Paintings of Eliab and Mary Harvey of Rolls Park, Chigwell, and Munckhams, Buckhurst Hill, have returned to the country
PAINTINGS of a family that played an important part in the district’s history have returned to the country after more than 40 years.
The paintings show Eliab Harvey, who lived at Rolls Park, Chigwell, and on the Buckhouse or Munkhams estate, as it was then known, in Buckhurst Hill and Woodford Green during the 1700s, and his mother Mary.
They are up for sale for in London for £14,500, having been sold to an American collector for £136 in 1968.
The Harvey family made their money as merchants in the City of London during the 1500s and bought Rolls Park, off Chigwell High Road, which is still known as Rolls Park Corner, in the 1640s.
Family members also included William Harvey, who discovered the circulation of the blood around the body, and Eliab Harvey’s nephew, Admiral Sir Eliab Harvey, who was on the Temeraire at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.
Eliab Harvey was a lawyer, who was appointed to the Bar in 1741, and also served as an MP from 1761 to 1768.
Richard Morris, of High Gables, Loughton, an historian and biographer of the family, is calling for the portraits to be returned to the area.
“I’m delighted to see the return of the portraits to the UK,” he added. “I want them to come back to the area, either to museums or if there’s a benefactor who could buy them.
“The Harveys played an important part in the life of Chigwell and Woodford from the 1600s until 1953, when Rolls Park was demolished, and to be able to get these paintings back into local ownership would be fantastic.”
The portrait of Mrs Harvey would probably have hung on the wall at Rolls Park, which her husband owned.
Another portrait, The Harvey Family by Sir Godfrey Kneller, was restored and moved to the Tate gallery after soldiers stationed at Rolls Park during the Second World War had used it as a dart board, leaving holes in the heads of the figures.
Mr Morris said the painting of Mr Harvey was a good example of artist Thomas Hudson’s work.
“He was the leading portrait painter in London from 1730 to 1770 and he was very well-known,” he added. “It’s an extremely important painting and the quality is good.”
This painting and the portrait of Mary Harvey, by Charles D’Agar, are on sale at the Philip Mould Gallery.