Timeline 1734–1964

This period charts the years after Elihu's death and the early acquisitions of his possessions.



Anne Yale, Lady Cavendish, dies.



Elihu Yale’s stepson Benjamin Hynmers of Latimer, Buckinghamshire, dies.



James, Lord Cavendish (after 1673–1751), and his son William (1711–1751) die.



Staveley, Derbyshire, is saved from demolition and becomes the home of the Gisborne family.



Elihu Yale’s granddaughter Elizabeth Cavendish (1712–1779) of Latimer, Buckinghamshire, dies. Her will requests that she should be buried with the remains of her father, James, Lord Cavendish, in the family vault of All Hallows in Derby.



Yale College acquires the snuff box depicting Elihu Yale’s portrait by John Obrisset.

John Obrisset, Elihu Yale Snuffbox, ca. 1710–20, silver and tortoiseshell, Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Ezra Stiles, YUAG 1788.1

John Obrisset

Elihu Yale Snuffbox
ca. 1710–20
Silver and tortoiseshell
Yale University Art Gallery
Gift of Ezra Stiles


Yale College acquires the Seeman portrait (YUAG 1789.1) from Yale’s son-in-law Dudley Long (1748–1829), who changes his name to North when he inherits Glemham Hall, Suffolk, from his aunt Anne Herbert in May of this year.

Dudley North (1748–1829) writes to Samuel Broome of New Haven (agent to Ezra Stiles in London): “I rather think Madam [Elizabeth] Cavendish had one [i.e., another portrait] also, but her collection being in possession of Lord George Cavendish under an Entail it could not be had without difficulty.”

Enoch Seeman the younger, Portrait of Gov. Elihu Yale (1648/49–1721), 1717, oil on canvas, Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Dudley Long North, M.P.

Enoch Seeman the younger

Portrait of Gov. Elihu Yale (1648/49–1721)
Oil on canvas
Yale University Art Gallery
Gift of Dudley Long North, M.P.


Reverend Francis Foxlowe (1772–1841) dies on December 13. At the time of his death he was living at Staveley, Derbyshire, where his sister Anne married Reverend William Bagshawe (d. 1847) in 1798. It seems likely that B1970.1 was one of the six “Family Pictures” bequeathed to Anne by her uncle the Reverend Francis Gisborne (1732–1821) in his will, and this was the means by which it came to the Bagshawe family of Ford and Banner Cross, Derbyshire.



Publication: The Yale Family, or the Descendants of David Yale with Genealogical Notices of each family (New Haven, Storer & Stone, Printer, 1850).  



The first mention of B1970.1 appears in the antiquarian journal the Reliquary. The painting is at Ford Hall, Derbyshire, home of the Bagshawes, the descendants of the Gisborne family. “Among the Pictures of W. H. Greaves Bagshawe, Esq., of Ford Hall, there is a Portrait in crayons of Lord James Cavendish; and also a large painting representing the treaty for his marriage with Miss [Anne?] Yale, in which prominent the features of Governor [Elihu] Yale, Lord James, and his brother (indicated by their striking likeness to each other).”



The Tomb of Elihu Yale in Wrexham is repaired by the Yale Corporation, possibly rewording the earlier inscription.



Publication: W. H. G. Bagshawe, The Bagshawes of Ford: a biographical pedigree (London, Mitchell and Hughes, 1886).



Yale College becomes Yale University.



A publication by Alfred T. Story, American shrines in England (Methuen & Co., London), includes a chapter on “The Founder of Yale College.”



Country Life publishes “Glemham Hall, Suffolk, A Seat of the Earl of Guilford,” (Jan. 1), illustrating many of the objects subsequently acquired by Yale University.

The portrait of Elihu Yale with his Servant attributed to James Worsdale is purchased and donated to Yale University (Gift of Mrs. Anson Phelps Stokes of New York, 1910; Purchased from Reginald Eden Dickson, Esq., Eden Lodge, Woodbridge, Suffolk, son of Charlotte Maria Eden, Lady North). The work had supposedly been purchased by Dudley North at the Elihu Yale sale of December 12, 1722. Yale Alumni Weekly records that the picture will be hung above the mantle in the Corporation Room at Yale. The magazine also notes that Dickson owns another picture of Elihu Yale, and the 1708 sundial, and encourages “some generous donor” to present to the university “these relics of the benefactor after whom the University is named.”

On November 24, R. Eden Dickson, son of Lady North, who was the daughter of Dudley Long North, writes to Mr. Stokes: “The portrait was painted by James Worsdale, pupil and reputed son of Sir Godfrey Kneller, Master painter of the Board of Ordnance. He painted a full length portrait of George II belonging to the Yarmouth Corporation. He died in 1779.”

Elihu Yale portrait hanging in Yale's Corporation Room in Woodbridge Hall, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, Yale University Buildings and Grounds Photographs

Elihu Yale portrait hanging in Yale's Corporation Room in Woodbridge Hall

Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library
Yale University Buildings and Grounds Photographs


The painting attributed to James Worsdale, Elihu Yale with a Young Man, is gifted to the Elizabethan Club by S. Cochran (Yale 1896) on December 8. On the back of the stretcher it reads: “Elihu Yale, Gov. of Fort St. George, East Indies, and his illegitimate son.”

Attributed to James Worsdale, Elihu Yale with a Young man, 1714, oil on canvas, Elizabethan Club, Yale University

Attributed to James Worsdale

Elihu Yale with a Young man
Oil on canvas
Elizabethan Club, Yale University


Glemham Hall, Suffolk, is advertised for sale in the July 16 issue of Country Life, noting that the sundial now at Yale “came from Elihu Yale, who endowed the American University which bears his name.”



Yale University acquires the “Yale Sundial” from Reginald Eden Dickenson of Woodbridge, Suffolk. A descendant of Elihu Yale, Dickenson is the son of Charlotte Maria Eden, Dowager Lady Guilford.

Unknown artist, Elihu Yale Sundial, 1708, bronze, cast lead, and cement, Yale University Art Gallery

Unknown artist

Elihu Yale Sundial
Bronze, cast lead, and cement
Yale University Art Gallery
Gift of Ganson G. Depew, BA 1919; Clarence W. Bowen, BA 1873; Henry King Smith, BA 1898; E. Byrne Hackett, Hon. M. 1914; and R. Eden Dickson, Esq.


Yale University acquires the “Yale Tapestries” from Glemham Hall, Suffolk, by Gift of Edward S. Harkness.

John Vanderbank the Elder, The Concert, ca. 1700, wool and silk, Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Edward S. Harkness, BA 1897

John Vanderbank the Elder

The Concert
ca. 1700
Wool and silk
Yale University Art Gallery
Gift of Edward S. Harkness, BA 1897


The Elihu Yale “Toby Jug” is created by Josiah Wedgwood Factory for the Yale Publishing Company. It is based upon the Seeman portrait and modeled by Professor Robert G. Eberhand of the Department of Sculpture at Yale.

Josiah Wedgwood Factory, Elihu Yale "Toby" Jug, 1933, creamware, glaze, Dallas Museum of Art, Anonymous gift

Josiah Wedgwood Factory

Elihu Yale "Toby" Jug
Creamware, glaze
Dallas Museum of Art
Anonymous gift


A State Bed belonging to the North family from Glemham Hall, Suffolk, is gifted to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (cited in the Connoisseur 96 and in the Bulletin of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts).



Gathering materials for his biography of Elihu Yale, Hiram Bingham (1875–1956) writes to a colleague on December 8: “Did I tell you that the catalogues I’ve found show that Elihu had about five thousand paintings? And I have located a reference to a painting of the marriage ‘treaty’ being signed between Elihu’s daughter Anne and Sir James Cavendish, the son of the 1st Duke of Devonshire!” This repeats the Bagshawe family’s interpretation of the painting, which misdates the portrait and misidentifies some of the sitters.



Photographs of B1970.1 are printed by J. W. Northend of Sheffield on January 21 for Hiram Bingham. Correspondence from this year perpetuates misinformation about the painting and brings it to the attention of Yale University for the first time. The librarian and keeper of the collection at the Cavendish family seat at Chatsworth, Francis Thompson, serves as Bingham’s point of contact in Derbyshire. Expert opinion from the National Portrait Gallery, London, is ignored, and the date of 1708 is maintained.

On January 24, Francis Thompson writes to Williard Connely, director of the American Union, Gordon Square, London, regarding the photographs of the portrait: “Considering the condition of the picture, which is very bad, and the difficulties in handling it, I think he has been very successful and hope that you will too. . . . The canvas is inscribed on the back with three names.”

Francis Thompson writes to Francis Ernest Gisborne Bagshawe at Ford Hall about the date of B1970.1: “This would date the marriage of Lord James 1706/7 at the very latest (probably earlier); whereas, judging from the costume I would have been inclined to suggest a later date—say 1710–15. . . . I am taking a print to the Director of the NPG and get his opinion.”

On February 3, Francis Ernest Gisborne Bagshawe writes to Francis Thompson: “You will remember the writing on the back of the Cavendish picture? . . . Can I take it that the writing behind the picture is wrong & that Mr Tunstall is the man ‘top left’?”

On February 5, Francis Thompson writes to Francis Ernest Gisborne Bagshawe: “Now about the date of the painting. I showed the photograph to Adams, the Chief Assistant at the National Portrait Gallery (the Director was out when I called, but Adams is the more learned of the two as regards costume) and without telling him anything about the group asked him to date it by the dress. He said 1715. . . . He said a date so earlier (i.e., 1708) would be very difficult to accept.”

On February 17, Williard Connely, director of the American Union, writes to Francis Thompson: “He [Bingham] tells me that this picture of Elihu Yale is much more of a living, breathing personage than any of the other three likenesses in the possession of Yale University. I have a few questions. Will you please tell me to whom the picture belongs? Would there be any chance of purchasing it for Yale University?”



Publication: Hiram Bingham, Elihu Yale: The American Nabob of Queen Square (Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, 1939).



B1970.1 is sold by Francis Ernest Gisborne Bagshawe to Edward Cavendish, tenth Duke of Devonshire. On May 24, Bagshawe writes to Francis Thompson to report that his check has been received: “I am pleased to think that the picture has remained in this country. I don’t like all these old things going to America.”



One of the eighteenth-century sales catalogues of Yale’s possessions is given to the university’s president, Charles Seymour (the gift of the Class of 1893). The New Haven Register records the gift on June 21.

New Haven Evening Register, Monday, June 21, 1948

New Haven Evening Register

Monday, June 21, 1948


Yale University acquires Elihu Yale seated at table with the Second Duke of Devonshire and Lord James Cavendish (ca. 1708, oil on copper, YUAG 1960.51).

Unknown artist, Elihu Yale seated at table with the Second Duke of Devonshire and Lord James Cavendish, ca. 1708, oil on copper, Transfer from the Yale University Library, Gift of Mrs. Arthur W. Butler

Unknown artist

Elihu Yale seated at table with the Second Duke of Devonshire and Lord James Cavendish
ca. 1708
Oil on copper
Transfer from the Yale University Library, Gift of Mrs. Arthur W. Butler


Dwight D. Eisenhower gifts the bust-length copy of the Seeman portrait (campus owned) to Yale University. Formerly at Madras, the work had been given to Eisenhower by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1959.

On December 16, Elizabeth Clare of M. Knoedler & Company, Inc., New York, NY, London, and Paris, writes to A. O. Vietor at the Library at Yale and provides valuation of the Chatsworth Group Portrait: “As I told you on the telephone, our London librarian after consulting with C. K. Adams and J. F. Kersle at the National Portrait Gallery, feels that it is not possible to make a definite attribution. However, we feel its historical importance justifies the value we have put on it.”

After Enoch Seeman the Younger, Elihu Yale (1648/49–1721), oil on canvas, Yale University

After Enoch Seeman the Younger

Elihu Yale (1648/49–1721)
Oil on canvas
Yale University


Publication: Alexander O. Vietor, “An Elihu Yale Conversation Piece,” Yale University Library Gazette 35, no. 4 (April 1961): 158–60.

Francis Ernest Gisborne Bagshawe writes to A. O. Vietor: “the picture [B1970.1] was always spoken of (in my family) as Yale and the Duke discussing the terms for a contract. . . . Moreover there is no sign of pen, ink or sand. I think I must withdraw my claim to have the silver Candlestick (with regret!). The date mark is definitely 1723/4 so it cannot be the one portrayed, but it is remarkably like it.”

Vietor’s response apologizes for errors in his article and notes that: “I am filing your letter to me with all the other data on the picture so that any future scholars can pick up the corrections that you point out. I am particularly sorry about having perpetuated Bingham’s error about the large painting having been in the ‘Cavendish Family’ rather than the ‘Bagshawe Family,’ but, as I say, this will now be in the record here in our Library. I am most interested in what you say about Mr. Wragg’s opinion as to the priority of the copper plate painting—I had rather felt the same way but of course have not been able to prove it. I quite agree with you ‘that discussing the terms of the contract’ would be better than celebrating it—again I followed Bingham unfortunately.”



Joseph Verner Reed and Joseph Verner Reed Jr. gift a portrait of Elihu Yale to the Yale University Art Gallery [1962.30] (as of 2020 it was in the Dining Hall of Saybrook College, Yale).

Possibly by Michael Dahl, Elihu Yale, British, 1649–1721, eighteenth century, oil on canvas, Gift of Joseph Verner Reed, BA 1926; and Joseph Verner Reed, Jr., BA 1959

Possibly by Michael Dahl

Elihu Yale, British, 1649–1721
Eighteenth century
Oil on canvas
Gift of Joseph Verner Reed, BA 1926; and Joseph Verner Reed, Jr., BA 1959


Dr. Martin Luther King travels to Yale to receive an honorary doctoral degree. Photographs of King’s visit show him in the Corporation Room, Woodbridge Hall, on June 15. Here, he is depicted with the New Haven resident and civil rights leader Courtland Seymour Wilson and acting University Secretary Howard Sayer Weaver.

Courtland Seymour Wilson (left), Dr. Martin Luther King (center), Howard Sayer Weaver (right), © Yale University

Dr. Martin Luther King at Yale

Courtland Seymour Wilson (left), Dr. Martin Luther King (center), Howard Sayer Weaver (right)
© Yale University