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An Unidentified Gentleman (probably John Wensley)

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This portrait probably represents wealthy Boston merchant and mariner John Wensley (b. about 1640). The likeness was misidentified in the early twentieth century as Reverend Oliver Peabody (1698–1752), grandfather of the last family owner, Hannah Holyoke (d. 1865). Since Peabody was not born...

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1670s, the sitter, John Wensley and and his wife Elizabeth Wensley; by descent to their daughter Mercy Wensley Bridgham; by descent to her daughter Elizabeth Bridgham Holyoke; by descent to her son Reverend Elizur Holyoke (1731-1806); 1806, by inheritance to his daughter Hannah Holyoke; to Mrs. Elvin French, who occupied the Holyoke house in Boxford, Mass., after Hannah died without heirs; about 1912, sold by Mrs. French to Dwight M. Prouty, Boston; descended in the Prouty family to Mrs. Lee Fewel Boiset, Pasadena, Calif.; 1984, sold by the estate of Mrs. Lee Fewel Boiset to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 21, 1984)

Credit Line

Charles H. Bayley Picture and Painting Fund



93.03 x 83.82 cm (36 5/8 x 33 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas