soldportrait of sir nathaniel johnson c1680 later governor of carolina attributed to john riley

SOLD....Portrait of Sir Nathaniel Johnson c.1680, later Governor of Carolina: Attributed to John Riley.



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Oil on canvas in original high quality carved and giltwood 17th c. frame.
SIR NATHANIEL JOHNSON (C.1645-1714) was the eldest son of William Johnson, merchant, of Newcastle by Margaret, daughter of William Sherwood, merchant, of Newcastle. Johnson was knighted on 28 Dec. 1680, which is probably when this fine portrait was painted.
Deputy Treasurer of Barbados by 1668; Committee for hearth-tax 1679-84; Governor of the Leeward Isles 1686-9, Governor of Carolina 1702-8.
Member of Eastland co. Newcastle 1668, Merchant Adventurers 1669, Freeman 1673; J.P. County Durham 1674-?86, Collector of hearth-tax, Cumberland., Westmoreland, Northumberland and County Durham by 1675; Commissioner for Assessment, Co. Durham 1677-9, Newcastle 1679-80, carriage of coals, Newcastle 1679; Captain of Militia Foot, Newcastle by 1680-?Feb. 1688; Member, Hon. Artillery Co. 1681; mayor, Newcastle 1681-2, alderman 1682-June 1688.
Nathaniel Johnson had become a prominent merchant by 1686, when the Lords Proprietors made him a Cassique of South Carolina, and he received appointment as governor of the Leeward Islands. Resigning that post in 1689, Johnson moved to Carolina and he was commissioned governor of the colony in June 1702. Taking over from deputy governor James Moore in March 1703, Johnson quickly moved to limit the rights of Dissenters. After the proprietors disallowed the Exclusion and Church acts of 1704, the Establishment Act of 1706 became law and controlled South Carolina’s government until the Revolution.
The colonists' constant fear of attack from Spanish Florida sharpened when England declared war against Spain. A wall along the eastern edge of Charles Town had been planned since 1694, but construction had been sporadic. In late 1704 governor Johnson reported that the project remained incomplete, and pushed for funding a new plan: a ring of fortifications around the town, with a curtain wall connecting the defensive works. The fortified city was tested in August, 1706, when a French and Spanish fleet appeared in Charleston Harbour. With Governor Johnson leading the courageous defence, the invasion was repelled.
Carolina politics, however, remained tumultuous. In December 1708, the proprietors appointed Edward Tynte to replace governor Nathaniel Johnson. Johnson remained in office until his successor arrived in Charles Town in November 1709.
Sir Nathaniel Johnson retired to his Silk Hope plantation, granted to him in 1696 as 1,940 acres; he died here in 1712 and was buried there. Among South Carolina’s later governors were his son, Robert Johnson, and Thomas Broughton, the husband of his daughter Anne Johnson.
Johnson's Fort at Windmill Point on James Island was named for Governor Johnson.
JOHN RILEY (1646 - 1691) was born in London where his father was Lancaster Herald; he built a thriving portrait painting practice with the middle classes. In December 1688 he and Sir Godfrey Kneller were jointly appointed Principal Painter to the King. Riley was an outstanding portraitist catching much of the character of his sitters, as is clearly shown in this excellent quality portrait of Johnson.
SIZE:37 x 33 inc. frame
*A Southern English Private Collection.
*With Roy Precious Fine Art.
*Warwickshire Private Collection from 2004.
Verso: a 19th c. handwritten label 'Governor Johnson an ancestor of the Bonner family. Governor of Jamaica. Sir Godfrey Kneller.' and an old storage label 'E. Judge. 8, East Cross, Tenterden'
Internal Ref: 8769

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