The Middleton Paintings and Photos

Professor R. Middleton (University of Bristol) is a direct descendant of Edwin Harris’s older brother James Cobham Harris (1794-1876) [JCH], who is working on the family history of the Harris-Middleton-Dobson and associated families. He has shared with us a collection of portraits, both painted and photographed, of the extended Harris families in Plymouth which we reproduce here. Further reading can be found in ‘A descendant of James Cobham Harris’ (1 Apr 2021).

Harris Family Paintings

Both painted by James Cobham Harris (1794-1876), a professional portrait painter photographed below.

Photograph of James Cobham Harris. Caption reads: ‘CJH’s Grandfather James Cobham Harris’ (CJH is Charles James Harris (1852-1936)). Collection of Professor Middleton.

1825 Painting
Harris Family c1825. James Pasco Harris [James Jnr] (1771-1846) and his wife Mary Roberts Harris (née Good) (1774-1850) who had, supposedly, 23 children, with the painter James Cobham Harris the eldest son. Collection of Professor Middleton.

Painting features 6 younger children (4 girls, 2 boys?), 2 young woman, parents Mary Roberts Harris (née Good) and James Pasco Harris [James Jnr], two young men, and an elderly woman. Among the daughters are Catherine Jane (Kate) (25) and Emily Augusta (16). Among the sons are likely Edwin Harris (19), James Cobham (29), Theodosius Henry (14) and Henry Marmaduke (10).

1840 Painting
Harris Family c1840. James Cobham Harris and his first wife Elizabeth Harris (née Oake) (1792–1861) with their children. Collection of Professor Middleton

Painting features James Cobham Harris (1794-1876), wife (Elizabeth Oake), 2 male children and 4 female children.

Captain Josiah Oake
Another painting by James Cobham Harris is this portrait of Captain Josiah Oake RN (1760- 1840, collection of Professor Middleton. We have documentary evidence that this was painted in 1839 and seen by Captain Oake. This is the painting pictured on the right hand wall in the 1840 family painting.

Portraits of James Pasco Harris and Mary Roberts Good Harris

This pair of portraits depicts James Pasco Harris [James Harris Jnr] and Mary Roberts Good Harris (1774-1850). Photographs taken by Professor Middleton in summer 2003 in situ in California (paintings in possession of another branch of the Harris family descended from James Cobham Harris), previously – with others – displayed in Harris Family home, ‘St Albans’, Yelverton, Devon.

The Photograph Album

Two photographs of JCH’s family paintings from a family album belonging to EA Dobson inherited by Professor Middleton. Captions ‘My great grandfather Harris’s family’ (1825 painting) and ‘My grandfather Harris’ family (1840 painting). Photograph album ‘Prescot’, the name being the house that EA Dobson (nee Harris) (1884-1976) occupied in Kent during marriage (1918-24) to James Murray Dobson.