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The John Hancock House, Boston, Mass.

2008.38 (RS101362)


Oil painting of the John Hancock House on Beacon Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Gilt wood frame.


Furneaux, Charles (Painter)
Front left bottom corner: "FURNEAUX"
Reverse Top Stretcher: [paper label] "Kaminski / May / 35181" [paper label] "A2466" [written] "A2466" [paper label] "
Reverse Bottom Frame: [paper label] "The original "HANCOCK HOUSE" was built in / 1737 by Thomas Hancock, an eminent Boston mer- / chant of his day, on the site now covered by 29 / and 30 Beacon street. / In this house, for which much of the wood- / work and stone was sent here from England, Han- / cock resided until the day of his death in 1764. / After the death of his widow in 1776, it became / the property and home of their distinguished / nephew, John Hancock, the patriot, whose bold au- / tograph was the first affixed to the Declaration / of Independence." [paper label] "John Hancock lived in the house until his / death, in 1795 (sic), which occurred while he was fill- / ing the high office of Governor of the Common- / wealth of Massachusetts. During the siege of Bos- / ton, the Hancock house was a British military / headquarters, and subsequently it was the scene / of generous hospitality bestowed by its wealthy / owner on his distinguished friends. / The old house was torn down in 1863." (Signed and paper labels)
Location of origin
Associated Building
Subject of painting John Hancock House (Boston, Mass.). Subject of painting John Hancock House.
oil paint (paint)
Object type
Descriptive terms
oil paint (paint)
oil paintings (visual works)
22 1/2 x 16 1/2 x 1 1/4 (HxWxD) (inches)
Accession Number
Credit Line
Museum Purchase


The John Hancock House, by Charles Furneaux, ca. 1859 #

AvatarPosted by John on June 30, 2015
It should be mentioned for clarification, since the label on the back of the painting indicates otherwise, that after the death of Thomas Hancock in 1764, the Hancock House was bequeathed to his widow Lydia who then gave it to her nephew John, so John officially owned it in 1764 and not in 1776. Also John died in 1793 and not 1795.

Hancock House painting label #

AvatarPosted by Nicole Chalfant - Collection Manager on June 30, 2015
Thank you John, for your post clarifying information about John Hancock and his Boston house. You are correct on all fronts.

In this case, the inscription transcribed here functions more as a historical part of the object than a recounting of factual information. At Historic New England, we are just as interested in how an object or a story has been passed down through generations of a family as we are with its historical significance.

I appreciate you contacting us to clarify these points.

Nicole Chalfant
Collection Manager