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Full text of "George Morland;"

COLLECTION G. M. A 
to 



of % 

tterstt of 



An Anonymous Donor 



The Makers of British Art 

EDITED BY JAMES A. MANSON. 



GEORGE MORLAND 



/Ifcafcers of JBritfsb Brt. 

Already Published in this Series. 

LORD LEIGHTON. By EDGCUMBE STAI.EY. With 
Photogravure Portrait and 20 Plates. 

HENRY MOORE. By FRANK MACLEAN. With Photo- 
gravure Portrait and 20 Plates. 

WILLIAM HOGARTH. By G. BALDWIN BROWN, 
M.A. With Photogravure Portrait and 20 Plates. 

THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH, R.A. By A. E. 

FLETCHER. With Photogravure Portrait and 20 

Plates. 
SIR HENRY RAEBURN, R.A. By EDWARD PIN- 

NINGTON. With Photogravure Portrait and 20 Plates. 
JOHN CONSTABLE, R.A. By the EARL OK PLYMOUTH. 

With Photogravure Portrait and Nineteen Plates and 

a Portrait of David Lucas. 

SIR DAVID WILKIE, R.A. By WILLIAM BAYNE. 

With Photogravure Portrait and 20 Plates. 
GEORGE ROMNEY. 15 y SIR HERHERT MAXWELL. 

With Photogravure Portrait and 20 Plates. 
J. M. W. TURNER, R.A. By ROBERT CHIGNELL. 

With Photogravure Portrait after Dance and 20 Plates. 

SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS, P.R.A. By ELSA 
D'ESTERRE-KEELING. With Photogravure Portrait 
and 20 Plates. 

SIR EDWIN LANDSEER, R.A. By TIIF EDITOR. 
With Photogravure Portrait and 21 Plates. 



This Series, in superior leather bindings, may be had 
on application to the Publishers, 

[ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.] 








. //V'/V//' . / iff iff//'/ 






George Morland 



DAVID HENRY WILSON 



M.A., LL.M. ''/ 



Illustrated with Twenty Plates and a Photogravure 
Frontispiece. 



London 

The Walter Scott Publishing Co., Ltd. 
New York : Charles Scribner's Sons 
1907 




491 



,90036 

'"> ' 



TO 

ARTHUR KIMBER 

A SLIGHT TOKEN 

OF 
MY AFFECTION AND ESTEEM. 



Preface. 

IF any apology be necessary for adding this book to 
the already long list of biographies of George Morland, 
it must be found in these considerations : 

1. In Morland's works we have a record, cast in an 
original mould, of the manners and habits of the people 
of his day; and as he invests his subjects with an in- 
terest that touches our common human nature, they 
appeal to all, and have a lasting value. To omit this 
artist, therefore, from the gallery of the Makers of 
British Art would be equivalent to excluding Charles 
Dickens from the English Novelists. 

2. Notwithstanding the great number and variety of 
engravings of Morland's works that have been produced, 
it would seem that the erroneous impression still obtains 
in the popular mind that this artist was a painter of 
mere pigs and public-houses. This may be due to the 
fact that most of these reproductions are now very 



George Morland 



scarce, and also to the inaccessibility to the general 
public of the works of his early biographers, wherein 
his versatility is clearly exposed, and of the copiously 
illustrated but expensive books upon Morland's pictures 
which have more recently appeared. The present 
volume, at a popular price, containing examples of the 
artist's different styles and moods, will, it is hoped, 
remove this impression. 

3. The value in the market of Morland's works has, 
it is true, appreciated with the passing years, but it is 
still customary to think of the artist as a man of 
naturally low tastes and depraved habits; as one to 
whom the maxim de mortuis does not apply. In this 
book I have attempted to show that what is seen 
of George Morland's character outside of his works 
is insignificant compared with what is seen of it in 
them; and that the perception gained by seeking the 
true man in the labours of his habitual choice is wholly 
at variance with the impression current. 

My warm thanks are offered to all who have assisted 
me in this production, and in particular to Sir Waiter 
Gilbey, Bart.; G. Harland Peck, Esq.; John Fleming, 
Esq.; Captain G. Morland (the grand-nephew of the 
artist); Messrs. Dowdeswcll & Co.; and the Governors 



Preface 

of the Royal Holloway College, Egham, for their kind- 
ness in giving" me permission to reproduce some of their 
pictures by Morland, which by the valuable services 
of Mr. Emery Walker and Mr. C. W. Carey, I have 
gladly availed myself of to illustrate my text. 

D. H. W. 

INNKR TEMPLE, 
May 1907. 



IX 



Contents. 

CHAPTER I. 

INTRODUCTORY. 

PAGli 

Influence of early training Misleading testimony Philip Dawe 
Reticence of Morland's family Morland's complex tempera- 
ment Moral tone of Morland's time Malcolm and Sir Walter 
Besant quoted "Modern Midnight Conversation" Lord 
Sandwich's anecdote W. Collins F. W. Blagdon J. Has- 
sall George Dawe Allan Cunningham - - I 

CHAPTER II. 
MORLAND'S ANCESTORS. 

Sir Samuel Morland His services to the State Willis's Plot Sir 
Samuel's inventions His character G. H. Morland, our 
artist's grandfather H. R. Morland, his father His mother 
and family George Morland's birth His home influence and 
training His practical joking Benjamin West Morland's 
country rambles His early studies His first exhibition at 
the Royal Academy - - 13 

CHAPTER III. 
MORLAND'S EARLY DAYS. 

Royal Academy, 1778-79 Mr. Angerstein Fuseli's "Nightmare" 
R.A., 1780-81 Royal Incorporated Society of Artists 
xi 



George Morland 



Ill-health The Insolvent Debtors' Act Mrs. Morland's pre- 
sentiment The artist struck with a palsy R. A., 1804 
Morland Galleries Arrested for debt Morland's death - 136 



CHAPTER XI. 

MORLAND'S PUPILS AND ENGRAVERS. 



Tanner Brown Hand Cowden Collins W. Ward J. Ward 
J. R. Smith J. T. Smith W. Blake Rowlandson Barto- 
lozzi J. Fittler J. Young S. W. Reynolds T. Vivares 
A. Suntach T. Gaugain Levilly Rollet F. D. Soiron 
Dumee Duterreau Rajon - - 152 



CHAPTER XII. 
MORLAND'S WORK. 

Criticisms Morland's versatility Portraits Moral and domestic 
subjects Children-subjects Coast scenes Rural and lowly 
life and animals "Selling Fish" Morland's originality 
Followers and imitators His landscape Cunningham 
answered ....... 162 



APPENDIX I. Morland's Chief Works - - 183 

,, II. Morland's Pictures in Public Galleries - - 187 

III. Some of Morland's Engraved Works - - 190 

,, IV. Morland's Pictures in the Auction-rooms - 194 

,, V. Bibliography - 198 

INDEX ..... . 2 oi 



XIV 



List of Illustrations. 



PORTRAIT OF GEORGE MORLAND (p. 39) . Frontispiece 

(By kind permission of Messrs. Dowdeswell & Co.) 

"DOMESTIC HAPPINESS" (p. 61) . . To face page 2 4 

"CHILDREN BIRD'S-NESTING" (p. 72) . 32 

"TREPANNING A RECRUIT" (p. 75) . 40 

"THE FRUITS OF EARLY INDUSTRY AND 

ECONOMY" (p. 76) ... 48 

"THE TRIUMPH OF BENEVOLENCE" (p. 76) 56 

"THE STRANGERS AT HOME" (p. 77) . 64 

"THE FORTUNE-TELLER" (p. 77) . ,,72 

"THE COTTAGE DOOR" (p. 87) . . 80 

(By kind permission of Sir Walter Gilbey, Bart.) 

"THE CONTENTED WATERMAN" (p. 87) . 88 

(By kind permission of the Governors of the Royal 
Holloway College, Egham.) 

"THE PRESS-GANG" (p. 88) . ,,96 

(By kind permission of the Governors of the Royal 
Holloway College, Egham.) 

XV 



George Morland 



TRAVELLERS" (p. 88) . To face page 104 

"COTTAGERS" (p. 88) . ,,112 

(By kind permission of Captain G. Morland.) 

"THE INSIDE OF A STABLE !! (p. 90) . 120 

"THE TURNPIKE GATE" (p. 107) . ,,128 

(By kind permission of J. Fleming, Esq.) 

"THE HARD BARGAIN" (p. 115) . . 136 

"WRECKERS" (p. 115) . . 144 

(By kind permission of Sir Walter Gilbey, Bart.) 

"THE FISHERMEN'S TOAST" (p. 115) 152 

(By kind permission of G. Harland Peck, Esq.) 

"FISHERMEN GOING OUT" (p. 115) 160 

"THE THATCHER" (p. 136) . 168 

"EFFECTS OF EXTRAVAGANCE AND IDLE- 
NESS" (p. 168) . . . . ,,176 

(By kind permission of Sir Walter Gilbey, Bart.) 



XVI 



George Morland. 



CHAPTER I. 

INTRODUCTORY. 

Influence of early training Misleading testimony Philip Dawe 
Reticence of Morland' s family Morland's complex temperament 
Moral tone of Morland's time Malcolm and Sir W. Besant 
quoted "Modern Midnight Conversation" Lord Sandwich's 
anecdote W. Collins F. W. Blagdon J. Hassall George Dawe 
Allan Cunningham. 

ONE of his biographers says of George Morland that 
"he seemed to have possessed two minds one, the 
animated soul of genius, by which he rose in his pro- 
fession ; and the other, that debased and grovelling 
propensity which condemned him to the very abyss of 
dissipation." 

This is not illuminating-. It needs no searching to 
find out genius, for which nothing else can be mis- 
taken; and a man's external life is obvious. But to 
infer what are his true affections merely from what is 
exposed to the eye (the essential part of him from the 
accidental) is a more difficult task, and may not always 

i B 



George Morland 



be a logical process, and in the best circumstances 
must be one in which the judgment is liable to err. 

We are prone to judge the strength of a man, not by 
the weight he can carry (which indicates his true 
strength), but by the burden that breaks him; and this 
proneness has too often prevailed in estimating the true 
self of George Morland. Sufficient allowance has not 
always been made for the influence upon him of his 
early training, of other tendencies (beyond his control) 
of his early environment; for the lax moral tone of his 
time, and for the special susceptibility of genius to 
great and disturbing variations of spiritual temperature 
(so .to speak) a susceptibility which of all others can 
least dispense with a generous and sympathetic COM 
sideration. This tendency, though in si 
common to us all, is not only specially nut' 
is a force which cannot be ignored in t 1 : 
of genius. The great humorist, who r ' 
draws from us the willing tears of 'lo ^ 

of melancholy than any other man barr 

ever striving and ever failing 4 > Ino^ 

knows as no other can know thr 
the depths of despair. Such rr '^'f- 

fibre are the overflowings of f 
does not possess, and therefo 
tion in estimating moral valu 

In our sketch, then, of Gt< i rr 

these tendencies in view, anu t. 
in the most impressionable \ 
the atmosphere of the wori jrn r 

2 



Inner Self Obscured 



which he launched himself without knowledge or 
chart; and if we look into his works as well to seek 
the mind that inspired them as to search 
for their artistic merits, we shall hope to e tue 
gain some insight into the true self of the 
man. Chroniclers have not been reticent concerning his 
outward life. His extravagances, follies, and misfor- 
tunes have been so much dwelt upon that we are apt to 
conclude there was nothing more to say about him. 
We are led to regard him as a careless spectator might 
regard, say, an " Interior" by one of the old Dutch 
Masters ; that is to say, so to fix our attention on the 
picture where the strong light is focussed 
Incidents and action, as to be unobservant 
passages which modestly lurk in its 



rs 




ONE 

"he seei 
animated 
fession; an-. 
propensity w" 
dissipation." 

This is not i: 
find out geniuj- 
taken ; and 3. i- 
infer wtyat are 
exposed to the 
accidental) is a >. 




agree that Morland was a genius, 
object in a picture, acquires a 
y being brought into direct con- 
a lower tone. The greater the 
n, the brighter the effulgence, 
's disorders have been 
hers unconsciously, darkened, 
e strongest light upon his 

son why Morland's inner 
to which is found in the 

life. For the boyhood of 
was twenty years of age) 
so circumscribed and con- 



George Morland 

fined, that with the exception of one or two friends, he 
could have been known intimately only by his parents 
and family. Even the few friends he had were rather 
those of his father than of his own choice and age, and 
therefore it can hardly be supposed that they were 
particularly favoured with his confidence. One of his 
... friends was Philip Dawe, the engraver, who 

was apprenticed to Morland's father when 
Dawe Qur art j st was y e t a child ; and although we 

are told that this gentleman "was, perhaps, the only 
person with whom his [George Morland's] friendship 
remained uninterrupted, and with whom, as well in 
adversity as in prosperity, he appears to have had no 
reserve"; and though, also, we have some letters which 
our artist wrote to him, we do not obtain our informa- 
tion of Morland at first-hand from Philip Dawe, but 
from his son George Dawe, who probably had met 
Morland, but there is nothing in his life of the artist to 
show that he himself had known him intimately. 

When young Morland was freed from the restraints 
that had been imposed upon him at home, it was clear 
that the effect of his training in an atmosphere of 
enforced seclusion had checked the orderly flow of his 
sympathies. To his naturally open and impressionable 
disposition caution and discrimination were distasteful, 
and so he fell an easy prey to the exploiter and 
sponger. If he showed any suspicion, it was when an 
intimacy gave signs of warming into friendship ; so 
few enjoyed his confidence. In general, he chose for 
his companions, not those who might have touched his 

4 



Influences of Education 

deeper affections, but those who catered for his amuse- 
ment, and such were hardly the kind of men to perceive 
any but the superficial side of his nature, which ap- 
pealed to them only as it ministered to their pleasure, 
and were not likely to take the trouble to hand down to 
posterity any more recondite knowledge of our artist, 
even had they chanced to possess it. 

We may say here in justice to George Dawe that he 
perceived to some extent the influence upon Morland of 
his education and home life. Information on these 
heads is not lacking, but it does not supply what we 
most want namely, the insight into his nature which 
those must have possessed who occupied themselves 
with his early training, intellectual and moral, and 
were his earliest guides and closest associates. On 
this matter his parents and the members of his family 
have been silent ; and this silence is hardly surprising 
when we consider that however much in after-years 
George Morland's artistic achievements may have re- 
dounded to their credit for fostering and stimulating 
his genius, his misfortunes may have cast suspicion 
upon the moral influence about him in his early home. 

Another obstacle to the understanding of Morland's 
inner nature is presented by his complex temperament, 

which was both impulsive and indecisive; . 

, , . . . Morland s 

reckless, and in some circumstances ner- 

vous; hilarious a'nd melancholy. Naturally c ? 

e , i .. ment 

shy amongst those of his own rank, this 

feeling was intensified by his intimate association with 
the humbler classes with whom his particular art 

5 



George Morland 



studies brought him into frequent contact. We can- 
not, then, hope to learn much of Morland from his 
temperament. To know him we must look for what is 
constant in him, availing ourselves of whatever side- 
lights may be afforded by his bearing in the accidental 
incidents of his career, and, above all, we must regard 
the testimony of his life's work. His best work must 
be stamped with his individuality; it has not come by 
chance, but is his gift to us a gift which, if it does 
not express all that it might have done under happier 
auspices, was all the best of him that he knew how to 
give. And as whatever comes out of a man must have 
previously resided in him, so, whatever we may find in 
Morland's work in the work of his habitual choice 
that is a contribution of human insight, purpose, con- 
viction, or feeling, we may safely predicate the same of 
the mind that inspired it. Such discovery should show 
the true affections of the man, who, beyond question, 
amidst all kinds of vicissitudes and troubles, of 
changing fortunes, of moral disorder and self-inflicted 
wrongs, struggled on, much labouring, to give the 
best that he had to give, bright and untarnished, for 
the enjoyment of the world. 

In many of the accounts of Morland's life that have 
come down to us, there are, no doubt, gross exag- 
gerations; and many stories of him that have been 
circulated are pure inventions. We are told that 
soon after his death anecdotes concerning him "were 
regularly manufactured for newspapers and magazines," 
and concurrently therewith were published high eulo- 

6 



Moral Tone of the Time 

giums of his genius. For many of these anecdotes 
and eulogiums the picture-dealers of the time (of a 
certain class) were perhaps responsible, for by such 
means they would advertise their wares. We have in 
mind, particularly, those individuals, of whom there 
was a large number, who acquired Morland's works 
in payment of loans at usurious interest, and as 
consideration for renewing bills. Dawe goes so far 
as to say that by his method of conducting his business 
affairs, Morland turned (sooner or later) all his associ- 
ates and hangers-on into picture-dealers. Even the 
more serious of Morland's early biographers display 
an anxiety to record his defects, rather than his merits, 
as a man ; but we are forced to doubt the soundness of 
their judgment, for they frequently contradict one 
another in other matters, the truth or falsity of which 
should have been easily ascertainable at the time they 
wrote. 

The low moral tone of Morland's day in all classes 
of society is more clearly perceived from a distant than 
from a near view. His contemporaries, 
therefore, could hardly be expected to find 
therein circumstances in mitigation of his one oj 

errors. J. T. Nettleship, in his critical 2 rl( d * 
Essay on Morland, published in the Portfolio 
series in 1898, justly draws attention to this. Bull- 
and bear-baiting, dog- and duck-hunting, and cock- 
fighting were regarded in London in the eighteenth 
century as reputable sports. These amusements were 
attended with so much tumult and outrage that the 

7 



George Morland 



chroniclers of the times tell us that " it was dangerous 
to be near the place where they were practised." The 
brutal pastime of " cock-throwing " was in much 
favour, particularly in the public schools, where the 
" cock-fight dues" afforded a handsome contribution 
to the stipend of the schoolmaster, who supplied the 
birds that were clubbed to death by his pupils. Cudgel- 
playing- was largely practised amongst people of all 
ranks. Of this refined amusement we read in Chambers's 
Book of Days, which quotes the account of the combat 
between Robin Hood and the tanner: 

" About, and about, and about they went, 
Like two wild boars in a chase, 
Striving to aim each other to maim 
Leg, arm, or any other place." 

The follies and excesses of the day are recorded in 
its plays, newsletters, satires, and ballads. As poor 

George Morland was addicted to drink (his 
Malcolms e . L ^. , , . \ , 

favourite tipple being sin), let us see how 
Anecdotes . . ,. . * r 

his disorder was fostered by the atmosphere 

about him. At that time, Malcolm tells us in his 
Anecdotes and Manners of London during the Eighteenth 
Century, there were thirty-six public-houses in Old 
Street, between Goswell Street and City Road, and that 
"a gin-shop could generally be scented as the passenger 
approached it." Sir Walter Besant in London says that 
in 1736 the people all went mad after gin, and that 
throughout the metropolis one house in every six was 

8 



Lust for Drink 



a gin-shop. The lust for drink permeated all classes, 
and showed no abatement for a hundred years. 

Of the depraved habits of those times there is testi- 
mony enough in the satirical works of Hogarth, whose 
enormous popularity could only have been 
secured by their truth. In his " Modern H 8 arth 
Midnight Conversation " we see a drunken, ********* 
hilarious assembly at the tavern, presided over, writes 
Allan Cunningham, by a divine whose " intellects and 
power of swallow survive amidst the general wreck of 
his companions : with a pipe in one hand and a cork- 
screw in the other, which he uses as a tobacco-stopper, 
he still presides with suitable gravity." We may 
say, in parenthesis, that the divine here depicted was 
supposed by Mrs. Piozzi to be Parson Ford, of whom 
Dr. Johnson speaks as " very profligate." 

Hogarth (who passed away soon after George 
Morland was born) does not exaggerate. It is related 
of Lord Sandwich that " he was once present 
with ten parsons, and he made a wager that . or , 

among them there was not one Prayer Book, *"**** 
and won it. He also laid another wager that 
among the ten parsons there were ten corkscrews, 
which he also won, for upon the butler feigning to break 
his corkscrew, and requesting any gentleman present to 
lend him one, each parson pulled a corkscrew out of his 
pocket." 

For the record of the main incidents of Morland's life, 
we are indebted principally to his early biographers, 
Collins, Blagdon, Hassall, and Daue. 

9 



George Morland 



William Collins, who published his Memoir of a 

Picture in 1805 (immediately after Morland's death), 

. seems to have been on intimate terms with 

1 l . ar our artist ; but we derive the impression from 
his book (in which the author keeps him- 
self well in sight) that Morland treated the friendship 
lightly, and that there was not much sympathy between 
the two men. Beyond surface impressions, therefore, 
this record is not of much value. William Collins was 
the author, amongst other works, of two poems on the 
Slave Trade, from reading which (he tells us) Morland 
was inspired in 1788 to paint his two pictures on that 
subject. Collins was the father of W. Collins, R.A., 
of whom we shall speak later in connection with 
Morland's pupils. 

F. W. Blagdon's Authentic Memoirs of the late George 

Morland was published in 1806. The author declares 

that he had friends who were intimately 

acquainted with the artist and his family, 
Blagdon but hg does not a pp ear to h ave k nown 

Morland personally. 

J. Hassall, the water-colour painter and engraver, 
wrote his life of Morland also in 1806, and is described 
by Allan Cunningham as Morland's "in- 
J. assa timate friend." How the two men became 
acquainted may be told in Hassall's own words: 
"As the writer was walking towards Paddington on a 
summer's morning, to inquire about the health of a 
relative, he observed a man posting before him with a 
pig, which he held in his arms as if it had been a child; 

10 



Biographers 



the piteous squeaks of the little animal, unaccustomed 
to such a mode of conveyance, attracted the notice of 
various spectators, both from the doors and windows, as 
he passed along. Struck with the laughable conduct of 
the bearer of the pig, the writer determined to follow 
him, as the adventure promised some humour, and the 
more so as the pig-bearer to every dog that barked 
and there were not a few would set down the pig 
and pitt him against the dog; from this a hunt would 
sometimes ensue, and the pig-hunter having overtaken 
th'e animal, would hastily snatch it up and jog on as 
before. In this manner he paraded several of the 
streets of Marylebone, until he reached the house 
of the writer's friend, where, to his no small sur- 
prise, the man with the pig having knocked readily 
obtained admittance." Hassall goes on to say how 
astonished he was upon entering the house to find 
this original sitting with the pig still in his 
arms, and to discover that he was Morland, the 
painter. 

George Dawe we have already noticed. As he was 
eighteen years younger than Morland, his personal 
knowledge of him if he had any, which is not certain 
must have been acquired before he was 
twenty-three years of age. The value of his G ' Dawe 
Memoir rests upon the friendship between his father 
and Morland, and the opportunity which was thus 
afforded him of acquiring information concerning the 
artist from one who knew him well. George Dawe 
was a portrait-painter of some standing, as well as 

ii 



George Morland 



an engraver in mezzotint, and was elected a Royal 
Academician in the year 1814. 

Allan Cunningham, "the Scottish Vasari," whose 

Life of Morland was published in 1830, 

aU appears to have attached considerable 

Cunning- weight to Hassall's Memoir of our artist, 

with whom, however, he was not himself 

personally acquainted. 



12 



CHAPTER II. 
MORLAND'S ANCESTORS. 

Sir Samuel Morland His services to the State Willis's Plot Sir 
Samuel's inventions His character G. H. Morland, our artist's 
grandfather H. R. Morland, his father His mother and family 
George Morland's birth His home influence and training His 
practical joking Benjamin West Morland's country rambles 
His early studies His first exhibition at the Royal Academy. 

GEORGE MORLAND was said to have been lineally de- 
scended from Sir Samuel Morland, the mechanician, 
inventor, and diplomatist, son of the Rev. 
Thomas Morland, the Rector of Sulham- n/r j j 
stead-Bannister, Berkshire, where Samuel c 
was born in 1625. Both Collins and Cunningham 
speak of this ancestor of George Morland as "an 
eminent mathematician and artist." It is true he was 
a mathematician, but there is no justification for calling 
him an artist. The gift of Art descended upon the 
Morland family at a later date. 

It % \vould be difficult now to trace the connection 
between George Morland and Sir Samuel Morland, but 
our artist's solicitor, Mr. Wedd (of Gerrard Street, 
Soho), seems to have satisfied himself that the relation- 
ship was a fact, for he told George that he had only to 

'3 



George Morland 



claim the title of baronet to obtain it. To this our 
artist replied that although "Sir George Morland" 
would sound well, he would have nothing to do with 
titles. He wanted to be, not a fine gentleman with a 
handle to his name, but a good painter. 

For particulars of Sir Samuel Morland's career we 
must refer the reader to the Dictionary of National 
Biography, the article in which is based upon the 
Whitelocke Journal, Welwood's Memoirs, and Lower's 
and Kennett's Chronicles. Some interesting informa- 
tion concerning our artist's ancestor is also to be found 
in the Diaries of Evelyn and Pepys. Sir Samuel was a 
man of uncertain convictions. In the early part of his 
career (1655) he served Cromwell during the Walden- 
sian troubles, and wrote a History of the Evangelical 
Churches of the Valleys of Piedmont a work which is 
said to have produced as great a sensation as Foxe's 
wjfy Book of Martyrs. He took a part in Sir 
Willis s Richard Willis's Plot against the alleged 
intriguers Cromwell, Thurloe, and Willis; 
and at the Restoration became a Royalist. He ac- 
cepted from the King a pension (which he sold after- 
wards), was appointed Magister Mechanicorum, and 
was created a baronet. From James II. he received 
many grants of money to enable him to perfect his 
numerous mechanical inventions. Sir Samuel was the 
inventor of the speaking trumpet, of drum-capstans 
for weighing heavy anchors, of arithmetical machines, 
and he made some important discoveries in hydro- 
statics. 



Sir Samuel Morland 



Notwithstanding many excellent traits and attain- 
ments, Sir Samuel was extravagant, careless, and 
weak. Like his descendants the artists, he 

had a restless disposition, and was con- 

. . , , TT ,. , Samuel s 

stantly changing his abode. He lived at 

one time on the site of the old Vauxhall ( 
Gardens in a fine mansion, where there was a room 
lined with looking-glass and sumptuously furnished for 
entertainments. Here, says Evelyn, he was frequently 
visited by the Merry Monarch and his gay ladies. At 
another time (in 1684) he had a house in the Lower 
Mall a fashionable part of Hammersmith, and not far 
from "The Doves" Coffee-house, where the poet 
Thomson was fond of resting on his way home to his 
cottage at Richmond. 

Sir Samuel owned to having been excommunicated, 
and his biographer says that "the errors of his life 
were probably considerable." Yet, with all his short- 
comings, he was remarkably industrious. Sir Samuel 
was evidently very susceptible to the tender passion. 
He married, firstly, in 1657, Susanne the daughter of 
Daniel de Melleville, Baron of Boissay; secondly, in 
1670, Carola daughter of Sir Roger Harsnett; thirdly, 
in 1676, Anne the daughter of George Fielding of Soli- 
hull; and lastly, in 1687, Mary Aylif (or Ayliss), a 
woman of low character, from whom he obtained a 
divorce. We read in Pepys' Diary that by this last 
marriage Sir Samuel thought that he had secured an 
heiress, but he wrote eighteen days after the wedding 
" I was about a fortnight since led as a fool to the 

15 



George Morland 



stocks, and married a coachman's daughter not worth 
a shilling 1 ." 

Sir Samuel had several children, but their histories 
have become too obscured to enable us to connect the 
links between them and the family of George Morland. 
It may be mentioned that Sir Samuel's portrait was 
painted by Lely, and was engraved by Lombart. 

We now come to George Henry Morland, the grand- 
father of the artist, who was born in the early part of 
the eighteenth century. He was a painter 

' ' of some talent in the genre style, and in 

Morland ^ 6o wag assisted by a grant from the 

Incorporated Society of Artists. He was an industrious 
man of good repute, and his pictures gained a certain 
amount of popularity, which perhaps was in a large 
measure due to the fact that they were engraved by 
two of the favourite engravers of the day Philip Dawe 
and Watson. A small work by this artist, representing 
a half-length figure of a woman opening oysters by the 
light of a lantern, and entitled " An Oyster Seller," is 
in the Glasgow Gallery. 

G. H. Morland had two sons Henry Robert (the 

elder) and William. Henry Robert Morland, the 

father of our artist, was born in 1730. He 

' practised for many years in London as a 

portrait-painter in oils and pastels, and also 

engraved in mezzotint. He was considered an excellent 

connoisseur of pictures, and had a large connection 

amongst the distinguished characters of the day. Of 

these may be mentioned Lord Grosvenor, Lord Scars- 

16 



Henry R. Morland 

dale, Lord Fortescue, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Benjamin 
West, Romney, Garrick, Mrs. Yates, and J. J. Anger- 
stein, the banker and collector, whose fine gallery 
of thirty-eight pictures was purchased by the British 
Government in 1824 for ^"57,000, and formed the 
nucleus of the National Collection in London. 

Henry R. Morland was also a picture-restorer and 
a seller of artists' materials, and he manufactured 

crayons. At one time he had a considerable 

, .. j . , , . T . Leicester 

income, and lived in style in Leicester 

Square. This was then a favourite quarter 
with artists. Henry Morland's house was No. 47, 
the same that was afterwards occupied by Sir Joshua 
Reynolds and is now in the possession of Messrs. 
Puttick & Simpson, the well-known auctioneers. 
Edward Walford, in Old and Neiv London, tells us 
that Sir Thomas Lawrence lived at No. 4 in Leicester 
Square, over a confectioner's shop. Hogarth, too, 
resided in the Square in its south-east corner, and 
distinguished his house from the rest by displaying the 
sign of a golden head (supposed to represent Van 
Dyck), which he had carved out of cork. From 
Nichols we hear that in later years this sign was 
replaced by a bust in plaster of Sir Isaac Newton. 

Henry R. Morland, if not extravagant, was rash in 
his speculations, and got into pecuniary difficulties 
which twice brought him into the Bankruptcy . 

Court. He was a great reader, was well- ICC 

informed, very industrious, orderly, and 
refined, and was much respected. " His disposition," 

17 c 



George Morland 



we are told, "was amiable, his manner reserved, and 
his attention wholly directed to his professional occu- 
pations." He painted the portraits of George III. 
and of the Duke of York, which were engraved by R. 
Houston; of James Bradshaw, and of Ingham Foster, 
a London merchant and virtuoso, both engraved by 
J. R. Smith; he also painted (as Hogarth had done) 
Garrick in the character of "Richard III.," which 
picture is in the Garrick Club; and he exhibited many 
works at the Royal Academy, Society of Artists, and 
elsewhere. There are two of his subject-pictures in 
the National Gallery, London, entitled, "The Laundry 
Maids," in which it is said the beautiful daughters of 
Sir Robert Gunning are represented, but there seems 
no grounds for this assertion. They are not particu- 
larly noteworthy productions, and cannot compare with 
the portraits of these ladies by Romney (painted in 
1781) which were exhibited at Messrs. Agnew's Gallery 
in 1906. 

A portrait by Henry R. Morland of the grandfather 
of Sir W. W. Wynn, Bart., as a child, was lent to 
the exhibition at Wrexham, North Wales, in 1876, by 
Captain C. R. Conwy. 

It is necessary to form a clear conception of the 
character and influence of Henry R. Morland, because 

it was he who had most to do indeed, we 
Morlanas L . . , ... ... , 

may say everything to do with the early 

training of his son George. The father, in 
spite of many excellent qualities, was short-sighted 
and self-contained. Unfortunately, he was not a man 

18 



Parents and Family 

of the world ; and having a disposition somewhat stern 
and entirely unsympathetic with that of George, he was 
of all men the least likely to understand the lad, and, 
therefore, could have had little or no moral influence 
upon him. Happily, the father's love of work was 
passed on to his son; unhappily, was passed on to him, 
too, his main defect namely, a restless and roving dis- 
position. 

Henry R. Morland married a French lady who had 
artistic gifts. She is described by James Ward, the 
animal painter, who knew her well, as "a 
little strutting bantam cock who ruled the Morland s 
roost." "The domestic concerns," says 
Dawe, "were conducted by Mrs. Morland with a 
scrupulous regularity which subjected their children to 
more than ordinary restraint, but they were preserved 
in a state of uninterrupted health; and she is herself a 
remarkable instance of the effects of exercise and 
temperance in prolonging activity and cheerfulness to a 
late period of life." 

The Morlands had six children two daughters and 
four sons. Of the daughters, the elder (Sophia) is 
described as "a most exemplary character," 
the younger (Maria) was an artist, and ex- er * 

hibited at the Royal Academy in 1785, and and Slsiers 
again in 1786. Of the eldest son, Edward, and the 
second son, Robert, little is known: they do not figure 
in our artist's life. The youngest son, Henry Augustus, 
tried his fortune in many directions unsuccessfully, and 
in the end turned picture-dealer. He, too, was a 

'9 



George Morland 



painter, and exhibited from time to time at the Royal 
Academy. 

George Morland, the subject of our Memoir, who was 
the third son of H. R. Morland, was born in London on 
Q the 26th June 1763, when his parents were 

M rland' ^ v * n * n ^ e Haymarket. Wonderful stories 
o /t are, of course, told of his precocity. Allan 

Cunningham says that ''the indication of 
early talent in others is nothing compared to his." 
When George was quite a little child, Sir Joshua 
Reynolds was an intimate friend of the artist's father, 
an intimacy which relaxed upon the elder Morland 
appearing in the Bankruptcy Court. The then Presi- 
dent of the Royal Academy had many opportunities 
of noticing this precocity, and when the child was older 
gave him permission to copy his pictures. At three 
years of age little George is said to have drawn animals 
with his finger in the dust accumulated on the house- 
hold furniture. At the Association of Artists the first 
academy in England for drawing from the life, an 
institution then situated in St. Martin's Lane, George 
., exhibited many drawings when between four 
and six years of age. As quite a little child, 
when a gentleman's coach with four horses and two 
footmen pulled up at his father's door, he took a piece 
of crayon and drew the whole turn-out so accurately 
that all who saw it, including many artists, were aston- 
ished at the performance. 

In these and others of his earliest efforts his father 
was not slow to detect the bent of the child's mind, and 

20 



Work and Play 



took every opportunity of encouraging the talent they 
indicated. The father's studio became the little man's 
world; his pencils, chalks, and paint-brushes, his toys. 
Instead of sending him to school, as they had sent their 
other children, his parents kept George at home, in 
order that his father might himself train his artistic 
gifts ; and also, that the boy should not be thrown with 
other children who might lure him from his work to 
their pleasures, and, perchance, pervert his morals. 
As the result of this, the child was constantly working 
his brain, and having no companions of his own 
years, knew nothing of children's pastimes nothing of 
physical exercise as a safety-valve to the high pressure 
of animal spirits; and was familiar with no other 
recreation of mind than might be found in change of 
study. He was, probably, unconscious in his child 
days of these limitations. " Such toys and amusements 
as are the usual diversions of children," says Dawe, 
'* Morland never was allowed; his lively disposition did 
not need them." 

At a very early age he showed his appreciation of 
practical joking, a propensity which developed with his 
years, and remained with him to the last. 
By the time he was seven years old, his ra ^ ^ a 
drawing had so progressed that he was able * m ^ 
to turn it to account in this direction. He used to 
draw beetles and depict crayons on the floor with such 
verisimilitude that his father, mistaking them for real 
objects, would stamp upon the one and stoop to pick 
up the other; and he painted terrible spiders on the 

21 



George Morland 



ceilings with such vigour as to alarm the housemaids. 
Drawing was to little George a sort of instinct. It was 
more natural to him from the very first when he was 
learning how to speak to draw an object than to 
describe it in words. All who knew George agree that 
he was an excitable, erratic, and withal a very shy child. 
None of these characteristics was in any degree modified 
in later life by his contact with the world. The amus- 
ing and engaging qualities he displayed as a boy 
remained with him to the end, although they were often 
exercised to his detriment. Young George was a very 
difficult child to manage, and must have 
No limt been no little anxietv to his parents< About 

his genius for art there could be no question ; 
but with a temperament like his, the duty of developing 
his talents might, it was feared, easily be laid aside by 
the allurements of pleasure. This was felt by his father, 
whose method of averting the danger was to keep the 
lad constantly at his easel, and to limit his amusements 
to such as might be extracted from a walk on Sundays 
with his parents, or an occasional visit to their friends 
in the evening, when he would have the advantage of 
improving his mind by listening to the sober conversa- 
tion of his elders, or by entertaining them with his 
pencil. To the looker-on who is not bewildered by 
these parental anxieties, no kind of training could 
appear less adapted to achieve the end desired. It is 
true that the habit of industry thus formed in the boy 
stood him in good stead throughout his life ; but he 
had formed no habit of controlling the appetite for 

22 



Country Walks 



pleasure, because he had scarcely been allowed to taste 
of it. 

We are told that one day when Benjamin West was 
shown into his father's studio, George (then about four 
years of age) was there discovered with a . . 

mischievous light in his eye. Whether he j en J a in 
was about to try his hand upon one of his 
father's canvases history does not relate, but it is on 
record that he was promptly dismissed from the sanctum 
by a paternal kick. West was interested in the child, 
and asked some questions concerning his disposition 
and talents, which brought forth the remark from the 
elder Morland "That boy will either turn out a genius 
or be hanged." But as a similar story is told of young 
Gainsborough, the anecdote may not be anecdote in one 
case or the other. 

We have mentioned the lad's walks with his parents, 
which we suspect were more edifying than enjoyable; 
but when he was older, and still living with his father, 
he was sometimes allowed to go out on Sundays for 
long tramps with Philip Dawe, who was then his 
father's articled pupil. These rambles with Dawe in 
the country round about London afforded him immense 
delight, and opened his eyes to the beauties 
of nature, and he always spoke of them in n/ 1 /&' 
after-years as the happiest incidents of his 
life. This fact, simple and commonplace though it be, 
is noteworthy, for it throws some light upon our artist's 
inner self. He never outgrew those pleasant memories: 
they were always a fountain of enjoyment to him. The 

2 3 



George Morland 



sordid life of after-years was rather imposed upon him 
than sought. Whether sought or imposed, it was no 
measure of his true affections ; he always nurtured tfye 
perception of something better. His mind, in the midst 
of the gross pleasures that ultimately overwhelmed him, 
always looked back for its true refreshment to those 
field-days of his youth that were passed with his friend 
in their simple country walks. 

Until George was fourteen years of age he received no 
systematic art training. No pressure was necessary to 
persuade him to draw and paint, for such occupations 
were his delight; and every moment that could be 
spared from the studies of his general education found 
him busy with pencil or brush. He drew from the flat, 
and from casts; tried his hand at modelling a ship 
the parts of which he learned from the Encyclopaedia in 
his father's library; and turned his attention to the 
anatomy of mice, which he caught, killed, and dis- 
sected. 

At the age often (in 1773) he produced some draw- 

ings, tinted with pastels, and exhibited them at the 

Royal Academy. Some of his biographers 

bxhibi n say that George entered the Academy as 

a student at a very early age, and studied 

- . there many years; but this is contradicted 

emy > by Dawe and Blagdon, who are probably 

right. Dawe says, "from an over-anxious 

regard to his morals, he was not permitted to study 

at the Academy; he, nevertheless, once, about his 

twentieth year, unknown to his father, showed some 

24 




Domestic Happiness" (p. 61). 



Home Education 

of his drawings to the Keeper, and obtained permission 
to draw as a candidate for becoming a student; yet, 
whatever some of his biographers have advanced to 
the contrary, he drew there only three nights, though 
he occasionally attended the lectures." This statement 
is obviously quite consistent with the assertion of 
J. T. Smith, the author of Nolle kens and his 
Times, who says that he was a fellow- ^ . ' 

student with Morland at the Academy 
" during the short time he drew there." 

George appears to have received at home a fair 
general education. He knew a little Latin; could, 
probably, translate French, for he found in Voltaire 
some subjects for his pencil, though when he was in 
France he says he could not understand the language 
as spoken. He was a great reader, and had at home 
the advantage of a good library, where he found and 
read the English classics; and he manifested both a 
fondness and a talent for music. Like Gainsborough 
(who purchased every kind of musical instrument and 
paid ten guineas for a book of music), Morland acquired 
considerable skill on the violin, which he learned as a 
child; he performed, too, upon the piano and hautboy, 
and also sang, having a good bass voice. These 
accomplishments he kept up all his life, and was ever 
ready to afford others pleasure by their exercise. 

At the age of fourteen George was articled to his 
father for seven years. If his art training had been 
up to this time desultory, it now became systematic 
and persistive. His father considered that every 



George Morland 



moment that was not spent by the boy in his studio 
was time wasted. This constant application to study 

was not felt by George as a burden, for his 
Articled soJe desire wag tQ learn aU that he cQuld 

of the subject he loved so well. He worked 
all day long, and in the winter evenings 
made drawings by lamplight. When the long days 
came he found time to read. He studied the anatomy 
of the human form and of animals, drew from the 
antique, learned perspective, copied a large number 
of prints in black-and-white, moulded in clay, repro- 
ducing Gainsborough's horse and other casts, and 
made many copies of that artist's picture of pigs. 

To George's native genius we must add the know- 
ledge of the principles of art which he acquired by 
unflagging industry; and remember, too, that he had 
at hand many advantages for study, and a library of 
art books, as well as the constant guidance of his 
father, who, though far inferior in talent to his son, 
was recognized as a good judge of art, and was well 
qualified to teach its ground-work. On the other hand, 
George laboured under the disadvantage of working 
alone; of receiving encouragement and commendation 
almost solely from his parents and family (together, 
no doubt, with their unsparing criticisms) an en- 
couragement which with young people generally is 
insufficient to stimulate their best endeavours. It is, 
therefore, to his greater credit that, notwithstanding 
this isolation, he worked on steadily and progressed 
by giant strides. 

26 



CHAPTER III. 
MORLAND'S EARLY DAYS. 

Royal Academy, 1778-79 Mr. Angerstein Fuseli's "Nightmare" 
R.A., 1780-81 Royal Incorporated Society of Artists An 
offer from Romney Growing ambition Drawing from memory 
"The Cheshire Cheese" Gravesend and North Foreland 
Freshwater Gate R.A., 1784 An offer from J. A. Gresse 
Personal appearance Portraits of Morland Launching upon the 
world. 

AT the age of fifteen (in 1778) two drawings by George 
Morland were exhibited at the Royal Academy, and 
again in the year following his name appears 
in the Catalogue. During his articles he ^ 

had opportunities of copying the works of 
the best masters, and availed himself of 
them. The Flemish and Dutch painters of land- 
scape and genre particularly attracted him, and at 
this time he copied their works diligently. He also 
painted many pictures after Joseph Vernet, Gains- 
borough, and German drawings. Vernet's sea-pieces 
drew his attention to the charms of coast scenes, which 
he often depicted afterwards from subjects that he 
found in the Isle of Wight, near Whitby, Dover, and 
Brighton; but these are, perhaps, the least striking of 

27 



George Morland 



Morland's works. Their composition is often faulty; 
the ideas of space and action which marine subjects 
should suggest were not commonly in accord with his 
feeling; for in his art he favoured most, and best 
succeeded in, those scenes, confined or closed, 
which, unlike the restless sea, the vast horizon, the 
threatening heavens, or frowning cliffs, awaken 
ideas of peace, contentment, comradeship, and good 
cheer. 

To Mr. Angerstein, the banker and art collector, our 
artist was indebted for permission to copy Sir Joshua 
Reynolds's picture of " Garrick between Tragedy and 
Comedy." Fuseli (who, like Morland, received much 
encouragement from Sir Joshua) allowed George to 
copy his "Nightmare" a picture which was painted 
. in 1782, and was engraved. Fuseli's work, 

opytng however, did not appeal to the higher 
spheres of the youth's imagination, but rather excited 
his humour, and afforded him the opportunity of a 
practical joke; for, according to Dawe, "he repre- 
sented the fiend smoking a pipe, with a cocked hat, 
powdered hair, and spurs; a jug of ale is placed on the 
bosom of the sleeping nymph, whose relaxed hand 
drops an empty glass. The imaginary steed is bridled 
and furnished with horns." 

We may say of George Morland what Cunningham 
says of Hogarth, that he " considered copying other 
men's works to resemble pouring wine out of one vessel 
into another; there was no increase of quantity, and 
the flavour of the vintage was liable to evaporate. He 

28 



Popular Ballads 



wished to gather in the fruit, press the grapes, and 
pour out the wine for himself." 

When George was seventeen, we again find him 
exhibiting at the Royal Academy this time a land- 
scape drawing; and in the year following, 
his picture, " A Hovel with Asses," was 
exhibited there. A work by his brother 
Henry also appears in the Academy Cata- 
logue of 1781. In the same year George Morland was 
elected a Fellow of the Royal Incorporated Society of 
Artists, and became a frequent contributor to its 
exhibitions. At about this time Morland painted a 
series of pictures from Spenser's Faerie Qucene, drew 
some political caricatures, and illustrated a number of 
ballads, such as " Auld Robin Gray," "Margaret's 
Ghost," "Young Roger came tapping at Dolly's 
Window," " My name it is Jack Hall," " I am a Bold 
Shoemaker," and popular ditties of the day. Some of 
these drawings were reproduced, and the prints had 
a large circulation. Although nothing in the way of 
drawing came amiss to him, we can well believe that 
these subjects did not appeal to the young artist, and 
that they were pressed upon him by his father because 
they were saleable. 

In addition to all this work under the paternal eye, 
young George used to paint on his own account in 
secret, and to sell his productions as occa- 
sion offered, to supply himself with pocket- 
money. J. T. Smith says that "Mr. 
Franks, the builder, was one of the first persons who 

29 



George Morland 

encouraged his [Morland's] juvenile applications; and 
to that gentleman's house, whenever young Morland 
wanted a half-crown, he would go to drink tea, and by 
drawing carts, horses, and dogs, by memory, he would 
thus provide himself." 

Morland senior, though economical, was not mean, 
and if as seems to have been the case he kept his 
son short of money, it was not because he was close, 
but because he feared that George would make a 
wrong use of it. This attitude towards the lad, whose 
disposition was natural and open, tended to make him 
secretive, if not deceitful ; and keeping him in leading 
strings until he was twenty-one years of age was not 
calculated to develop his self-reliance. His tastes at 
this time were exceedingly simple and his wants easily 
satisfied. We are told that he was "gay and inde- 
pendent, and withal so frugal that a pennyworth of 
ginger-bread would suffice him a whole day through a 
walk of twenty miles, during which few things escaped 
his observation, and nothing that he observed was for- 
gotten." 

George's father, according to some writers, was 

avaricious and exploited his son's talents for his own 

, gain ; but there is evidence of the contrary. 

ys It was through his father's influence that 

Romney offered to article young Morland to 

himself for three years, and to give him a salary of 

300 a year. Had the father been avaricious he 

would not have encouraged a proposal which was 

against his own interest. George was now a young 

30 



New Style 



man, and felt that he should have more liberty. His 
ambition to get on in his profession was growing", and 
he knew that if he were allowed a free hand he could 
make his mark. It was not because his father sweated 
him that he was anxious for his apprenticeship to come 
to an end, but because he wanted to venture upon the 
new style that was forming- in his brain ; and the home 
atmosphere, the cold light of the studio, and his 
father's pedantic methods were uncongenial to this 
project. He began to crave to go to Nature for his 
models, and to live amidst them in the pure air of the 
countryside. He was impatient to set out upon this 
pleasant journey into a new land of rich promise, and 
so he declined Romney's offer. 

Dawe says that George Morland "never drew upon 
the spot," but from recollection alone. This can apply 
only to the period of his life passed at home, for we 
know that in after-years he took every opportunity of 
sketching out-of-doors, and took an enormous amount 
of trouble to have before him the actual objects he 
wanted to paint. A very rough sketch from Nature 
will fix its object indelibly on the mind of him who 
makes it, but when George was a boy he had no oppor- 
tunities of making such sketches. He was, however, 
able to recall any scene that had impressed 
him, long after the event, without any aid to 
memory; and some striking examples of ** 

this are on record. There was a romantic cmo> 

spot near London called " The Sandpits and Hanging 
Wood," situated between Charlton and Woolwich. This 

3 1 



George Morland 

place was visited by George in the course of one of his 
rambles with his friend Philip Dawe. Three months 
afterwards the former made some drawings of the 
scene, with men digging and loading their carts, 
barrows, and asses with sand just as he had seen it; 
and the whole subject, both as to the place and its 
incidents, was reproduced with such fidelity that Dawe 
could not believe that it had not been sketched on 
the spot. Again, Blagdon says that George Morland's 
"retention of memory was such that seeing a land 
storm at Brighton, he painted it most admirably three 
years afterwards." 

At the age of nineteen George began to kick against 

the pricks of paternal government. He yearned to go 

into the world to see for himself what it was 

u * n g iik e . t fi n d companions of his own years, to 



at the ...... . . ~ , . 

. join in their amusements, and to confide in 

them his ambitions. The picture that his 
father had drawn (with better intent than judgment) of 
the vices of the town, in order to reconcile his son to the 
restraints imposed upon his liberty, was so exaggerated 
as to be unconvincing, and had the effect of exciting 
the young man's curiosity concerning the snares it was 
supposed to depict, rather than of alarming him at their 
dangers. 

Up to this time George had never been allowed to 
spend an evening abroad, except at the house of Mr. 
Philip Dawe, "the only person with whom his parents 
would trust him, as they could rely on his not leaving 
their son till he had seen him safe home." 

3 2 



New Experiences 



On one of these evenings abroad, George made the 
acquaintance of a Smoking Club, at "The Cheshire 
Cheese," in Russell Court, and was enrolled 
a member thereof. The jovial fellows of this e 

Society were known to their intimates as urc ^ 

"The Congress." Whether or not Mor- 
land was introduced to the Club by his friend, we 
cannot say ; but we must conclude that Philip Dawe 
was one of its members, for in George's letters to him 
written later, when he was absent from London, he 
asked Dawe, on more than one occasion, to give his 
" compliments to the Congress." 

The Smoking Club (where his gay disposition, lively 
wit, and merry song made him a great favourite) 
afforded him his first taste of convivial society, and he 
found it so congenial that he used to pass a portion of 
every evening there. After a while his restless and 
adventurous spirit craved a wider experience and took 
him farther a-field. For two whole days nothing was 
heard of him. As this was the first time that George 
had openly defied the regulations of his father's estab- 
lishment, we may here relate the circumstance in some 
detail, more especially as it throws some light upon his 
character. 

It appears that one night after leaving "The Con- 
gress" at "The Cheshire Cheese," instead of going 
home as usual, he took it into his head to 
go by the hoy to Gravesend, where he J 
arrived at two o'clock the next morning. It Gravesend 
was characteristic of George that he always acted on 

33 D 



George Morland 



impulse always without any plan; and as soon as he 
found himself in the dilemma of his own creation, which 
was certain to follow, he became alarmed. In such 
event he would turn to the nearest friend for counsel, 
which was gladly given and gratefully received, but 
always ignored. So, when George found himself landed 
at Gravesend he knew not where to go nor what to do. 
Falling in with a carpenter and a sailor, he decided to 
join company with them, and the three walked together 
for some miles across country. The carpenter, who 
carried an axe and a saw, left the party after a while, 
and George was glad to be rid of a companion armed 
with such formidable weapons ; but great was his alarm 
when he discovered that the sailor with whom he was 
left carried a bludgeon. He soon, however, made 
friends with his companion, and tramped along with 
him until daylight, when they reached Chatham. There 
they found a tavern ; had a drink of gin and purl (a 
decoction of wormwood with milk and ale), and after 
a rest, passed the day in sailing to the North Foreland 
and back, in which voyage the small trading vessel 
which carried them was nearly wrecked. The day 
following, George parted company with the sailor, 
found his way back to Gravesend, and ultimately, 
without more adventure, turned up at " The Cheshire 
Cheese," much "elated with his exploits." 

Dawe tells us that during this frolic the mind of 
George "had not been idle, but, availing himself ot 
his wonted talent for conversation, he brought back 
such a store of nautical information as astonished the 

34 



Drawing from Memory 

company [at the Club]. Having been previously well 
acquainted with the various parts of a ship, from his 
general instructor the Encyclopaedia, in the course of 
this excursion he learned the application of some part 
of his knowledge." 

And so it was always, wherever he went and what- 
ever he saw, George made a note of; and what he 
considered too valuable to be entrusted to the keeping 
of his memory alone, he confided to his constant 
companion his sketch-book. 

In Tears of Nature; an Elegy, by W. Sandos, pub- 
lished in 1804, the author says "Mr. Morland being at 
a place called Freshwater Gate on the Isle 
of Wight, he was recognized by a friend in " Merry^ 
a low public-house known by the name of 
'The Cabin.' A number of fishermen, a few sailors, and 
three or four rustics composed the homely group; he 
was in the midst of them, contributing to the joke and 
partaking of their harmless, though noisy merriment. 
On his friends expostulating with him the next day on 
his keeping such worthless company, he drew from his 
pocket a sketch-book, and asked where he was to meet 
such a picture of humble life unless it was in such a 
place as that. The sketch was a correct delineation of 
everything in 'The Cabin' tap-room, even to a stool, a 
settle, a countenance, or the position of a figure. This 
representation his memory had supplied after leaving 
the house, and one of his finest pictures was that very 
scene he then so accurately sketched." The quick mind 
of our artist was always on the alert to seize fresh 

35 



George Morland 



impressions that might be useful to him in his studies : 
we cannot separate him from his work ; he was always 
engaged in the service of his art, always looking in the 
most unlikely places for something to please our 
imagination or win our sympathy; and as he always 
ignored what was coarse in his experience and refined 
what was crude, we can accept as true what his friend 
Sandos says namely, that though he delighted to 
mingle with the lower classes and even to join in their 
revels, "it was beyond a doubt for the sole purpose 
of delineating Nature as she is." 

Michaud says of George Morland that " to find 

subjects, he had only to look around him." This is 

but a part of the truth. To find subjects 

oice of j n w k at was arounc j hj m required not only 



an eye to see, but a mind to discern. 
Every country lane is a museum of natural history, 
but only the botanist appreciates the fact. Morland 
had the perception, but, unhappily, the subjects that 
most appealed to his genius were largely those that 
were associated with conditions that were dangerous 
for one of his impressionable and pleasure-loving 
temperament. He did not, however, choose his sub- 
jects because they were around him, but chose his 
surroundings that he might find in them his subjects. 
This choice was at his own risk, and no one knew it 
better than he who suffered by it. If the shortcomings 
of George Morland steal into our thoughts, let us as 
well entertain the recollection that, however he may 
have been impaired by his excesses, he never allowed 

36 



J. A. Gresse 



them to taint his art, and always strove to give to the 
world his best. 

His biographer Collins, who does not spare Morland's 
character, says of his works, " there is nothing in any 
one of the thousands of pictures and drawings we have 
seen that can offend the eye of decency, or create a 
loathing in the most delicate taste." From such a 
source this testimony may be accepted as final. 

During the period of his Articles, Morland painted 
"The Angler's Repast," and "A Party Angling," 
which were both engraved by W. Ward in 1780; and 
"Children Nutting," engraved by Edwin Dayes in 

1783- 

In the year 1784 two pictures by Morland were 
exhibited at the Royal Academy one entitled, "A Fog 
in'September," and the other illustrating an incident in 
the Vicar of Wakcfield. 

At about this time Morland received an advantageous 
proposal from J. A. Gresse, an artist with a large 
teaching connection, who in 1777 was 
appointed drawing-master to the Royal ;' 

Family. Gresse, it may be mentioned, was 
associated with Bartolozzi in etching the illustrations 
for Kennedy's Description of the Antiquities and Curi- 
osities of Wilton House (1769). Bryan tells us that he was 
a very fat man, and was nicknamed "Jack Grease." 

This proposal Morland rejected, says Dawe, because 
he was " so bashful, and had such an aversion to all 
control that he could not be induced to engage in any 
constant employment." The true reason was, prob- 

37 



George Morland 



ably, that which influenced him in rejecting Romney's 
offer namely, that he wanted to be his own master 
that he might strike out in a line of his own. He 
abhorred convention of every form, and longed to 
breathe the pure atmosphere of Nature free of academic 
germs; he had no ambition to become a fashionable 
portrait-painter, and soared above the imaginative 
flights of a drawing-master. 

George Morland was now twenty-one years of age, 
and although the term of his Articles had expired, he 
remained at home another six months before 
J e he went forth into the world to earn his own 
livelihood. From Dawe we learn that at this period 
George had the character of being polite and well- 
informed; that, notwithstanding his shyness, he took 
every opportunity of gaining information from the 
professional men he met, and was a good conversa- 
tionalist in all societies. "Indeed," he says, "his 
talent for seizing advantage appears always to have 
been one of his chief means of improvement, and 
while young, there was something so engaging in his 
countenance, voice, and manners, which were modest 
and respectful, that he everywhere excited a preposses- 
sion in his favour." 

This appreciation Dawe must have obtained from his 
father, Philip Dawe, since he himself could not have 
known George when young; but he may well have 
observed the artist's genial nature and faculty of 
pleasing all about him, since he retained these qualities 
despite all his vicissitudes. 

38 



Personal Appearance 

From the same source we learn that young Morland's 
"person was agreeable, and of the middle size," and 
that he had an excellent constitution. "His forehead 
was high, with the frontal veins singularly apparent 
when under the influence of passion or intense thought; 
his eyes were dark hazel, full, and somewhat piercing; 
his nose was rather aquiline, and his mouth intelligent, 
producing altogether a penetrating and expressive 
countenance." 

We have several portraits of Morland. There is a 
chalk drawing of him by himself as a youth, and also a 
small painting in oils representing him as a 
child of about thirteen years, both of which 
are in the National Portrait Gallery, London. mr i * 
We take as the most trustworthy the portrait 
by J. R. Smith (1792), which has been reproduced in 
photogravure as the frontispiece to this book. There is 
a strong resemblance between this and the portraits of 
Morland by Robert Muller (engraved by W. Ward), 
and by Mrs. Jones, in Hassall's work (taken in 1792), 
when Morland was in the fulness of his powers. 
Smith's work was engraved by Charles Picart, and 
Dawe tells us that "it was esteemed an excellent 
likeness." 

As there are contradictory statements by his bio- 
graphers concerning Morland's launch upon the world, 
it may be useful to draw attention to them so that we 
may regard with caution the evidence of their authors 
in other matters of fact. Hassall, who probably was 
unacquainted with the elder Morland, and seems to 

39 



George Morland 



have had very false notions of his character, and who 
met George for the first time after he had left his home, 
says George " at length determined to make his escape 
from the rigid confinement which paternal authority had 
imposed upon him ; and wild as a young- quadruped that 
had broke loose from his den, at length, though late, 
effectually accomplished his purpose." Here the artist 
is represented as a prisoner, who, after much striving 
for liberty, breaks his bars and succeeds in escaping 
from his gaoler. On the other hand, J. T. Smith, in 
Nollekens and his Times, makes the gaoler open the doors 
of the prison-house, and, unsolicited, kick his prisoner 
out. He says 

" Young George was of so unsettled a disposition, 
that his father, being fully aware of his extraordinary 
talents, was determined to force him to get his own 
living, and gave him a guinea, with something like the 
following observation : * I am determined to encourage 
your idleness no longer; there take that guinea, and 
apply to your art and support yourself!' This," con- 
tinues Smith, " Morland told me, and added that from 
that moment he commenced, and continued wholly on 
his own account." 

These two statements, which are conflicting, are 
both opposed to Dawe's evidence, which we take as 
trustworthy ; for Philip Dawe, the biographer's father, 
who had known George from a child, must have been 
well acquainted with all the circumstances of the case. 
He and George were at the time in constant touch; 
they were intimate friends, both members of "The 

40 




" Trepanning a. Recruit" (p. 75). 



Starting in Life 



Congress," and, therefore, boon companions; and 
must have often discussed together the scheme that 
George had in his mind for starting in life on his own 
account, and the best way of carrying it out. If the 
elder Morland had wished to get rid of his son, he 
would not have suffered him to remain at home after 
the expiration of his Articles ; nor would George have 
returned to his father's house a few months later (as 
he did) had he been previously kicked out of it, or, we 
may add, if he had been sweated when there. 



CHAPTER IV. 



STARTING IN LIFE. 

Martlett's Court, Bow Street Flight to Margate Letters to P. Dawe 
Impressions of Dover Mrs. Hill Portrait-painting Sketches 
and Studies Jenny Occupations Visit to "The Congress" 
Riding in Races Preparing for his visit to France. 

IT was not until Morland was about nineteen years of 

age that he found the allowance made him by his 

father insufficient to gratify his growing 

Os L ' tastes for expensive pleasures. The con- 

Pleasures yivial meeting . s at The Cheshire Cheese" 

taxed his slender purse ; he had acquired, as we have 
seen by his voyage to the North Foreland, a taste for 
travel, which in those days was a costly one ; it appears, 
too, that his love of horses, which was strong in him all 
his life, broke out at this period, and that he used to 
treat himself to horse exercise, and also his friends on 
frequent occasions. To supplement his pocket-money 
that he might satisfy these tastes he was obliged to sell 
his drawings, and, through the services of a friend, 
found a publisher of Drury Lane who was ready to buy 
them. 

George was too nervous and shy to carry out these 
42 



Bow Street Lodgings 

business transactions himself, and even in after-life 
he would sooner obtain half the value of a work by 
disposing" of it through an intermediary, than the whole 
value by selling it himself. This aversion to negotiate 
with dealers, if originally due to his native shyness, 
was strengthened by his experience of the Drury Lane 
publisher, who appears to have been a low character. 
This man, finding a ready market for George's produc- 
tions, was very eager to come into direct touch with 
the artist that he might secure them on better terms. 
After some time he succeeded in doing so, and was 
quick to perceive that he could profit by George's 
easy-going disposition and ignorance of the world. At 
length, by flattery and promises, he induced Morland 
to leave his home and to come and live near him in a 
lodging which he had secured in Martlett's Court, Bow 
Street. " Here," says Dawe, " Morland 
was doomed to drudge at his employer's 
price, which was contrived to be but just 
sufficient to procure him subsistence, lest he should 
gradually acquire the means of being independent of 
him. He would not allow him to work for any other 
person, and the better to prevent it, was almost con- 
tinually at his elbow. His meals were carried up to 
him by his employer's boy, and when his dinner was 
brought, which generally consisted of sixpennyworth 
of meat from the cook-shop, with a pint of beer, he 
would sometimes venture to ask if he might not 
have a pennyworth of pudding." George may have 
secured the pudding, but if he asked (as he sometimes 

43 



George Morland 



was moved to do) for five shillings, he got only curses 
with a half-crown. 

In this servitude the young artist worked for some 
months, and turned out a sufficient number of pictures 
and drawings " to fill a room." The publisher charged 
half-a-crown for admission to this show, and we are 
told that many of George's productions there were 
added to the collection of Lord Grosvenor. 

At first sight one would suppose that no young man 

of spirit would have supported such servitude for a 

. single week; but we must remember that 

Servitude th j g wag Morland s first experience in his 

endeavour to earn his own living, and the knowledge 
that he was supporting himself, and was no longer 
a burden on his father (who, if we may judge by his 
frequent change of residence, was then in pecuniary 
difficulties), might afford him some compensation for 
his discomforts. Again, George, who always acted 
upon impulse without considering consequences, knew 
that his situation was one of his own making, and 
being too proud or too obstinate to admit his mistakes, 
he would naturally put up with the inconveniences they 
entailed rather than expose himself to the censure or 
ridicule of his friends by disclosing his embarrassment. 
We must remember also that the hard work he was 
put to by his greedy employer was not such a burden 
to him, who was in the habit of working hard, as it 
would have been to one who had not acquired the habit 
of industry and was unaccustomed to discipline. So 
the mere fact that he remained as long as he did with 

44 



Working under Difficulties 

his taskmaster is not necessarily a proof of a poor 
spirit. It certainly shows that he could not have been 
largely influenced by a passion for pleasure, though he 
must have experienced some measure of enjoyment 
from his work, otherwise his situation would have 
been intolerable. But he was disappointed with his 
venture; his imagination in his new conditions had no 
play; he could not enlarge his knowledge, and was 
forced to repeat himself; he was not even allowed to 
choose his own subjects. All this was irksome and 
trying to the young artist, who had dreams of advancing 
in his profession by creating a new style. But when 
after a while his employer began to select subjects for 
his pictures which were intended to appeal to the 
depraved tastes of his clients, George found his 
position insufferable and determined to put an end 
to it. 

If the ideals of Morland the artist were not of the 
loftiest type, neither were they low. In his art what 
is coarse and debasing found no place, and we can 
readily believe that he threw up his employment by 
the Drury Lane mercenary when it threatened to be- 
come repulsive to his taste and degrading to his 
talent. 

Where a difficult situation was possible, George 
found nothing easier than to bring it about and to 
plunge into its midst. In extricating him- 
self therefrom, he was awkward and un- 
reasoning. When his relations with his employer 
had become strained beyond endurance, his method of 

45 



George Morland 



getting out of his difficulty was such as a small 
school-boy might have conceived: he ran away after 
locking the door of his room and putting its key in 
his pocket! This he considered as a good joke, and 
enjoyed satisfaction from the knowledge that his rent 
to his landlord was overdue, and that his tyrant, who 
had engaged the lodging, would be held responsible 
for it. 

After all, it would seem that the restraints imposed 
upon him at Martlett's Court have been exaggerated, 
for he was in touch with his friends all the time, and 
made new ones. We are told that upon leaving home 
he became acquainted with Sir James Winter-Lake, 
Bart. through the introduction of J. T. Smith and 
painted several pictures for him, including one of his 
favourite dog, which was probably executed at his Bow 
Street lodgings. He may also have painted whilst 
there his charming small pictures entitled " The Lass 
of Livingstone " (suggested by Ramsay's songs) and 
"How sweet's the love that meets return," for these 
were engraved in 1785 by T. Gaugain; and u Love 
and Constancy rewarded," engraved in the same year 
by Philip Dawe. 

During his stay at Martlett's Court his talents had 
become known to a certain Mrs. Hill, a lady of means, 
who invited him to stay with her at her 
Mrs. Hill j louse at Margate. So when he had made 
up his mind to run away from the Drury Lane dealer, 
he accepted Mrs. Hill's invitation, and as soon as he 
was free hired a horse and rode to Margate. He was 

46 



Letter to Dawe 

fond of horses, considered himself an excellent judge 
of them, and was a good rider. He got so attached 
to the animal he rode on this occasion that . 

he forgot to return it to the owner for * 

six or seven weeks. He arrived safely at 
his destination, but before settling down there, made 
a flying visit to Dover, where he put up for a night at 
the " Ship Inn," and thence wrote to his friend Philip 
Dawe the following letter, which we extract from 
George Dawe's Memoir: 

SHIP INN, DOVER, 
Friday. 

DAWE, I arrived at Margate on Wednesday, surveyed the 
town on Thursday, and drank tea at Dover on Friday. Here 
is one of the pleasantest spots in the world ; a fine view of the 
clift and castle, with the pier and shipping ; opposite are the 
Calais clifts, which seem so very near as to appear not above 
three or four miles over. A very large and pretty town is Dover, 
and looks something like London ; but of all the horrible 
places that can be imagined Sandwich is the worst. 'Tis very 
likely I shall go over to France with Mrs. Hill ; she is talking 
about it. My compliments to the Congress, except that Jew- 
looking fellow. I have swam my horse in the sea several times. 
I should be glad of an answer. I am, yours, etc., 

MORLAND. 

At Margate he put up at the house of Mrs. Hill, who 

showed him great kindness, introduced him to all her 

friends, and carried out her promise to find him clients. 

He soon had as much work as he could do, and seems 

47 



George Morland 



to have been well paid for it. He was probably em- 
ployed wholly in portrait-painting at this time. Bryan 
says that Morland went to Margate to paint miniatures. 
This may be so, and it may account for the compara- 
tively small number of portraits by Morland we are able 
to name. Two of his miniature paintings were at the 
time of his death in the collection of Mr. R. Wedd of 
Gerrard Street, Soho, London, the artist's solicitor; but 
they were painted probably after his stay at Margate 
and were not portraits. These miniatures were both 
painted on the lids of snuff-boxes ; one represented a 
landscape in water-colours on ivory ; and the other the 
inside of a stable, in oils, painted on copper. 

But to devote his talents wholly to portraiture was 
not what young Morland desired. The new style that 

he was thinking about demanded a different 
^ training. Between his work and the social 

functions that had a claim upon him as the 
guest of Mrs. Hill, he found time to make sketches for 
his friends of the landscape about, and incidents near 
at hand; and also several studies intended for future 
use as illustrations of books he had read. We hear of 
these occupations of his spare moments in his letters to 
his friend Dawe. Again, his new surroundings excited 
new interests. The ever-changing sea fascinated him ; 
the shipping, the smacks, and other small craft, the 
cliffs, sands, and rocks were all new subjects for his 
pencil. More attractive to him than these were the 
people the boatmen and shoremen, the fish-wives and 
market-folk of the many types and varieties of calling 

48 




"Industry and Economy " (p. 76). 



Falling in Love 



common to seaside towns; and he felt that to know 
them, and to study them in their favourite haunts, was 
the training" that he wanted. This study was not 
possible whilst he was the guest of his patroness, so, 
after staying with Mrs. Hill a couple of months, he 
removed to a lodging near by that he might be free to 
go about and fraternize with the sailors, soldiers, 
sportsmen, postboys, farmers, and their following 
all of whom he felt would some day minister to his art. 
There was no estrangement on this account between 
Mrs. Hill and himself; on the contrary, the good lady 
continued to heap upon him her favours, as he grate- 
fully acknowledges in his letters. Writing to Dawe on 
the i3th of August 1785, George tells his friend that he 
has made some sketches for him, and that as he does 
not go out of a night he has time to make him some 
more ; and he wants to know if Dawe would like him 
to choose a subject from a story. He says he has " an 
excellent opportunity of drawing some smart women, 
as there are many about," and mentions in particular 
44 one of the sweetest creatures that ever was seen by 
man." She is seventeen years of age, and 
over six feet in height, and George has Jenny 
fallen in love with her; and what is more, his 
affection is returned. George was always falling in 
love (like his ancestor, Sir Samuel), and always with 
honourable intentions ; and, strange to say, although he 
never followed the advice of his friends in other matters, 
he was sometimes influenced by them in affairs of the 
heart when they threatened to embarrass him. 

49 B 



George Morland 



Speaking of this young girl (who was Mrs. Hill's 
maid, Jenny), George goes on to tell his friend that he 
would certainly marry her, only marrying would pre- 
vent him from going to Paris with Mrs. Hill, which he 
has promised to do. And there is another obstacle to 
his marriage which we will give in his own words. 

"Besides," he writes, "I have a shaking of the hand, 
and falling off very fast (these are not very comfortable 
symptoms), I begin to reflect a little now, but hope it is 
not too late. I have smoked but two pipes since my 
absence;" and he adds, " my house for smoking is the 
'King's Head' Inn, in High Street, a good, pleasant 
house for at high-water the sea comes to the very 
wall of the house, and if you was to fall out of the 
window must surely be drowned; but I seldom use it, 
by reason the company are so disagreeable a parcel of 
old sleepy fellows." 

It was during his stay at Margate that poor George- 
then only twenty-two years of age acquired the taste 
for drink. Its growth was favoured by his 
. ri ' love of convivial society of the jovial com- 
pany to be found in the taverns, where his 
song and his fiddling and boisterous good humour 
were always welcome. This taste, which was en- 
couraged by the mistaken kindness of his friends, who 
made him presents of strong liquors, he overcame for a 
while after his marriage; but it returned in later life 
when he was sorely pressed by his financial troubles. 
There can be no doubt, however, that Morland's 
excesses have been grossly exaggerated. This may be 

50 



Habits at Margate 

due (as we have hinted) to the desire to bring into the 
strongest relief his genius; or his excesses may appear 
worse than they were because of their association with 
genius. Whatever the motive or cause, the fact 
remains that no man could have produced the amount 
and quality of work that George Morland produced 
in his short life but twenty years of manhood who 
had wholly given himself over to gross pleasures, as 
Morland is said to have done. We have heard of great 
men and of great artists who have at rare intervals 
plunged into excesses of one kind or another, but no 
one has ever achieved greatness who habitually 
wallowed in the mire. 

George tells his friend in the letter we have quoted 
how he amuses himself. He gets up at about ten 
o'clock, takes a gulp of gin, as he has 
received a present of some (this, we may say cupa- 

in passing, was recommended by the Faculty 
of that day, "to clear the chest"); then he breakfasts 
with a young gentleman, "some nobleman's brother," 
who is lodging in the same house as himself. At four 
o'clock he dines, and after dinner he receives his hair- 
dresser; then he dresses, goes for a ride, drinks tea 
with his fellow-lodger, and sups at Mrs. Hill's. 

In this programme he had five clear hours which he 
devoted to work. The habit of working directly after 
his breakfast and during the best hours of the day 
he adhered to all his life, and he never allowed the 
effects of his evening amusements to interfere with this 
practice. 

5' 



George Morland 



The young gentleman-lodger referred to was Mr. 
Sherborne, a brother of Lord Digby. He was an 
amateur of art and music, and much 
enjoyed the society of Morland, who used 
to give him lessons in painting and took 
part with him in his musical recreations. George 
Morland had the knack of pleasing all with whom he 
came in contact; or as Dawe put it, " he was indeed 
blessed with that happy art which unlocks every door 
and every bosom." He made a large number of 
acquaintances, but cultivated few real friendships, and 
soon tired of the company of gentlemen. To his free- 
and-easy, open disposition many of the restraints im- 
posed by the conventionalities and fashions of Society 
were irksome. Impulsive, hilarious, and outspoken 
himself, he suspected of untruthfulness and cant those 
who measured their words and masked their feelings ; 
and so his sympathies went out not so much to people 
of his own class as to the unsophisticated rustics, to 
those who love the freedom of the open air, to simple 
folk, to children, to the gay and light-hearted to all, 
in fact, who make no attempt to conceal their defects 
by any kind of veneer. And thus it may be that Mr. 
Sherborne and other gentlemen who did him many 
kindnesses failed to win his confidence and were not, 
perhaps, invariably requited by his appreciation. 

Always restless and fond of change (like his father, 
brothers, sister Maria, and his ancestor, Sir Samuel), 
George, after being three months at Margate, took a 
trip to London, and presented himself, without an- 



Riding in Races 

nouncement, at "The Cheshire Cheese." There he 
told the " Congress " of his good luck in falling" in with 
Mrs. Hill, enlarged upon his reputation as a . 

portrait-painter with her aristocratic friends, ' ri * 
dangled a purse of guineas before them, 
and boasted that he could earn as much money as 
he liked. Amongst the distinguished persons whose 
portraits he had painted, he mentioned Mr. Wedder- 
burn, afterwards Lord Loughborough. It was not, 
however, to meet the " Congress " that he went to 
London, but to see his sweetheart Jenny, who was then 
living there with her brother. He lost no time in 
visiting her; hired a coach and drove her about the 
town to introduce her to his friends and, after a few 
days' jollification, returned to Margate. 

In another of his letters written at this time, George 
tells his friend Dawe that he has commenced "a new 
business of jockey to the races"; an occupa- 
tion which does not, however, interfere with 
his more serious work. He gives an account f, 

of his experiences in this new venture, and 
draws an interesting picture of the incidents of the 
Turf in his time. He had gained the reputation of 
being the best horseman at Margate, and was invited 
to ride for a gentleman in the race for the silver cup 
at Mount Pleasant. The event came off, and he was 
heavily backed. Here we may let him speak for him- 
self 

"Then the drums beat, and we started; 'twas a 
four-mile heat, and the first three miles I could not 

53 



George Morland 



keep the horse behind them, being- so spirited an 
animal; by that means he exhausted himself, and I 
soon had the mortification to see them come galloping- 
past me, hissing and laughing, whilst I was spurring 
his guts out. A mob of horsemen then gathered round, 
telling me I could not ride, which is always the way if 
you lose the heat; they began at last to use their whips, 
and, finding I could not get away, I directly pulled off 
my jacket, laid hold of the bridle, and offered battle to 
the man who began first, though he was big enough to 
eat me; several gentlemen rode in, and all the mob 
turned over to me, and I was led away in triumph with 
shouts." 

At the Margate Races, in which he next rode, the 
amateur jockey fared much worse, although on that 
occasion he won the heat by about half a mile. Some 
4 'four hundred sailors, smugglers, fishermen, etc.," 
set upon him with sticks and stones, threatened to cut 
off his large tail and throw him into the sea. After 
many vicissitudes he escaped, and at night joined his 
friends at the " King's Head," where the party dis- 
cussed three crowns' worth of punch. 

To the letter in which he recounts these adventures 
he adds a postscript informing Dawe that Jenny writes 
to him by every post, and that his marriage with her 
will come off in about three weeks. But soon after 
writing this he begins to fear that he will ruin his 
prospects if he enters into this union. 

" If I marry her," he says, " I am undone, by reason 
Mrs. Hill must find it out it cannot be avoided ; her 

54 



Preparing for France 

acquaintances in London would inform her of it in 
France, she would then throw me aside. Besides, many 
gentlemen would give my acquaintance up, 
if I perform my promise with her, and Co ern * n l 
which, as I certainly like her better than any Marria S e 
oilier, I am determined to perform after my arrival in 
London, if that should ever happen" 

We next hear from George that there has been a 
Freemasons' Meeting and a Fox Hunt on the same 
day, on which occasion almost everybody in Margate 
was drunk. The day following almost all his male 
sitters disappointed him. "Some sent me word that 
they were engaged," he says; "some not very well; 
others could not get their hair dressed; but I found it 
was one general disorder." 

He was now looking forward with pleasure to his 
visit to France, and was busy getting ready to start. 
He found time, however, to paint seven pictures for 
the Royal Academy, and to make a sketch for Dawe 
which illustrated a page from Voltaire, who seems to 
have been a favourite author with Morland, for this 
was not the first time he had drawn inspiration from 
his works. 



55 



CHAPTER V. 

CALAIS TO CAMDEN TOWN. 

Calais Saint Omer J. M. W. Turner W. Ward Morland goes 
to Kensal Green His marriage Marylebone He becomes a 
teacher of morals The " Laetitia" series Camden Town 
Morland's humour His industry R.A., 1786 Irwin. 

MORLAND and Mrs. Hill left Dover somewhere about 
the end of October 1785, and landed at Calais after a 
remarkably quick passage of only one hour 
At Calais &nd thirty . two m i nutes . There George was 
surprised to find " everything so different" about him 
considering the short distance he had travelled. At 
Calais he put up at the Hotel d'Angleterre kept by 
M. Dessein: the same gentleman, perhaps, of whom 
Sterne says " I looked at him through and through 
eyed him as he walked along in profile then en face 
thought he looked like a Jew then a Turk disliked 
his wig cursed him by my gods wished him at the 
devil." 

George complains of the cold ; of his large room 
with a vast fireplace, but a small fire; of the height of 
the bed into which he was obliged to jump ; of the bad 
quality of French pens and paper; of the wobbling 
legs of the hotel tables; and of the waiters, whose 

56 




" Triumph of Benevolence " (p. 76). 



French Habits and Customs 

language lie could not understand. On the other 
hand, he enjoyed his claret, and found his supper and 
tea both good and cheap. The next day George and 
Mrs. Hill took the diligence to St. Omer, where they 
arrived the same afternoon. There he met some of his 
Margate friends, and received many "pressing invita- 
tions" from the gentry to paint their portraits. His 
impressions of local customs and habits are worth 
noting. He writes to Dawe on October 28th, 1785 

''The church-music of France is something very 
strange, as it consists of country-dances; and they are 
remarkably fond of the tune of ' Nancy 
Dawson,' which they never play in church 
but of Sundays. When a person dies the J' 

bells are set a-ringing, as we do for a rejoic- 
ing day. There is very little to be heard in 
the town except drums and bells, and little to be seen 
except priests and soldiers, as the genteel people never 
walk out on foot, and there are only two coaches for 
hire ; you may have fourpenny fares ; they only charge 
according to the distance. The women never have any 
hats, and in the hardes^ rains they only throw their 
gowns over their heads." 

George had scarcely settled himself down at St. Omer 
before he thought of taking a trip to London, just to 
shake hands with his old friends at "The 
Cheshire Cheese," and to stand them a fare- " 

well supper; for he felt sure that after this 
flying visit he would never again return to England. 
He was delighted with France, where there was no 

57 



George Morland 

danger of being- robbed, where travelling was very cheap, 
and where one might live very well on thirty pounds a 
year ; and he had made up his mind to establish him- 
self there permanently. 

This resolution was, however, of short life, for he 
passed the winter of that year at Margate, and returned 
to London for good in the next spring. 

We may note in passing, that two years later 
J. M. W. Turner, then a boy of twelve, set out for 
Margate to go to school there. There is no 
evidence that he ever met Morland, nor is it 
probable that had they known one another 
they would have found much in common in their dis- 
positions ; still less in their feeling for art. Morland 
passed away whilst the great landscape-painter was still 
in the period of his first style. The subdued colouring 
of Turner's work, its conventional composition, and 
the gloomy spirit that so often pervaded it at that 
period were quite foreign to Morland's art. Turner's 
bold handling must have been appreciated by Morland, 
as the latter's manner was admired by Turner, who (as 
Dr. Hughes points out in his article in Social England] 
imitated it in his early oil-paintings, as he imitated 
Wilson, Poussin, Claude, and the Dutch marine- 
painters. 

We are told by Ruskin that "Turner's more or less 
respectful contemplation of Reynolds, Loutherbourg, 
Wilson, Gainsborough, Morland, and Wilkie was inci- 
dentally mingled with his graver studies," but no special 
mention is made of Turner's estimate of Morland. 

58 



Difficulties Dissolved 

On George's return to London he went to see his 
parents, and stayed with them for a while. His mind 
was disturbed concerning" his promise; for 
as he had no assured employment, he felt - 

that to marry in such circumstances would 

fft v V'Pfl 

be courting" distress. He confided his 
trouble to a friend, who advised him to break off 
his engagement with his fiancee. That this was the 
prudent course Morland admitted, but he could not 
make up his mind to adopt it. He had given his 
promise to marry Jenny, and was prepared to carry it 
out; and so he asked his friend to go and see her, and 
ascertain, if possible, her views and, if necessary, fix the 
wedding-day. This his ambassador did, but in pre- 
senting- the case he drew such a doleful picture of 
George's health and circumstances that Jenny's brother 
became alarmed and angry and, roundly abusing Mor- 
land for attempting to deceive his sister, refused to 
allow the marriage to take place. 

Relieved of the embarrassment occasioned by his 
love affair, George's usual good spirits returned. The 
absence of regular employment was no longer a cause 
of worry ; he felt sure of always being able to earn 
his own livelihood, and now that his mind was undis- 
turbed about Jenny, his health gave him no further 
anxiety. This peaceful state was friendly to the 
recrudescence of the tender passion, and consequently 
in a very short time after his connection with Mrs. 
Hill's maid had been broken off, George again fell 
desperately in love. The object of his affection was 

59 



George Morland 



a young woman in domestic service. He made up his 
mind to act on this occasion with promptitude, and 
as usual confided his intentions to a friend, whom he 
persuaded to set out with him to call upon the girl's 
father who was a tailor to ask his consent to his 
union with his daughter. The two young men started 
on this " enterprise of pith and moment," but after 
walking some distance, George's friend relented taking 
part in the proceedings and left his companion to pro- 
secute his love affair himself. The effect of this was 
that, when George found himself alone before the 
tailor's dwelling, his courage completely failed him 
and he beat a hasty retreat, thinking, the while, that 
it was easier for him to console himself in the loss of 
his sweetheart than to tackle her sartorial father. 

The works of few artists have been so largely repro- 
duced by engravers as those of Morland, and although 
he is said to have painted some four thousand pictures, 
and made besides an enormous number of drawings 
and studies, it is by such reproductions that he has 
become familiar to the general public and has secured 
his world-wide popularity. A very important incident, 
therefore, in his life was his friendship with 
W/Z//Z0W William Ward, the engraver, to whom he 
was indebted for the reproduction of a large 
number of his most important works. The two young 
men of about the same age (Morland being the elder by 
three years) had pursuits in common, and both were 
passionately fond of music; and they conceived that 
it would be mutually profitable and pleasant to live 

60 



Teacher of Morals 

together. So after staying at home a few weeks, 
Morland left his parents and took lodgings in the 
house of Ward, who was then living with his mother 
and sisters at the hamlet of Kensal Green. This 
arrangement was productive of some noteworthy 
results. Never before had George experienced such 
congenial surroundings as he now enjoyed; the com- 
panionship of his friend had a good influence upon 
him; musical evenings at home took the place of the 
boisterous fun of the smoking clubs, and his daily 
intercourse with the Ward family, who appreciated 
his talents and urged his ambition, gave to his work 
a fresh impulse and a new direction. He now became 
a teacher of morals, and under these happy conditions 
produced many instructive works in the genre style, 
which at once established his reputation as a painter 
of no ordinary merit. Amongst these may be men- 
tioned "The Idle" and "The Industrious Mechanic," 
"The Idle Laundress," and the "Industrious Cottager," 
which latter pair were engraved by W. Blake. He 
produced, probably, about this time, " Domestic 
Happiness," engraved by Ward in 1787, and "The 
Happy Family," engraved by J. Dean in the same 
year. He also painted a scene from Tom Jones, 
engraved by W. Ward in 1786. Through Morland's 
friendship with the Ward family he became acquainted 
with Ward's sister Anne, whom Allan Cunningham 
describes as "a young lady of beauty and modesty." 
Of her personal appearance we can judge by the 
portraits of her which Morland introduced into his 
61 



George Morland 



pictures " The Cottagers," where she is represented 
with the artist; in "Diligence" and "Idleness," in 
"The Disconsolate and her Parrot," and in others of 
his works. 

As a matter of course, the heart of the susceptible 
young fellow was captured by this lady's charms. 
With the approval of her family, he straightway paid 
her his addresses, and pressed his suit "with such 
ardour and perseverance " that, to his great joy, the 
lady accepted him, and they were shortly 
a [ l s afterwards married at Hammersmith Church 
Marriage in j uly I786> Collins says that "the general 
remark upon the occasion was, that a prettier couple 
had never graced the interior of that sacred edifice in 
the memory of the oldest spectator present." 

Let us take this opportunity of contradicting Allan 
Cunningham, who alleges that "Morland married with- 
out being in love, and treated his wife with careless- 
ness, because he was incapable of feeling the merits of 
modesty or domestic worth." Cunningham wrote his 
Life of Morland twenty-six years after the death of the 
artist, whom, probably, he never knew. Dawe, who tells 
quite a different story, had a far better opportunity of 
learning the facts of the case. He says that Morland 
and his wife "were sincerely attached to each other, 
insomuch that the one was extremely alarmed and 
affected whenever the other happened to be indisposed." 
Nor is the story true that Morland at any time deserted 
his wife. His jaunts into the country in search of 
material for his pictures, his association with people 

62 



Marriage and Marylebone 

below his own rank, in the same quest, his irregular 
habits and lack of appreciation of domestic rules and 
order, and the necessity of concealing himself, at times, 
from his creditors were often causes of separation from 
his wife, and probably of petty differences between 
them; but in all cases he made provision for her 
welfare and comfort to the full extent of his means. 
From first to last Morland was on good terms with his 
mother-in-law and her family, with whom he and his 
wife went to stay on more than one occasion; a fact 
which is wholly at variance with the allegation that Mrs. 
Morland was neglected and ill-treated by her husband. 

A month after Morland's union with Anne, William 
Ward married our artist's sister Maria; and the two 
young couples set up housekeeping together in High 
Street, Marylebone. This joint adventure was not a 
success, and came to an end in about three months, 
when the Morlands moved into a cottage at Camden 
Town then a rural quarter. 

During the three months at Marylebone, Morland 
had been hard at work, for he there painted the series 
of six pictures known as "Laetitia; or, 
Seduction," and entitled respectively " Do- " Laettila 
mestic Happiness," "The Elopement," 
" Dressing for the Masquerade," " The Tavern Door," 
"The Virtuous Parent," and "The Fair Penitent." 
In these works (which were engraved by J. R. Smith 
in 1789) the story is developed of the elopement of a 
young woman from her peaceful home, of her desertion 
by her lover, of her degradation and misery, and of her 

63 



George Morland 

return as a penitent to her parents' arms. The artist 
(of twenty-three years of age) tells his story in a 
natural and unaffected manner, and wins our sympathy 
by its pathos and truth. The narration is not over- 
charged there is no straining after effect, and yet it 
is convincing, a true indication of power. If it lacks 
the brutal force of Hogarth, it possesses a grace and 
refinement which Hogarth lacks; and its moral is not 
less impressive because it is subtly conveyed, rather 
than literally enforced. 

Of these pictures, Dawe says that "the taste and 
sentiment here displayed show Morland, at this time, 
to have entertained in a great degree refined concep- 
tions of virtue." By the expression "at this time," 
. one might suppose that this was Morland's 

\ a sole effort of a didactic character, and con- 

Picturcs clude that ag Qne blessed day ( as Aristotle 

says) does not make happiness, so the moral lesson of 
this example is no criterion of the true tone of the heart 
that inspired it. But the " Laetitia" pictures were not 
a mere flash in the pan, but were preceded by other 
instructive subjects and, as will presently appear, were 
followed by a large number of similar works. 

There was a demand for these moral subject-pictures, 
and he may have been induced to paint them because 
it was so ; but there would have been no demand for 
Morland's moral works had they not been stamped 
with the artist's true mind and feeling. The merit of 
such pictures, more than of any other kind, must 
depend upon the individuality of the painter, for they 

64 



Moral Subject-pictures 

do not present themselves to his eye, as do the subjects 
of still-life, but to his imagination, and derive their 
force and truth from the moral sentiment which clothes 
them and urges them into being. As ideas that can- 
not be imaged cannot be conveyed, so in proportion as 
an artist feels the truth of the story he tells can he 
arrest attention and awaken feeling in others. He 
cannot convince if he have no conviction, and his 
works without his faith must be dead. Morland's 
moral lessons were prized because they carried con- 
viction, and therefore must have been taught by one 
who believed in them himself. Let us give him credit, 
too, for practising them in many directions. He ex- 
posed shams and hated them, he preached and practised 
generosity, constancy, kindness, diligence, and hos- 
pitality, and throughout life (we are assured by Dawe) 
Morland "constantly expressed his abhorrence of the 
crime, the effects of which he has so feelingly pour- 
trayed" in " Laetitia; or, Seduction." The six pictures 
comprising this series brought to the artist only suffi- 
cient money to provide him and his wife with what was 
necessary for their modest establishment for a few 
weeks; they were sold at Messrs. Christie's in July 
1904 for five thousand and six hundred guineas. 
Morland painted at about this time his picture taken 
from The Man of Feeling, which was engraved by 
John Pettit in 1787. 

It was Morland's amusement to ride on the box-seat 
of the stage-coaches which used to pass his cottage at 
Camden Town on their way to Hampstead, Highgate, 

65 F 



George Morland 

and Barnet, and thus he made the acquaintance of post- 
boys, ostlers, and other horsey individuals, of whom 
he made many sketches for future pictures. 
& His genial disposition and open-handedness 

ei soon made him popular with this fraternity, 
and they welcomed him amongst them. 
He interested himself in their occupations and joined 
in their rough amusements, all the time keen in study- 
ing their characters and their surroundings; for the 
experience thus gained was to supply the materials 
for the service of his growing ambition to become a 
painter of nature and out-of-door life. This study was 
productive of such works as his " Rubbing down the 
Post-horse" (engraved by J. R. Smith in 1794), "Por- 
traits of Stablemen," " Paying the Horseler" (engraved 
by S. W. Reynolds in 1805), "Stable Amusements" 
(dogs fighting, engraved by W. Ward in 1801), "The 
Postboy's Return" (engraved by D. Orme; said (very 
justly) by Mr. Frank Wedmore to be Morland's " surest 
and firmest" work), and many others of a kindred 
character. 

George Dawe remarks " It has been observed of 
Gray the poet that he never was a child ; and it may 
with equal truth be asserted of Morland that he never 
was a man." Morland was a great worker at all ages, 
but apart from his work he seldom appeared to take 
life seriously. He had at times serious moods, but he 
always kept his own counsel, and allowed no one to 
enter into even the sober reflections demanded by his 
studies. Perhaps because he was subject to fits of 

66 



Practical Joking 



great melancholy (so common to humorists) he was 
afraid to sound the depths of his nature, and courting 
the most trifling incidents so long as they afforded 
immediate diversion, conveyed thereby the impression 
that he took but a superficial interest in what was 
going on about him. Morland had a broad humour, 
as we find in boys, rather than the wit of a riper mind, 
and, as a rule, a fund of boisterous animal spirits, but, 
like a boy, showed no disposition to keep its exercise 
within bounds. 

" Although," says Dawe, "he could make no pre- 
tension to wit, when he chose to be agreeable he was 
an excellent companion, full of hilarity, 
telling a number of facetious stories with Mo and> 
considerable pleasantry, and incessantly umour 
active in the contrivance of diversion." This activity 
was exerted sometimes in composing satirical songs 
upon his associates, which he employed street musicians 
to sing to vulgar tunes " under the windows of those 
who were the subjects of them, and who were some- 
times thereby so much annoyed as to be obliged to 
change their place of residence." This was one of the 
forms of our artist's practical joking; with other 
examples of his pleasantry we shall meet later. 

In the first days of his married life Morland was 
obliged to sell his pictures as fast as they were painted 
for whatever he could get, in order to keep the wolf 
from the door. As an instance, he parted with his 
" Mad Bull" (a slight effort of a humorous character), 
containing twenty figures, for half a guinea. It was 

67 



George Morland 



resold a few months later for five guineas, and was 
valued at his death at twenty. He later painted a 
companion to this "An Ass Race," engraved by 
W. Ward in 1789; and these two pictures he exhibited 
at the Society of Artists in 1790. By the publicity he 
gained by his works being engraved, Morland became 
known to and appreciated by a large circle of dealers 
and private collectors ; and we are told that in two or 
three years he could command for his pictures his own 
prices. Mr. Ralph Richardson, by the chronological 
catalogue he has compiled as an appendix 

ls to his interesting work on Morland, shows 

Industrv that j n ^gg ^ twQ yearg after the art ; st > s 

marriage) no fewer than thirty-two finished pictures 
by Morland were engraved, eleven engravers being 
employed in reproducing them. Most of these pictures 
were probably produced in that year. How so many 
excellent works could have been thought out and 
painted in the time is a mystery, and will remain such 
until we know what genius really is. The mystery in 
Morland's case would deepen were we to admit what 
has been alleged that, notwithstanding his industry, 
he was constantly indulging in every kind of folly and 
excess; two opposite tendencies which, if regarded in 
the superlative degree represented, one would suppose 
to be mutually destructive. We must therefore con- 
clude that, as Morland's industry cannot be gainsaid, 
the degree of energy and the amount of time that 
he devoted to his pleasures have been greatly ex- 
aggerated. 

68 



Selling Pictures 

In the year of his marriage Morland's picture, "The 
Flowery Banks of the Shannon," was exhibited at the 
Royal Academy; and at the same exhibition 
appeared a picture by his brother Henry, *' ' 
and one by his sister Maria. 

After a short stay at their cottage at Camden Town, 
the Morlands moved into a larger house at the corner 
of Warren Place in the same neighbourhood. 
Whilst there George made the acquaintance 
of a young man named Irwin, who seems to have had 
a gay disposition and a business turn of mind. Mor- 
land, who found in Irwin a congenial companion, saw 
that he might turn his business talents to account by 
employing him to sell his pictures; and to this end gave 
him an invitation to stay with him, which was readily 
accepted. Morland would never have any direct trans- 
actions with picture-dealers so long as he could find 
a go-between. He had no aptitude for business; no 
idea of the value of money; hated haggling and the 
distrust and suspicion attached to it, and was satisfied 
so long as he had sufficient for his immediate wants. 
Dawe says that Irwin often obtained money for him 
<( on account from his brother, who was a man of 
property; and it became a frequent practice with 
Morland to procure, in advance, nearly the whole price 
of his pictures; they were then laid aside, for no 
principle of honesty could induce him to work for 
money which he had already spent." But this medal 
of dishonour has a reverse side. During Irwin's stay 
with Morland the artist painted some fifty important 

69 



George Morland 



pictures, for the greater part of which, Dawe tells us, 
he received from Irwin only seven guineas a-piece. 
These works Irwin used to carry over to King Street, 
Covent Garden, where he sold them at once for fifteen 
guineas each. Morland was careless in all things, more 
especially in money matters, but he knew perfectly 
well that his agent (to put it mildly) was taking a mean 
advantage of him. When his friends drew his attention 
to the matter (as they often did) he used to laugh. 
Why bother himself about it? True, he could have 
repaid the advances he had received from Irwin's 
brother by securing his proper share of the proceeds 
of Irwin's sales; but the same result would ensue by 
leaving the matter alone. Irwin's obligations to him 
more than counterbalanced his obligations to the 
brother. Instead of troubling himself to square his 
account with these two men separately, why not leave 
them to settle it between themselves ? 

This was not strict bookkeeping, of course, and it 
shows a slipshod method of conducting his affairs, and, 
in addition, disorderly habits of thought, but not 
necessarily (as Dawe implies) a total absence of 
honesty. The man who aims at defrauding others of 
their rights is not one who merely laughs when he finds 
that he has been cheated. 



70 



CHAPTER VI. 

WORK AT CAMDEN TOWN. 

J. R. Smith Children-subjects Love of children The "Deserter" 
Series Morland a constable The Slave Trade R.A., 1788 
"Dancing Dogs" Morland's new style Brooks Morland's 
models His menagerie Philip Roos Growing expenditure 
Leicester Street Morland's fame in France The painters of 
Fetes Galantcs. 

THROUGH his friendship with Ward, Morland had be- 
come acquainted with the eminent engraver, J. Raphael 
Smith, who in 1783 had published the engrav- 

ing by Edwin Dayes of his picture " Children 

XT it- i 0-1.1 Smith 

Nutting. bmith was an enterprising man 

of business, and had a good knowledge of the artistic 
tastes of the public of his day. Guided by his advice, 
Morland began to paint his pictures of child-life, which, 
had he produced nothing else, would have secured for 
him the reputation of a master of genre painting. 

The first of this series was his picture " Children 
playing at Blind Man's Buff," which was engraved by 
W. Ward, and publiyhed in 1788 by J. R. 
Smith, who, says Jpawe, purchased the ' ** 
original work for twelve guineas. Follow- 
ing this, Morland /produced a number of pictures of 






George Morland 



child-life, as, "Children Bird's-nesting" (engraved by 
W. Ward in 1789), in the possession of Lieut. -Col. 
F. A. White ; " Children playing at Soldiers " (engraved 
by G. Keating in 1788), said by Mr. Ralph Richardson 
to have been painted for Dean Markham of York (lent 
by the late Sir Charles Tennant, Bart., to the Winter 
Exhibition at Burlington House, 1906); "Children 
Fishing" (engraved by P. Dawe, 1788), a beautifully 
finished little picture in the possession of G. Harland 
Peck, Esq.; "Children gathering Blackberries" (en- 
graved by P. Dawe, 1788); "Juvenile Navigators" 
(engraved by W. Ward, 1789); "The Kite Entangled" 
(engraved by W. Ward in 1790), lent by Mrs. Thwaites 
to the Exhibition at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1888- 
89; "Boys Sliding" (reproduced in line-engraving by 
J. Fittler, 1790); and "Boys robbing an Orchard" 
(engraved in stipple by E. Scott in 1790). 

All these works show beyond a doubt that Morland, 
when painting children, was in his element. He under- 
stood children, and loved them; and they loved him, 
and no doubt understood him. If only the little children 
whom he painted and played with, and for whom he 
always had something in his pocket, had left a record 
of their impressions of the artist's character, we should 
have had a truer insight into his nature than all his 
many biographers have been able to afford us. 

Dr. Williamson, in his edition de luxe of 

' the painter, published in 1904, well re- 

WlUiamson marks " The man must have had some 
extraordinary fascination about him. Children are as 

72 



Deserter" Story 



a rule satisfactory guides to the character of a man, 
and with children Morland was always happy, whilst 
it was their most eager desire to be in his company." 

All Morland's drawings of children were taken from 
life. He used to get them together in his painting- 
room for hours at a time and make sketches of them 
whilst they were playing about. To take them thus 
unawares was, he said, the only way to catch their 
varied movements and innumerable graces. George 
Dawe was fortunate enough to have in his possession 
one of Morland's sketch-books containing many studies 
of boys and girls, which he says were "touched with 
his wonted spirit, and form a sort of middle style, 
between his laboured minuteness while with his father 
and the looseness of his later drawings." 

The care he devoted to portraying children he also gave 
to other subjects. Although probably painted a year or 
two later, we may here mention his series of four works 
entitled respectively (i) " Enlisting a Recruit," (2) 
"The Deserter Detected," (3) "The De- 
serter Handcuffed, and Conveyed to the { ,, 

Court-martial," and (4) "The Deserter re- L>esei ' fer 
stored to his Family," or "The Deserter 
Pardoned." Morland always, as we have said, went to 
nature for his models, and spared neither trouble nor 
expense to obtain them. Soon after he conceived the 
idea of painting this story of "The Deserter," the 
models for his work, by a piece of good fortune, came 
to him. 

At the time this happened the versatile painter was 
73 



George Morland 



assuming an unaccustomed role. It having occurred to 
him that it would be a pleasing diversion to wield the 
staff of constable, he arranged with a neighbour, who 
had been summoned for that office, to act as a substi- 
tute for him; and was duly sworn in. So long as the 
novelty of this occupation lasted Morland was as 
pleased with it as children are pleased at playing at 
soldiers; but he soon discovered that public service 
had its drawbacks, for he was obliged to turn out in 
all weathers ; often to abandon his painting and pleasures 
at the call of his new duties ; and however agreeable it 
might be to command, it was irksome to be forced by 
his superior officers to obey. So ere long his ambi- 
tion for civic power and his enthusiasm to serve the 
State relaxed, and his authority weakened. As a 
consequence, he responded in a casual way to his 
official engagements, took only a perfunctory interest 
in his duties, and, as a matter of course, was frequently 
reprimanded by coroners and magistrates. By his 
dilatoriness he exhausted the patience of those under 
whom he served, and caused confusion, misunder- 
standings, and irregularities in his rank-and-file by his 
neglect of order and discipline. When his term of 
office came to an end there was mutual rejoicing, for 
the authorities were as glad to dismiss their constable 
as he was to get rid of them. However, this experi- 
ence was not wholly unfruitful to the artist, who was 
always desirous of gaining information for the service 
of his art. How he turned it to account is thus 
narrated by Dawe : 

74 



Sketching from Life 

"Just as he was about to begin his four pictures of 
'The Deserter,' a serjeant, drummer, and soldier, on 
their way to Dover in pursuit of deserters, came in for 
a billet. Morland seeing that these men would answer 
his purpose, accompanied them to the 'Britannia' and 
treated them plentifully, while he was earnestly 
questioning them on the modes of recruiting, with every 
particular attendant on the trial of deserters by court- 
martial and their punishments. In order that he might 
gain a still better opportunity for information, he pro- 
vided his new acquaintances with ale, wine, and tobacco, 
took them to his house and caroused with them all 
night, employing himself busily in sketching, making 
inquiries, and noting down whatever appeared likely to 
serve his purpose; nor was he satisfied with this, for 
during the whole of the next day, Sunday, he detained 
them in his painting-room and availed himself of every 
possible advantage which the occasion afforded." 

Dawe's narration is interesting because he draws 
attention to the fact that Morland took his companions 
to the public-house and caroused with them, not for his 
pleasure, but for the special purpose of sketching them, 
of gaining information, and of making notes for the 
service of his art. The fourth picture of the "Deserter" 
series, entitled "The Deserter Pardoned" (21 inches 
by 17 inches), was sold at Messrs. Christie's on March 
1 7th, 1906, for thirteen hundred and fifty guineas. The 
first picture of the series was originally entitled 
"Trepanning a Recruit," and they were all engraved 
by G. Keating in 1791. 

75 



George Morland 



In 1788, Morland's work entitled "The Slave 

Trade" (which was engraved by J. R. Smith) was 

exhibited at the Royal Academy. Its chief 

" W ' * nterest lies m the fact tnat lt snows tnat 
"The Slave thg art}st occupied himself with the political 

questions of the day, notwithstanding what 
has been said to the contrary ; and treated the subject 
of Slavery from the humanitarian or moral standpoint. 
At this time the Society for the Abolition of Slave 
Traffic was, it is true, in existence, and it had just 
enrolled Wilberforce as a member, but it was not until 
the following year that Wilberforce made his first great 
speech in the House of Commons against Slavery. 
His Bill for its abolition was successfully opposed year 
after year, and seventeen years elapsed before it was 
ultimately passed. So when Morland painted his 
picture "The Slave Trade," and its companion, 
"African Hospitality," abolition was highly un- 
popular; and by his treatment of the subject he 
anticipated by nearly twenty years the judgment of 
the enlightened public opinion by which the system was 
condemned. 

In 1788 the following pictures amongst others were 
painted, and show the artist's remarkable versatility 
and industry: "Dancing Dogs," "Anxiety; or, the 
Ship in Distress," "Joy; or, the Ship Returned," "The 
Effects of Extravagance and Idleness," "The Fruits of 
Early Industry and Economy," "The Triumph of 
Benevolence," "The Power of Justice," "The Visit to the 
Boarding School," "The Visit to the Child at Nurse," 

76 



" Dancing Dogs " 



and "The Strangers at Home " (all of which have been 
engraved); and also, probably, "The Fortune-teller." 

The reproductions of these and others of Morland's 
works had an enormous sale, not only in England, but 
in France and Germany, where some of the 
pictures were re-engraved. It would be 
interesting to know if "Dancing Dogs " 
was one of the many pictures for which the artist was 
paid seven guineas by his agent Irwin. This celebrated 
work passed into the hands of Mr. Alexander Davidson, 
of St. James's Square, London, and was in his collection 
at the time of the artist's death. It was sold at Messrs. 
Christie's on June 3rd, 1905, at the Tweedmouth Sale 
for the sum of four thousand guineas. A picture of the 
same subject and title is, and has been for many years, 
in the possession of Captain Francis W. Lowther, R.N., 
who also owns a companion picture, "The Guinea-pig 
Man." 

Morland was now approaching the period when he 
put forth all his powers in a new direction, and pro- 
duced those works of rustic life of peasants and 
animals, of the simple episodes of the country road- 
side, with its travellers, its horsemen, coaches and 
waggons, of farmers and farmyards, of villagers, and 
pretty thatched homesteads, of picturesque old taverns 
and their cheery company pictures which, appealing 
to all by their truthfulness and kindly spirit, established 
for Morland a world-wide and undying fame. 

The artist was now earning with ease twelve guineas 
a week. Dawe says that the time when he first came 

77 



George Morland 

into public notice was particularly favourable for his 

advancement. "The nation was at peace, a taste for 

the arts was becoming general, and there was more 

employment for the artists than they could execute." 

But if Morland earned easily, he as easily spent. His 

expenditure increasing in a greater ratio 

ncf asmg than ^ s earn j ng . s> he was often tempted to 

P anticipate his income by giving promissory 

notes. At first he seemed to enjoy this 
system of obtaining ready cash, and took a particular 
pride in being prepared to meet his bills before they 
were due. But when the novelty had worn off, his 
habitual carelessness in money matters prevailed; he 
neglected to make provision for the due discharge of 
his obligations, and in the end found himself deeply in 
debt. His creditors for a long while treated him with 
great consideration, for he was a favourite with them 
as with all who knew him. Fortunately for his art, 
during the first years of his pecuniary embarrassment 
he did not allow himself to be much concerned about 
his business affairs; the effects of his troubles upon 
him and upon his work in after-years we shall discover 
later. 

When Morland severed his connection with Irwin, 
he made friends with a shoemaker by the name of 
Brooks, who appears to have been a rollick- 
ing individual, gay and careless, fond of 
convivial company and practical joking. These were 
qualities that commended him to Morland, who, as we 
have said, suffered at times from great melancholy. 

73 



Engraved Works 



Brooks was also useful to him, for he could be trusted 
to sell pictures, grind colours, find models, and attend 
to the menagerie which his master carried about with 
him from place to place. He also accompanied him in 
his sketching excursions about the country, and assisted 
him from time to time in getting out of the way of his 
creditors. Whatever has been said of Brooks to his 
discredit, the man was a faithful servant to his master 
and was entirely trusted by him. 

Before we follow Morland into his new style, we may 
note further the style that he was now on the point of 
almost wholly laying aside. Morland did not always 
date his works, but we can tell approximately when 
those were painted which were afterwards engraved, 
by the dates of publication of the reproductions. It 
would thus appear that in addition to the pictures we 
have already named, he produced up to the end of 1788 
no fewer than twenty works of the genre style, seven 
of a didactic character, and four illustrations of The 
Seasons. He painted also several pictures for Allan 
Ramsay's pastoral piece, The Gentle Shepherd^ that 
were published by Merle of Leadenhall Street. These, 
it must be remembered, are only the works that have 
been engraved. 

Ruskin says of Turner that he ''enjoyed and looked 
for litter"; so did Morland when he was painting a 
stable interior or a straw-yard. On such 
occasions he used to scatter straw about 
his house that he might carefully study its forms 
and massing and underlying tones. When he painted 

79 



George Morland 



"The Cherry Girl" (which was lent by Hasketh 
Smith, Esq., to the Winter Exhibition at Burlington 
House in 1879), Morland brought to his parlour 
an ass and panniers and copied every detail from 
natural objects. The white horse in his picture 
"A Farmyard" (which work was acquired by Mr. 
Townsend of Bushbridge, who had a fine collection 
of Morlands) was painted from life, and did duty as a 
model in many of his pictures. The artist seeing this 
old nag being led to the knackers, bought it and took 
it home with him, and kept it in his painting-room for 
a fortnight. Dawe says that sometimes Morland 
"would place a person at the window to watch till 
some one passed who appeared likely to suit his pur- 
pose (as a model) ; on which he sent for the passenger 
to come in, while he made a sketch and mixed his tints, 
and he seldom failed to reward liberally the person 
thus called upon." 

Morland was fond of all animals and birds, and kept 
them about him in his room that he might constantly 
observe their forms and movements, with the view 
always of introducing them into his pictures. Thus, 
he made a collection of dogs, rabbits, guinea-pigs, 
fowls, ducks, pigeons, mice, and many other kinds of 
live-stock, the collection becoming at times so em- 
barrassing by its magnitude that, we are told, "he 
would run from one neighbour to another to inquire 
what he should do with them." 

Morland was not the first artist to turn his house 
into a menagerie. Philip Roos (otherwise Rosa de 

80 



Growing Expenditure 

Tivoli) was fond of having his dumb friends about 
him. In Pilkington's notice of him we learn that "he 
was accustomed to keep in his house several . . 

of those animals which he particularly in- 
tended for mode^, and on account of the 
number and the different kinds which he always 
maintained there, his house was generally called 
'Noah's Ark.'" 

In 1789 several of Morland's works were engraved 
for the first time ; of these the following were probably 
painted in or about that year: "The Pleasures of 
Retirement," " Youth diverting Age," " Children Bird's- 
nesting," "Juvenile Navigators," "The Tomb," "The 
Farmer's Visit to the Married Daughter," " The Visit 
returned in the Country," " Louisa" (suggested by The 
Tale of Louisa by Miss Bowdler of Bath), and "The 
Guinea-pig Man." 

Morland's art had now arrived almost at the summit 
of its excellence. He was able to sell his pictures for 
as many guineas as a short while before he 
was glad to obtain crowns for; but, as we rc 
have said, his power of spending exceeded x rc< 
that of earning. He now gave up his jaunts & ai 

on the coaches for rides on horseback, and often invited 
his friends to accompany him in this diversion at his 
expense. The mild attractions of "The Cheshire 
Cheese" gave place to suppers and entertainments, 
to which he invited painters and the engravers who 
were of such service to him, and sometimes included 
their pupils. 

81 o 



George Morland 



" Instead of going to an alehouse," says Dawe, 
''after he had done his work often in his painting- 
coat, with one skirt and half a sleeve as before, he 
would now proceed in boots, with buckskin breeches, to 
take the chair at the * Britannia,' a tavern in the neigh- 
bourhood, at which these treats were usually given." 
Rowlandson's portrait of Morland probably represents 
him at this period. The artist is accused of being vain 
of his personal appearance and of showing bad taste in 
his dress. But neither of these defects, if actual, was 
deep-rooted. In the portraits of him by his own hand 
he does not seem to have flattered himself, and has 
taken little account of his habiliments. In his own 
dress, as in everything else, he was original, and found 
an odd kind of satisfaction in the surprises his eccen- 
tricities afforded. When he was married he insisted 
upon presenting himself at the altar with a brace of 
pistols in his belt. Hassall says that " he was in the 
very extreme of foppish puppyism; his head, when 
ornamented according to his own taste, resembled a 
snowball, after the model of Tippy Bob of dramatic 
memory, to which was attached a short thick tail, not un- 
like a painter's brush." He wore a green coat with very 
large skirts, and great yellow buttons, buckskin 
breeches, top-boots, and spurs. If he was thus "got 
up " when Hassall saw him carrying a sucking-pig, his 
biographer's astonishment at his appearance is not 
surprising. A naturally vain man, however, who liked 
to be considered a dandy, would hardly think it con- 
sistent with his elegance and dignity to run along the 

82 



King's Bench Prison 

streets with a pig under his arm. We may add, that 
however Morland attired himself, he was always scrupu- 
lously careful to dress the personages in his pictures 
with good taste, propriety, and correctness. 

By Morland's frequent entertainments to his friends, 
by his horse-riding, and liberal treats and presents to 
all who rendered him any service, by the sponging 
upon him of the crowd of adventurers who were always 
ready to profit by his carelessness and indiscretions, 
and also by his foolish habit of employing middlemen 
to transact his business with his clients, by all these 
causes his expenditure soon outstripped his income, 
and he found himself in debt to the amount of two 
hundred pounds. This he considered an enormous sum 
and, not seeing any prospect of liquidating it, was seized 
with the fear that his creditors would throw him into 
prison. He was familiar with Hogarth's picture of the 
" Examination of the Warden of the Fleet before a 
Committee of the House of Commons," wherein the 
horrors of the gaol are vividly depicted ; perhaps he 
had read Moses Pitt's Cries of the Oppressed, illus- 
trated with copperplates a work which described the 
tragedies enacted in debtors' prisons ; or, Dance's 
Humours of the Fleet which was no less revolting 
because of its pleasanter title. However that may be, 
he felt a curiosity to see if these places were as bad as 
they were described, and to satisfy it, persuaded a 
friend to accompany him to the gaol of the King's 
Bench. The effect of this visit was to increase his 
alarm, and he resolved to leave his country residence 

83 



George Morland 



at Camden Town and hide himself in London. This 
move was carried out with the assistance of Brooks in 

December 1789. Upon the advice of his 
Leaves so ii c i tO r, Mr. Wedd, he took a lodging 
Landen within the verge of the Court," which, 

says Dawe, was considered at that time 
"a sanctuary for debtors"; and remained there for 
about a month, when he moved into a house in 
Leicester Street. 

Notwithstanding the agitation caused by his financial 
troubles and the frequent shifting of his abode, Morland 
did not neglect his art; on the contrary, his industry 
was unflagging, and during this time of worry and 
unrest he entered upon the period of his finest produc- 
tions. At Leicester Street he made the acquaintance 
of new clients; private gentlemen visited him to buy 
his pictures ; he obtained so many orders that he could 
not paint fast enough to execute them, and in fifteen 
months from the time he was first threatened with the 
King's Bench prison he had satisfied all his creditors. 

Morland did not care to sell his pictures to every 
would-be buyer, and would sometimes paint a work to 

the order of one client and sell it to another. 

Nor could a client make sure of securing the 
picture he ordered by paying for it in advance. One 
gentleman was so annoyed at this discourteous treat- 
ment that he sat down by the artist's easel and vowed 
that he would remain there until his picture was finished ; 
whereupon, Morland left his painting-room and returned 
to it only when his client, tired of waiting, had taken 

84 



Offer from France 

his leave. There is no evidence that Morland ever 
defrauded his patrons of money advanced on pictures, 
even if he made their wishes subservient to his humours. 
He disliked painting to order, and particularly resented 
the suggestions often made by soi-disant connoisseurs 
for what they called " improving" his works. The 
people with whom he felt the least restraint, who 
humoured him and accepted whatever he pleased to 
offer them, who never attempted to hurry him or to 
impose conditions as to what he should do or hpw he 
should do it, were those after his own heart; and if he 
often taxed their patience, they were never disappointed 
with their bargains. It is not surprising, therefore, to 
hear that when an offer was made to paint "a room- 
ful " of pictures for the Prince of Wales, Morland did 
not think proper to accept it. 

There was such a demand for the engravings after 
his works in France, that Morland received a favour- 
able offer (from a pecuniary point of view) to go there 
and paint, but this also he declined. Surely it was 
good for his art work that he did not leave his own 
country, for the rustic life of France would not have 
appealed to him like that of England. He succeeded 
so admirably in portraying the manners and habits of 
the English peasantry, and generally of the humbler 
classes, because he knew the people; they were his 
own countrymen, he had gained their confidence, had 
made them companions and friends. This qualification 
with respect to strangers in a foreign land could only 
have been acquired laboriously, if at all. The great 

35 



George Morland 



popularity of Morland's works at that time in France 
is intelligible enough. The spell which had bound 
French taste of the courtly pastorals and elegant 
affectations of Watteau and his pupil Pater, 
e . of the masquerades and trivialities of 

am ers L ancre t f of the decorative allegories and 
J, ' ' es tt unconvincing love-scenes of Fragonard and 
Galantes of h}s master Boucher, was at the close of 
the eighteenth century becoming relaxed. The growing 
popularity of Joseph Vernet, St. Aubin, Greuze, Wille, 
Prudhon, Bouilly, and others showed that the appre- 
ciation of art was becoming more widely diffused; that 
the limit of influence of the school of painters of fetes 
galantes had been reached, and, generally, that a re- 
action of taste was taking place in favour of truthfulness 
to Nature, of simplicity of theme, of sentiments that 
touch everyday experience and need no laboured inter- 
pretation. Such being the case, it is not surprising 
that Morland's works of human interest simple, fresh, 
spontaneous were welcomed in that atmosphere as a 
ray of sunshine or a breath of country air. 



86 






CHAPTER VII. 

LIFE AND WORK AT PADDINGTON. 

Paddington R.A., 1791-92 "The Farmer's Stable" The "White 
Lion" Old inns Loutherbourg Morland and his models Ex- 
travagant stories Growing expenditure and debts Winchester 
Row His probable income The bun-baker Morland's kind- 
heartedness. 



IN the year 1790 Morland painted "A Storm off Black 
Gang 1 Chine," which indicates that he then took a trip 
to the Isle of Wight; a "Storm Cloud" (in 
the Wolverhampton Art Gallery), "The 
Cottage Door," and two small but excellent 
pictures entitled respectively "The Contented Water- 
man" and "Jack in the Bilboes; or, The Press-gang," 
which are in the art gallery of the Royal Holloway 
College, Egham, to the Curator of which (Mr. C. W. 
Carey) we are indebted for the following graphic 
description of them : 

Of "The Contented \Vaterman" Mr. Carey writes 
"The blue-jacketed gentleman seated on a tub is a 
stranger to the rest of this group, but is favoured by their 
simple country minds so far as to be their temporary 
guest. He is an adventurer of a low order, and like most 



George Morland 



of his class can tell a plausible story and make himself 
generally agreeable. He is one of those sharp fellows 
who combine business with pleasure, and with an eye 
to possible opportunities has spread his net around poor 
Giles. Of course a row on the river is the only return 
this enterprising individual can offer for the hospitality 
he has received. The father comes from his fireside- 
corner to join the party. A disastrous sequel is shown 
in the ' Press-gang,' of which our whilom friend is one. 
His true character is here exposed, but he wishes to 
mask it no longer, for his pals rush out from their den, 
directed, probably, by their leader's whistle. Giles is 
seized and dragged off to do service on one of his 
Majesty's ships of war." 

In 1791 Morland produced some of his finest works. 
Of these we may mention "Shore Fishermen hauling 
in a Boat " and "Horses in a Stable " (at the 
South Kensington Museum); "Travellers" 
and i Cottagers ( both engraved by W. 
Ward); "A Stable Yard" (in the possession of G. 
Harland Peck, Esq.) ; " Gathering Sticks," a beautiful 
example of Morland's colouring, in the possession of 
Sir Walter Gilbey, Bart., who also is the owner of three 
other pictures by the artist of this date namely, " A 
Lake Scene, with Gipsies," "Sand-carting," and 
" Gipsy Encampment." Morland also painted some 
small pictures in this year, of which we may mention 
"A Sow and Litter" (in the possession of Messrs. 
Dowdeswell & Co.), " A Woodland Glade," and "The 
Alehouse Door" (the property of the writer) ; the last- 

88 



Old London 

named being a study for a larger work with the 
same title painted in 1792, and engraved in 1801 by 
R. S. Syer. 

Morland soon became tired of living in town. The 
calls of his numerous friends and clients interfered with 
his work. There was now no necessity for concealing 
himself in obscure lodgings, for he had disposed of his 
creditors. Again, the models and the scenes he wanted 
for his pictures were not to be found in the people and 
streets of the town, but must be sought in the country. 
The country in his day was within a walk of Leicester 
Street, and he found what he wanted at Paddington 
a rural district, rich in pasture, with a few 
isolated farmhouses. In Walford's Old Paddin S~ 
and New London we learn that so late as 
1823 Paddington was quite distinct from the metropolis, 
and that a map published in that year shows a rivulet 
running from north to south through Westbourne 
Green. Even in 1840 (when the Great Western Railway 
was opened) " wide and open spaces of land in this 
vicinity were occupied by market and nursery gardens 
and the red-tiled, weather-boarded cottages of labourers, 
and laundresses." Here the artist took a cottage opposite 
the hostelry of the " White Lion," a picturesque old 
place in Edgware Road, dating from 1524, which he 
could see from the windows of his painting-room. 
Morland had discovered this inn in the course of his 
rides on horseback some years before. It was much 
frequented by drovers and other country-folk with 
whom he made it his business to become friends, for he 
89 



George Morland 



wanted to use them as models for his pencil. The old 
hostel with its yard and stables, and the ostlers, 
postboys, and others employed there, as well as the 
wag-goners, carriers, pedlars, and travellers on horse 
and foot who were constantly visiting it, he has depicted 
in many of his works. For the style he had now 
established, and had made his own, it afforded a 
museum of studies. 

In the year 1791 he painted and exhibited at the 

Royal Academy his celebrated picture, " The Inside of 

a Stable." This work, which by the common 

. Sl consent of critics is held to be Morland's 

P u masterpiece, was originally entitled "The 

Farmer's Stable"; it was sold by the artist for forty 
guineas to his pupil David Brown (of whom we shall 
speak later), and was re-sold at the Exhibition for 
upwards of a hundred guineas to the Rev. Sir Henry 
Bate Dudley, Bart., of Sloane Square, whose nephew, 
Mr. Thomas Birch Wolfe, presented it to the National 
Gallery, London, in 1877. The whole of the scene 
represented in this picture was painted from nature. 
The stable was that of the " White Lion " at Padding- 
ton, the horses were portraits of some that were lodged 
there, and the artist had seen them grouped as he has 
depicted them. This was the first stable interior he 
had painted, but by no means the last. The subject 
seemed to fascinate him. He was fond of all animals, 
but particularly of horses; and these stable scenes, with 
their wide doorways admitting the sunshine to fall on 
the golden straw, their reflected lights on the old stained 

90 



"The Farmer's Stable" 

beams, and their remote corners in mysterious shade 
lent themselves kindly to his favourite scheme of 
chiaroscuro. 

Of this superb picture, "The Farmer's Stable," 
Dawe justly says that "it would do honour to any 
painter, and is truly the scene it is intended to re- 
present." It was originally engraved by W. Ward in 
1792, and there is a very fine etching after this work 
by Mr. C. O. Murray. 

Morland also painted at this time "The Straw-yard," 
which he sold to Brown for one hundred and twenty 
guineas. The artist devoted great pains to this picture, 
which he intended as a companion to "The Farmer's 
Stable," but the result was not such a success as the 
previous work, and the effort seemed to exhaust his 
patience, for he painted the inscription upon it " No 
more straw-yards for me, G. Morland." 

In 1792, five pictures by Morland were exhibited 
at the Royal Academy namely, "A Farmyard" 
(engraved by W. Ward in 1795), a pair, entitled 
respectively "The Benevolent Sportsman" and "The 
Sportsman's Return" (engraved by J. Grozer in 1795), 
"Goats," and "A Shipwreck." At the same Ex- 
hibition his brother Henry exhibited two pictures. 
Morland knew the "White Lion" as well as he knew 
his cottage on the opposite side of the way. In order 
to become thoroughly familiar with these old hostelries 
and alehouses, inside and out, and their belongings 
and the life about them, he used to lodge in them 
for weeks at a time, and when he could not do so 

9 1 



George Morland 



he would often send to them for the loan of old harness 
and other objects that he wanted to introduce into his 
pictures, in order that he might have them before him 
to copy faithfully. Towards the close of his life he 
stayed for some months at the ''Barley Mow," in 
Frog Lane, Islington; also at the "Plough," near 
Kensal Green, a district then known for its pictur- 
esque old taverns. Faulkner says that the " Plough " 
belonged to the fifteenth century, and that its oak 
timbers and joists were, in 1820, in good preservation. 
Morland's picture of the "Old Red Lion," under the 
title "Door of a Village Inn" (which appears also to 
be known as "Burning Weeds"), is in the National 
Gallery, London. Another tavern subject, "The Fox 
Inn" (1792), was lent by Sir Walter Gilbey, Bart., 
to the exhibition at South Kensington in 1904. The 
" Fox" was probably an inn on the brow of the west 
hill at Highgate, which was at a later period called 
the " Fox and Crown." There is a tradition that 
Queen Victoria, driving down this hill, met with an 
accident, and that the landlord of the " Fox" averted 
a disaster by stopping the horses of the royal carriage, 
for which service he was granted the use of the royal 
coat-of-arms. The " Bull Inn," between Highgate and 
Finchley, where the stage-coaches for Yorkshire and 
the North used to pull up, was also frequented by 
Morland when he was living at Camden Town, and 
again at a later date. 

We may here mention an incident related by 
Cunningham. Morland and his friend Williams, the 

92 



Signboards and Taverns 

engraver, ran up a score at a tavern a few miles out 
of London, on the high road to Deal. In discharge 
of this account the artist painted a signboard 
for the house, representing a black bull. 
Upon his return to town he mentioned this 

circumstance to the company he passed the ' li( if 

evening with at the "Hole in the Wall," 
whereupon one of the party, with an eye to business, 
mounted his horse and rode into Kent, and succeeded 
in finding the "Black Bull" tavern, from whose 
landlord he purchased its signboard for ten guineas. 
Blagdon gives a different (if less dramatic) version of 
this affair. He says thaj: the "Black Bull" was a 
tavern near Canterbury; that a gentleman who chanced 
to see the signboard some three months after it had 
been painted recognized in it Morland's work, and 
purchased it for twenty guineas, and that it was sold 
at auction some time afterwards for a hundred guineas. 
The "Hole in the Wall" was a public-house in 
Chancery Lane, kept by a prize-fighter, and was much 
frequented by men-about-town. As Mor- 
land stayed at country hostelries for the 
purpose of his art, so Tom Moore is said 
(by Mr. Walford) to have visited the " Hole '' 
in the Wall" to get materials for "Tom Cribb's 
Memorial to Congress," "Randall's Diary," and other 
satirical poems. Morland painted a sign for the 
"White Lion" at Paddington, and according to Lar- 
wood's History of Signboards lie painted also "The 
Cricketers," the sign of an inn near Chelsea Bridge. 

93 



George Morland 



This picture, so Larwood says, in 1824 had been re- 
moved inside the house, and a copy of it hung up for 
the sign. The original work, if still existing, must 
be in a sorry condition, for the landlord of ''The 
Cricketers" used to travel about with it and put it 
up before his booth at Staines and Egham Races, 
cricket matches, and on similar occasions. Morland 
also painted the sign of the "Goat in Boots" in the 
Fulham Road. 

In speaking of Morland's mastery of the details and 
spirit of tavern scenes and life, and, generally, of the 
life of the lower classes, some of his bio- 
graphers have concluded, that because his 
success shows that such subjects must have 
appealed to him, therefore he was naturally vulgar and 
coarse. But this inference is not derived by a logical 
process. It is true that no artist can paint well 
unless his subject appeals to him, but it may appeal 
to him from many different causes and in different 
ways. An animal-painter may choose to paint animals 
because he admires their forms, their action, or their 
colour, or because he is fond of them; not because 
he has an animal nature. A painter of shipwrecks 
is not necessarily partial to being wrecked at sea, 
nor even necessarily fond of a sea-faring life. If char- 
acter be indicated by work, it is by the work that 
is performed, not by what is left undone or ignored. 
In Morland's pictures he ignores all that is coarse; 
this ignored element, therefore, cannot be predicated 
of his taste. But we may judge his sentiments 

94 



Morland and Goldsmith 

by his performance, and in so doing- we find that 
he was fond of seeing people contented and happy, 
people industrious, people enjoying well-earned rest 
and refreshment, and children at play; that domestic 
peace, comradeship, hospitality, and kindness to 
animals appealed to him; and, in addition, we cannot 
ignore the high moral tone he persistently maintained 
in his numerous didactic works. The success of Mor- 
land's achievements as works of art shows, it is true, 
that his subjects appealed to him; how far they 
appealed, and in what manner, appears in his perform- 
ance and choice. The popularity of his works depends 
not only upon his passion or sentiment, but upon some- 
thing else. They are popular because the interest and 
feeling that the subjects he chose excited in his own 
nature are just those which are intelligible, pleasing, 
and acceptable to us all. 

We are reminded in this relation of what Washington 
Irving says of Goldsmith (whose restless, happy-go- 
lucky temperament much resembled that of Morland) 
"Goldsmith was guided not by a taste for what was 
low, but for what was comic and characteristic. It 
was the feeling of the artist, the feeling which furnished 
out some of his best scenes in familiar life"; and he adds 
that it was with this feeling that the poet sought the 
motley circles of "The Globe" and " Devil " taverns, 
for frequenting which he was often censured by Dr. 
Johnson. 

Morland was not long at Paddington before he made 
a large number of new friends amongst them many 
95 



George Morland 



gentlemen of position and wealth ; and in particular a 
namesake a Mr. Morland, a banker of Pall Mall, who 
bought several of his important works and gave the 
painter an open invitation to his house. Instead of 
finding in this rural retreat, as he had expected to do, 
repose and respite from the attentions of his friends, 
and so more time for his studies, the artist was more 
sought after than ever; for the publication of the 
numerous engravings after his productions was con- 
stantly making them known to a wider circle of 
amateurs, and his recent picture of "The Farmer's 
Stable" had greatly enhanced his reputation in the 
professional world. Connoisseurs, collectors, and 
dealers people of all classes clamoured for his works. 
Dawe says that " no sounds reached his ears but those 
of admiration ; he was surrounded by people who were 
contending for his works, and who submitted to any 
treatment to procure them ; his fame had spread to 
foreign countries, and from the prince to the postboy 
all were ambitious to possess his pictures." 

All this adulation had no bad effect upon Morland. 
He never praised his own work, and was generous in 
his criticism of the performances of other artists. 
Where he could not commend, he would not censure ; 
and even when his attention was drawn to very 
poorly executed engravings after his works as being 
injurious to his reputation, he would treat the matter as 
of no importance. He is said to have spoken dis- 
respectfully of Loutherbourg's work, likening it to 
"tea-board painting"; but in this he could not have 

96 



Tray Painting 



been serious, for he averred to Hassall that he deemed 
Loutherbourg's style far superior to his own. History 
does not relate what Morland thought of 
Loutherbourg's " healing powers," those u 
"divine manuductions " whereby he was 
enabled "to diffuse healing to the afflicted, whether 
deaf, dumb, lame, halt, or blind." 

Philip James Loutherbourg, it will be remembered, 
practised "magnetic healing" or some other form of 
mesmerism, as well as painting, and (on the authority 
of Horace Walpole) had three thousand patients. He 
came to England in 1771, and was employed by Garrick 
as scene-painter at Drury Lane Theatre, and soon 
afterwards was elected a Royal Academician. 

Amongst Morland's followers and hangers-on, we are 
told, were quack doctors, and we wonder whether this 
painter and physician of Strasbourg was one of them. 
We may mention, in passing, that in Morland's time a 
considerable trade was carried on in painted . 

trays as a species of art industry (the best a t 
work coming from Wolverhampton), and 
that the artist had a whim occasionally for trying his 
hand in this kind of painting perhaps as a form of 
payment of a tavern score. A small iron tray painted 
by him was in the care of Mr. Algernon Graves, F.S.A., 
in 1880, and in the same year Mr. Shirley Hibberd 
possessed one of these curiosities. 

After telling us that Morland's predilection for vulgar 
sports, such as bear- and bull-baiting, boxing, and 
similar amusements, soon brought about him " a crowd 

97 H 



George Morland 

of quack doctors, publicans, horse-dealers, butchers, 
shoemakers, tailors," and other such associates (all of 
whom he converted into picture-dealers), Dawe goes 
on to say " So much was his easel surrounded by 
characters of this description, that he had a wooden 
frame placed across his room, similar to that in a police- 
office, with a bar that lifted up, allowing those to pass 
with whom he had business. Under these circumstances, 
it is surprising that he should have continued to improve 
in his art, as he certainly did ; for in this manner he 
painted some of his best pictures, while his companions 
were carousing on gin and red-herrings around him." 

It would indeed be surprising if it were true ! 
Ifitwer If the scene depicted had been laid in the 

stable-yard of the inn it would have been 
more intelligible, and less improbable and, therefore, 
not so surprising. As it stands, it brings into the 
strongest relief the artist's genius ; for who but a 
genius could have seriously worked whilst surrounded 
by quack doctors and tailors regaling on herrings and 
gin? Even the good Saint Antony would have suc- 
cumbed ! 

In the extract we have given, Dawe would have us 
believe that Morland was in the habit of painting under 
the conditions described, for notwithstanding them, 
he " continued to improve in his art." If we were to 
read that the artist thus found many of his models, and 
made some of his most spirited sketches, instead of 
"painted some of his best pictures," we should be 
probably nearer the truth. This interpretation, which 

98 



Fuseli's Inventions 

is no doubt both accurate and reasonable, was in 
Dawe's mind at one time, for in another place he 
writes, "when surrounded by companions, that would 
have entirely impeded the progress of other men, he 
might be said to be in an academy, in the midst of 
models. He would get one to stand for a hand, 
another for a head, an attitude, or a figure, according 
as their circumstances or character suited; or to put 
on any dress he might want to copy." 

We have drawn attention to this attempt to 
emphasize by exaggeration Morland's great powers of 
mental concentration, because in other 
particulars it conveys impressions which 
reflect upon his taste and sentiment. So, 
too, Fuseli's contribution to this subject must not be 
passed over in silence. He says that Morland was 
once found in a lodging at Somers Town in the 
following circumstances: "His infant child, that had 
been dead nearly three weeks, lay in its coffin; in one 
corner of the room an ass and foal stood munching 
barley-straw out of a cradle; a sow and pigs were 
solacing themselves in the recess of an old cupboard, 
and himself whistling over a beautiful picture that he 
was finishing at his easel, with a bottle of gin hung 
upon one side and a live mouse sitting for its portrait 
on the other." 

Fuseli's absurd story, which was manufactured for 
the Gentleman's Magazine, November 1804 (after 
Morland's death), requires no refutation; it is palpably 
invented to lower our estimate of the man, the picture 

99 



George Morland 



mentioned being called " beautiful" simply to show the 
admirers of Morland's art that as the narrator was just 
to merit where it was due, his word might be trusted in 
mere matters of fact. Fuseli (who had taken Holy 
Orders) could not be expected to appreciate Morland's 
amusements; nor, as an illustrator of Shakespeare and 
Milton, to enter into the spirit of the artist's present- 
ments of low life. Still, he should have known that 
Morland had no child. In mitigation of Fuseli's offence, 
let us suppose that he was suffering from the stings of 
young George's interpretation of his great allegorical 
work, "The Nightmare." 

Morland, as w r e have said, did not choose his subjects 
because he found them near at hand, but formed his 
environment that he might therein find his models. 
He no more painted his finest pictures when he was 
surrounded by the motley crowd that has been 
described, than a marine-artist paints a storm at sea on 
the deck of a rolling and pitching ship. Ideas and 
knowledge of the storm may best be gained, and its 
spirit seized, from the tossed vessel around which it 
rages, but the painter produces his picture of it all on 
terra firma and in peace. 

Morland was happy when he was entertaining his 
friends, indeed he was always ready to extend his 

hospitality to the merest acquaintances. 
Hospitality He feasted them . he kept for their en j oy . 

ment, as well as for his own use, eight or ten 
horses at livery; he rented a large room, which 
he fitted up as a gymnasium and salle d'armes, 

100 



Living in Style 



where boxing- matches and similar amusements 
favoured by sporting gentlemen of his day were 
held, and for which he gave prizes. Although he was 
a patron of the "noble art," he does not appear to have 
been very expert in it himself, for when he put on the 
gloves with the Duke of Hamilton he was knocked out 
in the first round. 

Morland was at this period earning a handsome 
income, but he had no faculty for measuring its possi- 
bilities. It did not occur to him that all 
this treating and entertaining, which gave es e * 

him and others so much satisfaction, 
demanded a larger revenue than his. To him they 
suggested only the necessity of providing himself with 
a larger house and a better-appointed establishment, 
so that he might bestow his hospitality in a handsome 
style in his own domicile instead of at the "White 
Lion," where he had been obliged to entertain his 
guests, from lack of accommodation at home. With this 
feeling he gave up, after a twelve-months' stay there, 
his modest cottage and moved into a larger house in 
Winchester Row in the same district. In his new 
residence he lived as a man of fortune. He . . 

kept a footman and two grooms, and his . imn 
table was always spread for his friends, 
whether he were at home or not. In his garden he 
set up his menagerie, which now included monkeys, 
squirrels, foxes, and hogs, in addition to goats, an 
ass, an old white nag, dogs and cats, and many other 
animals. Besides all this expense, he would make a 

101 



George Morland 



present of a horse now and again to his friends, and 
would give away to his humbler acquaintances great- 
coats and boots, and even clothe them and their 
families. The menagerie, we know, was to him almost 
a necessary, for it supplied him with many of his 
models. The rest of his expenditure indicates to us 
that Morland was an open-handed, kind-hearted soul, 
who liked to make those about him happy and com- 
fortable. But this inference from his expenditure of 
a generous disposition has not always been drawn by 
his biographers. The exaggeration of Morland's ex- 
travagance is shown by Hassall's statement that "a 
fortune of ten thousand pounds per annum would have 
proved insufficient for the support of his waste and 
prodigality." It was at Winchester Row that Morland 
lived in his most expensive style, and if we add to his 
household expenses his liberal entertainments and gifts 
to his friends and dependents, he was certainly living 
beyond his means. But the expenditure we have in- 
dicated practically covered all his outgoings, for at no 
time of his life was he a gambler, and he has never 
been accused of keeping more than one establishment. 
He lived at Paddington eighteen months, during which 
time he contracted debts to the amount of ^3,700; so 
on Hassall's estimate of expenditure Morland's income 
must have been over ^7,500. This, how- 
ever, cannot have been the case. We learn 
that he painted "The Benevolent Sports- 
man " in about a week (a remarkable performance), 
and received for it the sum of seventy guineas. Again, 

102 



Incurring Debts 



he painted for Mr. Wedd, his solicitor, two small 
pictures "Watering the Farmer's Horse," and 
44 Rubbing 1 down the Post-horse " in one day, and was 
paid for them fifteen guineas. We are also told that 
he frequently earned a hundred guineas a week. These 
figures taken together would indicate an average in- 
come of some ^4,500, but as we cannot suppose that 
he worked at this high pressure all the year round, his 
takings must have been considerably less probably 
one-half that amount. The sober Dawe, also, sees 
only folly no real kindness or generosity in Morland's 
expenditure ; but in labouring to convince us, he 
obviously overstates the case. He says that, in addition 
to the most prodigal waste in every department of 
Morland's household, he used his colours " as much for 
pelting the coachmen and others who passed as fur 
painting /" 

Morland was now so familiar with the system of 
anticipating his income by giving promissory notes, 
that the satisfaction he had at first derived 
from discharging his obligations punctually 
had begun to wane, and soon his natural 
carelessness in money matters prevailed, with the result 
that when his bills were presented and he could not 
meet them, he lost his head and resorted to methods 
which, instead of getting him out of his difficulties, 
further involved him. Thus, rather than pay off a 
loan, in whole or in part, he preferred to give a picture 
to his creditor as consideration for its renewal. He 
had no difficulty in being accommodated on these terms, 

103 



George Morland 



for his works were rising in price having 1 nearly doubled 
in value since he was at Leicester Street and were 
often worth as much as the amount of the bills for 
whose renewal they were given ; and it was in this way 
that he created about him a crowd of greedy amateur 
picture-dealers. By such method of finance, a great 
and ever-increasing part of his time was consumed in 
painting pictures that were destined, not to bring him 
in funds, but to pay usurious interest on loans which 
had long been exhausted. That it led to disaster is not 
surprising. 

Three points may here be noted (i) Morland knew 
that by his method of finance his creditors were actually 
gainers by their transactions with him ; (2) the money- 
lenders who accommodated him were of the class 
who lay themselves out to encourage their clients' 
extravagance, that they may profit by their con- 
sequent embarrassment; (3) the artist never withheld 
any particulars of his true financial position from 
those whose pecuniary assistance he sought. 

Dawe credits Morland's case with these matters, but 

contradicts himself afterwards by a narration which 

would not be a tribute to the artist's in- 

/ 1 U ?~ genuousness if it were true. It may be 
n jj m t ^ ere re P eate d) * snow upon what trifling 
Paddington evidence Morland's so-called friends were 
ready to condemn him. The story runs that the son of 
a bun-baker of Paddington, who had a keen desire to 
become a picture-dealer, called upon Morland one day 
with a large sum of money in his pocket. The artist, 

104 



Generous Nature 

who was desirous of obtaining a loan of cash, induced 
the young" bun-man to lend him the money on his 
promissory note, with a gift of a fine picture (worth 
fifty pounds) as a bonus for the accommodation. When 
the young man got home he was too intoxicated to 
give an account of what had become of his money. 
Morland's bill, however, explained matters, and the 
artist was accused of having unduly influenced the 
lender by plying him with wine, although the bun-man 
admitted that he had been drinking heavily before he 
visited the painter. Such meanness we cannot reconcile 
with Morland's kind heart, whereof we get more than a 
glimpse in another story, the truth of which Dawe (to 
his credit) confirms. 

Morland had been robbed by a woman of his watch. 
His friends went to some expense in endeavouring to 
recover it, and succeeded in arresting the 
thief. When the culprit was on the point of ^ 
being taken before the magistrate, the artist 
learned that the woman had committed the theft in order 
to buy some article of furniture; and moved by her 
entreaties not to be prosecuted, he ordered her release, 
withdrew from the charge, commiserated with the poor 
creature in her unhappy situation, gave her a crown, 
resigned his watch that she might have her furniture, 
and paid all the expenses. Blagdon says that Morland 
would part with his last shilling to relieve the distress 
of a fellow-creature. "This charitable and generous 
disposition frequently rendered him the dupe of im- 
postors, and he was many times literally robbed." 

I0 5 



CHAPTER VIII. 

AT CHARLOTTE STREET AND ENDERBY. 

Arrangement with creditors Charlotte Street Dealing in watches 
Practical joking The "short and merry" life Morland's optim- 
ism New agreements The drink habit R.A. Exhibitions, 
1 794~97 Enderby Gipsies Anglers Rathbone and Ibbetson. 

MORLAND'S career at Winchester Row came to an end 
when he was living in his grandest style, painting his 
best pictures, and had incurred liabilities to 
the amount of ^3,700. To pay off his debts 
his solicitor made an arrangement with his creditors 
whereby the artist agreed to leave Paddington, that he 
might cut himself off from his sporting associates, whose 
influence was injurious to him, and live in a quarter 
where new and better connections might be formed. 
Morland also engaged to moderate his household expen- 
diture, and to hand over to his creditors 120 a month. 
These terms he considered very favourable to him, and 
was confident of being soon able to discharge all his 
obligations. A house was taken for him in Charlotte 
Street, Fitzroy Square (which had been previously 
occupied by Sir Thomas Apreece), and his friends made 
themselves responsible for his rent. There he settled 

106 



Studying Old Masters 

down with his wife, kept a modest establishment with 
one man-servant at a guinea a week, and worked hard. 

Besides the five pictures that were exhibited at the 
Royal Academy in 1792 and those we have named, 
Morland painted also in this year " Ferreting Rabbits," 
now in the National Gallery, London; "The De- 
serter's Farewell," a fine work, now in the possession 
of Sir Walter Gilbey, Bart.; "The Dram" another 
excellent picture and "The Fox Inn," both in the 
same collection; "The Fish Girl," "The Cowherd and 
the Milkmaid," " Smugglers," "The Country Butcher," 
"The Cornbin," "The Horse-feeder," "A Landscape- 
Westmoreland"; and probably others which bear no 
date. "The Turnpike Gate" was painted in 1793. 

Morland regularly attended picture exhibitions and 
auctions, and must thus have had many opportunities 
of studying the Old Masters, in addition to 
the private collections to which he had c 

access. It was in this year, 1792, that the as ers 

pictures at the Palais Royal, Paris, were sold by the 
Duke of Orleans, and the Dutch, Flemish, and German 
portions of the collection were purchased by the Duke 
of Bridgewater, the Earl of Carlisle, and Earl Gower, 
and sent over to England. In this superb collection 
were fine examples of Jan Wynants and the Ostades, 
but whatever influence, if any, the works of these 
Masters may have exerted on Morland's landscape art, 
it must have been at an earlier period, for the Orleans 
Collection did not appear in the auction-rooms until 
the de Calonne and Trumbull Sales in 1795, and 

107 



George Morland 



Bryan's sale three years later. Dawe says that 
although Morland went to exhibitions and sales, he 
appeared to take no notice of what he saw there; and 
also that when his friend Ward took him to see the 
fine Dutch Masters in Lord Bute's Collection he would 
not look at the pictures because he was afraid of un- 
consciously copying them. But we attach no weight 
to this statement, for elsewhere his biographer tells us 
that at times when Morland appeared the least attentive 
to what was going on about him, he was all the time 
taking mental notes for the purpose of his art. 

In his new abode in Charlotte Street, Morland was 
visited by Mr. Wigston, of Trent Park (a generous 
patron of the Fine Arts), in company with J. T. Smith, 
the author of A Book for a Rainy Day. An account of 
this visit may be told in Smith's own words: 

" He [Morland] received us in the drawing-room, 
which was filled with easels, canvases, sketching- 
frames, gallipots of colour, and oilstones ; a stool, 
chair, and a three-legged table were the only articles 
of furniture of which this once splendid apartment 
could then boast. Mr. Wigston immediately bespoke 
a picture, for which he gave him a draft for forty 
pounds, that sum being exactly the money he then 
wanted ; but this gentleman had, like most of that 
artist's employers, to ply him close for his picture." 

This narration discloses Morland's indifference to 
money matters. If he were in immediate want of a 
ten-pound note, he would sell a picture for that amount, 
even though with a little trouble he could have obtained 

1 08 



Dealing in Watches 

twice as much. He seemed almost to enjoy living" from 
hand to mouth, for he painted a number of small 
pictures that he might be able to dispose of 
them at once to meet the necessities of the rom 

moment. In this way he spent his money 
as soon as he made it, and had difficulty in 
paying his creditors their monthly dividends. He did 
not improve his position by turning his attention to 
commerce. He had tried his hand at horse-dealing 
in a small way, and as "jockey to the races" presum- 
ably for amusement rather than for profit. Now he 
conceived the idea of dealing in watches ! He made 
the acquaintance of a watchmaker who was keen to 
possess his works, so he exchanged his pictures for 
watches, which he sold for far less than he might easily 
have obtained for the paintings they represented. 

Conducting his affairs in this fashion, he soon found 
that he was no better off financially at Charlotte Street 
than he had been at Paddington. If he had shaken 
off his sporting associates who encouraged his ex- 
travagance, he was not long in making other acquaint- 
ances, who, fastening upon him, became no less a 
tax upon his hospitality than those he had discarded. 
Upon them Morland amused himself by . 

playing practical jokes, but always made 
amends, after he had had his fun, by treat- J okm S 
ing and feasting them. Others, too, were the butt of 
his humour the street patrols and watchmen, the 
tavern-keepers, and even the fisherwomen of Billings- 
gate. He often visited this market for the purpose of 
109 



George Morland 



making 1 sketches and studies, and on one occasion took 
with him a ventriloquist to entertain the ladies there. 
He did not confine these attentions to friends and 
strangers, but bestowed them as well upon his family 
circle; for, once, in the dead of night, when some of 
his wife's relations were staying with her at his house, 
he assumed the role of burglar and broke into his own 
domicile. This diversion entirely succeeded in deceiving 
his household, and although they gave him in charge 
to the watchman, the artist had the laugh of them, for 
he had previously taken the precaution to bribe this 
functionary handsomely. 

Such are examples of the species of Morland's 
humour : a humour which he does not import into his 
works. What in them prevails is good-humour or 
kindness and cheeriness. Though often suffering him- 
self from great depression of spirits, he does not 
convey this feeling to us, for his presentments of life 
are instinct with hope and content. 

"Few," says Dawe, "could better descant [than 
Morland] upon the fatal effects of drunkenness, which 
he would exemplify in the case of his companions. 
When asked if he considered himself an exception to 
his own strictures, he would boast his resolution to 
amend, or laugh it off with a joke, saying, ' A short life 
and a merry one.'" 

But this maxim he could not have seriously held. It 
does not express the spirit of his good-humour. We 
might, perhaps, believe that it was favoured by some of 
the old Dutch and Flemish Masters, but not by Morland, 

no 



Morland's Optimism 

whose subjects on the whole appeal to all tastes, have 
an enduring interest, and, however cheery their spirit, 
lack neither refinement nor repose. 

The "short and merry life" is the apology of the 
pessimist and the profligate, but Morland was neither 
of these. He was a great worker; he 
laboured to show the bright side of the MorLan 
humblest conditions of life, and according . a . n 

to him this brightness was to be found in the * l 
simple enjoyments which attend domestic peace and in 
the gladness of friendship and good-will. In his small 
picture "The Tea Garden" a subject which afforded 
ample opportunity for making attractive the excesses 
and vices of the "short and merry" life of the gay 
world of his day (for Tea Gardens then were the 
resorts of the worst types of the upper and middle 
classes) Morland shows us a pleasant little family party, 
attired in their best, engaged in sprightly conversation 
round a table under the shade of a wide-spreading tree; 
a dainty dame is there with an infant in her arms, 
whilst at her feet her children play with their toys and 
pets. In another picture a well-conditioned sportsman 
starting out in the morning on pleasure bent comes 
upon a family of gipsies preparing their frugal meal. 
Here to a pessimist was the occasion for contrasting the 
miseries of poverty with the sleek enjoyments of wealth, 
but this idea does not occur to Morland. He places 
himself in the position of the sportsman who, seated on 
his well-fed nag, calls one of the gipsies to his side and 
gives him money. This picture, which is entitled "The 



George Morland 



Benevolent Sportsman," has already been mentioned. 
It is worthy of note that the idea of spontaneity in this 
act of benevolence is truly conveyed by the artist. It is 
stamped upon the smiling countenance of the chief 
personage, and, in addition, it is clear that he had not 
been importuned for alms by the poor gipsies, for the 
expression on their faces leaves no doubt that they are 
greatly surprised at almost suspicious of so much 
unsolicited kindness. 

The picture of "The Tea Garden" (16 inches by 19 
inches) was engraved by F. D. Soiron in 1790. It 
changed hands at Messrs. Christie's in 1888 for 
^472 i os., and was exhibited at Burlington House 
in 1886, and again in 1906. Morland appears to have 
painted two pictures with the title "The Benevolent 
Sportsman," for Collins mentions one in which the 
money is given to a little girl. 

For the reasons stated, Morland, after a few months, 

failed to carry out his contract with his creditors, and 

his solicitor persuaded them to make a 

new agreement with the artist, whereby 

rrange- hg undertoo k to pay ^IQO a month to- 

ments warc j s the liquidation of his debts. But 

with his a i t hough Morland was capable of earning 

ors a large income at the time and was very 

industrious, his method of managing his affairs made 

it impossible for him to carry out even these more 

favourable terms. Other and more easy payments 

were agreed upon, but with the same result. After 

he had paid about ten shillings in the pound, it became 

112 









> 



' 




Creditors 

impossible to obtain further concessions from his 
creditors as a body, for he had exhausted the patience 
of many, and these would not join with the rest in 
agreeing to give him more time. The result of this 
was curious. The creditors who still believed in him 
or rather shall we say, who felt that after all the 
bonuses they had received for renewing bills and their 
exorbitant interest, they had really profited by him, and 
who were desirous of obtaining more of his pictures, 
banded together to protect the artist from the others 
who were hostile. When he was threatened with writs 
they got him out of the way, but they generally knew 
where to find him and rarely left him alone. Thus, 
they had Morland in their power, and under threats of 
exposure bought his pictures on their own terms. To 
protect himself from these mercenaries and to keep off 
his other creditors, the artist contracted further debts 
by raising loans from a new circle of friends. "There 
was something so insinuating in his manner," says 
Dawe, "that he generally succeeded in gaining credit 
to his promises"; and we are glad that he adds, 
"indeed, it is probable that they were made with 
sincerity at the moment, and that he often deceived 
himself while endeavouring to excuse his conduct." 

In this matter, as in others, Morland never seemed 
to learn anything from experience. He had failed to 
meet his old obligations again and again, but never 
doubted that if he could contract a new one, he could 
easily discharge it. He acted in good faith, but his 
self-confidence was on a par with that of the drunkard 
113 J 



George Morland 



who never doubts that he will always be able to resist 
future temptations to drink. 

During his stay at Charlotte Street Morland lived in 
this state of incessant irritation and uncertainty. He 
was in constant fear of being arrested by 
The Drink hig crec ji tO rs and thrown into gaol. His 
home was practically broken up, for during 
his frequent enforced absences therefrom his wife went 
to stay with her family; when he ventured into his 
house it was often deserted; if he sought company 
without, he dared leave it only after nightfall. In these 
circumstances, is it surprising that poor Morland, 
whose temperament was always easily excited and 
easily depressed, should have tried to drown by drink 
the cares from which he knew not how to extricate 
himself? What is astonishing is this: that despite all 
his humiliation, all his worries and fears, despite his 
being driven from place to place, he went on per- 
sistently with his work and produced many fine pictures 
which betray no trace of his troubled spirit. 

In 1794, three of Morland's works appeared at the 

Royal Academy namely, "The Inside of a Stable" 

(a picture by Morland bearing this title was 

y a purchased by Sir Joshua Reynolds for ninety 

Academy, Qr a hundred gu i ne as); "Bargaining for 

794-97 Sheep" (sold at Messrs. Christie's in 1892 
for ^"492 IDS.) ; and "The Farrier's Shop," a work 
which in 1806 was in the collection of Mr. Wigston, 
and is now in the Manchester Art Gallery. Three 
years later seven of Morland's pictures were exhibited 

114 



Best Period 



at the Royal Academy that is, when he was playing 
at hide-and-seek with his creditors. 

From 1790 to 1798 was the period which comprised 
the largest number of Morland's best pictures of rustic 

life and coast scenes. It was bounded on 

j t_ ^ > c^ 1-1 > j Rustic and 
the one side by his " Carriers Stable and 

" Storm off Black Gang Chine," and on the C( 

other by his ''View of the Needles" and 
"Freshwater Gate." We may take it, therefore, 
that between these years he produced the following 
amongst other important works which bear no date: 
"Wreckers," a grand coast scene in the possession 
of Sir Walter Gilbey, Bart. ; "The Cornish Plunderers," 
another fine work, in the possession of Lieut. -Col. Sir 
Charles E. Hamilton, Bart.; "The Waggoners' Halt 
outside the 'Bell Inn,'" a highly refined and beautiful 
composition full of variety and interest, in the posses- 
sion of E. A. Knight, Esq. ; " The Fishermen's Toast," 
in the possession of G. Harland Peck, Esq., and 
"Fishermen Going Out," two poetical scenes of the 
coast; "The Reckoning," in the Victoria and Albert 
Museum; "The Death of the Fox," an important 
hunting scene of fine composition and colour, showing 
Morland's landscape on a large scale, in the possession 
of Sir Walter Gilbey, Bart.; and "The Last Litter," 
and "The Hard Bargain," two excellent pictures, 
simple, truthful, and vigorous. The latter is in the 
possession of G. A. Daniel, Esq.; and as the owner 
informs us that it has always been in Mrs. Daniel's 
family, it would appear that the artist painted more 



George Morland 



than one picture with this title, for a work so named 
was in the Jesse Curling" Sale in 1856. 

It was during the first years of his financial troubles 
that Morland made several excursions into the country 
in search of fresh subjects for his pencil. 
Excursions In these travels he always took with him a 
man-servant, and generally was accom- 
panied by a friend or two, whose expenses he paid and 
of whom he made use by employing them to carry his 
pictures to town and to find buyers for them. He 
visited at one time or another many places on the coast, 
and was particularly pleased with the grand seas at 
Whitby. It was there, probably, that he found his 
subjects for his "Smugglers" and "Fishermen," 
which were both engraved by J. Ward in 1793. In 
the same year was published an etching by J. Harris of 
" Studies of Fisherwomen." From Morland's "Storm, 
and Wreck of a Man-of-War," painted in 1794, and 
two coast scenes produced in 1796, it would appear 
that he was then in the Isle of Wight. He also visited 
North Wales and Derbyshire, and made some sketches 
of mountain scenery and painted a picture of "Con- 
way Castle," which was reproduced in aquatint by 
J. Hassall. 

Of his excursions into the country we must not omit 

to mention his visit to Enderby, in Leicestershire, for 

his stay there largely widened his experience 

Enderby of peasant and gipsy life, of agricultural 

pursuits, of rural manners and customs, of 

the incidents of out-of-door sports of all those associa- 

116 



Life in the Country 

tions of the countryside which he has recorded with 
so much fidelity and vigour. On this occasion Mrs. 
Morland and his brother accompanied him, and they 
lodged at a farmhouse at Enderby for several months. 
Here he mixed with the peasants in their homes, in- 
terested himself in their occupations, played with their 
children, and joined in their pastimes. This was not 
peculiar to Enderby; wherever he went he did the same 
he won the affections of the people by entering into 
their lives. " However engaged, whether he was 
riding on horseback, or in a stage-coach, or sitting 
surrounded by vulgar companions, his mind was seldom 
wholly inattentive, though it displayed at the time 
nothing but an eagerness to partake of the amusement 
that was passing, in which he appeared to be as deeply 
engaged as any of the company ; for he never mentioned 
to others the result of his serious and useful reflections." 
Dawe, whom we quote, goes on to say, " Among every 
description of company he derived some advantage in 
short, he seemed averse to seek knowledge in any other 
academy than that of Nature." This confirms precisely 
the point for which we contend namely, that Morland 
chose his surroundings because they ministered to his 
art. He was a lover of the country, of unconventional 
people, of their simple avocations and pleasures, of 
animals and their picturesque associations ; and to 
portray all these with his pencil and brush, it was 
essential that he should have them about him, should 
constantly study them, should make those whom he 
loved, love him; or, as Sandos puts it, *' He who would 
117 



George Morland 



court Nature in all her homely garbs must not abash 
the nymph with his own gaudy attire ; he who would 
behold the children of simplicity in all their manners 
unconstrained must be one of them." 

Morland had a special reason for going to Enderby, 
for a friend of his lived there a Mr. Claude Lorraine 
Smith, who was an enthusiastic sportsman and a patron 
of the Arts. It would also appear that this gentleman 
was a painter himself, for in 1797 J. Grozer engraved a 
picture of "A Litter of Foxes," in which the animals 
were painted by Mr. Smith and the landscape by 
Morland. It was there where Morland found many of 
his sporting subjects, in his rides with the hounds in 
the company of his friend the Squire of Enderby, who 
was a keen huntsman. In 1794 appeared the following 
etchings by J. Wright after pictures painted by Morland 
at Enderby or from sketches made there: "Foxhunters 
and Dogs leaving the Inn," "Foxhunters and Dogs in 
a Wood," "Fox about to be Killed," and "Full Cry." 

It was at Enderby, too, that Morland found the 

opportunity of studying gipsies. Their free-and-easy 

. out-of-door life he understood, and he often 

* introduced these children of Nature into his 

landscapes. We have them in "The Benevolent 
Sportsman," "A Gipsy Encampment " (painted in 1791), 
"Gipsy Courtship" (1792) engraved by J. Jenner 
"The Gipsies' Tent" engraved by J. Grozer in 1793 
"Gipsies kindling a Fire" painted at Leicester Street, 
and sold to Colonel Stuart for forty guineas "Gipsies 
sitting over their Fire by Moonlight," and in many other 

118 



Practical Joking 



pictures. Blag-don says "Morland has been known to 
set off in the night and ride several miles to attend a 
feast of gipsies in a wood, in order to observe the 
effects of firelight in that situation, and the character of 
those migratory people." It was at Enderby too, and 
perhaps at Mount Sorrel (a few miles distant), that the 
artist painted some of his quarry scenes, and his 
picture "The Wayside Inn," engraved by J. Ward in 

1793- 

An instance of Morland's practical joking in the 
country may be mentioned. In one of his excursions 
he came across some men who were fishing. 
He does not seem to have been himself fond e . " 
of the gentle art, but these anglers made a a PP intec 
picturesque group, and so he sat down and n S e - 

sketched them. After expending much patience with- 
out reward, the fishermen cast their lines into the 
water and, disappointed at catching nothing, repaired 
to an alehouse hard by in search of consolation. As 
soon as they were out of sight our facetious friend pulled 
up the lines and fixed upon the hooks some old shoes 
and other rubbish that he found on the shore and, having 
again lowered them into the water, awaited events. 
When the refreshed anglers returned, great was their 
excitement upon seeing their floats submerged; keen 
their expectations no doubt; all the deeper therefore 
their chagrin when they discovered the trick that had 
been played upon them all which emotions were fully 
appreciated by the author of them from his hiding-place ! 

We have mentioned that Morland contributed the 
119 



George Morland 

landscape to a picture in which Mr. C. L. Smith painted 
a litter of foxes. This was not the only instance of his 

working with another artist: a small painting 
J.Rathbone f T, , 

which was the joint production of Morland 

jsju and J hn Rathbone was lent b y w - w - 

Ibbetson Lewis> Esq>> to the winter Exhibition at the 
Grosvenor Gallery in 1887-88. Rathbone was a land- 
scape-painter in oils and water-colours, and exhibited 
at the Royal Academy and at the Society of Arts from 
1785 to 1806. There is a signed drawing- by this artist, 
entitled " Landscape, with Waggon and Peasants," 
at the Victoria and Albert Museum, in the Catalogue 
of which he is described as a "companion of Morland 
and Ibbetson, who painted figures into his landscapes." 

Morland also painted with J. C. Ibbetson, who was a 
frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy and the British 
Institution. There is a fine picture by him entitled 
"Smugglers on the Irish Coast" in the National 
Gallery, London, which was purchased in 1895 from 
Messrs. Dowdeswell & Co. ; and there are, also, several 
of his works, representing marine, cattle, and figure 
subjects in the Victoria and Albert Museum. A charm- 
ing little winter scene by this painter was exhibited at 
the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1906. 

For the fashionable life of the town Morland had no 
liking, although it was open to receive him. On the 
other hand, with the tastes of the simple country 
gentleman and, in particular, of the robust sporting 
squire or parson (as his friend the Rev. Mr. Pigott of 
Enderby) he had much in common. His cheery, kind 

1 20 



Picturesque Sights 

nature appealed to all classes ; his talent was a pass- 
port everywhere, and whether in town or country he 
made friends; but the artificial life of Society he 
abhorred. 

Little has been recorded of Morland's habits when he 
was staying in the country; perhaps there was little to 
tell. His life there was simple and orderly, 

and therefore in the opinion of his bio- 

, , . f that has 
graphers who were always looking for . 

his eccentricities afforded nothing worth 
telling. If we add to his work and the study it entailed 
his riding and shooting diversions, he could have had 
little time for much else. We have in his works the 
record of a period when the picturesque was more often 
than now near at hand. The common highway afforded 
a pleasing panorama of life; the post-chaises, the stage- 
coaches, the travellers, the market carts and carriers, 
and droves of cattle were all in keeping with the 
bordering landscape, and were objects that could be 
studied and were worth seeing: and Morland's labours 
are proof that he was a trustworthy witness and a 
faithful scribe. Happily for us, he lived before the 
raging iron-horse, the snorting motor, the whirling 
bicycle, and the soulless machines of agriculture, for 
which, from the point of the artist whose eye seeks 
beauty and not use there is no place in Nature. 



121 



CHAPTER IX. 

WANDERINGS AND CARES. 

R.A., 1799 Fearing arrest, hides from his creditors Always indus- 
trious Failing health Fresh troubles Death of his father 
Adventure at Hackney The Isle of Wight Coast scenes and 
new models Arrested as a spy. 

ALTHOUGH Morland was in constant fear of being 
arrested for debt and thrown into prison, and urged 

thereby was frequently hiding himself now 
Plans that , 

in obscure London lodgings, now in the 

flCVCf 

. wilds of the country, he never showed any 

' disposition to defraud his creditors. Always 

fond of adventure and change, much pleased, too, with 
his experience of foreign travel, knowing also that his 
reputation had spread to the Continent and that he 
would have no difficulty in earning his living there, he 
conceived the idea of going abroad ; but he did not 
entertain it long. His strong point was to act on 
impulse; any new project that occurred to him was 
attractive only so long as it was new, and it was 
certain to be abandoned if its execution demanded 
forethought; and travelling in his day involved some 
amount of planning and arranging, and such matters 
were distasteful to his inclination, or beyond his ability. 
His project was not abandoned because it presented 

122 



On the Move 

other difficulties; his creditors were each concerned 
only about his own particular claims, and had he 
wished to do so, it is conceivable that Morland might 
have secured the assistance of one or two of them to 
hoodwink the rest; he was not detained in England 
by domestic ties, for he had no children, and now 
practically no home. We have dwelt upon this matter 
because Morland has been accused by Dawe of wishing 
to abscond; at the same time his biographer says that 
in many of the artist's encounters with his hostile 
creditors, when he found it necessary to apply to some 
friend to become his bail, he was "ever ready to deliver 
himself in discharge of his bondsman, and anxious 
beforehand to know the day of appearance" an ad- 
mission which refutes the accusation and honours the 
subject of it. 

Three pictures by Morland were exhibited at the 
Royal Academy in 1799 two entitled" A Landscape 
and Figures," and one " Christmas Week." 
In the catalogue of that Exhibition his -* 

address is given as "28 Red Lion Square, Ac 
London." After leaving Charlotte Street 
he changed his residence so often that it is difficult to 
follow all his movements. Dawe (who does not men- 
tion Red Lion Square) says that Morland never sent 
any pictures to Somerset House (then the home of the 
Royal Academy), and suggests as the reason, either 
that he was too indolent to take the trouble of doing 
so, or too modest to submit them to criticism, or 
indifferent to public opinion, and that the works that 
123 



George Morland 



were exhibited were sent by those who had previously 
purchased them. Blagdon gives a more plausible 
reason why the artist never sent any pictures to the 
Royal Academy namely, that he was precluded from 
doing so as he was a Fellow of the Royal Incorporated 
Society of Artists. 

From Charlotte Street, Morland moved to Chelsea, 
where he felt himself secure; but he had not been 
there long before he was betrayed by a 
AtLhelsea " fHend" (who was a small creditor) and 
arrested. From this and many similar difficulties he 
managed to extricate himself (for the time being) in 
his usual way not by paying off his creditor, but by 
giving him a picture as a bonus for securing his further 
indulgence. 

We next find the artist with his man-servant who 

seemed as necessary to him as a valet was to Balzac 

lodging at a waterman's, on the riverside 

at Lambeth. In this obscure place he 

Lambeth worked hard all day long . } and only ven tured 

out-of-doors at dusk, when the waterman used to row 
him across the river, that he might find a little diver- 
sion amongst his friends at the smoking clubs round 
about Charing Cross, and row him back again. The 
constant strain of his anxieties, the confinement, the 
want of exercise began to affect his health ; his lonely 
life and dismal surroundings depressed his spirits, and 
the convivial society at the taverns encouraged his 
growing habit of intemperance. He had had, we are 
told, a fit of apoplexy at an earlier date, and, in addi- 

124 



Queen Anne Street 

tion to his other troubles, he was always fearing that 
he might have another fit. In his illness he was 
attended by John Hunter, and, as that famous surgeon 
passed away in the autumn of 1793, Morland's attack 
probably occurred in the first year or so of his residence 
at Charlotte Street. 

Morland could not long support the dreariness of his 
Lambeth retreat, in spite of the security it afforded. 
He pined for companionship and longed to AT?* 
breathe the fresh air of the country. So a ' 

after a short stay with the waterman he 
went to East Sheen, where he took a furnished house, 
and was joined there by his wife and her sister. He 
stayed in this rural district for some time, but being 
again betrayed by a "friend," was forced to leave it, 
and removed to Queen Anne Street East, in London. 
This street is associated with many distinguished 
names. Fuseli was at the time living there, at number 
75, and nearly forty years later J. M. W. Turner built 
himself a house there (number 47); and Walford tells 
us that there, also, was the home of Cumberland, the 
dramatist ; of Malone, the commentator on Shakespeare ; 
of Edmund Burke ; of Prince Esterhazy, whose splendour 
to have seen (according to Ingoldsby] " 'twould have 
made you crazy " ; and other men of mark. 

But Morland did not long remain in this fashionable 
quarter. He was again discovered by his . 

enemies, again arrested, and again freed ^ ir 
by his accustomed methods, and with his 
faithful servant Brooks took refuge in the house of 
125 



George Morland 



his friend Grozer, the engraver. Then, after several 
removals, he stayed for a short time with his mother- 
in-law, Mrs. Ward, at Kentish Town; then with his 
brother Henry at Frith Street; next, he took lodgings 
at China Row, Walcot Place, whence he fled to Nevving- 
ton ; and after these peregrinations settled down for a 
brief space with Mr. Merle, a carver and gilder in 
Leadenhall Street, whom we have already mentioned as 
the publisher of several engravings after Morland's 
illustrations of The Gentle Shepherd. 

Notwithstanding all this moving about, Morland's 
brush was not idle; and remarkable as that is, it is 
even more surprising that none of the mental agitation 
which accompanied this unrest and was its cause, is 
reflected in his work. In thought and quality, perhaps, 
it had begun to deteriorate, but its spirit 
1 [ . remained the same: always bright and cheery 
r P l * and, withal, full of repose and contentment. 
Had the experience of J. F. Millet been the same as 
Morland's we might have been justified in saying that 
the troubled spirit of the painter of Barbizon was 
denoted in the sad, poverty-stricken peasants, worn out 
by their labours, whom he has so touchingly depicted. 
This constancy of spirit in Morland's works, under the 
severest tests of its sincerity, indicates beyond all 
doubt that the artist was an optimist. He presents his 
peasants healthful and happy, because he loved to 
think of them as such. We may truly say of him what 
Ruskin says of Turner, that the great result of his 
intimate contact with the poor was understanding of 

126 



Drink Habit 

and regard for them. This feeling", \ve may add, 
transcends, and must not be confounded with, the 
mere appreciation of their pleasures. Also, the result 
of Morland's intimacy with commonplace incidents and 
things was the perception of what was interesting and 
beautiful in them a perception which his troubles 
never blurred, and he was persistent in his efforts to 
proclaim his discoveries to the world. 

During his stay with Mr. Merle, Morland worked 
some eight or more hours a day; and therefore the 
accounts of his intemperance must be exaggerated. 
We are told, for example, that he drank spirits during 
his work ; that all the hours he was not painting he 
spent in dissipation ; that he caroused until two or three 
o'clock every morning, but, nevertheless, was always 
at his easel at six o'clock; and that he produced an 
enormous number of pictures and, what is more, sold 
them readily. This account of his habits may be dis- 
missed because it is incredible. It used to be said of 
a certain great singer thct he produced his finest effects 
when he was drunk, and it has been alleged that 
Morland painted his best pictures when he was in the 
same condition that is when his head was muddled, 
his hand shaky, and when he saw double ! We may 
say, with Horace, Credat Judccus Apclla. 

Unhappily, it is true that the drink habit of which his 
troubles were the main cause remained with 
him as they remained, and increased as they Declimn g 
increased. His once fine constitution began 
to give way under these mental and physical strains. He 
127 



George Morland 



became so weak that he was unable to take his usual 
exercise; and so nervous that he imagined himself in 
danger of being imprisoned, when he was in safe conceal- 
ment. In a letter to a friend of Blagdon's he writes: 

" DEAR SIR, I have had a break out since I saw you 
yesterday I will tell you about it to-morrow. I am 
sorry I must disappoint you in the 'Cottage'; but you 
shall have the [Here follows the sketch of a bull's 
head]. Yours, 

G. MD." 
Again, in another letter he says: 

" I cannot do myself the pleasure for a certainty of 
calling on you to-morrow. I am rather too weak. 
The * Sporting ' first. Shall take a very small walk 
to-morrow remember I don't say I won't call, but 
don't provide; it is just as I find my legs." 

Then he adds as a postscript: 

" Portrait of my legs just as they appear at present;" 

and a sketch of a pair of thin legs in breeches and 
top-boots. 

In addition to his money troubles Morland had others. 

His father died in 1797, and his poor wife, wlib shared 

his anxieties, and as far as he would allow 

ea J h er to ^0, t h e discomforts of his homeless 
his Father ^ beg . an tQ aJL Hjs fits of melancholy 

became more frequent and more intense, and at times 

128 



Eyed with Suspicion 

he was seized with the fear that he was losing his 
sight. Mr. Merle was an excellent friend to Morland, 
who for a while felt secure in his house; but when he 
heard, or imagined, that one of his creditors had offered 
a reward for his arrest, he could stay there no longer, 
and, accompanied by Mrs. Morland, left the city and 
took a house in the little rural town of Hackney. 
Morland's frequent flittings from place to 
place, secretly planned and mysteriously 
effected, his habit of shutting himself up all Hackne y 
day and going out only at night, soon became the 
talk of his neighbours. Hackney was the resort of 
people of fashion and of wealthy merchants. The life 
and movements of new-comers in their midst could 
scarcely be concealed; it was not, therefore, an ideal 
hiding-place. In his efforts to safeguard himself the 
artist's actions lacked consistency. If he had freed 
himself of companions who preyed upon him, he showed 
no discretion in the choice of new acquaintances of 
whom he soon made many and, as a matter of course, 
treated and entertained them. The report got abroad 
that he was making large sums of money, and his 
domestic expenditure and lavish open-handedness gave 
it countenance. His income at this period was no 
doubt far inferior to that in his halcyon days at 
Paddington. He had no difficulty in selling his pictures, 
but, as we have said, many of his works were given 
away to soothe the creditors whose vigilance he could 
not elude. He believed himself safe in his country 
retreat, and being naturally open and frank, grew 
129 K 



George Morland 



weary of the restraints imposed by caution, and became 
indifferent to the notice which his irregular habits 
attracted. The report of his wealth, his mysterious 
movements, his partiality for taverns and the company 
of the lower classes, made his highly respectable 
neighbours regard him with a suspicion that needed 
little to be inflamed into hostility. We are told that 
one night at a public-house Morland was overheard 
talking with his brother about " copper-plates " and 
"impressions." This conversation was taken as a 
clue to his calling, as indeed it was, but it was wrongly 
interpreted. To his suspicious neighbours, who were 
prepared to believe he was "no good," "copper- 
plates" and "impressions" clearly showed that Mor- 
land was a forger of bank-notes ! The result was that 
an information was lodged against him, and the officers 
of the law, at the instance of the Bank of England, 
appeared upon the scene to effect his arrest. Poor 
Morland's habit of acting upon impulse once 
more caused him much unnecessary trouble. 
Had he waited to receive the constables he 
could have satisfied them of their mistake, but seeing 
them approaching his house he mistook them for 
bailiffs, and bolted like a hare out of the back-door. 
We can picture him scrambling over the fence, bound- 
ing over the nursery-gardens of which Hackney then 
was justly proud, floundering in its no less famous 
water-cress beds, and ultimately hiding himself in an 
ale-house on the London Road, whilst his alarmed 
wife was entertaining the uninvited guests ! Mrs. 



Wife's Illness 

Morland succeeded in convincing 1 the officers of her 
husband's respectability, but only after they had ran- 
sacked the house and had found nothing there that 
could be considered a piece de conviction. 

Morland is said to have had an absurd prejudice 
against bank-notes; so much so that he refused to part 
with his pictures unless they were paid for in hard coin, 
even when he was actually without funds. We must 
suppose that this strong feeling against paper-currency 
arose after his experience at Hackney. It is satis- 
factory to know that Messrs. Winter and Key, the 
solicitors to the bank, sent Mrs. Morland a present 
by way of compensation for the inconvenience she had 
suffered through the action of their clients. 

After a stay of six months at Hackney, Morland 
went back to town, and moved from one lodging to 
another until April 1798, when his wife fell . 

ill. Mrs. Morland was attended on that h rj f 
occasion by Mr. Lynn, a surgeon of Parlia- ' ie ~. ? 
ment Street, Westminster, who had a 
cottage near Cowes; and when his patient had suffici- 
ently recovered to be able to travel, he advised Morland 
to take her to the sea-side, and placed his cottage in the 
Isle of Wight at their disposal. This offer was grate- 
fully accepted. Morland had made short visits to the 
Isle of Wight on several previous occasions, and had 
found there many good subjects for his 
art. Indeed it has been said that his sea- 
pieces lack variety because they represent * z ^ 
so frequently the coast of the beautiful isle. In a 
13* 



George Morland 



limited sense this may be true, but to consider it as 
a falling- off of the artist's aim would be misleading-; 
for Morland's rural or sea pictures are never pre- 
sented as examples of mere portraiture. In them we 
are concerned not with the locality of the scenes, but 
with their incidents, which mostly have a human 
interest. The scenery being- subservient thereto, 
rightly does not claim special recognition. This, 
perhaps, cannot always be said of Vernet's works. 
The French painter, using a larger and more ornate 
vocabulary, sometimes divides our interest between his 
story and its setting; so that we wonder what the title 
of his work is, or where its scene is laid. Such 
curiosity the works of the English artist never excite, 
for Morland always subordinates the scenery to the 
players on the stage, who tell their own story in a way 
that is at once convincing and satisfying. 

Mrs. Morland and her maid started for Cowes in 
April 1798, and her husband and his indispensable man- 
servant soon afterwards joined her there. It is said 
that the artist had no baggage apart from his painting 
paraphernalia, and the explanation given is that his 
portmanteau having once been cut from behind the 
post-chaise in which he was riding, he vowed that ever 
afterwards he would travel, like a snail, with all his 
property on his back. Having adhered to this resolu- 
tion, his frequent movings must have been considerably 
simplified. 

At Cowes Morland settled down with a will to work, 
and made a large number of sketches in the neighbour- 

132 



Amphibious Creatures 

hood, two of which afforded the subjects of pictures 
painted later, with the titles respectively "Saving- the 
remains of a Wreck" and "The Fish Market." 

Morland had got rid of his sporting- companions and 
the stable and tavern life associated with them, and 
now devoted his pencil to depicting coast 
scenes and their incidents. He took every 
opportunity of painting- from life, and models 
were not wanting; nor was there any difficulty in per- 
suading them to pose for him, for it soon became 
known that he liberally rewarded such service and was 
a jovial and hospitable gentleman who was not above 
making friends with his social inferiors. He had also 
disposed of his menagerie; but by the time he had got 
well to work on his marine subjects, Mr. Lynn's 
cottage had become a sort of aquarium peopled with 
such amphibious creatures as sailors, fishermen, and 
smugglers. For Morland's art these picturesque folk 
were essential, and he does not seem to have 
suffered in any way from his intimacy with J W 

them, as he undoubtedly did with the horsy 
fraternity in the old days. His life at this pretty 
country spot was orderly and simple; he was, as usual, 
very industrious; he enjoyed the good opinion of his 
neighbours; his health and that of his wife were fast 
improving, and it seemed as though in this peaceful 
haven the tide of misfortune had turned. Unhappily it 
was not long before this pleasant fancy was dispelled by 
the sudden arrival upon the scene of Henry Morland, 
who bore the bad news that he had overheard some 
133 



George Morland 



persons in a tavern boasting 1 that they had discovered 
the artist's hiding-place and were going down to him at 
once with bailiffs. Upon hearing these tidings, poor 
Morland, accompanied by his brother and man-servant, 
fled to Yarmouth, a village a few miles distant. 

These particulars Dawe says he received directly 
from Henry, and there seems no reason to doubt them, 
for at this time Morland and his brother were on good 
terms, and subsequent events prove that the artist 
removed to Yarmouth. At the same time we must 
remember that on the testimony of Morland's other 
biographers the brothers from time to time fell out with 
one another very seriously; and as Dawe is largely 
indebted to Henry for his information of George's 
doings, not only on this occasion but on others, it is 
reasonable to suppose that the communications he 
received were sometimes coloured and distorted by the 
ill-feeling between the Morlands at the time they were 
made. On this supposition we could explain the bitter 
spirit shown by Dawe in his denunciation of some 
alleged episodes in George's life of which he certainly 
was not an eye-witness. 

At Yarmouth Morland lodged at the house of one 

George Cole, a well-known character thereabouts, who 

was said to have acquired a fortune by 

smuggling. One morning after the artist 

had been there only a few days, whilst 

he was at breakfast, the house was entered by a 

lieutenant of the Dorset Militia and eight soldiers, 

with an order from General Don, the commander of the 

134 



Not Guilty 



district, to arrest him as a spy. Notwithstanding 
Morland's protests and efforts to convince the officer of 
his innocence, he and his brother and servant were 
taken in charge and marched off to Newport, a distance 
of twelve miles, under a sweltering sun, burdened 
with the artist's portfolios full of sketches which were 
supposed to afford the proof of guilt. At Newport 
they were taken before the justices and severely ex- 
amined; so, too, were the sketches and drawings in 
which the astute legal minds detected dark and 
treacherous designs veiled by a subtle symbolism. 

The matter might have ended very much to the dis- 
comfort of the prisoners had not a friend of Mr. Lynn, 
a Newport doctor, arrived upon the scene before it was 
too late and testified to the artist's respectability and 
good faith; upon which evidence the Court dismissed 
the prisoners with a caution. Notwithstanding this 
disagreeable adventure, Morland remained at Yarmouth 
some months longer, and from there made some ex- 
cursions to Freshwater, where he painted for Mr. Wedd 
two of his finest coast scenes, " A view of the Needles " 
and " Freshwater Gate." 



1 3S 



CHAPTER X. 

WORK AND REST. 

Back in London Within the "Rules" A fixed salary Spurious 
Morlands "A day's Rule" The Marshal of the Prison 111 
health The Insolvent Debtors' Act Mrs. Morland's presenti- 
ment The artist struck with a palsy R. A., 1804 Morland 
Galleries Arrested for debt Morland's death. 

As Morland seldom dated his pictures, it is difficult to 
name the titles of many that he painted during- these 

unsettled years, but the following 1 may be 
Undated noted in addition to those we have already 

mentioned: In 1794, " Charcoal Burners," 
"Post-boys and Horses refreshing," "Waggon and 
Team of Horses"; in 1795, " Cow and Calf worried by 
Dogs," "The Thatcher," "The Shepherd Asleep," 
"Evening," "The Day after the Wreck"; in 1796, 
"Mending the Nets," "Storm off the Isle of Wight," 
and "Calm off the Isle of Wight"; in 1797, "The 
Miller and his Men"; and in 1798, "Sheep in the 
Snow."* 

In November 1799 we again find Morland on the 
move, and, as usual, after a stay in the country, he 
gravitated to London. Worn out by his wanderings, 
and knowing not how to pacify his creditors longer, he 

136 



Within the " Rules" 

began to think that whatever might happen to him his 
position could not be worse than it then was, and that 
even a gaol might afford him a repose which as a free 
man he could not find. What he had always most 
dreaded the loss of his liberty he felt had already 
come to pass, for what freedom remained to him who 
had no resting-place and no peace ? Better go to gaol 
than be haunted by fears and hunted by wolves ! 
With these ideas working painfully in his 
mind and mistrustful of his own judgment, , 

he sought counsel from Mr. Wedd as to J^A 
what he should do ; and upon the advice of 
his good friend, who served him with the 
greatest zeal to the end, poor Morland caused himself 
to be arrested and went to the King's Bench Prison. 
To another this action might have been productive of 
some advantage, but his restless spirit chafed under 
the confinement, and, as will soon appear, his new 
conditions were favourable to his weaknesses and im- 
poverished his art. He had, with his solicitor's aid, no 
difficulty in obtaining the "rules"; that is, 
he was granted the "privilege," upon pay- |C ,, 

ment of certain fees, of living outside the 
prison proper, but within its jurisdiction. These 
"rules," or "liberties" (as they were called), applied 
to an area of three miles in circumference, and included 
Lambeth Road, St. George's Fields, where Morland 
was allowed to occupy a furnished house. There his 
devoted wife went to live with him, and also Henry 
Morland, whose principal business then was buying 
137 



George Morland 



and selling his brother's works. With his change of 
circumstances his habit of industry had not deserted 
him. It has often been said that many of Morland's 
finest pictures were painted within the "rules" of the 
King's Bench Prison ; but this is an exaggeration of the 
facts. When he entered the "rules" in 1799 the 
summer of Morland's art had passed: an occasional 
fine work from his hand may have appeared after that 
date, but it was a rare sight, like a butterfly in the late 
autumn. There are several reasons for the falling off 
of quality in his pictures after his acquaintance with the 
King's Bench gaol. As his confinement prevented him 
. from painting from Nature out of doors, he 
was dependent for his subjects and their 
treatment upon his memory and notes, and 
probably could not help repeating himself. Moreover, 
when relying solely upon his imagination he was often, 
even in the vigour of his prime, inaccurate in his 
drawing and fanciful and injudicious in the distribution 
of his lights and shades. Again, from his habit of 
intemperance his brain began to lose its wonted energy 
and his hand its confidence ; and although at times, 
when excited by hope awakened by some unlooked-for 
event that seemed to presage a brighter future for him, 
these effects were not noticeable, he was often unable 
to bear the strain of long-sustained effort which the 
execution of important works demanded. Perhaps 
more injurious to the quality of his art than the fore- 
going was the fact that soon after he entered the 
** rules" he was obliged, in order to meet his expenses, 

38 



Spurious "Morlands" 

to work for the picture-dealers, who were for the most 
part his old creditors, at a fixed salary. By this 
arrangement he was no longer free to choose his 
subjects, nor to devote to his works the time he deemed 
necessary. He was regarded by these harpies as a 
machine to turn out pictures the more the better. 

They thought he would not live long, so 

. r Sflurtous 

he was to be sweated for all he was worth. 4< f 

It is said that they kept a number of artists 
near at hand to copy Morland's works often taken 
wet from the easel and that the copies were sold as 
originals. Hassall tells us that he once saw "twelve 
copies of a small picture of Morland's at one time in a 
dealer's shop with the original in the centre, the pro- 
prietor of which, with great gravity and unblushing 
assurance, inquired if he could distinguish the differ- 
ence." We may give in this connection a practical 
hint for which we are indebted to Dawe, who may be 
taken as an authority. He tells us that in the rich 
shadows of his pictures Morland used the umbers and 
Vandyke brown, "never asphaltum, and copies are 
sometimes detected from the circumstance, for the 
presence of that substance may easily be discovered by 
passing a wet finger over it, since the moisture will lie 
evenly upon the other parts, while it recedes from the 
greasy surface of the asphaltum, rising in ridges like 
net-work." We may add to this that as asphaltum has 
a tendency to turn black, when we find a black Morland 
we should eye it with suspicion. 

Dawe, speaking of the great number of works 

'39 



George Morland 



Morland produced between 1796 and 1804, says that, 
according to his brother Henry's books, the artist 

painted for him alone no fewer than four 
Fecundity hundred and ninety-two pictures, and for 

others some three hundred pictures ; that is 
an average of two pictures a week during a period 
of eight years, "and in addition to these, he made, 
probably, a thousand drawings." If these figures be 
correct, the average must have been much higher when 
he was working for the dealers at a fixed salary, and 
therefore the falling off at that time in the quality of 
his productions is easily accounted for. 

Morland whilst at Lambeth Road within the " rules" 
earned sufficient to enable him to live comfortably. 
When working for the dealers at a fixed salary he 
received, some writers say, four guineas a day "and his 
drink"; but Dawe says two guineas, which is probably 
nearer the truth. The only source of information con- 
cerning Morland's habits at this period is his brother 
Henry, who, for the reasons we have given, may not 
have been always a frank witness. That Morland, as 
many gentlemen of his day were wont to do, often 
drank to excess, there can be no doubt: we have his 
own testimony to the fact. What the country squire 
and the sporting parson, with their out-of-door occupa- 
tions and pastimes, could do in the matter of drink with 
comparative impunity was fatal to poor Morland, who 
was always working his brain at high pressure and was 
debarred from proper exercise. We know that he was 
open-handed and forld.of jovial company, and it is safe 

140 



A la Morland 

to suppose that his generous and Denial nature attracted 
to his hospitable board, at which we are told Mrs. 
Morland always presided, many of the horde of idlers 
and spongers who abounded in the precincts of the gaol. 
But we cannot believe what Henry Morland tells Dawe, 
that the artist expended the whole of the money he 
received " in profusion and drunkenness"; for this 
charge is confuted by the enormous amount of work he 
accomplished whilst living within the "rules." It has 
been asserted that the dealers employed several clever 
artists (like Hand and Brown, Morland's pupils) to 
paint pictures a la Morland; that such pictures were 
taken to the Master to be touched up and signed by him, 
and were afterwards sold with our artist's \ 

knowledge as genuine Morlands ; that this 

f Morland 

accounts for the enormous number of works 

Morland is supposed to have painted, and their unequal 
quality; and that as a matter of fact Morland was too 
indolent to paint much. In answer to this we would 
say that Dawe, who shows no desire to screen Morland's 
infirmities, says not a word about these matters; that 
the allegations do not account for the enormous number 
of excellent works the artist produced, whilst there are 
other and sufficient reasons, as we have stated, to 
account for the inequality of his works. It is quite 
likely that Morland, who was always ready to do a 
service, may have touched up the pictures of his friends 
and pupils. If he put a large amount of work into 
them he may have felt justified in signing them. But 
there could not have been " an enormous number" of 
141 



George Morland 



such productions, for there are comparatively few 
Morlands the genuineness of which is undisputed 
which are signed. 

From time to time the artist obtained permission, 

upon paying a fee, to go for a day beyond the 

boundaries of the prison's "rules." On 

' J n s<> those occasions he used to visit his old 

the Marshal friends and favour ite haunts the taverns 

(the social clubs of that period), but he always was 

particularly careful to return to his domicile punctually 

at the hour fixed by the regulations. 

Blagdon tells us that Morland agreed to paint a 
picture for Mr. Jones, the marshal of the prison, from 
which it would seem that his servitude to the dealers 
was not complete. However that may be, the picture 
was promised. One day soon afterwards, when 
Morland was enjoying his outing on "a day's rule," 
Mr. Jones found him with some convivial companions 
in the tap-room of a public-house, a place which 
debtors were, by the regulations, strictly forbidden to 
enter and, reprimanding him severely, threatened to 
re-commit him to the prison-house. Morland returned 
home, began the picture he had promised, finished it at 
a sitting, and taking it with him, presented himself next 
morning before the marshal. In this work the artist 
had faithfully represented the tap-room of the public- 
house where he had been discovered, with the company 
present on that occasion. Morland figured there, too, 
and all the personages were excellent likenesses of his 
convivial associates. But best of all was the portrait 

142 



Constitution Wrecked 

of a burly gentleman whose countenance beamed with 
satisfaction, and who, leaning in at the window, was 
taking from the painter's hand a glass of gin: it 
was impossible not to identify this jovial individual; 
it was, of course, no other than Mr. Jones himself! 
Whether the marshal was pleased or not with the picture 
we cannot say, but it does not appear that after receiving 
it he showed any special anxiety to meet the artist again. 
After living for two years within the "rules," 
Morland's constitution, which for some years had been 

orettins: weaker, showed signs of altogether 

T '. . . ^ ,. Grcnvme 

giving way. His sight became so dim that * 

he was obliged to wear the strongest 
glasses ; and he was so feeble that he had to be sup- 
ported by his man-servant whilst with trembling hand 
he attempted to carry on his work. The depression 
accompanying his humiliation, the constant strain of 
his labours, his domestic anxieties on account of his 
wife's health, the confinement and, we must add, the 
fatal remedy to which he resorted to dispel his cares, 
all these causes working together contributed to wreck 
poor Morland's health at the age of thirty-nine. In 
1802 he suffered a second attack of apoplexy, and was 
thereby unable to enjoy at once the benefit of the 
Insolvent Debtors' Act of that year, whose object was to 
relieve the over-gorged prisons. Before he had re- 
covered from this attack his wife fell ill, and by her 
doctor's orders was removed to lodgings in the purer 
air of Paddington. The Morlands, as we have said, 
and it will bear repeating, were sincerely attached to 



George Morland 



each other an affection which was in no way impaired 
by their frequent separation, nor by the artist's 
extravagance and intemperance. That small domestic 
differences between them were not unknown we may 
take for granted; but the wife loved peace and quiet, 
and by the influence of her gentleness and tact, 
Morland's genial and kind disposition quickly reasserted 
itself. It seems to have been well known to their 
intimate friends that husband and wife frequently con- 
versed with apprehension about the crushing blow to 
their happiness of the great parting which impends over 
. all, quasi saxum Tantalo, and that Mrs. 



A - 

" Morland often expressed a presentiment she 
had that, if her husband should die before 
her, she would not survive him more than three days. 

When Morland was well enough to leave Lambeth 
Road he went to his wife's lodgings, attended as best 
he could to her comforts, and made arrangements for 
her to stay there until he could again provide for her 
a home with himself. Rejoicing over his freedom, we 
can believe that they sketched pleasant plans for their 
future life together. Unhappily, this dream of a new 
home was never to be realized. 

Always restless at his best, Morland was now more 
restless than ever. His repeated apoplectic fits had 
completely unnerved him. He could remain 
Homeless now j iere f or mO re than a few weeks, and 
a moved from place to place without any 

Restless se ttled purpose. During his absence from 
his wife he allowed her two or three guineas a week, 

144 



Pathetic Picture 

" and seldom failed," says Dawe, *' to fulfil his engage- 
ment during his greatest exigencies." This is the 
answer to the cruel allegation that he deserted her. 
From time to time Morland stayed with her for a few 
days, and on one of those visits to the Paddington 
lodgings he painted a picture of his garret. In 
this small work the artist, wrapped in an . 

old overcoat, is seated, palette in hand, by 

, . . . , . . . .. T,, tji his 

his easel in his attic painting-room. There 

, , c j i Garret 

is a world of weariness and despair in his 

pale, drawn face, as, pausing in his work, he turns 
to look at us over his shoulder. There, on the floor 
behind him, lie a black bottle and a glass. His man 
Gibbs with a grave countenance, befitting the dreary 
scene, is cooking some sausages over a fire whose 
lively flames mock the pervading gloom. The canvas 
on the easel on which the Master is engaged presents 
a bright bit of landscape. This small picture of 
Morland's garret was lent to the Whitechapel Art 
Gallery in 1906 by the Corporation of Nottingham. 
George Dawe says that the artist intended it as a 
companion to Sir Joshua Reynolds's picture of his 
own kitchen at his house in Leicester Square, which, 
it will be remembered, was once the home of Morland's 
father; and his biographer describes it as "a curious" 
picture. To the more penetrating intelligence of the 
compiler of the catalogue of the Art Gallery, this work 
is more than curious: it brings us into touch with the 
true self the true case and circumstance of the painter, 
who, wishing us to know him as he is, conceals nothing 
'45 L 



George Morland 



and nothing extenuates. We feel, says the writer of 
the Catalogue, that "a picture like this, like a frank 
handshake, puts us at once on his side." 

Morland had regained his liberty, it is true, and 
some measure of physical health, but he was constantly 
pursued by the fear of losing both. This anticipation 
of trouble prepared his mind for the gloomiest fore- 
bodings: at times he was so overcome by melancholy 
that he would burst into tears; at others he was so 
irritable that the slightest noise excited and distressed 
him; and he became so nervous that he was afraid of 
being alone in darkness even for a moment, so that 
he would refuse to go to bed without two night-lights 
burning in his room, lest one should chance to fail. 
"If the light," says Dawe, "happened to be ex- 
tinguished in a room where he was sitting, he would 
creep towards the fire, or the person next to him." 

Such was the condition of the great painter when he 

was struck with a palsy, and for several months was 

. unable to use his left hand. During this 

Struck wz^ part}al disab i ement he was wholly dependent 

upon his pencil. He made many drawings, 
but could have earned thereby only a bare livelihood. 
In these straitened circumstances he incurred a few 
small debts, and fearful on this account of again losing 
his liberty, sought a hiding-place to escape arrest. As 
soon as he was able he went to Highgate, believing he 
would there be safe and, in the salubrious air for which 
it was famous, recover his strength. In that "romantic 
rather than picturesque village," as Crabb Robinson 

146 



Last Exhibited Works 

calls it in his Diary, he stayed at "The Black Bull," 
and amused himself, as in the old days, by watching the 
stage-coaches coming and going, of which some eighty 
or more used to pass through daily. At the end of a 
couple of months Morland returned to town and lodged 
at the house of his brother in Dean Street. It seems 
that now he was almost wholly employed at a fixed 
salary of two guineas a day by Henry Morland, Mr. 
Donatty (a Marshalsea Court officer of Roll's Buildings), 
Mr. Spence of "The Garrick's Head," Bow Street, and 
Mr. Harris of Gerrard Street. 

In addition to his work for them, he made many 
drawings by candle-light every night (necessarily very 
slight productions) which his man-servant sold for him 
at the Clubs. At the time of Morland's death Mrs. 
Donatty possessed several of the artist's works, in- 
cluding six fox-hunting pieces which had been painted 
at Donatty's house, where a room was set apart for 
his use as a studio. In 1804 three of Mor- 
land's pictures were exhibited at the Royal ^ 

Academy namely, "Saving the Remains Acadcm ^ 
of a Wreck," "The Fish Market," and "A l8 4 

Landscape, with Hounds in full chase." These it is 
probable were painted at an earlier date the first two 
from some of his Isle of Wight sketches, although 
they were sent to the exhibition from Donatty's house. 
They were the last of Morland's pictures that appeared 
at the Royal Academy, and although his exhibits there 
were few compared with those of many other artists, 
they must not be taken either as the measure of his in- 



George Morland 



dustry or the general quality of his work. Mr. Ralph 
Richardson rightly draws attention to this, and adds: 
"The enormous number of engravings after paintings 
by him which were never exhibited, although many were 
displayed at successive 'Morland Galleries' in London, 
attest the diligence with which he followed his calling, 
and the immense success which he achieved as an artist." 
We learn from Mr. Algernon Graves's Dictionary of 
Artists that Morland also exhibited thirty-three pictures 
at the Society of Artists, and the same number at the 
Exhibition of the Free Society. 

The mention above of the Morland Galleries refers to 

an exhibition in 1792 given by Daniel Orme of Bond 

Street, who purchased over one hundred of 

. the Master's chief works. This Gallery, 

Collins tells us, was enlarged and removed 

to the premises of J. R. Smith, at King Street, Covent 

Garden, and the charge for admission to it was one 

shilling. Many of Morland's works were also shown at 

a house in Fleet Street soon after the Master's death ; 

and we must add to this list young George's " one-man 

show" when he was working at Martlett's Court. 

Although Morland may have been paid by the dealers 

two guineas a day for his work, it is certain that his 

health was then so weak that he could not have worked 

every day. In order to lighten his labours his friends 

wanted him to engage some young artist to 

put in the dead colouring of his pictures, or 

"shut out the canvas," as it is called ; but 

this suggestion, which Morland felt was kindly offered, 

148 



Method and Impulse 

he did not see his way to adopt. Collaboration of any 
kind would have embarrassed rather than helped him, 
for he had his own method of painting 1 , or perhaps we 
should say he had no method, or none that he could 
impart to another. At the period we are reviewing-, 
and often before, when he depended mostly on his im- 
agination and memory, he would dispense with sketching 
in his subject in the first instance, and would plunge with 
his loaded brush in medias res, profiting by any accidental 
effect that might occur, as every artist should do, 
and should be grateful for the opportunity of doing, 
and seemed almost to be dependent on such; for those 
who used to watch him at work say that it was often 
impossible to tell from the early stages of the pictures 
what design or effect he had in view. Could he, we 
may ask, always have told himself? It is worth noting 
that Morland in the course of his work repeatedly 
showed an unsettled purpose, adding something here, 
effacing something there, and, at times, altering the 
whole composition of his picture, its incidents and treat- 
ment, before he had done with it. This exactly reflects 
the man's impulsive and restless disposition. His 
works also reflect other traits, superficial though they 
may be, which by common consent he possessed, as 
joviality, love of children and animals, and consideration 
for the poor; we must therefore credit his more re- 
condite nature with the candour, kindness, sincerity, 
and other excellent qualities which are impressed in 
almost all his works, and are denied in none. 

Collins tells us that he visited Morland when he was 
149 



George Morland 



working at Donatty's in Roll's Buildings, and took 
with him his son, then a lad of about fourteen years 
of age, in whose art training the Master 
A Pinter wag j nterested and helpful. Collins showed 
y s ISI Morland a copy of one of his pictures made 
by the lad, and says, with fatherly pride, that the artist 
mistook it for his own work. The lad was very 
desirous of seeing the Master paint, and although 
Morland was ill, so weak that he had to be supported 
at his easel, he made the effort to please the young 
artist, and painted before him for two hours, after 
which he sank down in his seat from exhaustion. To 
cheer up his friend, Collins suggested that they should 
go together to Brighton for a change, and prognosti- 
cated the best results to the sick man from this trip. 
Morland was pleased at the suggestion, and said he 
would think it over; but nothing came of it. He was 
now unable to dwell sufficiently long upon any project 
to carry it out ; and his energy had become so enfeebled 
that his impulses had lost the force which formerly 
determined his decisions. 

Towards the last, as his eyesight grew more dim 
and his mental vigour weaker, he became mistrustful 
of his powers and refused to finish his pictures lest he 
should spoil them. The low prices they consequently 
realised disheartened him and he felt that he was 
neglected. His friends were anxious enough to help 
him, but he preferred to maintain his independence. 
He was always a difficult man to help and no less now 
than formerly. Little could be done for him whose life 

15 



Arrest and Death 

\v;is fast closing- in; still loss could he do for himself. 
In this miserable state he passed many months, without 
health, without peace, without hope. 

Venturing- abroad one day for the air, and led by his 
man-servant, for he was too weak to go out alone, 
he encountered one of his creditors, who 
demanded repayment of a loan of ten f r\->, 
pounds. The artist, unable to discharge the ** 
debt, was immediately arrested and conveyed to a 
sponging-house in Eyre Street, Cold Bath Fields. Here 
he made a supreme effort to regain his liberty by paint- 
ing a picture; but his enfeebled system gave way under 
the great strain. In the act of working he fell off his 
chair in a fit, brain fever ensued, and after 
much suffering, poor George Morland passed 1 9r ( " 1 
away on the 2gth October, 1804, in the 
forty-second year of his age. 

His friends attempted to keep the news of his death 
from Mrs. Morland, as she was then ill, but, neverthe- 
less, she became informed of it, and, true to her 
presentiment, she died within three days of her husband, 
and husband and wife were buried together on 
November 2nd, in the graveyard of St. James's Chapel, 
Hampstead Road. 



CHAPTER XI. 
MORLAND'S PUPILS AND ENGRAVERS. 

Tanner Brown Hand Cowden Collins W. Ward J. Ward 
J. R. Smith J. T. Smith W. Blake Rowlandson Bartolozzi 
J. Fittler J. Young S. W. Reynolds T. Vivares A. Sun- 
tach T. Gaugain Levilly Rollet F. D. Soiron Dumee 
Duterreau Rajon. 

CONCERNING the pupils of Morland we have but little 
information. Collins says that Morland's pupils were 

of considerable service to the Master in 
His Pupils laying in dead colour, filling- in outlines, 

and other comparatively mechanical work. 
Dawe, on the contrary, would have us believe that 
they were pupils only in name, for Morland made them 
his companions, and liked to have them about him 
because they participated in his follies. For the 
reasons we have given, it does not seem probable 
that pupils were of much service to Morland. True, 
if it were shown he received considerable assistance 
in his painting, it might explain the enormous number 
of works he produced. But this great output (remark- 
able though it be as the performance of one man in 
a short life) is not beyond belief, for we must remember 
that many of his works were of very slight quality; 



Ml 




Pupils 



that many were very small; and also that Morland is 
kncnvn to have painted with extraordinary rapidity, 
relying' more upon his touch for the effect of finish 
than upon elaborate execution of detail. That Morland's 
works are often unequal in merit cannot be taken as 
a sign of the collaboration with him in their production 
of less skilful hands; for it was in his best period that 
he took pupils, and his inferior work is sufficiently 
explained by his declining powers. Whether Dawe's 
statement is any nearer the truth we may be able to 
judge if we look, not only for the pupils' services to 
the Master, but the Master's services to them. 

George Morland had five pupils namely, (i) Tanner, 
the son of a master-tailor, who paid the artist a hand- 
some fee upon the lad being articled to him ; (2) David 
Brown, whom we have already mentioned as the pur- 
chaser from the artist for forty pounds of his celebrated 
picture, "The Farmer's Stable"; (3) Thomas Hand; 
(4) a gentleman whom Collins describes as a "speculator 
holding a situation in the Queen's Mews"; and (5) 
William Collins. 

Tanner appears to have been a harmless youth, who 
worshipped his master and was the butt of many of 
his practical jokes. This young man of 
nineteen years was tall and bony and, 
because of his dark complexion and coarse 
hair, was nicknamed by the artist " Mohawk." He 
evinced no marked talent for art, but had confidence 
in himself and was very persevering. He was fond 
of work and had an amiable disposition, and, when 
'53 



George Morland 



not engaged in his studies, acted as the Master's 
secretary. Morland must have been very helpful to 
this young man, for, notwithstanding his moderate 
abilities, he was able, after leaving the artist, to earn 
a good living in the country as a portrait-painter. 

David Brown was a house- and sign-painter. He 

found such delight in seeing Morland work that he 

followed him from place to place and took 

az every opportunity of watching him at his 

easel ; and, at the age of thirty-five, sold 
his business, which was bringing him in two or three 
hundred pounds a year, and articled himself to the 
Master. Brown was a man of considerable talent and 
good sense, and was very steady and studious. He 
had, too, an eye to business, and purchased from 
Morland many of his works, which he sold at good 
profits ; and when the term of his Articles expired he 
was able to obtain his living as a drawing-master. He 
exhibited landscapes at the Royal Academy from 1792 
to 1797. 

To Morland's instruction Thomas Hand was much 
indebted, and, considering his after-achievements, we 
cannot believe that he wasted his time 
T ]* during his stay with him. Hand exhibited 
at the Royal Academy on twelve different 
occasions between the years 1792 and 1804. From the 
catalogue compiled by Mr. Algernon Graves, F.S.A., 
we are enabled to give the following titles of some of 
the works which Hand sent there "View in Leicester- 
shire," "Sandpits," and "A Fisherman's Hut," all in 

J 54 



Cowden and Collins 

1792; ''Interior of a Stable," in 1794; "Drawing 1 a 
Cover," in 1796; "Gipsies" and "The Death of the 
Fox," both in 1801: from which we see that in the 
choice of his subjects he largely followed his Master. 
Hand died in 1804, a few weeks before Morland. 

Collins does not give the name of the "gentleman 
speculator " who, he says, was one of Morland's pupils. 
It is probable that this individual was Mr. 
Cowden, described by Dawe as "of the ' * 
King's Mews," who had at the time of 
Morland's death a choice collection of his *P eculator 
small pictures painted about the year 1795, containing, 
amongst others, a highly-finished picture of pigs and 
some of his best coast scenes. 

William Collins could only have studied under Mor- 
land a very short time, for he was but sixteen years of 
age when Morland died. He entered with Etty the 
Royal Academy Schools in 1807, and was elected a 
Royal Academician in 1820. He was the son of Collins, 
whose biography of Morland we have quoted, -117-11 - 
and the father of Wilkie Collins the novelist. 
There is no doubt that Collins in the early 
years of his art career was largely influenced by 
Morland in his choice of subjects, if not in their treat- 
ment; and, although many years of travel widened his 
views and modified his style, he always declared that 
English landscape and rustic life appealed to him more 
than the grandest scenery abroad. 

From the foregoing considerations we see that 
Morland must have conscientiously carried out his 
T 55 



George Morland 



duties by his students, since they profited by his 
instruction, and therefore conclude that Dawe's state- 
ment that master and pupils wasted their time together 
in frivolous amusements is unjustifiable. 

Of far greater service to Morland than his pupils 
were his engravers and publishers, of whom a hundred 
or more can be named. The works of few 
artists have been so largely engraved as 
those of Morland; and this is not surprising, 
for their subjects, simple and homely, truthful to Nature, 
and mostly bright and cheery, appeal to all minds; and, 
moreover, as they depend for their interest not so much 
upon colour as upon incident, they are particularly suit- 
able for reproduction in black and white. In the British 
Museum are engravings and etchings of more than three 
hundred of Morland's pictures and studies, which were 
executed and published during the life-time of the painter. 
Fortunately for him these productions were the work 
of some of the best engravers of his day, of whom we 
must mention in the first place William 
ar Ward, who had a great reputation as an 
engraver in mezzotint, and engraved, besides a large 
number of Morland's works, many portraits after Sir 
Joshua Reynolds's pictures and the productions of other 
leading artists. Ward, who had been articled to J. R. 
Smith, was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy 
in 1814. He was a steady, industrious, and consci- 
entious man, and one of Morland's closest 



/ . 

friends. His brother, an articled pupil, 

James Ward, commenced his art career as an engraver 

156 



Engravers 



in mezzotint, and reproduced in the year 1793 Morland's 
" Smugglers " and " Fishermen." 

James Ward had many opportunities at Kensal 
Green, Marylebone, and Camden Town of watching 
Morland at work, and in his early career painted some 
pictures so much in Morland's manner that when he 
parted with them they were sold as genuine Morlands. 
Mrs. Frankau, in her interesting and instructive work 
on the Ward brothers, tells us, in effect, that James 
was a hymn-singing, self-satisfied critic, whose spiritual 
nature was nurtured on Young's Night Thoughts; that 
he considered that Rubens compared with himself 
was gross and vulgar; that his own copy of Titian's 
"Venus" was at least as good as the original; and 
that although Michael Angelo and he (Ward) had much 
in common, he had more unity of purpose than the 
older master: so it is not surprising that when Ward 
asked Morland to take him as a pupil the artist 
"would have none of him." James Ward was elected 
a Royal Academician in 1811, and painted, in 1820-22, 
his celebrated "Alderney Bull" (now in the National 
Gallery, London), because he was "bent upon doing 
for England what Paul Potter had done for Holland." 
There are some small pictures by Ward of pigs, 
donkeys, and horses in the Victoria and Albert 
Museum. 

J. Raphael Smith engraved in mezzotint a large 
number of Morland's works which he pub- 
lished; and he published also many repro- ' J 
ductions after Morland executed by other engravers. 
'57 



George Morland 



Smith was the son of a landscape-painter of Derby, and 
began life as a linen-draper's assistant. Coming to 
London, he first practised art as a miniature-painter; he 
also executed a large number of portraits in crayons, 
and exhibited at the Royal Academy. He was of great 
service to Morland, not only as an engraver, but in 
advising him in the choice of his subjects in his early 
period, for his experience as a publisher had qualified 
him in gauging the current taste of the public. Bryan, 
to whom we are indebted for these facts, tells us that 
Smith "gave his advice kindly and generously to all who 
consulted him." Raphael Smith has been described as 
the boon companion of Morland and Rowlandson. 

J. T. Smith, the author of The Antiquities of London 
and Westminster, Nollekens and his Times, and A Book 
for a Rainy Day, published in 1789 an engraving by 
W. Ward after Morland's "Pleasures of Retirement." 
As we have seen, he knew Morland personally. There 
was not, however, much in common between them, for 
it was the delight of "Rainy Day Smith" to cultivate 
the acquaintance of people of fashion a class whose 
society was uncongenial to Morland. J. T. Smith says 
in Nollekens and his Times: "Morland was a man of 
true genius, and was the first artist who gave the sturdy 
oak its peculiar character in landscape-painting. There 
are several etchings attributed to this painter, of which 
a half-sheet plate of 'Pigs Asleep' is undoubtedly his, 
and is a truly spirited performance." Dawe would 
have us believe that Morland bought copper-plates 
simply to alarm the publishers (who were making large 

158 



Blake and Rowlandson 

profits from the reproductions of his drawings) by 
making them believe that he intended etching and 
publishing himself, and so induce them to give him 
better prices, but that he made no use of the plates. 
This is on a par with his statement that Morland kept 
his colours "as much to pelt" people with who passed 
his window, as for painting. The remark concerning 
Morland's interpretation of the English oak is confirmed 
by a French writer in Midland's Biographic Universe He. 
J. T. Smith was appointed Keeper of the Prints in the 
British Museum in 1816. 

The list of Morland's engravers includes the dis- 
tinguished artist, poet, and mystic, William Blake. 
Blake was one of the first students of the 
Royal Academy schools, which he entered 
upon the completion of his articles under James Basire, 
engraver to the Society of Antiquaries. In 1789 the 
author of 77/6' Songs of Innocence and The Book of Thcl 
engraved Morland's "Idle Laundress;" and in 1803, after 
he had produced his Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Tfie 
Gates of Paradise, and other highly imaginative works, he 
engraved Morland's picture, "The Industrious Cottager." 

Thomas Rowlandson painted a portrait of George 
Morland in water colours, and etched Morland's series 
ot four shooting subjects in 1790. Rowland- 
son was one of Morland's boon companions, 
and in many respects resembled him in 
temperament. He had the advantage of Morland in 
receiving an excellent art training at Paris, and also at 
the schools of the Royal Academy, London. In the 

'59 



George Morland 



early part of his career he painted several figure-subjects 
and portraits, but afterwards confined his artistic efforts 
to pictorial humour and satire. Dr. Reginald Hughes, 
in his article in Social England (vol. v. p. 571), pays a 
high tribute to this artist's versatility and power. 

Amongst Morland's other engravers may be mentioned 

the celebrated Bartolozzi, J. Grozer, James Fittler, the 

. eminent line engraver who reproduced some 

Bartolozzi, of Loutherbour g> s wor ks, and illustrated 

/. Grozer, Forster -> s British Gallery and many other 

/. Fittler books . j ohn Young, author of Outlines of 

Celebrated Picture Galleries, and keeper of the British 

Institution; S. W. Reynolds, pupil of C. H. Hodges, 

and drawing-master to the daughters of 

' " George III., who engraved some of the 

Reynolds works of sir j oshua Reynolds, Horace 

Vernet, Ge"ricault, Delaroche, and other eminent artists. 
S. W. Reynolds is represented at the Victoria and 
Albert Museum by some good examples of his oil 
sketches. To this list must be added Thomas Vivares, 
one of the thirty-one children of Francois Vivares, a 
Frenchman who came to England in the beginning of 
the eighteenth century and followed the trade of a 
tailor. Thomas was a teacher of drawing ; he exhibited 
his works at the Royal Academy, Society of Artists, 
and Free Society between the years 1764 and 1788, and 
reproduced in etching a large number of Morland's 
studies of figures and animals, as well as Morland's 
portrait of himself, in which he is seated, with pipe and 
palette, at the door of the "Blue Bell" Inn. 

160 



Foreign Engravers 

The principal foreign engravers of Morland's works 
maybe briefly named: A. Suntach (sporting subjects), 
T. Gaugain (of Abbeville), Levilly, Made- 
moiselle Rollet, F. D. Soiron, E. J. Dum^e, F * 
B. Duterreau, and the distinguished French En S ravcrs 
etcher Paul Rajon, a native of Dijon, who, after serving 
in the Franco-German War, came to England and 
executed many plates after paintings in the National 
Gallery, London, in the collection at Dulwich, and else- 
where. 



161 



CHAPTER XII. 
MORLAND'S WORK. 

Criticisms Morland's versatility Portraits Moral and domestic 
subjects Children-subjects Coast scenes Rural and lowly life 
and animals "Selling Fish" Morland's originality Followers 
and imitators His landscape Cunningham answered. 

GEORGE MORLAND was fortunate in living at a period 

when the materials for his subjects contributed to the 

picturesqueness of his scenes, and even the 

accidents of fashion were kindly and de- 

pon< y tracted nothing from their grace. But such 

ppn - a j one wou jd be insufficient to account for the 

popularity of his works now ; still less would 

it explain the favour in which they were held in his own 

day, when the picturesque was so near at hand and so 

familiar that its attractions could hardly have been fully 

appreciated or felt by the general public. By competent 

judges of his time George Morland was considered an 

artist of great power and originality, and the soundness 

of this judgment has never been disputed by accredited 

critics. "Anthony Pasquin" (John Williams), in his 

Liberal Critique on the Royal Academy Exhibitions of 

1794-97, says that Morland's works are "replete with 

spirit and Nature"; that they are "touched with a spirit 

162 



Conscientious Work 

and determination which none can administer so adroitly 
as himself"; and that "Mr. Morland has more genius 
than any other existing- professor of the Fine Arts." 

A writer in the Gentleman's Magazine of November, 
1804, thus speaks of Morland: "He shirked no diffi- 
culty, disdained nothing- that was natural ( 
and picturesque, and would never risk truth, 
but would rather give twenty guineas to *** 

have a cat stolen for him than presume to Ma a8im 
paint one from an uncertain remembrance. He some- 
times leaves the truth unfinished, but never violated, 
and scorned to please a depraved imagination by 
fantastic pretences of surpassing that which, as it is, no 
man can equal. Whilst any taste for natural truth and 
beautiful simplicity shall remain amongst men, the 
name and talents of Morland will be distinguished as 
honourable to the country which formed and produced 
them." 

Two years later Hassall thus writes of Morland's 
work: "The harmonious combination of his back- 
grounds, his drapery, ever natural and decorous, with- 
out confusion or perplexity; his children, also, his 
sheep, his horses, his pigs, and all the appendages of 
the rural landscape, including every other department 
of picturesque scenery, still classed among the finest of 
modern productions, are still objects of imitation to 
young students, and are still considered and exhibited 
by the best judges and patrons of the fine arts, as 
most remarkably neat, correct, and elegant views of 
nature." 

163 



George Morland 

Thirty years later Allan Cunningham thus expressed 

himself of the artist: " He has taken a strong- and 

lasting hold of the popular fancy ; not by 

ministering to our vanity, but by telling 
Cunningham ^^ and striking truths> Painting 

seemed as natural to him as language is to others, 
and by it he expressed his sentiments and his feelings, 
and opened his heart to the multitude." 

Appreciation of Morland's art loses nothing by the 
passing years. His work comes into conflict neither 
with the "realism" of one period nor with the " im- 
pressionism" of another. His art unites these schools 
by its element of human interest. By its truth and 
vigour it appeals to one; by its freshness and spon- 
taneity, to the other. 

If valued by the prices Morland's works realize in the 
market to-day, they are esteemed more now than at any 
previous time. Apart from such valuation, 
Human thev c j iarm as muc h now as they did at his 
Interest death. Artists with more lofty conceptions 
have preceded and have succeeded George * Morland, 
but none can claim a more familiar friendship than this 
painter with the kindly sentiments that touch the heart 
and please the fancy; that appeal to all natures and to 
all moods. The influence of his works remains, because 
it flows, not from what is passing in our taste, but from 
what is cherished in our affections: and so survives 
changes of customs and of manners. Morland was not 
a mere painter of animals a mere animal portrait- 
painter ; he invests these creatures with a peculiar force 

164 






Classification of Works 

and presents them in a manner that wins for them our 
consideration and our sympathy; and it is on such 
plane, where our feelings go out to our dumb friends, 
that the humblest and the loftiest imagination find a 
common interest and a common enjoyment. And what 
is true of Morland's animals is true of his presentments 
of the life of the humbler classes. 

The works of Morland may be broadly divided 
thus: (i) Portraiture, (2) Moral and Domestic Subjects, 
(3) Children, (4) Coast scenes, (5) Rural and Lowly 
Life and Animals. 

In the opinion of Blagdon, "Morland would have 
been pre-eminently excellent as a portrait-painter had 
he pursued that branch of art sedulously, 
and con amore." Whilst respecting ^^ 
estimate of the artist, we may doubt whether Morland 
would have been successful in portraiture from a 
pecuniary point of view. We can hardly believe that 
he would have pleased the fashionable people of his 
day, for he was too literal, blunt, candid, and uncom- 
promising. George Dawe says of Morland's efforts in 
this branch of art: "In his portraits, as in his other 
productions, the first thing that attracted his notice, 
and the first object that he attempted, was character. 
In this he seldom failed, and whether his sitters were 
male or female, he was sure to seize and exaggerate 
their peculiarities, however unpleasant they might be. 
Hence he obtained strong rather than agreeable like- 
nesses. He was not aware that all accidental defects, 
however ably imitated, are but so many obstructions, 
165 



George Morland 



not only to beauty, but to the essential features of the 
physiognomy, and that they degrade and vulgarize the 
picture in which they are introduced." 

Dawe himself was an experienced portrait-painter. 
He was commissioned to paint some four hundred 
portraits for the Tsar of Russia, which he executed to 
the satisfaction of his patron; so he should be a 
competent judge on a matter in which it is difficult for 
us at this distance of time to form an opinion of much 
weight. Morland was no flatterer, no toady, no place- 
hunter; still, if he exaggerated the defects of his sitters, 
he could neither have given them satisfaction, nor have 
fulfilled the spirit of refined art. The truth is, probably, 
that in his portraits Morland seized the general and 
obvious tokens of temperament, but lacked the keenness 
of perception and sensibility to detect the more subtle 
qualities of character. If this be so, it cannot be said 
of Morland in portraiture, as Burke eloquently said of 
Reynolds, that he "appeared not to be raised upon that 
platform, but to descend upon it from a higher sphere." 

Although Morland must have painted many portraits, 
we are able to name only a few of them, for he attained 
no fame as a portrait-painter, and his portraits have 
rarely been engraved. Morland painted the portrait of 
Alexander Wedderburn, Lord Loughborough (en- 
graved by E. Hedges, 1785); also of Mrs. Jordan, the 
celebrated actress a work which was exhibited at 
Burlington House in 1894, and at the Victoria and 
Albert Museum in 1904. It was thus mentioned at the 
time of the latter exhibition by a critic in the Daily 

1 66 



Portraits 

"The little 'Mrs. Jordan,' though as a portrait 
it is open to the reproach of emptiness and insufficiency, 
is a marvel of rich and beautiful colour more positive 
in variety and contrast than the painter often indulges 
in." 

Morland painted also a full-length portrait of his 
friend Thomas Wilkinson of York, whom Mr. Ralph 
Richardson describes " as a great dandy," and says 
that his portrait (now in the possession of the Rev. 
A. S. Porter, Canon of Worcester) is " most beautifully 
painted"; of Mr. John Baynes, which work, Hassall 
says, resembled the manner of Rembrandt; of J. R. 
Smith, the engraver (a water-colour drawing) ; of Mr. 
W. Mercer, of Wandsworth, and his daughter, " in 
one picture, both profiles, the size of life; painted by 
Morland when he was in the 'rules' of the Bench"; 
of Captain Cook, R.N., which was sold at Messrs. 
Christie's in 1890; of Mr. Lynn, surgeon, painted in 
the Isle of Wight; of Mrs. Dunscombe, the artist's 
landlady; of Mrs. Morland, his wife, in the "Discon- 
solate " ; and of Mrs. Ward, his sister, in " Constancy"; 
both of whom appear in many of his works; of the 
second Baron Conway, a work which was lent by the 
Marquis of Hertford to the Birmingham Art Gallery in 
1888; of Colonel Sir Eyre Coote, K.B., engraved by 
P. Dawe; and of W. Ward, the engraver (in the 
possession of the writer). This last picture is carefully 
painted, is of a pure and rich colour, is well lighted, and 
is natural and unaffected ; but it is open to the objection 
that it presents to us rather the temperament of the 
167 



George Morland 

artist's subject than his character. Two portraits of 
children in the possession of Sir Thomas Glen Coats, 
Bart., were engraved by Appleton in 1896. 

Hogarth's works no doubt suggested to Morlani 
some of his instructive or moral subjects. In this 
branch of art Morland shows insight and 
earnestness, and judgment in the selection 
of incidents: his language is simple, yet 
forcible, and he wins our confidence by his transparent 
candour. His touch is lighter than that of Hogarth, 
and he persuades us, whereas Hogarth forces convic- 
tion. His themes are treated with a delicacy and 
tenderness that are not conspicuous in Hogarth's 
works: he lacks Hogarth's incisive satire, but he is 
always convincing because he is always truthful. In 
"The Effects of Extravagance and Idleness" Morland 
has been considered at fault in depicting as healthy and 
well-fed individuals those who by their extravagance 
and idleness have brought themselves to the verge of 
destitution. Their bare attic and their shabby clothes 
indicate extreme poverty, but for all that their bodily 
condition shows no signs of want. 

Morland does not thus present his subject without 
thought. A lesser artist, in order to accentuate the 
idea of poverty, would probably have given us pale and 
haggard creatures with starvation stamped upon every 
line of their thin and wan faces. But to Morland's deeper 
knowledge of human nature such device would have been 
at the expense of truth, and would have destroyed 
the effect of the lesson he had set himself to teach. He 

1 68 






Moral Subjects 



knew that the last thing extravagant and idle people 
do is to stint their stomachs. He shows us that this 
miserable family have starved their dog, and have sold 
their furniture and are reduced to " sticks," but there 
is still something to eat, and a hot meal is being 
prepared. If these people had been depicted as 
starving, our hearts would have gone out to them in 
pity; but Morland designed to draw attention to the 
causes of their miserable condition, and therefore his 
aim was not to excite our pity but our condemnation and 
contempt. By starving the dog, this feeling is intensified. 
His didactic works, as we have said, stamp Morland 
as a painter of no ordinary merit; but whether he would 
have attained eminence and held his ground had he 
chosen to confine himself to these instructive subjects 
is not so certain. He had a fine feeling for them, and 
presents them as only a true artist could present them ; 
but it may be doubted whether he possessed sufficient 
resource, whether his higher imagination was suffici- 
ently fertile to sustain long-continued effort in this 
direction. Morland was not always sufficiently attentive 
to composition and to details, although proof is not 
wanting that he was a master of both. His thought 
was quick, his hand rapid, his touch firm and broad. 
He seized impressions as they came to him, and he 
mostly chose to give them to us fresh as he received 
them, in the fewest words; hence much of the charm 
of his rural scenes. But this method, or indifference to 
method, is hardly compatible with the presentation of 
subjects of a purely imaginative kind, which, for their 
169 



George Morland 



orderly development, demand critical analysis and 
sustained thought. Whatever may be the value of this 
speculation, certain it is that Morland understood well the 
limitation of his powers and never went out of his depth. 

For the suggestion of his domestic subjects, Mor- 
land had before him the works of Francis Wheatley 
n (1747-1800) and of William Hamilton 

o?nesi (1751-1801), two artists who attained great 
popularity through the large number of 
engravings that were made after their pictures. Mor- 
land admired Wheatley's works, and at an early period 
copied many of them. But although he had before 
him these productions of English art, and entertained 
their authors, he was no mere imitator. Whatever he 
laid his hand upon he left its impression upon it. The 
artists that Morland followed in these subjects have 
perhaps rightly been accused of unreality and affecta- 
tion, but such cannot be said of Morland's productions: 
they never display what is mere " prettiness. " If his 
imagination is limited, it is clear and truthful ; his re- 
sources are natural and adequate; his effects never 
appear to be forced; and as he always speaks with 
conviction, he is always interesting. 

We have seen the infinite pains Morland took to 
study the characters of children, whose frankness and 

. simplicity delighted him, and in whose joy 

Children- . before him the 



children-subjects of the painter W. B. Begg 
(1755-1828), and also, of course, those of Gainsborough 
and his scenes of rustic life in which children often were 

170 



Coast Scenes 

conspicuous; but although Morland's art may have 
received some direction from the contemplation of these 
works, which he carefully studied, he borrowed nothing 
from their inspiration. In these, as in all his pictures, 
Morland is original. We may say with truth that no 
one could have a warmer sympathy for children than 
Morland had; and, as it is in our sympathies that our 
individuality is most expressed, where they are freely 
bestowed individuality must be strongly impressed. 

Morland's coast scenes have often been considered 
his least successful works, and in a general sense this 
judgment may be true, although there are 
many notable exceptions. He was pre- 
eminently a painter of interiors, of closed 
scenes, of scenes where atmosphere is a subordinate 
consideration, where repose is expressed rather than 
action, and where human or animal life contributes the 
main incidents and interest. An artist with a predilec- 
tion for such scenes might naturally be expected to fall 
short in his treatment of marine subjects, in which he 
would succeed better in representing calm seas than 
rough ones; and would appear to the best advantage 
in views of the coast, wherein the incidents of the shore 
are important factors. 

Although Morland is not on the whole seen at his 
best in his sea-subjects, he shows in many of them the 
true versatility of his genius. The mere 
painter of cottages, or the mere painter of Versatility 
animals, or of landscape, does not exhibit 
versatility by painting mere sea. Versatility lies in 



George Morland 






importing into different classes of subjects the kno 
ledge, interest, and feeling that appertain properly to 
each. The versatile artist does not give us mere 
portraiture of divers objects, but conveys the spirit of 
them which awakens in us varied emotions and ideas 
in keeping with the changing scenes. In this sense 
Morland has shown us in his marine subjects his 
versatility. In his best work of this kind his view 
widens ; his chiaroscuro becomes more generous and 
more varied to suit the broader plane; he gives us air 
and space, and shows that he can express action no 
less than repose. 

All this appears in his picture " Selling Fish," which 
was engraved in 1799 by J. R. Smith, and is repro- 
duced in sepia in Mr. Ralph Richardson's 
Setting M emoir of our artist. Here Morland takes 
us to a sandy creek on the sea-coast, en- 
closed on the right by a mass of rocky cliff in deep 
shade, and on the left by some dark boulders, behind 
which a boat, hauled up on the shore, stands out 
against the foam of the breaking waves below. Half 
a gale is blowing, and the sky, charged with incident, is 
ominous of evil. The distant headland is almost 
obscured by the threatening storm. In the middle 
distance a fishing smack, in full sail, is making with all 
speed for the shore. In the foreground, on the sands 
against the dark cliff, is a man on a white horse ; he is 
closely wrapped in a large cloak, and bears on his arm 
a basket. He is driving a hard bargain with a pretty 
fish-wife for a fine skate, which, supine on the sand 

172 






Rural Life 

(and because supine and not prone), carries the light 
into the corner of the picture. The woman, wearing 
a kerchief round her head, stands by the side of the 
horse and protests against her customer's offer. With 
one hand she points to the object of their dispute; her 
other hand is in a convenient position to receive the 
man's proffered coin. A large fish on the ground, with 
its tail turned up against a basket at the woman's feet, 
looks as if it had but just wriggled out of it, and is eyed 
with suspicion by the man's dog, which stands at the 
horse's heels. The wind blows hard out at sea and 
rushes up the creek with such force that the fishwife can 
scarcely stand against it; and the horse makes sure his 
foothold by spreading out his hind legs. This picture 
shows that Morland thoroughly understood composi- 
tion, that he knew how to express atmosphere and 
motion, and that he could distribute his lights and 
shades over a wide field, and yet with the most telling 
effect. 

We must now consider that branch of art which 
Morland made his own, and thereby, mainly, his repu- 
tation as a maker of British Art. Morland, /// 
at an early age, had studied the old Dutch Rural Li f e 
and Flemish Masters, Teniers, the Ostades, Cuyp, 
Potter, and others, and also the earlier works of Gains- 
borough ; so he was familiar with some of the best 
representations of rustic life, of landscape and animals, 
and of the occupations and enjoyments of the humbler 
classes in town and country. These subjects, treated 
with so much skill by the older Masters, fascinated him, 
173 



George Morland 



and the effect of his studies upon his original mind 
was to make him feel that he had something to say 
about all these matters himself. What he had to say 
we know. His ambition was to lay the scenes of these 
subjects in his own country, amongst his own people, 
and to interpret them in a universal tongue so as to be 
understood by all. By doing this he would record the 
manners and habits of his day amongst the English 
peasants and poor; and although these are little 
affected, comparatively, by the changes of fashions and 
times, his aim was to provide against all accidents by 
making his art appeal to what is permanent in human 
experience and, therefore, to our common nature. In 
this he succeeded so well that when we regard his 
pictures we do not feel that they are out of date, 
although habits and customs have changed. They 
please all, because they are by all understood; and they 
continue to please upon more familiar acquaintance, and 
therefore are not commonplace. They appeal to the 
fancy of a homely order a near neighbour of the 
affections rather than to the lofty flights of a cultured 
imagination. If we compare Morland with the older 
Masters, or with Gainsborough, we find the difference 
between his work and theirs to be something more than 
one of technique. In actual painting his work may be 
less refined, less finished, less perfect, than that of the 
Dutchmen and Flemings, whilst superior to Gains- 
borough's in firmness and solidity. But beyond such 
matters Morland is essentially different from all in the 
feelings he expresses and the ideas he evokes. The great 

174 



Personal Magnetism 

Masters in the highest spheres of art make us feel that 
we know them; or if we do not truly know them, their 
personality seems always to be conjoined with their 
performances. Coming- down to smaller things, as the 
productions of the Dutch and other painters of rustic 
and lowly life, this feeling hardly exists. But when we 
get to Morland something of the kind is awakened. It 
happens in this wise: the tone of Morland's expression 
is invariably a wholesome good humour a feeling easily 
communicable because agreeable and welcome to all. 
He does more, therefore, than interest us in the story 
he tells, because he conveys to us in the telling some- 
thing of his own cheery spirit; and it is this conjunction 
of influences upon the intellect and emotions that makes 
him, at his best, always worth listening to. 

Hardly less striking than this difference of sentiment 
is the difference of range of thought that we find 
between Morland and other painters of rustic life. 
Morland is not represented by tavern scenes alone, 
nor by landscape, men, women and children alone ; his 
art embraces all these subjects ; he analyzes and 
combines them, and pursues them whithersoever they 
may lead. He does not stop at the cottage door, but 
invites us to the cheery fireside within ; he does not 
leave us in the reeking moisture of the alehouse, but 
takes us into the pure air of the lane or orchard without. 
On the busy roadside, in the quiet fields, to the inns 
with their convivial company, to the lonely gipsies in 
the woods, to the sheltered nooks, to the breezy sea- 
shore, to the old tired nag in the stable, or with the 
175 



George Morland 



hounds in full chase wherever he takes us, we find 
Morland a safe guide, a discriminating interpreter, 
a genial companion. 

In Morland's direction other artists have followed. 
We have seen that for a brief season James Ward was 
one of them ; and that David Brown and 
" Thomas Hand were others. W. Collins, 

R.A., in his early days, was largely in- 
fluenced by Morland, and the same may be said of 
Henry Singleton, Sir A. W. Callcott, W. F. Wither- 
ington, W. Shayer, and T. Webster. 

Those of Morland's followers who have justly risen 
high in their profession have not contented themselves 
by stepping in Morland's footprints, but have made 
tracks of their own. Amongst lesser painters, Morland 
has had many mere imitators the class to which 
Michael Angelo refers when he says that the man who 
follows another must always be behind him. 

The distinction between a "follower" in Art and an 
"imitator" has sometimes been lost sight of. The 
t // P U P^ who follows his master may (as Vasari 
l says) outstrip him. The imitator can never 

a . outstrip him, because his purpose is confined 
to his manner ; to achieve the closest re- 
semblance to which is the goal of his effort. The 
follower, on the other hand, is attracted by the master's 
style a field fertile of many purposes, within whose 
limits there is scope for the play of individual fancy, 
and whence the adventurous spirit may perchance 
discern the by-ways leading to fresh and (to him) more 

176 





Extravagance and Idleness " (p, 168). 



Landscape-painting 

inviting pastures. Whether Morland's style has been 
followed or his manner imitated, he remains, as 
Cunningham truly says, ''original and alone." Girtin, 
who was asked to make a companion drawing to 
Morland's "Mail-coach in a Storm," is said, after 
having studied that work, to have thrown down his 
pencil and declared that he "could do nothing like it." 
It is true that styles in art have a tendency to perpetuate 
themselves ; but this is true only when they are based 
upon convention or authority. Morland drew his 
inspiration from Nature ; and we may say of him what 
has been said of Gainsborough, that "no Academy 
schooled into uniformity and imitation his truly English 
and intrepid spirit." It is not surprising, therefore, 
that his style and conceptions are his own, and that he 
has no rival. 

As to George Morland's landscape-painting, he 
admired greatly Hobbema, Ruysdael, Poussin, and 
Richard Wilson, and probably studied Jan Wynants, 
Isaak van Ostade, and Karel Du Jardin; but in Nature 
the romantic and grand were less useful to him than the 
picturesque and homely scenes, for the latter were more 
in keeping with the incidents his mind was set upon 
depicting; and so landscape became to him a back- 
ground to his main thought, and excited a subordinate 
interest. In this limited service his selection is always 
judicious and his interpretation truthful: and though his 
colouring is not always pleasing and his effects lack 
variety, his treatment is strong and displays both taste 
and skill. It has been said that in landscape Morland 
177 N 



George Morland 



was influenced by Gainsborough; but the range of 
Morland's landscape is too limited to reflect any appreci- 
able outside influence. Morland went to Nature and 
painted what he understood of her. Except on rare 
occasions, as when he depicted his land storm, he was 
content with her everyday moods, with her prose, with 
that of her language which was consonant with the 
homely story he wished to tell. His "feeling" for land- 
scape was quite of a different order from that of Gains- 
borough, or of any of the older Masters whom he admired 
and studied, unless, perhaps, we except Ostade. We 
can imagine that the works of Old Crome would have 
appealed to Morland, but he could hardly have known 
them; for during Morland's life Crome was teaching 
drawing at Norwich his native city, and it was not 
until eight years after Morland's death that the founder 
of the Norwich School sent his pictures to London to be 
exhibited at the Royal Academy. In brief, we may say 
that although Morland painted landscape and painted it 
well, he cannot properly be said to be a landscape 
painter; for were we to call him such, what expression 
would remain to us to describe the wide knowledge of 
Nature, and powers of expressing her every aspect and 
mood, that belonged to Claude, Poussin, and Turner, 
and other great painters, who devoted their whole 
thought and energy to the study of this particulai 
branch of art? 

We agree with Allan Cunningham that Morland h< 
taken a strong and lasting hold of us "not by minister- 
ing to our vanity, but by telling plain and striking 

178 



Cunningham Refuted 

truths." This plain-speaking Art appeals to the depths 
of human nature, for the love of truth lies in its founda- 
tions : but it was not calculated to make 
, . r . . ^ . , . Cunningham s 

him a favourite portrait-painter in the 

artificial world of fashion. We agree, Contradicts 
too, cordially with Cunningham that Morland "ex- 
pressed by painting his sentiments and feelings, and 
opened his heart to the multitude;" but we can make no 
attempt to reconcile Cunningham with himself. This 
biographer of Morland had a true appreciation of the 
artist, but he could not get away from his prejudices 
against what he conceived to be the character of the 
Man. For after telling us that Morland expressed his 
sentiments and feelings, and disclosed his innermost 
nature in his art, he goes on to say, "the coarseness of 
the man, and the folly of his company, never touched 
the execution of his pieces." Surely, the ideas conveyed 
by these statements are mutually incompatible. They 
cannot both be true. If a man's true nature be ex- 
pressed in his art, and if his art be truthful and pure, 
his true self must be of the same order. If, on the other 
hand, his nature be coarse and his art refined, then his 
art does not express his true nature. Which are we to 
choose of these conflicting ideas? Clearly that which is 
the more probable and which is open to investigation. 
We can only legitimately infer the unseen from the seen, 
the intention from the performance, the cause from the 
effect. 

Be it noted that the performance, which is before us, 
displays the habitual choice of the man, and it is held, by 
179 



George Morland 



Habitual 
Choice 



common consent, to show the qualities of truthfulness, 
kindness, and sincerity. This spirit is found not in one 
effort alone, but in all Morland's works ; not 
in works which are few, but very many in 
number : so many are they in fact that they 
represent the sum of the industry of a whole life, 
working" at high pressure. What is seen of the mind 
that inspired them apart from what is seen of it in them 
is insignificant. A solitary effect does not indicate a 
tendency: an occasional or spasmodic performance may 
be a guide to a passing mood ; but it is only in habitual 
choice that we find the key to the true type and tone of 
character. The qualities of mind and sentiment that 
George Morland habitually chose to represent are 
always commendable, and we are therefore justified in 
taking his performance as the index of his true 
affections. 



1 80 



Appendices, 



I. MORLAND'S CHIEF WORKS. 
II. MORLAND'S PICTURES IN PUBLIC GALLERIES. 

III. SOME OF MORLAND'S ENGRAVED WORKS. 

IV. MORLAND'S PICTURES IN THE AUCTION-ROOMS. 
V. BIBLIOGRAPHY. 



Appendix I. 
Morland's Chief Works. 



TITLES OF 


PICTURES. 


DATE. 



The Lass of Livingstone 

The Laetitia Series (6) 

The Happy Family - - about 

Domestic Happiness - - ,, 

Children playing at Soldiers (in the Collection of the late 

Sir Charles Tennant, Bart.) - about 

Children Fishing (present owner, G. Harlancl Teck, Esq.) 

about 

Children gathering Blackberries - ,, 

Children playing at Blind Man's Buff (present owner, Lieut. - 

Colonel F. A. White) 

The Seasons - - - - about 

Valentine's Day; or, Johnny going to the Fair ,, 

The Visit to the Boarding School 
The Visit to the Child at Nurse 
Dancing Dogs - 
The Strangers at Home 
The Triumph of Benevolence - 
The Power of Justice (present owner, Sir Walter Gilbey, 

Bart.) 
Effects of Extravagance and Idleness (present owner, Sir 

Walter Gilbey, Bart.) 
Fruits of Early Industry and Economy 
The Farmer's Visit to his Married Daughter - 
The Visit Returned in the Country 
The Fortune Teller 

183 



1785 
1786 



1787 



1788 



George Morland 



TITLES OF PICTURES. 



The Kite Entangled (present owner, Mrs. Thwaites) - about 
Children Bird's-nesting (present owner, Lieut. -Colonel F. A. 

White) - - about 

Juvenile Navigators (present owner, Lieut. -Colonel F. A. 

White) - - - about 

Youth diverting Age (present owner, Romer Williams, Esq.) 

about 

Louisa (present owner, G. Harland Peck, Esq.) - ,, 
The Pleasures of Retirement - ,, 

The Guinea-pig Man - - about 

The Carrier's Stable (present owner, J. Joel, Esq.) 
The Contented Waterman 
The Press-gang 

The Cottage Door (present owner, Sir Walter Gilbey, Bart.) 
Storm off Black Gang Chine (Abbiss and Phillips's Collection) 
A Tea-Garden - - - about 

The Farmer's Door - ,, 

The Squire's Door ,, 

The Deserter Series (4) 
Boys robbing an Orchard (in the Collection of the late Sir 

Charles Tennant, Bart.) - - about 

The Angry Farmer - ,, 

A Rural Feast - - ,, 

Inside of a Stable 
Shore Fishermen hauling in a Boat 
Horses in a Stable 
A Gipsy Encampment (present owner, Sir Walter Gilbey, 

Bart.) 

Gathering Sticks (present owner, Sir Walter Gilbey, Bart.) - 
Travellers 
Cottagers 

The Country Stable 
Higglers preparing for Market 

A Stable-yard (present owner, G. Harland Peck, Esq.) 
Nurse and Children in the Fields - - about 

The Benevolent Sportsman 
The Sportsman's Return 
The Straw-yard 
Ferreting Rabbits 

184 



Appendix I. 



TITLES OF PICTURES. DATE. 



The Fish-girl - - - 1792 

The Cow-herd and the Milkmaid 

The Country Butcher - 

The Dram (present owner, Sir Walter Gilbey, Bart.) - 

The Corn-bin - 

The Horse-feeder 

The Deserter's Farewell (present owner, Sir Walter Gilbey, 

Bart.) 

The Ale-house Door - 

Smugglers (present owner, Sir Randolf L. Baker, Bart.) 
A Stable ,, ,, ,, 

A Farmyard ,, ,, ,, - 1793 

Wreckers ,, ,, ,, 

Return from Market (present owner, Edward Boyes, Esq.) 
The Happy Cottagers - 
Selling Fish ...... 

The Carrier preparing to Set Out 

The Turnpike Gate (present owner, J. Fleming, Esq.) 

The First of September (2) - - about 

Bargaining for Sheep - - 1794 

The Farrier's Shop 

The Thatcher (present owner, Edward Boyes, Esq.) - - 1795 

The Post-boy's Return (present owner, Sir Samuel Montagu, 

Bart.) - - - about 

A View of the Needles - about 1798 

Freshwater Gate - - - - - ,, 



The Fisherman's Hut - 

Paying the Horseler 

Feeding the Pigs (present owner, Lieut. -Colonel C. E 

McClintock) 

Setters (present owner, Sir Walter Gilbey, Bart.) 
Fishermen Going Out - 
A Mail-coach in a Storm 
Peasants Travelling 
A View at Enderby 
Door of a Village Inn - 
The Reckoning 

The Blind White Horse (Abbiss and Phillips's Collection) 
The Horse Fair 

'85 



1799 



George Morland 



TITLES OF PICTURES. 



DATK. 



A Windy Day - 

Mutual Confidence 

The Death of the Fox (present owner, Sir Walter Gilbey, 

Bart.) 

The Fishermen's Toast (present owner, G. Harland Peck, Esq.) 
The Shepherds (present owner, Edward Boyes, Esq.) 
Wreckers (present owner, Sir Walter Gilbey, Bart.) - 
Innocence Alarmed ,, ,, 

The Hard Bargain (present owner, G. A. Daniel, Esq.) 
The Waggoners' Halt, outside the " Bell Inn " (present owner, 

E. A. Knight, Esq.) 
The Warrener - 

The " Bull Inn" (present owner, J. Joel, Esq.) 
The Cornish Plunderers (present ownejr, Lieut. -Colonel Sir 

Charles E. Hamilton, Bart.) 
The Ale-house Kitchen (present owner, Lieut. -Colonel Sir 

Charles E. Hamilton, Bart. ) 
The Last Letter 
The Cherry Girl 



1 86 



Appendix II. 

Morland's Pictures in Public 
Galleries. 



PARTICULARS. 



DATE. 



The National Gallery, London. 

1. The Inside of a Stable, 57 in. by 79^ in. Presented by 

T. Birch Wolfe, Esq., 1877 - 1791 

2. A Quarry, with Peasants, 7 in. by 9 in. Purchased, 1879 

3. Door of a Village Inn, 41 in. by 49 in. Bequeathed by 

Sir Oscar M. P. Clayton, C.B., 1892. 

4. Rabbiting, 34 in. by 46 in. Bequeathed by J. T. 

Smith, Esq., 1897. 

5. The Fortune-teller. Bequeathed by Mrs. Behrend, 1906 

The Victoria and Albert Museum, South 
Kensington. 

1. The Reckoning, 29 in. by 39 in. 

2. Horses in a Stable, 34 in. by 46^ in. - - 1791 

3. Shore Fishermen hauling in a Boat, 33^ in. by 46^ in. ,, 

4. Coast Scene, 8 in. by 12^ in. - - 1792 

5. Johnny going to the Fair, 13^ in. by 18 in. 

6. A Girl with a Dove, 7f in. by 9 in. (oval). 

7. A Farmyard, 14 in. by 8.J in. 

8. A Hunting Scene, 9^ in. by n in. 

9. Landscape, Cottage, and Cart, 16 in. by 17^ in. 
10. A Winter Scene, 5 in. by 6 in. 

The National Portrait Gallery, London. 

1. Portrait of Morland as a young man, in chalks. 

2. ,, ,, as a child, in oils. 

187 



George Morland 



PARTICULARS. 



The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, London. 
The Visit to the Boarding School, 23! in. by 29 in. 

National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh. 
The Stable-door a Study, 15 in. by 13 in. 

National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 
Landscape, with Figures and Cattle, 21 in. by 25^ in. 

Glasgow Art Gallery. 

1. An Inland Stream, n in. by 14^ in. 

2. Sea-coast Scene Smugglers, i2j in. by 15 in. - 

3. Storm and Wreck, 19^ in. by 24 in. 

4. Sea-piece, 12 in. by 16 in. 

5. An English Homestead, 39 in. by 48 in. (Attributed 

toG. M.) 

Birmingham Art Gallery. 

Pigs, 28 in. by 37! in. Exhibited, R. A. - 

Leicester Art Gallery, 

Calm off the Coast of the Isle of Wight, i if in. by i6| in. 

Leeds Art Gallery. 

1. Coast Scene Fishermen, 25 in. by 30 in. 

2. Hastening Home, 5^ in. by 7 in. (Attributed to G. M.) 

Royal Holloway College, Egham. 

1. The Carrier preparing to Set Out, 34 in. by 46 in. 

2. The Contented Waterman, 14 in. by 18 in. 

3. The Press-gang, 14 in. by 18 in. 

1 88 



Appendix II. 



PARTICULARS. i DATE. 



Wolverhampton Art Gallery. 

1. The Coming Storm, 26 in. by 19^ in. - 1789 

2. The Storm-cloud, 45 in. by 33 in. 1790 

Oxford University Art Gallery. 

Landscape, 17^ in. by 2i in. 

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. 

1. Encampment of Gipsies, 24^ in. by 29^ in. 

2. Calf and Sheep, Il in. by 14.^ in. 

3. Donkey and Pigs, uj in. by 144 in. - - 1789 

4. Landscape and Figures, nj in. by 14^ in. 

5. Coast Scene, 9.^ in. by 11^ in. - - - 179^ 

6. Landscape and Figures, 5^ in. by 8 in. 

Manchester Art Gallery. 
The Farrier's Forge, 28 in. by 36 in. Exhibited, R. A., 1794 1793 

Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield. 
The Village Inn, 23 in. by 30 in. 

Nottingham Art Gallery. 

1. The Artist in his Studio, 30 in. by 25 in. 

2. The Wreckers, 27 in. by 20 in. 

3. A Study of Pigs, 14$ in. by n^ in. 

4. The Sportsman Resting, 15 in. by 12 in. 

5. Two Horses in the Snow, 9^ in. by 7 in. 

6. Landscape, with Four Horses, 8 in. by 6 in. 

7. Two Pigs in Straw, io in. by 7g in. 

8. Landscape, with Figures, 6 in. by 4 in. 

9. Woman, Child, and Dog, 7 in. by gh in. 

10. Landscape, Horse, Cart, and Figures, 8J in. by 6 in. 

189 



Appendix III. 



Some of Morland's Engraved 
Works. 



TITLE OK PICTURE. 


ENGRAVER. 


Date of 

Publica- 
tion. 


Mezzotints, 






Children Nutting 


E. Dayes 


1783 


The Delightful Story 


W. Ward 


1787 


Domestic Happiness 


j I 


j j 


The Happy Family 


J. Dean 


) > 


Valentine's Day - 


J 9 


) j 


The Visit to the Child at Nurse 


W. Ward 


1788 


The Sportsman's Hall - 


11 


|$ 


The Pledge of Love 


tt 


II 


Blind Man's Buff 


ii 


) 


Credulous Innocence 


J. Young 




The Triumph of Benevolence - 


J. Dean 


|| 


The Power of Justice 


5 ) 


|| 


Children playing at Soldiers 


G. Keating 


91 


Children Fishing 


P. Dawe 


j ) 


Children gathering Blackberries 


}} 




Fruits of Early Industry and Economy 
The Effects of Extravagance and Idleness 


W. Ward 

II 


1789 


The Pleasures of Retirement 


If 


J > 


Children Bird's-nesting 






The Visit to the Boarding School 


> 





Youth diverting Age 


J. Grozer 


|| 



190 



Appendix III. 



TITLE OF PICTURE. 


ENGRAVUK. 


Date of 
Publica- 
tion. 


Mezzotints cont. 






Juvenile Navigators 


W. Ward 


1789 


Temptation 
Affluence Reduced 


W. Humphrey 
H. Hudson 


1790 
i) 


The Comforts of Industry 


it 


IS 


The Miseries of Idleness 


it 




The Contented Waterman 


W. Ward 


|f 


The Press-gang 


ii 


ii 


The Kite Entangled 






A Rural Feast 
Cottagers 


J. Dean 
W. Ward 


1791 


Travellers 


}> 




Nurse and Children 


G. Keating 


it 


The Deserter Series (4) 





i 


Gipsies - 


W. Ward 


1792 


The Carrier's Stable 


j 


j , 


The Country Stable 


j, 


i > 


The Farmer's Stable 


M 


|f 


Gipsy Courtship - 


J. Jenner 


M 


The Happy Cottagers - 
The Gipsies' Tent 


J. Grozer 


179.3 
ii 


Smugglers 


J. Ward 


,, 


Fishermen 


> 


,, 


Burning Weeds - 
Return from Market 


J. R/Smith 


i 


First of September (2) - 


W. Ward 


1794 


Rubbing down the Post-horse 


J. R. Smith 


ii 


The Benevolent Sportsman 


J. Grozer 


1795 


The Sportsman's Return 


,, 


!> 


The Farm-yard - 


W. Ward 




The Dram 


it 


1796 


The Storm 





> 


Playing with a Monkey - 


J. R. Reynolds 


1797 


The Horse-feeder 


J. R. Smith 


,, 


The Corn-bin 


?J 


II 


Breaking the Ice 




I7QS 


A Land Storm - 


S. W. Reynolds 




The Milkmaid and Cow-herd 


J. R. Smith 


,, 



191 



George Morland 



TITLE OK PICTURE. 


ENGRAVER. 


Date of 

Puhlica- 
tion. 


Mezzotints cont. 






Selling Fish 


J. R. Smith 


1799 


The Fisherman's Hut 


it 


ii 


Watering the Cart-horse 


> j 


il 


The Hard Bargain 


W. Ward 


1 800 


The Last Litter - 


,, 


,, 


Ale-house Politicians 


M 


1801 


Ale-house Door 


R. S. Syer 


i > 


The Country Butcher 


T. Gosse 


1802 


Girl and Calves - 


W. Ward 


,, 


Innocence Alarmed 


J. R. Smith 


1803 


Stable, Figures, and Animals 
Fishermen going out 


J. Young 
S. W. Reynolds 


1804 
1805 


Paying the Horseler 


M 


ii 


The Fishermen's Toast - 


W. Hilton 


1806 


The Turnpike Gate 


W. Ward 


Jl 


Setters - 


it 


J > 


The Thatcher - 


,, 





The Warrener 


" 





Stipple Engravings. 






How Sweet's the Love that meets return 


T. Gaugain 


1785 


The Lass of Livingstone 


} ? 


) 1 


Constancy, and Variety (2) 


W. Ward 


1788 


Delia (2) 


J. R. Smith 


,, 


The Strangers at Home - 


W. Nutter 


j 9 


The Idle Laundress 


W. Blake 




The Seasons 


W. Ward 


II 


The Guinea-pig Man 


T. Gaugain 


1789 


Louisa - 


ii 


) ) 


Laetitia Series (6) 


J. R. Smith 


> 


Farmer's Visit to his Married Daughter - 


W. Bond 




The Visit Returned in the Country 


W. Nutter 


,, 


The Tomb 


J. Dean 


,, 


Dancing Dogs 


T. Gaugain 


1790 


The Tea-garden - 


F. D. Soiron 


The Squire's Door 


B. Duterreau ,, 



192 



Appendix III 



TITLE OK PICTUKK. 


ENGRAVES. 


Date of 
Publica- 
tion. 


Stipple Engravings cont. 






The Farmer's Door 


B. Duterreau i 1790 


The Soldier's Farewell - 


G. Graham 


ii 


The Soldier's Return 








Boys Robbing an Orchard 


E. Scott 




The Angry Farmer 


( - 


f| 


Belinda - 


Barrows 


1794 


Children feeding Goats 


P. W. Tomkins 




Gathering Fruit - 


R. M. Meadows 


1795 


Gathering Wood 





ii 


The Post-boy's Return - 


D. Orme 


1796 


Higglers preparing for Market - 
The Peasant's Repast 


C. Josi 


1797 


The Labourer's Luncheon 


H 


v 


The Industrious Cottager 


W. Blake 


1803 



'93 



Appendix IV. 

Morland's Pictures in the 
Auction-rooms. 



DATE OF 
SALE. 



TITLE. 



1798 The Cottage Door (see 1883) 

1807 A Winter Scene 

,, Bathing Horses 

1823 Interior of a Stable - 

1840 A Coast Scene 

,, The Market-cart 

1841 Farmer and Gamekeeper 

1842 The Corn-bin 
Sheep in a Stable 
Ale-house, Figures, and Dogs 
Pigs eating Cabbages 

1853 ! Stable, White and Bay Horse, and Figures 
1856 Sheep reposing at Noon-tide 

A Land Storm 

A Hard Bargain 

The Thatchers 

Innocence Alarmed 

The Horse Fair (see 1877) - 

1863 The Carrier preparing to Set Out (see 1881) 
A Gipsy Encampment (1790) 

View at Enderby (see 1876) 

1864 Cornish Wreckers (see 1892) 

1866 Landscape, Figures, and Donkeys - 

194 



PKICE. 

s.~ 

73 10 

173 5 

105 o 

HI 15 
184 1 6 
115 10 

221 IO 
225 15 

232 o 

22O IO 
2IO O 

707 o 

248 17 

5i 9 

131 5 

147 o 

224 14 

231 o 

257 5 

152 5 

288 15 

178 ii 

210 O 



Appendix IV. 



DATE OK 
SALE. 


TITLE. 


PRICE. 






s. 


1866 


Butcher and Farmer 


262 10 


1868 


Landscape, Cattle, and Sheep 


246 15 


1871 


Sportsmen at Village Inn - 


393 15 


1875 


The Fox Inn 


283 10 





Snowballing (see 1905) 


105 o 


1876 


Mutual Confidence (see 1895) 


126 o 


tt 


A Farmyard 


152 5 


i 


The Edge of a Wood 


367 10 




A Wood Scene 


147 o 


f 


A View at Enderby (see 1863) 


262 10 


f 


A Gipsy Encampment 


441 o 




The Post-boy's Return (see 1888) - 


660 o 


1877 


The Fruits of Industry 


582 15 





The Horse Fair (see 1856) - 


352 5 


1878 


Westmoreland (see 1905) 


3iS o 


1879 


The Nut-gatherers - 


588 o 




Carrying Pigs to Market 


1 10 5 


lS8o 


Butcher and Farmer (see 1866) 


304 10 


1881 


The Carrier preparing to Set Out (see 1863) 


400 o 


1882 


The Tea Garden (see 1888) 


215 o 


1883 


The Contented Waterman - 


199 10 





The Press-gang 


199 10 


> 


The Cottage Door (see 1798) 


399 o 


1886 


Trepanning a Recruit 


320 5 


1 888 


The Post-toy's Return (see 1876) - 


745 10 


J) 


The Keeper's Cottage 


346 10 




Robbing the Orchard 


798 o 


1 5 


The Tea Garden (see 1882) 


472 10 




The Horse Fair (see 1877 and 1856) 


430 10 


5 5 


Charcoal Burners - 


252 o 


i 9 


Laetitia (l) 


267 1 8 


1889 


The Windy Day 


336 o 


9 9 


Children playing at Soldiers 


735 o 


1890 


The Inn Door 


309 15 


j 


Ferreting Rabbits - 


472 10 


1891 


Men and Dogs 


346 10 




A Hunting Scene (1793) 17 in. x 23^ in. 


309 15 


} } 


The Alehouse Door 


535 10 


,, 


A Farmyard (1798) 


273 o 



195 



George Morland 



DATE OK TlTLE 
SALE. 


PRICE. 


1892 


; s. 

Cornish Wreckers (see 1864) - 840 o 




Farmyard, with Butcher, etc. (1794) 


493 10 


j 9 


A Hunting Scene, 54 in. x 73 in. 


504 


1893 


Gipsy Encampment 


472 10 


99 


The Shepherd's Meal (see 1902) - 


346 10 


1894 


A Farmyard 


462 o 


1895 


Mutual Confidence (see 1876) 


987 o 




The Labourer's Home 


336 o 




Farmer on White Horse : Storm 


630 o 




/ Partridge Shooting^ 


504 o 


" 


\ Pheasant ,, / 




, , 


The Cottage Door - 


745 10 




Visit to the Child at Nurse - 


IIO2 IO 


1896 


The Cherry-sellers - 


1050 10 


) J 


Gipsies round a Fire 


399 o 




The Piggery 


336 o 




The Catastrophe 


336 o 


1897 


A Wood Scene ; Peasants Smoking 


336 o 




Gamekeeper's Return 


472 10 


>} 


A Wood Scene : Sportsmen 


357 o 


1898 


Evening; or, the Post-boy's Return (see 






1876 and 1888) 


1312 o 


' 


Going to the Barn - 


420 o 


1899 


Gipsies 


766 10 




I Farm Waggon and Team \ 
\ A Mountainous Landscape / 


346 10 




A Farm, Butcher, Sheep, and Sty - 


892 10 


tj 


The Roadside Inn - 


472 10 


1900 


The Stable Door - 


55 6 1 


1902 


Carrier's Stable 


"55 




The "Bull Inn" - 


861 o 


}> 


The Shepherd's Meal (see 1893) - 


966 o 


, j 


Breaking the Ice 


441 o 




Gipsy Family 


325 o 


1904 


Gipsy Encampment in Wood 
Laetitia Series (6) - 


472 10 
5880 o 


1905 
ii 


Dancing Dogs 
Higglers preparing for Market 
Snowballing (see 1875) 


4200 o 

2IOO O 

504 o 


196 



Appendix IV. 



DATF OF 
SALE. 


TITLE. 


PRICE. 




s. 


1905 j Westmoreland, 1792 (see 1878) 






504 o 






A Country Stable (1791) - 






1050 o 






A Wood Scene 






840 o 






Landscape - 






609 o 






Winter (1790) 






504 o 






Lucky Sportsman - 






441 o 






Unlucky Sportsman 






420 o 






Wreckers after a Gale (1791) 






777 o 


19 


06 The Deserter Pardoned 




1417 10 


19 


07 


Happy Cottagers 
Gipsies 




2940 o 
1 840 o 




Gipsies' Tent 




945 o 




1 Paying the Horseler 




504 o 



'97 



Appendix V. 
Bibliography 



The Art Journal, 1849-60. 

London, by Sir Walter Besant. 

Anecdotes of London during the Eighteenth Century, by Malcolm. 

Old and New London, by Walter Thornbury and Edward Walford. 

George Morland, by F. W. Blagdon, 1806. 

by G. Dawe, 1807. 

by J. Hassall, 1806. 
by R. Richardson, F.R.S.E., 1895. 

,, by G. C. Williamson, Litt. D., 1904. 

Memoirs of a Picture, by W. Collins, 1805. 
Modern Painters, by John Ruskin. 
Book of Days, edited by R. Chambers. 
Memoirs of Painting, by W. Buchanan, 1824. 
Lives of the Great Painters, by A. Cunningham, 1830. 
Patronage of British Art, by John Pye, 1845. 
W. Ward and J. Ward: their Lives and Works, by Mrs. Frankau, 

1904. 

Tears of Nature: an Elegy, by W. Sandos, 1804. 
Studies of English Art, by F. Wedmore. 

The History of Signboards, by Messrs. Larwood and Hotten. 
Portfolio Series (1898), by J. T. Nettleship. 
The Diary of John Evelyn. 
The Diary of Samuel Pepys. 
The Diary of Henry Crabb Robinson, 1869. 
Richardson's Recollections of the Last Half-century. 

198 



Bibliography 



Nollckens and his Times, l>y J. T. Smith. 

A 3ook for a Rainy Day, ,, 

Antiquities of London and Westminster, by J. T, Smith, 

Social England (Dr. R. Hughes's articles). 

Anecdotes of Painters, by Horace Walpole. 

Nichols's Biographical Anecdotes of Ilngarth. 

English Painters, by W. Sharp. 

Biographical and Critical Dictionary of Painters, by Michael Bryan, 

1886-89. 

Biographic Universelle, par Michaud. 
Cyclopedia of Painters, edited by Messrs. Champlin and Perkins, 

iSSS. 

Liberal Critique on the Exhibitions of 1794-7, by Anthony Pasquin. 
Gentleman's Magazine, 1804. 

Dictionary of Painters, by Matthew Pilkington, 1810. 
Dictionary of National Biography (Thompson Cooper's articles). 
Royal Academy Exhibitors, 1769-1904, by Algernon Graves, F.S.A. 
Dictionary of Artists, by Algernon Graves, F.S.A. 
Art Sales, by George Redford, F.R.C.S. 
The Year's Art, 1906. 
The Times, 1783, 1876, 1879. 
The Daily News, 1904. 
Notes and Queries, Series 3 to 8. 
Catalogues of Exhibitions at the Guildhall, London. 

,, ,, at Burlington House, London. 

,, ,, at the Grosvenor Gallery, London. 

Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits, by H. Bromley, 1793. 

Exhibition at South Kensington, 1904. 

,, ,, Wrexham, 18/6. 

,, ,, Messrs. Agnew's, 1906. 

,, The National Gallery, London. 

,, The South Kensington Museum, London. 

,, The National Portrait Gallery, London. 

The Wallace Collection, London. 

,, The National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh. 

,, ,, ,, Ireland, Dublin. 

199 



George Morland 



Catalogue of The Art Gallery, Whitechapel, 1906. 

Royal Holloway College, Egham. 

Nottingham. 

Sheffield. 

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. 

of the University, Oxford. 

Birmingham. 

Leeds. 

Leicester. 

Manchester. 

Glasgow. 

Sale by Messrs. Denew, January, 1798. 
Mr. Jesse Curling's Sale, July, 1856. 



200 



Index. 



(The items qitoted are titles of pictures by Morland.) 



ACADEMY, Royal, 24, 27, 29, 37, 
69, 76, 90. 9i,H4> H5 123, 147 

Schools, 24 

"African Hospitality," 76 
"Ale-house Door, The,'' 89 

a study, 88 

Angerstein, j. J., 17, 28 
"Anglers' Repast, The," 37 
Anglers, the disappointed, 119 
"Anxiety, or The Ship in Dis- 
tress," 76 

Apoplexy, a fit of, 125, 143 
Appreciation of Morland's works, 

162 

Articled, Morland, 26 
"Artist in his Garret, The," 145 
Association of Artists, 20 
"Ass Race, An," 68 

BALLADS, popular, 29 

Bank-notes, 130 

"Bargaining for Sheep," 1 14 

Barley Mow, The, 92 

Bartolozzi, 37, 160 

Begg, W. B., 170 

"Benevolent Sportsman, The," 

ci, 102, H2 
Beant, Sir Walter, 8 
Bibliography, Appendix V. 



Black Bull, sign of the, 93 

the, 147 

Blagdon, F. W., IO, 165 

Blake, W., 61, 159 

"Blue Bell Inn, The," 160 

" Boys Robbing an Orchard," 72 

_ Sliding," 72 

Boxing match, 101 

Britannia, the, 75, 82 

Brooks, 78 

Brown, D., go, 91, 154 

Bryan, 37, 48, 158 

Bull Inn, the, 92 

Bun-baker, the, 104 

" Burning Weeds," 92 

CABIN, the, 35 

Calais, 56 

Callcott, Sir A. W., 176 

"Calm oft' the Isle of Wight," 136 

Camden Town, 63 

Carey, Mr. C. W., 87 

"Carrier's Stable, The," 115 

Chambers, R., quoted, 8 

"Charcoal Burners," 136 

Charlotte Street, 108 

Chefs d'cntvre, 88 

Chelsea, at, 124 

"Cherry Girl, The," So 



201 



George Morland 



Cheshire Cheese, the, 33 

" Children Bird's-nesting," 72, 81 

" Fishing," 72 

" Gathering Blackberries," 72 

" Nutting," 37 

" -Playing at Blind Man's 

Buff," 71 

Soldiers," 72 

subjects, 71, 170 

"Christmas Week," 123 
Coast scenes, 27, 133, 171 
Cock-throwing, 8 
Collaboration, 120, 148 
Collins, W., 10, 37, 62 

R.A., 150, 155, 176 

Congress, the, 33 
Constable, Morland as, 74 
"Contented Waterman, The," 87 
" Conway Castle," 116 
"Corn-bin, The," 107 
"Cornish Plunderers, The," 115 
" Cottage Door, The," 87 
"Cottagers," 62, 88 
"Country Butcher, The," 107 
Country Walks, 23 
" Cow and Calf worried by Dogs," 

'36 

Cowden of the King's Mews, 155 
Cowes, 132 
"Cowherd and Milkmaid, The," 

107 

Creditors, 83, 106, 113 
"Cricketers, The," 93 
Crome of Norwich, 178 
Cudgel-playing, 8 
Cunningham, A., 9, 12, 62, 164, 

179 

"DANCING Dogs," 76, 77 
Da we, George, 11, 166 

Philip, 4 

" Day after the Wreck, The," 136 
Dayes, E., 37 



Death of G. Morland, 151 

. H. R. Morland, 128 

Mrs. Morland, 151 
"Death of the Fox," 115 
Debts, 83, 106 
"Deserter" series, the, 73 
"Deserter's Farewell, The," 107 
Didactic works, 64, 168 
" Diligence," 62 
'"Disconsolate and her Parrot, 

The," 62 
" Domestic Happiness," 61 

subjects, 170 

Donatty, Mrs., 147 

" Door of a Village Inn," 92 

Dover, 47 

" Dram, The," 107 

Dress, Morland's, 82 

Dumee, E. T., 161 

Duterreau, B., 161 

| EAST SHEEN, 125 

| Education, Morland's general, 25 

"Effects of Extravagance and 
Idleness, The," 76, 168 

Enderby, 116 

Engravers, English, 156 

Foreign, 161 

! Engravings of some of Morland's 
pictures, Appendix III. 

Etty, 155 

" Evening," 136 

Excursions, 116 

Eyre Street, 151 

FAERIE QUEENE, 29 

Failing health, 127 

" Farmer's Stable, The," 90 

" Visit to the Married 

Daughter, The," 81 
" Farmyard, A," So, 91 
" Farrier's Shop, The," 114 
I " Ferreting Rabbits," 107 



202 



Index 



Fclfs gatan/es , painters of, 86 
"Fishermen,'' 116 

" going out," 115 

"Fishermen's Toast, The," 115 

" Fish Girl, The," 107 

"Fish Market, The," 133, 147 

Fittler, J., 160 

" Flowery Banks of the Shannon, 

The," 69 

" Fog in September, A," 37 
Followers and imitators, 176 
Ford, Parson, 9 
" Fortune Teller, The." 77 
"Fox about to be Killed, The," 

118 
" Foxhunters and Dogs in a 

Wood," 118 

" Leaving the Inn," 118 

Fox Inn, the, 92, 107 
Frankau, Mrs., 157 
"Freshwater Gate," 115, 135 
" Fruits of Early Industry and 

Economy, The," 76 
"Full Cry," Il8 
Fuseli, 99, 125 
Fuseli's "Nightmare," 28 



GAINSBOROUGH, 25, 27, 170, 

174 

"Gathering Sticks," 88 
Gauguin, T., 161 
Gentleman's Magazine, 99, 163 
Gibbs, 145 
" Gipsies,'' 118 

" Kindling a Fire," 1 18 

" Sitting over a Fire by 

Moonlight," 118 
" Gipsies' Tent, The," 118 
"Gipsy Courtship," 118 

" Encampment, A," 88, llS 

Girtin, 177 

" Goat in Boots, The," 94 



I "Goats," 91 

Goldsmith, Oliver, 98 

Graves, Algernon, 97, 148, 154 
! Gravesend, a trip to, 33 
i Gresse, J. A., 37 

< Irozer, J., 91, 160 

Gunning, the Misses, portraits of, 
18 



HACKNEY, 129 
Hamilton, W., 170 
Hand, T., 154 

Pictures of, 154 

" Happy Family, The," 61 

"Hard Bargain, The," 115 

Hassall, J., 10, 39, 139, 163 

Highgate, 146 

Hill, Mrs., 46 

Hogarth, 9, 17, 64, 83, 168 

Hole in the Wall, 93 

" Horsefeeder, The," 107 

" Horses in a Stable," 88 

Hospitality, 100 

Hughes, Dr. R., 58, 160 

Humour, Morland's, 67 

" Hovel with Asses," 29 

" How Sweet's the Love that 

meets return," 46 
Hunter, Sir John, 125 



IBBETSON, J. C., 120 

" Idle Laundress, The," 61 

" Idle Mechanic, The," 6 1 

" Idleness," 62 

Imitators and followers, 176 

Income and expenditure, 102 

Incorporated Society of Artists, 

Royal, 29, 68, 124 
" Industrious Cottager, The," 61 

" Mechanic, The," 61 

Industry, 68, 140 



203 



George Morland 



" Inside of a Stable, The," 90, 1 14 

Irving, Washington, 95 

Irwin, 69 

Isle of Wight, 131 



JENNY, 49 
Jockey, 53 
Jones, Mr., marshal of the King's 

Bench Prison, 142 
Jordan, Mrs., portrait of, 166 
"Joy, or the Ship returned," 76 
"Juvenile Navigators," 72, 81 



KING'S Bench Prison, 83, 137 
" Kite Entangled, The," 72 



" LAKTITIA" Series, the, 63, 65 

" Lake Scene, A," 88 

Lake, Sir James Winter, 46 

Lambeth, 124 

" Landscape and Figures," 123 

Landscape art, Morland's, 177 

by J. Rathbone, 120 

" Westmoreland, A," 107 

" with Hounds in full chase, 

A," 147 

Larwood and Hotten, 93 
" Lass of Livingstone, The," 46 
"Last Litter, The, 115 
" Laundry Maids, The," by H. R. 

Morland, 18 
Leicester Street, at, 84 

Square, 17 

Letters of Morland, 47, 50, 54, 57, 

128 

Levilly, 161 

" Litter of Foxes, A," 118 
London, Old and New, 17, 89 
"Louisa," 8 1 
Loutherbourg, 96, 97 



" Love and Constancy Rewarded, 1 ' 

46 
Lynn, Dr., 131 



"MAD Bull, A," 67 

" Mail-coach in a Storm," 177 

Malcolm's Anecdotes, 8 

" Man of Feeling, The," 65 

Margate, flight to, 45 

races, 53 

Martlett's Court, 43 
Marylebone lodgings, 63 
Masterpiece, Morland's, 90 
Memory, drawing from, 31, 35, 

142 

Menagerie, 80, 101 
" Mending the Nets," 136 
Merle, Mr., 126, 129 
Michaud, 36, 159 
" Miller and his Men, The," 136 
Millet, J. F., 126 
Miniatures, 48 
Models, 75, 80, 98, 133 
Moore, Tom, 93 
Morland Galleries, 148 

George, birth of, 20 

chief works, Appendix I. 

children subjects, 71,170 

coast scenes, 171 

didactic works, 64, 168 

domestic subjects, 61, 

170 

education, 25 

engraved works, some 

of, Appendix III. 

engravers, 156, 161 

family, 16, 19 

landscape art, 177 

- letters, 47, 50, 54, 57, 

128 

marriage of, 62 

musical tastes, 25 



204 



Index 



Morland, George, pictures in public 
galleries, Appendix II. 

pictures in the auction- 
rooms, Appendix IV. 

portraits by, 39, 53, 66, 
166-168 

portraits of, 39 

pupils, 152 

rural scenes, 171 

temperament, 5 

Sir Samuel, Bart., 13 

Mount Sorrel, 119 

Murray, C. O., 91 

NETTLES HIP, J. T., 7 

Newport, 135 

Nollekens and his Titties, 25, 40 

OLD Masters, 107 
"Old Red Lion, "The, 17, 92 
Orme, D., 66, 148 
"Oyster Seller, An," by G. II. 
Morland, 16 

PADDINGTON, 89 
Palsy, struck with, 146 
" Party Angling, A," 37 
" Paying the Horseler," 66 
Personal appearance of Morland, 

39 

Pigott, Rev. Mr., 120 
" Pigs Asleep," 158 
Pilkington, 81 

" Pleasures of Retirement," 81 
" Plough Inn, The," 92 
Pocket-money, 29 
Portrait of the Duke of York, 18 

Ingham Foster, 18 

James Bradshaw, 18 

Garrick as Richard III., 18 

George III., 18 

Sir Samuel Morland, Bart., 16 



Portrait of Sir W. W. Wynn, 
Bart., 18 
- W. Ward, 167 

Portrait-painter, Morland as a, 
165 

Portraits of Morland, 39 

" of Stablemen," 66 

" Post-boys and Horses Refresh- 
ing," 136 

" Post-boy's Return, The," 66 

" Power of Justice, The," 76 

Practical joking, 21, 28, 67, 109, 
119 

Precocity, 20 

Presentiment, 144 

"Press-gang, The," 88 

Promissory notes, 78, 103 



RAJON, P., 161 

Ramsay's "Gentle Shepherd," 79 
Rathbone, J., 120 
"Reckoning, The," 115 
Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 17, 20, 28, 

114, 145 

S. W., 160 

Richardson, Ralph, 68, 72, 148, 

167, 172 

Robin Hood and the tanner, 8 
Rollet, Mademoiselle, 161 
Romney, 18, 30 
Roos, P., 80 
Rowlandson, T., 159 
" Rubbing down the Post-horse," 

66, 103 
Rural life, 173 
Ruskin, John, 58, 79, 126 



SAINT OMER, 57 
" Sand-carting," 88 
Sandos, W., 35, 117 
Sandwich, description of, 47 



20: 



George Morland 



Sandwich, Lord, 9 

"Saving the Remains of a Wreck," 

I33 147 

" Seasons, The," 79 
" Selling Fish," 172 
Shayer, W., 176 
" Sheep in the Snow," 136 
" Shepherd Asleep, The," 136 
Sherborne, Mr., 52 
" Shipwreck, A." 91 
"Shore-fishermen hauling in a 

Boat," 88 

Short and merry life, the, no 
Signboards, 93 
Singleton, H., 176 
" Slave Trade, The," 76 
Smith, J. R., 71, 157 

J. T., 25, 29, 40, 108, 158 

C. L., 118 

"Smugglers," 107, 116 

" on the Irish Coast," by 

J. C. Ibbetson, 120 
Snuff-boxes, 48 
Soiron, F. D., 161 
" Sow and Litter," 88 
" Sportsman's Return, The," 91 
Spurious " Morlands," 139 
Spy, arrested as a, 134 
" Stable Amusements," 66 
"Stable-yard, A," 88 
Stage-coaches, 65, 147 
" Storm and Wreck of a Man-of- 

War," 116 

"Storm Cloud, A." 87 
" off Black Gang Chine," 87, 

" off the Isle of Wight," 

136 

" Strangers at Home, The," 77 
"Straw-yard, The," 91 
" Studies of Fisherwomen," 116 
Style, living in, 101 
Suntach, A., 161 



TANNER, 153 

Tavern scenes, 94 

"Tea-garden, The," ill 

" Tears of Nature, an Elegy," by 

W. Sandos, 35 
" Thatcher, The," 136 
" Tomb, The," 81 
Tom /ones, 6 1 
" Travellers," 88 
Tray-painting, 97 
" Trepanning a Recruit," 7^ 
" Triumph of Benevolence, The," 

76 

Turner, J. M. W., 58, 79, 125, 126 
" Turnpike Gate, The," 107 



VERNET, Joseph, 27, 132 

Versatility, 171 

Vicar of WakefieJd, The, 37 

Victoria, Queen, 92 

"View of the Needles," 115, 135 

"Visit to the Boarding-school, 

The," 76 

Child at Nurse, The," 76 
" Returned in the Country, 

The," 81 
Vivares, T., 160 



" WAGGON and Team of Horses," 

136 

" Waggoners' Halt, The," 115 
Ward, Anne, 61 

James, 156 

- William, 60, 156 

portrait of, 167 

Warren Place, 69 
Watches, trades in, 109 
Watch, the stolen, 105 
"Watering the Fanner's Horse," 

I0 3 
" Wayside Inn, The," 119 






206 



Index 



Webster, T., 176 
Wedmore, F., 66 
West, Benjamin, 23 
Wheatley, F., 170 
White Lion, the, 89, 91 
Wilberforce and slavery, 76 
Williamson, Dr., 72 
Williams the engraver, 92 
Willis's plot, 14 
Winchester Row, 101 



"Winter Scene, A," by Ibbetson, 

120 

Witherington, W. F., 176 
"Woodland Glade, A," 88 
"Wreckers," 115 



YARMOUTH, 134 

Young, J., 160 

" Youth diverting Age," 81 



THE END. 



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