Sir Thomas Coventry
P75000
PORTRAIT OF SIR THOMAS COVENTRY IN ROBES
KEEPER OF THE ROYAL SEAL

FOLLOWER OF CORNELIUS JOHNSON (JANSSEN)

Circa 1650
Oil on canvas 50 ¼ x 40 inches
Framed size

This painting dates from the mid-17th Century and is quite clearly a portrait of Thomas Coventry (1578-1640) with the Great Seal, of which he was the Keeper from 1625.
He was painted in this pose by Cornelius Johnson several times at different ages but this work would seem to be based on the earliest version, which dates from the early 1630’s.
Thomas Coventry was a very prominent lawyer, politician and Judge in the early
17th Century.
After studying at Balliol College, Oxford he entered Inner Temple in 1594. His sharp mind and wit meant that he was promoted very quickly. By 1616 he was Recorder of London and by 1617 he was Solicitor General.
He became MP for Droitwich in 1621 and Attorney General in that year.
It was however his appointment to Lord Keeper of the Great Seal and the title of Baron Coventry of Aylesborough that he became one of the most powerful men in England.
His office meant that he had some power over much of the law of the land; a
position by many accounts of the time, that he exercised with wisdom and leniency.
He was the one who had to deliver the reprimand to the House of Commons from Charles 1st. He disagreed with the King’s actions against Parliament and even granted personal bail for 7 members of the House who had been imprisoned.
He even lent the King £10,000 in 1638.

As such an eminent figure of the period, it is not unusual to find contemporary copies of portraits, mostly commissions by others who wish to remember him.

This piece is a fine quality work with a real sense of the intellect and humanity of Thomas Coventry.
Dimensions
Height 50.25 inch (127.63 cm)
Width 40.00 inch (101.60 cm)
Stock Code
P75000
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