A London grocer, about whose life very little is known, Thomas Jesson is remembered in Coventry chiefly through the terms of his will, which made generous provision for the poor of Coventry through the funding of apprenticeships, financial support for widows, and annual distribution of bread to the poor. There was even provision for an annual dinner to be held by the Corporation in his honour. Thomas Jesson is depicted with his left hand on a skull, indicating a contented acceptance of his own mortality, and satisfaction that his good works and reputation will be remembered long after his death. The heraldic shield at the top of the picture shows the arms of Jesson to the right, with those of the Grocers' Company on the left.
Where to see this painting?
St Mary’s Guildhall, Coventry
Bayley Lane, Coventry, West Midlands, England, CV1 5RN
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.