Completed Dress and Textiles, Portraits: British 16th and 17th C, Portraits: British 18th C, Portraits: British 19th C 19 Which Anthony Kynnersley is shown here, and who painted this portrait?

Topic: Execution date

The Collection has commented: This is a half-length portrait of one of the Anthony Kynnersleys - a copy of a portrait originally painted by an unknown artist around in the 17th century. The sitter's clothing is typical of those worn in similarly formal portraiture during this period.

The attribution of this sitter is based on a chalk marking on the rear of the canvas, whilst the wooden stretcher is marked in pencil with 'Leighton Hall'- the home of his descendants. Which of the Anthony Kynnersleys it shows is unknown, but is either the one who died in 1662, or the one who lived 1662—1695.

This painting is probably a later copy of an earlier painting, most likely completed by the same copyist who painted this portrait (FA.00749) and the one of Captain Anthony Kynnersley (FA.00759) The canvasses used in each are identical in size and each use the trompe l'oeil oval frame whilst its rear contains a stamp indicating that the canvas came from John B. Smith's painting supplies company of London. This stamp is present on all three canvasses with exactly the same errant smudges, reading: ‘John B. Smith, Artist’s Colorman, Manufacturer and Importer, 117, Hampstead Rd., London’.

John Bryce Smith, the owner of this company, lived between 1850 and 1931, whilst the company itself did not exist until John Bryce’s father John established it in 1848. More so, John Smith did not take over the company (from his father) until 1883, and this kind of stamp only appears on his canvasses in the mid-1890s to mid-1900s.

It is difficult to know why the copies were produced, but it may be linked to the refurbishment of Leighton Hall in the late 1880s.

Completed, Outcome

This discussion is now closed. The sitter is presumed to be Anthony Kynnersley who died in 1662. It has not been possible to identify the copyist.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the discussion. To anyone viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all the comments that led to this conclusion.


David Wilson,

I'm assuming that this man is over twenty, which he surely is - probably quite a bit over twenty. If the subject were the second Anthony Kynnersley, the original would have been painted at the earliest in the mid 1680s. However, the hairstyle does not fit the style of that decade or any time later, when men's hair (and wigs) tended to be piled up in rather higher heaps of curls. This more relaxed hairstyle is surely of an earlier period, as is the sober collar. I suspect that the original could have been painted perhaps as early as the 1640s and surely no later than mid 1660s.

Given that range, and if it has to be one of the Anthony Kynnersleys, then it's surely the earlier one.

Jacinto Regalado,

What is known of the earlier Kynnersley? The armour implies he was a military man. Which side was he on in the Civil War?

Robert Tittler,

If this is indeed a copy of an earlier painting, that original painting may have been done by the Englishman Peter Troilus, who painted at Pitchford Hall, also near Shrewsbury, between c. 1633 and 1636.
So far as I can tell from this rather dark image on the screen, the clothing would not be out of place for that time, and Troilus was doing at least one portrait at Pitchford, that of Marie Nichols at an appropriate time. I have not seen any of his surviving works, or have access to useful images, so as to make comparisons, though a later copy of his work would not in any event necessarily capture his style or brushwork.
Troilus is widely but sparsely documented, and I raise the possibility of his hand at work on the original solely from the coincidence of time and place. My Early Modern British Painters data base [] lists the following sources for him:
National Portrait Gallery, Heinz Archive painter files, vide Troilus/Troueil/Troncil, Peter/Petrus; Christopher Wright, Catherine Gordon and Mary Peskett Smith, eds., British and Irish Paintings in Public Collections (New Haven and London, 2006), p. 775; John Steegman, A Survey of Portraits in Welsh Houses (2 vols., Cardiff, 1958, 1963), pp. 273-4.; Ellis Waterhouse, The Dictionary of 16th and 17th Century British Painters, (1988), p. 264.

--Robert Tittler

Jacinto Regalado,

Come to think of it, being a captain also implies being a military man--sorry for the lapse. Does the collection know the year the earlier candidate was born or how old he was when he died?

One possibility for the painter of the original, especially if the sitter was on Cromwell's side, is Robert Walker, the favourite portraitist of the Parliamentarians during the Interregnum.

Simon Gillespie,

If it were in slightly better condition, without later interference and with a clearer image, it could be Robert Walker. Trying hard to emulate William Dobson.
I agree with Jacinto

Bendor Grosvenor,

Interesting picture, can we get a higher resolution photo? Thanks.

Jacob Simon,

I am wondering whether the time has come to close this six-month-old discussion, which asks the two questions about this 19th-century copy of a 17th-century portrait.

I agree with David Wilson’s dating (16 April) that the original could have been painted perhaps as early as the 1640s and surely no later than mid 1660s. The armour may suggest the Civil War period. David suggests that given that range, and if it has to be one of the Anthony Kynnersleys, then it's surely the earlier one, who died in 1662, according to the information that we are given. Without local knowledge, it will be difficult to take this further.

It’s almost impossible to identify copyist of a portrait such as this unless the artist inscribed their copy. As to the original artist, a couple of suggestions have been advanced. We would need further evidence to support the idea of Peter Troilus, which was suggested solely from the coincidence of time and place. I suspect that the portrait is too late for him. Robert Walker had been mentioned but, working from a copy, our portrait seems too lose in handling to be by Walker. I don’t think higher definition photograph will help in identifying the artist when the portrait is by a copyist. So, I suspect that the existing “unknown artist” designation is the best that we can do.

In these circumstances, unless further evidence is forthcoming, we should probably move towards closure.

Jacob Simon,

There has been no response to my summing up above. So I'm now recommending that this discussion be closed, subject to the collection and other group leaders.

If it has to be one of the Anthony Kynnersleys, then it's surely the earlier one, who died in 1662, according to the information that we are given. Without local knowledge, it will be difficult to take this further.

The existing “unknown artist” designation is the best that we can do.

Jacob Simon,

This discussion, "Which Anthony Kynnersley is shown here, and who painted this portrait?", is now approaching its second birthday. I recommended closing the discusion in November 2021 as set out above. Silence all round.

Can Art UK find a mechanism to close this discussion by contacting the collection, please?

Jacinto Regalado,

Even if this is a later copy, the original artist was no doubt British, so it should be listed under British School for search purposes.

Jacinto Regalado,

The white collar is like that worn by Cromwell in various portraits, including the well known one by Robert Walker.

Marcie Doran,

I noticed that collar, too, Jacinto. I've attached a composite based on a Dutch portrait because it seems to be very similar to the portrait from Shropshire and firmly dated 1652. I'm not suggesting the portrait of Anthony Kynnersley is Dutch.


This book includes images of paintings dated 1680 of Thomas Kynnersley and his wife Elizabeth Kynnersley (née Floyer), the parents of Anthony Kynnersley (d. 1662). See the two pages between pages 22 and 23 and also the footnote on page 23.


I'm attaching records from Ancestry that show the baptism in 1632 and burial in 1662 of Anthony Kynnersley. Many family trees on Ancestry show his birth year as 1637 but do not attach a record to support that claim.

Marcie Doran,

Perhaps not really relevant to this discussion but the portrait 'Elizabeth Floyer, Wife of Thomas Kynnersley' by Sir Peter Lely was sold at a Christie's auction on 19 November 1910.

See pages XV and 122 of this edition of 'The Connoisseur'.

Kieran Owens,

Thomas Kynnersley (c.1604 - 20/11/1680) was head of a line of the family that was seated at Badger, in Shropshire, and Loxley, in Staffordshire. His second son, Anthony Kynnersley of Wrickton, was married to Margaret, daughter of William Jenckes, of Wrickton, in Shropshire, and died in 1662.

Anthony's youngest son Anthony Kynnersley, of Wrickton and Newport, Shropshire, was born in 1662 and died in 1695.

His youngest daughter, Elizabeth, was married in 1695 to Richard Leighton, Sheriff of Shropshire. She died on the 11th May 1743, aged 83 (b. 1660). The Leightons were based at Leighton Hall, in that county. Richard Leighton and Elizabeth Kynnersley had two sons and eight daughters. Richard died on the 28th November 1715, aged 66 (b. 1649) and is buried in a tomb in the chancel of St. Mary's Church, at Leighton near Buildwas in Shropshire. Many of the Kinnersley family are also buried in this church:

The genealogical record for Sneyd-Kynnerdelsey of Loxley Park - - shows that the Kynnerdesley name, in the generations before Anthony who died in 1662, had been Kinardesley.

Marcie Doran,

Thank you, Kieran. That's very useful information.


Two other (later) Kynnersley family portraits were in the Wooley and Wallis Old Masters auction (lot 172) of 4 March 2020. See page 66 of the catalogue.

The MutualArt website includes images of the text on the back of each painting.


Kynnersley family portraits, including (probably) the four that I have mentioned, are listed on pages 545 and 546 of this book from 1894 about Staffordshire. Unfortunately, the portrait of Anthony Kynnersley that we are discussing was not included in the list, perhaps because the sitter was unknown.


My search of the BNA for mention of Kynnersley family portraits was unproductive. A lengthy article about Loxley Hall ("The Original Home of Robin Hood") in the 'Birmingham Weekly Mercury' of Sunday 03 October 1937 included images but the images do not show the portrait of Anthony Kynnersley.


I have not discovered any inventories. I learned from this recent auction listing that the house was sold in 1950.

Kieran Owens,

Given the similarities of dress, the miniature painted in 1653 (according to the auction house), of Thomas Kinnersley (sic) of Loxley Park, at this link might help provide some dating evidence for this discussion's portrait:

Marcie Doran,

Perhaps the original work is in this photo of Loxley Hall.

It might be the painting that is the last one at the lower right of the wall on the left. It seems to show some white on the left side of the sitter that is not in the Art UK work.