Thomas, 1st Viscount Fanshawe of Dromore (1596-1665)

Object number





Thomas was the son of Sir Henry of Ware Park, Herts. (1569-1616) and Elizabeth Smythe (1572-1631), and eldest brother of Sir Richard Fanshawe (see no.26). In 1627 he married his first wife Ann Alington (see no.11), who died a year later after the birth of their daughter Ann (1628-1714). He married for a second time to Elizabeth Cokayne in 1629, with whom he had 18 children: Henry (b. & d.1630); William (1631-1640); Thomas (1632-1674) (see no.24); Twins (stillborn 1633); Henry (1634-1685); Mary (1635-1701); Abigail (b.1631- d. young); Jane (1637-1639); Elizabeth (1638-1641); Catherine (1640-1726); Elizabeth (1641-1729); Charles (1643-1685) (see no.3); Alice (b. & d. 1644); Simon (1646-1716); John (1648-d. young); Robert (1649-d. young). He was imprisoned under Cromwell, released in 1660, made a knight of the Bath at the Coronation of King Charles II, and elected M.P. for Hertford in 1661. He fought at Edgehill and lost a large sum of money given to the Royalist cause and by sequestration, for which he was created Viscount in 1661. His sister-in-law wrote of him: ?He was a very worthy, valient (sic), honest, good-natured gentleman, charitable and generous, and had excellent natural parts, yet choleric and rash, which was only incommode to his own domestic family. He was a very pretty man (for he was but low), of a sanguine complexion, much of a gentleman in his mien and language?. Attributed to Lely (by David Piper, Esq) and then thought to be School of Lely. Dated in top right corner 1660.

Physical description

Bust length portrait of a man, turned to his right but looking at the artist. He is wearing a grey silk jacket that is fastened down the front with rectangular jeweled buttons, and that shows shows his white undershirt between the edges. He has a white cravat tied i a loose bow at his throat. He is wearing a red sash that runs over his left shoulder, across his chest and under his right arm, upon which is fastened a medal - the gold medal of the Bath. His long brown hair is worn loose in curls. Set on a brown background within a decorative feigned oval mount.



Mary Beale (1633 – 1699) Mary Beale was one of the most important portrait painters of 17th century England, and has been described as the first professional English female painter. She was born in Barrow, Suffolk, the daughter of John Cradock, a Puritan rector. Her mother, Dorothy, died when she was 10. She married Charles Beale, a cloth merchant from London, in 1652, at the age of 18. Her father and her husband were both amateur painters, her father being a member of the Painter-Stainers' Company, and she was acquainted with local artists, such as Sir Peter Lely. Mary became a semi-professional portrait painter in the 1650s and 1660s, working from her home, first in Covent Garden and later in Fleet Street. The family moved to a farmhouse in Allbrook, Hampshire in 1665 due to financial difficulties, her husband having lost his position as a clerk of patents, and also due to the Great Plague in London. For the next five years, a 17th-century two storey timber-framed building was her family home and studio. In 1670 Mary returned to London where she established a studio in Pall Mall, with her husband working as her assistant, mixing her paints and keeping her accounts. She became successful, and was reacquainted with Sir Peter Lely, by then Court Artist to Charles II. Her later work is heavily influenced by Lely, being mainly small portraits or copies of Lely's work. Her work became unfashionable after his death in 1680. Mary Beale is known to have painted other members of the Fanshawe family. A number of her paintings are still held within the family’s private portrait collection.


Portrait Painting


whole height: 1030mm
width: 920mm
Canvas height: 720mm
width: 610mm

Collection type

Visual arts, Fanshawe Portraits

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