Elisabeth Pepys

by James Thomson, after John Hayls (1666)

National Portrait Gallery, London, NPG D5507

Thomson's engraving is from the painting by John Hayls that Samuel Pepys commissioned in February 1666. The posture, with the palm of martyrdom and wheel of torture, was designed to show Elisabeth as St. Catherine. The painting was destroyed around 1830 by a Scottish nurse who, “offended by the somewhat décolleté manner she was painted, cut the canvas up into strips” (W.H. Whitear, More Pepysiana, 1927, p ii).