Are these all the same man? Possibly yes. Despite the seeming differences, there is a consistency of expression.
An article entitled Portaits of the Heroes of Louisbourg, 1745-1751, by Ellen G.Miles, in American Art Journal, Winter 1983,
reproduces a portrait of Philip Durell, attributed to Hudson, 1746, as well as one of what must be his second wife.
This article is available on the internet, from JSTOR.

Philip & Other Durells

The tree below is an interpretative amalgam of details given by A.C.Saunders, G.R.Balleine and John Charnock. Since these sources are partly interdependent, and none too authoritative anyway, the tree is an interim compromise, and makes the best of dodgy information.

Some more details have been added from An Armorial of Jersey, by J.Bertrand Payne. Further clarification from an expert genealogist of the Durell clan would be welcome. Note: the Durells are a Jersey family; the de Sausmarez a Guernsey family.

The Durell family is of special interest, first because at least ten of Monamy's descendants have perpetuated the name, and second, appreciation of this fact has directed attention to the painter's self-evidently close personal connection with its numerous naval and politically active members, especially during the last decade of his life. Porto Bello, Louisbourg, the captures of the Princesa and the Mars all dramatically involved members of the Durell and de Sausmarez families. It seems clear to me that during these last years Monamy received their unwavering support, in preference to Samuel Scott, for reasons fully gone into elsewhere. Start here.

The sitter in the portrait, right, is identified as George Durell in the Witt Library.

Captain George Durell

The above note conflicts with another source,
stating that Philip de Saumarez was brought home not by George, but by Philip Durell.
see also here


1707: 23/5. Baptized in St Helier. Fifth son of John Durell (Solicitor-General 1701-1726) and Elizabeth Corbet. Received early education from his aunt, Madelaine, widow of Sir Edouard de Carteret.
1720: Midshipman, aged 13, on Seahorse, commanded by his uncle, Captain Thomas Durell. On his first voyage carried newly appointed Governor to New York.
1721: Served on the Ludlow Castle, (as an able seaman?).
1731: Appointed Lieutenant.
1736: Married his cousin, Madelaine de Sausmarez.
1739: On one of the ships led by Vernon at capture of Porto Bello: Kingzett refers to "Captain Philip Durell of the Burford", but Durell was not a Captain at the time of the capture. The plan of Porto Bello was "drawn by Lieut Durell", as mentioned in Traill's Social England. The plan appears to have been first published 27 March 1740. See here.
1740: Plan, Guantanimo: Tooley, R.V., Dictionary of Mapmakers, c1979;
1740: Map, Porto Bello: Tooley, R.V., ibid.
1741: Map, Cumberland Harbour, Cuba; Carthagena: Tooley, R.V., D of M, c1979. Cumberland Harbour is the English name for Guantanamo Bay, so Tooley seems to have confused the two names.
1741: Captain of the Fireship Success
1742: Captain of the Fireship Strombolo.
1742: 6/2. Post-Captain, commanded the frigate Gibraltar (50) in the second battle of Finisterre.
1743: Captain of the Eltham (40/44 guns); ordered to join in disastrous attack on Porto Cabello in Venezuela. Admiral Knowles repulsed at Porto Cabello, WI, 24/4/1742 (?)
1745: Map, Louisbourg Harbour: Tooley, R.V., Dictionary of Mapmakers. The Eltham took part in capture of Louisbourg, under Commodore Warren. Philip Durell published A Particular Account of the Taking of Cape Breton from the French, 1745.
1745: Madame Durell in Queen Street, Westminster: Westminster Poll Book.
1746: The portraits of Philip and his wife, attributed to Hudson, are given this date in Ellen Miles' article..
1747: Command of the Chester (50). His squadron made a haul of 50 French West-Indiamen.
1747: 14 October: Command of the Gloucester (50). Took part in Hawke's victory over the French, commanded by M. de L'Etendiere off Finisterre. [?] Or is he here being confused with his brother, Captain George Durell?
1749: Philip Durell Esq recorded living in Palace Yard; Westminster Poll Book.
1749: Command of newly launched Rochester.
1755: Captain of the Terrible (74)
1756: Captain of the Trident (64). Fought at Minorca, 20/5/1756, in the action for which John Byng was executed. Durell was a witness at his trial. An attack on Durell in this connection was published in a broadsheet.
1757: Command of the Prince George.
1758: Commodore of the Diana (36). Commodore off the coast of Nova Scotia, under Admiral Boscawen. Durell had task of observing coast for suitable place to land troops for recapture of Louisbourg, which was re-taken 16/7/1758.
1758: July 8. (September?). Promoted to Rear-Admiral of the Blue, as reward for recapture of Louisbourg. Wintered in America. His wife died "of a decline" in Bristol. This must be "the lady named Skey", his second wife.
Durell's third wife was Catherine Vincent, daughter of Thomas Vincent, of Plymouth, born before 1737. She married, firstly, Captain Wittewronge Taylor, son of Reverend Thomas Taylor and Mary Wittewronge, on 28 September 1756. In 1768 she married Sir Frederick Rogers, 4th Bt., son of Sir John Rogers, 2nd Bt. and Mary Henley, in Stoke Damerel, Devon. She died in 1803. See here.
1759: 14 February. Philip was appointed Rear-Admiral of the Red. Second-in-Command under Sir Charles Saunders in expedition against Quebec. Initially, thinking river was ice-bound he missed interception of French convoy to Quebec.
On the Princess Amelia (80), he then led 7 ships up the river, reaching the Ile aux Coudres, 60 miles below Quebec. The Princess Amelia was sent back to pilot transports and rest of fleet up the river. "The enemy have passed 60 ships of war, where we hardly dared risk a vessel of 100 tons." (Vaudreuil, the French Governor-General). General Wolfe and the Army took Quebec.
1761: 14/6: Appointed Port Admiral, Plymouth. Married, third, the widow of Captain Wittewronge Taylor.
1762: 21/10. Vice-Admiral of the Blue. Command of the American Station. Command of Launceston (44).
[1764: Map, Dunkirk (ms): Tooley, R.V., Dictionary of Mapmakers].
1766: Died at sea 23/8/1766, through eating dolphin, near Halifax, Nova Scotia. Buried in St Paul's Church, oldest Anglican church in Halifax, and the only one in 1766. Owned land in Berkshire, according to his will.

Displayed in Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery. Attributed to Zoffany.

Captain Thomas Durell, 1685-1741, Philip's uncle, was also a map-maker, and according to R.V.Tooley drew the harbour and Island of Canso, 1732, and the sea coasts of New England; Nova Scotia; Newfoundland (undated). Dictionary of Mapmakers.

Since the sources do not fully agree, some of the above may be incorrect. The sources quoted by Balleine include Charnock; and Clowes, W.L. The Royal Navy; Waugh, W.T. James Wolfe; Parkman, F. Montcalm & Wolfe.

Lloyd, in the Capture of Quebec, 1959, p 59, retails some peculiarly unflattering remarks made by Wolfe about Durell, prior to the capture of Quebec, as follows: "Wolfe ..... complained to Pitt about 'the thorough aversion conceived by the marine of this country against navigating the river St Lawrence ..... I will add from my own knowledge that the second naval officer in command there (Philip Durell) is vastly unequal to the weight of the business; and it is of the first importance to the country that it doth not fall into such hands'". But see also pp 117-119 of Furneaux's The Seven Years War, 1973. In spite of his "dilatoriness", which apparently lost the English attack the element of surprise, Durell seems to have accomplished the navigation up the St Lawrence with unprecedented success. The accounts are not totally clear.

An excellent biography of Philip Durell, by W.A.B.Douglas, in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, online, has the following comment: "Despite a hard winter all his (Durell's) ships were ready by 8 April 1759, but when Major-General Wolfe and Vice-Admiral Charles Saunders arrived in Halifax on 30 April they found Durell still in port. Even though the ships were at single anchor, awaiting only a favourable wind, Wolfe was displeased. Durell's peers in the naval service, however, did not in the end find fault with him. Ice conditions that spring had been particularly severe, and ships were unable to get into the Gulf of St Lawrence or Louisbourg harbour as late as mid-April." Wolfe appears to have harboured some personal dislike of Durell.

Matthew de Sausmarez
Sausmarez Manor

The fortunes of the de Sausmarez family of Guernsey began to revive in 1705 when Matthew de Sausmarez, 1685-1778, married Anne Durell, born 1689, daughter of the Jersey Lieutenant-Bailiff. Although Mr Cecil de Sausmarez was uncomplimentary about her beauty, right, he indicated to me that this marriage was, in his view, a wise move.

Matthew de Sausmarez' ninety-three year lifespan is impressive. The dates are obviously wrong. For more on the de Sausmarez family, see Craig Thornber's site here.

In another source Matthew de Sausmarez' dates are given as 1685-1761, which seems much more likely. However, the same source mis-spells both Matthew's name, and that of his father-in-law, John Durell. It seems impossible to eradicate the spelling of Durrell for Durell. The latest mention, in an auction catalogue, 2007, has the name as "Durrels"; along with several other biographical inaccuracies in connection with Monamy.

Father: John DURELL b: 1705 in Jsy, Channel I.
Mother: Ann LA CLOCHE b: Abt 1709 in Channel I.

By clicking on the names of John Durell or Anne la Cloche, above, access to further family information about the Durells becomes available, courtesy of Pam Thomson, from which a second tree, below, has been constructed, with additions and corrections.

From this it appears that there were not only two John Durells, but two Philip Durells and two Thomas Durells. It is therefore possible that an elder Philip Durell, born 1676, did indeed die of plague at Carthagena in 1740, when he would have been 64 years old. It still seems highly unlikely, however, that he was the author of the sketch-plan used by Peter Monamy for his depictions of the capture of Porto Bello, particularly since the younger Philip Durell made a number of other plans, that of Louisbourg being the most important. After further considering all the evidence, it seems to me that A.C.Saunders must have been mistaken about the death of a Captain Philip Durell at Carthagena in 1740, and that this person is chimerical.

A Letter from a Durell
BM/BL Add MS 32,693 f 322

(C.) Lempriere Esq                                                                         London 7th June 1740

Dear Sir,
I am very sorry to hear that the obstacle to your being made the King's Advocate of the Island of Jersey is grounded on your being not brought up to ye Law, which I don't find was formerly thought necessary for that employment as My Uncle Brother and Nephew Durell who enjoyed that place for many years were never braught up in ye Study of the Law, before they were appointed Advocate General. So I hope that this will be no hinderance as I know no body of ye Isles better quallify'ed for it. Wishing you Success is heartily from
                                    Dr Sir
                                            Your most obedient & humble
                                                                  Thos Durell

Which Thomas Durell wrote this letter ?

Another Letter from a Durell
BM/BL Add MS 32,734 f 318

Hon James West Esq                                                                         Poole March 23 1754

I am honoured with your favour of the 19th inst & am heartily concer'd that you should have occasion to express any uneasiness on acct of the differences that subsist in this town & beg leave to assure you that I will heartily & sincerely unite with the rest of my friends in support of Sir Rich'd Lyttelton & Mr Gulston wch I hope will in the end restore peace and unanimity amongst us which is off all things most desirable, it gives me great pleasure that the above Gnl Election for this Burrough meets with the approbation of his Grace the Duke of Newcastle, to whose commands I shall always pay the highest regard.
                                    Your most obedient
                                            humble servant
                                                        Aaron Durell


Reverend George Cornwall

The note by George Cornwall's daughter, May Louise, is enigmatic. The longing to claim kinship with both the naval Cornwalls and the Durells was intense. No link with any Cornewall family member is known.

Until the matter admits solution, say, by DNA, one has to suppose that George Cornwall would infinitely have preferred to be a naval hero, rather than an obscure country Rector; or that his daughters would rather have had it so. Consanguinity is unproven. The adoption by Peter Monamy Cornwall of "Durell" as his third name, fairly late in his life, awaits some sensible explanation.

Portrait of Captain Thomas Philip Durell, c 1750/60 - 1836
from Mr Francis C.Harwood.
For more on his family relationships, see here.

Durell Point extends into Northumberland Strait. It was named by Samuel Holland in 1765 for Philip Durell, second in command of the Royal Navy at the fall of Quebec in 1759 and commander of the North American station at Halifax in 1766. It has also been known locally as Brown's Cape. See Sotheby's: Lot 56, The Travel Sale: Books, Maps, Atlases, Natural History and Topographical Pictures, London, December 2nd 1999

de sausmarez
durell & louisbourg       durell & porto bello
porto bello picture tiles       louisbourg picture tiles
philip durell's maps
monamy/cornwall/durell family background
article 1981       article 1983
nottingham v mars
monamy site index

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