JOSEPH BADGER (AMERICAN 1708-1765). PORTRAIT OF A SHIP MASTER, A MEMBER OF THE PARKER FAMILY, CIRCA 1760. The subject of this portrait may be John Parker (1732-1791), son of Judge William Parker of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and older brother of the Right Reverend Samuel Parker of Trinity Church, Boston. During his youth, John made several voyages as master of a ship and apprenticed as a merchant. Returning to Portsmouth, he was involved in trade and directed a business insuring ship's cargos. In 1771 Parker was appointed Sheriff of the Province and later, Rockingham County by Governor Wentworth, a post he held until 1789 when George Washington appointed him the first U.S. Marshall for New Hampshire. Contemporary accounts describe how Sheriff Parker mounted the balcony of Portsmouth's old Court House to read the first copy of the Declaration of Independence to arrive in New Hampshire.Oil on canvas, 35 x 27 3/4 inches. In period carved and gilded frame. The stretcher with old Museum of Fine Arts label inscribed "Badger, Joseph/ 1349.11/ Lent by Estate of Judge Lathrop."
Provenance: Judge John Lathrop (1835-1910) of Dedham, Massachusetts; to his grandnephew George K. Wakefield (1900-1988); and to his descendents. Possible previous descent from Bishop Samuel Parker (1744-1804) of Boston to his wife, Anne Cutler Parker (d. 1844); to their son, Richard Green Parker (d. 1869); to his daughter, Eliza D. Parker Lathrop (d. 1903), to her husband, John Lathrop.
Literature: Listed as "Unknown Man" thought to be "some member of the Parker family, to which Samuel Parker, Bishop of Massachusetts, belonged" in Lawrence Park, "Joseph Badger and a Descriptive List of Some of His Works," Massachusetts Historical Society Proceedings, October 1917-June 1918, Vol. LI, p. 198.