Sir John Backhouse
Sir John Backhouse
oil on canvas, 1637
50 1/2 in. x 41 in. (1283 mm x 1041 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Sir John Backhouse (1582-1649), Director of New River Company. Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
Backhouse owned the land in Islington on which the New River Company built their first reservoir and which is seen in the framed painting on which he rests his right hand. He wears the badge of the Order of the Bath on a ribbon around his neck, an honour bestowed upon him by Charles I at his coronation. The motto 'MELIORA SPERO', top right, may be translated as 'I hope for better things'. The artist, known only by the initials 'V.M.', was probably Netherlandish in origin.
Linked publicationsback to top
- MacLeod, Catherine, Tudor and Jacobean Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection at Montacute House, 1999, p. 32
- Piper, David, Catalogue of Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, 1625-1714, 1963, p. 18
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 26
Events of 1637back to top
Current affairsPolitician, John Hampden, fights a high profile case refusing to pay ship money imposed by Charles I, whose case is argued by Judge, Sir John Bankes. Hampden narrowly looses the case.
Charles I, eager to extend Anglicism to Scotland through the imposition of a new Prayer Book, meets with resistance.
Art and scienceSovereign of the Seas is launched, the largest, most lavishly decorated naval warship. Built by shipbuilder Peter Pett, construction is supervised by his father Phineas Pett.
John Milton's greatest memorial elegy, Lycidas, is dedicated to fellow poet Edward King.
Dramatist, Thomas Killigrew, writes his most popular play, The Parson's Wedding.
InternationalCharles I issues a proclamation that those emigrating to America must obtain a licence from the Commissioners for Plantations and a certificate proving allegiance to the king and conformity to the Church of England.
First recorded economic bubble. Contract prices for tulips in the Netherlands collapses having become very high.