Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gawdy, John

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GAWDY, Sir JOHN (1639–1699), painter, born on 4 Oct. 1639, was the second son of Sir William Gawdy, bart. (d. 1666), of West Harling, Norfolk, by his wife Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of John Duffield of East Wretham in the same county, and grandson of Framlingham Gawdy [q. v.] He was a deaf-mute, and became a pupil of Lely, intending to follow portraiture as a profession; but on the death of his elder brother, Bassingbourne, in 1660, he became heir to the family estates, and thenceforth painted only for amusement. Evelyn, who met him in September 1677, speaks of him as ‘a very handsome person … and a very fine painter; he was so civil and well bred, as it was not possible to discern any imperfection by him’ (Diary, 1850–2, ii. 111). He died, according to Blomefield, in 1699. By his wife Anne, daughter of Sir Robert de Grey, knight, of Martin, Lincolnshire, he left one son, Bassingbourne, and one daughter, Anne, married to Oliver Le Neve of Great Witchingham, Norfolk. His son dying unmarried on 10 Oct. 1723, the baronetcy became extinct. Three of Gawdy's letters are preserved in the British Museum (index to Cat. of Additions to the MSS. 1854–75, p. 606).

[Blomefield's Norfolk, i. 306–7; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists, 1878, p. 169; Burke's Extinct Baronetcy, p. 216.]

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