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Pirates' pirate in Penlee exhibition

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: January 30, 2014

The Penzance Pirate, Judge Bernard Braithwaite, painted by Edward Bouverie Hoyton.   Brian Tempest.

The Penzance Pirate, Judge Bernard Braithwaite, painted by Edward Bouverie Hoyton. Brian Tempest.

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AMONG the works of the artist Edward Bouverie Hoyton (1900-1988) currently to be seen at Penlee House Gallery And Museum is an oil painting of a fearsome- looking pirate.

Usually on display in the Pirates' rugby clubhouse, the painting was a gift from the artist to Penzance & Newlyn RFC when the clubhouse opened in 1955.

For years club members were intrigued as to the real man behind the swarthy-looking bearded fellow who has graced the cover of the club's Golden Jubilee book and other memorabilia, as well as on a large sign on the clubhouse wall overlooking Alexandra Road.

And it took a chance meeting in Madron in 1996 for the matter to be settled once and for all when it was discovered that the unknown pirate was actually Judge Bernard Braithwaite, then aged 82, who was from Gloucestershire.

Bernard revealed that he had his picture painted in Bouverie's studio in Jack Lane, Newlyn, after he bought a holiday cottage in Madron in 1950.

He had not seen the finished product since its completion and it was only when he mentioned the painting to a neighbour in Madron that news got back to club archivist Phil Westren, who also lives in the village, and the puzzle was finally solved.

Phil said: "Bernard was invited to the clubhouse to view the picture and recall his time as an artist's muse and he commented: "We had many a laugh over making it as bloodthirsty as possible'."

The exhibition on Bouverie Hoyton, who is described as being one of the unsung heroes of 20th-century printmaking, continues at Penlee House until March 22.

See www.penleehouse.org.uk

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