Oil painting on canvas, Ann Denham, Lady Morley by Sir Peter Lely (Soest 1618 – London 1680), circa 1662. A portrait of a young woman in a painted oval wreath. She is half-length, turned to the left, gazing at spectator, brown hair falling in ringlets and dressed with pearls. She also has drop-pearl earrings and a pearl necklet. She is wearing a blue décolleté dress looped and pinned back with pearls, with full sleeves to reveal her white chemise. A grey/brown scarf is attached at the shoulders with a jewel. Dark background.
Daughter of Sir John Denham KB (1615-1668/9) the 'celebrated poet and eminent Royalist' and Ann Cotton his first wife who he married on 25 June 1634. Her father married a second time to Margaret Brooke, who became the mistress of James, Duke of York (later James II). According to some accounts Sir John Denham revenged himself by murdering her with a poisoned cup of chocolate. Ann Denham had one brother who predeceased her father and a sister Elizabeth Denham who remained unmarried. Anne Denham married Sir William Morley KB and had three children. John Morley, William Morley, and Mary Morley. John and William both died young, in 1683 and 1693 respectively, so that Mary Morley ultimately became sole heiress, and was married to the 10th Earl of Derby, with unhappy consequences, not herself dying until 1752.
By inheritance, through Cecily Wroth, wife of Sir Hugh Acland, 6th Bt; accepted in lieu by HM Government and transferred to the National Trust in 1995
Killerton, The Acland Collection (accepted in lieu by HM Government and transferred to The National Trust in 1995)
Marks and inscriptions
Recto: Fragmentary inscription, lower left (in house style):.........../ Lady Morley[?] /........[Co? h]eiress / of [?Sir John] Denham /......./ 162
Makers and roles
Sir Peter Lely (Soest 1618 – London 1680), artist