Isaac Royall

about 1769
John Singleton Copley (American, 1738–1815)

Catalogue Raisonné

Eighteenth-century American Arts No. 2


127 x 101.6 cm (50 x 40 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

On View

Norma and Roger Alfred Saunders Gallery (Gallery 128)






On paper on table top: For/The Hon. Isaac Royall/Medford....


About 1769, Isaac Royall [1]; 1781, bequeathed by Isaac Royall to his grandson William Pepperrell (1775-1809); 1809, by descent to his sister, Lady Charles Palmer (Harriot Royall Pepperrell) (1773-1848), Wanlip Hall, Leicestershire, England; 1848, by descent to her grandson, Sir Archdale Robert Palmer, 4th Bart.(1838-1905); 1905, by descent to his daughter, Lady Augusta Amelia Shirley Palmer (1849-1933); by 1934, sold from the family to The Royal Galleries, Ltd., London and New York; by 1936, with Robert C. Vose Galleries, Boston; 1937, sold by Vose Galleries to Maxim Karolik, Newport, R.I. (painting was placed on loan to the MFA); 1939, gift of Martha and Maxim Karolik to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 12, 1939)

[1] Royall was billed L19.12.0 for his portait on a invoice dated June 8, 1774 that included three other portraits . According to Barbara Neville Parker and Anne Bolling Wheeler in "John Singleton Copley American Portraits," Boston: MFA, 1938, the invoice was in the hand of Henry Pelham, Copley's half-brother. Two days later, on June 10, 1774, Copley left the colonies for England. It is likely that Copley was cleaning up his affairs, and asked his half-brother to collect the amount owed by Royall for all his family portraits at that time.

Credit Line

The M. and M. Karolik Collection of Eighteenth-Century American Arts