Philip Broke (1702—1762) subscribed to both Kirby’s Historical Account, and the first edition of his Method of Perspective. We saw that Kirby had eight of the current Suffolk MPs as subscribers when his first book was published, but his reach did not end there.
Philip Broke was a former MP, having represented Ipswich from 1730 to 1732. The Broke Family had owned Broke Hall in Nacton, about five or six miles from Ipswich, since the time of Henry VIII. The old Hall was knocked down and rebuilt in the 1790s.
The modern Broke Hall
Philip was the second of three sons of Robert Broke and Elizabeth Hewytt. However, his eldest brother died unmarried, so that Philip inherited. The other brother, John, was a rector of Hintleham. Philip married Anne Bowse and they had six daughters and one son. Thomas Bardwell painted portraits of Philip and Anne, and also a conversation piece of the Broke and Bowse families.
The second work was painted in 1740, so the child is presumably their eldest daughter, Anne. The couple married in 1732, while Philip was MP. As a politician, Broke seems to have been fairly undistinguished. He was a Tory and consistently voted against the government, but he never returned after his first parliament. The Brokes were also near neighbors of Admiral Vernon, who was MP for Ipswich in the 1740s.
Philip and Anne’s only son, also called Philip, married Elizabeth Beaumont, daughter of another subscriber, Charles Beaumont, and one of their children, Sir Philip Bowes Vere Broke, was captain of HMS Shannon when she captured the USS Chesapeake in the War of 1812.