attributed to William Gandy, ? Phillip Hawkins I and Mary Scobell

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
? Phillip Hawkins I and Mary Scobell
? c.1715
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 125 cm, Overall width: 104 cm
attributed to William Gandy (c.1655-1729)
Catalogue Number


This unusual double portrait, it is suggested here, depicts the lawyer Philip Hawkins I of Pennance (d. 1737) and his wife, Mary Scobell, and may date from about 1715, the year in which Philip Hawkins bought Trewithen. The male sitter is dressed in a costume entirely consistent with a man of the law, as the still life of documents glimpsed behind the chair indicates. Philip Hawkins was responsible for establishing the family fortune.

The Parochial History of Cornwall related that, in the village of Creed, ‘is the dwelling of Philip Hawkins, Gent, attorney-at-law, who by his great pains, care, and skill in that profession, hath got himself a very great estate in those parts.’1 Philip married Mary, daughter and co-heir of Richard Scobell of Polrudden. The parliamentary seat of Grampound was controlled by her brother, Francis Scobell, who was married to Mary Tredenham.

The portrait is similar in style and technique to the portrait of Mary Hawkins (TN63), Phillip Hawkins’s daughter, as well as that of a young woman in riding dress, probably Phillip Hawkins’s daughter Jane (TN50), which suggests that they might all be by the same artist, the itinerant painter William Gandy. The female sitter in the present portrait has the same heavily lidded eyes and generic, loose costume as the female sitter in TN63, while the slabby handling and characterisation all accord with Gandy’s painting style.

by Jonny Yarker


  1. Davies Gilbert, The Parochial History of Cornwall, Founded on the Manuscript Histories of Mr Hals and Mr Tonkin, 4 vols, London, 1838, vol. 1, p. 255.


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