King Charles II demonstrates his alliance with his brother, James, Duke of York, the future King of England, Scotland and Ireland, in this double portrait in support of James’s succession. It is the only portrait known to include the two kings. According to inscriptions on the back of the work, it was formerly at Barrington Hall in Essex, in the collection of Cecil Henry Gosling (1910-1974) of the Royal Artillery.
The current Barrington Hall was built for John Shales Barrington from 1734, shortly after he succeeded to the estate. The construction of the building continued for several decades and the new Barrington Hall was not permanently occupied until 1864. During this time, in 1832, the property had been inherited by William Lowndes of Chesham. It was sold to a Thomas Lowndes (not a relative) and passed to his sister’s great grandson, George Alan Clayton (died 1904), who took the name Lowndes on inheriting the property. Alfred Henry Gosling later purchased the Hall in 1908.
A photograph of the painting in the Heinz Archive, at the National Portrait Gallery, London, apparently shows the work displayed within an elaborate plaster frame, set into the wall at Barrington Hall.
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