Sir Samuel Standidge Knight (1725-1801), Mayor of Hull (1795), and Five Times Warden of the Trinity House - Unknown Artist (1790s)
oil on canvas, 94 x 73.5 cm
KINCM:1969.8, Hull Maritime Museum

Sir Samuel Standidge Knight was one of the founding fathers in the Hull whaling trade, the owner of a fleet of whalers, and a master mariner, who repeatedly sailed to Greenland. Emphasizing the centrality of the whaling trade to the city, Standidge became Hull’s Mayor in 1795. He was also five times Warden of Hull Trinity House, which part financed Captain James Cook’s exploratory voyages. The bewigged portrait, depicting Knight in his Mayoral chains,  against columns in the background, gives little sense of his importance to the whaling trade. Where many whaling captains are depicted holding a telescope, Knight holds a folded-up scroll, to emphasise his gentlemanly credentials.

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Credit: Images are courtesy of the Hull Maritime Museum