Hatchlands Park is a red brick house designed in 1756 by the carpenter-architect Stiff Leadbetter (c.1705–1766) for the Honourable Edward Boscawen (1711–1761). It was also Robert Adams’s first documented interior decoration in an English country house. It was sold in 1888 to Stuart (1834–1913), Lord Rendel, who gave it to Harry Chester Goodhart-Rendel (1887–1959), an Edinburgh professor, architect and historian, and only child of his eldest daughter, Rose Ellen. Harry gave the property to the National Trust in 1945, with a few pictures transferred after his death.
Since 1987 it has contained the Cobbe Collection of early and composer-played and owned keyboard instruments, together with paintings from their historic collection formed in the eighteenth century at the Cobbe family seat of Newbridge House, County Dublin. It also features pictures collected by Mr Alec Cobbe, a descendant and present tenant at Hatchlands, that are kindly included in this survey. These include some remarkable discoveries, notably Titian’s unfinished portrait of ‘A Patrician Lady and her Daughter’ (Cobbe Collection 403), completed after his death as ‘Tobias and the Angel’, and the ‘Rokeby Venus and Adonis’ (Cobbe Collection 476). There is also one of two autograph versions of Guercino’s masterpiece ‘Semiramis Receiving the News of the Fall of Babylon’ (Cobbe Collection 353), a group of Roman seventeenth-century landscapes by Gaspard Dughet, a head study attributed to Rembrandt, and works by Alessandro Allori, Poussin and Ribera. Family and other portraits include works by Kneller, Zoffany, Batoni, Gainsborough and Lawrence. The lifetime portrait of William Shakespeare is world renowned, as is the earliest extant oil portrait of his patron, Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton.