PECHELL, Sir Samuel John Brooke, third baronet (1785–1849), naval officer and politician. Autograph letter signed John Brooke Pechell to an unnamed correspondent on Navy Board, 8vo mourning paper, on 2 sides plus integral blank, 18 December 1826, address indistinct, informing his correspondent that he has "been obliged to take the surname of Brooke in addition to Pechell and that the sign manual granted to my Father authorises me to do so" and wishing to know if his letter is sufficient for the purposes of the Navy Board and notice in the Navy List. Docketed in another hand 'All done forwd Dec 20'.
Samuel John Brooke Pechell was born on 1 September 1785 in Ireland, the eldest son of Major-General Sir Thomas Brooke Pechell, second baronet, and his wife, Charlotte. After entering the navy in 1796 Pechell served 30 very active years at sea, returning home aboard HMS Sibylle in November 1826. His father had died that same year whereupon he succeeded to the baronetcy and took the additional surname of Brooke, in conformity with the will of his grandmother, the only daughter and heir of Thomas Brooke of Paglesham in Essex. He spent no further service at sea, but from 1830 to 1834, and again from 1839 to 1841, was a lord of the Admiralty. He was in parliament as member for Hallestone in 1830, and for Windsor in 1833. He attained the rank of rear-admiral in 1846, and died in 1849.
Pechell was one of the few officers of his time to recognize the immense importance of speed and precision in the aiming and firing of guns. Following the plan of Captain Philip Broke in the Shannon, he carried out, when in command of the San Domingo, systematic exercise and target practice, by which he obtained results then considered remarkable. In the Sybille he followed a similar method, again with results far superior to anything before known. A royal favourite and a wealthy man, Pechell was one of the architects of the professional navy of the later nineteenth century. (ODNB)