguishing himself in fencing.


He participated in a few overseas military campaigns before studying business brokerage at the London School of Economics and obtaining his license in the City of London. His many entrepreneurial initiatives took him to visit business concessions in India and the West Indies; he became one of the main partners the London firm Govett, Pearse & Co.

Personal life[edit]

Godfrey had a good reputation among his peers and London society, his good looks making him attractive to both women and men, what at times supported the rumors of his bisexuality since it was known that as a young officer he entertained the company of ladies as well as young men.

Though his family introduced Godfrey to an equally charming young lady at an opera event at Charing Cross, soon after he was engaged. On 29 February 1872, he married his first wife, Lady Cecilia Maria de Candia at St Paul's Cathedral, Wilton Grove, in the City of London. The marriage, civil union, and registry had taken place at St. George's, Hanover Square, London a month prior to the religious ceremony in January 1872. The couple lived at his wife's family country manor in Fulham, London Borough, and some seasons in Brighton. The couple did not produce descendants.[7] They entertained the company of relatives and friends, while Godfrey acted as mentor to many young gentlemen in fencing. The couple enjoyed a balanced international life, spending seasons in Paris, at Cecilia's sister's home, and also in Italy at the family residences. They were good friends and correspondents of the famous Scottish painter James McNeill Whistler.

Upon divorcing Lady Cecilia for incidents related to his infidelity issues with younger men, in 1891 he married in London his second wife, Alice Flavie Blanche Faucon, daughter of the industrialist Daniel Theodore Faucon. The couple retired at the Faucons' family "petit-chateau" in the South of France. On a visiting trip to England in 1926, Godfrey died of a cardiac arrest caused by a severe asthma attack while staying at a country-home in Kempsey; his inheritance and last testament were administered by his nephew, Wilfred Stephenson.[8]


Besides his fencing championship success and international business brokerage, during the last period of his life, Godfrey became involved with his wife's writing career contributing to research and merchant of her books launching. Among his most notorious research contributions are recorded in the book "The Romance of a Great Singer" by his wife signing as Mrs. Godfrey Pearse & Frank Hird, published by Smith, Elder, & Co. of London, and his writing work of sports articles and research contribution to the fencing editions of the British Company of Fencing Masters.[9]


  1. Birth Records, London UK | http://www.genealogy.com/ftm/s/c/o/Frank-Scottpearse-On/WEBSITE-0001/UHP-0026.html
  2. Certified Copy of Entry of Death,Upton on Severn,Co. of Worcester, Entry 303, dated 1 Nov.1926, Godfrey Robarts Pearse died 25 Oct. 1926 aged 78, at Draycott House, Kempsey, of Bronchial asthma /cardiac arrest. Informant Edith D. Scott, niece, Draycott House, in attendance. UK Records, London UK
  3. Govett, Pearse & Co., Govett Investments Ltd., record by the Bank of England Regulatory Authotity, London UK, | https://register.fca.org.uk/ShPo_FirmDetailsPage?id=001b000000MfFGVAA3
  4. https://books.google.ca/books?id=GmAevbkLgDIC&pg=PA345&lpg=PA345&dq=Govett+Sons+%26+Co&source=bl&ots=72Xji2Fgq1&sig=ROOrt0KmjR4eGE64IG2X_ZYitUU&hl=en&ei=KrjaTMWMKtPsnge7ouTeAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Govett%20Sons%20%26%20Co&f=false
  5. UK census 1881, from http://www.familysearch.org (accessed 2004); Jopling, Louise, Twenty Years of my Life, 1867 to 1887, London, 1925; Mrs Pearse, The Enchanted Past, London, 1926.
  6. Baptism Records of St. Mary's, Watford, Herts: baptism of Henry Robarts, August 16, 1848, UK
  7. The London Times, reported an action in Queen's Bench Court on Tuesday, May 25, 1886; page 4; issue 31768, against Sr. Godfrey Pearse.
  8. Last Will and Testament of Godfray(sic) Robarts Pearse, Probated 22 Dec.1926, Executor-Wilfred Stephenson 20 Elm Park Gardens,London SW.Details of dispostion of assetts to family and others. Recorded in Court, London UK
  9. "The London Académie d’Armes" by Berry, Herbert. The Noble Science: A Study and Transcription of Sloane Ms. 2530, Papers of the Masters of Defence of London, Temp Henry VIII to 1590. London and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1991. ISBN 0-87413-441-2 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png..

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