Elizabeth I portrait of a Gentleman

Circa 1570 - 1580

W 20 3/4" × H 25"

Stock # Marh1640


More information

The arms that appear on this late mid to late-16th Century Portrait of a Gentleman wearing a Black Doublet and Ruff are those of the family of Goodere. Not that of Sir Francis Drake. These arms may be blazoned as follows: Arms: Quarterly 1st and 4th Gules a fess between two chevrons vair (for Goodere) 2nd and 3rd Per pale or and argent over all a lion rampant azure (for Thornbury) over all a fess point a crescent for difference. The family of Goodere are said to descend from a Richard Goodere, the younger son of Thomas Goodere, Lord of Poynton in the County of Cheshire and his wife, Joanna Morley. It was this Richard who married an heiress of the Thornbury family which brought her familys arms into the scheme of quartering borne by subsequent generations of their descendants. Richard also acquired property at Monken Hadley in the County of Middlesex where he built a house which he named Bowness after one would presume the final resting place of his father, Thomas. The family appears to resident there for many centuries until Sir Henry Goodere, of Newgate Street in the County of Hertfordshire disposed of Bowness to Francis Kirtland, of Holborn in the County of Middlesex some time during the early to mid-17th Century. I believe that the subject of this portrait has been misattributed at some time in the past as one of Sir Francis Drake, perhaps in the forlorn hope or wishful thinking on the part of the Drake Lennon family who at one time owned it as mentioned upon a label found on the back of the portrait. Several portraits of Sir Francis exist, whether contemporaneous or not but if you compare this Goodere portrait with that of the Nicholas Hillard miniature of 1581 (which I use as the exemplar for a portrait of Sir Francis) which is set into the reverse of the Drake Jewel I believe that there are several points of variance that offer the hypothesis that the portrait shown above is certainly one of a gentleman of the Goodere family and not that of the renowned admiral and navigator. When comparing both portraits as illustrated below, the Hillard portrait of Sir Francis shows an individual with a rather ruddy complexion with wide set light coloured eyes, together with a gingerish beard and a curly head of hair, whilst the Goodere portrait depicts a gentleman of saturnine looks with close set dark coloured eyes and a dark beard and a non-curly head of hair. Also, I believe that the arms of Goodere as depicted in the top right-hand corner are contemporaneous with the portrait and not an afterthought of some years later. In any case, if one was attempting to pass this portrait off as one of Sir Frances why not paint the distinctive arms of Sir Francis on the portrait rather than those of the Goodere family? Given the presumed date of this portrait as dating to the mid to late 16th Century and from an examination of an existing pedigree of the Goodere family there are at least two possible candidates who were second sons within the family for the gentleman they are as follows: 1) Henry Goodyere, of Bermondsey in the County of Surrey, Alderman of the City of London. Will proved 14th December 1556. Henry was the second son of John Goodyere and Alice Frowyke. 2) George Goodyere, Citizen and Draper of London. Will proved 23rd July 1556. George was the second son of William Goodyere, of Edgware in the County of Middlesex and Custance Levenger. There are also several other second sons of the family who it is presumed were alive at the time when this portrait was painted, but other than their names and parentage no further biographical details are available. Provenance: Once the property of the decentant family of Sir Francis Drake.