after Unknown artist
oil on canvas, based on a work of 1635
41 1/2 in. x 32 1/2 in. (1054 mm x 826 mm)
This portraitback to top
This 'old, very old man' was discovered by the Earl of Arundel working as a farmer near his country seat. He was alleged to have married for the first time at the age of eighty and to have been forced to do penance for licentious conduct when over a hundred. Arundel brought him to London in 1635, not without difficulty, since on the journey great crowds thronged to see the old man. Parr was often in danger of being smothered, and his guards proved quite inadequate at keeping away the curious. He was put on show in the Strand for a few weeks but died soon after. This portrait of him in a coat and with a walking stick may represent his journey to London; it certainly makes the point that he was active. There is an inscription on the rock to the right which claims that Parr was 152 when he died.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 481
Events of 1635back to top
Current affairsDiscovered by the Earl of Arundel, centenarian Thomas Parr dies, it is claimed, at the age of 152.
Richard Weston, Earl of Portland dies. Though unpopular in the Commons, Portland was an effective Lord Chief Treasurer who succeeded in curbing royal expenditure.
Art and scienceDramatic poet, James Shirley composes The Traitor, dedicating it to literary patron, William Cavendish, Earl of Newcastle. Shirley would later assist Newcastle on a number of the earl's own plays, while benefiting from his patronage.
Postal services are made available to the public.
InternationalAs a result of French first minister, Cardinal Richelieu's foreign policy, France becomes directly involved in the Thirty Years' War.
Elector palatine, Charles Lewis, excluded from the peace of Prague between Emperor Ferdinand II and Electorate of Saxony, travels to England to secure military help from his uncle, Charles I.
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