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Penelope Royall Vassall (Mrs. Henry Vassall)

Penelope Royall Vassall (Mrs. Henry Vassall) Oil on canvas
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[ This description is from the project: Revolutionary-era Art and Artifacts ]

This portrait of Penelope Royall Vassall was completed by Joseph Blackburn (circa 1700-1765) in the 1750s.

Penelope Royall Vassall was born in Antigua in 1724. She was the daugher of Massachusetts natives Isaac and Elizabeth (Eliot) Royall. In 1737, she returned to Boston with her family and upon her father's death in 1739, she inherited extensive holdings in Antigua which were later lost by her husband, Henry Vassall, whom she married in 1742. Her only surviving daughter Elizabeth married Charles Russell. Vassall's Cambridge home was confiscated as a Tory property during the Revolution and she fled to Antigua. When she returned to Boston after the war she lived in poverty. She died in Boston in 1800.