circle of Joseph Highmore, Robert Eden

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
Doddington Hall
Robert Eden
Ground Floor, Bottom Of Stairs & Lower Staircase To First Floor
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 74 cm, Overall width: 61 cm
circle of Joseph Highmore (1692-1780)
Catalogue Number


The clergyman and scholar Robert Eden (1701–1759) was the son-in-law of William Lowth (1660–1732) and husband of Martha Lowth. Robert Eden gained an MA at Oxford University and was ordained into the priesthood at St Paul’s Cathedral in 1726. He was appointed rector of St Swithun’s, Headbourne Worthy, Hampshire, in 1739, a position he held until his death. In 1743 he became archdeacon of Winchester, and in 1749 prebendary of Winchester and canon of Worcester. He also served as chaplain to William, fifth Earl of Coventry. Eden’s daughter, Mary, married Ebenezer Blackwell (DN46).

Eden’s liturgical publications included The necessary connexion of truth and love in matters of religion. A sermon preached in the cathedral-church of Winchester, at the visitation of the Worshipful and Reverend Dr. Hoadly, Chancellor of the Diocese of Winchester, on Tuesday, September 24, 1754. He also published in 1744 with the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, a textbook on comparative law with the impressive title, Jurisprudentia Philologica, Sive Elementa Juris Civilis, Secundum Methodum et Seriem Institutionum Justiniani, In Brevem & Facilem Ordinem Redacta, Notis Classicis, & Historicis, Nec non Parallelis Juris Anglicani Locis, Illustrata. Quibus Accessit Prooemium de Jure Civili Romanorumante Justinianum, Et de Libris Juris Civilis Romanorum per Justinianum Compositis. In Usum Juventutis Academicae.

The present bust-length portrait of Eden in clerical vestments probably dates to c.1740. The artist is unknown, but the work can be attributed to an artist in the circle of Joseph Highmore. It came to Doddington in the nineteenth century through the Jarvis family.

by Martin Postle

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