Flagmen of Lowestoft: Admiral Sir John Lawson (d.1665)
A three-quarter length portrait slightly to left. He wears a sleeveless leather jerkin, breastplate, red sash and the sleeves of his coat are heavily barred with gold. He holds a baton in his right hand and his left rests on a cannon. The background is a rock face with a ship in action on the left. The portrait is a copy of the original at Buckingham Palace, and is probably posthumous. Lawson fought in the Parliamentary navy throughout the civil wars. He was in all the great actions in home waters that occurred in the First Dutch War and for his services received the gold medal and chain that Parliament bestowed after the war on certain officers. He fell into disgrace with Cromwell in 1655 but in 1659 after the Cromwells were dead, he became Commander-in-Chief of the fleet. His prestige in the fleet was high, and in spite of his political and religious views as an Anabaptist, he was sent as second in command to fetch home the King in 1660. He was also second in command of the Duke of York's squadron at the Battle of Lowestoft in 1665 when he received a wound in the knee that turned gangrenous and he died at Greenwich a month later. At the Restoration Lely was appointed Principal Painter to Charles II.
Sir Peter Lely
- Image reference: BHC2833
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
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