Sir Simon Fanshawe (1604-79), 4th son of Sir Henry Fanshawe

Object number



c. 1657


Baptized 23rd April 1604, Sir Simon Fanshawe was the 4th son of Sir Henry Fanshawe and his wife Elizabeth Smythe. He was brother of Thomas, 1st Viscount Fanshawe (see no.16 & 41), Sir Richard Fanshawe (see no.26) and Alice (see no.529). In 1623 he was admitted to Lincolns Inn and appears to have been a clerk in the Remembrancers Office under his brother Richard. He was knighted 11th February 1640 and was taken prisoner in the Civil War, but was later fined and allowed to go to France. He married Katherine Ferrars, widow of Knighton Ferrars, whose daughter Katherine Ferrars (see LDVAL 2004.5.1) later married Thomas, 2nd Viscount Fanshawe (see no.24). He and his wife had one son, Thomas, who was baptized at Ware on 7th July 1641, but who died young. He was described by Ann Fanshawe, in her memoirs, as ?a gallant gentleman, but more of a libertine than any one of his family?. Simon was said to bear a striking resemblance to Oliver Cromwell, which could be explained by the fact that they shared a great-great-grandfather, Sir Thomas Mirfyn of Ely. See also no.33.

Physical description

Bust length portrait of man turned right. He is wearing a buff coloured Jacket with long sleeves. The jacket is slashed at the front, about a quarter of the way up, through which his white undershirt can be seen. He wears a shoulder-belt over his left shoulder in the same colour as his jacket, which has fur or frayed edges and gold braiding. Over his right shoulder there is a thin red braid which travels under his shoulder-belt and across his body. He also has a linen falling band. He has grey wavy shoulder length hair which is thinning on top and a large red nose and ruddy cheeks. Set on a plain brown background.




Sir Peter Lely (1618 – 80) Portrait painter and collector of Old Masters’ prints and drawings, active in England from the early 1640s. Born in Westphalia to Dutch parents whose real name was van der Faess, he trained in Haarlem and in 1637 became a Master of the Haarlem Guild. Little is known of his work prior to his arrival to London. He became a freeman of the Painter-Stainers’ Company in 1647 and his early English paintings were influenced by Van Dyck and Dutch baroque style. They were mainly mythological scenes (e.g., ‘Nymphs by a Fountain’, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London) and portraits set in landscape, often in pastoral mood, for which he became famous. Lely quickly established himself as a portraitist to Charles I. Swiftly changing his patrons, his reputation and fortune grew steadily and after the execution of the king he served under Oliver Cromwell and his son. In 1660 Charles II appointed Lely his Principal Painter in Ordinary. He was naturalized in 1662. Although his works vary in quality, and in some he was greatly assisted by his pupils, he is regarded as a leading artist of the Restoration. Lely was a master colourist, his style best manifested in exquisite draperies. His portraiture flatters sitters. The ‘Windsor Beauties’, a series of painted ladies at Hampton Court, show voluptuous and dreamy figures while the ‘Flagmen of Lowestoft’, of which the majority are now in the National Maritime Museum, London, display his talent in portraying characters at its best. These show 12 of the admirals and senior captains who fought under James, Duke of York, at the first action of the second Anglo-Dutch War in 1665. Two, of Prince Rupert and the original of ‘Sir John Lawson’ (copy at Greenwich), remain in the Royal Collection, from which the others were presented to the Naval Gallery of Greenwich Hospital by George IV in 1824. Lely was knighted shortly before his death.


Portrait Painting


whole height: 970mm
width: 830mm
Canvas height: 735mm
width: 610mm

Collection type

Fine Art, Fanshawe Portraits


Monogram Painted Lower left: LP

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Start datec. 1657
InstitutionValence House Museum
TypePortrait Painting
Collection type
Fine Art
Fanshawe Portraits