PORTRAIT OF DR. NATHANIEL JOHNSTON c.1653: Attributed to John Hayls.
PORTRAIT OF DR. NATHANIEL JOHNSTON c.1653: Attributed to John Hayls.
PORTRAIT OF DR. NATHANIEL JOHNSTON c.1653: Attributed to John Hayls.
PORTRAIT OF DR. NATHANIEL JOHNSTON c.1653: Attributed to John Hayls.
PORTRAIT OF DR. NATHANIEL JOHNSTON c.1653: Attributed to John Hayls.
PORTRAIT OF DR. NATHANIEL JOHNSTON c.1653: Attributed to John Hayls.
PORTRAIT OF DR. NATHANIEL JOHNSTON c.1653: Attributed to John Hayls.
PORTRAIT OF DR. NATHANIEL JOHNSTON c.1653: Attributed to John Hayls.

PORTRAIT OF DR. NATHANIEL JOHNSTON c.1653: Attributed to John Hayls.

c. 1653 England

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oil on canvas in good period frame.
The sitter, dressed in doctor's robes, with very fine and expensive linen at his neck, holds a book with the ititials NAT.BR upon it. This stands for 'Natrum Bromatum', a book on homeopathy.
This portrait, along with the one of his wife, also on this website, was probably painted in 1653 to mark their marriage.
In the background can be seen the ruins of Pontefract Castle.
NATHANIEL JOHNSTON M.D. (1627 – 1705) was an English physician, political theorist and antiquary.He was eldest son of John Johnston (d. 1657), by Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Hobson of Usflete, Yorkshire. His father, a Scot, lived for some time at Reedness in Yorkshire, and became rector of Sutton-on-Derwent.

Jonston proceeded M.D. from King's College, Cambridge, in 1656, having been incorporated at Cambridge M.A. in 1654 with a degree from the University of St Andrews. He was created a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians by the charter of James II, and was admitted on 12 April 1687. He practised at Pontefract, but took up the antiquities and natural history of Yorkshire.

Ralph Thoresby first made Johnston's acquaintance at Pontefract on 26 February 1682, and became a great friend and a correspondent. Johnston fell out of medical practice, moved to London in 1686, and became a High Tory pamphleteer. He lived at first in Leicester Street, next to Leicester Fields. The Glorious Revolution deprived him of prospects. He died in London in 1705. He owned at the time property at and near Pontefract, sold by order of the court of chancery in 1707.

In 1686 Johnston published The Excellency of Monarchical Government, a folio of 490 pages, beginning with ancient history, and then discussing the royal power in England and its relation to the power of parliament. He largely followed Hobbes, and, besides much classical learning, shows considerable knowledge of English chroniclers and legal authorities. In 1687, in answer to a pamphlet of Sir William Coventry, he issued The Assurance of Abby and other Church Lands in England, the object of which is to demonstrate that even if the religious orders were restored in England, the possessors of the church lands confiscated by Henry VIII could not be disturbed. Johnston was answered by John Willes.

To defend James II's treatment of Magdalen College, Oxford, Johnston issued on 23 July 1688 The King's Visitatorial Power asserted, being an impartial Relation of the late Visitation of St. Mary Magdalen College in Oxford. In order to obtain information, he corresponded with Obadiah Walker; visited Oxford with Thomas Fairfax, and talked to Anthony Wood, but his information was mainly from the royal commissioners. In the same year he published a volume of political Enquiries, and subsequently The Dear Bargain … the State of the English Nation under the Dutch, anon.

For thirty years Johnston studied the antiquities of Yorkshire, and he left over a hundred volumes of collections, written in a very crabbed hand. Johnston borrowed from the manuscripts of Roger Dodsworth. He intended writing volumes on the model of William Dugdale's Warwickshire and Robert Plot's Natural History of Staffordshire.

Proposals for printing his notes were published without result in 1722 by his grandson, the Rev. Henry Johnston, into whose hands the collections passed. Edmund Gibson made use of them in editing William Camden's Britannia. In the Catalogi MSS. Angliæ (Oxford, 1697) was an account of 130 volumes. On Henry Johnston's death in 1755, ninety-seven volumes were purchased by Richard Frank of Campsall, Yorkshire, who allowed John Burton, to examine them when preparing his Monasticon Eboracense. These remained in the possession of Frank's descendant, B. F. Frank, and were calendared in the Historical Manuscripts Commission's 6th Report.

Johnston married in 1653 Anne, daughter of Richard Cudworth of Eastfield, Yorkshire, and had four sons, and a daughter, Anne. Of the sons, the eldest, Cudworth, was a physician in York, and died before his father in 1692. Cudworth's son, Pelham Johnston, (d. 1765), graduated M.D. at Cambridge in 1728, was elected a fellow of the College of Physicians of London in 1732, practised in London, and died at Westminster 10 August 1765.

JOHN HAYLS (Hales) (fl.1651-1679) was a portrait painter who studied under Miereveldt. He was a competitor of Lely and painted in the manner of Van Dyck, also being an excellent copyist of his portraits.
In 1666 Samuel Pepys, the famous diarist and Commissioner for the Royal Navy, had his and his wife Elizabeth's portraits painted by Hayls. Of the paintings he wrote:- "I am still infinitely pleased with my wife's picture. I paid him £14 for it, and 25s for the frame, and I think it is not a whit too dear for so good a picture. It is not yet quite finished and dry, so as to be fit to bring home yet. This day I begin to sit, and he will make me, I think, a very fine picture. He promises it shall be as good as my wife's."
Hayls died in Bloomsbury and is buried in St. Martin's Church.
By descent in the Dunn Gardner family, The Manor House, Chatteris, until removed in 1908 by Algernon Dunn Gardner, to Denston Hall and then by descent.
There it remained until it was removed by his daughter when the property was sold 30 years ago. It was then kept in storage until now.
VERSO: several handritten labels, one stating that the portrait was restored by L. Ruttley of Great Liverpool Street, London in 1908.
External Height 34.00 inch (86.36 cm)
External Width 29.00 inch (73.66 cm)
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Roy Precious - Antiques & Fine Art

Roy Precious - Antiques & Fine Art
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