Mr. Secretary Lowndes – from Ngaire Lowndes, NZ

William Lowndes - link to large image

Thought you might find this interesting.  The painting is a 1959 copy of the 1729 original portrait of Mr. Secretary Lowndes,  which hangs in the Bank of England somewhere.  My father came by the copy when Noble Lowndes Insurance was taken over and the boardroom paintings were distributed.

Detail of CrestA few close-ups – the coat of arms seems to have been painted on top of the varnished image, which is slightly odd and probably an addition by the copyist at a later date.

detail of William Lowndes

The initials and date are who painted the copy and when, and ‘aetat 67 1719’ was William’s age – 67 – and the year the original was painted – 1719 of course. Numbers are not my strongest point, but there you go.

When the painting was shipped over last year from New Zealand (break-up of contents of old family house to the four daughters), the removal men commented on the very strong likeness between William’s face and a photograph of my father, Roy Lowndes – one said, ‘I think the old boy looks better in his fancy dress!’  The copyist did actually know my father, so I think without having seen the original that there may have been a degree of flattery going on there.

Door Case, Winslow House

Other pics are of the doorcase and north elevation of Winslow Hall, the beautiful house in Winslow that is attributed to Sir Christopher Wren, whom William would have known and worked with on the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire.  This is the Lowndes house that the Blairs showed interest in acquiring.


3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ngaire Lowndes  |  18/08/2010 at 6:45 pm

    Ah, just made the connection, Hamish – you’re Doug Brown’s boy! I met your father in Auckland many years ago, was very impressed with his history. He was a nice chap, too!

  • 2. Ngaire Lowndes  |  18/08/2010 at 6:44 pm

    Greetings Hamish,
    Sorry, haven’t visited this site for a while so have only just found your comment.
    Isn’t Vic amazing! My mother lives in the same Queensland town as Vic and his wife, sees them frequently.
    I’m afraid I don’t have any images or material relating to Noble Lowndes. As children we were not particularly encouraged to bother him! However, his son Charles is still around (in Auckland)- he’d be the most likely to have material of the kind you are seeking.
    Ngaire .

  • 3. hamish brown  |  25/04/2010 at 1:30 am


    i am putting a story togehter on my father Doug’s WWII years. He saw a bit of Noble Lowndes in London and wondered if you have any brief bibliographical material or images with Noble and some of the 485 squadron boys

    i saw Vic Hall a few weeks ago – he was a good friend of Roy’s – at the squadron reunion. first one he has been to for a while. he isnt looking bad for 94


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