Here we see the Rev. Thomas D’Oyly (1709-1770) and his wife Henrietta Maria, daughter of Robert Godfrey, in their sitting room, seemingly caught off guard as he hands a letter to his wife. In the 1933 auction (see Provenance), the painting was titled Rev. Thomas D'Oyly and His Daughter however, Ellen D'Oench dates this portrait to the artist's early period, circa 1743-44, and thus it more likely represents D'Oyly and his wife soon after their marriage in 1743. Shortly thereafter, D’Oyly became vicar of Kelshall, Hertfordshire and, in 1749, of Radmill, Sussex. He later became Archdeacon of Lewes, Chancellor of Chichester in 1751 and Prebendary of Ely in 1752. Devis was likely introduced to the family by Mrs. D’Oyly’s sister, Amy, whom the artist had painted in circa 1741 with her husband, Charles Wager Purvis.
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