Studio of John Hoskins (British, circa 1590-1664) Sir Edmundbury Godfrey, JP (1621–1678), wearing black embroidered doublet slashed to reveal white, his lawn collar drawn with tassles and his brown hair falling to his shoulders
Lot 16
Studio of John Hoskins
(British, circa 1590-1664)
Sir Edmundbury Godfrey, JP (1621–1678), wearing black embroidered doublet slashed to reveal white, his lawn collar drawn with tassles and his brown hair falling to his shoulders
£4,000 - 6,000
US$ 5,300 - 8,000

Lot Details
Studio of John Hoskins (British, circa 1590-1664)
Sir Edmundbury Godfrey, JP (1621–1678), wearing black embroidered doublet slashed to reveal white, his lawn collar drawn with tassles and his brown hair falling to his shoulders.
Watercolour on vellum, bearing signature to the obverse and dated, i663./ iH., gilt-metal frame with pierced spiral cresting, the reverse engraved, Sir. E. Godfrey.
Oval, 80mm (3 1/8in) high

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Purchased by Mr Charles Sotheby from Mr Jeffrey Whitehead in 1861;
    Sotheby's, London, The Sotheby Collection, 11 October 1955, lot 22 (as by John Hoskins);
    Sotheby's, London, 15 November 1982, lot 45

    Exhibited
    South Kensington, 1862, no.2640;
    Burlington Fine Arts Club, Portrait Miniatures, 1889, no.16, ill.pl.IX

    Sir Edmundbury Godfrey was an English magistrate and a member of the 'Peyton Gang', an anti-Catholic group which plotted to replace the King with a republic. His mysterious death inspired Titus Oates' fictitious conspiracy, known as 'The Popish Plot', which saw England and Scotland gripped in anti-Catholic hysteria between 1678-1681.

    After failing to return home on 12 October 1678, Sir Edmundbury was found dead in a ditch on 17 October, lying face down, covered in bruises with a circular mark around his broken neck. The absence of blood around a sword wound indicated that Sir Edmundbury had been strangled to death before being impaled with his own sword some days later. The authorities announced a £500 reward for information but the case was never solved. A number of books written during the 20th century discuss various theories. The most popular suspect is Philip Herbert, 7th Earl of Pembroke, KB (c.1652-1683) who is believed to have taken his revenge for having been prosecuted by Sir Edmundbury for a previous murder. Despite being found guilty of several other murders, Pembroke was remarkably granted a Royal pardon following a petition signed by twenty-four of his fellow peers in the House of Lords.
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