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.