John Peters looks splendid in his uniform. He got his commission in 1781. He became captain of a Falmouth Packet Ship- the PRINCE WILLIAM HENRY.
He sailed between Falmouth and the West Indies. His career was interrupted when he was captured by the French, but he emerged and was back at the helm.
His portrait could well date from the commission in 1781.
Interestingly this uniform was not an official one- the Packet Captains did not have an official uniform. They used to have smart uniforms designed individually!
In 1783 he married CATHERINE NOWELL- USTICKE from Penzance
MRS CATHERINE PETERS
Catherine’s portrait was painted to celebrate the wedding in 1783. By then Opie was a famous London artist, showing at the Royal Academy. He came down to his native Mithian that summer- bringing his wife Mary down for the first time- so the portrait was probably painted then.
There were relatives at Penwarne, on the Helford.
Captain and Mrs Peters are commemorated in a stained glass window at Mawnan Church.
These portraits formerly hung at CASTLE HORNECK, Penzance. They were sold through Harrods at some time in the past, then taken to the USA.