Before plunging ahead with the hot news, here is a current item from the internet which some of us may find irresistible --- you really couldn't make it up. A picture dealer announces as follows, direct quote: "Francis Swaine (1740-1782). Francis Swaine is listed as a messenger in the 1735 Commissioners of His Majesty's Navy. Although we do not know how he came to be a marine painter, he was a close contemporary of Charles Brooking." This muddled message irrefutably asserts that Francis became a messenger five years before he was born. On with the motley.
First, a brief recapitulation, from a previous page.
The parents of Francis Swain (bap. 1719) and Francis Swaine (bap. 1725) have the same names. That these may be different couples, however, is suggested by the following:
Next, we have a list of the names of children born to Francis and Ann(e) Swain(e), as given earlier. It has come to seem clear that those christened at St Dunstan's were born to the same parents, namely Francis Swaine and Ann Joel. It also seems reasonably possible that the Francis Swain baptised in 1719 at St Botolph's without Aldgate was of different parentage. But it is also possible that the Francis Swain(e) baptised in 1719 was the first child of Ann Joel, and that he died in infancy, thus making way for a second Francis, born 1725, who became the marine painter.
Most importantly, a generous and public-spirited contributor, Ray Joel Peek, now sends me this valuable information:
Subject: Swaines London; & Monamy Update
Date: 11/01/2013 14:03:32 GMT Standard Time
The Francis Swaine who married Ann Piper was of Hanwell and quite well recorded [thus] showing the two separate Francis Swaines.
The baptism of Shepherdes Swaine shows Francis Swaine as 'Painter' whilst the other children's baptisms show his occupation as 'Gent'.
Regards. Ray Joel Peek
This hugely illuminating message, here selectively edited, was accompanied by a scan of a marriage bond uniting Francis Swaine with Ann Joel, very plainly dated July 17, 1714. The information originally garnered about this marriage from the IGI gave the year as 1715, but let it pass.
The text of the marriage allegation reads thus:
July ye 17:1714
Appeared personally Francis Swain of ye Parish of Snt Olave Hart Street in ye City of London aged about 24 years & a Batchelor & alleadged his intend to solemnize Marriage with Ann Joel of ye Parissh of Snt Clements Eastcheape in ye said City aged about 21 years & a Maid having her Fathers Consent & he being present he not knowing or believing any Lawfull impediment by reason of any precontract Consanguinity affinity or otherwise to hinder ye said intended Marriage of ye truth of which he Made Oath & prayd Lycence to be Married in ye Parish Church of Alhallowes upon London Wall [signed] F.Swaine Augustine Joel
Next we have this all-important letter, dated 5 Mar 1734, ie 1735, Mr Swaine Desiring to succeed Mr Wyat its Messenger to this Office., To: The Right Honourable the Principal Officers and Commissioner's of his Majesty's Navy
May it Please your Honrs:
...........I cannot omit on this occasion to address mySelf to your Honours, in hopes not only by my own length of Service in the Navy both at home and abroad, which is now upwards of Twenty eight Years, and the continual Fatigue and Toil of Business of various kinds that I have in that time undergone, but also the Services of my Father who died Purser of the Royal Katherine ..... that you will recommend me to succeed [Mr William Wyatt] in the said employment.
By my little Labours in Drawing, and other Things, which have been presented to the Admiralty, as well as my length of Service, I had the Honour to be minuted for several Years past for a small Employment in any of his Majesty's Yards; but the Necessities of a large Family (having now a Wife and Five small Children, wholy unprovided for, & them very sickly) makes me quit my Pretensions and Hopes of being employ'd that way .....
May it Please Your Honrs:
Your most Faithfull and Obedient Servant
NB. The intrusive apostrophe (Commissioner's) was already intruding itself by 1734.
Below is mention of the source whereby the above letter was discovered.
New Source: 2013
Below is an illustration of the "little Labours in Drawing" engaged in by Francis Swaine during his twenty-eight years of service with the Navy, prior to his application to become a Messenger. Until discovering that this Francis was the Monamy pupil's father, this map was a sore puzzle to me, given its date of 1729. Even if the reckless ODNB were right in stating that the marine painter had been born in 1719, he would not have been busy map-making at the age of 10.