William Gandy, Jane Hawkins

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
Jane Hawkins
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 124 cm, Overall width: 78 cm
William Gandy (c.1655-1729)
Catalogue Number


The present portrait is an exceptional depiction of a woman in a riding habit, a form of dress that was introduced in the seventeenth century. A manuscript list of ‘Pictures at Trewithen’ dated 8 December 1906 states that the sitter is ‘Jane 4th daughter of Philip Hawkins Esq. of Pennans and Mary Scobell born 1697 married James Stone Esq. of Wiltshire’. The entry also states ‘Mrs Jane Hawkins AEta: 17 W. Gandy fec. 1714’.1 Jane Hawkins (1697–1771) was the daughter of Philip Hawkins I and Mary Scobell. The portrait may be one of three portraits of the family by Gandy at Trewithen, since TN63 is a portrait by Gandy of her sister Mary, while TN76 may be a portrait, also by Gandy, of her parents. According to a manuscript family tree at Trewithen, Jane Hawkins married James Stone on 20 July 1718. She died in 1771 and was buried in Putney. Her husband, who lived in London, acquired Badbury Manor, Wiltshire, in 1718.2 He died in 1743.

William Gandy was the son of the painter James Gandy (1610–1689). He trained initially in London with the Dutch artist, Gaspar Smitz, and practiced in Ireland before settling in Devonshire. From 1700 Gandy was based in Exeter and produced a number of portraits in the area including of Sir Henry Langford, Baronet (c.1710, Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exeter). Gandy moved in 1714 to Plymouth, where he painted members of the Northcote family and other prominent members of the local community. The artist James Northcote, who noted how his master, Joshua Reynolds, admired Gandy, himself wrote a memoir of Gandy.3

The portrait was recorded hanging on the Middle Staircase in 1928, when it was described as ‘Three-quarter length of lady in saxe blue riding costume with palfrey and groom in background, slight ebonized frame 54in by 30in’.

by Emily Burns


  1. CRO J/1/945. Although the note appears to suggest that the portrait is signed and dated by Gandy, there is no discernible inscription on the picture. For Jane Hawkins’s marriage see also 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. 259.

  2. British History Online, (accessed 23 October 2017). See also Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, 1040/43: Deeds of the manor, capital messuage and farm of Badbury, which includes the marriage settlement of James Stone and Jane Hawkins, relating to properties in Drury Lane and the Strand, London.

  3. Northcote, 1819, vol. 2, pp. 337–46.


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