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Sir Joseph Ashe, 1st Bt (1617-1686)

Sir Peter Lely (Soest 1618 – London 1680) and Studio

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

circa 1660 - 1665

Materials

Oil on canvas

Measurements

1470 x 1000 mm

Order this image

Collection

Felbrigg, Norfolk (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk, East of England, National Trust

NT 1401171

Caption

The sitter's two eldest daughters, Katherine (1652-1729) and Mary (1653-85), married William I Windham and Horatio, 1st Viscount Townshend, respectively. Sir Joseph was a wealthy merchant trading with Flanders, whose financial aid to the Royalist cause earned him a baronetcy at the Restoration. He put together a large estate in Twickenham, later named (after a subsequent owner), Cambridge Park.

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, Sir Joseph Ashe, 1st Bt (1617-1686) by Sir Peter Lely (Soest 1618 – London 1680) and Studio, circa 1660/65. A three-quarter-length portrait of a young man, standing turned to the left, gazing at the spectator, wearing a breast plate with lace cravat and a slate-violet scarf, brown coat and breeches, background of rocks and trees. Sir Joseph Ashe was the son of James Ashe, a Somerset clothier. He was a wealthy merchant trading with Flanders, whose financial aid to the Royalist cause was recognised with a baronetcy at the Restoration, and who enabled the Duchess of Newcastle to leave Antwerp by lending her the money to pay off the Duke's debts. He acquired and added to a substantial estate in Twickenham (cf. Maureen Bunch, Cambridge Park, Twickenham, and its owners, 1616-1835, Oct. 1989, pp.8-15). He was president of the East India Company in 1684-5. He married Mary Wilson, the daughter of a London draper, by whom he had two sons and seven daughters. His eldest daughter Katherine (1652-1729) married William Windham I of Felbrigg in 1669, whilst his second daughter, Mary (1653-85) married Sir Horatio, 1st Viscount Townshend in 1673. His second son and heir, Sir James Ashe, 2nd Bt. (1674-1733), whose marriage with Catherine Bowyer turned out ill, and whose only son predeceased him, had a surviving daughter and heir Martha, who married Joseph, the seventh son of William Windham I, and inherited and squandered his estates.

Full description

Son of James Ashe, a Somerset clothier. He was a wealthy merchant trading with Flanders, whose financial aid to the Royalist cause was recognised with a baronetcy at the Restoration, and who enabled the Duchess of Newcastle to leave Antwerp by lending her the money to pay off the Duke's debts. He acquired and added to a substantial estate in Twickenham (cf. Maureen Bunch, Cambridge Park, Twickenham, and its owners, 1616-1835, Oct. 1989, pp.8-15). He was president of the East India Company in 1684-5. He married Mary Wilson, the daughter of a London draper, by whom he had two sons and seven daughters. His eldest daughter Katherine (1652-1729) married William Windham I of Felbrigg in 1669, whilst his second daughter, Mary (1653-85) married Sir Horatio, 1st Viscount Townshend in 1673. His second son and heir, Sir James Ashe, 2nd Bt (1674-1733), whose marriage with Catherine Bowyer turned out ill, and whose only son predeceased him, had a surviving daughter and heir Martha, who married Joseph, the seventh son of William Windham I, and inherited and squandered his estates. According to the Felbrigg catalogue, probably painted by Lely, 1660-65. The sitter has been identified from a copy at Raynham inscribed with his name. The present portrait uses a pattern employed by Lely for other portraits (and that was regularly employed - in reverse, so presumably on the basis of an engraved version - by Sir Ralph Cole), but the head, hands, and at least some of (especially the white) drapery appear autograph, and only the rest appears in part to be studio work. Lely's executor's accounts include a three-quarter length of a "Mr. Ash" (no. 141), but it seems unlikely that a portrait of Sir Joseph before he was made a baronet in 1660 should have remained on his hands, so that that was more probably - if of a member of this family at all - of his son, James Ashe, later 2nd Bt (1674-1733) - although in that case, the "Mr." would have to have been an abbreviation for 'Master'.

Provenance

thence by descent to Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer (1906 - 1969), by whom bequeathed to the National Trust in 1969. Part of the Windham Collection. The hall and contents were bequeathed to the National Trust in 1969 by Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer (1906-1969)

Makers and roles

Sir Peter Lely (Soest 1618 – London 1680) and Studio, artist

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