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Portrait of an East India Company Captain

Photo credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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The unidentified officer wears captain’s full dress uniform of the East India Company, 1787–1856. He holds his hat in his left hand and with his right gestures towards his ship, an East Indiaman on the right. The artist’s signature has until recently been read as 'L. Hensen' or 'Henson', but is actually that of Stephen Hewson. Hewson exhibited at the Free Society, the Society of Artists and the Royal Academy, where he exhibited a considerable number of portraits, most of unidentified sitters. He worked in Cheltenham in1786 and is recorded as visiting York in 1788, 1790 and 1791. He advertised as a portrait and miniature painter and described himself as ‘well known in York’. He is probably the Stephen Hewson who married Jane Hodgeson at St Marylebone, 31 January 1771.

National Maritime Museum



Portrait of an East India Company Captain




oil on canvas


H 76 x W 63.5 cm

Accession number


Work type



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National Maritime Museum

Romney Road, Greenwich, London, Greater London SE10 9NF England

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