caption

Jonathan Richardson the Elder, Philip Hawkins II

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)

Details

Country House
Trewithen
Title(s)
Philip Hawkins II
Date
c.1720
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Overall height: 74 cm, Overall width: 62 cm
Artist
Jonathan Richardson the Elder (1667-1745)
Catalogue Number
TN32

Description

The portrait depicts Philip Hawkins II of Pennance (? 1700–1738). Hawkins was the son of an attorney, also Philip (d. 1737), and Mary, daughter of Richard Scobell of Menagwins. He was educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge and in 1728 married Elizabeth Ludlow, daughter of a London wine merchant. Hawkins ‘by his great pains, care and skill in that profession . . . got himself a very great estate’, becoming the wealthiest lawyer in Cornwall.1 Hawkins purchased Trewithen in 1728 for £2700. He was the MP for Grampound from 1727 until his death, voting consistently with the Opposition, though he and his brother John (d. 1736), formerly master of Pembroke College, Cambridge collaborated with the agents of the government in the elections of 1727 and 1734.

Philip Hawkins II died on 30 August 1738. To his ‘dear wife’ he bequeathed ‘her Paraphernalia’, which included ‘Chariot and harnesses in London. Plate and China in Cornwall and London’. She was also given tithes to various properties, and an annuity for life of £600, as well as the ‘liberty of remaining in Trewithen House’ for three months after his death ‘with the use of cellars and provisions’. He was generous in other ways, leaving £50 to his former seamstress, ‘now greatly reduced in circumstances’, and £50 to his washerwoman ‘who hath been and [sic] old servant in our family’. To the Commissioners of Customs he awarded £600 as compensation for the smuggling that he had carried out, since smuggling, he noted, was ‘not only prejudicial to the Crown but likewise destructive of the Trade of this Kingdom’.2

Jonathan Richardson (1665–1745) was a pupil of John Riley and a teacher of Thomas Hudson (who married his daughter). As well as being a fashionable portrait painter, Richardson published writings on art theory and criticism including An Essay on the Theory of Painting (1715), and amassed a large collection of old-master drawings. Judging by the apparent age of the sitter, this portrait has been dated to about 1720, which relates to the types of feigned oval portraits the artist was painting at the time (fig. 1). Indeed, it is quite possible that the present portrait was painted originally on a rectangular canvas with the figure contained within a feigned oval.

Oil on canvas, 75 x 61.5 cm. Lydiard House, Wiltshire (Lyd1992/033).

Figure 1.
Jonathan Richardson the elder, Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke, Baron St John of Lydiard Tregoze, Oil on canvas, 75 x 61.5 cm. Lydiard House, Wiltshire (Lyd1992/033).


Digital image courtesy of Lydiard House, Wiltshire. (All rights reserved)

The inventory of March 1928, which located the picture in the Dining Room, described it as ‘Portrait of a gentleman, XVIII Century, full wig, light brown coat, cream vest, lace cuff and cravat – oval – 30in by 24in – framed in wall’.

by Emily Burns

Footnotes

  1. http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1715-1754/member/hawkins-philip-1700-38 (accessed 15 October 2017).

    1
  2. CRO CY/872: Will of Phil. Hawkins, esq. (copy).

    2

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