John Singleton Copley (American, 17381815)
Oil on canvas; 50 x 40 in. (127 x 101.6 cm)
Amelia B. Lazarus Fund, 1923 (23.143)
Joseph Sherburne (17101799) was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the son of Mary Lovell and Judge Joseph Sherburne, a man of considerable wealth who served variously as mariner, merchant, selectman, member of the King's Council, and justice of the Supreme Court. The Sherburnes moved to Boston sometime before 1728. The sitter became active in the East India Trade, and later was a successful hardware merchant. Sherburne owned extensive lands in Boston and married three times, first in 1734 to Mary Watson, by whom he had one daughter, Mary. (15.128). Three years later, he married Mary Plaisted of Salem, whose two children both died at an early age.