Sir Peter Lely
- Sir Peter Lely
Portraits of Sir Randolph Crewe; and his wife Julia Fasey, Lady Crewe, both three-quarter length, seated in black robes
- both oil on canvas, a pair
Rev. Leighton Bullan, D.D., Fellow of St. Johns College, Oxford, 1934;
Mrs C. M. Duncan-Jones;
Her sale, Sotheby's London, 11th May 1955, lot 96, (bt. Wiggins for £38);
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's London, 24th November 1999, lot 26, (bt. by the present owner)
A distinguished lawyer, Sir Randolph Crewe was the second son of John Crewe of Nantwich (d.1598) and his wife Alice, daughter of Hugh Mainwaring. Educated at Shrewsbury School and Christ's College,Cambridge, he was admitted to Lincoln's Inn on 14th November 1577. Having been called to the bar in 1584 he was employed as legal adviser and counsel to Gilbert Talbot, 10th Earl of Shrewsbury, in the late 1590s.
Crewe sat for Brackley in the parliament of 1597 and was installed as a Bencher of Lincoln's Inn in 1600, delivering a reading on the Henrician Statute of Enrolements in August 1602. Elected Speaker of the House for the turbulent parliament of 1614 he was knighted following its dissolution and called to the rank of King's Sargeant. His distinguished career as advocate included a number of celebrated trials, including the persecution of Weston for the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, and the impeachments of Yelverton, Sir John Bennet and Lionel Cranfield, Earl of Middlesex.
On 12th April 1607 he married his second wife Julia, the widow of a prosperous Gray's Inn lawyer and his flourishing practise enabled him to purchase a large estate in Cheshire, centred around the Manor of Crewe, from Sir Christopher Hatton, for which he paid over £6,000. These two paintings, which date from c.1645, are among Lely's finest early portraits.