Unknown Artist, George Ralph Payne Jarvis

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
Doddington Hall
George Ralph Payne Jarvis
? c.1815–20
Upper Staircase From Ground Floor
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 75 cm, Overall width: 62 cm
Unknown Artist
Catalogue Number


The portrait depicts George Ralph Payne Jarvis (1774–1851). Jarvis was the youngest of twenty-one children of the Antiguan plantation owner Thomas Jarvis (1722–1785) and his wife Rachel Thibou. Jarvis, who grew up in Antigua, arrived in England at the age of twenty-one. He entered the army as ensign in 1792, and became a major in 1810, having served in the 36th Foot Regiment in the Peninsula War, 1808–9. In 1819 he had attained the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1802 he married, first, Philadelphia, third daughter of Ebenezer Blackwell (see DN46) and Mary Eden, and second, in 1830, Frances, daughter of the Reverend John Sturges and Margaret Lowth (apparently the aunt of his first wife). With his first wife Jarvis had five sons and two daughters. While in the armed services Jarvis was commandant of Dover Castle, and subsequently manager of the Fector Bank, Dover. On his retirement from the bank in 1823 Jarvis moved away from Dover. By the 1840s he was magistrate and deputy lieutenant for Lincolnshire. It was perhaps in Dover that Jarvis first befriended Mrs Sarah Gunman. On Mrs Gunman’s death in 1825 he inherited her estates, including Doddington Hall, as well as the estates that had belonged to her husband, James Gunman.1

The present portrait is dated here to around 1815–20, on the presumed age of the sitter at the time. The artist is unknown.

by Martin Postle


  1. For further archival information see the will of George Ralph Payne Jarvis of Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire, NA PROB 11/2136/148; Jarvis Family Papers, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, 1979.M-1849, (accessed 10 October 2017).


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