Francis Cook, 1st Viscount of Monserrate
Sir Francis Cook, 1st Baronet (1817–1901) was a British merchant and art collector.
In 1833, he entered his father's firm Cook, Son & Co. based in the City of London, which traded finished wool, cotton, linen and silk, after travels in Europe and the Near East. From 1869, he was its head, rising to be one of Britain's three richest men.
In 1849, he bought Doughty House in Richmond and in 1855 the quinta of Monserrate in Sintra, Portugal. There, he restored Monserrate Palace, a Moorish-style palace, and became visconde de Monserrate (Viscount of Monserrate).
He began to collect classical sculpture in the late 1850s. He collected his first major paintings in 1868, at which date Sir John Charles Robinson (1824–1913), former V&A curator, became his advisor. He had 510 major works by 1876 and in 1885 added a Long Gallery to Doughty House to accommodate the growing collection, making this gallery open to scholars.
In 1885, he married for the second time to the American feminist stockbroker and former clairvoyant Tennessee Claflin, and on 10 March 1886 he was created a baronet. He died on 17 February 1901, leaving an estate of £1,600,000, and was buried at West Norwood Cemetery. He was succeeded by his son Frederick.
Works collected by him
- Hubert van Eyck’s Three Marys at the Sepulchre (Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam)
- Diego Velázquez’s Old Woman Cooking Eggs (National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh)
- Antonello da Messina’s Christ at the Column (Musée du Louvre, Paris)
- François Clouet’s Portrait of a lady (National Gallery of Art, Washington DC)
- Metsu’s Woman at her toilet (Norton Simon Foundation, Pasadena, CA).
- The London Gazette: . 2 March 1886.
|Baronetage of the United Kingdom|
(of Doughty House)
1886 – 1901