A portrait of a former Tenby Mayor and military Major is the subject of an auction lot in New York . Bonham's sale of European paintings, including old masters and 19th century drawings, features a painting of Charles Cooke Wells and his only daughter.

Charles is believed to have been the illegitimate son of Captain Hugh Cook, who had two streets named after him in Tenby, St. Domingo Road and Trafalgar Road, after the battles he fought in during his time in the military.

Charles's grandfather, Lawrence, was Mayor of Tenby in 1782 and 1790. Together with his wife, they would forever alter Tenby by building it into a substantial town.

Charles was a Major in the militia and a Captain in the East India Company Service 26th Regiment Native Infantry in Bombay. Like Hugh, he started young and retired a Commander in 1838.

He was also Deputy Judge in the Advoc: Generals Dept. He became a member of Tenby Town Council in 1839, and was Mayor five times, in 1841, 42, 43, 61, and 1873.

When Charles's father Hugh passed away, he inherited all his properties and land, and he hugely influenced Penally and Tenby's growth with his connections to the East India Company and the Royal Navy. He attracted much of the gentry to Tenby.

The portrait, which is up for auction on January 26 as lot number 80 and titled 'Portrait of soldier and girl', can be viewed on the website bonhams.com