circle of Thomas Gibson, The Rev. John Hawkins II, Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
The Rev. John Hawkins II, Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 174 cm, Overall width: 113 cm
circle of Thomas Gibson (1680-1751)
Catalogue Number


John Hawkins (1691–1736) was the son of Philip Hawkins I and his wife, Mary Scobell. He married Rachel Rashleigh of Menabilly (1697–1767) on 4 November 1718. They had no children. Hawkins matriculated at Pembroke College in 1709, took his BA in 1712 and was made doctor of divinity in 1728, becoming master the same year. He resigned in 1733 and died three years later. Hawkins had family connections to the college, Philip Hawkins’s brother, Reginald Hawkins of Pennans, being president of Pembroke during the mastership of Benjamin Lany. John Hawkins’s mastership was nominal and he made over to the college his salary, while Richard Crossinge, as president, ran the college. The present portrait seems likely to have celebrated Hawkins’s position at Pembroke. He is shown seated in doctoral robes, holding a large Latin text, which is so far unidentified. The portrait is compositionally close to a number of academic portraits completed by the London-based portraitist Thomas Gibson.

In the inventory of March 1928 the portrait was recorded in a display in the ‘Main Corridor, Landing and Staircase to Ground Floor’, where it was described as ‘Three-quarter length of Rev. John Hawkins 1692–1736, wearing robe holding Testament – 6ft 6in by 4ft’.

by Jonny Yarker

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