Sir Bibye Lake was the son of the wealthy Bostonian lawyer Thomas Lake. Educated in England at Middle Temple, London, Bibye’s father named him after his uncle’s wife. This connection was all the more valid as Bibye’s great-uncle was responsible for his own wealth, after dying childless in 1674 and leaving his entire estate to Bibye’s father. Bibye’s grandfather, Captain Thomas Lake, bought Arrowsic in Maine in 1660, but was killed in a fight with Native Americans at his trading post in 1676.[1]

Bibye became the first in a new line of Lake baronets when a warrant was drawn up in 1711. Two years later, in 1713, he married Mary Atwell. Their son was Sir Atwell Lake, 2nd Baronet. Bibye was, like his father, educated at Middle Temple and became a bencher. He was also Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBCo.) from 1713 to his death in 1743. His estate passed to his son, Sir Atwell Lake, second baronet,...

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Sir Bibye Lake was the son of the wealthy Bostonian lawyer Thomas Lake. Educated in England at Middle Temple, London, Bibye’s father named him after his uncle’s wife. This connection was all the more valid as Bibye’s great-uncle was responsible for his own wealth, after dying childless in 1674 and leaving his entire estate to Bibye’s father. Bibye’s grandfather, Captain Thomas Lake, bought Arrowsic in Maine in 1660, but was killed in a fight with Native Americans at his trading post in 1676.[1]

Bibye became the first in a new line of Lake baronets when a warrant was drawn up in 1711. Two years later, in 1713, he married Mary Atwell. Their son was Sir Atwell Lake, 2ndBaronet. Bibye was, like his father, educated at Middle Temple and became a bencher. He was also Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBCo.) from 1713 to his death in 1743. His estate passed to his son, Sir Atwell Lake, second baronet, who was Governor of the Company from 1750 until he died in 1760.[2]

This portrait of Bibye dates to circa 1690/1 when the sitter was six or seven years old. The sitter’s identity can be further confirmed by the double engraving by Robert White, Loggan’s pupil, of Lake and his sister Mary, Duchess of Chandos (dated 1694), when Bibye was ten years of age.

The artist David Loggan was born in Danzig (then Polish Prussia) to Scottish/ English parents. He learned his craft from the Dutch publisher and engraver Crispian Van der Passe the elder. Moving to London, and then to Oxford to avoid the plague in 1669, Loggan was appointed ‘public sculptor’ to the University of Oxford and he proceeded to draw and engrave all the Oxford colleges in bird's-eye views. His folio Oxonia illustrata was published in 1675 (the same year he was naturalised as an English citizen) with the help of his assistant Robert White (1645-1704). Moving back to London the same year, he also acted as an agent in the acquisition of works of art. The following year, he was involved in preparing the new folio Cantabrigia illustrata, which was eventually published in 1690. He died in London two years later in 1692. His plumbago drawings combine great delicacy with accurate detail and he was considered a master of this art form. The variety of textures conveyed in simple monochrome in this drawing are astonishingly accurate – from the delicate lace of the jabot to the sheen on the satin or silk bow.

[1]For an account of this see Gina M. Martino ‘Women at War in the Borderlands of the Early American Northeast’, 2018, p. 32.

[2]For further information see Cruden, D.M. "Sir James Lake, Baronet: The Firs, Edmonton." Alberta History, vol. 52, no. 1, 2004, p. 9+. Accessed 9 July 2020.

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500 Years of British Art