Portrait of William Aldersey (1543–1616), Mayor of Chester by Unknown Artist

William Aldersey, merchant and antiquary, was born and died in Chester.

Details

Medium:
Oil on oak panel
Dimensions:
72.5 x 52 cm
Art Fund grant:
£2,375 ( Total: £7,500)
Acquired in:
2012
Vendor:
Weiss Gallery

He was a merchant ironmonger and so successful in overseas trade that he became a founding member of the East India Company in 1600. He served as mayor of Chester in 1595–6 and 1613–4 and was particularly interested in the troops and horses which sailed from Chester to support the standing army in Ireland. Between his work and his civic duties, Aldersey studied Chester’s Roman archaeology and the documentation of its medieval re-emergence. This is the earliest surviving portrait of a mayor of Chester. It will now hang in the Grosvenor Museum’s Stuart Dining Room as a pendant to the portrait of Thomas Cowper, mayor in 1641–2, joining portraits of two men William Aldersey knew – his distant cousin Thomas Aldersey and George Lloyd, bishop of Chester from 1604–15 and significantly strengthening the museum’s ability to tell the story of Chester in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Provenance

Private collection, 1985; Weiss Gallery, 2011. An Art Loss Register search has been carried out.

Venue details

Grosvenor Museum 27 Grosvenor Street, CHESTER Cheshire CH1 2DD 01244 972 197 www.cheshirewestmuseums.co.uk

Entry details

Free to all

Mon – Sat, 10.30am – 5pm
Sun,1pm – 4pm

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