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The sitter, William Helyar (1723 - 1784) was a member of the family that owned Coker Court and had lordship over East Coker, Somerset from 1616 to 1914. They also had an estate at Canonteign in Devon, and Sedghill in Wiltshire. The family came originally from Devon, where they seem to have been of importance as the William Helyar of that time represented Melcomb-Regis in Parliament in the reigns of Richard II and Henry IV.
William Cary sold the manor of East Coker in 1620 to William Helyar, archdeacon of Barnstaple, to be settled on the marriage of Christian or Christine, William Cary's eldest daughter, to Henry, son of William Helyar. Henry (d. 1634) was followed by his son William (d. 1697), his grandson William (d. 1742), and his great grandson William Helyar (d. 1784) who married Betty Weston. They had four daughters and six sons..William, his heir; Robert of Newton Park, Cornwall, who died in the army aged 23; Weston, who succeeded his brother at Newton Park and was a magistrate for Somerset; Edward, born 1743; Charles born 1750, an officer in the army, killed in the American War; John, in holy orders, rector of Hardington and Tollard Royal, in Wiltshire.
William was Sheriff of Somerset in 1764.
In 1812 William Helyar (d. 1820), son of the last, gave the manor to his son William (d. 1841) and he was followed in the direct male line by William (d. 1880) and Horace (d. 1893). Horace was succeeded by his daughter Dorothy who married Godfrey Walker Heneage. In 1914 the estate was put up for sale but lordship was not included.
(Coker Court is shown in Image 5)
Verso: old handwritten label; "William Helyar, eldest son of Mr. Helyar of Canonteign". Plate on the frame has the same inscription.
|External Height||35.00 inch||(88.90 cm)|
|External Width||30.00 inch||(76.20 cm)|