Portrait of Betty Hancock (nee Coleman)

about 1819-1877
Charles Hancock

Portrait of Betty Hancock (nee Coleman) by Charles Hancock, oil on canvas. Betty Hancock is depicted seated half-length, in front of a dark background. She wears a brown dress, black shawl, and white bonnet and her hands are clasped in her lap. The painting is in a rectangular gilt frame with beading.

Betty Hancock (nee Coleman) (d. 1836) was the wife of James Hancock, a cabinetmaker, and a member of the Hancock family of Marlborough, England. She was the daughter of Thomas Coleman, a maltster. The Hancocks were a significant British family in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, known for their contributions to science, art, and industry. She and James Hancock had 12 children, including John, Thomas, and Walter.

This portrait was painted by Charles Hancock (1800-1877), one of Betty’s sons. Charles was a painter and inventor who had 25 paintings displayed at the Royal Academy.

This object is part of a collection relating to the Hancock family, acquired in 2018 from a descendant and family historian of the Hancocks. The collection comprises portraits covering 4 generations of the Hancock family (including 7 painted by Charles Hancock), personal and business archives, and a series of related objects. Betty Hancock’s son Thomas is the centre of the story – inventor of the patent masticator and founder of the British rubber industry. The Hancock company ran until the 1930s, led by Thomas’s nephew and assistant, James Lyne Hancock, and then a great nephew John Hancock Nunn.


Object Number:
gold plated (gilded), paint and wood (unidentified)