Skip to main content

Full text of "John Opie and his circle"

See other formats







From a photograph by permission of .Messrs. Do\vcles\\ ell & Uo\vi.les\\ 
the owner. K. Hall .MeCormick Ksi|.. Chicago. 



" No man can climb out beyond the limitations of his own character." 



London ^ HUTGHINSON & GO. 
Paternoster Row -> ^ -> 1911 





"VTTHEN the idea of writing this book first occurred to me, 
I was equally fascinated by the strong personality and 
romantic history of John Opie, and the winsome charm of his 
celebrated wife. My first intention of writing a joint life had 
to be abandoned ; for it soon became evident that a book on 
such lines must be either of inordinate length or unduly com- 
pressed : the Opies 1 married life only extended over nine years, 
so it was decided to treat their lives separately ; John Opie's 
memoir demanding precedence on account of its greater usefulness. 
As the work proceeded, the need for more than a mere 
biographical study was forced upon me. Over thirty years had 
elapsed since the late Mr. J. Jope Rogers published " Opie and 
his Works," and the majority of the pictures had changed hands 
during this interval. To make the book really useful, a list of 
the artist's works was necessary ; letters appealing to the owners 
of Opie's paintings were inserted in the Times, Country Life, and 
other papers by the kind courtesy of their respective editors, 
and in a short time I was overwhelmed with correspondence on 
the subject a most gratifying result, as it proved the widespread 
interest taken in John Opie by the present generation. Indirectly, 
my letter to the Times was the means of ridding me of the 
ungrateful task of criticism, since it revealed the fact that a 
catalogue raisonne of Opie's works was in preparation : no longer 
compelled to select and discriminate, I was able to confine myself 
to the human interest of his life story, and make the list of 
pictures as comprehensive as possible. 


It is a matter for regret that so few of John Opie's letters 
are in existence. Mr. Anderdon, in his collected Academy 
catalogues, noted that he " readily gave a guinea for a folio 
letter in Opie\s autograph addressed to James Northcote in 
friendly terms,"" and comments on their rarity. Time has not 
increased the number, and although it is reasonable to suppose 
that Opie did not shine as a correspondent, I think it is 
at least probable that his wife's religious scruples may have 
led her to destroy papers that would now be valuable. I 
have been able to add a little to the hitherto published letters ; 
the most interesting find being the complete text of two letters 
to the Rev. John Owen (portions of which were given by the 
late Mr. J. Jope Rogers), with Opie's own spelling and punctua- 
tion : for these I have to thank Mrs. Austin Dobson. 

As letters were not obtainable in sufficient numbers to in- 
terpret John Opie^s character, T have supplemented them by 
extracts from his lectures ; choosing such passages as seemed 
most explanatory of his life and opinions. Few artists have 
such a romantic history as John Opie : fewer still appeal to us 
so strongly by reason of their singleness of purpose and strength 
of character. A fuller knowledge of Opie's life ; and an un- 
biassed study, not only of his virtues, but also of his failings, 
cannot fail to stimulate interest in the works of a painter who 
has certainly not yet met with the recognition his genius deserves. 

It would be impossible here to thank all my correspondents 
individually : each letter was replied to at the time, and I now 
repeat (both in my own name and on the part of my readers) 
my grateful acknowledgment of the valuable help thus given 
me in compiling the list of Opie^s works. Seldom, I am sure, 
has a literary worker had such an abundance of good wishes 
for success from total strangers : to these Mr. R. Hall McCormick 
added a more tangible expression of goodwill in the gift of a 
copy of the handsomely illustrated catalogue of his private picture- 


Special prominence must be given to my indebtedness to the 
following : to Mrs. J. Jope Rogers (through her daughter, Mrs. 
Acland), widow, and Captain J. P. Rogers (of Penrose), son, 
of the late Mr. J. Jope Rogers, for permission to use the in- 
formation contained in " Opie and his Works " : to Mr. William 
Prideaux Courtney ; who not only placed the exhaustive references 
to Opie of the "Bibliotheca Cornubiensis" (Boase and Courtney) at 
my disposal, together with a mass of supplementary, unpublished, 
notes, but also sent me further references from time to time, 
and even gave ungrudgingly some of his most valuable time 
and experience to the work of tracing the present representatives 
of Opie's patrons : to Mr. J. D. Enys, who was associated with Mr. 
J. Jope Rogers in the compilation of " Opie and his Works," 
and whose unabated interest in the artist showed itself in the 
generous loan of his interleaved copy of that book, in order that 
I might make use of numerous MS. notes contained therein : to 
Miss Helen Gillies, who lent me for an indefinite time the copy of 
" Lectures on Painting " subscribed for by her kinsman Dr. Gillies, 
Opie's friend : to Dr. Frederick Beetham for a quantity of unpub- 
lished material relating to the Beetham family, and to Miss Alice 
Westerdale for a like kindness with respect to unpublished incidents 
respecting the Bowyer household. Miss Clemency Beardmore took 
considerable trouble to trace letters written by Opie to her kinsman, 
the Rev. John (Archdeacon) Owen, with the result that copies of 
two were found in possession of Mrs. Austin Dobson, who im- 
mediately sent them on to me : Mr. Charles Dowdeswell voluntarily 
searched the records of his firm for particulars of Opies that had 
been in their possession : Mr. Shepherd (Shepherd Bros., King 
Street) did me the same kindness ; and Mr. Harvey (Francis 
Harvey, St. James's Street) gave me valuable advice on the 
question of engravings after Opie ; Mr. Parsons, grandson of John 
Opie's nephew Edward, sent me information respecting the artist's 
family. I must thank Mr. Milner, Secretary to the National 
Portrait Gallery, for allowing me to use the late Mr. J. Jope 


Rogerss unpublished supplementary MS. notes, now preserved at 
the Gallery, and for much kindly interest ; nor must I omit 
thanks for their unremitting kindness and courtesy to the officials 
at the National Gallery, British Museum Reading, Print (especi- 
ally Mr. Laurence Binyon), and Manuscript Rooms and those 
of the Library and Print Room of the Victoria and Albert 
Museum ; together with the many owners of Opie's paintings 
who allowed me to inspect his pictures. I much regret that I 
was not able to take advantage of all the kind invitations sent 
me : acceptance would have necessitated a delay in publication 
until the greater part of my information was out of date. 

For the entries relating to sales of pictures I am chiefly 
indebted to the priced catalogues of Messrs. Christie, Manson & 
Wood at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Art Sotes Current, and 
the American Art Annual (Florence Levy) : only those who, like 
myself, have had to search through endless sale catalogues, can 
properly appreciate the usefulness of the two latter works. 

With regard to engravings, I must acknowledge my obligations 
to the " Catalogue of Engraved Portraits," by F. M. CTDonoghue ; 
" British Mezzo. Portraits," by Chaloner Smith ; and " Engraved 
Portraits," by Francis Harvey. 

Lastly, I must tender most cordial thanks to the owners of 
Opie's works who have given me permission to reproduce them 
for the purpose of illustrating this book : many had the negative 
taken expressly for it : their names are affixed to the plates, so 
I need not repeat them here. It would have been easy to double 
the number of illustrations, but as this would have increased 
considerably the cost of the volume, it was thought better to 
keep the price within reasonable limits and be contented with 
sufficient illustrations to add human interest to the book and 
represent each phase of Opie's art. One omission must be re- 
gretted : Opie's studies of old men, so marked a feature of his 
early work, have become so darkened by time that successful 
photographs for reproduction could not be taken. Mr. J. D. 


Enys went to considerable expense and trouble in the effort to 
get a good negative from his " Old Jew " : when he failed it was 
not thought reasonable to allow Mr. Gilbert and other owners of 
similar pictures to court the annoyance of almost certain failure. 

Let me ask the kind indulgence of my readers for any errors 
or omissions in the list of pictures. I have taken the utmost 
pains to ensure accuracy, and beg to apologize in advance for 
any shortcomings that may be discovered. I shall be glad if 
any one detecting an error will communicate with me through 
my publishers. 


October, 1911. 


















HOLCROFT .... .131 






XVII. IN PARIS (continued) 182 



MENTS 213 






PUBLISHERS ....... 258 



INDEX . 361 


JOHN OPIE (owned by R. Hall McCormick) . Frontispiece 


OPIE'S MOTHER ....... 

JOHN WOLCOT (owned by the Rev. J. H. de Courcelles) . 10 

JOHN OPIE (owned by the Rev. J. H. de Courcelles) . . 20 



MRS. DELANY ...... 

JOHN OPIE (National Portrait Gallery) . .42 


DR. JOHNSON . . . . . . .54 



THE DEATH OF RIZZIO ......... 64 

ROBERT BOWYER .......... 68 

CATHERINE ANDRAS ......... 70 

MRS. MARY BOWYER ......... 78 


JOHN OPIE (owned by J. Williams) 98 

THE STUDIOUS YOUTH (owned by J. Williams) .... 98 

JANE BEETHAM .......... 106 

MARY OPIE (nee BUNN) . . . . . . . .106 

JOHN HAWKINS OF CROYDON (miniature on ivory) . . . .112 



MARY ANNE DE WINTON MOEOAN (miniature on ivory) . . .112 
THOMAS DE WINTON MORGAN (miniature on ivory) . . .112 

LADY DICKSON . . . . . . . . . .114 


HKNRY FUSELI . . . . . . . . . .124 


THOMAS HOLCROFT ......... 126 


LADY PRICE . . . . . . . . . .134 


LADY SMITH AS A GIPSY ........ 142 

THOMAS GIRTIN .......... 156 


AMELIA OPIE (two portraits owned by Mrs. Carr) . . . .174 

THE RIGHT HON. C. J. Fox 180 


HOBNELIA . . . . . . . . . . .190 


JOHN OPIE (owned by T. K. Christie Miller) 206 



A PORTRAIT (owned by R. Hall McCormick) ..... 228 


" LADY HAMILTON AND CHILD " . . . . . . . 240 



COLONEL PERING .......... 306 






ABOUT the middle of the eighteenth century a respect- 
able family of the mechanic class, named Opie, lived 
at " The Blowing House, 11 Mithian, in the parish of St. Agnes, 
about seven miles from Truro. It is said that the family had 
once been wealthy, 1 but had long before this sunk into poverty 
and obscurity. Edward Opie, the head of the house, like his 
father before him (also named Edward), was a carpenter by trade : 
both had an unstained reputation as sound, intelligent workmen. 

In May, 1761, Edward Opie's youngest child was born, a boy 
named John. Polwhele recounts the village tale that Mary Opie, 
the mother, was fifty-two at the time of his birth, and shrank so 
much from facing the neighbours that she avoided going through 
the village on her way to be "churched. 11 In reality she was forty- 
eight. She had four other children : Abraham, Edward, William, 
and Elizabeth (Betty) ; the last named being thirteen years John's 
senior. John, the child of her old age, seems to have been her 
favourite : she watched over him with tender care, saw to his re- 
ligious and moral training, and stood between the boy and his father 
when the latter in his ignorance would have moulded John to 
his own standard, and thrashed the "artistic nonsense" out of him. 

In after years John Opie described his mother as " the most 
perfect of human beings ; as the most wise, most j ust, and most 
disinterested of women ; and I believe that scarcely any one who 
knew her would have thought this description an exaggerated 
1 " Historical Survey of the County of Cornwall/' C. S. Gilbert. 


one. He loved to relate little instances of the sacred love of 
justice which led her, regardless of the partialities of a parent, 
to decide even against her own children, when as criminals they 
appeared before her, and were in the slightest degree culpable ; 
and these stories always ended in recollections of her tender care 
of him during his feeble childhood, of the gloves and greatcoat 
warmed at the winter's fire against he went to school." * We 
have Opie's portrait of her, seated at a table with her Bible, as 
testimony that his tribute to her memory was not exaggerated ; 
and the shrewd, patient, kindly old face is a fitting reminder of 
the almost invariable rule that great men have been sons of good 
mothers. Polwhele tells us that old Mrs. Opie was so averse to 
having her portrait painted that her son made the necessary 
studies for this while she was asleep. 

John Opie went to the village school, but he was a precocious 
child and had soon learnt all that could be acquired there. Dr. 
Cardew, headmaster of Truro Grammar School, is said to have 
befriended him, but there is no existing evidence in support of 
this statement, and the distance between St. Agnes and Truro 
makes it improbable that a boy could have made the journey 
very frequently ; especially with no encouragement from his 
elders. Perhaps Dr. Cardew's interest in Opie belonged to the 
period of the latter's residence with Wolcot, or the rumour may 
be due to the fact that Edward Opie, John's great-nephew, was 
a protege of the kindly schoolmaster many years later. Dr. 
Cardew's great-great-grandson, Mr. C. E. Cardew, of Lanhains- 
worth, has searched his ancestor's early diaries for information on 
this question, but without success. 

Mrs. Opie's brother, John Tonkin, encouraged the boy's talent 
for mathematics, and called him " Little Sir Isaac." At about 
eight years old he showed signs of the dogged perseverance that 
was his most marked characteristic. His eldest brother, a friend, 
and a neighbour set him a sum in arithmetic, and made a bet that 
he would not be able to do it. So difficult was the task, that 
he worked at it for some days fruitlessly, and one night, when 
patient sister Betty had sat up with him until after midnight, 
she persuaded him to give it up. He went to bed, vexed and 
dejected, as she thought, to sleep. Two hours after he knocked 
1 Memoir by Mrs Opie, prefixed to " Lectures on Painting," by John Opie. 


Uy permission of the owner, .Mrs. Oliver. 


at her door, begging for a lighted candle : " Sister, sister, I 
can do it ! " She rose and gave him the candle ; before she 
had dressed herself and gone downstairs the sum was done, and 
John was jumping about the room in his joy at having over- 
come the difficulty. Mrs. Opie relates how his mother, fearing 
the result of too much study, refused to let him sit up as late 
as he wished, and would not supply candles. "The consequence 
was, that he purchased candles with his own pocket-money, and 
used to get up to write and read after his parents were in bed." 
His sister Betty, as we have seen, aided and abetted her darling in 
this evasion of maternal solicitude. " In summer,"" says Mrs. Opie, 
" he always rose as soon as dawn appeared. Nay, such was his fond- 
ness for writing, that, when a very little boy indeed, he used to spend 
in writing-paper the penny his uncle gave him on a market day." 

At ten John Opie began to teach others, and could solve 
difficult problems in Euclid ; at twelve he had established an 
evening school of his own for poor children, where he taught 
reading, writing, and arithmetic. 

But Edward Opie looked askance at the boy's intellectual 
achievements. He gloomily prophesied the gallows as a fitting 
end for a boy who wasted his time over books, had an incurable 
propensity for messing up newly planed planks with rough sketches 
in red chalk, and spoiled the whitewashed walls of the cottage 
by drawing portraits of his family and schoolfellows on them with 
the charred end of a stick. The paternal ambition was to see 
John develop into a good carpenter, and a worthy successor to 
the Opie tradition of honest, reliable, mechanical skill. 

It may be surmised that while John Opie inherited his father's 
conscientious, industrious qualities, his mental capacity was de- 
rived from his mother's family, the Tonkins of Trevaunance ; one 
of whom, Thomas Tonkin, projected, but never completed, a 
history of Cornwall : the Tonkin family was classed by Tregellas 
among the Cornish " little gentry." Polwhele says that all the 
Opies were distinguished by strength of intellect, shrewdness, and 
sagacity. Betty Opie, in particular, he describes as a sensible 
woman, unequalled in drollery and shrewd remark. Perhaps the 
elder Opie's attitude towards his gifted son is better explained 
by taking into consideration the social conditions of the period. 
The tenets of the Church Catechism had not fallen into abeyance 


when George III was King. Opie pere, honest man, took a 
justifiable pride in his work, touched his forelock, respectfully 
but not servilely, to squire and parson, and had no higher ambi- 
tion for his boy than that he should follow in the same path 
and do his duty in that state of life unto which it had pleased 
God to call him. Parents in a much higher social position thought 
it a duty to discourage artistic yearnings in their sons. Art had 
not received recognition as a reputable profession in the latter 
half of the eighteenth century. 

Probably the periodic thrashings that attended Opie's first 
efforts at artistic expression commenced before his first recorded 
sketch, which was made when he was about ten years old. 

" I think I can draa a buttervlee as well as Mark Gates," said 
the boy one day. He did it, and ran home to show the result 
to his proud mother. Opie's admiration for Mark Oates's artistic 
powers waned in after years. Gates spent much of his time at sea. 
" I can paint as well on board as ashore," he boasted to Opie. 

" Better perhaps," said Opie, looking at the stiff', hard sketches 
of his former schoolfellow. Oates painted a picture of Faith, 
Hope, and Charity over the altar of Falmouth parish church. An 
attempt was made to remove it some years ago, and it fell to pieces. 
With intent to wean John from his so-called idle habits, 
Edward Opie bound him apprentice to himself at a very early age. 
By different authorities the elder Opie is said to have been a fore- 
man mining carpenter, and house carpenter and wheelwright. 
The fact that he lived at a " Blowing House " gives plausibility to 
the first statement : perhaps, being a man of uncommon industry, 
he worked at both. He certainly did household repairs at times, 
for it was while assisting his father in the execution of such work 
at Mithian, the house of Mr. Benjamin Nankivell, that John saw a 
picture of Ellenglaze farm-yard. It had little artistic merit in itself, 
but is memorable because it decided Opie^s future career, and gave 
definite purpose to the heretofore blind gropings of his genius. 

This picture hung in the parlour at Mithian. John had to 
pass through the room, and, having once observed the picture, he 
returned to look at it, standing staring before it until sharply 
rebuked by his father for idleness and forwardness. Betty Opie 
was in service at Mithian, and this gave John an excuse for 
returning to the neighbourhood of this attraction. But it soon 


became observed that these visits to the kitchen ended in a 
stealthy visit to the parlour, whenever he could do so unobserved, 
after which he would run off home to transfer what he had 
memorized of the picture to a canvas he had contrived to buy. 
The servants, scandalized at such rudeness, told their mistress ; 
who gave the boy permission to copy the picture at his leisure. 
The result was a very fair copy (now at Newquay *), which he 
sold for five shillings to Mrs. Walker, mother of the vicar of 
St. Winnow, on the banks of the Fowey. Opie's delight was 
unbounded. He ran about the house in ecstasy, shouting : 
" I'm set up for life ! I'm set up for life ! " 
The mother sympathized ; the father shook his head : 
" That boy'll come to hanging, as sure as a gun ! " 
Out of gratitude to Mrs. Nankivell for her permission to copy 
the picture, Opie drew her cat. 

His next attempt was to copy a hunting scene, but he 
destroyed his sketch because people laughed at him for putting a 
lady on a pad instead of a side saddle. 

During these boyish years the difficulty of procuring materials 
for his work must have been very great. There was no hope 
of getting any assistance from his father : indeed, even if the old 
man had looked favourably upon his son's work, it is questionable 
if John could have hoped for much money to spend, for all the 
household arrangements were on most frugal and economical lines. 
His uncle, John Tonkin, was indulgent and gave him occasional 
pence ; we may hazard a guess that his mother and Betty would 
deny themselves little luxuries to help him ; but except for the 
Mithian picture, which was in oils, and perhaps one or two others, 
his boyish attempts were in chalk, or done with a charred stick ; a 
little later he used ochre on cartridge-paper. 

It was about this time that an incident occurred which showed 
the struggle of ambition against the cravings of healthy, normal 
boyhood. Opie had borrowed half a crown from a lady to buy 
paints with. Unfortunately, it happened to be Redruth fair-day. 
The attractions of gilded gingerbread, and other delights of the 
fair, tempted him beyond endurance, and it was only when the 
last penny had been spent that Opie realized what he had done. 
Almost beside himself with remorse and disappointment, he 
1 MS. note in Mr. J. D. Enys's copy of "Opie and his Works." 


trudged homeward. Coming to a bridge on the way, he was so 
depressed at the thought of his childish folly that he contemplated 
jumping from it into the river. 

At about the age of ten or eleven he did a very successful 
portrait of his father. One Sunday afternoon his mother went 
to church, and his father, after bidding John amuse himself 
quietly, retired into the parlour to read his Bible. Opposite this 
parlour was a little kitchen, and here, with the door open between, 
John established himself with his painting materials. At first he 
sat quietly enough, sketching his father ; but after a while Edward 
Opie was irritated by his son's frequent excursions into the 
parlour, where he gazed intently at the old man's face and then 
ran out again, repeating this interruption again and again. An- 
noyed at this disturbance of his Sunday peace, Edward Opie 
threatened a thrashing if he did it again. John did it again 
and had the thrashing : the expression of anger on his father's 
face, and the sparkle in his indignant eyes, being what he wished 
to paint. Polwhele marvelled chat John Opie should have put 
himself to such unnecessary trouble for the sake of seeing the 
angry expression in his father's eyes, since it was so often brought 
there by the vagaries of this supposed idle apprentice. John, 
in his ardour for realism, thought otherwise. He took his thrash- 
ing, finished his portrait, and, on his mother's return from church, 
brought it to her for approval. Maternal pride was on this 
occasion tempered by anger at his profanation of the Sabbath- 
day, and for once it was his father who took John's part. Edward 
Opie entered the room while the boy, too delighted at his mother's 
prompt recognition of the likeness to feel rebuked by her re- 
monstrance, was hanging fondly round her neck. The old man 
caught sight of the portrait, and, recognizing it immediately, highly 
approved of such an afternoon's work. His sense of humour had 
been touched : he proudly exhibited the portrait to every one who 
came to the house, recounting with delight the story of the inter- 
ruptions and his son's acceptance of a thrashing to gain his end. 

For some unknown reason perhaps because Edward Opie 

thought the boy would work better under a stranger Opie's 

apprenticeship to his father was cancelled, and he was bound again 

to one Wheeler, a sawyer. 1 Working under his master in the 

1 " The Cornish Banner," 1847. 


saw-pit by day, Opie rose early and went to bed late in order that 
he might have more time for sketching. This state of things 
continued until his fifteenth year, when chance brought him under 
the notice of a man who was not only capable of seeing the 
promise underlying the boy's ignorant attempts at portraiture, but 
who also had the ability to guide and educate him. 

It chanced one day that a doctor, John Wolcot by name, who 
had recently set up in practice at Truro, rode over to Mithian 
to visit a patient. He saw, and admired, some rude but vigorous 
drawings in common chalk the neighbourhood round Opie's 
home must have been well decorated with such. Asked for in- 
formation about the artist, Mrs. Nankivell related the boy's story, 
pointed to the farm-yard scene, and told how it had been 
accurately copied by this sawyer's apprentice. 

Having ascertained where the boy worked, Wolcot went to 
the saw-pit. Looking down, he saw an uncouth country lad, 
girt with the leather apron of his trade. The boy came out of 
the pit at Wolcot's call ; his peasant awkwardness redeemed by a 
fine forehead and thoughtful, intelligent eyes. Wolcot questioned 
him about his drawings. In broad Cornish Jan Opie gave him a 
list of his achievements. 

" Blazing stars ! Duke William ! King and Queen ! and Mrs. 
Nanki veil's cat ! " A footnote to " Nollekens and his Times " ex- 
plains that the " blazing stars " Opie drew on his father's boards 
were called "Duke Williams"; but J. T. Smith, having just 
whetted curiosity, fails to satisfy it. Why were they called " Duke 
Williams ? " we wonder ; and was the Duke William Henry of 
Gloucester, the King's brother, and the stars his decorations ? or 
was it a survival of the memory of an older Duke William, and 
the blazing star a reminder of the comet that heralded the fight 
at Senlac ? 

The doctor expressed a desire to see some of these wonders ; and 
John, nothing loath, tucked his leather apron up out of the way, 
sprang across the hedge, and ran to fetch them. In after years 
Wolcot told John Taylor l that " he should always have in his 
ears the sound of the boy's leather apron clattering between his 
knees as he ran eagerly to bring proofs of his graphic skill." 

John Opie came back with the portrait of a cat, two other 
1 " Records of my Life," John Taylor. 


ferocious monsters, and " a portrait of the devil sketched out 
in strict conformity to vulgar tradition, being provided with a 
monstrous pair of horns, two goggle-eyes, and a long tail." 

" Eureka ! " cried Wolcot, looking at the cat ; and the inter- 
view ended with an invitation to dine with the doctor at his house 
in Truro on the following Sunday. Cyrus Redding, in his " Past 
Celebrities" says that he once asked Wolcot if it was true that he 
had been struck with Opie's early drawings, and that Wolcot 
denied it, saying they were meaningless scrawls, scarcely in- 
telligible. But allowance must be made for the fact that this was 
said after the rupture between Wolcot and Opie. It appears 
certain that, in spite of his ignorance of all academic rules, Opie's 
rough sketches must have shown sufficient vigour, and ability to 
seize the essential points in a likeness, to arouse Wolcot's curiosity. 
No doubt it was not until the lad's rapid progress under his 
guidance proved the presence of more than ordinary talent that 
Wolcot decided on removing his protege to his own house. 

That first Sunday morning with Wolcot must have been 
an undying memory in John Opie's mind. There was first the 
joyful anticipation as he plodded along the road, clad in his 
Sunday best ; then the prints and pictures displayed before the 
young rustic's wondering eyes ; the gift of brushes and colours, 
with Wolcofs instructions in the proper use of them ; the fascina- 
tion of talking with a clever man who treated him as an equal 
instead of condescending to him as an eccentric clodhopper ; and 
then the happiness of that walk homeward, with Wolcot's gifts 
in his arms, and the wonderment of his intellectual development 
during the last few hours mysterious forces working within him 
since he passed that way before. 

After this Sunday visit, whenever Wolcot went near St. Agnes 
in his professional rounds he gave Opie a lesson, and the boy pro- 
fited so much by this instruction that in a short time the doctor 
decided to buy him out of his apprenticeship, 1 and take him into 
his own house. Edward Opie was not unwilling that John should 
go. He had long given up all hope of making him a good workman. 

" The boy was good for naught could never make a wheel- 
barrow, was always gazing upon cats, and staring volks in the vace." 
1 " Music and Morals/' Gardiner. 



TOHN WOLCOT, who had come upon the scene so opportunely, 
*./ was a man of considerable mental ability and varied accom- 
plishments. Devonshire by birth, he was intimately connected 
with Cornwall as a connection and protege of Sir William 
Trelawney, of Trelawne, Fowey. Patronage played an important 
part in eighteenth-century life. Each great man was surrounded 
by a crowd of proteges, place-hunters, and flatterers. These 
in their turn extended protection and claimed adulation from men 
unable to revolve round the greater luminary, and so through 
all stages of society : the prizes obtainable by due attention to a 
patron's foibles growing smaller at each remove. 

It came to pass then that, in 1767, Sir William Trelawney, 
having been appointed Governor of Jamaica through the influence 
of his patron, extended a helping hand to his poor relation, John 
Wolcot, who had just obtained his M.D. diploma at Aberdeen, 
and took him to Jamaica as his physician. Wolcot was then 
twenty-nine : bluff, kindly, and hearty in manner ; a good boon 
companion, able to tell a coarse story with the best; witty, 
well read, musical, a good amateur artist able to divert Sir 
William or drive away ennui from Lady Trelawney as required. 
No saint, we may be sure, and yet a man with much good in him. 
The age was coarse and licentious, and Wolcofs soul had been 
chained in a fleshly prison of more than ordinary strength. 
Sometimes the soul struggled free, as when he wrote his beautiful 
epigram on Sleep : 

" Come, gentle sleep, attend thy votary's prayer, 
And, though death's image, to my couch repair 
How sweet, thus living, without life to lie, 
Thus without dying, (), how sweet to die." 


But in the " Memoirs of William Cookworthy " we are told that 
he was, " perhaps, better qualified than any other man of his day 
to personate Falstaff." In person he was thick and squat, his dark 
face was large, flat, and furnished with unspeculative eyes. This 
description appears to represent him later in life. At the time 
he met with Opie he was, if we are to believe Opie's early pastel 
portrait of him, a handsome man of somewhat sensuous type. 

No better example could be given of the disgraceful condition 
of sloth and simony into which the Church of England had sunk 
in the reign of George III than her dealings with Wolcot. Not 
long after his arrival in Jamaica, the rich living of St. Anne 
in that island became vacant through the rector's death. For 
some time Wolcot did duty there, reading prayers and preaching. 
But even in the eighteenth century this attempt to add to the 
cure of bodies a cure of souls, and without episcopal sanction, 
could not long be tolerated : Wolcot was told by his patron 
that he had better go to England for ordination, after which the 
living should be his. 

" Away then to England," said Trelawney ; *' get yourself 
japanned. But remember not to return with the hypocritical 
solemnity of a priest. I have just bestowed a good living 
on a parson who believes not all he preaches, and what he 
really believes he is afraid to preach. You may very con- 
scientiously declare that you have an internal call, as the same 
expression will equally suit a hungry stomach and the soul. 1 " l 

So, in 1769, Wolcot was back in England with strong letters 
of recommendation to the Bishop of London, Richard Terrick ; of 
whom Horace Walpole said that his only episcopal qualifications 
were " a sonorous delivery, and an assiduity of backstairs address." 
Terrick's first bishopric, Peterborough, had been obtained through 
the influence of his patron, the Duke of Devonshire, yet within a 
few years with an eye to future preferment he had turned his 
back on the Duke and formed one of the crowd of sycophants 
worshipping that rising sun of Court favour, Lord Bute. The 
result was his translation to the see of London. 

To Terrick, then, came Wolcot, eager to obtain the necessary 
qualifications for a share of the loaves and fishes provided by the 
Church. Even in those days of Erastianism and simony, it seems 
1 Notes and Queries, 2nd series, vol. vii, May 7, 1859. 


By permission of the owner. Rev. J. H. Je Courcelles. 


incredible that a candidate for Holy Orders should have been able 
to approach a Bishop without fitting preparation and definite 
assurances of spiritual fitness as well as willingness to sign the 
Declaration of Conformity. If Terrick had any scruples of 
conscience, they were easily overcome. On June 24, 1769, Wolcot 
was ordained deacon, and on the following day priest, with full 
right to exercise the most sacred offices in a Church which had 
surely fallen as low as at the worst of pre-Reformation times a 
Church whose only sign of life was an intolerant refusal to acknow- 
ledge the right of Wesley and Whitfield to fan into flame the 
smouldering torch that was on the point of falling from her inert 

After having signed the Declaration of Conformity and re- 
ceived his licence as priest in Jamaica, Wolcot tarried for a while in 
the congenial literary and artistic society of London ; sailing again 
for Jamaica in March 1770. In the preface to " The Works of 
Peter Pindar," published ] 809, it is alleged that Wolcot was refused 
ordination, but there is the evidence of the Bishop^ licence, pre- 
served by Wolcofs nephew, Mr. Charles Collins Giddy, 1 against this. 

The one redeeming feature in this shameful piece of jobbery 
was Wolcot's own conduct. The rich living of St. Anne was 
disposed of before he returned from England, and he had to 
be satisfied with the incumbency of Vere. It is to his credit that, 
so far as can be ascertained, he never exercised his priestly office ; 
allowing a curate to perform the very light duties required in 
his parish. Whether this was owing to qualms of conscience, 
or the greater attractions offered by the society of Government 
House, is uncertain : we give him the benefit of the doubt. Tre- 
lawney made up for the disappointment occasioned by a poorer 
living, by appointing Wolcot Physician-General to the Horse and 
Foot Militia in the Island of Jamaica. 

Sir William Trelawney died in 1772, and in February 1773 
Wolcot obtained leave of absence from the new Governor ; return- 
ing to England as escort to his late patron's widow. Scandal said 
that he intended to marry her, but she died soon after they 
landed. He did not return to Jamaica, and when he met with 
Opie, in 1775, he had built up a good practice in Truro ; his skill 
as a physician being incontestable. 

1 Annual Biography and Obituary, 1820, vol. iv. 


But, so far as Opie is concerned, the chief point to be con- 
sidered is Wolcofs ability as an artist. It must be understood 
that he was a most efficient tutor, though it suited his purpose 
when Opie was introduced to London society, some years later, as 
" the Cornish Wonder," to proclaim that the lad was self-taught. 
Wolcot was the friend, and had been the pupil, of Richard 
Wilson, who was one of the original members of the Royal 
Academy. He knew, and appreciated, the works of Reynolds and 
Gainsborough ; had enjoyed the society of artists : in his house 
at Truro there were copies of some of Reynolds's pictures, and one 
original at least Reynolds'^ "Sleeping Girl" besides various 
prints. It is true that Opie soon surpassed his master a natural 
result when the pupil happens to be a genius but even genius, 
self-taught, could hardly have learnt all the technique which Opie 
had mastered when he took London by storm and was at once 
pronounced a rival of Reynolds, whose influence is evident in 
many of his pictures. Even before the advent of Wolcot, it is 
hardly possible to claim that he was literally self-taught. Mark 
Gates was in the background, and small as his share may have 
been, it is by little things that the bent of genius is determined. 
Had it not been for Mark Oates's butterfly, there might have been 
no chalk sketches to catch Dr. Woleot's unspeculative, yet 
evidently perceptive, eye ; or they might have taken the form of 
mathematical problems. 

C. R. Leslie, R.A., who was a great admirer of Opie, protested 
against this popular theory that Opie was self-taught : " There 
can, in truth, be no such prodigy in Europe, nor, indeed in any 
part of the world, where painting even in its most primitive stages 
exists. Opie, who was himself believed to be a wonder of this 
kind, places in a strong light the insignificance of the power to be 
attained without precept or example."" l It is useful to read what 
Opie himself wrote on the same subject : "... we are not seldom 
called upon to admire the productions of native powers, unaided, 
unforced, unblest or unperverted by any kind of culture or foreign 
assistance whatever : whence it is inferred by many, that genius is 
no more than a sort of instinct, by which its happy possessors are 
led, without effort and without anxiety, to produce admirable 

1 "Handbook to Young Painters" (Sect. V, "On Self-Teaching"), 
C. R. Leslie. 


works, though, at the same time, completely ignorant of the 
principles and causes on which such effects necessarily depend ; an 
inference, than which, in my opinion, nothing can be more 
erroneous and unfounded ; being convinced that it would be 
impossible to find one instance wherein any high degree of ex- 
cellence had been attained without great activity and exertion, 
and consequently considerable acquirements. The possessors of 
these supposed native talents had, it is true, been often denied the 
usual road to eminence ; the gates of learning were perhaps shut 
to them ; but we are not hastily to conclude from thence that 
they must have stood still : they defrauded the turnpike, and 
conducted their silent march another way, pursuing their journey 
not the less rapidly, though unaccompanied by the noise of 
flogging and whipping incident to travellers by the public stage. 
In short, whether observed or not, their time and talents must 
have been employed and exercised ; and they profited of oppor- 
tunities presented by chance, or procured by stealth, or there 
is no truth in the truest of all proverbs ' Out of nothing, nothing 
can come. 1 " l 

Opie was one who had " defrauded the turnpike," but he 
claimed no share in a miracle. Indeed, he explicitly stated that 
" whatever differences may exist as to original capacity, still nature 
must be observed, art studied, and the mind well impregnated, 
before any fruits of high flavour and excellence can be derived 
from it.' 12 There is a noteworthy passage on the infancy of art 
in his first lecture, explaining the educational value of natural 
phenomena to the seeing eye : " The shadows of plants, animals, 
and other objects, on a plain, the prints of feet in the dust or 
sand, and the accidental resemblance of lines and patches of colour 
to faces and human figures, must have given rise to the conception 
[of painting], and pointed out the possibility of imitating the 
appearances of bodies by lines and colours. 11 3 

We may carry this a step farther, and suggest that a ray 
of sunlight slanting down a mine shaft, and falling on the up- 
turned face of a miner, may have given the boy his first insight 
into chiaroscuro, of which he seemed to have an instinctive mastery. 

1 "Lectures on Painting" (Lect. II, " Of Invention "), J. Opie, R.A. 

2 Ibid. 

3 " Lectures on Painting " (Lect. I, " Of Design "), J. Opie, R.A. 


Wolcofs art-teaching was, like himself, shrewd and sensible. 
His lessons were given chiefly in crayons. He made no effort 
to confine Opie's genius within conventional channels. Originality 
was not stifled : he was more concerned with guiding a natural 
force than in attempting impossibilities by insisting on the 
artificial grace then considered an essential in portraiture. The 
lad had a marvellous genius for chiaroscuro, and a peasant's 
strength and vigour. Wolcot was quick to see the use to which 
this could be put ; he loudly proclaimed the boy to be an untaught 
Rembrandt, and encouraged him to paint beggars and old men in 
strong light and shade. In the eighteenth century only the 
portrait-painter had any chance of making a living by his art, so, 
beginning in his own neighbourhood, John Opie sallied out to 
paint portraits at a charge of seven shillings and sixpence apiece ; 
with this wholesome advice from Wolcot : 

"Look to originals! Stare volks in the face! Canvas 'ern 
from top to toe ! Mark their features, air, manner, gesture, 
attitude ! " 

The Rev. Richard Polwhele, who knew both Wolcot and Opie, 
said in his "Biographical Sketches'" that he had heard Wolcot 
give him this advice. 

But Wolcot had to teach his protege more than how to use 
the implements of his art to the best advantage : Opie had to be 
instructed in manners. If familiar intercourse between squirearchy 
and peasantry has its awkward moments now, judge what it must 
have been more than a hundred years ago ; when the standard 
of living for the working class was so much lower, and all the 
little refinements of life were lacking. John Opie may have had 
the instincts of a gentleman, and, intellectually, he had nothing 
to fear from comparison with his contemporaries, but his habits 
were primitive. Wolcot was not over-refined himself, yet he 
knew the requirements and prejudices of his class. Having taken 
the rough edge off his pupil's manners by treating him as an equal 
in his own house, Wolcot was careful to add to the letters of 
recommendation he gave the lad, a request that he should be 
treated as a parlour-guest : 

" I want to polish him," he wrote to a friend " he is an unlicked 
cub yet, I want to make him learn to respect himself." 

This appears sufficient refutation of the assertion that Opie 


entered Wolcot's house as a servant, to clean knives, tend the dog, 
and make himself useful ; but in addition to this we have it on 
Cyrus Redding's authority that from the first Wolcot treated 
Opie as a gentleman and an equal who, " though unpolished . . . 
exhibited no coarse vulgarity. 11 Another contemporary writer, the 
Rev. Richard Polwhele, bears the same witness : " Wolcot kept no 
dog," he says, " lived very simply, seldom dined at home, and 
when he did, his only servant an old woman prepared him his 
favourite and frugal meal, a basin of 'girty milk. 1 " 

Some of Wolcofs friends complied with his request and made 
Opie welcome at their tables. Mrs. Boscawen, a great lady in 
Court circles, so with sufficient store of dignity to afford the loss 
of a little by eating with the ex-sawyer's apprentice perhaps, 
also, not unwilling to entertain the local lion invited Opie to 
breakfast. Wolcot, aware of social pitfalls, specially enjoined him 
"not to clap his vingers into the sugar bason. 11 "The temptation, 11 
says Polwhele, " was too strong for Opie. He had more respect 
for his granmar's old rule ' Touch and take, 1 than for Wolcofs 
precepts. 11 Mrs. Boscawen, with a true lion-hunter's delight in 
the eccentric habits of her guest, graciously excused the blunder. 

Not so the Rev. Richard Polwhele. " We were much enter- 
tained by that unlicked cub of a carpenter Opie," he writes, " who 
was now most ludicrously exhibited by his keeper, Wolcot a wild 
animal of St. Agnes, caught among the tin-works." l He relates 
how Opie " gaped in wonderment " at a portrait of John Polwhele, 
knight of the shire in the reign of Philip and Mary, but is careful 
to state explicitly that " Opie was a guest of our servants," and 
says that his manners at this time were below the level of the 
servants 1 hall. Cyrus Redding, in his " Fifty Years 1 Recollections," 
comments sarcastically on Polwhele's refusal to " tolerate an 
affront to his own apostolic dignity by suffering a son of genius 
to sit at the same board with him, though nobles did." It is 
probable, though, that Opie, whose promotion to the society of 
gentlemen was too recent for complete enjoyment, would have 
preferred if the choice had been offered him the freedom of Mr. 
Polwhele^ kitchen, and the kindly attentions of the cook, rather 
than a more dignified position in the parlour coupled with his 
host's pompous patronage. 

1 " Traditions and Recollections," Rev. Richard Polwhele. 



SHORTLY after joining Wolcot in Truro, young Opie took 
brushes, paints, and canvas, and started out on the road to 
fame as a travelling portrait-painter with Wolcofs advice on 
art and etiquette still ringing in his ears, and letters of recom- 
mendation to the doctor's friends and patients in the pocket of a 
boy's short jacket. 

His mother, with a homely countrywoman's dread of the 
temptations a mining town held for a boy of fifteen, had already 
regarded his removal from the home circle to Truro with anxiety, 
and her maternal apprehensions were not allayed by this ad- 
venturous step. Opie roamed the countryside for two or three 
months ; painting a likeness here, making picturesque studies of a 
miner, an old man, or a rustic child there : widening his outlook 
on life, and increasing his technical skill at the same time. On 
his return to Truro, so marked an improvement was evident that 
Wolcot, disregarding Opie's doubts as to the value of his work, 
and the ability and willingness of clients to pay a higher price, 
told him in future to charge half a guinea for a head. 

It was probably during this first journey that the portrait 
of Joyce Nankivell was painted. The Nankivell family had 
always encouraged Opie. Mrs. Benjamin Nankivell of Mithian, 
it will be remembered, allowed him facilities for copying the 
farm-yard picture. Mr. Thomas Nankivell of Rosenvale and his 
daughter, Joyce, had also been kind to the boy ; there is a tradi- 
tion in the family that Opie painted young Mrs. Joseph Townsend 
(Joyce Nankivell) out of gratitude for assistance she had given 
him in his artistic training. Joyce Nankivell was a local beauty, 
possessing " great sweetness and animation." The name of her 



father's house, " Rose-in- Vale," is said to have been given as a 
pretty compliment from a visitor to this fair Cornish flower set in 
the deep valley in which stood the house. Unfortunately, in the 
opinion of her friends, the artist missed the charm that endeared 
her to them, and the portrait was not valued until time justified 
Opie's treatment of his subject by the strong resemblance the 
sitter's daughter Charlotte bore to the portrait ; and again, two 
generations later, when the likeness to one of Joyce's great-grand- 
daughters was again noticeable. The same persistence of an 
hereditary type is shown in the Grylls family, where the portrait 
of Mr. Thomas Grylls, by Opie, might be taken for that of 
the present owner, Mr. . R. Gerveys Grylls, or his second son, 
in fancy dress. No doubt there are many more such instances, 
but these suffice to prove that, from the first, Opie's great 
characteristic of faithful portraiture was as marked as in later 

This intentness on likeness and disregard of idealism scandalized 
Mr. Polwhele. One of Opie's early sitters, a lady who evidently 
owed much of her charm to expression, was a friend of the 
Polwhele family. She graciously consented to encourage local 
talent, but the result was not flattering. Opie, painting " what 
he saw," made no attempt at an idealized portrait, but rendered 
the one aspect in which she appeared to him, producing an 
undeniable likeness, but, so says Polwhele, "he had lost all the 
fine expression of her countenance." 

No doubt the lady pouted, and vowed she looked a perfect 
fright ; while Mr. Polwhele condoled and declared that the 
clown could not appreciate a lady's charm. Opie alone, blunt 
and truth-loving, failed to understand the enormity of his 
offence : 

" Shaan't I draa ye as ye be ? " he gravely asked the offended 

This virtue, or defect, of unflattering portraiture remained with 
Opie to the end. In the seventh number of the Artist issued on 
April 25, 1807, and devoted to critical and biographical notices of 
John Opie Benjamin West, then President of the Royal Academy, 
wrote : 

" Mr. Opie's conception of his subject was original, and his 
arrangement of it ideal : his execution depended, in a great 


measure, on the character of the model which he placed before him 
for imitation in finishing the parts. He painted what he saw, in 
the most masterly manner, and he varied little from it. He 
rather bent his subject to the figure, than the figure to his 

" That may be said of Opie which can only be truly said 
of the highest geniuses, that he saw nature in one point more 
distinctly and forcibly than any painter that ever lived. The truth 
of colour, as conveyed to the eye through the atmosphere, by which 
the distance of every object is ascertained, was never better expressed 
than by him. He distinctly represented local colour in all its 
various tones and proportions, whether in light or in shadow, with 
a perfect uniformity of imitation. Other painters frequently 
make two separate colours of objects, in light, and in shade : Opie 
never. With him no colour, whether white, black, primary, or 
compound, ever, in any situation, lost its respective hue. 

" For the expression of truth, which he was thus powerful 
in giving, it was requisite that he should see, or have seen, the 
object itself in the peculiar situation. The impression never left 
him, and he transmitted the image with fidelity to the canvas. 
He resigned himself unwillingly to fancy : yet examples are not 
wanting, both in historical subjects, and in portraits, in which he 
added to the subject before him with felicity. His ' Arthur 
supplicating Hubert 1 (among many others) had an expression 
which certainly he did not find in his model. In the ' Portrait 
of an Artist, 1 1 exhibited last year at Somerset House, 2 he gave 
to the representation an ideal elegance, which rendered the head 
truly poetical, without in any manner detracting from the 

Tresham had been a thorn in the side of the Academicians, so 
West may be excused the insinuation that his portrait was 
flattering, but on the whole this criticism of Opie by a con- 

1 Henry Tresham, R.A., who succeeded Opie as Professor of Painting in 
1807, but resigned in 1809 on account of failing health. The Literary 
Panorama, September 1807, said that this portrait seemed "almost to 

* The Royal Academy, originally occupying temporary rooms in Pall 
Mall (1769), removed successively to Somerset House in 1780 ; Trafalgar 
Square where it occupied a portion of the present National Gallery 
i n 1836 ; and thence to its present quarters at Burlington House in 1869. 


temporary who not only saw his pictures when they were first 
painted, but also, in many instances, was able to compare them 
with the living sitters and models is valuable evidence that, 
although idealization was not a strong point with Opie, he could, 
and did, adapt his model to the requirements of his picture, and 
was equally capable of bringing out the personality of his sitters. 
Both by nature and education he was unable to sympathize 
with the whims of fashionable ladies. Northcote judged him 
rightly when he said that Opie " made no allowance for the eye of 
affection overlooking defects." l Bluntly truthful, unpolished, 
tactless, perverse, and possessed of a grim sardonic humour, Opie 
was just the man to concede ideality only where his sitter made 
no demand for it. 

In 1775 he painted the first recorded portrait of himself. 
From this time until he died scarcely a year passed without the 
production of one at least of these portraits. In some men this 
might be thought a sign of vanity ; not so in Opie's case. It was 
a proof of his unceasing industry and perseverance in art. He 
appears to have kept one of these portraits in hand, to paint on 
when other work failed ; and, with a frugality due to his thrifty 
peasant training, made use of his own face and a looking-glass 
where others would have worked from a model. We are told that 
many of these self-portraits were painted experimentally when he 
was trying different pigments or methods of treatment. 

There is a little doubt as to which is the earliest portrait 
of himself. Captain Rogers, of Penrose, has one which formerly 
belonged to Opie's early patron, Sir John St. Aubyn, represent- 
ing a lad of about fifteen ; but another, sold in Penzance in 1807, 
was claimed to be "the first portrait of himself he ever attempted. 1 ' 
The two best, in Mrs. Opie's opinion, were that now owned by Mr. 
John Williams of Scorrier House, and the one she gave to the 
Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society in 1853. 

During the next few years Opie's progress through Cornwall 
may be traced by the portraits he left behind him in various 
country houses. Padstow, Penryn, Penzance, Fowey, and 
Falmouth were all visited in turn. Lord Bateman, then at 
Penryn, in command of the Herefordshire Militia, actively en- 
couraged the young artist, bought a portrait of Opie by himself, 
1 " Conversations of Northcote with James Ward/' edited by E. Fletcher. 


and commissioned pictures of old men and beggars. Mr. Price, 
father of Sir Rose Price of Trengwainton, also took a keen interest 
in these beggar studies. Seeing an old man begging one day in 
the streets of Pen/ance, he was struck by the artistic possibilities 
of the subject, sent for Opie, had the man's portrait painted after 
such a meal as added beatified contentment of expression to the 
man's natural picturesque appearance, and the result appears in 
" An Aged Beggar." None of these studies pleased the good 
people of Truro so much as one Opie did of a parrot walking down 
his perch. This was declared to be like life itself, and to be recog- 
nized as such by all the parrots in the neighbourhood. 

Among the early patrons of Opie were the families of St. Aubyn, 
Penwarne, Prideaux, Daniell, Vivian, Grylls, Rashleigh, Giddy, and 
Scobell : of this last-named family, about 1 779, he painted no less 
than seven separate portraits. Dolly Pentreath the old, old 
woman who told fortunes, and was said to be the last to speak the 
Cornish language, and whom Daines Barrington interviewed in 
1768, when he visited Cornwall to study and preserve records of 
the dying language was painted by Opie shortly before her death 
in 1777 at the reputed age of one hundred and two. In relation 
to another portrait, that of John Knill, painted during the same 
year, Mr. Jope Rogers quoted l an interesting memorandum made 
by Mr. Knill : 

" Paid Mr. Acres for painting the hands and blue coat to a 
portrait of me by Opie, painted at Penzance in 1777, who only 
finished the head, for which I paid Opie one guinea, and now 
Mr. Acres one pound one shilling. Dec. 30, 1808. J.K." 

From this it appears that not only were sitters found able, and 
willing, to pay the increased charge of half a guinea, but that Opie 
could sometimes get a higher price still, even before his removal to 
Exeter in 1780, when his recognized charge was a guinea. It 
appears strange that the portrait should have remained in an 
unfinished state for so long. Possibly Mr. Knill imagined that 
Opie would eventually finish it, and took no steps towards 
employing another artist until this hope was crushed by Opie's 
death. There are a good many unfinished portraits by Opie : 
some, as in the case of the portrait of Dr. Johnson, owned by Lady 
1 " Opie and his Works," J. Jope Rogers, M.A. 


By permission of the owner, Rev. J. H. lie Courcclles. 


Wantage, in which the background is incomplete ; others with the 
hands unfinished. Eighteenth-century painters, even Reynolds, paid 
little attention to the hands, and painted them in from a servant or 
model the secret of inexpressive, characterless hands in otherwise 
fine portraits. 

The Rev. Richard Polwhele, who collected so many good stories 
of the "Cub's" progress, sat to Opie in 1778. Indeed, portraits 
by John Opie are thickly scattered over Cornwall, where to rich 
and poor, gentle and simple, his industrious brush ensured the 
same share of immortality. All the Opies in Cornwall, though, 
are not the work of the famous John. His great-nephew, Edward 
Opie, born at St. Agnes in 1810, also became an artist, imitated 
his relative's style, exhibited at the Royal Academy, and painted 
many portraits and pictures, though without his great-uncle's 
vigour and genius. So far as portraits are concerned there ought 
to be no confusion between them, since many years passed between 
the date of John Opie's death and Edward Opie's earliest work, but 
strangely enough such mistakes do occur, and that not seldom. 

The Opies were tenants of the Prideaux-Brune family, and 
Opie, being a delicate lad, was on one occasion invited to stay at 
Prideaux Place for change of air and diet. While there he was 
under the charge of the housekeeper, to whom, on leaving, he gave 
a portrait of himself and one of a dog. This was probably the 
time (about 1778) when he "painted the whole household of the 
ancient and respectable family of Prideaux ; even to the dogs and 
cats of the family. He remained so long absent from home, that 
some uneasiness began to arise on his account, but it was dissipated 
by his returning dressed in a handsome coat, with very long skirts, 
laced ruffles, and silk stockings. On seeing his mother, he ran to 
her, and taking out of his pocket twenty guineas, which he had 
earned by his pencil, he desired her to keep them ; adding, that, in 
future, he should maintain himself." l Then, sweeping the guineas 
on to the floor, Opie threw himself on to them, crying out to his 
mother : " See here, here be I wolving 2 in gould ! " Polwhele says 
that his mother thought him crazed. 

This story of Opie discarding his short jacket and returning 

1 Prince Hoare, in the Artist, no.!vii ; prefixed to " Lectures on Painting," 
by John Opie, R.A. 
* Rolling. 


home clothed as a fine gentleman, appears in various guises. 
Cyrus Redding relates that it was before Wolcot, and not Opie's 
mother, that the scene of rolling on the guineas was acted : Mr. J. 
Jope Rogers discredited so much of it as related to Opie's arrival 
dressed in the clothes : " It is more reasonable to suppose that 
he desired them to dress a sitter in," suggests Mr. Rogers, " than 
that he should risk being mobbed on the road by trudging home 
in them."" l Polwhele disagrees with the idea of one narrator that 
the coat was of velvet, and say it was a superfine broadcloth. The 
fact remains that he had this gift of clothes from Prideaux Place : 
the portrait of himself (painted Jbetween 1779 and 1781, formerly 
owned by Mr. Ouvry), and that of John Penwarne the younger, 
are said to have been painted in it : the coat was olive green. 
Whether Opie " wolved " in gold before his mother or Wolcot is 
also a matter of indifference : it was his mother who had the money, 
or part of it. Both now and throughout the rest of her life Opie 
proved himself an exemplary son. 

Opie's father died while John was still young. The last we 
hear of him is in a letter written by Opie to his mother a few 
months after his removal to London. The old man was evidently 
in bad health then, and John charged his mother not to let him 
work any more : probably he died soon after. 

During the intervals between his painting excursions Opie 
resided with Wolcot, who helped the lad to educate himself. 
Opie was an apt pupil : he had a marvellous memory, and quench- 
less thirst for knowledge. His early acquaintance with books 
cannot have been extensive. It is hardly likely that a carpenter's 
son of that period could have had access to much beyond the Bible 
and the chap-books sold by pedlars, with, perhaps, a few elementary 
educational works. Thomas Holcroft, who well understood from 
personal experience the difficulty of obtaining mental food, de- 
scribing the dearth of available literature in his own boyhood 
some ten or fifteen years earlier in the century, says : " Books were 
not then, great or small, on this subject or on that, to be found in 
every house. A book, except of prayers or of daily religious use, 
was scarcely to be seen but among the opulent, or in the possession 
of the studious ; and by the opulent they were often disregarded 
with a degree of neglect which would now be almost disgraceful." 
1 "Opie and his Works," J. Jope Rogers, M.A. 


The circulating library furnished reading for its subscribers in 
many provincial towns. Truro no doubt owned one, but it is at 
least doubtful if Opie knew of it ; had he done so it appears 
plausible to suppose that some record would exist, as under such 
strict parental discipline a walk of fourteen miles to exchange 
books could not have escaped notice and discouragement. But 
the Authorized Version of the Bible was itself an education in 
English prose at its best : to this he added later on a thorough 
knowledge of the works of Milton, Shakespeare, Pope, Dryden, 
Gray, Cowper, Butler's " Hudibras," Burke, and Johnson a 
literary equipment enabling him to hold his own with the best. 
Wolcot taught him French so successfully that in after years he 
could read it fluently and a little Latin. Opie had also a slight 
knowledge of Italian, but whether he learnt this from Wolcot, or 
from one of the many Italian refugees who found shelter in 
England some years later, is uncertain. After all, learning is 
valuable or not according to the capacity of a person to employ it 
advantageously. As Sir James Mackintosh said of him, " He 
was what we choose to call unlearned, but he was not ignorant ; 
he knew as many languages as Demosthenes, probably more, and 
he had certainly read more books than Homer." 1 

That Wolcot and Opie lived together on terms of perfect 
equality and friendship during these Cornish years is certain ; nor 
does the accident of their mutual attraction towards a fascinating 
widow who was a patient of Wolcot, appear to have seriously 
disturbed their domestic harmony. Wolcot courted the lady, who 
lived at a distance, in somewhat leisurely style. Opie accompanied 
him once or twice, but found his position irksome as third at the 
interview. Practical and acute even in the agitation of first love ; 
instead of sulking in jealous fury while Wolcot paid the lady 
pretty eighteenth-century compliments, Opie determined to call 
alone ; and in order that his tete-a-tete might be secured from 
interruption by Wolcot, he borrowed the doctor's horse. Wolcot 
enjoyed the joke, even if it turned against himself, and used to 
relate the story, with the comment : 

" I gave him credit for his adroitness in cutting off all chance 
of my finding out where he went by depriving me of the means 
of conveyance." 

1 " Life of Rt. Hon. Sir James Mackintosh." 


Truro was growing too hot to hold " Maister Ould Cat," as the 
country folk called the clever, benevolent doctor. His medical 
colleagues looked with disapproval on his unconventional methods 
of treatment. In an age when bleeding and violent purges were 
prescribed indiscriminately, a doctor " known by his red cloak 
and his superior frown " carried an imposing-looking gold-headed 
stick, and tried to conceal his real ignorance under an assumption 
of omniscience. Rank heresy, then, for one of the faculty to say, 
as Wolcot did, " It is a very uncertain affair, that physic. I often 
seem to myself to pick people's pockets. I could not leave a 
patient without a prescription, so in doubtful cases I took care to 
give what would do no mischief. A physician can only watch 
Nature, and when she is going right, give her a shove or two 
behind.' 1 

Wolcofs success in the treatment of consumptives and fever 
patients could not reconcile his confreres to the methods by which 
he obtained it : the idea of a fever-stricken patient being en- 
couraged to drink cold water appalled them, while Wolcot's 
sarcastic tongue completed the breach, and irritated them beyond 
endurance, when he advised one of the local doctors not to take 
away too much blood from his patients to feed his pigs. The 
apothecaries loved him no better than the doctors ; for he examined 
the medicines he prescribed to see if they were correctly com- 
pounded, and was quick to detect the substitution of a cheaper 
drug. Finally, as if it were not enough to have quarrelled with his 
fellow-practitioners and the apothecaries, Wolcot must needs inter- 
fere in the affairs of Truro town. His sarcasm was levelled at 
the Corporation for mismanagement, and out of revenge for his 
lampoons they gave him a parish apprentice. 

Wolcot was equal to the occasion : 


" Your blunderbuss has missed fire. 

" Yours, 


he wrote to the Corporation, and moved to Helston, taking 
Opie with him (1779), where he lived in Coinage Hall Street ; 
practising between Helston and Falmouth for about two years. 


Opie and Wolcot then went for a short time to Exeter before 
finally venturing to London. Some time prior to 1780 they were 
in Plymouth together, when Wolcot took Opie to the house of 
William Cookworthy (the Quaker druggist, and discoverer of 
china-clay in Cornwall), in Nut Street, and set him to paint his 
portrait. " It was not his speaking likeness, which would have 
been all life and fire. It is his thinking likeness, which is very 
different. And yet, when the rays of the setting sun shed their 
softened light over the features, as they do for several days, twice 
in the year, at a late and early period, where the portrait hangs in 
my present dining-room, it is difficult to believe the countenance 
to be any but that of a living man in the calm repose of a mighty 
mind. 1 ' l 

On October 25, 1777, Wolcot wrote to Ozias Humphrey, the 
miniature-painter, offering him the services of an uncouth, raw- 
boned country lad of fifteen named Opie, who had " run mad with 
paint, 11 to clean his brushes and palette, and make himself useful 
about the house. " He wanted no wages, for that if he would 
give him his food and a little money to keep the devil out of his 
pocket, he would be perfectly contented. 11 2 Humphrey was un- 
willing, or unable, to grant Wolcot's request, so nothing came of 
the suggestion : luckily for Opie, whose education under Wolcot 
was more fitted to his needs than anything Humphrey could have 
taught him. 

In 1780 Opie exhibited at the Society of Artists ; his picture 
being entered in the catalogue as " Master Oppy, Penryn, A Boy's 
Head, an Instance of Genius, not having seen a picture. 11 Soon 
after*, Wolcot, tired of the life of a country doctor, and judging 
that Opie was now fit to appear before the London critics, deter- 
mined to take his pupil to town ; depending for his own part on 
literary work. But before they started he came to an agreement 
with Opie, by which their respective incomes from brush and pen 
were to be pooled and shared equally ; Wolcot also undertaking 
to furnish introductions and use his pen on Opie's behalf. Opie 
agreed to this ; and in the autumn of 1781 they arrived in London, 
the young artist's capital amounting to some thirty or forty 
guineas, out of which he furnished their lodgings at Mr. Ricardo's, 

1 " Memoirs of William Cookworthy." 

* "Nollekens and his Times/' by J. T. Smith, vol. ii, p. 361, ed.1828. 


Orange Court, Castle Street, l^icester Fields, where Opie and 
Wolcot agreed to live together and share expenses. Orange Court 
has long been swept away, but it stood at the back of the 
National Gallery. 

It has been alleged that on migrating to London the more 
genteel spelling of Opie was adopted instead of Oppy, or Hoppy. 
This is denied : the name is now said to have been always spelt 
Opie by the artist and his family, but the local pronunciation was, 
and is, Oppy. Wolcot intended to exhibit his protege as an 
uncouth Cornishman, so any idea of gentility is absurd on his 
part ; while Opie, careless of the refinements of life, was certainly 
not guilty of a change of pronunciation unless he adopted it 
from the mincing fashionables who thronged to his studio because 
it did not seem worth his while to put them right. 



EORGE III had been tampering with the Constitution 
V_T for twenty-one years when John Opie came to London : 
doing as much harm to his dominions as an obstinate, well- 
meaning, narrow-minded man may. Corruption in politics had 
reached its worst : boroughs were openly advertised for sale ; 
bribes offered and taken unblushingly ; sinecures considered the 
inalienable right of the aristocracy, and peculation no disgrace. 
Great Chatham had been dead rather more than three years, 
after his last tragic protest against the Colonial policy of the 
King's ministers ; his son had just entered upon his brilliant 
career as a statesman. The revolt of the American colonists 
against attempts to extend overseas the system of blood-suck- 
ing prevailing in England, had culminated in the surrender of 
Cornwallis and his army at Yorktown news of which disaster 
must have reached London about the time of Opie's arrival. 
Simultaneously with the loss of one dependency in the West, 
Warren Hastings was cementing the foundation-stones of another 
in the East ; and the recent discoveries of Captain Cook still 
fresh in men's minds had added another continent to the map : 
nearer home, the siege of Gibraltar was drawing to its close. 

The social condition of England was as little to be commended 
as its political. The King set an example of soberness, frugality, 
and domesticity that his ministers and court declined to follow : 
the Prince of Wales was a handsome young libertine. High play, 
drunkenness, and profligacy were the rule : men grew old before 
middle life after a wild youth and unstinted indulgence in wine. 
A sober, puritanical, middle-class interposed a wholesome stratum 
between the vices of the upper class and the brutality of the 



lower : crimes of violence were not lessened, but rather encouraged, 
by a savage penal code. The first step towards religious toler- 
ance the Catholic Relief Bill had provoked the fanatical Gordon 
riots, which broke out at intervals for nearly two years ; traces of 
which were still to be seen in blackened walls and roofless buildings. 
Popular discontent lay slumbering now, but democracy was 
becoming a power to be reckoned with. 

If literature received somewhat feeble support from the King, 
whose well-meaning recognition of Miss Burney's genius led him 
to give her an appointment that effectually hindered future 
literary work, he patronised art right royally. His encourage- 
ment of individual artists was extended to art in general, and 
resulted in the foundation of the Royal Academy (December 
1768). Opie found the Academy just a year established in the 
royal palace of Somerset House, financially independent, and the 
centre of a recognised British School, with Sir Joshua Reynolds at 
its head. 

In 1781 Sir Joshua Reynolds still had some years of sight 
before him ; his rival, Romney, was making four thousand a year 
by portrait painting ; Gainsborough was immortalizing the 
beauties of the day in an impulsive, impromptu fashion ; foppish 
Cosway painted artificial charms and affected princely state ; 
while Lawrence, then a boy of twelve, was drawing idealized 
crayon portraits at Bath of the fashionables who came there to 
drink the waters. Portrait painting was a lucrative profession 
in the days before photography for an artist who would flatter 
the vanity of his sitters. 

To this seething hive of London came Wolcot and his " Cornish 
Wonder " ; too blunt, too honest, too indifferent, it would appear, 
for success where artificiality reigned triumphant. But if the 
fashionables and wits of Georgian society loved to see their pre- 
sentiments improved upon, they delighted no less in lion-hunting, 
and Wolcot knew what he was about when he told his friends that 
Opie was an untaught genius. Among others he called on Hearne, 
the engraver, and told him that "he had caught a boy in Corn- 
wall tenth rawjksh, and that he would take him to his lodgings. 1 

Hearne describes Opie as he saw him then " a rude, clownish 
boy, with lank, dark hair, and a green feather. 1 ' 1 The green 
1 " Library of the Fine Arts," vol. iv, 1832. 


feather, which naturally attracted Hearne's notice, as feathers had 
long disappeared from masculine headgear and become a monopoly 
of the ladies, must have been a pleasantry of Wolcot's intended to 
accentuate his protege's reputation for savagery. Without doubt 
a sensible lad like Opie soon found this out and discarded it. 

Wolcot had not over-estimated the attraction of an oddity. 
Opie's lodgings in Orange Court were soon besieged by a fashion- 
able crowd eager to have the reputation of sitting to the new 
artist. Some such conversation as the following, which " Peter 
Pindar, a distant relation of the Poet of Thebes, and Laureate to 
the Academy, 11 said he overheard between two " pretty Misses " at 
one of the exhibitions, might have been heard round Opie's easel : 

" ' Oh the dear man ! ' cried one : ' look, here's a Bonnet ! 
He shall paint me ; I am determin'd on it : 
Lord, cousin, see ! how beautiful the gown ! 
What charming Colours ! here's fine Lace, here's Gauze ! 
What pretty Sprigs the fellow draws ! 
Lord, cousin, he's the cleverest man in town.' 

' ' ' Ay, cousin,' cries a second, ' very true ; 

And here, here's charming green, and red, and blue ; 
There's a Complexion beats the rouge of Warren : 
See those red lips ; oh la ! they seem so nice ; 
What rosy Cheeks then, cousin, to entice ! 
Compared to this, all other heads are carrion. 

" ' Cousin, this Limner quickly will be seen 
Painting the Princess Royal, and the Queen : 
Pray, don't you think as I do, Coz? 
But we'll be painted first, that's poz.'" 1 

Hearne suggested to Wolcot " that as he [Opie] was visited 
and employed by so many fashionable people, he ought to be a 
little more polished in his outward appearance. 11 

" No, no ! " replied Wolcot, " you may depend on it, in this 
wonder-gaping town, that all curiosity would cease if his hair were 
dressed, and he looked like any other man ; I shall keep him in 
this state for the next two years, at least." 2 

" Would not one swear that Heaven loved Fools, 
There's such a number of them made ? " 

demanded he, cynically, in the " Lyric Odes. 11 

1 Ode XIII. 

2 ' ' Library of the Fine Arts," vol. iv, 1832. 


While the beaux and belles of Georgian society were jostling 
each other to get a view of the new prodigy, we may wonder what 
Opie's own thoughts were; coming fresh from a quiet country town 
to find himself the centre of attraction : the butt of " macaroni " 
wit. Regard for other people's feelings was not a strong point 
at that period : outspoken criticism of his manners, speech, and 
appearance would be made in tones that conveyed either a total 
disregard of his presence, or a belief that he was stone-deaf or 
ignorant of the English language. It was no doubt considered 
excellent amusement to exploit ignorance of London life by 
playing practical jokes ; regardless alike of their victim's mental 
suffering or bodily safety. Opie was a strong man : physically as 
well as mentally. His powerful frame protected him against the 
practical jokers, while his common sense stood him in good stead 
against the foolish flatterers around him. But the first result of 
London life was to turn into a taciturn and somewhat surly youth 
the impulsive boy who had expressed joy by hanging affectionately 
round his mothers neck or rolling playfully on the gold- strewn 
floor. Opie never quite lost his Cornish accent ; but Northcote 
telling him in after years of his surprise that it was so little 
noticeable unconsciously throws a tragic light on the habits of 
self-repression formed in these early days, during which the loose- 
lipped mouth tightened, as can be seen from his successive 
portraits, and John Opie became noted for a somewhat savage 
wit : 

" Why," said Opie, " the reason was I never spoke at all till I 
knew you and Wolcot." 1 

Meanwhile Wolcot was not idle. He introduced his protege 
to Reynolds, who received the young man with the dignified 
kindness proper from a veteran artist of such renown to a 
promising neophyte, gave him the benefit of his criticisms and 
advice, and laid the foundation of mutual esteem and goodwill. 

" * I have again called on Reynolds with a pair of John Opie's 
pictures," 1 wrote Wolcot to Colborn, the bookseller, ' the portrait 
of "A Jew," and "A Cornish Beggar," on which he expressed surprise 
at performances by a boy in a country village containing excel- 
lencies that would not disgrace the pencil of Caravaggio. Opie's 
knowledge of chiaroscuro without having ever seen a picture of 
1 " Conversations of James Northcote, R.A.," edited by William Hazlitt. 


By permission of the owners. .Messrs. Dowdeswell & DowJeswells. Ltd. 


the dark masters, drew from his eye a sort of wonder. It strikes 
me that Reynolds expects Opie to be as perfect in the delineation 
of the graces as in the heads of vulgar nature, and in consequence 
become a formidable rival. But here I am sorry to say he will be 
fortunately mistaken ; Opie, I fear, is too fond of imitating coarse 
expression. . . . To him at present elegance appears affectation, 
and the forms of Raphael unnatural. He too much resembles a 
country farmer, who, never having tasted anything beyond rough 
cyder, cannot feel the flavour of burgundy or champagne. 1 " l 

Northcote, who since his return from Italy in 1780 had already 
made two ineffectual attempts to establish himself in London as 
a fashionable portrait painter, came up from Plymouth for a third 
trial soon after Opie's arrival in town. He, also, was of humble 
origin. The son of a watchmaker at Plymouth, he first left home 
with ten guineas in his pocket, and walked the greater part of the 
way to London, where he spent five years as pupil in Reynolds'^ 
studio. He called on Reynolds now to announce his return and 

" ' Ah ! 1 said Reynolds, ' you may go back now, you have no 
chance here. There is such a young man come out of Cornwall. 1 

" ' Good ! Sir Joshua, what is he like ? ' 

" ' Like ? Like Caravaggio, but finer. 1 " 2 

" I was ready to sink into the earth," said Northcote when he 
told the story. 3 The disappointment and chagrin seriously affected 
Northcote 1 s health, and although he ultimately became Opie^ 
friend and imitator, there was always a reluctance in Northcote's 
praise of his successful rival. He appears to have been alternately 
fascinated and repelled by Opie^ strong personality. In spite of 
much greater educational advantages, Northcote could never 
approach Opie^ level and he knew it : the explanation was given 
by Northcote when discussing Opie with Haxlitt : " He was a true 
genius." Opie summed up the situation with characteristic blunt- 
ness : " We should have been the best friends in the world if we 
had not been rivals. 11 

It was not enough for Wolcot to have won such flattering 

1 "Opie and his Works," J. Jope Rogers, M.A , pp. 19, 20. 

2 "Caravaggio and Velasquez in one," according to the " Dictionary of 
National Biography." 

3 "Memoirs of Sir Joshua Reynolds," James Northcote, R.A. 


recognition from the President of the Royal Academy : he was 
ambitious of royal favour. Chance had paved the way for this. 
A young naval lieutenant, William Glanville Boscawen, was 
accidentally drowned in Jamaica during Wolcot's residence there. 
The doctor made his death the subject of an elegy, published in 
the Annual Register for 1779. This came to the notice of the 
young man's mother, " the accomplished Mrs. Boscawen " widow 
of the Admiral, " Old Dreadnought " a clever, brilliant, and 
witty woman, one of the " blues " of Mrs. Montague's set. Touched 
by this tribute to her son's memory, she sent a letter of grateful 
appreciation to the author. Mrs. Boscawen had considerable 
influence in Court circles, and Wolcot took advantage of her 
kindly feeling towards himself to get Opie introduced at 

So ** Jan " went to the palace, carrying with him four pictures in 
in his most Rembrandtesque manner, to convince "Farmer George" 
that an English-born artist and from the Royal Duchy too 
could paint old men and beggars in successful rivalry of 

Wolcot gave a spirited description of the scene in a letter to 
his kinsman, Mr. John James, at Rosenvale : 

"... I have at length got Jan introduced to the King and Queen. 
The night before he went I was employed in teaching him how to 
make King and Queen bows. ... As he was carrying his pictures 
into a room of the Palace, Jan was followed by the Queen, who 
treated him with great kindness, so much indeed that he is now 
turned Quixote, and is ready to fight up to his knees in blood for 
her Majesty. The King came in after, with a skip (not a very 
proper pace I think for Majesty) ; West was with him I mean 
West the famous painter, a monstrous favourite of George's 
George asked Jan a number of questions, which (from Jan's history 
of himself after his return) he answered with a St. Agnes intrepidity. 
The pictures were placed in order, and the British Monarch 
applauded the artist. The Queen turned up the whites of her 
eyes, marvelling, the little Princes lisped praises, and Jan, to be 
sure, was in an ecstasy. He remained nearly an hour and a half 
with 'em, and then took his leave. The pictures he carried were 
' An Old Jew,' * A Beggar and his Dog,' ' The Old Kneebone of 


Helstone, 1 and ' Mat Trevenen. 1 1 ' The Beggar and his Dog ' 
the King kept, 2 as well as the portrait of a lady which Jan painted 
expressly for him. West was ordered to give Jan the money and 
to say that he (George the Third) wished him every success. On 
Wednesday the boy paints the Duke and Duchess of Gloster, and 
I suppose the children. He waited on them a few days since and 
was graciously received by their Royal Highnesses. He is now 
painting the most beautiful women of the Court, Lady Salisbury, 
Lady Charlotte Talbot, Lady Harcourt, etc. 3 You can't think 
what repute the fellow is come into. I told you above that I got 
him introduced; indeed I did, for by recommending him to 
Mrs. Boscawen's patronage, she made it a point to oblige me, and 
immediately introduced him to Lord and Lady Bute, the Honorable 
Mr. and Mrs. Walsingham, Lord and Lady Edgcumbe, Mrs. Delany, 
a chief favourite of their Majesties, etc., etc., who showing her picture 
done by him, to the King, he was immediately sent for. Now he 

1 Mr. C. Davis Gilbert (of Tresillick), Penhale, Truro, writes, "The 
pictures which J. Opie took to the King were as stated but the last ... is 
old Trevennen the beggar, not Mat Trevenen the gentleman. The King 
having selected one, my grandfather purchased the remaining three pictures, 
two of which are still at Tresillick, and the other at Enys (the late Mrs. Enys 
having been Miss Gilbert)." In a later letter he says (replying to my 
questions), " The object then in view was to show that his Majesty had a 
young subject who was a humble rival of Rembrandt a picture of a worthy 
burgess of Helston would not effect that object, and the three pictures, two at 
Tresillick, one at Enys, all beggars, show the object in view." The theory 
sounds reasonable. Wolcot, who doubtless knew Mathew Trevenen, youngest 
son of Rev. John Trevenen, of Rosevvarne, may have made a slip of the pen 
and written a familiar name instead of Old Trevennen. As, after the King 
had chosen "The Beggar and his Dog," Opie's early patron, Mr. Davies 
Giddy (he did not take the name of Gilbert until after his marriage in 1808 
with the heiress of Thomas Gilbert of Eastbourne), purchased those that were 
left, the Gilbert family tradition is worthy of acceptance. Mr. J. Jope 
Rogers, in " Opie and his Works," followed Wolcot's letter, arid gives Mat 
Trevenen as the fourth picture. The two pictures mentioned as at Tresillick 
are " Old Kneebone " and " Portrait of an Old Man " (p. 220 of " Opie and 
his Works ") ; the one at Enys is "An Old Jew." 

1 " It is not now in any of the Royal Collections." ' ' Opie and his Works," 
J. Jope Rogers, M.A. 

3 There is a portrait of Lady Harcourt (the Hon. Mrs. W. Harcourt) by 
Opie at Nuneham Park, but it is said to be only a copy of one by Sir Joshua 



is established, it will be his own fault if he does not make his 
fortune." 1 

Opie gave his own account of the interview to his mother soon 
after. It seems, from his denial of having had two hundred 
pounds, as if the following letter may have been written after a 
garbled version of the story had reached St. Agnes : 


" I received my brother's two last letters, and am exceed- 
ingly sorry to hear that my father is so poorly ; don't let him 
work any more, I hope he will be better before this arrives. I have 
all the prospect of success that is possible, having much more 
business than I can possibly do. I have been with the King and 
Queen, who were highly pleased with my works, and took two of 
my pictures, 2 and they are hung up in the King's collection at the 
Queen's Palace. As to the 200 business, it is entirely false, for 
I was but paid my price and no more. I could have had more 
money for the pictures if I had sold them to several noblemen. . . . 
". . . There is no work stirring at this time, and it is a very 
improper time to see the town, as it is cold and very dirty, and so 
full of smoak and fog that you can hardly see the length of your 
nose, and I should not be able to stir anywhere out by day nor 
keep them company indoors, by reason of the quantity of business. 
I would advise them to come up in June, when they may see every- 
thing in fine weather, and probably I shall not be so busy then as 
I am now, because most of the quality go out of town at that time, 
and then also they may see all the great houses, &c., but now the 
familys are in town, they'd not be able to see one. As to my stay 
here, it will depend on circumstances, as the continuation of employ 
and the encouragement I may meet with. If I have time and 
money I shall certainly come down in the summer. 

". . . Many have been in town, years, and have had nothing 
to do, whilst I who have been here but two or three months, am 
known and talked of by everybody. To be known is the great 
thing in London. A man may do ever so well, if nobody knows 
it, it will signify nothing, and among so many thousand and ten 
thousand people, it is no easy matter to get known. I cannot 

1 " Opie and his Works," J. Jope Rogers, M.A., pp. 22, 23. 
1 " A Beggar and his Dog," and the " Portrait of Mrs. Delany." 


think what gave rise to the report which you heard, as I have 
never had a present from anybody in my life. Money is very 
scarce among everybody, and I only desire to get paid for what I 
do. I have a new method, and make them all, or most of them, 
pay half as soon as I begin the pictures, which is a very good 
method. Brother E. and his wife are very well and will be very 
glad to see Brother and Betty up at the time I mentioned, they 
join in their duty to you and Father, and love to Uncle, Brother 
and Sisters, &c., with your affectionate son, 

"J. OPIE. 

"Direct to me at Mr. Riccard's, Orange Court, Leicester 
Fields, London. 

" March 11, 1782." 

Evidently sister Betty desired to see some of the London sights, 
and John, wrapped in his work, had no desire to act as cicerone 
just then. Betty came up later, however, and went, among other 
places, to the British Museum, where she accidentally broke off 
a finger from a mummy. This she brought home to " Jan,' 1 who 
ground it down for paint. Betty's adventures in London afforded 
her subject for talk during the remainder of her life. 

Less serious, and more boyish and jubilant in the pride of 
success than the one to his mother, is another letter written 
about the same time to his friends John Penwarne the younger, 
and his brother Edward Penwarne ; sons of one of Opie's early 
patrons : 


" I must ask you ten thousand pardons for neglecting to 
write you all this while. I shall never forget the obligations I 
am under to Mr. Penwarne and his family. 

" I think I am fixed here for the winter ; however, whether I 
will or no, and the only thing I regret is that I cannot see you 
sometimes ; I wish, indeed, I expected to see one of you here 
before now. 

" I have been exceedingly lucky since I have been here ; I have 
all the quality at my lodgings every day nothing but Lords, 
Ladies, Dukes, Duchesses, etc. I was introduced to Sir Josh., 

1 <( Biographical Sketches in Cornwall," Rev. Richard Polwhele. 


who said many handsome things of me both to my face and 
behind my back. 

" But Loard I've a zee'd the King and the Queen, and was 
with them at the Queen's House and taalked wi' mun two hours 
and painted vor mun the picture of an old lady and a blind beggar 
and dog. I am not yet paid for 'em. 

" West was there at the same time. After the King went out, 
West asked me the price of the pictures, and said the King wished 
to be considered as a private gentleman. I had a great mind to 
ask if the King paid him as a private gentleman. . . ." 1 

These letters were written in March 1782 ; but unless the 
portrait of Mrs. Delany, commissioned by the King, was painted 
before his interview with royalty, this visit to the palace must 
have taken place much earlier in the year ; for in a letter dated 
February 14, 1782, Horace Walpole writes to the Rev. William 
Mason : 

"... There is a new genius, one Opy, a Cornish lad of nine- 
teen, who has taught himself to colour in a strong, bold, masterly 
style, by studying nature, and painting from beggars and poor 
children. He has done a head of Mrs. Delany for the King oui 
vraiment, it is pronounced like Rembrandt, but, as I told her, it 
does not look older than she is, but older than she does." 

Mrs. Delany sat a second time to Opie at the desire of Lady 
Bute, " that he might paint a portrait of her from life, in exactly 
the same dress and position as the picture he had painted by 
command of King George III and Queen Charlotte, and which, 
during their lives, was hung in their bed-chamber at Windsor 
Castle, and is now at Hampton Court." 2 Horace Walpole de- 
signed a frame for Lady Bute's picture after Mrs. Delany's death, 
emblematic of his old friend's varied accomplishments. Both 
picture and frame are now in the National Portrait Gallery, 
having been bequeathed to it in 3896 by Lady Llanover, to whose 
mother, a relation of Mrs. Delany, it had been given by the 
Marquis of Bute. A beautiful portrait, it was a great acquisition 
to the Gallery, as Opie is but poorly represented in our national 

1 " Opie and his Works," J. Jope Rogers, M.A. 
* " Autobiography of Mrs. Delany." 


collections. The royal picture has been moved from Hampton 
Court to Kensington Palace. 

Did the " gentleman's price " refer to Mrs. Delany's portrait ? 
" Anthony Pasquin," who criticized pictures and burlesqued their 
painters, gave an amusing and probably exaggerated account of 
the transaction : 

"In order to render what was valuable more attractive, he 
[Opie] purchased a frame superbly wrought, which cost him 
eleven guineas, which he borrowed on the occasion : thus enabled, 
as he imagined, to claim a handsome reward, he waited upon the 
President, who informed the young Adventurer that his Majesty 
meant to purchase the Picture not as a King, but as a private 
Gentleman, and required Mr. OPIE to fix the price. After some 
deliberation, the Cornish expectant said that he would leave the 
terms to the King. Mr. WEST complimented the junior Professor 
upon his discernment in thus relying upon regal honor, and sent 
the picture to Buckingham House. In a few days after, Mr. OPIE 
called upon Mr. WEST, pregnant with expectations of the most 
sanguine kind, when Mr. WEST assured him that the King was so 
highly satisfied with his bargain, that he had ordered him to 
present Mr. OPIE with the contents of a paper, which he at that 
instant slipt into the trembling hand of the zealous youth, who 
carried it triumphantly home, that he might ruminate upon the 
bounty of his Sovereign : he arrived, and, unfolding the paper with 
a panting heart, saw nine guineas and a half and sixpence ! ! ! " * 

" Anthony Pasquin " was the pseudonym adopted by John 
Williams, an ex-student of the Academy schools, who had after- 
wards been articled to Matthew Darley, the caricaturist, to learn 
engraving. His chief claim to remembrance as an engraver, in 
J. T. Smith's eyes, was a set of coat-buttons engraved with the 
figure of a swan, for a member of the club called " Sons of 

Instead of turning his knowledge of art to its legitimate use, 
Williams found more congenial, or more profitable, occupation in 
lampooning unfortunate artists, actors, and musicians. If Wolcofs 
satire was not over-gentle, nor always free from partiality, he 
knew what he was writing about, and his criticisms were sound : 

1 " Memoirs of the Royal Academicians," No. I, " A Liberal Critique on 
the Exhibition for 1794." 


above all he was a gentleman, in spite of his coarseness. 
Williams had neither Wolcofs ability nor his virtues : Macaulay 
called him " that malignant and filthy baboon.' 1 He levied black- 
mail on the second-rate artist, or lesser star in the theatrical world : 
men who dared not risk provoking the coarse malignity of his 
criticism. For years he terrorized Mrs. Abington, who equally 
feared his knowledge of passages in her past life that she would 
fain forget, and his power to inflict injury on her reputation as 
an actress. Vulgar and insolent, he was to be met a self-invited 
guest at the houses of his victims : he even dictated the bill of 
fare, and then brought a companion with him to share the repast 
his unwilling host had provided. At last Williams found England 
too hot for him, and, after bringing an unsuccessful suit against 
the author of " Baviad and Moeviad " in which the tables had 
been turned against him he fled to America. Here he came to 
grief again through attacking Cobbett, and, finding himself no 
match for the quills of " Peter Porcupine," returned to England ; 
but his power was gone, his creditors importunate, and the once- 
dreaded " Anthony Pasquin " died in obscurity. A picture of 
" Three Indian Chiefs . . . drawn when the author was travelling 
through their nations in 1799 " was exhibited by " A. Pasquin, 
Honorary Member," at the Royal Academy in 1802. 

Truly, between Wolcot, Pasquin, and the Earwig, artists 
needed a pachydermatous hide in the early days of the Royal 

In connection with this period of Opie's life, when he was 
being hailed as an English Rembrandt, it is interesting to read 
what he wrote of that painter in his third lecture, written twenty- 
five years later, and see how, while offering homage to Rembrandt's 
genius, he warned the Academy students against taking him as 
their model : 

"At the head of the Dutch School, and foremost amongst 
those who, in the opinion of some critics, cut the knot instead of 
untying it, and burglariously entered the Temple of Fame by the 
window, stands the name of Rembrandt, called Van Rhyn from 
his birthplace, a village on that river near Leyden. His father, a 
miller, put his son under one Lastman, a tolerable painter of 
Amsterdam ; but by what means he was led to adopt that peculiar 
manner which distinguishes his works, is not now to be discovered. 


Of his singularities it is, however, recorded that he used to 
ridicule the antique, and the ordinary methods of study, and that 
he had a large collection of strange dresses, old armour, and rich 
stuffs, which he called his antiques, and which it is obvious he 
made use of, as models in his principal works. There is, also, 
a story related of him, which shows him to have been no less 
a humorist than a genius ; which is, that finding his works, at one 
period of his life, accumulating on his hands, he resolved to make 
a sale of them, but unfortunately, it seems, the public in 
Rembrandt's time very much resembled the public at present, and 
scorned to buy the works of a living artist. In this dilemma he 
had no resource but to secrete himself, pretend to be dead, put his 
wife into widow's mourning, and order a mock funeral. After 
this, his sale went on with uncommon success ; when it was ended 
Rembrandt rose from the dead, to the great joy of his disconsolate 
wife, and received the congratulations of his friends on the happy 
termination of his excellent joke. Being, at another time, re- 
proached for the boldness and roughness of his manner of laying 
on his colours, he replied, ' I am a painter, and not a dyer. 1 

" What was so happily said of Burke, might with equal truth 
be applied to Rembrandt : 

'Whose genius was such 
That one never can praise it, or blame it, too much.' 

He seemed born to confound all rules and reasoning : with the 
most transcendent merits he combines the most glaring faults, and 
reconciles us to them ; he charms without beauty, interests without 
grace, and is sublime in spite of disgusting forms and the utmost 
vulgarity of character. His deficiencies would have fairly anni- 
hilated any other man, yet he still justly claims to be considered 
as a genius of the first class. Of chiaro scuro he ranged the whole 
extent, and exemplified all its effects in all its degrees, changes, 
and harmonies, from the noonday blaze to when the 

' Dying embers round the room 
Teach light to counterfeit a gloom.' 

" In richness and truth of colouring, in copiousness of inven- 
tion and energy of expression, he equalled the greatest of his 
predecessors, and whatever he attempted, he rendered with a 
degree of truth, of reality, of illusion, that defies all comparison. 


By these powers he seemed to be independent of his subject : it 
mattered not what he painted, his pencil, like the finger of Midas, 
turned everything it touched to gold ; it made defects agreeable, 
gave importance to trifles, and begat interest in the bosom of 
barrenness and insipidity itself. 

" But, though thus gifted to dwell with Nature in her simplest 
retirement, he was no less qualified, with a master's hand and 
poet's fire, to follow and arrest her in her wildest flights ; all that 
was great, striking, and uncommon in her scenery was familiar to 
him ; yet he chiefly delighted in obscurity and repose ; mystery 
and silence floated round his pencil, and dreams, visions, witcheries, 
and incantations he alone, with no less magic power, rendered 
probable, awful, and interesting. In short, so great and original 
were his powers, that he seems to be one who would have dis- 
covered the art, had it never before existed. 

" Rembrandt, with all his powers, is a master whom it is most 
exceedingly dangerous to imitate ; his excellencies are so fasci- 
nating, that we are apt first to forgive, and. lastly, to fall in 
love even with his faults, or, at least, to think the former cheaply 
purchased with the incumbrance of the latter. But let the 
student carefully remember, that the imitator of any individual 
master, like the imitator of individual nature, must never hope to 
occupy a station in the first class of artists, and that defects like 
those of Rembrandt, and most of the Dutch School, even if 
associated with equal excellence, can never hope to be forgiven a 
second time." 1 

1 ''Lectures on Painting" (Lect. Ill, "Of Chiaro Scuro "), J. Opie, R.A. 



A MAN of weaker character than Opie would have been 
ruined by sudden popularity at such an early age. It 
needed a strong head to stand the implied flattery of the waiting 
throng of coaches and chairs crowding the narrow street while 
their owners the most beautiful women and notable men of their 
day visited the studio ; either as sitters, or to quiz and criticize 
the portraits of their friends. 

To those lodgings in Orange Court came William Henry, 
Duke of Gloucester, with his wife Maria, formerly Countess 
Waldegrave, a natural daughter of Sir Edward Walpole, and one 
of Sir Joshua Reynolds's favourite sitters a contributory cause of 
the Royal Marriage Act : 

"They may burn and be damn'd, but they never shall marry, 
George the Third as despotic shall be as Eighth Harry ; 
He shall cut off the heads of his sons and his spouses, 
For we'll have no more war between red and white roses " 

as the Duchess's uncle, Horace Walpole, wrote on the subject. 1 
He, also, would be there, with his mincing gait a little accentuated 
by recent gout, to pass on the latest scandal and criticize the 
artist's method and his " two wives," the Misses Berry, in company 
with other fine ladies of their set : testifying by little affected 
shrieks and daintily mouthed oaths to the accuracy of the likeness 
to their old friend, Mrs. Delany. If growing infirmities kept 
Dr. Johnson away, we may be sure that his " little dunce," " the 
lively Miss Moncton, who used to have the finest bit of blue at her 
house," came to capture Opie for one of her parties, where all 
the lions of London roared obediently at her bidding, and every 

1 f( Last Journals of Horace Walpole." 


man or woman with any pretensions to talent or learning might be 
seen : Mrs. Montague, " of Shakespeareshire," as Horace Walpole 
called her just removed to her fine new house at the corner of 
Portman Square, built by Adams, and decorated by Cipriani and 
Angelica Kauffmann would be there also ; and Mrs. Vesey, 
her mental powers still keen and bright : the trio of brilliant 
women who successfully transplanted the French salon to English 

How the inward eye luxuriates in visions of the lace-ruffled 
society of George Ill's earlier years ! After our utilitarian 
attire, even the sober-hued cloth, laced with gold or silver, of 
everyday wear is picturesque : the delicately tinted satins and 
velvets of state occasions must have furnished a riot of colours. 
Masculine attire was still beautiful when Opie came to London, 
although there was a growing tendency towards sobriety of colour. 
The sword was still an essential part of a gentleman's outfit not 
merely for ornament, unfortunately ; for although duelling was 
illegal, he would have been a brave man who dared refuse a 
challenge. Life then had leisure for courtly interchange of com- 
pliments; fans fluttered furtive messages under the very eyes of 
watchful chaperons. There is romance in the strenuous life of 
to-day, but it does not lie on the surface. The attraction of 
the past lies in externals : our mind's eye re-creates the glitter- 
ing throng, but is conveniently blind to the absence of all our 
modern ideas of comfort or even decency. As the day wanes, 
many of the fine gentlemen who visit Opie's studio show too 
evident signs of over-indulgence in wine a condition accepted by 
the ladies with an indifference that proves it too ordinary an 
occurrence to excite remark or disgust. Paint, powder, and 
patches are ineffectual to conceal the ravages of small-pox, or the 
havoc wrought by nights at the gaming-table. We are too 
accustomed to well-paved and lighted streets to appreciate them. 
Could we go back to Opie's day, we should find that the coaches 
and sedan chairs wait outside in a street inches deep in mud 
and garbage ; where pedestrians walked warily along a narrow, 
kerbless, ill-paved footway, usually only wide enough for one. 
At each step they were splashed from head to foot with noisome 
mud from the kennel, that was to all intents and purposes an open 
drain ; lucky, indeed, if they reached home without being anointed 


From the picture in the National Portrait Gallery. 


with oil from the ineffectual lamps that glimmered outside the 
shops and houses. There were other perils, too, on the homeward 
way. Highwaymen and footpads abounded, and even had the 
audacity to appear in town little wonder that they should when 
the citizens had to rely for protection on watchmen who were 
apparently chosen for their decrepitude and senility as fit guardians 
of the King's lieges. Then Lambs Conduit fields were really 
green, and Islington and Hampstead pleasant country villages : 
once beyond Hyde Park the traveller looked to his pistols, and 
on Sunday evenings a bell was tolled at Kensington in order that 
visitors who were returning to the city might assemble and travel 
in company for mutual protection. In the same year that Opie 
came to London, Horace Walpole and Lady Browne, going in 
company to a soiree given by the Duchess of Montrose, near 
Twickenham Park, were robbed by a single highwayman. Lady 
Browne's concern after the thief's departure with his spoil throws a 
singular light on the frequency of these robberies and the 
insecurity of the roads : " I am in terror lest he should return," 
she said, " for I have given him a purse with only bad money 
that I carry on purpose." J Dr. Johnson's verses were still apposite 
to London in 1782 : 

" Prepare for death if here at night you roam, 
And sign your will before you sup from home." 

Strange that, although during the months between Opie's 
arrival in London and the opening of the Royal Academy 
Exhibition of 1782 he had painted portraits of so many fashionable 
and well-known people, 2 he exhibited no portraits. His Academy 
pictures for the year were, " An Old Man's Head," " A Country 
Boy and Girl," " Boy and Dog," " An Old Woman," and " A 

Opie's recent notoriety made his pictures a centre of attraction 
"the wonder of the year was young Opie, who exhibited 
* A Country Boy and Girl,' ' An Old Woman,' and ' A Beggar in 
an Armenian Dress.' " 3 During these early years he is said to 

1 " England and the English in the Eighteenth Century," Wm. Connor 

3 Among others he had painted Thomas Holcroft ; Macklin, actor and 
reputed centenarian ; and Nollekens, the eccentric sculptor. 
' ' Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds," Leslie and Taylor. 


have used smaller brushes, and finished more highly, than after 
experience had given him a broader and more masterly execution. 

A passage in a letter written by the Hon. Mrs. Boscawen to 
Mrs. Delany, dated September 26, 1782, implies that Opie visited 
Bulstrode Park that year, or contemplated doing so. She says, 
" Your favoured Opie is still in raptures at the thoughts of 
Bulstrode. His portrait of Lady Jerningham did not quite satisfy 
me, for I concluded it would be perfect, and her person, liands, 
posture, spinning-wheel, all are so, but the face (or rather counten- 
ance) does not quite please me. 11 1 Unfortunately, if Opie kept a 
diary it is not forthcoming to help his biographer, but there are 
records of several provincial visits, and judging from these we may 
surmise that he visited country houses to paint portraits on com- 
mission when fashionable London was empty. If Bulstrode was 
one of these, it is not possible now to tell what was the purport 
of his visit. 

Towards the end of 1782 Opie made the mistake of his life. 
A solicitor and money-lender named Benjamin Bunn, of St. 
Botolph's, Aldgate, " a Jew broker to whom Opie used to sell his 
pictures, 1 " 2 had pretty, attractive daughters. One of these, Mary, 
captured the young man's fancy. It was not his first love story : 
there was the widow a harmless episode and another rustic 
sweetheart, Mary James, had been left behind in Cornwall. Opie 
painted her portrait : when he died, and his pictures were sold, 
an unfinished life-size picture of a girl milking a cow was found 
in his studio and sold for % ; but whether this was Mary James 
or not who can tell ? 

This courtship of Mary Bunn was more serious, and had lasting 
consequences. Opie was only twenty-one too young to realize 
that matrimonial happiness depended more on kindred sympathies 
than on a pretty face ; too young to understand that it was cruel 
to take a bright young girl from her family and only give her 
a second place in his life his work occupied Opie's thoughts 
and affections so completely that only a meagre portion was left 
for the girl to whom he was married on December 4, 1782, at 
St. Martin-in-the-Fields. The register was witnessed by Benjamin 
and M. Bunn ; no doubt the bride's father and mother : there 

1 " Autobiography and Correspondence of Mrs. Delany." 
1 " Letters of Sir Charles Bell," edited by G. J. Bell. 


is no mention of Wolcot, and no means of knowing if he was 

Opie took his young wife to Orange Court, and one of the first 
results of the marriage was friction between the artist and Wolcot. 
Opie's father-in-law, Benjamin Bunn, is said to have been the 
cause of this. There is no doubt that, unless Wolcofs other 
literary work paid better than the " Odes to the Royal Acade- 
micians," the bargain to share gains equally was operating very 
unfavourably for Opie. We have no record of the prices Opie 
was obtaining for his pictures at this time, but it is obvious that 
he was making a good income for his age. On the other hand, 
Wolcot told John Taylor l that the " Lyric Odes to the Royal 
Academicians " did not pay, and that their publication cost him 
^40. In the first Ode for 1783, he told his readers frankly : 

"For hang me if my last year's Odes 
Paid rent for lodgings near the Gods/ 
Or put one sprat into this mouth divine." 

Still Wolcot's literary work as " Peter Pindar " must have had a 
considerable sale, or he could not have disposed of his copyrights to 
the booksellers, as he did in 1795, for an annuity of ^250. 

Wolcot based his claim to a share of Opie's earnings on the 
fact that by giving up the medical profession to come to London 
in Opie's interests he had lost ^300 to 4>00 a year. Had Opie 
remained a bachelor, it is probable that the ties of gratitude would 
have held the artist to his bargain, but with Bunn to point out the 
inequality of the contract, and a young wife to provide for, the 
rift soon widened. Verbal contests had all along been frequent 
between the two men. Taylor tells us that Opie had great powers 
of raillery, and in these highly diverting discussions, which he 
frequently overheard, they were so evenly matched that the issue 
was doubtful : Wolcofs advantage being the vigour and classical 
point of his sallies; Opie's, the natural energy of a powerful 
intellect. These skirmishes always ended in laughter on both 
sides and without ill-will. 

The rupture is said to have been hastened by Opie's criticism 
of Wolcofs artistic efforts. With a peasant's bluntness, the young 

1 " Records of my Life/' John Taylor. 
* In the attics. 


man, who was indebted to Wolcot for his first lessons in art, now 
derided his tutor's sketches : 

" I tell 'ee ye can't paint ; stick to the pen." 
Wolcot retaliated by railing at Opie\s savagery. He told 
Taylor that " his great aim was to make Opie a Michael Angelo 
Buonarroti, but that he must first have made him a gentleman, 
which he found impossible." This remark, however, was made 
during his variance with that original artist, of whose talents he 
thought highly and deservedly. 1 Opie retorted by caricaturing 
Wolcot as a parsimonious bear, saving fuel by putting blocks of 
dried Thames mud on his fire. 2 

After this it is hardly surprising that the partnership ended. 
Opie told Wolcot that he could return to the country, as he could 
now do for himself. Perhaps this was in the letter Cunningham 
says was sent to Wolcot by Opie while the doctor was on a visit in 
the country. If so, it looks like a confirmation of the report that 
Bunn had a hand in the quarrel. A verbal dismissal seems more 
natural than a written one, coming from a man of Opie's blunt, 
outspoken habits, unless the separation was unwilling, and the 
outcome of domestic influence. 

Wolcot seems to have taken a dignified stand at this juncture : 
he relinquished all claims on Opie, and the erstwhile friends 

In 1804 Wolcot again met Hearne who described for us young 

Opie, with his green feather, just after his first arrival in London : 

"Well, Doctor," said Hearne, "how does your pupil come on?" 

" I cannot give him grace," replied Wolcot ; " the dog has a 

good eye and sound judgment, but nothing elegant or graceful." 

" And how could you expect him to have grace ? You kept 
him too long in the state you caught him, with raw flesh, for him 
to have imbibed any principles of the graceful." 

Wolcot attempted to justify himself. " His success depended 
at first," he argued, " entirely on his being a wonder ; had he not 
been one, the public would never have encouraged him, and at this 
time his merit would have been as obscure as if he had remained in 
Cornwall." 3 

1 " Records of my Life/' John Taylor. 

* "The Autobiography of William Jerdan." 

1 " Library of the Fine Arts," vol. iv. 


It is impossible to justify Opie's repudiation of the contract 
with Wolcot. Unequal though it might have been, there is little 
doubt that he owed to Wolcot his chance of fame. Opie was no 
Chatterton ; neglect would not have led to despair, but had it not 
been for Wolcot the deadening influence of the lad's daily life, the 
discouragement he met with, and the drudgery of an uncongenial 
occupation, must have stifled his genius. And, later on, it is 
useless to deny that Wolcot proved an efficient stage manager. 
Opie might have starved in Orange Court had not Wolcot known 
how to bait a trap to catch the public. The utmost we can do 
for Opie is to plead that the quarrel was fomented by Bunn. 

The breach bet ween Wolcot and Opie was not final, for in 1783 
or 1784 Opie, his wife, and Wolcot went into Wales together, where 
Opie painted, at Swansea, the beautiful Padley portraits, two of 
which were sold at Christie's on June 16, 1900 the finest, that 
of Sylvanus Padley, going to America, where it is now. Wolcot 
also continued to praise Opie at the expense of other artists, and 
lampooned George III on account of a fancied slight put upon 

The satirist must always be more feared than loved, and 
Wolcot, better known in his literary character under his pseudonym 
of " Peter Pindar," lashed the artists with a whip of scorpions. 
How West must have writhed when " Peter Pindar " said of his 
pictures : 

" They'll make good floor-cloth, taylor's measures, 

For table coverings be treasures, 
With butchers form for flies most charming flappers ; 

And Monday mornings at the tub, 
When Queens of Suds their linen scrub, 
Make for the blue-nos'd nymphs delightful wrappers." 

After thus, with ready optimism, finding a use for West's "acres" of 
canvas, it was no consolation for the injury to tell him that 

<l . . . if thy picture I am forc'd to blame, 
I '11 say most handsome things about the frame." 

West must have retaliated, for in a later volume of these " Lyric 
Odes to the Royal Academicians" we find : 

" West tells the World, that Peter cannot rhyme : 
Peter declares, point-blank, that West can't paint." 


Wolcot was more than usually severe on West. His contem- 
poraries put this down to a supposed rivalry of the favourite 
Court painter with Opie, but there is no reason to imagine that 
Opie approved of the attacks. John Taylor says Opie was " too 
liberal to excite, or to encourage the doctor in his severity on 
others, particularly on Mr. West, of whose talents and knowledge 
in his art he has often spoken to me with respect." 

Gainsborough came off little better. " Peter " expostulated 
with him for his artificial mannerisms : 

f< O Gainsborough ! Nature plaineth sore, 
That thou hast kick'd her out of door ; 

Lo ! all thy efforts without her are vain ; 
Go find her, kiss her, and be friends again." 

This was a fault of the times, and " Peter Pindar " did good 
service to art in drawing attention to it. Even Reynolds was not 
free from it, though, as Peter admitted 

c ' Compar'd, alas ! to other men, 
Thou art an Eagle to a Wren." 

" Sir Joshua's happy pencil hath produced 
A host of Copyists, much of the same feature ; 
By which the Art hath greatly been abus'd ; 
I own Sir Joshua great, but Nature greater" 

" But what, alas ! is ten times worse, 
The progress of the Art to curse, 
The Copyists have been copied too, 
And that, I'm sure, will never do." 

Wilson, also, whose struggle against neglect was so pitiful 
during his lifetime ; who often had not the means to buy colours, 
and might actually have starved had he not opportunely succeeded 
to some property ; had a word of encouragement from the satirist, 
who, it must be admitted, was not chary with praise where he felt 
it was deserved : 

" But honest Wilson, never mind ; 
Immortal praises thou shalt find, 
And for a dinner have no cause to fear. 
Thou start' st at my prophetic rhymes, 
Don't be impatient for those times, 
Wait till thou hast been dead a hundred year." 


Wolcot's panegyric on Opie took the form of verses in praise 
of a portrait of William Jackson of Exeter : 

" Speak, Muse, who form'd that matchless head, 
The Cornish boy, in tin-mines bred ; 
Whose native genius, like his diamonds, shone 
In secret, till chance gave him to the sun ? 
Tis Jackson's portrait put the laurel on it, 
Whilst to that tuneful swan I pour a sonnet." ' 

There is a little poetic licence here with regard to Opie, it will 
be remarked. Wolcot conserved energy in making the same verses 
serve the purpose of praising two friends at once ; for Wolcot and 
Jackson were on terms of intimate friendship, and some of the 
latter's most successful songs were composed to lyrics written by 
the doctor. Jackson was almost as versatile as Wolcot : he had 
been a portrait painter (none too successful), dabbled in literature, 
and possessed talents as a musician that might have made his 
reputation in London if his retiring disposition had not led him to 
prefer the post of organist of Exeter Cathedral ; even with the 
drawback to his pride of being liable to be described by well-mean- 
ing fellow citizens as " Mr. Jackson, the organist " a matter on 
which he was very sensitive. Quite without reason, for the com- 
poser of " Love in thine Eyes for ever plays " had a fame that was 
neither local nor evanescent. 

This portrait of Jackson, which Horace Walpole thought 
" poor," with two other portraits, unnamed, and two pictures, 
" Age and Infancy," and " A Boy and Girl " were Opie's Academy 
pictures for 1783. 

1 " Lyric Odes to the Royal Academicians for 1782 " (Ode III). 



IHASHION is ever fickle. It proved so in the case of Opie. 
-L Less than a year of popularity sufficient to turn the head of 
a much older man, and then the tide of fashion ebbed away from 
his studio. He declined to flatter. If dignity were visible in a 
man, or beauty in a woman, he rendered it faithfully as he saw it ; 
but if these were lacking Opie refused to amend nature. No 
woman turned away from his easel with renewed belief in her 
attractions unless she really had them ; no battered old beau 
viewed his portrait with complacency, convinced that he was a fine 
fellow. Other painters made allowance for human vanity : some 
flattered unblushingly gave youthfulness to the aged, and 
idealized the commonplace. No such concession to fashionable 
weakness could be won from Opie. He carried the virtue of truth- 
fulness to excess " Shaan't I draa ye as ye be ? " 

His uncompromising directness of speech was another great 
disqualification in an age when artificiality reigned triumphant 
and compliments were the small coin of conversation. John Timbs 
relates that Opie was painting an old beau of fashion who screwed 
up his mouth in a ridiculous manner whenever he thought the 
artist was working on it : 

" Sir," said Opie, " if you want the mouth left out, I will 
do it with pleasure." Sardonic humour of this description is 
better relished by the narrator than the victim. So, also, the 
retort made by Opie in reply to a question about how he mixed 
his colours : 

" With brains, sir." 

In this strait, when fashion turned its back, the strength of 



Opie's character became evident. Whatever anxiety he may have 
had for the future, it did not show itself in despair or vain 
repining. The hours of enforced leisure were spent in self- 
improvement. He laboured untiringly to increase his knowledge 
of the technique of his art, and to overcome the defects of his 
early education. He read the best authors ; sought the company 
of the cleverest men by whom he was quickly recognised as a 
deep thinker ; a man whose conversation was always worth listening 
to ; original, virile, and sensible. Northcote, a clever and well- 
educated man, became his constant companion. They were 
together almost every evening, either at O pie's or Northcote's. 
Northcote told Ward that Opie was a very great man : " the 
greatest man who ever came under my observation but I do not 
say he was the greatest painter. . . ." l "A mighty person," 
Northcote called him, and with the memory of those fireside talks 
renewed : " Oh ! " cries Northcote, " how very interesting his con- 
versation always was to me ! " 2 

According to Northcote, Opie said " that it was wrong to 
suppose that people went on improving to the last in any art 
or profession : on the contrary, they put their best ideas into their 
first works (which they have been qualifying themselves to under- 
take all their lives before) ; and what they gain afterwards in 
correctness and refinement, they lose in originality and vigour." 
This seems an attempt to justify the critics who thought Opie's 
first works his best, in spite of his unwearied efforts to attain a 
higher level. Undoubtedly his work is uneven, and sometimes 
disappointing, but there are two explanations of this : one we 
shall find related by Northcote in connection with the " Assassina- 
tion of James the First of Scotland," where by over-anxiety to 
excel he spoilt the picture ; the other he gives himself in another 
speech recorded by the same artist. 

" Opie used to argue," says Northcote, " that there were as 
many sorts of taste as genius. He said, ' If I am engaged on a 
picture, and endeavour to do it according to the suggestions of my 
employers, I do not understand exactly what they want, nor they 
what I can do, and I please no one ; but if I do it according to 
my own notions, I belong to a class, and if I am able to satisfy 

1 " Northcote's Conversations with J. Ward," E. Fletcher. 
3 Ibid. 


myself, I please that class. 1 " So it would appear that the patron 
was often to blame by selecting a subject unsuited to his brush, or 
by insisting on imposing his own ideas as to composition on the 
unwilling artist. At a time when the picture-buying public was 
much smaller than now, and, with a few exceptions, less capable 
of understanding the artist's limitations, it is evident that Opie 
must frequently have found himself in a difficult position obliged 
either to paint an uncongenial subject, or risk offending a rich and 
influential patron. 

But if, for a while, the frivolous crowd came no more to Opie, 
he did not lack appreciative patrons. Mr. Richard Wyatt, of 
Egham, was one. He it was, says J. T. Smith in his " Book for a 
Rainy Day," who brought Opie from his " humble and modest 
lodging in Orange Court " to a house in Great Queen Street, 
Lincoln's Inn Fields in Stuart times one of the most fashionable 
parts of the town and for him Opie painted several portraits of 
members of the Burrell and Hoare families. Polwhele says that 
this removal took place in 1783. Paulet House, Con way House, 
and Cherbury House (where Lord Herbert of Cherbury wrote part 
of his treatise, " De Veritate "), signs of the street's ancient 
exclusiveness, were still standing when Opie lived there. The 
street had then become a favourite haunt of literary, artistic, and 
stage notables. Kitty Clive lived there : so, for forty years, did 
Miss Pope " Mrs. Candour " " a gentlewoman ever " in Charles 
Lamb's opinion of whom Churchill wrote : 

"See lively Pope advance in jig and trip, 
Corinna, Cherry, Honeycombe and Snip. 
Not without art, and yet to nature true, 
She charms the town with humour ever new." 

She lived next door to Opie, and two doors east of Freemason's 
Tavern on the south side of the street. Charming " Perdita" went 
to live at No. 56 shortly after her marriage in 1773, but did not 
remain there long. The same house also sheltered at different 
times Worlidge the artist, who died there in 1766 ; Richard 
Brinsley Sheridan, who, with his beautiful wife, was there for some 
years ; Hoole, the translator of Tasso ; and Thomas Hudson, 
under whom Sir Joshua studied art. Living in such a neighbour- 
hood, it may be thought strange that Opie painted so few stage 
favourites. He gave the explanation himself : 


" Confound them ! They have every bodies 1 faces but their own. 
What can I make of them ? " 1 

He painted Mrs. Siddons, though, and Mrs. Inchbald, the 
authoress of " A Simple Story." A scene from " The Gamester " 
is also among his pictures ; it was engraved by Fittler for Bell's 
" British Theatre," but the picture seems to have vanished. 
That of the same name at the Garrick Club is said to have 
been painted by Mather Brown. Opie also painted a portrait 
of Charles Macklin, the actor and dramatist, for " a clergyman 
named Clarke " : probably the Rev. Edward Daniell Clarke, 
Professor of Mineralogy at Cambridge. Macklin was supposed 
to have been born a month before the battle of the Boyne, 
in 1690 : he died in 1797, at the reputed age of 107. When 
Opie painted him he passed as ninety-three, but the portrait 
in the National Portrait Gallery does not give the impression of 
such an advanced age. His last appearance on the boards was on 
his benefit night, 1789. He was already dressed for the part of 
" the Jew that Shakespeare drew " when he went into the green- 
room : 

" My dear," he said to Mrs. Pope, " are you to play to- 
night ? " 

" To be sure I am, sir. Do you not see that I am dressed as 
Portia ? " 

" Ah ! very true ; I had forgotten but who is to play 
Shylock ? " 

The old man went on to the stage, but the actor who had 
charmed the town so long with his Shylock and Sir Pertinax 
McSycophant ; the worthy rival of Garrick ; could no longer 
remember his part. In a low, tremulous tone he tried to address 
the house. " My age, my age ! " was all he could say, and 
although, to the honour of the audience, this pathetic appeal 
met with sympathetic applause, another actor had to be 
substituted. He continued to frequent the theatre, though ; his 
favourite seat being in the first row of the pit. From thence he 
carefully followed the course of the play ; rising, and calling out, 
" Speak louder, sir, I cannot hear you," if the voice of any actor 
failed to reach him. 

Macklin played the Jew so often that he assumed some of his 
1 " Northcote's Conversations with Ward," edited by E. Fletcher. 


characteristics. John Taylor was present at a dinner given by the 
clergyman named Clarke previously mentioned. Macklin, who 
was also a guest, threw out the hint that if a man were important 
enough to have his portrait painted, " he ought to be paid for 
lending his features." When at last he died, there was a difficulty 
about his age, and owing to the uncertainty surrounding it, the 
space was left blank on the coffin lid. Just as the coffin was being 
lowered into the vault a messenger arrived with a letter contain- 
ing a copy of the register of birth. This was handed to the chief 
mourner, who with his penknife scratched 107 in the space left 
for it. 

Between 1782 and 1784 Opie painted several portraits of Dr. 
Johnson ; one (from the St. Aubyn collection) now owned by Lady 
Wantage, so much in the manner of Gainsborough that it has been 
exhibited three times as the work of that artist. 

" I sat to Opey as long as he desired," wrote Johnson to Dr. 
Taylor on September 3, 1783, " and I think the head is finished, 
but it is not much admired. The rest he is to add when he comes 
again to town." Probably Lady Wantage's picture is the one 
referred to, for, in " The Life of Reynolds," by Hawkins, it is 
stated that, although Johnson gave Opie more sittings in 1784, 
there was a doubt if the picture was ever finished. 

In 1784 Opie's Academy pictures, eight in all, were portraits 
of Lady Honywood, Mr. Scale's two children, four unnamed 
portraits, and two pictures " An Old Woman," and " School," 
the latter now at Lockinge, and known as " The Schoolmistress. 1 " 1 
" Great nature, the best of his works yet," was Horace Walpole's 
comment on this last. The Moniing Post said, " Mr. Opie's works 
have almost completely furnished the top of the room this year. 
Could people in vulgar life afford to pay for pictures, Opie 
would be their man." Judging by the names of his sitters, there 
was a renewal of society interest in his work this year. The craze 
was over, but he was finding his level. He painted the two sons 
of the fifth Duke of Argyll afterwards respectively sixth and 
seventh Dukes and their sisters, the Ladies Augusta and 
Charlotte Campbell. These were the children of beautiful 
Elizabeth Gunning, twice a Duchess first of Hamilton, by a 
hasty midnight marriage in which a ring of the bed-curtain had 
to play part, and then of Argyll. Lord John Campbell, 


By permission of the owner. Lady Wantage. 


afterwards seventh Duke, a boy when Opie painted him, was in 
later years the " Lord Nelville " of Madame de StaeTs 
" Corinne." 

Opie did his only etching in 1784, from the portrait of Dolly 
Pentreath, painted some years earlier. His pupil, Miss Katherine 
St. Aubyn, afterwards Mrs. Molesworth sister of Opie's patron, 
Sir John St. Aubyn, and heiress of his entailed property also 
etched the Pentreath portrait. We do not know when she took 
lessons from Opie, but it was probably during his earlier years. 

Although Opie and his contemporaries were obliged by the 
law of demand to paint portraits of plethoric aldermen for a 
subsistence, their desires and aspirations were usually towards the 
heroic. Historical scenes on canvases of colossal size (for which 
the sale was consequently so limited that a prudent artist hesitated 
to begin one unless he had a purchaser in view) represented the 
height of ambition. A patron of suitable tastes and wealth came 
to Opie's assistance, and encouraged him to paint " The 
Assassination of James the First of Scotland." John Boydell, 
engraver (and in 1785 sheriff of London), began his career by 
etching small plates of landscapes. These he made up into sets of 
six for sixpence. Print-shops were few in number, so he took 
them to the toy-shops and persuaded the owners to display them in 
their windows. Every Saturday he went round these shops to see 
what had been sold and renew the stock. The best trade in these 
etchings was done at the sign of the Cricket-bat in Duke's Court, 
St. Martin's Lane, and on one memorable occasion Boydell found 
the sales here had realised five-and-sixpence. Delight at this good 
fortune, and a desire to propitiate the shopkeeper, led him to 
expend the whole on a silver pencil case, and this little reminder 
of his early struggles never left him. Half a shop was his next 
venture ; then a whole one, in which he sold French engravings, 
which were then far better than any produced in England. His 
enterprise did not end here. The need to pay for the French 
engravings in gold, and the French dealers' refusal to take English 
prints in exchange, vexed his soul. It was to Boydell that English 
engravers owed the encouragement that enabled them to enter into 
competition with their rivals across the Channel. 

Boydell was an enthusiastic supporter of art. Northcote 
credited him with having done more for the advancement of art 


in England than all the nobility put together. Acting on a 
suggestion made by Fuseli, in 1786 Boydell began his scheme 
for a Shakespeare Gallery ; commissioning pictures from the 
leading artists of the day. These Shakespeare pictures roused 
Charles Lamb's wrath. " What injury (short of theatres) did 
not Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery do me with Shakespeare ? to 
have Opie's Shakespeare, Northcote's Shakespeare, light-headed 
Fuseli's Shakespeare, wooden -headed West's Shakespeare (though 
he did the best in < Lear '), deaf-headed Reynolds's Shakespeare, 
instead of my, and everybody's Shakespeare. To be tied down 
to an authentic face of Juliet ! To have Imogen's portrait ! To 
confine the illimitable ! " l 

Opie painted seven scenes from Shakespeare for Boydell, which 
were engraved for his Shakespeare ; the originals being hung in the 
Gallery built for them in Pall Mall, which was opened to the public 
in 1789. There they remained until 1804, when Boydell, old, and 
fallen upon evil times owing to the long war with France and the 
enormous expense of the Shakespeare Gallery he estimated that 
the total cost had been <f 300,000 was obliged to give up his 
cherished plan of leaving the gallery and its contents to the nation, 
and obtain permission by Act of Parliament to dispose of the 
pictures by lottery. Boydell lived to know that the last lottery 
ticket had been sold there were 22,000 at two guineas 
each but he had been dead some months when the winner, 
Mr. Tassie, of Leicester Square, disposed of his prize. The 
pictures were sold for him at Christie's on May 17, 1805; they 
were valued at .30,000, and fetched 10,237. The building was 
bought for the British Institution. Time has failed to justify 
Boydell's artistic tastes in all respects Northcote thought all but 
his own, Reynolds's and Opie's contributions were " slip-slop im- 
becilities" but he earned the gratitude of many a struggling artist. 
He was a good man, too ; a wise, humane magistrate as we know 
by an autograph letter from him, preserved in the Guildhall Library, 
in which he asks help for an unfortunate girl who had drifted up 
to London and found in Boydell, sitting on the bench, a judicious 
and sympathetic friend. J. T. Smith, in " A Book for a Rainy 
Day," says that Boydell rose at five o'clock every morning, and 
went to the pump in Ironmonger Lane : " There, after placing 
1 "Final Memorials of Charles Lamb," T. N. Talfourd. 


his wig upon the ball at the top of it, he used to sluice his head 
with its water." He also tells us that Boydell was one of the last 
to wear the three-cornered hat called " Egham, Staines, and 

Opie was one of the few who have the privilege of reading 
their own obituary notices. In the Gentleman' 8 Magazine for 
1785, under the date November 25, we read : 

" At Marybonne, Mr. Opie, an eminent painter, whose works 
have attracted the public notice by their intrinsic merit at the 
three or four last exhibitions of the Royal Academy. He was a 
native of Cornwall, of low extraction, had been his own instructor, 
and, on coming to town, received lessons and patronage from 
Sir Joshua Reynolds." 

How this mistake occurred is not known, but it had this curious 
result, that the picture shown at the Incorporated Society of 
Artists in 1780 is treated as the production of a different artist 
in Redgrave's " Dictionary " ; Tregellas also says there was a different 
Cornish artist named Oppy. If this latter statement is correct 
nothing seems to be known of him, and there does not appear to 
be any doubt, either as to the exhibitor in 1780, or the subject of 
the notice in the Gentkmari's Magazine being identical with 
John Opie. Redgrave makes another curious mistake in the 
" Century of Painters," where he persistently alludes to Opie as 
James, instead of John. An engraving owned by Mr. John 
Simonds, Newlands, Arborfield, Reading, of Admiral Sir John 
Borlase Warren, repeats the blunder. It is entitled, "Admiral 
Sir J. B. Warren, Bart., K.B., and the Victory off Ireland. The 
portrait by James [sic] Opie, Esq., R.A., the shipping by 
W. Anderson. Engraved by H. Richter. Published by G. Riley, 
65, Old Bailey, Ludgate Hill, April 1800." 

Far from being dead, Opie was then at work on a picture that 
was to bring him to the foremost of contemporary British artists, 
with the evanescent fame inseparable from historic subjects. 
" The Assassination of James the First " was exhibited at the 
Academy in 1786, and attracted much attention. Boydell bought 
the picture, and presented it to the Corporation of the City of 
London ; it now hangs in the Art Gallery at the Guildhall, 
together with the " Death of Rizzio," painted the following year. 
If we are to believe Northcote, the picture was finer in its 


incomplete state than it is now : the painter, like many another 
creative worker, being a bad judge of his own achievements. 
He says : 

" Whilst Opie was painting the ' Death of James, 1 now in the 
Guildhall of London, everybody came in teasing me with, ' What 
a fine picture he was painting ! ' and at last they worried me so 
with their praises of it, that I could no longer go on without 
seeing it. So I went up to Hampstead, where he was painting ; 
and when I entered the room I was astounded : the picture had 
the finest effect I ever witnessed ; the light on the figures 
gleamed up from below a trap-door, by which the murderers were 
entering the King's chamber. * Oh ! ' I said to myself, ' go home, 
go home ; it is all over with you. 1 I did go home, and brooded 
over what I had seen I could think of nothing else it perfectly 
haunted me I could not work on my own picture for thinking of 
the effect of his ; and at last, unable to bear it any longer, I 
determined to go there again ; and when I entered the room I saw 
to my great comfort that Opie had rubbed all the fine effect out." 1 

A footnote states that this same story has been told of Opie's 
picture " The Death of Riz/io. 11 From Northcote 1 s account, it 
appears that Opie had a studio at Hampstead. It is not mentioned 
elsewhere, so it may have been a temporary one, necessary on 
account of the size of the picture. 

Strange to say, another story is common to both pictures that, 
out of revenge, Wolcot was painted as one of the assassins. Quite 
a choice of explanations is given for this. Opie's admirers 
naturally resented the imputation that the artist had painted his 
benefactor in such an ambiguous situation, so, discerning the 
likeness, said that Wolcot was introduced into the picture by his 
own request. It appears certain that if Wolcot is the one assassin, 
Opie himself is the other, and the Queen has a decided resemblance 
to Mary Bunn. What more probable than that the painter's 
models were his own family and friends in this instance as in 
others ? Three heads in the James picture have been separately 
inserted in the canvas those of the Queen and the two assassins. 
Mr. Jope Rogers suggests that, assuming Graham's head to be 
painted from Wolcot, each of these inserted heads is a portrait, 
" and that they were so used as suitable and convenient for 
1 " The Book of Fables," James Northcote, pp. xlii, xliii. 


working into the picture, and not in any way with the suggested 
object of insulting or punishing the patron to whom the painter 
undoubtedly owed so much." : This appears feasible, though Mr. 
Rogers's idea that Graham "seems to be entering on his unpleasant 
duty in the most kindly manner, and with the air of a lighthearted, 
well-bred gentleman," hardly expresses the cold, grim determination 
on the assassin's face a quiet, relentless hatred which makes it 
natural that the horror-stricken face of the Queen should be turned 
to him rather than to the more brutal, but less dangerous, 
murderer behind the King. 

There is yet another way of looking at the matter of this 
likeness to Wolcot. It was a day of broad humour and Homeric 
laughter. Opie was not above practical jokes of a personal 
character, and as Wolcot was satirizing King George in verses 
so destructive of regal dignity that at last he was offered a State 
pension with the tacit understanding that the lampoons should 
cease a condition so irksome that he soon gave up the pension 
and reclaimed his freedom the artist may have thought it 
excellent jesting to depict him as a king's murderer ; perhaps 
relenting so far as to blunt the point of its application by putting 
himself in the same position. Cyrus Redding's story that Opie 
once painted Wolcot as a fallen angel in a scene from Milton, but 
that the joke missed fire because Milton was so little read, gives 
probability to this theory. 

After an ode to Fuseli in " One more Peep at the Royal 
Academy," " Peter Pindar " excuses his severity by adding, " Mr. 
Fuseli should expect no lenity from the rod of criticism, after 
having himself uttered the following sarcasm upon a brother artist, 
Opie, at a time too when he was in apparent friendship with that 
ingenious painter ' Dere is dat poo-re dogue Opee de failow can 
paaynt notin but teeves and morederers an wen ze dogue paaynts 
a teef or a morederer, he lookes in de glass. 1 " 

Opie had six pictures in the Academy for 1785 three un- 
identified portraits, " A Woman's Story at a Winter's Fire," " The 
Cardplayers," and " Sweet Poll of Plymouth." In 1786 seven of 
his pictures were hung : four unnamed portraits, one of Mr. 
Daniell and Captain Morcom (exhibited as " A Gentleman and 
a Miner"), "A Sleeping Nymph and Cupid Stealing a Kiss," in 
1 " Opie and his Works/' J. Jope Rogers, M.A. 


which his wife was painted as the nymph, and the " Assassination 
of James the First of Scotland " ; this last gained him his election 
as Associate of the Academy. Boydell bought the two last-named 
pictures, paying Opie 4& for " The Sleeping Nymph." His 
diploma picture was "Age and Infancy." This was different 
in composition to that exhibited in 1783, which was originally 
painted as an assassin leaning over a beautiful sleeping child quite 
an Opiesque idea. His patron, Mr. Wyatt, was shocked at the 
subject, and remonstrated ; arguing that the loveliness of the child 
would disarm the most hardened ruffian. Opie accepted the 
rebuke, altered the assassin into a venerable old man, and the 
weapon into a patriarchal staff. 

Northcote and William Hodges who had accompanied Captain 
Cook as draughtsman in his second voyage round the world were 
elected Associates at the same time. 



(in leading strings*. 
Fly permission of the owner, their grandson, \V. A. Oeare. Esq. 



ABOUT 1785 Opie spent six weeks at "Collins," in the 
parish of Beer Ferris, near Tavistock, while he was 
painting portraits of Mr. Gullett, a Clerk of the Peace for Devon, 
and his family. Mr. Rogers, in " Opie and his Works," gives 
the date of painting as about 1790 ; but the Gullett family Bible 
disproves this, as the youngest child, Georgiana, painted with 
leading-strings still attached to her frock, was born on October 25, 
1781. Judging by this, we might even put the date of his visit 
a year or so earlier than 1785 ; but the child may have been 
backward in walking, and, failing definite information as to the 
age at which leading-strings were usually discontinued, we must 
take the costumes and apparent ages of the children into con- 
sideration. Mrs. Gulletfs cap is very similar to one illustrated 
in Archceolagia (vol. xxvii) as worn between 1779 and 1784 ; the 
ruche down the front of her bodice, and tight elbow-sleeves with 
lace frill, are the same as in Plate LXXII of "The Book of 
Historical Costumes," representing a duchess of the Court of 
Louis XVI, in the year 1783 ; though Mrs. Gullett has added a 
gauze modesty, or fichu, to fill in the deep, square-cut bodice : 
in this illustration there is also a cap with the hanging lappet 
seen on Mrs. Gulletfs, though the cap itself is rather smaller, and 
has flowers added on the right side. Mr. Gulletfs coat is similar 
to one worn by George III in the caricature of St. George and the 
Dragon, published June 13, 1782, and others of the same year. 
Christopher, as befits a young man, wears a coat of more recent 
pattern, smaller ruffles, and a looser cravat all evidence of a 
regard for fashion : Ann's feathers do not help us much, for they 
came into fashion in 1774, and remained in vogue for over twenty 



years. Summing up the whole, and taking into consideration the 
known facts that Mr. Gullett was a man of comfortable fortune, 
living in the country circumstances which render it probable that 
while his wife followed French fashions in the choice of her gowns, 
she did not change them as often as if they lived in town we 
may fix on 1785 as a reasonable date. This also appears to agree 
with the children's ages. 

But a more interesting feature of this group than the date of 
painting is the charmingly natural expression of the youngest 
child. One feels confident that she was on the best of terms with 
the artist, or she would not have faced him with such a friendly 
smile. And no matter how strong the evidence that Opie was at 
times morose with adults, little Georgiana Gullett bears lasting 
witness that children had no fear of him. 

In 1786 Opie went to Antwerp with his father-in-law and a 
friend, as we see from the following letter, written during the 
winter of 1786, to the Rev. John Owen, afterwards Archdeacon 
of Richmond, who was then in India. Owen had been Opie's 
pupil, and for the remainder of the artist's life the two men 
continued on terms of intimate friendship. Only two of the 
letters can now be traced, though the correspondence was con- 
tinued during the whole of Archdeacon Owen's residence in India. 
Even these are not originals, but copies in the possession of 
Mrs. Austin Dobson, who kindly permits them to be used here. 
They will serve to show how valuable this correspondence would 
have been to Opie's biographer, and it is to be hoped that the 
rest of the letters may yet be traced. Archdeacon Owen's great- 
nephew, the Rev. H. L. Beardmore, writes, " One of my relatives 
had heaps of letters and papers, but when he died I do not know 
what became of them : probably they were burnt, and the letters 
referred to may have been among them." 

When this first letter was written news had evidently just 
reached England that Owen's long and dangerous voyage was 
safely over. 


" I was exceedingly rejoiced on the receipt of your letter 
to hear of your safe arrival, as I had very often thought of you 
with great anxiety, from which I was relieved, as well as agreeably 


entertained with the account of your voyage, tho' I fear it must 
have been very tedious to you, as the water (to be on it long) 
would be to me a very unentertaining element. I have been to 
Antwerp this last summer to see Rubens's works & could hardly 
keep my patience on the water for twelve hours 'twas a very 
pleasant journey. Mr. Bunn and Mr. Gardner a painter went 
with me we went from Margate to Ostend, from thence to 
Bruges, to Ghent, and Brussels, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, 
& the Hague. We saw a great many fine pictures of Rubens & 
imitations of him without number all the churches in Flanders 
are full of them he is almost the god of that country he was 
possessed of an amazing power of execution was particularly 
fond of splendour and courtly magnificence, but was not so 
capable of giving the philosophical dignity of character which is 
seen in the best of the Italian school. Rubens's figures neither 
look sensible nor appear to be in earnest in any of their actions 
the same may be said of Vandyke but Michael Angelo's Raphael's 
Titian's figures, tho' not dressed magnificently, always look very 
sensible severely grand (if I may so express myself) indeed that 
kind of grandeur sense seem to me to be the same thing if 
they are in action they seem to be totally absorbed in that action 
unconscious of any spectator but Rubens's old men look like 
rich old fools that you can never have any respect for and Vandyke's 
Portraits always appear as if conscious of sitting for their 
Pictures which is as bad as a player's speaking a soliloquy to the 
audience but this deficiency though a deficiency in the highest 
part of the art was neither felt nor thought of at the time of 
seeing his Pictures we were so overcome & entertained by the 
splendour & beauty of the colouring & the rich magnificence of 
the composition. We saw some fine Rembrandts he was wonder- 
fully simple in his heads, his compositions singularly grand, with 
prodigious force roundness, & his colouring sometimes ex- 
quisitely true there was one picture of a dead man in the 
Surgeon's Hall at Amsterdam which Sir Joshua Reynolds says is 
equal to Titian in colouring in character to Michael Angelo. 
I have been very successful since you went have done one or two 
large Historical Pictures and am now employ'd (for years to paint 
large Historical Pictures for the embellishment of Shakespeare) 
together with all the artists of any note, I believe there are ten 


or twelve Sir Joshua, West, Romney, Copley, Fuseli, &c. &c. 
Boydell is going to publish a superb edition of Shakespear with 
near a hundred large prints from the paintings (to be done on 
purpose) of the above mentioned artists, the Pictures when 
compleated will be hung up in a room to be built on that 
occasion The Pictures are not yet begun but they have near 
7 hundred subscribers, which promises great encouragement I 
shall next year be able to give you some more particulars but I 
hope to have the pleasure of seeing you home long before the work 
can be brought to conclusion. I need not tell you how happy I 
shall be to hear from you & that I fully expect you to continue 
your correspondence Mrs. Reynolds 1 is very well & begs to be 
remembered to you. I would have persuaded her to write you, 
but found that impossible, she being a Virgin and remembering 
the fate of Clarissa brought on by corresponding with a man 
My health is at present very well I ride a good deal in the 
Summer at this time the days are too short I am sorry to hear 
you are not perfectly well, but hope that you will be very careful 
& not run any risk by staying long in that climate. 

" Mr. Sanders the gentleman who is so good as to promise to 
take this for me is an old friend of mine & plays finely on the 
flute, he has a brother in Calcutta, perhaps you may know the 

Moore Sanders & Lacy. 

" Mrs. Opie desires her best compliments to you & is equally 
as impatient as myself for the pleasure of your company here in 
the mean time I am with the 

" utmost sincerity 

"Yours J. OPIE."* 

In 1787 Opie astonished the town with his picture, "The 
Death of David Rizzio," which Leslie called " one of the greatest 
works of the British School, ... a picture that, instead of being 
buried in the Council Chamber, at Guildhall, should be seen in 

1 Most probably Sir Joshua's sister ; herself an artist. 

1 By kind permission of Mrs. Austin Dobson, from the copy of a letter 
written by John Opie, R.A., to her great-great-uncle, Archdeacon Owen. 
(I have kept to the punctuation of the letter. A. E.) 


the National Gallery." For the "Rizzio" also was bought by 
Boydell and presented to the City. It is undoubtedly a matter 
for regret that the National Gallery should be so poor in examples 
of John Opie's work, and especially that there should be no 
specimen of his grouped portraits or historical compositions ; but 
the two pictures in the Guildhall represent the unfulfilled dream 
of honest John Boydell : the nation must look elsewhere for Opies 
to enrich its storehouse. 

Haydon asserts, on the authority of Wilkie, that Opie used 
tallow in his " Death of Rizzio " " to increase the effect of body 
in his colour an insane practice which must end in the ruin of 
the picture." Whether tallow was used or not, the colours have 
stood the test of over a hundred years very well ; but in connection 
with this statement it is interesting to read in Waagen's " Art and 
Artists in England," with regard to Opie's picture of " Antigonus 
swearing to expose the Child," after praising the figure of Anti- 
gonus as noble and chivalrous, the colouring as " warm," and the 
dramatic and striking effect of the whole scene, he comments on 
the thickness of the colour, shown by the breadth of the cracks 
covering the picture, and says, " What most surprised me, how- 
ever, was, that the colour has in several places become soft, and 
has run down in large drops, like rosin from the trees." The 
same thing has happened in others of Opie's pictures. In Red- 
grave's " Century of Painters," Northcote's impression of " The 
Death of Rizzio " is recorded : " The ghost of that picture stood 
between me and my blank canvas. I could see nothing but the 
murderers of Rizzio. I felt I could have rejoiced if they had 
seized the painter and murdered him instead." 

The lighting of Opie's " Rizzio " and Reynolds'^ " Infant Her- 
cules " was adversely criticised in a letter signed " D.N.," contributed 
to the Gentleman's Magazine for October 1788. The writer com- 
plained that they had given " to objects seen in the night, and 
merely the light of torches, the full and natural tint of a noon-day 

"The piece wherein Mr. Opie exemplifies this mistake, was 
that otherwise fine picture of the murder of David Rizzio. The 
scene lies in the Queen's chamber by night ; some of the attendants 
are even painted, near the entrance of the apartment, with torches 
in their hands, and yet no object takes its tinge from the 'in- 


effectual light ' which they give : the torches themselves are 
marked by a dab of flame-coloured paint, but not a ray can be 
supposed to be emitted from them. If in reply it be said that 
the light which illuminates the principal objects lies without the 
picture, this I shall readily admit, but then I aver, that this light 
ought to be torchlight, which, agreeably to truth, must give its 
peculiar tint to the actors in the story, otherwise the artist paints 
a lie, and, while fools applaud, the 4 judicious grieve,' I am well 
aware, that Opie's philosophizing mind can bear this remonstrance, 
urged as it is in plain and homely terms, because a moment's 
reflection must convince him that it is warranted by nature and 

It must be confessed that Opie's murder scenes would not be 
pleasant to live with, but, anachronisms apart and accuracy of 
detail was neither studied nor expected in Opie's days they are 
vigorous representations of the baser primitive passions, hatred, 
revenge, and their corollary fear, arrested on the canvas for all 
time. Looking at them, one is forced to the conclusion that Opie 
missed greatness and remained in the second rank of artists, not so 
much from lack of imagination as a striving to adapt it to alien 
subjects. He was gloomy and saturnine in his invention ; had he 
been content to follow his own bent instead of striving to acquire 
the grace of Reynolds or Gainsborough, he would have been a 
greater artist. It must be remembered that when he painted the 
Guildhall pictures his opportunities for studying large com- 
positions had only extended over six years. Leslie, who under- 
stood and appreciated him, gives a fine description of the " Death 
of Rizzio " : 

" If in this singularly fine picture the painter has not paid that 
attention to exactness of costume that would have been given to 
such a subject in the present antiquarian age, nothing can surpass 
the life and energy with which he has brought the dreadful scene 
before us. We hear the wretched victim, through whose silken 
coat his back seems to writhe and tremble, cry for mercy above 
the shouts of his murderers, and the rattle of their armour, while 
the small white hand of the queen is extended, among their 
brawny arms and flashing swords, in a vain effort to stay them. 
The suddenness of the action is aided by fierce and abrupt gleams 
of light and tremendous depth of shadow ; and the grandeur of 


the colour, and the breadth and truth of the whole picture, even 
had it no other merit, would worthily place it with the finest 
works of Tintoret." l 

Isaac Taylor, the engraver, was paid two hundred and fifty 
guineas for engraving " Rizzio." He was anxious and depressed at 
the magnitude of the task to be performed singlehanded, and his 
troubles were increased by the difficulty of pleasing Opie. The 
plate was sent to London at frequent intervals for proofs, and each 
time Opie revised it ; making alterations in black and white chalk. 
From this it seems as if he was still striving after the ideal North- 
cote says was missed in the painting. At last the plate was 
allowed to pass ; it was exhibited at the Society of Arts in the 
Adelphi, and gained the gold medal, together with a premium of 
ten guineas for the best engraving of the year. The engraver's 
son Isaac, author of the " Natural History of Enthusiasm," then a 
child, delighted in creeping behind the great canvas while the 
picture was in his father's studio, and using it as a drum. 2 

A picture by Ramberg shows the Great Room at Somerset 
House during the exhibition of 1787, with the " Rizzio " picture 
hung on the left, and Reynolds's " Heads of Angels " just under- 
neath truly a singular juxtaposition. 

A full-length portrait of the profligate fourth Earl of Sandwich 
one of the notorious " monks " of Medmenham in full court 
dress and peer's robes, coronet in hand, was exhibited by Opie at 
the same time. Social ostracism at least, if not penal servitude 
and the decoration of the broad arrow, would be meted out to a 
man of like character at the present day : in George Ill's reign 
he was Secretary of State under two administrations, and for 
eight years First Lord of the Admiralty. During his years of 
office, money was voted sufficient to build a hundred men-of-war 
and as many frigates, yet, when Keppel put to sea in June 1778, 
to meet the French fleet, there was a difficulty in getting together 
twenty-one ships to sail with him. Still, one of the healthiest signs 
of the times was a growing tendency to look less leniently on sinners 
in high places. Sandwich succeeded in forcing himself on Cambridge 
as High Steward of the University by unblushing exercise of his 

1 ' ' ' " Handbook for Young Painters " (Sect. X, ' ' Invention and Expression," 
p. 146), C. R. Leslie. 

* ' ' Memorials of Mrs. Gilbert." 


influence, wholesale bribery, and intimidation. Less sycophantic 
than their tutors, the undergraduates of Trinity vindicated the 
honour of the College by rising from table and leaving the hall in a 
body when he dined with the Fellows shortly after the election. Fox 
moved his removal from the Cabinet on the day of the Rev. James 
Hackman's execution for the murder of Miss Ray, for which 
Sandwich was morally responsible, but party spirit ranked above 
morality, and the motion was defeated by a large majority " for 
in Parliament the Ministers can still gain victories," said Horace 
Walpole. We may be sure that it was not due to modesty on the 
part of the sitter that this portrait was entered in the catalogue as 
" A Nobleman/' 

Two other portraits of gentlemen, identified by Mr. Rogers as 
Mr. Galiagan of Soho Square, and William Shield, composer of 
operas and for twenty years the principal viola at the King's 
Theatre, together with one of an unnamed lady, were also exhibited 
this year. 

Opie, Northcote, and Hodges became Academicians in 1787. 
In 1788 Opie showed five portraits and " A Child and Dog," but 
for some years after this he sent fewer pictures to the Academy, 
and these were all portraits. The amount of work done must not 
be measured by this, for he was now busily occupied with work for 
the engravers. 

Between 1786 and 1789 he painted seven Shakespeare pictures 
for Boydell ; a view of St. Michael's Mount from the beach at 
Marazion for Birch's " Delices de la Grande Bretagne," published 
in 1791 ; three for " Macklin's Poets," published 1788-9 ; and four 
for his Bible, which appeared 1790-3. Eleven of the engravings 
in Hume's " History of England," published by Bowyer in 1806, 
were also from paintings by Opie. 

Robert Bowyer, for whom Opie painted, among others, his fine 
pictures of " Mary of Modena quitting England," and " Elizabeth 
Grey petitioning Edward IV " had a most romantic story. When 
a young man he was offered a chance of going to America as super- 
cargo on a merchant vessel. He would have gone, for no better 
opening seemed likely to present itself; he was poor also, and 
wished for money to make a home for Mary Shoveller, a good and 
charming young girl to whom he was engaged. But even the money 
for a likeness of himself as a keepsake was beyond his purse, so he 


By permission of the owner. Miss Lucy Stratton. 


determined to paint it by the aid of a mirror. The result was so 
good that a gentleman in the office, to whom Bowyer showed it, 
offered him a guinea if he would paint him as successfully. This 
was done, and the gentleman's satisfaction with his bargain led to 
a determination on Bowyer's part to give up the American scheme 
and try his luck in London. He had lessons from Smart, the 
miniaturist ; took a house in Berners Street ; and achieved such 
success as a portrait painter that he was able to marry Mary 
Shoveller and keep a footman. 

After a while he gave up painting and started as a publisher ; 
moving from Berners Street to a house in Pall Mall, where the 
paintings by various artists who were illustrating his " History" were 
exhibited. The immense cost of publishing it nearly ruined him, 
and he was compelled to have a lottery to sell the pictures. The 
Bowyers had only one child, a daughter who died at about the 
age of eighteen. Shortly after her death a young girl of the 
same age came to London to have some wax models engraved by 
Bowyer. The work was likely to take some time ; the girl was 
beautiful and modest ; Mrs. Bowyer, kind and motherly, still feel- 
ing the void caused by her recent bereavement, invited the young 
modeller to become her guest until the engravings were completed. 
Catherine Andras gladly accepted the offer, and the visit was 
lifelong, for the Bowyers adopted her as a daughter. 

Catherine Andras discovered her talent just as accidentally 
as Bowyer himself. The youngest of four sisters who kept a shop 
for toys and perfumery at Bristol, she was much perturbed by the 
non-arrival of the dolls they had ordered for an approaching fair. 
Catherine, then seventeen, decided to try if she could make some. 
She modelled the heads in wax, dressed her dolls in the costume 
of the " Redmaids " a school well known in Bristol and the 
result was so good that their shop-window became a centre of 
attraction. Encouraged by this success, she tried her hand on 
portrait busts, beginning with her own family. In these she 
exercised great ingenuity, colouring the wax after nature, and 
inserting eyelashes and eyebrows of the finest hair and fur. The 
Polish patriot, Kosciusko, came to Bristol, and Catherine modelled 
his bust. It was this portrait that introduced her to the notice 
of the Bowyers. Catherine Andras exhibited at the Academy for 
the first time in 1799. She was appointed modeller in wax to 


Queen Charlotte, and supplied the wax effigy of Nelson which 
was used at his funeral, and is now in Westminster Abbey. She is 
believed to have entered the Bowyer household about 1799 or 1800, 
and Opie painted her at some date subsequent to that event. 

Apart from business matters it is not very likely that Opie had 
much intercourse with the family during his first marriage. The 
Bowyers were quiet, serious folk ; Baptists, and in later years 
strong supporters of the anti-slavery movement. After Opie^s 
second marriage they became more intimate, and as years went on 
Mrs. Opie became bound to them by kindred sympathies ; both of 
the Opies are believed to have visited the Bowyers at the house 
they took at By fleet about 1802. 

Opie does not appear to have painted anything for Bowyer's 
Bible ; the idea for which originated during a visit to Paris made 
by the Bowyers and Catherine Andras during the short peace of 
1802, when Robert Bowyer collected many prints and engravings 
on religious subjects. War broke out again, and, like Boydell, 
Bowyer found his print-dealing business ruined by the impossibility 
of importing engravings. More resourceful, however, than Boydell, 
he appealed directly to Napoleon, and by tactfully working on his 
wish to be considered a patron of the fine arts, obtained an 
autograph letter from him : 

"Let Mr. Bowyer refer this matter to the French Consul, 
Mr. Otto, and if he sees no objection, let a passport be granted to 
Mr. Bowyer*s agent. 


Washington had given him the same privilege during the 
American War, so the turmoils that crippled trade had little effect 
on Bowyer, who was able to bring into the country numbers of 
valuable prints and engravings, have his country house at Byfleet, 
and his business premises in Pall Mall, and adopt another young 
girl (niece of Mrs. Bowyer) whose grand-daughter supplied these 

After a lapse of about fourteen years Bowyer took to painting 
again, and felt a desire to see and sketch his old patron, George III 
(to whom he had once been miniaturist), then living in great 
seclusion at Windsor. He went down there with Bromley, the 


By permission of the owner. .Miss Alice M. Westerdule 


engraver. They attended service at the Royal Chapel one week- 
day, sitting where a good view of the poor old King was obtain- 
able. Bowyer took a likeness on his thumbnail ; Bromley on his 
boot-top. Returning home with as little delay as possible, Bowyer 
went to the King's hairdresser and procured one of his wigs ; 
aided by this he made a sketch and took it to the Prince Regent. 
Was it policy or some glimmering of affection for his afflicted 
father that dictated the Regent's action when he told Robert 
Bowyer that the likeness was so affecting that he could not bear to 
have it published ? He asked Bowyer to fix his price for it, and 
bought it for fifty guineas. 1 

The Bowyers 1 hospitality was in one case sadly abused. They 
befriended a young woman named Parkes, who had artistic tastes : 
among other accomplishments she modelled skilfully in butter, a 
plastic material which, in spite of its perishable nature, must have 
been peculiarly favoured by aspiring womanhood, for Mrs. Nollekens 
was furiously jealous of another fair butter moulder named Wilmot, 
who came to submit her models of animals to Nollekens for 
criticism. The woman Parkes, clever and not over-scrupulous, 
contrived to make herself useful to Bowyer in his business. 
Gradually she worked herself into his confidence, and as he grew 
older made herself indispensable to him. At last he took her into 
partnership ; to the chagrin of his family some of his engravings 
were signed " Bowyer and Parkes," and when Bowyer died they 
were mortified to find that the business had been left to Parkes, 
subject to a life charge on it for Mrs. Bowyer. 2 

Although it is reported that Wolcot said Opie's talent lay in 
the direction of landscape, very few are recorded. Mr. Rogers 
gives five, three of these being views of St. Michael's Mount from 
different points, in the collection of Lord St. Levan ; five others 
evidently of little value were sold at Opie's sale in 1807. The 
only landscape engraved was that done for the " Delices de la 
Grande Bretagne": Mrs. Molesworth etched one of the St. Michael's 

1 Was this the portrait mentioned by Thackeray, iu " The Four Georges," 
as hanging in the apartment of the Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg ? 

3 From manuscript notes relating to the Bowyer family, taken down by 
Mrs. Asquith from the reminiscences of Mrs. Stratton, Mrs. Bowyer's niece 
and adopted daughter, and used by kind permission of Miss Alice M. 
Westerdale, grand-daughter of Mrs. Stratton. 


Mount pictures also. Holcroft criticized another in his diary under 
date October 19, 1798 : " . . . Called on Opie ; saw his view of 
St. Michael's Mount, a moonlight, the manner hard, but the 
scenery and effects grand, and the composition good/ 1 

Five portraits each year were shown in 1789 and 1794, two in 
1790, three in 1792, while in 1791 and 1793 Opie was not repre- 
sented at the annual exhibition. We have no means of telling why 
Opie, a frugal man, laid himself open to the penalty of five pounds 
imposed on any Academician under the age of sixty who failed to 
exhibit at least one work. He was at Stonehouse, Devon, during 
some portion of 1791 ; painting Mr. William Clark, of Meavy, and 
his family : possibly he was away from London when the time came 
for sending in pictures. There is another large family group of 
portraits in 1793 the Westcotts, of Kingsbridge, Devon and his 
abstention then may have been from the same cause ; the expense 
and risk of carriage being a good reason for failing to show. 
During the years 1787 to 1794 the most notable of his sitters were 
the Countess of Altamont, afterwards Marchioness of Sligo ; Lady 
Apsley ; Lord Kenyon (the Chief Justice who threatened fashion- 
able ladies with the pillory if they persisted in keeping faro-banks 
at their houses), in his robes as Master of the Rolls ; the future 
Lord Bateman and his sister Anne, one of Opie's fine pictures in 
the manner of Reynolds ; Lord Bagot ; Edmund Burke ; and 
Fuseli, painter of nightmares, who swore in nine languages and 
captured the hearts of his fellow Academician Mary Moser, 
and Mary Wollstonecraft His brother artists stood in dread of 
Fuselfs sarcasm. Northcote's tongue was sharp enough, but he 
spoke his mind openly : Fuseli's venomous speeches were made 
behind the victim's back, and neither friend nor foe escaped. If 
Haydon's account of Fuseli and his studio is to be believed, the 
artistic temperament showed itself in the eighteenth century by as 
marked deviations from the commonplace as it does to-day, but 
with a difference. Calling on Fuseli in 1804, Haydon found him- 
self in " a gallery or show room, enough to frighten anybody 
at twilight. Galvanized devils malicious witches brewing their 
incantations Satan bridging Chaos, and springing upwards like a 
pyramid of fire Lady Macbeth Paolo and Francesca Falstaff' 
and Mrs. Quickly humour, pathos, terror, blood, and murder, met 
one at every look ! I expected the floor to give way I fancied 


Fuseli himself to be a giant. I heard his footsteps and saw a little 
bony hand slide round the edge of the door, followed by a little 
white-headed, lion-faced man in an old flannel dressing-gown tied 
round his waist with a piece of rope, and upon his head the bottom 
of Mrs. Fuseli's workbasket." x After this, and Northcote's 
painting gown, " principally composed of shreds and patches, . . . 
perchance . . . half a century old" "By Cot, he is look ing sharp 
for a rat," said Fuseli it is hardly surprising to find that Opie was 
careless in his personal appearance. Cosway, with his mulberry 
silk coat embroidered with strawberries, seems to have represented 
the exception, not the rule, with regard to dress in artistic circles. 

Sir Martin A. Shee, in a letter written to his brother during 
October 1789, describes his first impressions of Opie : 

" I have been introduced to Mr. Opie, who is, in manners and 
appearance, as great a clown and as stupid a looking fellow as ever 
I set my eyes on. Nothing but incontrovertible proof of the fact 
could force me to think him capable of anything above the sphere 
of a journeyman carpenter so little, in this instance, has nature 
proportioned exterior grace to inward worth. He approved of my 
copy, and told me (to use his own expression) he would be glad to 
see me any time at all. I intend calling upon him occasionally ; 
for I know him to be a good painter, and notwithstanding appear- 
ances are so much against him, he is, I am told, a most sensible 
and learned man." 2 

The rough, unpolished Comishman had become a very well- 
known character the more so for this marked contrast between 
his personal appearance and intellectual powers. On one occasion 
Northcote and Opie travelled together by stage coach to Exeter. 
There Opie changed for the Cornish stage, and after he had left 
them a fellow traveller asked Northcote who he was. Northcote 
said it was Mr. Opie, the painter, on which the young man ex- 
pressed regret that he had not known it earlier. Northcote 
confessed that he did not try the effect of his own name. 
Perhaps the Exeter stage had improved since 1752, when an 
advertisement in the Salisbury Journal shows that it took from 

1 " Life of Benjamin Robert Haydon/' edited by Tom Taylor. 

2 " Life of Sir Martin Archer Shee/' by his sou, M. A. Shee. 


Monday to Thursday for the journey, but even so there would be 
ample time for fellow passengers to make either a favourable im- 
pression or the reverse before they parted. Another story of Opie's 
conversational powers is told by Northcote. They dined together 
at a banker's in the City, and argued together all dinner time on 
some " ridiculous controversy " about Milton and Shakespeare. 
They disputed for argument's sake, neither being sincerely con- 
vinced of the soundness of his contentions, and Northcote was 
" heartily ashamed," when a listener exclaimed, " Lord ! What 
would I give to hear such men as you talk every day." 

A letter from Opie, which is enigmatic for want of the year and 
name of the recipient, was given as a curiosity to J. T. Smith by 
Northcote. Presumably it was sent to the latter : if so its for- 
mality makes it probable that this letter was written during the 
earlier years of their friendship, so, although August 23 fell on 
a Sunday three times during Opie's London life in 1789, 1795, 
and 1801, the chances are greatly in favour of the first date : 

" Sunday, Aug. 23. 

" Without pretending to feeling or sentiment, I am really 
grieved at my treatment of you, but by G d ! I cannot help it : 
I am served by others worse. 

" I am now in the state of a losing gamester, and must consent 
to throw away all my journey if I do not put a day or two more 
to it. To attempt to make any more engagements would be 
ridiculous and contemptible ; if you should not go the day you 
propose and will let me have a line of information, I will endeavour 
to meet you, but I cannot desire you to place any confidence in 
one who has none in himself. 

" I am your humble servant, 

"J. OPIK." 1 

The nature of the difficulty Opie was placed in seems evident. 

1 While this book is printing, Mr. Jas. Tregaskis, " the Caxton Head," 
offers the original for sale. His catalogue supplies the date as "circa 1807," 
and suggests that the letter was written during the preparation of the lectures 
for the Royal Academy which caused his death. Comparison of dates will 
show this to be impossible, and its despairing tone is only another testimony 
to Opie's highly-strung nervous temperament. 


Without too great a stretch of imagination we can conceive him 
delayed at some country house by the whims or procrastination of 
a wealthy client, and so forced to break other engagements : one 
with his correspondent. If this was Northcote, it may have been 
the Exeter journey alluded to. 

Although we now put Northcote's work on a lower level than 
Opie's, his contemporaries held him in repute. In the diary of 
Henry Crabb Robinson, under the date of May 4, 1825, he 
records a conversation at a house dinner at the Athenamm, when 
Sir Thomas Lawrence and Turner, discussing the Academy 
exhibition for the year, disagreed about its quality. Turner 
thought it superior to those of Sir Joshua's time ; Lawrence 
denied it. " He said two or three paintings by Sir Joshua, with 
one by Northcote or Opie, made an exhibition of themselves. 1 " 1 

In the " Memoirs of Haydon " there is another slightly different 
estimate of art at the end of the eighteenth century where Opie 
is given an honourable place : " At this time the English Historical 
School was at a very low ebb. Two pictures by West, one or two 
by Fuseli, with one by Opie, and another by Sir Joshua, were the 
Historic masterpieces of the age. They could have been hung in 
one room of moderate dimensions." 2 It is instructive to read 
these criticisms and compare them with the estimation in which 
each artist is held to-day. Time is the touchstone of merit. 

The success of Opie's earliest historical pictures, " James the 
First " and " Rizzio," brought him well-meaning suggestions from 
his admirers. One, signing himself " Staffbrdiensis," wrote a letter 
which was published in the Gentleman's Magazine for August 1788 : 
" Mr. Opie's genius is principally turned to historical picture. 
And where can he find a nobler subject than that of Maria 
Theresa ? " Mr. Polwhele, who sent Opie to the kitchen a few 
years earlier, had recently published a poem on Maria Theresa in 
" English Orators " : he wrote to Opie, enclosing a copy of his poem. 
The artist replied : 

" I think the subject you suggest is a fine one, and should 
have no objection, provided it falls in with Mr. Macklin's plan, 
to attempt it ; but before I speak decisively on it, I should wish 

1 " Diary of Henry Crabb Robinson/' edited by Thos. Sadler. 

2 " Memoirs of B. R. Haydou/' by F. W. Haydon. 


to see the historical account of the event, as I should stand in 
need of more minute information on many points than the poem 
affords, or than it was necessary it should as a poem. If you will 
be so good as to inform me where this information is to be had, 
I will endeavour to procure it ; and if, after attentive consideration, 
I find it equal to the expectations already raised in me, I will 
speak to Mr. M.[acklin] on the subject ; but cannot after all 
promise to be successful, as I am afraid he will object to having 
any subject taken from a living poet ; an objection which I hope 
is far enough from being removed on your part, and my Cornish 
oratory I doubt will not be strong enough to remove it on his. 11 1 

Apparently Macklin was adamant on the point of excluding 
living poets, for no picture relating to Maria Theresa can be 
traced. The reflection that their predecessors also had to bewail 
the coyness of publishers, may bring consolation to hapless minor 
poets of the present day. Another suggestion made by a cor- 
respondent of the Genikmaii's Magazine the visit of Louis XIV 
to the deathbed of James II met with no more encouragement. 
Evidently Opie preferred to choose his own subjects. 

It is rather difficult to find out Opie's charge for portraits 
after he came to London. Mr. Luttrell entered a payment to 
Opie of four guineas in 1782, without stating if it was paid on 
account for his portrait, or in full. Pasted on the back of the 
canvas of his portrait of Mr. Jackson, a surgeon in the Navy, 
painted in 1787, and now owned by the Rev. J. H. de Courcelles, 
is the artist's autograph receipt for five guineas half the price 
of the portrait. The painting is somewhat sketchy, so it is not 
improbable that the ten guineas Opie had for it was less than he 
obtained for more highly finished heads. Opie is hardly likely to 
have fixed his usual charge lower than Northcote, whose prices 
rose successively from eight guineas a head prior to 1784 to ten 
guineas between that year and 1788, fifteen guineas until 1794, 
while after that he asked twenty guineas. 2 

1 " Traditions and Recollections," Rev. R. Polwhele. 

1 Opie's receipt for 250 guineas, from Boydell, for the scene from " Timon 
of Athens " is now (July 1911) on sale at Mr. James Tregaskis's with the 
letter mentioned on p. 74. 



" LONDON, Deer. 24 [1789 ?]. 

-i-VJL " I take care to inform you at the beginning that I have 
not neglected the opportunity of writing within four days after 
my receipt of yours, for you see if you should not be able to find 
it out yourself I might be counted a lazy dog, & if I was, it would 
not be far from the truth perhaps but now to business. The 
brushes which thy soul lusteth after I am sure were sent some 
time ago however to quiet thy cravings a dozen or two more 
shall accompany this. I hope they will not fall out before their 
arrival you ought not to expect a friendly letter from me now 
at least, for I am painting at present a scene from Timon t)f 
Athens & have been for some months rummaging up all the 
villainies & miseries of human nature that I can think of in order 
to possess myself as fully as possible with the true spirit of hatred 
of mankind, or to comprise it in one word misanthroposity ; & 
just as I had begun to damn them all in the lump heartily in 
comes your cursed good natured letter & puts me in good humour 
in spite of my teeth I suppose I shall not be able to get into 
a good diabolical mood again not this fortnight the weather 
indeed may be of some use towards recovering my ill humour, but 
then, as the devil will have it, it prevents my making any use of 
it, for it is so foggy & dark you can't see the end of your nose I 
can't help envying you a good deal to enjoy perpetual sunshine 
while we are forc'd to put up with a miserable apology for 
daylight & that but for 3 or 4 hours out of the four & twenty 
The scene I am about is in the wood where Alcibiades and two 
whores come to visit him & he gives them money & counsel & 



withal damns them heartily You will be sorry to hear that Sir 
Joshua is almost blind & has left off painting or nearly so he has 
totally lost one eye (' so thick a drop serene has quenched its orb," 
you see I have read Milton too) Poor painting ! It is like 
a Welsh rabbit, it has neither head or [-we] legs now last year, 
Gainsborough died, who was really a very great man, & for this six 
months Sir Joshua has also been lost to the Art I think I have 
heard you say you was a particular acquaintance of Henderson, of 
Oxford or Bristol I think he was & was thought an extraordinary 
man he is dead too." l 

The situation in the art world during this year is thus summed 
up in the " Life of Reynolds, 1 ' by Leslie and Taylor : " Sir Joshua 
Reynolds stood unapproached among the exhibitors of portraits, 
though Opie and Northcote had a respectable rank, and Hoppner, 
Beechey, and young Lawrence were rapidly rising. Romney never 
exhibited and Gainsborough was gone." At the end of the year, 
as we read in Opie's letter, Sir Joshua had also dropped out of 
the ranks, so far as active work was concerned, and the veteran 
artist, no longer able to prove his superiority to the jostling, envious 
crowd he had led so long, found his authority as President shaken. 
For a long time dissensions had agitated the Academy. Reynolds 
was getting old, and with age more dogmatic, but his long 
presidency, and the unabated zeal with which he still carried on 
the duties of his office, ought to have been sufficient excuse if, 
in his anxiety for the good of the Academy, he overstepped the 
legal bounds of a President's authority. Opie was unswerving in 
his loyalty, but there was a strong hostile element under the 
leadership of William Tyler. 

There had been slight friction for some time over the chair of 
Perspective, which had been vacant since the death of Samuel Wale 
in 1786. Reynolds desired to see this filled, and favoured the 
candidature of Joseph Bonomi ; a native of Rome who had come 
to England at the request of the brothers Adam to help them in 
architecture and decorative work. Bonomi's fitness for the post 
was not questioned : he was undoubtedly better qualified than the 
candidate favoured by the opposition : the very head and front of 
his offending was that he happened to be Reynolds's nominee. On 

1 Letter from John Opie, R.A., to the Rev. John Owen. By kind 
permission of Mrs. Austin Dobson, from the copy in her possession. 


permission of the owner. .Miss Lucy Striitton. 


the other hand it must be admitted that Reynolds acted in- 
judiciously in openly supporting Bonomi, who was not a member of 
the Academy. Had he waited until Bonomi was elected as 
Associate, it would have deprived his adversaries of their strongest 
argument against him that he was being elected for the purpose 
of becoming Professor of Perspective : an implied slight on existing 
members of the Academy. This indiscretion on the part of 
Reynolds was attributed to a desire to oblige the Earl of Aylesford, 
Bonomi's patron. 

In November 1789 Bonomi was put up for election as 
Associate. Then the trouble grew. He was opposed by Sawry 
Gilpin, and the voting being equal, Reynolds, as President, had 
the casting vote. He gave it for Bonomi. In 1790 there was 
a vacancy in the ranks of Academicians in consequence of the 
death of Meyer, and Bonomi offered himself for election. 
Reynolds used all his influence in his favour, but the malcontents 
supported the claims of Edward Edwards, who, since 1788, had 
temporarily filled the vacant professorship. Before the election, 
however, they decided to abandon Edwards for Fusel i, whose 
superior artistic claims made him a stronger opponent of the 
President's favourite, although it necessitated the abandonment of 
their objection that Bonomi was a foreigner. 

Edwards asked permission to give a specimen lecture before 
the Academicians and Associates. He was told that candidates 
for the Professorship of Perspective must submit a drawing. 
Edwards declined to do so on the grounds that he was no longer 
a boy. 

On the evening of the election (February 10, 1790) Bonomi's 
drawings were brought into the room, and Reynolds, being 
dissatisfied with their inconspicuous position, himself placed them 
on the table. Some of the Academicians resented the introduction 
of these drawings as premature ; the object of the meeting being 
to elect an Academician, and not a Professor of Perspective. 
Reynolds's appeal to them to " elect him who was qualified and 
willing to accept the office of Professor of Perspective " added to 
their irritation. In reply to a question by Tyler, Reynolds 
admitted that it was by his orders Bonomi's drawings were there. 
Tyler then moved, and Banks seconded, a resolution that the 
drawings should be put out of the room : this was carried by a 


large majority. Reynolds asked to be allowed to explain : he 
was refused a hearing. This was a gross act of discourtesy in 
any case: doubly so to a man of his years and position in the 
world of art. Fuseli was then elected Academician by twenty-one 
votes to Bonomi's nine. Reynolds, who had been President ever 
since the foundation of the Academy in 1768, left the chair, fully 
determined never to occupy it again. The next day he resigned, 
his letter to the Secretary being so strongly worded that he was 
persuaded to withdraw it for another more moderate in tone. In 
vain the King expressed a wish that he should reconsider his 
decision : Reynolds held to his resignation. 

The rudeness of the revolting Academicians might be excused 
during the heat of debate, but the final scenes should have been 
marked by courtesy and dignified formality. Instead of this, 
notice of a General Assembly, summoned for March 3, 1790, to 
consider a resolution thanking Sir Joshua for his able and efficient 
presidency, was sent him by the hands of the Academy errand-boy, 
in the form of a note closed with a wafer, and signed only by the 
Secretary : an informality which Sir Joshua, rightly or wrongly, 
took as a studied insult. He acknowledged its receipt in a letter 
of rebuke. 

Meanwhile Reynolds's friends were preparing to act in his 
defence. At the meeting on March 3, Barry rose to ask a 
question about the resignation. He was over-ruled, and the 
resolution accepting Sir Joshua's resignation was carried : a 
further resolution being also passed summoning another General 
Assembly for March 13 to elect another President. 

His friends now determined to express their sympathy, and 
Zoffanij drew up an address, which was signed by Barry, Opie, 
Northcote, Nollekens, Rigaud, Zoffanij, and Sandby, expressing 
approval of their President's action in exhibiting Bonomi's 
drawings. This was presented to Reynolds, and copies appeared 
in the papers. Public attention was thus drawn to the quarrel, 
and the matter was discussed freely in the public press and in 
pamphlets which in the eighteenth century circulated freely on 
every conceivable question. One of these, supposed to have been 
inspired by Fuseli, attacked Reynolds's friends. With regard to 
Opie it said : " Opie is heavy, unelegant, and accidental in his 
characters. If the blackguard from whom he paints happens to 


possess a head that hits his fancy, he imitates it without anything 
like discrimination. His David Rizzio is a dirty drayman, his 
Mary Queen of Scots a common barrow -woman, and her lady of 
honour a furious lady of the town. Yet the execution of them is 
bold and natural as far as relates to simple imitation ; for to that 
alone are the works of his pencil confined. He has not a mind to 
go beyond it." The evident animosity of this attack makes it 
unnecessary to refute the statements : abuse is not argument. 

The pamphlet went on to assert that Opie and others of Sir 
Joshua's friends used heads painted on separate pieces of paper in 
composing their pictures, " and they fasten that which happens to 
suit their taste in a hole cut in the place it is intended to occupy. 
If the account of this ingenious contrivance should be a misrepre- 
sentation it may be easily confuted, but if it should be a fact it 
ought to be made known, for the advancement and honour of the 
art." We may be forgiven for doubting if the author of this 
" ingenious " statement was actuated purely by zeal for " the honour 
of the art.'" It reads more like a desire to bring a fellow artist 
into disrepute. Like most libellous assertions, it had a grain of 
truth for its foundation, for it will be remembered that in one pic- 
ture, "The Assassination of James," Opie did insert three of the 
heads in this manner. Northcote also, Mr. Stephen Gwynn points 
out in the introduction to his "Memorials of an Eighteenth-Century 
Painter," when preparing designs for the woodcuts illustrating his 
" Fables," used an old print for the background, and cut spaces in it 
over which he pasted figures from other prints. But the suggestion 
is, of course, that the three Academicians attacked in the pamphlet, 
Opie, Barry, and Northcote, habitually used this method in arrang- 
ing the composition of their pictures. The charge of plagiarism 
against Reynolds was not a new one. In 1775 Hone painted a 
picture he called " The Conjurer," a mysterious personage sur- 
rounded by various works of art, who pointed with a wand to a 
number of scattered prints, under which were slightly indicated 
certain of Sir Joshua's pictures which resembled them in design. 
Hone actually had the audacity to send this to the exhibition of 
1775, but of course the hanging committee rejected it. He then 
had a show of his own, and hung "The Conjurer" in the most 
conspicuous position. 

The pamphlet went on to suggest as a subject for their brushes 


"The Apotheosis of Sir Joshua." Barry was to do the upper portion, 
showing Sir Joshua " borne in due solemnity to the skies." " The 
lower part of the canvas, offering a view of hell, with the Academi- 
cians who voted against Mr. Bonomi grinning in torments, must 
owe all its horrors to the damning pencils of Messrs. Opie and 
Northcote, and if they should want a fiend or two to complete 
the whole, they may sit to each other. Mr. Fuseli will then, I 
trust, revenge the treatment of his friends by painting a scene in 
' Measure for Measure, 1 where he will represent the three foregoing 
painters as inhabitants of the ' thrilling regions of thick-ribbed 
ice. ' " x See, how these artists love one another. 

The publicity given to these internal dissensions brought about 
a reaction among the Academicians in favour of Reynolds. On the 
13th they abandoned the idea of electing a new President, passed 
a resolution explaining their action in the Bonomi affair, and 
appointed a deputation West, Sandby, Opie, Copley, Cosway, 
Farington, Bacon, and Catton to wait on Sir Joshua and ask him 
to withdraw his resignation. The deputation was received with 
evident pleasure by the veteran artist; he consented to forget 
recent differences, and invited them to dine with him. He refused, 
however, to take the chair again unless invited by the King, but 
this little point of etiquette was soon smoothed over, and the 
Council of March 18th, was presided over by Sir Joshua. 

The same letter to the Rev. John Owen in which Opie lamented 
the loss of Reynolds^ sight answers a query of his friend on the 
subject of colour " this Cleopatra of the art," as Opie called it in 
his fourth lecture : 

" You bother me about yellow, & about flesh colour, 
about receipts and precepts. Lord ! I am a fellow very unfit to 
teach I am trying to learn. I will tell you all as soon as I know 
it I believe one kind of yellow is as good as another, a little more 
or a little less white will make it what you want you must fire 
away boldly & when it is too red or yellow put more white 
when it is too white add more yellow or red then dash in your 
blue & green & purple, & as soon as you have got it to look 

1 From a pamphlet quoted in Northcote's diary, reproduced from 
" Memorials of an Eighteenth-Century Painter," by kind permission of 
Mr. Stephen Gwynn, M.P. 


like something stop and bless God for it this is my way, & all 
the way I know What, are you answered ? do all you can without 
glazing first, then do all you can with glazing in the face, as well 
as everywhere else, are you answered yet ? You talk of coming 
over & living in a garret, but is it for Nabobs to live in garrets, 
is that the place, after being carried in palanquins & riding on 
Elephants (for Humphreys talks of his having received messages 
just as he was going to mount his Elephant & why should not 
you) for a man to settle in, no, I hope to see you here riding on 
your Elephant or in a chariot drawn by tigers, scattering gold 
among the populace remember you were to bring over a cargo of 
wild beasts which I will paint from time to time Make haste, 
put money in thy purse, cram it full, & come over with all speed, 
& doubt not but to find the Garret ready & paint & brushes 
& canvas & oil & all other delights fit for a man & a philo- 
sopher in the eighteenth century & there well do we'll do, we'll 
do ! Mrs. Reynolds lives at Kew & we have not seen her for 
some time Mrs. O[pie] is very well & talks of you with great 
pleasure & is very impatient for the time of your coming you 
seem to complain of not receiving any letters from me, I have 
answered all but one I believe so in number I am not so far behind 
God bless you & believe me most sincerely your's, 

J. OPIE." 1 

Few letters are more self-revealing. Here we have affectionate 
raillery mingled with a pretence at moroseness and cynicism : 
boyish playfulness drifting oft' into testiness at his pupil's desire 
for a hard-and-fast rule. We get a glimpse of the true artist, 
striving ceaselessly after an ideal of perfection that always eludes 
him. Now it is, " Lord ! I am a fellow very unfit to teach ; I am 
trying to learn " : ten years later his despairing cry is, " I shall 
never be an artist ! " His fellow artists had a higher opinion of 
his skill than he had himself. West said of him : " The truth 
of colour, as conveyed to the eye through the atmosphere, by 
which the distance of every object is ascertained, was never better 
expressed than by him." C. R. Leslie, who belonged to the 
following generation, when the influence of Opie's strong per- 

1 Letter from John Opie, R.A., to the Rev. John Owen. By kind per- 
mission of Mrs. Austin Dobson, from the copy in her possession. 


sonality had passed away, and a more dispassionate opinion of 
the artist might be expected, wrote : " If, with respect to one 
most important element of Art, and that too colour, I dissent from 
so great a painter as Reynolds, I do but follow Opie, whose 
opinion has carried with it that of every succeeding artist of 
eminence."" l 

In his lectures, Opie warned his pupils against supposing that 
a great colourist could be made by studying the laws of optics 
and chemistry. He said : 

"... It may be thought necessary that he should study the 
laws of optics, be intimately acquainted with all the phaenomena 
[sic] of the reflection and refraction of light, of its composition, 
and divisibility into red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and 
violet-coloured rays, and that he should examine into the nature 
of the surfaces and textures of different bodies, by which they 
absorb, divide, transmit, or reflect light, and consequently give 
birth to that astonishing variety of hues, under which they are 
exhibited to the eye. 

" These are studies which, doubtless, ought not to be alto- 
gether discouraged ; for, not to speak of the pleasure that must 
result to the artist, from his being able truly and solidly to account 
for all the various appearances of light, he cannot, of course, be 
too well acquainted with the nature and properties of those colours, 
by whose instrumentality he is to give life and energy to his future 
designs. But it cannot be improper to inform him that too much 
stress may easily be laid on knowledge of this kind ; Titian, 
Rubens, and Vandyck probably knew nothing of the divisibility 
of light, and little more, perhaps, of the laws of optics, than what 
must necessarily result from practice ; and it must reluctantly be 
confessed that the rest is but remotely connected with the art, and 
that the discoveries of Newton and Berkeley, however sublime 
and beautiful, are but little calculated to assist the production of 
the sublime and beautiful in painting." 2 

This is interesting because it shows that Opie kept well abreast 
of scientific progress. If his education began late, the delay was 
counterbalanced by his mental activity when the impediments were 
removed. But shrewd common-sense kept him from the error of 

1 Preface to ' ' Handbook for Young Painters," C. R. Leslie. 

8 " Lectures on Painting" (Lect. IV, "On Colour "), J. Opie, R.A. 


over-estimating the importance of his newly acquired knowledge. 
He saw that arbitrary laws were as nothing to the heaven-born 
gift of vision granted to the true artist, and so he insisted on 
putting science into the proper place as handmaid of art and 
not mistress. 

Although he placed colour after design and chiaroscuro in 
order of importance, Opie waxed eloquent in his praise of it : 

" Colour, the peculiar object of the most delightful of our 
senses, is associated in our minds with all that is rare, precious, 
delicate, and magnificent in nature. A fine complexion, in the 
language of the poet, is the dye of love, a hint of something 
celestial : the ruby, the rose, the diamond, the youthful blush, 
the orient morning, and the variegated splendour of the setting 
sun, consist of, or owe their charms principally to, colour. To the 
sight it is the index of gaiety, richness, warmth, and animation ; 
and should the most experienced artist, by design alone, attempt 
to represent the tender freshness of spring, the fervid vivacity of 
summer, or the mellow abundance of autumn, what must be his 
success ? Colouring is the sunshine of the art, that clothes poverty 
in smiles, and renders the prospect of barrenness itself agreeable, 
while it heightens the interest and doubles the charms of 
beauty. 11 1 

But Opie did not confine his remarks to abstract colouring ; he 
gave his pupils some practical hints that are of extreme interest 
because they give us some insight into his own experiences and 
manner of working : 

" Colour being, exclusively and solely, an object of sight, must 
obviously be less under the power of language than almost any 
other part of the art. The student, however, may be told that 
the freshness and brilliancy of colours depend, in a great measure, 
on their purity, that is, on keeping them as little mixed together, 
as little muddled by vehicles and subsequent attempts to mend 
the first touches, as the power of the artist and the nature of the 
subject will admit of; and the brilliancy may be still further 
increased by judiciously contrasting them with their opposites. 
Red, for instance, will have a more lively effect in the neighbour- 
hood of blue ; and yellow, opposed to purple. White will increase 
in vivacity by being near black, and black will appear more 
1 "Lectures on Painting " (Lect. IV, " On Colour "), J. Opie, R.A. 


intense if placed on a ground of white. Laying them also in 
situations admitting of instantaneous comparison is another mode 
of heightening the apparent vivacity of colours. The ill-looking 
may appear well-favoured if accompanied by those that are worse : 
thus, a moderately lively red, or yellow, will appear brilliant if 
surrounded by others of the same class, but of a more depraved 
quality. Richness and transparency may be obtained by glazing, 
and passing the colours one over another without suffering them 
to mix ; and harmony is secured by keeping up the same tone 
through the whole, and not at all by any sort of arrangement, as 
some have erroneously supposed. These circumstances will be 
plain and intelligible to all who are a little initiated in the theory 
and management of colours ; but they will also find, to their 
sorrow, that brilliancy and freshness may easily be pushed into 
rawness and crudeness ; that transparency may easily degenerate 
into flimsiness and want of solidity ; that harmony easily slides 
into jaundice and muddiness ; that spirit and cleanness of touch 
quickly run into hardness, and softness into woolliness and want of 
precision : and, between these almost meeting extremes, who shall 
tell them when and where to stop ? This is altogether beyond 
the power of words, and is attainable only by a good organ, long 
practice, and the study of nature and the best masters. 

" In studying and copying the works of old and celebrated 
masters, it is proper, however, that the student should never lose 
sight of one circumstance, which is, that they are often, if not 
always, so changed by time, dust, and varnish, that it is necessary 
to consider, rather what they once were, than what they are at 
present. He must acquire the power of seeing the brilliancy of 
their tints through the cloud by which it is obscured : otherwise 
he will be likely to imbibe false notions on the subject, and 
become a colourist of his own formation, with ideas equally 
remote from nature and from art, from the genuine practice of 
the masters and the real appearance of things. It would be as 
tedious as useless to enter here into a detail of the various 
materials used in painting, and the different modes of applying 
them, the proper knowledge of which it is the province of experi- 
ment and practice alone to teach. Suffice it to say, that the 
genuine principles of colouring are the same in all, and that, under 
skilful management, they v f are all capable of producing admirable 


effects ; but, though every student may safely be left to his own 
choice of his vehicles and instruments, it is highly necessary to 
caution him against any undue reliance on them, and to remark, 
that much imposition and quackery has at all times prevailed 
in respect to this comparatively insignificant part of the art. 1 ' 1 

Opie's practical hints on colour in his lectures included a 
thoughtful comparison of the different methods of Rubens and 
Titian. " In comparing Rubens with Titian," he said, " it has 
been observed, that the latter mingled his tints as they are in 
nature, that is, in such a manner as makes it impossible to discover 
where they begin or terminate ; Rubens's method, on the contrary, 
was to lay his colours in their places, one by the side of the other, 
and afterwards very slightly mix them by a touch of the pencil. 
Now, as it is an acknowledged principle in the art, that the less 
colours are mingled, the greater their purity and vivacity, and, as 
every painter knows the latter method to be the most learned 
(requiring a deeper knowledge of the subject), to be attended with 
a greater facility, and, if properly managed, with greater truth 
and vivacity of effect, it must follow that this difference in their 
practice, which has been adduced to prove the inferiority of 
Rubens to Titian, indisputably proves the reverse ; and, though 
it must be allowed perhaps that, in practice, he at times uncovered 
too much the skeleton of his system, and rendered his tints too 
visible for a near inspection, I can have no doubt that, on the 
whole, he was the most profound theorist ; that more may be 
learnt from him respecting the nature, use, and arrangement of 
colours, than from any other master ; and that, had he not been, 
in some measure, the dupe of his own powers, his name would 
have stood first in the first rank of colourists." 2 

In spite of the fact that Opie, at various times, painted in the 
styles of other artists, he discouraged imitation : " A painter 
ought to consider, compare, and weigh in the balance of reason, 
the different styles of all distinguished masters ; and whatever 
mode of execution he may choose to adopt, his imitation should 
always be general, and directed only to what is truly excellent in 
each ; he may follow the same road, but not tread in the same foot- 
steps . . ."" The result of individual imitation is summed up in 

1 "Lectures on Painting" (Lect. IV, "On Colour"), J. Opie, R.A. 
1 Ibid. 


his criticism of the school of Rubens : " The best of their works 
are now probably, and not improperly, attributed to him, from 
whose mind the principle that directed them, emanated. From 
him they learned to weigh the powers of every colour, and balance 
the proportion of every tint ; but, destitute of his vigorous 
imagination, the knowledge of his principle became, in their hands, 
a mere palliative of mental imbecility, (leaves without trunk,) and 
served only to lacquer over poverty of thought and feebleness of 
design, and to impart a sickly magnificence to stale mythological 
conceits, and clumsy forms of gods without dignity, goddesses 
without beauty, and heroes without energy ; which disgust the 
more, for the abortive attempt to conceal by colouring the want 
of that which colour can never supply." l 

Opie never lavishly imitated another artist ; there is always an 
individuality about his work which proves the master's hand. 
With him, eye, hand, and brain contributed harmoniously in what- 
ever he undertook. 

1 " Lectures on Painting" (Lect. IV, "On Colour"), J. Opie, R.A. 

By permission of their nephew, \V. A. Geare, Esq. 



"V7"OUNG Lawrence, who came to London in 1787, became 
JL a formidable rival of Opie: fashionable beauties found 
him far more flattering in his treatment of them than the blunt 
Cornishman his method being the reverse of Opie's for Law- 
rence drew them as they would like to be. Naturally there was 
some jealousy on the part of the older established artists at the 
newcomer's sudden popularity, and Reynolds seems to have fallen 
under suspicion of favouring Lawrence. The Academy quarrel 
about Bonomi had only just blown over when this assumed 
partiality of Reynolds became the cause of further unpleasantness. 
This time Boydell was the innocent promoter of discord. He 
was Lord Mayor for the year 1791, and, with the interests of art 
always in view, suggested to Northcote that it would be an 
excellent plan to establish a custom that each Lord Mayor should, 
on taking office, order a large historical painting from one of the 
best painters of the day who must be a member of the Royal 
Academy and present it to the City ; either for the adornment of 
the Mansion House, or the hall of the Company he belonged to. 
Reynolds, it was reported, objected to this on the grounds that 
Aldermen neither understood nor cared for history and painting : 
they wanted nothing but portraits. He suggested that Boydell 
should establish the precedent by giving his own portrait by 
Lawrence. Reynolds was, and justly, annoyed at this report. 
He wrote to Northcote begging him to deny the story so far as 
Reynolds'^ own share in it was concerned : 

" Mr. Desenfans told me yesterday a most extraordinary story 
[he wrote], that the Lord Mayor should say to me that he had 



an intention of introducing whole-length portraits of Lord 
Mayors into the Mansion House, and that he added he intended 
to employ Northcote and Opie, and that I advised him not to 
employ them, but Mr. Lawrence. 

" The reason I mention this to you is in hopes that you will 
help me in endeavouring to trace this story to its fountain-head. 

" If my opinion is of any value, it is certainly your interest to 
detect this mischief-maker. I am far from thinking that the 
Lord Mayor is the author." 

Taking into consideration the highly electrical state of the 
Academy, and the recent accusations against him of favouritism, 
Reynolds's wrath at this unwarrantable attempt to make him 
answerable for a slight put upon a painter of Opie's standing, is 

Lawrence was made an Associate this year (1791), and Ozias 
Humphrey (who might have been Opie's master) an Academician. 
Opie had a little dinner party on the evening of the election, with 
John Taylor, author of " Monsieur Tonson," and Ozias Humphrey 
as guests. Opie left them in the evening while he went to the 
Academy to record his vote for Humphrey, and returned with 
news of his success. But his advocacy of Humphrey did not make 
him tolerant of his boasting. Humphrey had lived some time in 
India, and was fond of giving highly coloured accounts of oriental 
life. He liked to tell people that when he had leisure he called 
for his elephant and took a morning ride. Opie burlesqued this, 
imitating Humphrey's manner, and saying that if he went to 
India he should " ring for his rhinoceros, trot with his tiger, 
prance on his panther, canter with his camel, or dash off on his 

Before the next election Sir Joshua was dead, and had been 
accorded a funeral of fitting grandeur as first President of the 
Royal Academy. The body was removed to the Academy the 
night before the funeral not without opposition on the part of 
a recalcitrant section of his Academicians and part of the Model 
School was enclosed to form a mortuary chamber. This was hung 
with black, relieved by sconces, and the body remained there 
until the next day, March 3, 1792, when, attended by a stately 
funeral procession ten pall-bearers, all peers, and ninety-one 


carriages the great artist was taken to his last resting-place in 
St. Paul's. All the expenses were defrayed by members of the 
Academy, who subscribed thirty shillings each for that purpose. 
" Aye, girl ! and I too shall be buried in St. Paul's ! " exclaimed 
Opie to his sister. It was not vanity, nor love of ostentation : the 
peasant's son followed in the funeral with his fellow Academicians 
and saw the crowds that gathered to see the passing of a great 
painter ; he felt the surge of creative thought in his own brain ; 
he recognised the height to which he had already climbed, and 
knew that as yet he had barely reached his prime : this was the 
fitting end ; the seal placed by the world on a successful life and 
its tribute to his art : strength, not weak boastfulness, prompted 
his prophetic utterance " I too shall be buried in St. Paul's ! " 
The reaction would come after, when he vainly strove to fix the 
elusive ideal on canvas, until the brush was thrown down with the 
despairing cry, " I shall never be an artist ! " 

West's influence at Court made his succession to Reynolds as 
President a foregone conclusion. The occasion was made the 
subject of mock letters of congratulation purporting to be written 
by various Academicians to their President, the author being 
" Anthony Pasquin." For some unknown reason the letters are 
dated 1794 : that attributed to Opie is a not unsuccessful burlesque 
of his early familiar letters : 


" I pant to give you a Cornish hug upon your exaltation. 
Who would have thought it that I should be an Academician and 
you the President ? But some men ' are born to greatness, and 
some have greatness thrust upon them.' Happy Varlets ! but 
enough of that. I have finished my Cain murdering Abel, for the 
rooms of Hanover Square. My Joseph feasting 1 his Brethren is in 
great forwardness : this is intended as a present from the King to 
the Speaker of the House of Commons. I am now in the great act 
of fixing Europa upon the tremendous Butt ; perhaps it may not 
be altogether unnecessary for me to inform you, that I took the 
story from one OVID, who lived upon his Gods, like the Bench of 
Bishops, and like them damned those he disliked. Do you think I 
may venture to depict the lusty beast in all his honours, without 
giving offence to trembling virginity or the peery matron ? As 


BARRY'S so good at a Indl, I at first thought of asking him, but I 
was not sure that he would not but me for my temerity. 

" I am, Sir, yours [sic] &c., 

"J. OPIE. 
"March 30th, 1794. 
" Near the Hog in the Blanket, 
" Dirty Lane. 

" P.S. In Sir Joshua's time the Students were very negligent 
of their persons ; I flatter myself you will not suffer such inatten- 
tion to the points of drapery in future if the disciples want 
combs, they may send to my house." * 

Kemble opened the new theatre of Drury Lane on April 21, 
1794, with " Macbeth " ; his sister, Mrs. Siddons, taking the part of 
Lady Macbeth. In his anxiety to reform theatrical traditions, he 
did away with Banquo's ghost in visible form. Barton Booth had 
made a step in this direction by at least preventing one sign of the 
spirit's bodily presence ; he encased the soles of his shoes in 
felt, so that his approach should be noiseless. Conscience alone 
filled the empty chair at the banquet that night at Drury I^ne, 
and playgoers were at once divided into two camps over such an 
innovation, in spite of the fact that the poet Lloyd had long before 
suggested it : 

"Why need the ghost usurp the monarch's place, 
To frighten children with his mealy face ? 
The King alone should form the phantom there, 
And talk and tremble at the empty chair." 

When we recall how little the eighteenth-century actors owed to 
realism or chronological accuracy ; how Cleopatra appeared in 
hooped petticoat and powdered commode, and Othello wore 
cocked hat and knee-breeches, it is easy to imagine the sensation 
excited by Kemble's venture. Opie was very strongly against it. 
In his lectures he declaimed against " those who of late endeavoured 
to rob the play of Macbeth of the powerful and affecting incident 
of the Ghost. . . . Happily, however, for the true lovers of 

1 " Memoirs of the Royal Academicians/' "Anthony Pasquin." 


Shakespeare, the genuine feelings of the public have decided 
against this most barbarous mutilation, . . ." ] 

Opie goes on to rejoice that Reynolds had not listened to the 
critics who blamed him for introducing a listening fiend behind the 
dying Cardinal in his picture for the Shakespeare Gallery of 
the " Death of Cardinal Beaufort ":"... happily for the real judges 
of painting, the illustrious artist in question, though warned, 
before the picture was finished, of the outcry that would be raised 
against his introduction of the busy, meddling fiend, did not give 
way to his squeamish advisers, but, confiding in his more refined 
taste, riper judgement [sic], and nicer feelings, boldly committed 
his claims to POSTERITY. . . ." 2 

It is doubtful whether any comparison can be drawn between 
the suggestive value of Reynolds's painted conception of the death 
scene and a dramatic performance, where the cumulative power of 
words and actions aids the spectator's imagination ; and altered stage 
conditions prevent Shakespeare's intention being taken as entirely 
conclusive. But if Opie's imagination or prejudices demanded a 
fleshly ghost at Drury Lane, he was entirely satisfied with the 
picture, and it is good to read such unstinted praise of a brother 
artist by the rules of the Academy no living artist's works were 
open to criticism in the lectures, or there might have been other 
evidence to refute the assertion that Opie was jealous of his 

He said : " . . . the effect of the visionary devil, couched 
close, and listening eagerly behind the pillow of the dying wretch ; 
which not only invigorates and clothes the subject in its appropriate 
interest and terror, but immediately clears up all ambiguity, by 
informing us that those are not bodily sufferings, which we 
behold so forcibly delineated, that they are not merely the pangs 
of death, which make him grin, but that his agony proceeds from 
those dangers of the mind, the overwhelming horrors of a guilty 
and an awakened conscience. This was the point on which 
rested the whole moral effect of the piece ; it was absolutely 
necessary to be understood, and could by no other means have 
been so strongly and perspicuously expressed. An expedient, 
therefore, at once so necessary, so consistent with the spirit of 

1 "Lectures on Painting" (Lect. II, " Of Invention "), J. Opie, R.A 
3 Ibid. 


the subject, and so completely successful, far from being regarded 
as an unwarrantable license, is justifiable by all rules of sound 
criticism, and ought to be regarded as one of the most signal 
examples of the invention of the artist." l 

Then Opie waxes eloquent over the trammels imposed on art 
by an undiscerning public : 

" It is to be lamented that this most poetical incident, pro- 
ducing equal effect, and proceeding from the same power of fancy, 
as that which caused the weird sisters to rise like bubbles and 
vanish with their enchanted cauldrons, which forged the air-drawn 
dagger to marshal Macbeth the way to Duncan, which dictated 
the resurrection of Banquo's ghost to fill the chair of the murderer, 
has not as yet been properly felt and appreciated according to its 
merits. So habituated are the people of this country to the sight 
of portraiture only, that they can scarcely as yet consider painting 
in any other light ; they will hardly admire a landscape that is 
not a view of a particular place, nor a history unless composed 
of likenesses of the persons represented ; and are apt to be 
staggered, confounded, and wholly unprepared to follow such 
vigorous flights of imagination as would as will be felt and 
applauded with enthusiasm in a more advanced and liberal stage 
of criticism. In our exhibitions (which often display extraordinary 
powers wasted on worthless subjects) one's ear is pained, one's 
very soul is sick with hearing crowd after crowd, sweeping round 
and, instead of discussing the merits of the different works on 
view (as to conception, composition, and execution), all reiterating 
the same dull and tasteless question, Who is that ? and Is it like ? 
Such being the case, it is no wonder that this work of our great 
painter has been condemned without mercy, by a set of cold- 
hearted, fac-sirnile connoisseurs, who are alike ignorant of the 
true end and the extensive powers of the art, who forget that 
Pegasus has wings to carry him unobstructed over mountains and 
seas, or who wish to have him trimmed, adorned with winkers, 
and reduced to canter prettily and properly on a turnpike road." * 

His wrath at people who could not admire a landscape that 
was not a view is quaint when the artificial pseudo-classical land- 
scapes of the eighteenth century are remembered. There is a 

1 " Lectures on Painting" (Lect. II, " Of Invention "), J. Opie, R.A. 


pathetic ring though about his revilings of those who would clip 
the wings of Pegasus. Opie cannot be classed with the great 
imaginative artists, but he too had his aspirations checked by the 
necessity of working for daily needs, and who can doubt that 
the capacity for suffering of ineffective genius exceeds that 
experienced by those who have the gift of facile expression. 

" Anthony Pasquin's " criticism of Opie's Academy pictures 
for 1794 says : " Mr. Opie has not brought forward this year 
anything to surprise the world ... an indifferent spectator would 
be led to imagine that he was concerned in a coarse woollen 
manufactory, as he seizes all possible occasions to array his 
personages in that species of apparel, from an emperor to a 
mendicant . . . his style of colouring becomes, in my opinion, 
more defective every year; it is now, in all his flesh, but little 
more than black and white, imperfectly amended by the mixture 
of brown oker ! or some ingredient equally fatal to the purposes 
of truth." " Pasquin " goes on to regret that it should be necessary 
to censure " a gentleman who is certainly distinguished from the 
daubing herd by some genius." 

" Anthony Pasquin " was rather too censorious, but there was 
a grain of truth in his criticism : masculine dress was no longer 
picturesque. A republican tendency to severity, and black or 
neutral colours, was fashionable especially among the Reform 
party, who also abjured hair-powder and wore their hair cropped. 
This negligence was most marked in 1793 and 1794. It would 
account for the preponderance of black, and Opie's too plentiful 
varnish would do the rest. That his colours were always dingy 
and monotonous can be easily disproved by an inspection of a 
number of his pictures. 

The effects of the French Revolution went deeper than a 
reaction in favour of simplicity and sombreness of dress. Long 
wars, heavy taxation, and dear food, provoked widespread dis- 
content among the lower classes. A wave of disaffection swept 
over the country : the warning note of Burke's " Reflections on 
the French Revolution " was met by a Republican counterblast in 
Tom Paine's " Rights of Man." The Reform party openly rejoiced 
at the downfall of French monarchy : in at least one English 
town Norwich reputable townsfolk danced round a tree of 
liberty to celebrate the fall of the Bastille. King Mob was 


swayed by temporary gusts of passion in one direction or another : 
lauding Wilkes as a hero in 1769 ; breaking his windows and 
those of the Quakers in 1794 because they failed to illuminate 
when London went mad with joy over Howe's victory of " the 
glorious first of June." Their zeal on this occasion was carried to 
such an extreme that even the most loyal feared to be thought 
wanting in patriotism. The story goes that one timid citi/en, 
harassed by fears of fire on one hand and the fury of the mob on 
the other, before venturing to put out his lights, printed in 
capitals a notice which he pasted on his door : " Two o'clock, gone 
to bed. If I am to light again, pray be so obliging as to ring 
the bell. 11 

Political clubs and societies sprang up throughout London and 
the provinces where reform was actively debated. The most 
advanced of these was the London Correspondence Society (of 
which Francis Place was an active member), with branches in 
various provincial towns ; this was in direct communication with 
the Jacobins of Paris. A milder society of extreme Whigs and 
parliamentary reformers was " the Friends of the People, 11 founded 
in the spring of 1792. 

Opie took no active part in politics. He knew Francis Place, 
and many of his friends belonged to the extreme Whig party, yet 
Amelia Opie, his second wife, tells us that he read with delight 
and in a great measure agreed with, Burke's famous " Reflections, 11 
but still preserved an open mind so that he was equally ready to 
read " The Rights of Man " as soon as it appeared. Unbiassed 
judgment like this was rarer then than now, for factions were 
hotter and prejudices stronger. Tolerance is a growth of the last 
fifty years. 

Some of the glory of martyrdom attached to reformers of the 
eighteenth century. The Government had yet to learn that free 
speech acted as a safety valve. When we read of the repressive 
measures Pitt thought necessary, we can only wonder that the 
years during which Europe was one vast powder magaxine passed 
so harmlessly in England. The Ministers vainly endeavoured 
to check the tide of reform. Members of the political societies 
were arrested in May 1794, there was a secret Committee to 
report on seditious practices, the Habeas Corpus Act was sus- 
pended for the second time during the reign correspondence 


to or from suspected individuals was detained and examined, 
there were domiciliary visits, and other official pryings of a 
nature repugnant to Englishmen. And then, when the suspects 
were brought to trial on the charge of treason, the evidence 
produced by the prosecution was found to be so weak, that after 
Hardy, Tooke who audaciously called Pitt and others in high 
places to give evidence of their former connection with Reform 
societies and Thelwall had been acquitted, the other prisoners 
were discharged. Naturally they became heroes. The lady destined 
to be Opie's second wife is said to have publicly kissed Home 
Tooke, one of the accused, on his acquittal. Was it the same fair 
partisan who insisted on pulling up the collar of his coat and 
wrapping her own silk handkerchief round his neck as he was being 
taken from the Old Bailey to Newgate one cold night during the 
trial ? " Pray, madam, be careful, for I am rather tickleish, at 
present, about that particular spot," he said, with a grim humour. 

A charge of treason, even such an abortive one as that of these 
members of constitutional societies in 1794, was no laughing 
matter when Temple Bar was still decorated with the skulls of 
those who paid with their lives for being on the losing side in 
'45. No wonder then that Wolcot, who had made enemies on all 
sides by his satires, and whose ridicule of the King might easily be 
construed as lese-majeste, felt uneasy during Pitt's " reign of 
terror." In reality he had little sympathy with the Jacobin 
party, but curiosity took him to a meeting of " Friends of the 
People" in 1795. This came to the ears of Opie, who conspired 
with Ozias Humphrey to play a practical joke on the doctor. 
Ozias, dressed in great-coat and slouched hat, stationed himself 
opposite Wolcot's house at a time agreed on, and Opie arrived 
soon after in apparent haste and agitation. He told Wolcot 
there was a report that a warrant had been issued against him : 

" As I came in," said he, " I saw a fellow I did not like on the 
opposite side of the way. Just go to the window and look out." 

Wolcot's conscience must have been hypersensitive at the time, 
or his knowledge of the world and of the playfulness of his friends 
might have sharpened his eyesight as he peeped timorously at the 
muffled figure over the way. 

" What had I best do ? " he asked. 

" Get into the country as fast as you can, my dear sir ; go out 


at your back window lose no time. See ! the fellow seems about 
to cross the way. I will take care of all things here.' 1 

So counselled Opie, the arch-deceiver, and Wolcot fled. With 
the idea that he was least likely to be discovered in the neighbour- 
hood of the Court, he went to Windsor, and lived there in obscure 
lodgings for a fortnight, in constant fear of detection by one of 
Pitt's spies. Meanwhile Opie and Humphrey were rejoicing in the 
success of their plot, and when at last Wolcot ventured to return 
he found his adventures common property, and the Academicians 
in high glee that the tables had been turned on their satirist. 



DURING all these years we have heard little of Opie's wife, 
Mary Bunn. In truth, there is not much to tell. Her 
husband painted two or three portraits of her, and she was intro- 
duced in some of his pictures : one of these, " The Conjurer," has 
a special interest in view of Mary Opie's sad story. It represents 
Chamberlain, a famous conjurer of the day, telling Mary Opie's 
fortune ; there is " mingled fear and exultation in her face." In 
the shadow of a curtain in the background is her husband. This 
picture belonged to Sir Joshua Reynolds, but was not found 
among his pictures at his death, and became known as " the lost 
Opie." In November 1807 Sir Charles Bell, the great nerve 
specialist, writing to his brother, Professor G. J. Bell, of Edin- 
burgh, said : " I am going to send you the picture of an old man's 
head for your hall." l It remained in Professor Bell's house many 
years before Wilkie saw and identified it as "The Conjurer." 2 
We hear also of Mary Opie's visits to Cornwall to the old home 
at "The Blowing House," which she insisted on renaming 
" Harmony Cot " : from this we may infer that she was 

That Opie's first marriage was unhappy is certain, but in the 
light of hitherto unpublished evidence it is impossible to believe 
that the blame rested only with the erring wife. We have two 
accounts of Mary Opie from contemporaries. Cyrus Redding, in 
" Fifty Years' Recollections," says she was " a wanton," and wholly 
immoral, on the evidence of a story, told him by a young man, 

1 " Letters of Sir Charles Bell," edited by G. J. Bell. 
* Now it seems to have disappeared again, for I have not been able to 
communicate with the present representatives of the Bell family. 



which on the most favourable interpretation proves that she was at 
least extremely foolish and imprudent. Redding goes on to say 
that this story corroborated other gossip he had heard of her. But 
on his own confession Redding did not know Opie personally. " I 
deeply regretted not knowing him," he writes, reminded, by meeting 
Opie's funeral on its way to St. Paul's, of an undelivered letter of 
introduction to the artist : as it is doubtful whether he ever met 
Mary Opie either, his story is only hearsay evidence, and con- 
sequently inadmissible. 

Our other witness is John Taylor, author of " Monsieur 
Tonson," who practised as an oculist like his grandfather the 
Chevalier Taylor, edited the Morning Post for a time, until 
the proprietor complained that he " had not devil enough for, the 
conduct of a public journal," and later had a share in the Sun : 
" a paper that appears daily, but never shines," according to 
Hazlitt. Taylor was a good-natured gossip who knew every one 
of any note for which reason he acquired the distinctive sobri- 
quet " Everybody's Taylor." He knew both husband and wife 
intimately. Taylor describes her as a pretty little woman of 
pleasing and unaffecting manners, and as the strongest proof he 
can offer of his respect, he says : " I was well acquainted with her, 
and introduced my former wife to her, which assuredly I should 
not have done if I had observed any incorrectness of conduct 
or manners." 

Of these conflicting statements, that made by the man who 
knew her is most convincing. John Opie's memoir was written by 
his second wife, who limits herself to an acknowledgment of a first 
marriage, and declines writing a biographical account " as there are 
circumstances in his life on which it would be improper and 
indelicate for me to expatiate " : Prince Hoare and the other 
friends who contributed memorials of Opie to the seventh number 
of the Artist do not mention it. In the " Memorials of Amelia 
Opie," published shortly after her death, the circumstances are 
summed up in a few censorious words : " He unhappily married 
a woman wholly unworthy of him, who is reported to have 
possessed some property. Before long he found himself compelled 
to procure a divorce from her. Probably this domestic trouble 
had a serious effect upon his temper and manners. His address 
was naturally somewhat rugged and unpolished, especially before 


his second marriage ; but those who knew him well, found that his 
disposition was the very reverse of unfeeling or vindictive." This 
is rather misleading, as from it we might infer that the first marriage 
was dissolved after a very short time, whereas it lasted over twelve 
years. It is rather unfair also to put the blame for all his short- 
comings in temper and manners on poor Mary, who had her own 
sins to answer for. But later writers have followed this, without 
making allowance for the possibility that unconscious jealousy of 
her predecessor may have biased Mrs. Opie's judgment, or attempt- 
ing to find out if there was another side of the question : we know 
now that there was. Without denying that Mary Opie was weak, 
foolish, and in the end, sinning, it is the duty of an impartial 
biographer to admit that, at least, John Opie was guilty of con- 
tributory negligence. 

Undoubtedly it was an ill-assorted marriage. Opie was a man 
of exceptional mental powers ; brilliant in congenial society, but 
given to fits of morose silence and despondency. He was absorbed 
in his work : Amelia Opie tells us that " he was always in his 
painting-room by half-past eight in the winter, and by eight 
o'clock in summer ; and there he generally remained, closely 
engaged in painting, till half-past four in winter, and till five in 
summer." After that, when a young and pretty wife might expect 
to have her husband's escort to a masquerade at Vauxhall, or to 
the play-house, art or the thirst for knowledge was still her rival, 
and, when at home "... he employed his hours from tea to 
bedtime either in reading books of instruction or amusement, 
in studying prints from the ancient and modern masters, or in 
sketching designs for pictures of various descriptions." 1 

Another trait in his character, of little importance if their 
married life had been sympathetic and affectionate, but likely to 
be a constant cause of friction in a case like this, was his extreme 
economy. This was not from miserliness, as in the case of 
Nollekens, but in order that he might save enough to make him 
independent of the world. Opie had experienced poverty : he had 
seen how little dependence could be placed on a continuance of 
prosperous days, and he was wise in providing against adverse 
fortune. He provided liberally for his mother, so it would be 
unjust to accuse him of parsimony. The times were hard: war 
1 Memoir prefixed to the " Lectures on Painting." 


and bad harvests combined to raise the price of household 
necessaries : towards the end of Opie's first matrimonial venture a 
housewife's troubles on this score would have been acute. In 1795 
there were bread riots in various parts of the country, for wheat 
had risen to an average price of 75.?. 2d. a quarter ; pastry 
and puddings were given up in many private houses, so that the 
consumption of flour should be lessened, and in April a serious 
suggestion was made in the Times that no soup should be made in 
rich households because so much of the meat which would have 
relieved poor families was wasted. Gillray caricatured the sug- 
gestion, representing Pitt as a butcher offering a yokel who, poor 
wretch, hardly knew the taste of meat, a joint of mutton 
" A Crown ; Take it or leave it " with this doggerel below : 

" Since Bread is so dear, (and you say you must eat,) 
For to save the Expence [tic], you must live upon Meat ; 
And as Twelve Pence the Quartern you can't pay for Bread 
Get a Crown's worth of Meat, it will serve in it's [sic] stead." 

The point was driven home by a placard displayed on the 
butcher's stall giving, side by side, the prices of foodstuffs and the 
current rate of wages : 


Mutton . . . 10rf. a Ib. 
Lamb . . . llrf. 
Veal .... 
Beef .... 12rf. 
Small Beer . . 2rf. quart. 
Bread . 12d. quarter [sic] loaf. 


Carpenters . . 12*. a week. 

Shoemakers . . 10*. 

Bakers ... 9*. 

Gardeners . . 8*. 

Smiths . . . 8*. 

Husbandmen . . 7*. 

Hair powder was taxed the same month, and in July the King 
set the example of economy by ordering that the Royal Household, 
including his own table, should be supplied only with bread made 
from a mixture of wheaten flour and rye, or wheat and potatoes. 
The scarcity even affected travelling charges, for the following 
year the fee for travelling " post " was raised from 1.?. a mile 
to 1*. 2rf., on account of the dearness of food. Domestic worries 
such as these, and the prospect of a long continuance of them, 
may well have helped to hasten the final rupture. (In March 
1796 the price of bread was fixed at 1*. 3d. per quartern ; and as 
there was strong temptation to give short weight, a fine was 


exacted of 5,?. for every ounce short, while all the bread seized 
was confiscated and given to the poor.) 

With a different husband Mary Opie might have made a good 
wife. Northcote said she had a " mild and feeling disposition."" 
He did not blame her, but thought the trouble was that husband 
and wife were unfitted for each other. She was a woman who 
wanted affectionate attention, and Opie he " was no more fitted 
to be married than a log of wood . . . " ; he had " none of 
the softness fit for married life. . . . Opie was the greatest 
man I ever saw and he was the greatest devil," J says Northcote 
to Ward in discussing this unhappy marriage forcible language 
when applied to a man who seems to have had no vices, and was 
temperate in an age of hard drinkers ; but it is easy to imagine 
that a worse man might have made a better husband. 

Opie went out to escape from the discomforts of an unhappy 
home life. At one house in particular he was a frequent visitor, 
finding there the companionship and sympathy lacking in his 
domestic circle. Fleet Street was then a great centre of literary, 
artistic, and legal life ; inhabited by booksellers, publishers, and 
engravers. The houses were old and quaint, with curiously carved 
gable-ends, the plaster stamped with ornamental designs. Each 
had its sign hung outside, gay with gilt or painted devices. At 
number twenty-seven Edward Beetham, 2 a versatile and inventive 
genius, had his business premises, and his wife her studio. He was 
descended from an old family of Westmoreland freeholders, or 
" Statesmen," but life in a border homestead under the rule of a 
Puritan-minded father proved so little attractive that when very 
young he ran away from home and joined a travelling theatrical 
company at Appleby. From thence he drifted to London, and as 
a bitter quarrel with his father had resulted from his connection 
with the actors, he had a hard struggle with poverty. Samuel 
Foote helped him : the young man acted and painted scenery at 
Sadler's Wells and the Haymarket, invented " a new method of 

1 " Conversations of James Northcote with James Ward," edited by 
Ernest Fletcher. 

* The Betham, or Beetham family history and the account of their con- 
nection with Opie is from material kindly supplied by Dr. Frederick Beetham, 
Edward Beetham's great-great-grandson. The second e was added by Edward 
Beetham, and now distinguishes his descendants from those of his brother, 


raising curtains at theatres " by putting the roller at the bottom and 
rolling upwards, and gave lectures satirical and amusing descrip- 
tions of types in different classes of society. This is his description 
of "Mr. Puzzle," from his "Moral lectures on Heads" : " His dress 
is studiously unfashionable. You may always trace an antiquated 
mode in the cut of his coat and the cock of his hat. He wears a 
bobwig, because everybody now has them clubbed or their own 
hair. His shoes are square-toed, his stockings yellow, and his 
breeches come not below his knees. . . ."* Satire like this pleased 
his audiences, who could enjoy fitting the lecturer's " heads'" on to 
the bodies of their friends, and accept his invitation to " repair 
to Brown's coffee-house, between the hours of 12 and 3, in Mitre 
Court, Fleet Street, and then they will see the real Mr. Puzzle." 

In 1788 Edward Beetham had turned publisher, and brought 
out Stackhouse's " History of the Bible," but his energy was still 
expending itself in other directions. He went to Venice in 1784-5 
with an improved method of gilding glass. Another of his 
improvements was for painting portraits and pictures on glass ; 
but his crowning glory was his " washing mill," that homely 
treasure, the mangle. This brought him not only the thanks of 
all worried housewives, harassed by the* destruction wrought by 
the old-style stone roller, but a considerable fortune. Finally 
but this was not until after Opie's death he became one of the 
founders and original directors of the Eagle Insurance Company. 

It is easy to believe that here would be a man after Opie's 
own heart a worker ; a man of restless brain ; many-sided, and 
practical. Mrs. Beetham, too, " the pattern mangle-woman," as 
Charles Lamb insisted on calling her, in allusion to her husband's 
invention, offered the necessary contrast to Opie's wife. She was 
" a fine woman," with " a presence," a warm temper, energetic 
character, generous, hospitable, and somewhat bohemian. She 
was artistic, carried out work in her husband's painted glass, and 
became celebrated for her profile and silhouette portraits in paper 
and on glass, now much in demand by collectors. She employed 
as assistant to lighten the denseness of her silhouettes, William 
Gardiner, by turns artist, engraver, scene-painter, and actor, who 
had been introduced to her notice by Foote. 

1 " Moral Lectures on Heads/' by Edward Beetham, Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne. Printed by T. Robson for the Author, 1780. 


A household like this had no lack of visitors. Besides Opie, 
there were many of note coming and going. Samuel Foote ; 
Bellamy, theatrical manager and singer ; Admiral Bligh, of the 
Bounty, who had married a kinswoman of Edward Beetham ; 
Henry Thomson, R.A., a pupil ot Opie; and Amelia Alderson, 
were all friends of the family : the last-named took lessons in 
profile likenesses from Mrs. Beetham, but there is no evidence that 
she ever met Opie there before the dissolution of his first marriage. 
She had her own profile taken in 1794. Writing to Mrs. John 
Taylor of Norwich, mother of Sarah Austin, she says : " From 
Godwin's we went to Ives Hurry's in the city, where we left our 
chair and horses, and proceeded in a coach to Mrs. Betham's to have 
my profile taken. . . ." 

When Opie first became acquainted with the family, soon after 
he came to London, the young Beethams were children. They 
then lived at the Fleet Street house, but with the growth of 
family and riches more commodious premises were necessary, so 
Edward Beetham retained part for business purposes and studios, 
let off the remainder, and moved to a picturesque three-gabled 
house " with quaintly carved front and overhanging stories " on the 
west side of Chancery Lane, and one house up from Fleet Street. 
It was pulled down when the Lane was widened in 1799. 

The eldest daughter, Jane, inherited the family artistic talents, 
and became Opie's pupil. She grew into a handsome girl : 
Bellamy, her father's friend, in " an elegant fable," compared her 
to " a fine tulip." It is a dangerous matter for a man in the 
prime of life and unhappily married to be thrown into constant 
association with a beautiful girl enthusiastically interested in his 
art. Opie became attached to her, gave her his own portrait and 
that of his mother, both painted by himself, wrote to her the 
letters were in existence until 1880, when they were lost and 
painted portraits of herself and of her two sisters, Harriet and 
Cecilia. Jane Beetham was an apt pupil. In 1794 she exhibited 
at the Academy for the first time, four of her pictures being hung. 
She was then twenty. The artist's admiration for his handsome 
pupil had evidently given rise to gossip, for this same year Jane's 
uncle, the Rev. William Beetham, thought it his duty to give his 
sister-in-law a hint that " it was generally considered undesirable 
that Jane and Opie should be so much together." Mrs. Beetham 


and her husband seem to have resented the well-meant advice. 
Possibly they hardly realized that their daughter was now a woman, 
and that the easy friendship of former years had given place to 
a more tender attachment. A coolness between the Beetham 
brothers followed, as we see from an entry in the diary of Matilda 
Betham, the miniaturist, for 1794. She recorded a visit to 
London, and " I did not visit Aunt Beetham. I met with her 
and my cousin many months after, when a simple salutation 
passed between us ; for she, with whom my father was friendly 
again, and had as a friend told her that Mr. Opie's visits there 
were so frequent, that Mrs. Opie was jealous, and advised her to 
hinder it, took, I suppose, offence at that." From this involved 
statement it appears as if the Rev. William Beetham had been 
forgiven, but that Mrs. Beetham and her daughter still cherished 
a feeling of resentment against Matilda Betham. Perhaps they 
had reason to believe that she instigated the remark. From the 
following entry in Matilda Betham's diary for 1795-6 it is evident 
though that Opie then bore her no malice : 

"On Monday Mr. Saxon came to draw Nancy's head," she 
wrote. " We went to Mr. Opie's, who took us up into his 
Painting room and talked about this and the other till dinner 
time. We drank tea with Mr. Opie. He read us a good deal of 
Voltaire. . . . Nancy told me Saxon had said I was very much 
improved in my painting, and that if I sent a picture Mr. Opie 
would get it into the exhibition : that between them they would 
correct any glaring fault there might be in it before it went." 1 

Apparently there was no break in the continuity of the 
friendship with the Beethams at this time. Like her cousin 
Matilda, Jane also painted miniatures, and it is rather curious 
that the only miniatures known to have been painted by Opie 
belong to these years during which he was so closely associated 
with her. 

Events soon reached a climax. While Opie was discussing 
art with Jane Beetham, some of the many visitors to his studio 
took advantage of his absorption in work and platonics to flatter 
his young and pretty wife. Even if the unhappy couple had long 
drifted asunder in sympathy and interests, Opie showed culpable 
negligence in failing to protect Mary from the attentions of idle 
1 " A House of Letters," edited by Ernest Betham. 

o c 



young men who, following the example of Carlton House, thought 
a woman fair game. Motherhood and its duties might have 
saved her, but : 

" No sound of tiny footfalls filled the house 
With happy cheer. " 

Mrs. Opie was left to her own devices ; she went out when and 
where she pleased ; one of her admirers, Major Edwards, was per- 
sistent in his attentions ; she knew that her husband found more 
pleasure in Jane BeethanVs society than her own. No matter how 
innocent the friendship of Opie and Jane Beetham and there is 
not a shadow of doubt to the contrary it must have been a source 
of humiliation : Major Edwards's attentions and devotion were all 
the more welcome and noticeable for Opie's neglect. 

So, on May 20, 1795, Mrs. Opie went out, telling the house- 
maid that she was going to dine with her father. She never 
returned to Opie's house : the next news of her told that she was 
at Clifton with Major Edwards. 

The evening of her elopement, Northcote called on Opie by 
appointment as they had arranged to go for a walk. Opie came 
downstairs looking very serious : 

4< By God ! " said he, " a sad misfortune has happened to me ! " 

" A misfortune ? I am sorry for it. What is it ? " asked 

" Why, my wife has run off! " replied Opie. 

" Oh, that is nothing more than what I have long expected ! " 
exclaimed Northcote ; and the two artists went for their walk. 1 

Northcote's tactless remark and the coolness with which the 
deserted husband took his usual walk are equally remarkable. 

The Academy exhibition had recently opened ; this must have 
made the scandal more notorious. Opie was represented by two 
pictures, " A Country Girl," and a " Portrait of a Lady " (unidenti- 
fied). The Morning Chronicle for Wednesday, May 13, 1795, said 
the latter was "... forcible, but singularly unpleasant, and 
reminded us of a face reflected in a magnifying mirror, where every 
feature is enlarged, and every trait of character exaggerated and 
aggravated. The Country Girl is properly enough formed of 

1 " Conversations of James Northcote with James Ward/' edited by Ernest 


Nature's coarsest clay ; but, surely for the Portrait, and of a 
lady, too, Mr. Opie ought to have selected his materials from a 
composition somewhat more refined. . . . The strong Spagnoletti- 
like manner in which this gentleman paints has an admirable effect 
in History ... his present style of portraits will not add to the 
number of his admirers among such of the fair sex as wish to 
appear drest to advantage on canvas." Without knowing whose 
portrait so displeased the critic, it is impossible to tell if the 
objection was justified. 

Opie's economical habits did not deter him from obtaining a 
divorce ; nor was he content with the separation a mensa et thoro, 
which was all the Ecclesiastical Courts could grant him. He took 
the proceedings necessary to get the more expensive and tedious, 
but complete, relief given by the divorce a vinculo matrimonii. 
His friend the Rev. John Owen went down to Clifton in March 
1796, identified Mary Opie and ascertained that the guilty couple 
were in lodgings there as Mr. and Mrs. Edwards, warned the land- 
lady that the lady was Mrs. Opie, wife of the artist, and the 
gentleman not her husband, and so fulfilled the formalities required 
for the first steps in the Ecclesiastical Courts. 

The next was to bring an action in the Court of King's Bench 
" against John Edwards, Esq., for Trespass, Assault, and Criminal 
Conversation with Mary Opie." This was heard in Easter term, 
1796, and resulted in an assessment of ^150 damages against John 
Edwards, besides the costs of the suit. Armed with this, Opie 
next had to bring an action for libel against Edwards in the Con- 
sistory Court of the Bishop of London. This was done in July 
1796, and here the Church gave him the grudging measure of 
freedom from bed and board. In neither of these actions had any 
defence or recriminatory accusations been made by Mary Opie or 
Major Edwards, who had allowed judgment to go by default. 

On October 18, 1796, in the House of Lords, another stage 
was reached. The petition of " John Opie, Esquire," praying leave 
to bring in a Bill " to dissolve his Marriage with Mary Bunn. and 
to enable him to marry again," was presented ; the Bishops of 
Lincoln and Bristol, Lord Chancellor Loughborough, and Lords 
Napier, Brownlow, Walsingham, Mackartney, Gwydir, and De 
Dunstanville, being present. Leave was given to bring in the 
Bill, " according to the Prayer of the said Petition." 


Lord Walsingham presented the Bill, and it was read for the 
first time. It was entitled " An Act to dissolve the Marriage of 
John Opie, Esq., with Mary Bunn his now wife, and to enable him 
to marry again, and for other Purposes therein mentioned."" A 
second reading was ordered for November 2, and instructions 
were given " that notice thereof be affixed on the Doors of this 
House, and the Lords summoned, and that the said John Opie 
may be heard by his Counsel at the second reading to make out 
the Truth of the Allegations of the Bill, and that the said Mary 
Bunn may have a Copy of the Bill, and that notice be given her of 
the said second Reading, and that she be at Liberty to be heard 
by her Counsel what she may have to offer against the said Bill at 
the same time." 1 

Mary Opie did not avail herself of the offer to be heard by 
counsel. Opie was represented by Mr. Burton Morris. At the 
second reading there was a lot of formality. Proof had to be 
produced of due notice being given to Mary Opie, who was at 
Weymouth when the copy of the Bill was served. A copy of the 
registry of marriage was required ; also a copy of the King's Bench 
decision, and " the original Libel, Exhibits and Definitive Sentence 
of the Consistory Court of the Bishop of London. 11 5 Benjamin 
Bunn proved the marriage after much haziness as to the date ; the 
housemaid was called to tell how her mistress left the house ; the 

1 Journals of the House of Lords. 

2 Copy of John Opie's marriage Register (from the Journal of the House 
of Lords) : 

"Saint Martin-in-the-Fields, Middlesex, fol. 134, 
married in December 1782. 

ee John Opie of this Parish, Batchelor, and Mary Bunn of the Parish of 
Saint Botolph, Aldgate, Spinster, were married in this Church by L.B.L., this 
4th Day of December 1782. By me, 

" C. Este, Curate. 

" This Marriage was solemnised between us \ ,j T1 

( M. BUNN. 

" In the presence of us \ Ben ' Bunn ' 

\ M. Bunn. 

"The above is a true extract from the Register Book of Marriages 
belonging to this Church. 

11 Witness my Hand this th Day of March 1796, 

" Plaxton Dickinson, Curate." 


Clifton landlady and John Owen were also examined. Then 
the Bill was read for the second time, after witnesses and counsel 
had withdrawn, and referred to a Committee of the whole House, 
which was to discuss it the next day. The House was adjourned 
" during Pleasure " for this purpose. When it reassembled Lord 
Walsingham reported that the Committee had returned the Bill 
without Amendment, and the order was given for it to be engrossed. 
The third reading was on November 4, and the question " whether 
this Bill shall pass " was answered in the affirmative. It was then 
sent to the Commons with a notice that the Lords had agreed to 
it " without any amendment " a very important matter this last 
for Mary Opie, as the Lords had it in their power to insert a 
clause forbidding the guilty parties to marry. On December 5 it 
was returned from the Commons, and 'on the 23rd the Royal 
assent, " soit fait comme il est desire, 11 made Opie a free man. 

This was the only way in which a complete release could be 
obtained before the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857, and it can 
easily be imagined that the cost of such a long and cumbrous 
procedure made divorce a luxury only procurable by the rich. 
John Opie must have been very determined to get his freedom or 
he would never have gone to this expense. 

Major Edwards married Mary as soon as her divorce was 
legally confirmed ; her champion John Taylor thought this " a 
strong proof in support of her expected fidelity. 11 When Edwards 
died, he left her " in respectable independence, 11 and Taylor heard 
that after this she constantly resided with her brother, who had 
a military appointment, and accompanied him wherever his 
duties called him. All the evidence tends to prove that it was 
one of the countless tragedies following hasty marriage. Mary 
undoubtedly showed good feeling towards Opie, for by recrimi- 
nating, or treating his neglect as collusion, she might have 
effectually barred his efforts to divorce her, since when the suit 
was defended the Lords usually refused to pass the Bill. 

Mr. Jope Rogers, on page 238 of " Opie and his Works, 11 notes 
that in a catalogue of the sale at Christie's on February 7, 1863, 
he found a manuscript note referring to a portrait of a lady by 
Opie: "Mrs. Major Edwards, aunt of Alfred Bunn." We can 
learn very little about the Bunn family, but this is the only 
suggestion apparently that connects her with this notorious and 


quarrelsome theatrical manager, whose parentage was somewhat a 
mystery. Chorley called him " that arch-blackguard, Bunn. . . . 
He had been burning pastilles in his room. I thought of the 
devil getting up incense to overcome the smell of brimstone." 

So Mary Bunn passed out of Opie's life. We hear no more 
of her in connection with him ; but years after, as he was walking 
with William Godwin, the free-thinking author of "Political 
Justice," they passed the church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. 
" Ah ! " said Opie, " I was married in that church." 
" Indeed," said Godwin, " and I was christened in it." 
"It is not a good shop, their work don't last," was Opie's 
cynical comment. Tregellas gives it as " they make unsure work 
there, for it neither holds in wedlock nor in baptism," but the first 
version, which is that given in the " Recollections of John 
Adolphus," is most likely the correct one. 



NO sooner was Opie free than he formally proposed to Edward 
Beetham for his daughter's hand in the winter of 1796 
or early spring of 1797. He met with a decided refusal, and, 
after the autocratic manner of fathers in the good old days, 
Jane was promptly married to a rich, eccentric, and elderly suitor ; 
John Read, solicitor, of 26, Maddox Street (afterwards of Stamford 
Street). The Opie divorce case had, of course, caused scandal, 
and this is given as the reason for Edward Beetham's somewhat 
unexpected objection to Opie as a son-in-law ; but it may well 
be that Jane's father had doubts whether the artist was likely to 
make his daughter happy. Jane had exhibited regularly at the 
Academy and other exhibitions, showing fifteen portraits in all, 
between 1794 and 1797 the year that Opie was refused, and she 
made a marriage of convenience but between that year and 1805 
she sent nothing, after which she resumed showing, and did so 
every year until 1814. 

Was the marriage a happy one ? This we are not told : such 
marriages were not uncommon at a time when parental authority 
was strong, and children's futures were disposed of without 
reference to their own wishes. The Beethams were more "modern" 
than most of their contemporaries, but Jane's marriage was of 
common occurrence at the time, and, on the whole, these arranged 
marriages turned out better than many of the romantic Gretna 
Green or Fleet ones probably because the parents exercised care 
in selecting a life-partner, while the love-matches were made in 
haste, and under the influence of passion. There was one child 
of the marriage, a daughter named Cordelia, who inherited her 
father's eccentricity as well as his wealth. She never married, and 




3 I 

as -~ 


K-* " > 

DJ oj 

a p 

*^ S 

*** IT 


c o -- 

> c 

9 - -P 

c .= 

c^ ^ > 
i< = 2 
r; ? -x 

< a .o 


X i 1 

I v 


lived like a beggar (except that she had an old servant as dirty as 
herself), while her house property went to ruin. When she died, 
an incomplete will, written on half a sheet of notepaper, was found 
hidden among the wires of an old harpsichord that had belonged 
to Edward Beetham : this enriched the Brompton Consumption 
Hospital by .100,000, besides pictures and personal property. 
Her real estate amounted to another o?l 00,000 : this passed to a 
relative of the Reads. 

Of these pictures bequeathed to the hospital, several were by 
John Opie ; others had been painted by Miss Read's mother, Jane 
Beetham. Unfortunately, owing to Miss Read's strange habits of 
life, the pictures had been allowed to get into a state of decay, and 
immediate attention was necessary if they were to be preserved. 
The money had been spent in building the new half of the hospital, 
and, as the restoration promised to be a costly matter, Mr. Graves, 
of Bond Street, in whose hands the matter had been placed, 
consulted with Dr. Frederick Beetham, Miss Read's next-of-kin, 
as to how the necessary money should be raised. A suggestion 
was made that he, or others of the family, should buy the family 
portraits. This was refused, as Dr. Beetham did not feel justified 
in locking up so much money in pictures ; he advised the sale of 
such pictures as would pay for restoring the rest. The sales and 
restorations were carried out by Agnew. They sold three of 
Opie's pictures : the portrait of Opie which he gave to Jane 
Beetham ; another of Mrs. Bligh, wife of the Admiral (a lady in 
a white mob cap with a blue ribbon round it) ; and a picture 
called " The Card Players," described by Mr. Rogers on p. 204 of 
" Opie and his Works." The hospital retained the portraits of 
Jane, Harriet, and Cecilia Beetham, and also the portrait of Opie's 
mother, said to have been given Jane Beetham by Opie during the 
time of his attachment to her. 

But the treasures stowed away by Miss Read were not yet 
exhausted. Soon after the pictures had been restored, fourteen old 
canvases were discovered in a lumber-room. The hospital committee 
were in a dilemma, for their condition was so desperate that, unless 
they were quickly attended to, their destruction was certain. In this 
difficulty Mr. Graves came to the rescue with a suggestion. He 
proposed that these canvases, " blistered, torn, broken, black, and 
rotten," should be offered to Dr. Beetham, to do what he could with. 


Dr. Beetham placed the matter in the hands of Mr. Graves, 
telling him that if the pictures were reasonably good he would 
have them restored, if it were possible. Mr. Graves reported that 
eight could be done, and a head could be saved from another. 
After some hesitation, on the ground of expense, and encourage- 
ment from Mr. Graves, who assured him that it would be a good 
speculation, Dr. Beetham consented to have it done. The result 
repaid his faith : the large dilapidated canvas, from which only 
a head could be saved, was found to be the replica 01 Opie's 
" Assassination of James the First, 11 mentioned by Mr. Rogers on 
pp. 56 and 191. Another was a striking head of an old woman : 
there is some doubt whether this was the picture exhibited at the 
Academy in 1782 (" An Old Woman "), or one Mrs. Read (Jane 
Beetham) exhibited in 1805. A third proved to be a portrait of 
Cecilia Beetham by Opie at a later age than the one at Brompton 
Hospital ; while the others were portraits of Edward Beetham and 
Mr. Read by Mrs. Read, and a portrait of a lady by Francis Cotes, 
R.A. Three remaining were unidentified portraits, probably by 
Jane Read. 

We know that Opie soon consoled himself for his disappoint- 
ment over Jane Beetham, but he evidently retained a kindly 
memory of her. In 1803 Lady Bedingfeld wrote to Matilda 
Betham : " I have been in town for a fortnight. . . . My father 
desired I would Sit for my picture, which I did to Opie. I believe 
it is like, as a picture I like it very well, the Costume was accord- 
ing to My Fancy, we talked (Opie and I) of You and Your 
cousin " (Jane). 1 

In the autumn of 1796, Opie, Mr. and Mrs Fuseli, and John 
Bonnycastle, the mathematician, went for a few days to Windsor 
to see the pictures, especially Raphael's cartoons, now at South 
Kensington, which were then at the Castle. They travelled down 
by stage-coach, and on the way were much exasperated by an 
outside passenger who persisted in putting his legs over one of the 
windows. The top of a stage-coach was by no means a safe or 
pleasant position : it usually curved upwards, and the outside 
passengers clung to an iron rail or handle, in constant peril of 
being thrown off if the road were bad. At first Opie contented 
himself with a mild remonstrance, but the offending legs still 
1 " A House of Letters/' edited by Ernest Betham, p. 82. 


blocked the window. He next tried pinching them, with no 
better success. At last the coach stopped at an inn, when Opie, 
in a rage, exerted his strength and pulled the offender down 
luckily without provoking reprisals. Either Opie's strength and 
appearance overawed the owner of the legs, or he was a good- 
humoured fellow ; for fists with the lower classes, and sword or 
pistol if the assaulted party had claims to gentility, were the usual 
ending to such an episode. 

Arrived at Windsor, the irritation of the journey was forgotten, 
and the two artists endeavoured to hoax Bonnycastle. They tried 
to persuade him that West's pictures illustrating the progress of 
revealed religion were the famous Raphael cartoons ineffectually, 
for Bonny castle's extensive reading kept him from falling into 
mistakes he might have made had he relied only on his knowledge 
of art. But, rendered incautious by his escape from the pitfall laid 
for him, the mathematician ventured to criticise the boat in the 
cartoon of " The Miraculous Draught of Fishes,"" and observed that 
" the boat was not sufficiently large for the men, much less for the 
lading: 1 

" By G d, Bonnycastle, that is a part of the miracle," answered 

Opie's criticisms of the cartoons in his lecture " On Invention " 
may advantageously follow here : 

<k It is happy for this country that it possesses many of the 
finest specimens of the powers of Raffaelle. The cartoon of the 
St. Paul preaching at Athens is, of itself, a school of art, in which 
the student may find most of the principles of historical invention, 
composition, and expression, displayed in characters of fire, not 
addressed to the eye or imagination only, but also to the under- 
standing and the heart. This will be more sensibly felt, and the 
painter's merit more clearly understood, by comparing his work 
with another, on the same subject, by Jacobo Bassano, in which 
that artist has, as usual, contrived to leave out all that dignifies, 
all that interests, all that characterizes, and all that renders the 
story peculiarly proper for the pencil. As he knew St. Paul was 
but a man, he perhaps thought any man might be St. Paul, 
and taking the first unwashed artificer that came in his way, set 
him up as a model for the apostle, whom he consequently represents 
destitute of majesty, grace, action, or energy, and drawling out 


what no person attends to, or can believe worthy of attention. 
How different, on the same occasion, was the conduct of Raffaelle ! 
He took into consideration, not the real person of the saint, which 
is said not to have been of the most imposing class, but the intel- 
lectual vigour of his character, the importance of his mission, and 
the impression that ought to be made on the beholder ; and, as a 
painter cannot make his hero speak like a great man, he knew it 
was his duty to render his mind visible, and make him look and 
act like one ; and we, accordingly, find him on a raised platform, 
in a pre-eminent situation equally commanding his audience and 
the spectators, with parallel outstretched arms, and in an attitude 
at once simple, energetic, and sublime, thundering with divine 
enthusiasm against the superstitions and abominations of the 
heathen, and seeming, in the language of the prophet, to call 
on heaven and earth to bear witness to the truth of his doctrine. 

" Instead of Athens, the university of the world, abounding 
with statues, adorned with all that is elegant, and magnificent in 
architecture, and displaying, on every side, marks of unrivalled 
opulence and the most refined taste, Bassano presents us with three 
or four miserable huts, unworthy even of the name of a village, 
and, for an audience, we have a few half-naked peasants of the 
lowest class, with their wives and children, suited, however, it must 
be confessed, to the preacher, to whom they pay at least as much 
attention as he deserves ; that is, they neither hear nor see him, 
but proceed quietly in gathering apples, pressing grapes, shearing 
sheep, or their other usual employments. This artist painted what 
he saw admirably well, but he saw with his eye only ; destitute of 
imagination, and ignorant of the powers of his art, of the time, 
place, nature, extent, and importance of his subject, he could not, 
like Raffaelle, transport us to Greece, and set us down in the 
midst of an assembly of philosophers ; he could not penetrate their 
minds, discriminate their characters, nor, by their different ex- 
pressions of curiosity, meditation, incredulity, contempt, and 
rankling malice, enable us, with no great assistance from fancy, to 
distinguish the Stoic, the Cynic, the Epicurean, the Jew Rabbi, 
and others appropriate to the occasion. We do not, as in the 
cartoon, see one touched, another confounded, a third inflamed, 
and a fourth appalled by the irresistible force of that eloquence, 
which, in the full conviction of Dionysius and Damaris, manifests 


its ultimate success, ensures the downfall of polytheism, and the 
final triumph and establishment of Christianity. 

" That Raffaelle was qualified to do justice to a great subject, 
appears by the foregoing instance ; that he equally knew how to 
enrich a barren one, will be seen by what follows ; for where can be 
found a more decisive proof of invention, I had almost said creation, 
than in the cartoon of Christ's charge to Peter ? a subject which, 
I will venture to say, offers very little capable of tempting a 
common mind, and common powers, to undertake it. But, however 
slightly the incident is touched by the historian, and however 
meagre it may appear in the book, in Raffaelle the whole is full, 
animated, connected, rounded, and wound up to the highest pitch, 
and, for conception, discrimination of character, composition, and 
expression, stands forward as one of his most distinguished works. 
In this picture, the apostles are all collected into one compact 
group, as would naturally happen when any important communica- 
tion was expected ; and the Saviour, both by His majestic simplicity 
of action, and His detached situation, is evidently the principal 
figure of the piece. Before Him St. Peter kneels, with joyful 
reverence, to receive the sacred charge ; St. John, the beloved 
disciple, who may be supposed to feel more mortification at this 
choice of a pastor, presses forward with enthusiasm, as if to shew 
that, in zeal and affection, he yields to no one ; and the rest, 
though all attentive and dignified, are varied both in attitude and 
expression, with an extraordinary and surprising felicity of manage- 
ment, some seeming to feel complete satisfaction in the preference 
given to Peter, some to doubt its propriety, some appear inclined 
to whisper disapprobation, while the gestures of others betray 
their subjection to the daemon [sic] of envy. All these varied and 
contrasted emotions, accompanied each by its appropriate action, 
and physiognomical character and temperament, which display so 
deep an insight into the human mind, are the pure offspring of the 
artist's imagination, and so happily supply the deficiencies of 
the historian, that, far from weakening or contradicting, they 
at once aggrandize, embellish, and render the truth more lively, 
probable, and affecting. 

" In the cartoon of the Sacrifice at Lystra, the inhabitants 


of that city, it appears, are about to offer divine honours to 
Paul and Barnabas ; and it was necessary that the cause of this 
extraordinary enthusiasm, the restoring the limb of a cripple, 
should be explained ; which, to any powers less than those under 
consideration, would perhaps have been insurmountable, for this 
reason, that painting having only the choice of one single moment 
of time, if we take the instant before the performance of the 
miracle, how can we shew that it ever took place ? if we adopt the 
instant after, how shall it appear that the man had ever been a 
cripple ? Raffaelle has chosen the latter ; and, by throwing his 
now useless crutches on the ground, giving him the uncertain and 
staggering attitude of a man accustomed to support, and still in 
some degree doubtful of his newly acquired power, and by the 
uncommon eagerness with which he makes him address his bene- 
factors, points out both his gratitude and the occasion of it ; and, 
still further to do away any remnant of ambiguity, he introduces 
a man of respectable appearance, who, lifting up a corner of 
the patient's drapery, surveys with unfeigned astonishment the 
newly and perfectly formed limb ; in which he is also joined by 
others of the bystanders. Such a chain of circumstances, as Webb 
justly observes, equal to a narration in clearness, and infinitely 
superior in force, would have done honour to the inventor, in 
the happiest aera [sic] of painting in Greece. 

" But, though no man can more sensibly feel the force of 
RaflFaelle <> s extraordinary powers, I cannot agree with a celebrated 
author in justifying him for making the boat, in the cartoon of the 
Miraculous Draught of Fishes so exceedingly too diminutive for 
the figures it carries. ' Had this boat, 1 says Richardson, ' been 
proportioned to the figures, it would have filled the picture ; and, 
had the figures been reduced to a smaller scale, they would not 
have accorded with the rest of the set ' ; and hence he infers, that 
this apparent defect is the strongest proof of the judgement of the 
artist, in choosing the least of two evils, one of which was 
inevitable. But, unfortunately for this certainly ingenious defence, 
both the evils might have been easily avoided, two ways ; first, by 
not bringing the whole of the boat into the picture ; and secondly, 
which would have been the most masterly, by giving a fore- 
shortened view of it, in which case it would have appeared of the 
proper capacity, without occupying more space on the canvass [,nc] 


than it does at present. This, and a few other trifling errors, 
such as his making a house on fire in the background of one 
cartoon, and the introduction of a naked child in the foreground 
of another, may be mentioned, not as detracting anything from 
the superlative merits of Raffaelle, against which, had they been 
ten times more numerous, they would be but as dust in the 
balance, but merely to shew that no authority, however gigantic, 
ought to be made a cover to negligence, or a sanction to im- 
propriety." l 

After examining the cartoons, our sightseers went to Eton 
College, where the boys came round them, pestering them with 
well-meant attentions, such as : 

" Do you want to see the library, gentlemen ? " 

" Fuseli amused himself by answering them in Latin ; but 
Opie, in his usual gruff manner, said to the most prominent among 
them, ' What do you want ? I cannot make out to what class of 
beings you belong, being too little for a man, and too large for a 
monkey. 1 This was resented as an insult by the mass ; and it was 
only by the great physical powers of Bonnycastle and Opie, that 
they disengaged themselves and their companion from the crowd 
of boys who surrounded them. Fuseli was highly provoked, and 
was apprehensive also of personal violence ; and when he got with- 
out the barrier, almost breathless with rage, he sat on a large 
stone by the side of the road and exclaimed, ' I now wish I was 
the Grand Sultan, for I would order my Vizier to cut off the 
heads of these urchins from the rising of the sun until the going 
down thereof.' " 2 

It is rather difficult to reconcile this double instance of Opie's 
physical strength with Cunningham's statement that he was 
" slender rather than athletic," unless his strength waned towards 
the end of his life ; though it might be that he was lithe and 
sinewy. Mrs. Opie denied that her husband spoke "unpleasant 
truths, which the humour that they were delivered with could 
scarcely render palatable." She averred that these sayings were 
invented, " and related by a friend who wished to make him 
an object of public attention, and fancied that, the more of a 
savage he was represented to be, the greater wonder he would 

1 " Lectures on Painting" (Lect. II, "On Invention "), J. Opie, R.A. 
* "Life of Henry Fuseli," John Knowles. 


appear as a painter ; for, when I have repeated to him the speeches 
he was said to have made, he has solemnly assured me that he 
never uttered them ; and that he was convinced they were invented 
for him, to answer the purpose above mentioned."" l Wolcot, of 
course, was the " friend 11 in question. No doubt he edited 
freely some of Opie's reputed speeches, but it appears certain that 
the artist was not long-suffering, and this Windsor retort is the 
less likely to have been invented by Wolcot because it occurred 
after they had parted company, when the motive implied by Mrs. 
Opie no longer existed. 

In February 1797 we find from the memoir of Northcote 
prefixed to " The Book of Fables " that Opie and Northcote, with 
others, were trying to get paintings into St. Paul's, " which we 
hope will tend to raise the drooping head, I may say almost 
expiring Art of Painting. 11 The same project had been brought 
forward by the Royal Academy in 1773, when the Academicians 
offered to paint a set of Biblical histories at their own expense for 
the Cathedral. They had the King's assent, and the encourage- 
ment of the Dean (Dr. Newton), but the trustees of the Cathedral, 
the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Bishop Terrick he who 
ordained Wolcot were strongly opposed : Terrick thought it 
savoured of Popery. This ti me Northcote was hopeful of success. 
Terrick was finally translated : to a mansion specially reserved for 
staunch Protestants, we must hope, for he would certainly not be 
happy in mixed society : the new Bishop supported the scheme, 
and " we are to have a meeting upon the business very soon ; but 
more particulars in my next, as yet it is only in embryo, 11 wrote 
Northcote. Nothing came of it : a matter for congratulation, 
thought Thackeray, for " it is far better for our eyes to contem- 
plate whitewash (when we turn them away from the clergyman) 
than to look at Opie's pitchy canvases or Fuseli's livid monsters. 11 

Opie's strong common sense ought to have rendered him proof 
against the pretensions of charlatans, but excess of professional 
enthusiasm made him one of the victims of a young woman named 
Pro vis, who, in 1797, loudly proclaimed her discovery of the lost 
secret of Titian^ colouring. Seven Academicians, Opie, Farrington, 
Rigaud, Westall, Smirke, Stothard, and Hoppner, were said to have 
purchased this " Venetian " secret by subscribing ten guineas each ; 
1 Memoir by Mrs. Opie, prefixed to the " Lectures on Painting." 


they also entered into an agreement to forfeit > 2,000 if they 
revealed it to an outsider. Gillray caricatured Miss Provis and 
her dupes under the title of " Titianus Redivivus, or the Seven 
Wise Men consulting the new Venetian Oracle." Opie occupies the 
second seat from the right in the row of Academicians who are 
testing the new discovery : he wields a trowel in his right hand, 
his palette and a sheaf of extremely large brushes are in his left ; 
from his mouth issues a scroll saying : 

"Will it paint Thick & Fat d'ye see? 
If not, why, D n my E s , 'twon't do for me." 

On the back of his canvas we read : " Specimen of Opiean 
Delicacy. Flesh-hills and Blankets." 

In the coloured prints of this caricature the satire was 
strengthened by the use of rainbow tints. Unluckily for Miss 
Provis, Cosway came across an old and scarce treatise from which 
that enterprising young lady had evidently obtained her know- 
ledge, and her secret became common property. 

Not quite ten years after, Opie had so far forgotten his own 
share in the matter that he mentioned the Provis craze in his 
fourth lecture while warning the students against quackery. 
" Not very long since," he said, " we were astonished by the 
proposals of a very young lady, scarce in her teens, for unveiling 
her Venetian secret, and teaching Royal Academicians to colour, 
at five guineas a-head ; by which young and old, learned and 
unlearned, were equally captivated, and the grave biographer of 
our illustrious first president so dazzled as to lament most piteously 
that great man's misfortune in being cut off before he had had an 
opportunity of purchasing her inestimable and cheaply proffered 
favours." The " grave biographer " must have been Opie himself, 
who wrote a life of Reynolds in 1792 for Wolcot's edition of 
" Pilkington's Dictionary " this was Opie\s first literary work. 

Opie goes on to enumerate other attempts of charlatans or 
cranks to provide a royal road to art. " At another time still 
more wonderful receipts are announced for making Titians and 
Corregios by a chemical process, and every day some new graphic 
Dr. Graham or Brodum, with a confidence that stupefies common 
sense and dares incredulity to silence, bursts upon us, and boasts 
the infallibility of his nostrums for producing fine pictures without 


the help of science, genius, taste, or industry. Oil, water, varnish, 
gums, wool, worsted, pokers, chalk, charcoal, and brickdust have 
each their several champions who triumph and fall by 
tunis. . . ." 

About the time that Opie first came to London Dr. Graham 
made a rich harvest with his quack lectures at the " Temple of 
Health " ; where he was assisted by a beautiful young girl who 
posed as Hebe Vestina, the goddess of Youth and Health. She 
was said to be Emma Hart, afterwards Lady Hamilton ; though 
the fencing-master, Angelo, denied this in his " Reminiscences." 
Even among the ranks of the Academicians themselves was found 
a quack: Philip Loutherbourg, of Eidophusticon 1 fame. He and 
his wife professed ability to cure all human ills; their panacea being 

The worsted pictures Opie alluded to were the work of Miss 
Linwood, who had a gallery in Leicester Square for the exhibition 
of her pictures; amongst which was a copy of Opie's " Jephthah's 
Daughter," done with the needle. 

1 The Eidophusticon was a very popular entertainment, in which the 
changing atmospheric effects at different hours of the day were given to 
moving pictures within a proscenium by illusive arrangements of lights and 
coloured gauzes. It was accompanied by music. Loutherbourg was prose- 
cuted for giving the show without a musical licence, but the magistrates 
who heard the case showed their appreciation of the performance by granting 
a licence without inflicting a penalty. 



\TTILLIAM GODWIN threw all his theories to the winds 
VV and married Mary Wollstonecraft on March 29, 1797, 
and on April 20 of the same year we find her writing to him for 
their marriage compact included individual freedom, and separate 
lodgings " ... I shall probably knock at your door on my way 
to Opie's ; but should I not find you, let me request you not to be 
too late this evening."" It is possible that this visit to Opie was 
a sitting for one of the portraits he painted of her. Mary 
Wollstonecraft Godwin died on September 10, 1797, leaving 
an infant daughter who became the wife of the poet Shelley. 
During her illness Opie showed much sympathy : entries in 
Godwin's diary show that he called, with Mr. Basil Montague, 
on the 3rd, and again on the 8th, with Tuthill. 

Opie painted two portraits of her, both of which are now in 
the national collections. The authenticity of that in the 
National Gallery was questioned by Mr. C. Kegan Paul soon after 
its purchase by the trustees in 1884, because it represented Mary 
Wollstonecraft Godwin so much older than in the portrait then 
owned by Lady Shelley (who afterwards bequeathed it to the 
National Portrait Gallery), at that time believed to be the one 
painted for Godwin after his marriage. Sir F. Burton (director of 
the National Gallery) disagreed with Mr. Kegan 's Paul's theory. 
He believed both portraits were genuine, painted at different 
ages, and suggested that it was the National Gallery portrait 
which was painted for Godwin : the hair being powdered according 
to the fashion of the day. He has probability on his side, for 
Mary Wollstonecraft was thirty-eight when she married Godwin, 
an age that agrees well with this portrait. Mr. Roger Ingpen, 



who has made the life of Mary Wollstonecraft his special study, 
is of opinion that the National Gallery portrait was painted 
before her marriage, and points out the date of publication of 
Ridley's engraving from it in the Monthly Mirror, February 1, 
1796, as corroborative evidence. He thinks it was the Shelley 
portrait that belonged to Godwin. 

When Opie's pictures were sold by his executors on June 6, 
1807, a portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin was amongst 
them. Mr. J. Jope Rogers entered this in his list as a portrait of 
Godwin's daughter, but he left a manuscript note correcting the 
statement : " Sir Percy Shelley," he wrote, " tells me he has no 
doubt that this is identical with his portrait of Mrs. Godwin, and 
not that of her daughter. Mrs. Godwin often called herself 
Mary W. G. after her marriage, and probably Godwin, for whom 
the portrait was painted, omitted to pay for it and left it in the 
painter's hands, so that it was sold by his executors in 1807." l 
Godwin's casual business methods give plausibility to this theory, 
and the fact that Mary Wollstonecraft had fully embarked on 
a literary career as early as 1787, and was then, and for several 
years afterwards, moving in literary circles, makes it equally 
possible that she sat to Opie for the Shelley portrait some time 
before making Godwin's acquaintance, and had it in her possession 
when she married him. 

One of the portraits was certainly in Godwin's possession at 
Easter, 1809, for Robert Lloyd, writing to his wife, said : " I spent 
Saturday evening with Mr. Godwin. He is a delightful man and 
mild as a child, his accents are most fascinating. The Picture 
of Mrs. Wollstonecraft [hangs] over the fireplace." : 

Opie was now contemplating marriage with Amelia Alderson ; 
the only child of a doctor practising in Norwich. This rapid 
transference of his affections from Jane Beetham is rather startling, 
and appears to justify Edward Beetham's reluctance to accept him 
as a son-in-law. It was now a case of love at first sight: Opie 
was at Holkham ; whither he sometimes went to carry out com- 
missions for Mr. Coke, for whom he painted portraits of Dr. Parr, 
C. J. Fox, and others of Coke's friends. While there he was 
invited to an evening party at Norwich, and as an inducement to 

1 From Mr. J. D. Enys's manuscript notes. 
1 " Lamb and the Lloyds/' E. V. Lucas 


attend for Opie disliked such gatherings he was told that 
Miss Alderson would be there, and was promised an introduction. 

At this time Amelia Alderson was in her twenty-eighth year ; 
beautiful, vivacious, clever, and accomplished. The only child 
of a Norwich doctor with an extensive practice, and possessed of 
an irresistible charm of manner that made her the delight of an 
ever-widening circle of friends, she had already many admirers ; 
none of whom had been able to touch her heart. Godwin was one : 

" It would have entertained you highly to have seen him bid 
me farewell," wrote Miss Alderson to her confidential friend, 
Mrs. John Taylor, in 1796. " He wished to salute me, but his 
courage failed him. ' While oft he looked back, and was loth to 
depart.' ' Will you give me nothing to keep for your sake, and 
console me during my absence, 1 murmured the philosopher, ' not 
even your slipper ? I had it in my possession once, and need 
not have returned it ! ' This was true ; my shoe had come off, and 
he had put it in his pocket for some time." : Imagine Godwin 
carrying a lady's slipper as a sentimental souvenir, and Amelia 
Alderson's powers of attraction will be understood. But she did 
not respond favourably to his wooing : perhaps his " most abomin- 
able nose " had something to do with her disdain ; and his heart 
was caught at the rebound by Mary Wollstonecraft. Holcroft too, 
was imprisoned in Miss Alderson's net : would have made her his 
fourth wife ! " Mr. Holcroft too, has had a mind to me, but he 
has no chance,"" she wrote the following year. The lively young 
lady confessed to Churchill as " one of my flames" but the attach- 
ment must have been one-sided and strictly platonic, for the poet- 
parson died five years before her birth. 

By turns pedlar, cobbler, stable lad at Newmarket, strolling 
comedian, novelist, and playwright; Holcroft had a life story 
stranger than fiction. At six years old his wanderings began. 
His father drifted about the Midlands and northern counties ; 
dealing in rags, or selling various household necessaries : hardware, 
buckles, buttons, pewter spoons, coals or fruit, according to the 
season and the exigencies of his poverty. Little Tom Holcroft 
drove the ass or ragged pony that carried their wares : at eight he 
was considered sufficiently experienced to do the family shopping 
and go alone to the coal-pits near Cannock to buy an ass-load of 
1 " Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Brightwell. 


coal, for sale in Rugeley ; whither he drove the heavily laden animal 
through the stiff clay and deep ruts of Cannock heath : the tired 
child and weary, heavily-laden beast were often held fast in the mire 
until some kindly man came to their assistance. A serious illness 
followed by asthma the result of sleeping under a damp hedge 
and a kick in the stomach from a horse during his employment 
in a racing stable a few years later, permanently affected his health. 
He had little or no education beyond reading, taught by his 
father, a few lessons from a drunken schoolmaster who offered to 
teach the clever stable lad gratis ; and lessons in arithmetic and 
part -singing from a leather-breeches maker of Newmarket, which 
he paid for out of his wages of 4 a year. How he acquired the 
knowledge which fitted him for literary work is an enigma ; for 
during early youth he had access to few books. Yet when Amelia 
Alderson caught his fancy he had published more than one novel, 
and several plays ; one of which, " The Road to Ruin," was very 
popular. He had also, in conjunction with his friend Bonneville, 
successfully pirated Le Manage de Figaro of Beaumarchais, the 
dialogue of which they carried away from the Theatre francais 
in their heads, despite all the watchfulness of its manager, pro- 
ducing it at Covent Garden Theatre a few weeks afterwards under 
the title of " The Follies of a Day.' 1 He was in his fiftieth year, 
three times widowed, with grown-up children and impaired health, 
when he aspired to Amelia Alderson 's hand and heart : little 
wonder that he had " no chance." 

Miss Alderson had other suitors, too, of a higher social class 
than her own, and she might have made good matches at various 
times, but if she was a bit of a coquette, Amelia Alderson was 
also a woman of sterling qualities, and she had no desire to make 
a match her heart could not assent to. 

Opie had been at the party some time before Miss Alderson 
arrived : he was sitting on a sofa beside a gentleman who was 
evidently as eager for her coming as the artist, but with the 
privilege of old friendship, who remarked from time to time on 
the delay : " Amelia is coming ; Amelia will surely come : why is 
she not here ? " while his eyes turned expectantly towards the door. 
Suddenly Opie interrupted him. 

" Who is that ? Who is that ? " he exclaimed abruptly, rising 
and advancing eagerly towards a lady who had just entered. 


The new arrival came in hurriedly ; all brightness, smiles, and 
animation ; eager to greet old friends : her abundant hair, of a 
rich auburn, hanging in waving tresses over her shoulders. She 
had on a blue robe that left her neck and arms bare, and on her 
head was perched, sideways, a coquettish bonnet, small, and 
surmounted by a plume of three white feathers. John Opie 
surrendered his heart on the spot. We wonder did she sing for 
the assembled company that evening, and so completed his subju- 
gation ? for Amelia Alderson's voice was not one of the least of 
her charms. She sang ballads to perfection in a sweet and powerful 
soprano : sometimes they were of her own composition. The 
memory of her rendering of " Sally in our Alley," and " Savourneen 
Deelish " lingered on in the minds of all who heard her sing them 
for years after her voice had been silenced by scruples of conscience. 
Harriet Martineau, as a child, heard her sing " Lord Ullin's 
Daughter," and remembered long years after the heartrending 
anguish she imparted to the appeal " Come back " in that ballad. 

Southey, writing to Mr. Cottle (May 1797), thus describes the 
artist at this date : " Opie is indeed a very extraordinary man. 
I have now twice seen him. Without anything of politeness, his 
manners are pleasing, though their freedom is out of the common ; 
and his conversation, though in a half-uttered, half Cornish, half 
croak, is interesting. There is a strange contrast between his 
genius, which is not confined to painting, and the vulgarity of 
his appearance, his manners, and sometimes of his language. 
You will, however, easily conceive that a man who can paint like 
Opie, must display the same taste on other subjects." l 

Here was, indeed, a meeting of Beauty and the Beast ! 

" He [Opie] is very fond of Spenser," continued Southey. " No 
author furnishes so many pictures, he says. You may have seen 
his ' Britomart delivering Amoret.' 

" He has begun a picture from Spenser which he himself thinks 
his best design, but it has remained untouched for three years. 
The outline is wonderfully fine. It is the delivery of Serena from 
the Salvages (sic) by Calepine. You will find the story in the 
6th Book of the ' Fairy Queen,' the subject has often struck me 
as being fit for the painter." 2 

1 "Reminiscences of S. 1 Coleridge and R. Southey," Joseph Cottle. 
1 Ibid. 


It is strange that Opie should have been ready to enter into 
another marriage contract within such a short time of his former 
disastrous experience ; the more so because he allowed himself to 
be fascinated by an utter stranger for though, as he had known 
Godwin since 1795, and was also well known to Holcroft, some 
account of Miss Alderson's beauty and accomplishments must have 
reached him, there is no reason to doubt that he saw her at this 
party for the first time. We have no date for this meeting, except 
that if it occurred in Norwich, as related in " Coke of HolkhanV 
it must have been in the spring of 1797 ; while if in London, for 
some accounts place the scene of the party there, it might have 
been a little later. Even in that case it must have been soon after 
she went to London, in the spring of 1797, as she discusses Opie 
in an undated letter which speaks of Godwin's marriage to Mary 
Wollstonecraft as of recent occurrence and still a matter for 

" Mr. Opie," she writes to Mrs. Taylor, " has (but mum) been 
my declared lover, almost ever since I came. I was ingenious with 
him on principle, and I told him my situation, and the state of my 
heart. He said he should still persist, and would risk all conse- 
quences to his own peace, and so ho did and does ; and I have not 
resolution to forbid his visits. Is not this abominable ? Nay more, 
were I not certain my father would disapprove such, or indeed any 
connexion for me, there are moments, when, ambitious of being a 
wife and mother, and of securing to myself a companion for life, 
capable of entering into all my pursuits, and of amusing me by his, 
I could almost resolve to break all fetters, and relinquish too 
the wide, and often aristocratic circle, in which I now move, and 
become the wife of a man whose genius has raised him from 
obscurity, into fame and comparative affluence ; but indeed my 
mind is on the pinnacle of its health when I thus feel ; and on 
a pinnacle one can't remain long ! But I had forgotten to tell 
you the attraction Mr. O. held out, that staggered me beyond 
anything else ; it was that, if I were averse to leaving my father, 
he would joyfully consent to his living with us. What a tempta- 
tion to me, who am every moment sensible, that the claims of my 
father will always be, with me, superior to any charms that a lover 
can hold out ! Often do I rationally and soberly state to Opie the 
reasons that might urge me to marry him, in time, and the reasons 


why I never could be happy with him, nor he with me ; but it 
always ends in his persisting in his suit, and protesting his willing- 
ness to wait for my decision ; even while I am seriously rejecting 
him, and telling him I have decided."" 

Truly, as the proverb has it, " A woman's nay is no denial." 
When Amelia Alderson could gravely argue with Opie the pros 
and cons matrimonial, she was already half won. He had taken 
the right line of attack in promising not to separate her from 
Dr. Alderson, for since her mother's death, when Amelia was only 
fifteen, father and daughter had been all in all to each other. 
Still the struggle must have been a hard one, for Opie, the 
" inspired peasant," as Cunningham called him, must have repelled 
her by a thousand little social errors even while she was attracted 
to him by his mental and moral qualities. The latter triumphed : 
she went back to Norwich in the autumn, if not engaged to Opie, 
at least on the verge of it, and sufficiently in earnest to be staunch 
to him in spite of the wonderment of her friends to whom her 
determination to marry Opie came as a startling surprise in view 
of the difference in their social positions. Perhaps it was on this 
account that it was arranged she should be married in London 
instead of at Norwich, where the affair was a nine-days' wonder. 
Shortly before she returned to London Opie wrote to her : 

" I am puzzled, dearest, to know whether you expect to hear 
from me to-morrow. If I think of anything particular I'll write ; 
else not. To love thee much better than I did, is, I think, 
impossible ; but my heart springs forward at the thought of thy 
near approach. God bless thee ever, my dearest love, and guard 
thee up safe to thy fond, anxious, devoted, 

" J. O." l 

They were married at Marylebone Church on May 8, 1798, and 
the bride's trousseau is believed to have consisted, in part, of 
articles enumerated in a list found among her old letters : " Blue 
satin bonnet russe with eight blue feathers ; nine small feathers 
and a feather edge ; three blue round feathers and two blue Scotch 
caps ; one striped gold gauze bonnet russe ; four scollop'd edged 
caps, a la Marie Stuart ; one bead cap ; one tiara ; two spencers, 
1 " Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Brightwell. 



one white, one black." The number of feathers will be noticed : 
they were immensely fashionable for some years after 1794, and 
often stood out from the head to a height of half a yard ; the 
bonnet itself was small. "Come to London and admire our 
plumes," wrote Mary Moser to Mrs. Lloyd ; " we sweep the sky ! 
a Duchess wears six feathers, a lady four, and every milkmaid one 
at each corner of her cap ! . . . N.B. The Queen and her ladies 
never wear feathers ; they say here that the minority ladies are 
distinguished from the courtiers by their plumes." l 

A second box contained " Two yards broad figured lace, for 
neck and wrists ; buff satin slip ; buff net gown ; three muslin 
gowns and one skirt ; three frilled handkerchiefs ; one lace cap and 
two bands ; set of scarlet ribbon for the gown lined with blue ; 
three lace frills ; worked cambric gown and flounces ; seven flat 
feathers and three curled ones, &c." 2 This was, as will be seen, 
only a part of her outfit : it is probably rather more liberal in the 
way of finery than the average trousseau of a professional man's 
daughter, but she was an only child and fond of dress. Both 
before and after marriage she was noted for her tasteful attire. 
Scandal said that one of her reasons for joining the Society of 
Friends in later life was the picturesque daintiness of the Quaker 

Two days after the wedding Opie signed a paper recommending 
J. T. Smith for the post of drawing-master at Christ's Hospital. 
This looks as if the newly wedded couple dispensed with a honey- 
moon. Opie took his bride to the house in Berners Street (No. 8), 
to which he had removed in 1791, and where he remained for the 
rest of his life. Dr. Alderson did not make his home with them. 
This may have been by his own wish, and not from any reluctance 
of Opie's to carry out his pre-nuptial pledge : the doctor was only 
fifty-five when his daughter married, and still in active practice ; 
he continued to live in Norwich, and as for some years past it had 
been her habit to spend several months in London, Mrs. Opie's 
protests that she could not leave her father for a home of her own 
must have been partly dictated by sentiment. 

1 "Nollekens and his Times," J. T. Smith, vol. i, p. 61. 
' " Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Brightwell. 




TOURING the last year the state of the country had been 
J ^ growing worse instead of better. While Opie was occupied 
with his wooing, England went in fear of an invasion, and nerves 
were in such a jumpy condition that whole families lived in a 
state of readiness to flee at first alarm of a French landing. 
Dissenters and persons holding liberal opinions were looked upon 
with suspicion ; and found themselves under surveillance lest they 
should be in league with the enemy : in Norwich they were even 
credited with a desire to fire the cathedral as a signal for invasion. 
England was on the verge of financial ruin. Gold became so 
scarce that by an Order in Council of February 26, 1797, the 
issue of specie was prohibited : an action which was followed by an 
agitation as to the propriety of interference by the House of 
Commons in the affairs of the Bank of England. A precedent for 
this action of the Council was found in the Journals of the House 
for 1696, but even this did not allay public resentment, and the 
Morning Chronicle for March 6 boldly declared that " Unless the 
measure of the Order of the Council shall be pronounced to be 
illegal, this Country can never recover from the blow it has 
received. . . ." To relieve the pressure, Pitt introduced a bill 
permitting the Bank to issue notes of twenty shillings and up- 
wards. Some of the Spanish silver pieces taken from the enemy 
were stamped at the Mint for temporary issue, and on March 9, 
in accordance with notice given the previous day, the Bank issued 
dollars at four-and-ninepence : it was in a state of siege in 
consequence, and before two o'clock the issue was stopped : Jews 
sold them in the Avenues at five shillings each. On the 13th, 



Stocks were down to 50|, and annuitants were threatened with 
payment of their dividends in depreciated paper. It may well be 
imagined that with such a state of affairs panic reigned, and house- 
holders found themselves face to face with ruin. At Norwich a 
meeting of freemen, freeholders, and other inhabitants of the city 
and county was held on May 16, to draft a petition to the King; 
praying him to deliver his subjects " from the mischievous effects 
of Ministerial incapacity or dishonesty," and to " restore to these 
Kingdoms the inestimable blessings of Peace/' 

Living under such conditions, it is hardly . wonderful that 
Opie should have exercised the most rigid economy in his house- 
hold, for his profession was one which necessarily flourished best 
when money was plentiful, and quickly suffered under stress of 
hard times. The second marriage might have turned out as 
disastrous as the first, for Amelia Opie was fond of dress and 
gaiety, had always been accustomed to mix freely in society, and 
had been mistress of her father's house from the age of fifteen. 
Fortunately she had literary tastes : she wrote a tragedy when 
only eighteen, and enjoyed the reputation among her friends 
of composing songs, poems, and tales of heartrending pathos ; 
which lost nothing in the rendering when they were sung or read 
by herself at literary gatherings she attended in Norwich or 
London, for she was evidently a born actress. Opie encouraged 
her to write, and her first acknowledged novel, "Father and 
Daughter," appeared in 1801. Success quickly followed, and this 
literary work not only proved highly lucrative, so that she was in 
a measure financially independent of her husband for her pleasures, 
but gave her a definite aim in life which must also have done 
much to soften down the difficulties of marriage with a man who 
put his work before his wife. 

Mrs. Opie's charm of manner and accomplishments, combined 
with Opie's conversation, soon made their house a rendezvous for 
every one of note in the artistic, literary, and social world. She 
received on Sundays, for at this period she was not remarkable for 
religious fervour. At Norwich she attended the Octagon Chapel, 
and in London sat under Sidney Smith : in both places more as a 
matter of form than from any higher reason, though she seems to 
have had a naturally pious tendency. Opie is censured by Mr. 
Polwhele as treating religious subjects lightly : he quotes in proof 


of this OpiVs remark : " Am not I the Carpenter's son ? " This 
does not appear conclusive, as it is obvious that it may be profane 
or the reverse according to the context, which is not given. For 
all we know it may have been uttered in rebuke, and without any 
religious significance : at any rate it is unfair to convict him 
of scoffing at sacred things on such slight evidence. But the 
probabilities are greatly in favour of his indifference to religion : 
the wave of infidelity that passed over the country about the 
time of the French Revolution ; his study of the works of Voltaire 
and Tom Paine ; the condition of the Church ; all point in that 

In HolcrofVs diary for 1798 there are many allusions to the 
Opies which show that even if he had had " a mind to " Miss 
Alderson, it did not prevent a continuance of his friendship for 
Mrs. Opie and her husband. Under June 22 we find : " Called . . . 
on Mr. and Mrs. Opie, both ill." Whatever the ailment, it was 
evidently not serious, for on the 26th he records : " Called at 
Opie's in the evening ; sat near two hours. Much difference 
of sentiment between us, but little or no ill-humour," and on the 
30th it is : " Went, after breakfast to Mr. Stodart, but did not go 
in. Met Opie on my return." 

Mrs. Opie had friends at Southgate, with whom she used 
sometimes to stay before her marriage, to the wonderment of 
Godwin, who bluntly expressed his surprise that she should think 
of " being out of London " could she be " either amused or 
Instructed at Southgate ? " Evidently Holcroft shared Godwin's 
opinion, for on July 3 there is the entry : "... In the evening called 
at Opie's ; they not returned from Southgate ! " Southgate was 
evidently Ultima Thule in literary London. Another fruitless call 
on Opie is recorded for July 6 : "... he gone to see Hogarth's 
' March to Finchley,' " but on July 12 he was more successful : 
"... After dinner, sat half an hour at Opie's. G. Dyer there." 

After this no calls on Opie are entered for some months, 
possibly Opie was out of town, but there are several passages in 
the diary relating to Opie, showing that Holcroft had a sincere 
admiration for him. One tells of a discussion with Sir William 
Beechey on painting. Beechey praised HolcrofVs portrait by 
Opie, " but said the colouring was too foxy ; allowed Opie great 
merit, especially in his picture of crowning Henry VI at Paris ; 


agreed with me that he had a bold and determined mind, and that 
he nearest approached the fine colouring of Rembrandt"" Another 
says that he has been told the new edition of " Pilkington's Diction- 
ary " contains a life of Reynolds, " which some attribute to Dr. 
Wolcot, others to Opie." We now know that it was the work of 
the latter. 

Holcroft's entry for October 8 (1798) is : " I learnt from Mr. 

N 's commonplace book that it was on the llth of March, 1796, 

that he, Arthur O'Connor, Dr. Pan-, (Bellendenus) Godwin, 
Mackintosh, Opie, Powel, a young Oxonian brought by Parr, and 
Colonel B. [Barry] dined with me. I consider the meeting of so 
many celebrated as well as extraordinary men, as an occurrence 
worthy of being remembered." A bachelor party, no doubt, for 
this was during Holcroft's widower days ; it serves to show also 
that Opie did not shun society during the progress of his divorce 
suit. On October 19 Opie was evidently back in London, for 
Holcroft called on him and criticized his sketch of St. Michael's 
Mount ; from this it appears probable that he had been in Cornwall. 

" A well-painted portrait of Dr. A " was also in the studio : 

presumably Dr. Alderson. No other mention of Opie is made 
until December 13, when there was a little Bohemian gathering at 
Opie's including Holcroft and Northcote: "Northcote animated 
as usual. Related a comic conversation between himself and a 
framemaker, who had never heard the name of Northcote, nor 
noticed it in the prints he had framed, though he remembered the 
names of Sir Joshua Reynolds, West, Opie, &c. After supper, 
stories of terror were related," and the company vied with each 
other in telling hair-raising stories of midnight robberies and 
murders as they sat round the winter fire. 

These years following his marriage to Amelia Alderson must 
have been the happiest in Opie's life. At last he had the 
sympathetic companionship of a clever woman of the world ; one 
who was able to appreciate his enthusiasm for art, could enter into 
his dreams, comfort him in moments of despair, and inspire him to 
fresh efforts. When the second Academy exhibition after their 
marriage opened, it was remarked that there was a marked 
improvement in his female portraits. A newspaper cutting pre- 
served at South Kensington, 1 criticizing his %< Portrait of a I^ady," 

1 " Scraps relating to the Fine Arts, 1778-1834." 


By permission of the owner, the Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot. 


No. 96 in the catalogue for 1799, identifying it as " a Mrs. Price 
of Cornwall," says : " This portrait is a proof that Mr. Opie is very 
much improved in the representation of female beauty a charm 
that seemed too light and delicate for his hand, and in which it 
was thought that he would never be so successful as in pourtraying 
strong marked characters. This work, however, plainly shows that, 
if he perseveres, his genius will not be confined to one province 
of his art. The Landscape displays a part of Cornwall, with 
St. Michael's Mount, and is well painted." This is in all pro- 
bability the picture alluded to in Holcroft's diary under the date 
January 29, 1799 : " Called on Opie ; saw a portrait, whole-length, 
of a lady, excellent." It is also more particularly alluded to in 
his entry for March 1 of the same year, when he was sitting to 
Opie for his portrait, commissioned by Colonel Barry : " Sat to 
Opie. Northcote there, who warmly praised his whole-length of 
Mrs. Price, and his * Old Soldier,' and ' Girl with Beer.' " This 
portrait of Mrs., afterwards Lady, Price, wife of Sir Rose Price, the 
first baronet, now hangs in the drawing-room at Ingestre. It was 
bequeathed to the Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot by Sir Rose 
Price ; together with his own portrait by Opie. Unfortunately, 
that of Sir Rose cannot now be found, and the present Earl fears 
it was burnt in the fire which destroyed Ingestre in 1882, when 
several valuable pictures were lost. 

Others remarked the change in Opie's work. A fellow artist 
complimented him on it : " we never saw anything like this in you 
before, Opie, this must be owing to your wife." Opie repeated 
the remark to her, with the comment that if they would only 
allow that he did improve, he was very willing that they should 
attribute the improvement to his wife. Industry as unceasing as 
his, with such fine natural abilities, must necessarily show improve- 
ment. The defect in his work was due to rusticity : it undoubtedly 
became modified by the same agency that was softening his 
brusqueness and refining his manners constant association with a 
woman of culture and refinement. 

Few women of that time could have so successfully lived the 
double social life of Bohemia and Belgravia. Miss Monckton, 
now become Countess of Cork and Orrery by her marriage with the 
seventh earl, had a motley crowd at her parties ; but she treated 
them with the carelessness of a woman of assured rank, and 


patronized her guests, so that there could have been no real 
feeling of equality. Amelia Opie behaved quite otherwise : she 
enjoyed the free-and-easy artist life, and while a gradual weeding- 
out process went on in the guests received at Berners Street, there 
is nothing to show that any of Opie's old friends who really wished 
to visit him were kept away by her wish except Wolcot. Him 
she could not tolerate : after Opie's second marriage the coolness 
between tutor and protege became more marked ; they drifted 
apart without any absolute quarrel. Wolcot never attacked Opie 
in print, but sometimes complained of his ingratitude, while the 
artist is reported to have said when Wolcot was spoken of: " Ay, 
in time you will know him.' 1 Some years later (May 9, 1811) an 
entry in Henry Crabb Robinson's diary tells of a dinner at 
Thelwall's : " A large party. The man whom we went to see, and, 
if we could, admire, was Dr. Wolcott, better known as Peter Pindar. 
He talked about the artists, said that West could paint neither 
ideal beauty, nor from nature, called Opie the Michael Angelo of 
old age, complained of the ingratitude of certain artists who owed 
everything to himself. . . ." 1 

There is some justification for Mrs. Opie's dislike to Wolcot : 
the passing years had made him coarser. This alone, perhaps, 
would hardly have sufficed, for she must have known many such 
men, but Wolcot was also a perpetual reminder of Opie's humble 
origin, and, while she was using all her influence to give him 
refinement, the sight of the man who had deliberately fostered 
rough manners which daily tried her patience must have been 
distasteful to her. 

In truth, Mrs. Opie was not the only person who disliked him. 
Wolcot had made many enemies. His " Nil Admirari, or a Smile 
at a Bishop," was attacked most savagely in the Anti- Jacobin, 
where he was described as " this disgustful subject, the profligate 
reviler of his Sovereign, and impious blasphemer of his God." 
Wolcot determined to be revenged : he heard that the review had 
been written by Giflfbrd, and jumped to the conclusion that it was 
William GifFord, editor of the Anti-Jacobin, and, later, of the 
Quarterly Review. He found William Gifford one day (August 18, 
1800) in the shop of Wright the bookseller, and endeavoured to 
thrash him. Gifford, being the stronger, and enraged at an un- 
1 " Diary of Henry Crabb Robinson," selected and edited by Thos. Sadler. 


provoked attack, grappled with his assailant, threw him out into 
the street, and rolled him in the mud. Explanations ensued, and 
then it came out that Wolcot had assaulted the wrong man. The 
article had been written by "John Gifford," otherwise John 
Richards Green. Wolcot met with little sympathy. The Prince 
of Wales had thought fit to encourage his satires on George III : 
as Regent he had no further use for him. A mock-heroic poem, 
" the Battle of the Bards," by " Mauritius Moonshine, 11 celebrated 
the encounter with Gifford : Nollekens gave the satirist a piece of 
his mind. 

" Why, Nollekens, you never speak to me now," remarked 
Wolcot one evening, as he passed the sculptor's garden-gate. 
" Pray, what is the reason ? " 

" Why, you have published such lies of the King, and had the 
impudence to send them to me ; but Mrs. Nollekens burnt them, 
and I desire you'll send no more. The Royal family are very good 
to me, and are great friends to all the artists, and I don't like to 
hear anything against them. 11 

Wolcot touched the little sculptor on his shoulder with his cane. 

" Well said, little Nolly ! I like the man who sticks to his 
friend. You shall make a bust of me for that." 

" I'll see you d d first ! " declared Nollekens wrathfully, " and 
I can tell you this besides no man in the Royal Academy but 
Opie would have painted your picture ; and you richly deserve the 
broken head you got from Gifford in Wright's shop. Mr. Cook, 
of Bedford Square, showed me his handkerchief dipped in your 
blood ; and so now you know my mind." Nollekens called in his 
dog, shut and barred the gate, and went indoors, leaving Wolcot 
outside. 1 

Henry Angelo said that Wolcot's wit " seemed not to kindle 
until after midnight, at the period of about his fifth or sixth glass 
of brandy-and-water," when he and Rowlandson, his boon com- 
panion the latter at about the twelfth glass of punch, and a pipe 
replenished with choice Oronooko regaled the company with 
choice stories. " The tales of these two gossips . . . each delect- 
able to hear, would make a modern Boccaccio." 2 

1 " Nollekens and his Times." 

8 " Book for a Rainy Day," by J. T. Smith, edited by Wilfred Whitten 
footnote to p. 120. 


It is impossible to read the story of Wolcofs life without regret 
that a man of such gifts and good nature should have so misused 
his abilities. Did he, looking back on the past, think this himself 
when he lay dying in 1819 : blind, swollen with dropsy, strangled 
by asthma ? John Taylor, with whom Wolcot had quarrelled 
about his pension, became reconciled to the doctor when he heard 
of his serious illness. On the evening before he died, Wolcot, who 
had been delirious and had afterwards fallen asleep, woke to find 
his old friend by his side. 

" Is there anything on earth that I can do for you ? " asked 

The dying man^s voice recovered momentarily its strength and 
tone as he replied : 

" Bring back my youth." 

He never spoke again. When Taylor called next day, the 
satirist who had terrorized worthy " Farmer George " was dead. 

The entries in Holcroft's diary continued through the first 
three months of 1799, during which time he was sitting to Opie. 
On January 30 he writes : " Sat to Mr. Opie, first sitting for my 
portrait, intended for Colonel Barry. Mr. G[odwin] has a portrait 
of me painted by Opie, which was exhibited last year, a most 
admirable painting and likeness." He sat again next day, when 
Opie related an anecdote of a man in Cornwall, " who, being 
drunk, and near a dreadful precipice, suddenly fell, but happened 
to catch with his hands ; on which he began to pray, in a confused 
and terrified manner, till he was so exhausted that he could hold 
no longer, and at last loosed his hold ; but scarcely descended a 
yard, being not quite so far on his road as the precipice ; from 
which, if he had fallen, he must probably have been dashed to 
pieces. The disappointment must have been an odd sensation. 
Opie knew the man." 

A third sitting was given on February 1, and that evening 
Holcroft entertained the Opies and a few other friends, including 
Northcote and Sir Francis Bourgeois. On the 17th there was a 
dinner at Holcroft's : the Opies were again present, with Clementi 
and his pupil, John Field, among the guests. " Field played a 
concerto and other things of his own composition. Is a youth of 
genius, for which Clementi loves, admires, and instructs him ; 
highly to his own honour." Holcroffs little dinners were un- 


From the picture in the National Portrait Gallery. 


ostentatious and inexpensive friendly gatherings. A bottle of wine 
was usually produced after dinner, but little was drunk : he was 
most abstemious himself, and so were most of his friends. This 
must have been almost a farewell to his widowed state, for he was 
on the verge of matrimony for the fourth time ; and on March 3 
he writes : " Informed Colonel Barry of the business of to-morrow : 
viz. my marriage with Louisa [Mercier], and received his hearty 
congratulations. He had seen my portrait, was highly pleased, 
and gave Opie a draft on his banker." Thirteen sittings were 
given, the last being on March 9. 

On the 10th, only a week after the wedding, the bride was 
evidently at home to callers, for the diary says : " Mrs. Holcroft 
visited by ... Mr. and Mrs. Opie in the evening." A lengthy 
solitude d deux was evidently not customary. Holcroft's heart 
must have been very inflammable, for besides four wives and " a 
mind to " Amelia Alderson, there was a time when he was deeply 
enamoured of Mrs. Inchbald, whom he visited almost daily for 
some time during 1793. 

The intimacy between the Opies and Holcrofts soon came to 
an end. Holcroft became involved in financial difficulties, and 
went with his family to Hamburg. The Continental wars resulted 
in a dispersal of pictures from the great foreign galleries, many of 
which had been looted. With the genuine old masters thus 
thrown on the market were many others which were either spurious 
or inferior works. Holcroft, in an unfortunate moment, hit upon 
a scheme for retrieving his fortunes. He wrote to Godwin from 
Hamburg telling him he thought of buying up some of these 
pictures cheaply, and sending them to be sold in England. For a 
while he contented himself with attending the sales without 
bidding, but one day he caught sight of a small picture among 
the lumber of a broker's shop. He asked the price and was told 
it was three guineas. At first he intended to get his wife's opinion 
of the bargain, but on second thoughts became more confident, 
and bought the picture. Returning home he met his father-in- 
law, Mercier, who dabbled in picture-dealing himself. " A ce 
trait je connois mon sang," remarked Mercier with a laugh, and 
from this time they frequented auction rooms and brokers' shops 
together in the hope of picking up bargains. In vain his friends 
Opie and Christie, the auctioneer, warned him to be careful. He 


expended between ^400 and ^?500 on pictures in the sanguine 
expectation of at least doubling his outlay. Fifty-seven pictures 
were sent to England consigned to Godwin, who was asked to get 
them examined by Opie and others, and to make arrangements for 
their sale. " Let me know if Opie has received my pictures, what 
you think of them, and what he and others say," wrote Holcroft to 
Godwin : he also wrote to Opie himself. 

Godwin wrote back that he was willing to see Opie and Gillies 
on the subject (Dr. John Gillies, the historiographer for Scotland, 
is meant, presumably, for as Opie painted him, his wife, and others 
of his family, they were evidently well acquainted). Godwin was 
also willing to clear the pictures at the Custom House and see to 
their safe disposal, but would accept no responsibility with regard 
to their sale. Opie was out of town when the pictures arrived, 
but Godwin had them inspected by artists, who reported that 
there was a doubt if they would fetch the Customs duties, which 
amounted to ^150. A few were brought away and left at Opie's 
house, and on his return he wrote to Holcroft : 

' ' Dec. 5th, 1799. 

" I am quite ashamed that your letter should have remained so 
long unnoticed ; but being at Norwich when it arrived, I thought 
it better to wait till I came to town and had seen the pictures 
mentioned in it, that I might at the same time I answered it, give 
you some account of them. 

" The pictures I found, through the care of Mr. Gillies, safely 
lodged in my house on my return to town, which was only three 
days ago. With the sketch by Rubens, I am quite charmed ; it is 
really a most exquisite thing. The portrait is a good one ; but it 
is not the likeness of Lord Stratford, nor painted by Vandyke. 
The other two are not at first view so much to my taste, nor am I 
convinced they were painted by the master to whom you attribute 
them ; but I cannot speak decisively, till I have examined them 
with more attention. Care shall be taken of all, but the Rubens 
I have mounted into my painting room, as it contains a great deal 
worth studying. 

"You will do great injustice to the sentiments of esteem and 
friendship, which both Mrs. Opie and myself feel for you, if you do 
not rest assured that to hear of your health and welfare, will at all 


times give us pleasure ; and we have only to beg that in your next, 
you will make no other use of your bridle, than to lay its reins on 
the neck of your affection, in the utmost confidence that all that 
comes from you, will be received with a most hearty welcome. 
" I am, with the highest esteem, 

" Yours most sincerely, 

"J. OPIE." 1 

In spite of this cordial letter from Opie, and Godwin's 
assurances, Holcroft could not be persuaded that his friends and 
the auctioneers had done their best. He insisted that before their 
purchase the pictures had been submitted to and criticized 
favourably by the best judges he could find. Opie and Birch 
(who was asked his opinion) must have, he insisted, gone to them 
with prejudiced minds. Christie was " not the only auctioneer" ; 
he suggested that Cox and Burrel, or Phillips, should be asked 
to undertake the sale. The pictures were afterwards sold, and 
realised nearly =700, but Holcroft's friendship for Opie suffered 
a rude shock from the picture-dealing episode. 

Godwin dropped out from the Opie circle after his second 
marriage, for his wife was unpopular. Godwin's own disposition 
was not such as would make for continued friendship : " Opie 
(your friend, no friend of mine)," he wrote to Holcroft in 
September 1799. 2 If Mary Wollstonecraft had lived it might 
have been different, for she excited Mrs. Opie's sincere admiration. 
Whatever she had seen had disappointed her, Mrs. Opie declared, 
"except Mrs. Imlay (Mary Wollstoncraft) and the Cumberland 
lakes." John Taylor avoided Opie after his second marriage : he 
had, it will be remembered, taken the part of Mary Bunn, and was 
also a friend of Wolcot : after the latter's quarrel with Opie, 
Taylor thought it impossible to be friendly with both. He also 
gave the excuse that Amelia Opie introduced a new circle of 
friends as a reason for not keeping up the friendship, and so it 
happened that they saw little of him until Opie's fatal illness 
brought reconciliation and remembrances of old ties. 

But if some of Mrs. Opie's fashionable friends, amongst whom 
were the eccentric and " lion-hunting " Lady Cork, Lady Charle- 

1 ' ' Memoirs of the late Thomas Holcroft," William Hazlitt. 

3 " William Godwin : his Friends and Contemporaries," C. Kegan Paul. 


ville, and impetuous Lady Caroline Lamb, made the old acquaint- 
ances uncomfortable ; another set from Norwich, clever, and in 
some instances as Bohemian as any dating from the Opie and 
Wolcot partnership, appeared on the scene. William Taylor of 
Norwich, the dissipated and argumentative translator of Burger's 
' Leonora" upholder of " Philonic pantheism," as George Borrow 
called it, and revolutionary politics wrote to Robert Southey on 
September 26, 1798 : " Dr. Sayers has been sitting to Opie. I am 
to have the picture it is very like." Southey said it was one 
of Opie's happiest likenesses. Frank Sayers the poet and 
metaphysician erstwhile doctor of medicine was one of the 
Norwich set. He highly appreciated Opie's intellectual powers. 
William Taylor, of Norwich, in his " Life of Dr. Sayers " said : 
" Dr. Sayers conversed much with Mr. Opie on art, and listened 
to his native strength of talent and originality of judgment, and 
has happily applied to him a Greek distich in his ' Essay on 
Beauty. 1 " There was Mrs. John Taylor no relation of William's 
who combined housewifely duties with a vigour of intellect and 
soundness of argument that enabled her to hold her own in 
discussion with Southey, Brougham, and Mackintosh : who darned 
stockings while she talked philosophy, and danced round a tree of 
Liberty at Norwich with Dr. Parr. George Borrow was among 
them too, and Sir James Edward Smith, Founder of the Linnsean 
Society, with his wife, who was painted by Opie as a gipsy, and 
died in 1877, aged 103. Sarah Austin (daughter of Mrs. John 
Taylor), Mrs. Barbauld, Mrs. Inchbald, and Elizabeth Fry were 
also among Mrs. Opie's intimates : the whole comprising surely 
as heterogeneous a visiting list as ever tried the tact of woman. 
Mary Hewitt's mother was already acquainted with Opie, who met 
her before her marriage while she was visiting her cousin, William 
Wood, at Hammersmith. Opie shocked her by asking permission 
to paint her as Mary Magdalene. " This, to the later regret of 
her daughters, she declined to do, always silencing our lamentations 
by, ' Oh, no ! I could not be painted as a Magdalene ; anything 
but that.' " l 

One of Opie's pictures exhibited in 1796 deserves notice because 
we have two contemporary criticisms of it : the picture-buying 
public had another chance of judging it in April of last year (1910), 

1 " Mary Howitt : an Autobiography," edited by Margaret Howitt. 

Photo by Coe, 

By permission of F. P. Barnard. Kst|.. F.S.A. 


when it was sold at Christie's for 504t. This was his " Pastoral 
Courtship." One of the notices (1796) dismissed it as " An 
interesting subject, poorly treated. The painting hard, and the 
whole is deficient in harmony of colouring." This was by " Anthony 
Pasquin," who usually criticized Opie harshly, satisfactory evidence 
that he was above the weakness of paying blackmail. The other, 
appreciative of the artist, but deprecatory of his style, was in 
" A Companion to the Exhibition of the Royal Academy " (1796). 
It said : " This artist claims attention. He is bold, energetic, and 
operative. The graces and embellishments of fashion he disdains ; 
they seem to him the petty conceits of coxcombical artists, who 
satisfy truth of design to the fantastic glare and tinsel of foppery. 
But the reverence due to the dignity of painting must cause the 
liberal and judicious critic to lament that in his avoiding the 
extremes of affected grace, superfluous decoration, and refinement 
of romantic sentiment, he should render his figures coarse and 
clumsy in the drawing, and his design careless in the tout ensemble 
of his tablature. Like Churchil [*ic], he depicts Truth without 
paying the least court to the Graces. It must, however, be 
acknowledged that, without addressing the fancy, he seizes the 
understanding and affects the heart. The above is particularly 
exemplified in his painting of ' Pastoral Courtship. 1 The design 
is judicious, the expressions natural, and the execution more 
effective than, perhaps, any other painter in the exhibition 
displays. It is therefore much to be regretted that Opie, in this 
picture, should want what so many of the Academicians could so 
well spare namely, some adornments that are only requisite to 
enable him to render his pictures more agreeably impressive than 
any produced by his numerous competitors." 

The Academy catalogue for 1797 in the Anderdon collection 
contains this manuscript note : " John Opie is very discursive this 
year. A Coronation, a Murder, ' Courtship in the Park,' of all 
places ! and the ' Children in the Wood.' No Royal Sitters, no 
Ladies of Quality." " Anthony Pasquin" was no better pleased with 
this courtship picture than the other. In the Morning Post he 
wrote : " In this, as in every picture we have seen by Mr. Opie, there 
is a heaviness of style, and a muddiness of tint which is not pleasing : 
if he would but copy a few pictures from the Venetian school, it 
would amend his manner wonderfully, as his drawing is not very 


untrue. This picture is affixed so high, that it looks as a sort of 
Atlas, bearing up its numerous relatives, which befringe the cieling 
[sic] of the apartment in a chequered variety." Truly " Anthony " 
was hard to please, for the previous year he complained that 
" Portraits of two Children " (of William Smith), No. 196 in the 
Academy, was " cold and chalky," though he admitted that " the 
heads are well drawn." 

A newspaper cutting, with neither the name of paper nor date 
attached, 1 has an ambiguous criticism of " The Coronation of 
Henry VI at Paris," and " The Murder of Archbishop Sharp," 
exhibited 1797 : " Two large Historical pictures, by Opie, in the 
same style, and of the same degree of merit as usual." On the 
whole Opie was wise in the action he took on the subject of 
newspaper criticism to treat it with good-humoured tolerance. 
He declared that a man who had placed himself on a pedestal was 
thereby open to criticism : he had to prove his right to the 

On one occasion, Mrs. Opie tells us, an attempt was made to 
levy blackmail. " Some years ago a gentleman called on Mr. Opie, 
from motives of friendship, to inform him that a person, whose 
name I shall not mention, the editor of some magazine now no 
more remembered, was going to publish in his next number a very 
severe abusive memoir of him, and hinted that it might be 
advisable for Mr. Opie to take measures to prevent the publication, 
showing him at the same time a number already published, which 
contained a similar memoir of an eminent and highly respected 
actor, and was an alarming proof, as the gentleman thought, of 
the writer's powers. Mr. Opie perused the memoir ; and, returning 
it to his friend, coolly observed, that if that was all the person could 
do, he was very welcome to say anything of him that he chose ; but 
that he never had condescended, nor never would condescend under 
any circumstances whatever, to put a stop, by bribe or menace, to 
anything of the kind." 2 Mrs. Opie went on to declare that while 
her husband "scorned, by bribe or menace, to avert printed 
calumny against him, he also scorned to obtain, by bribe of any 
kind, a printed eulogium. For his fame, latterly at least, he was 

1 In a book of cuttings, "Scraps relating to the Fine Arts, 1778-1834," 
Victoria and Albert Museum Library. 

1 Memoir prefixed to " Lectures on Painting." 


indebted to himself alone : by no puffs, no paragraphs, did he 
endeavour to obtain public notice ; and I have heard him with 
virtuous pride declare, that, whether his reputation were great or 
small, it was self-derived, and he was indebted for it to no exertions 
but those of his own industry and talents." 1 The allusion is, 
of course, to Wolcot ; whose eulogiums need not affect Opie's 
character for honest independence, as they were not inspired by 
him, and may even have been made against his better judgment. 
Mrs. Opie tells another story showing that Opie was just as 
indifferent to spoken calumny. " We were one evening in a 
company consisting chiefly of men who possessed rare mental 
endowments, and considerable reputation, but who were led by 
high animal spirits and a consciousness of power to animadvert on 
their absent acquaintance, whether intellectual or otherwise, with 
an unsparing and ingenious severity which I have rarely seen 
equalled, and even the learned, the witty, and the agreeable were 
set up like so many nine pins only to be bowled down again 
immediately. As we kept early hours, I knew that we should 
probably be the first to go away ; and I sat in dread of the arrival 
of twelve o'clock. At length it came, and I received the usual 
sign from Mr. Opie ; but to go, and leave ourselves at the mercy 
of" those who remained, was a trial that I shrank from ; and in a 
whisper I communicated my fears to my husband, and my wish to 
remain longer in consequence of them. An angry look, and a 
desire expressed aloud that I should get ready to go, was all the 
answer that I received ; and I obeyed him. When we were in the 
street, he said : ' I never in my life acted from a motive so un- 
worthy as that of fear ; and this was a fear so contemptible, that 
I should have scorned to have acted upon it ; and I am really 
ashamed of you. 1 No wonder I was ashamed of myself." 2 It is 
a pity she did not add to this account of his disdain for scandal 
about himself, a relation of what his attitude had been with 
respect to the attacks on others. Had he taken part in them or 
not ? His wife's memoir is so indiscriminately laudatory that the 
absence of any remarks on the subject is suspicious, but Opie's 
characteristic bluntness is almost sufficient proof that the mean- 
ness of backbiting was not one of his failings. It is more likely 

1 Memoir prefixed to l< Lectures on Painting." 

2 Ibid. 


that this was one of the occasions on which he remained obstin- 
ately silent, to the chagrin of his wife, who perhaps with the idea 
that a display of his conversational powers justified her choice 
liked him to take a prominent part in the conversation. 
" Mr. Opie,^ she said, " was so certain that to some descriptions 
of clever men he could never be an object of interest, from his 
want of external polish and classical attainments, that I have often 
undergone the mortification of observing him remain silent, while 
flippancy was loquacious; and of seeing the tinsel of well-fashioned, 
but superficial fluency, obtain that notice which was more justly 
due to the sterling, though in the opinion of some, perhaps, the 
rugged, ore of his conversation. 1 ' 1 

1 Memoir prefixed to "Lectures on Painting." 



IF happiness in marriage depends on contrasted characters, 
surely that of the Opies was ideal : so far as we know it was 
fairly harmonious, their only point of difference being caused by 
diversity of opinions on the subject of social life. Opie's gloomy 
nature brightened under the influence of his wife's sunny tempera- 
ment : the warmth of her heart thawed the ice that had imprisoned 
his under the disappointments of earlier days. But Opie's love 
for his wife led him to desire her constant presence. Devoted as 
ever to his work, he was not willing to enter into society more 
than could be helped, while she, full of the joy of living, delighted 
in gaiety of all descriptions. A letter to Mrs. Taylor, dated 
January 27, 1800, explains the situation. " I have been tied by 
the foot ever since the day after Christmas day," she writes, " from 
having worn a tight bound shoe, which made a hole in my 
heel. . . . Severe illness has (I often think) on the frame the 
same effect that a severe storm has on the atmosphere. I myself 
am much better in every respect, since my late indisposition, than 
I was before; and the mind is never perhaps so serene and tranquil, 
as when one is recovering from sickness. I enjoyed my confine- 
ment, as I was not ... in pain. My husband was so kind as to 
sit with me every evening, and even to introduce his company 
to my bedside. No less than three beaux had the honour of a 
sitting in my chamber. Quite Parisian you see, but I dare not 
own this to some women. I have led a most happy and delightful 
life since my return, and in the whole two months have not been 
out more than four times ; so spouse and I had no squabbles about 
visiting, and that is the only thing we ever quarrel about. If 
I would stay at home for ever, I believe he would be merry from 



morning to night ; and be a lover more than a husband ! He had 
a mind to accompany me to an assembly in Nottingham place, 
but Mrs. Sharpe (a most amiable woman) frightened him, by 
declaring he should dance with her, if he did." Opie shunned 
society of the fashionable class. He had no more desire to be 
patronised by fine ladies than Harriet Martineau a generation 
later. It is impossible to imagine him dancing, or paying pretty 
compliments and cultivating small talk. He loved the society of 
learned men. Not having had a classical education himself, he 
estimated its benefits all the more highly, and preferred to talk 
with men he deemed his superiors in knowledge. But Mrs. Opie 
declared that for the half-learned he had no sympathy : " word- 
catchers," as he called them : " men, more eager and more able to 
detect a fault in grammar, than to admire the original thoughts 
which such defective language expressed." This was only natural, 
since men of this class noted and condemned any little errors of 
expression, and made him feel his humble origin, where the real 
scholar would only admire the rough vigour with which he handled 
his subject. 

Opie may have had a deeper purpose in receiving his sitters in 
Mrs. Opie's sick-room than that of relieving the tedium of illness. 
After his second marriage we hear of Mrs. Opie's presence in the 
painting room for the purpose of talking to the sitter : her wit 
and charm being exercised to put him at ease, and so enable the 
artist to record a pleasant natural expression. With children, it is 
only reasonable to surmise that she used for Opie's benefit the same 
plan followed in later life on l)ehalf of her cousin, Henry Perronet 
Briggs, R.A., for whose juvenile sitters she carried barley balls in 
the pocket of her dainty " Friend's " dress ; one of the sweets being 
thrown into the child's lap at intervals to keep its gaze fixed 
expectantly in the direction required by the artist. 

Lady Dickson, a beauty of the day, and an old Norwich friend 
of Mrs. Opie, and Sir William Blizard, President of the Royal 
College of Surgeons, were among those with whom she conversed 
while 'they were being painted by her husband. Opie painted 
Lady Dickson twice : family tradition tells that she was dainty 
and fastidious about her person, and suffered greatly from the 
artist's persistent trick of adjusting her head and hair with his 
paint-daubed hands. 



By permission of Charlotte Gullctt's son, \V. A. Geare, Ksi|. 


In that same letter to Mrs. Taylor we get an amusing account 
of one of Opie's foibles : " I am very much afraid my spouse will 
not live long ; he has gotten a fit of tidyness on him ; and yester- 
day evening and this evening, he has employed himself in putting 
his painting room to rights. This confirms what I said to him the 
other day ; that almost every man was beau and sloven, at some 
time of his life. Charles Fox once wore pink heels ; now he has 
an unpowdered crop. And I expect that as my husband has been 
a sloven hitherto, he will be a beau in future ; for he is so pleased 
with his handyworks, and capers about, and says, * Look there ! how 
neat ! and how prettily I have disposed the things ! Did you ever 
see the like ? 1 Certainly I never did, where he was, before. Oh ! 
he will certainly be a beau in time. 11 * It is to be feared that Mrs. 
Opie was doomed to disappointment if she hoped to see her husband 
become fastidious in dress, and he had now the excuse of fashion. 
Fox's abandonment of pink heels had a political significance. The 
extreme Whig party affected a careless dress in imitation of the 
French Jacobins, and Fox, having thrown in his lot with them, 
avowed his sympathies by adopting their peculiarities, as did 
many others : the utilitarian ugliness of male attire dates from 
the revolutionary wave that swept over Europe. 

Opie was one of the hangers at the Academy for the exhibition 
of 1799. An attempt was made to extort his admiration for the 
work of a certain young artist : 

" Why now, Opie, look at that hand ! " remonstrated his 
fellow in office. " You never painted such a hand as that in your 
life. 11 

" No, 11 replied Opie, " but you have many such. 11 

That same year he offered himself for the Professorship of 
Painting, vacant through the expulsion of Barry for continued 
impertinencies towards his fellow Academicians. Fuseli also 
entered as a candidate ; whereupon Opie withdrew his name with 
the remark that he would not have done so for any other artist. 
Opie appears to have wished to be friendly with Fuseli, and it is 
more in accordance with his character to suppose that the desire 
arose out of admiration for Fuseli rather than fear of his tongue. 
Mrs. Opie said that he admired Fuseli's wit, and delighted in his 
conversation : her belief was that he thought Fuseli's learning 
1 " Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Bri^htwell. 


tended to exalt the artist's profession in the opinion of society. 
The same reason made him take a pride in the literary work of 
Hoppner and Shee. 

Fuseli did not reciprocate this admiration. Opie offered his 
help with Fuseli's Milton Gallery : he suggested painting some 
pictures for it, and volunteered to undertake the management on 
condition that they shared profits. Fuseli declined ; evidently 
thinking that Opie's offer was prompted by self-interest. The 
Gallery, completed and exhibited in 1799, was a financial failure. 
When, in 1803, Fuseli was elected Keeper of the Academy, some 
deeper cause for distrust must have dictated his determined and 
obstinate refusal of an apology from Opie and Northcote ; who, 
having voted against his election and relented, called next day to 
explain their motives. Fuseli heard them out, and then replied 
with a sarcastic regret that they should have troubled themselves 
to call, as in consequence of their being seen to enter his house he 
might lose his reputation, because one must have been taken for 
a little Jew creditor, and the other for a bailiff. 1 Yet, in spite of 
these feline amenities, Fuseli delivered a shrewd and not unkindly 
criticism of the characteristics peculiar to Opie's, Northcote's, and 
his own designs. " If you would have a picture of nature as she 
is, you must go to Opie ; if one as she has been, go to Northcote ; 
but if you wish to possess representations which never have been, 
nor ever will be, come to me." 2 Opie painted Fuselfs portrait in 
1800, and the latter was buried in the crypt of St. Paul's, in a 
small vault between those containing the remains of Reynolds and 

One of the finest traits in Opie's character was his filial devotion. 
In his most prosperous days, when the rich and learned in the land 
took pleasure in his company, he never forgot or neglected the old 
mother at St. Agnes, nor Betty, the sister who had been a second 
mother to him in his boyhood. Economy was never carried to 
such an extent that there was no help available for anything that 
could add to old Mrs. Opie's comfort ; he made frequent visits to 
the old home as long as she lived : at some little cost to himself 
when travelling was costly, slow, and dangerous. Early in 1800 
his mother was failing in health, and Mr. Polwhele in his 

1 " Life of Fuseli," by Reynolds. 

* " Library of the Fine Arts," vol. iv. 


" Biographical Sketches in Cornwall, 11 gives one of Opie's letters 
(March 4, 1800) to his sister on the subject : 


" I am pleased to hear you take so much care of poor 
mother, and I hope she will get better as the weather becomes 
warmer. I should think port wine the most strengthening for her, 
but whatever you find does her good, let her have every day. I 
will enquire shortly and let you know what is most proper. Pray 
take particular care not to let her be left by herself at any time 
while she is in this weak state, and tell her how much we were con- 
cerned to hear of her accident, and also, that I hope both of us, or 
at least that I shall certainly make a point of coming down to see 
her this summer, and that I hope to find her quite set up again by 
that time. Be sure let her be well clothed, and not want for fire. 
Comfort her and keep up her spirits by all means, and say every- 
thing kind for me, you cannot say more than I feel for her. I am 
very sorry that the distance makes it next to impossible at this 
time of the year for me to come down, which I should do oftener 
than I have done, but that I fear the parting does her more harm 
than the seeing me does good. 

" God bless you both, and believe me ever most affectionately, 

"Your brother, 

"J. OpiE. 111 

No doubt Opie kept his promise to visit his mother during the 
summer, but without his wife. When she went to Cornwall as a 
widow, in 1832, her letters read as if it was a first visit. Both 
Opie and his wife went to Norwich on a visit to Dr. Alderson in 
the autumn (1800). Miss Brightwell says that on this occasion 
he painted a portrait of Dr. Sayers, which was engraved as a 
frontispiece to the " Life of Sayers, 11 by William Taylor. This 
painting is possibly the replica at Keswick Hall, Norwich, but the 
probability is in favour of the engraving being from Taylor's own 
picture, painted in 1798. 

In a letter dated September 1800, Lady Jerningham (the 
Hon. Frances) tells her daughter, Lady Bedingfeld, " I sat yes- 
terday for the fourth time to Opie, I am dressed d'apres le Breste, 

1 " Biographical Sketches in Cornwall," Rev. R. Polwhele. 


in Black velvet and gold fringe, my French veil over my hair 
leaving out the Cap underneath. Everybody finds it very like, 
and I believe it is so only with 10 or 13 years taken off, so that 
it will do for Posterity. I don't dislike the flattery, as it makes a 
decent picture." l Flattery is an unusual charge to bring against 
Opie : was Lady Jerningham desirous of a denial that the portrait 
looked more youthful than the original ? The Jerninghams were 
staunch patrons of Opie, and three generations of that family sat 
to him at various dates. 1 

Opie did not remain in Norwich long, but returned to London, 
leaving his wife behind. Mrs. Opie complained that when they 
went to Norwich she could not keep him there unless he had 
work in hand. Opie was never happy unless he was painting, 
and no society could wean him from his art. Having left her 
on this occasion, she stayed on until his patience was exhausted, 
and he wrote urging her to return. A letter given by Polwhele, 
dated November 20, no year given, written to Betty Opie, may 
be inserted here, though, as there is no mention of a coach 
accident in Mrs. Opie's letters written after her return, it possibly 
belongs to the previous year : in any case it illustrates amusingly 
Opie's dislike of fuss. 


" What the devil is the reason that thou art in such a 
fright, indeed what should make thee suspect the contrary ? My 
not having written is the very thing that ought to have kept thee 
quiet, for if any accident had happened to me thou certainly 
wouldst have heard of it by me and by many others, henceforth I 
desire thou wilt remember the old saying, ' No news is good news, 1 
and not fret thyself because I am lazy and don't like to write when 
I have nothing to say. 

" My dearest Amelia was not so fortunate in coming to town 
as myself, she was overturned in the mail about 30 miles from 
town, and so bruised as to cause her to be lame for a fortnight or 
three weeks after, but she is now I hope perfectly recovered, she 
desires me to give her kindest love to you and mother and to 
thank you for your presents. . . . Keep up mother's spirits and 
tell her that I am very well and hope to see her again next 
1 " The Jerniugham Letters," edited by Egerton Castle. 


summer, and my wife hopes the same, give my love to Mary James, 
&c., &c., and believe me ever 

" Affectionately yours 

" JOHN OriE. 1 

" Let brother's picture be sent off as soon as possible, and I 
will take care the other shall be sent down as soon as I have time 
to paint one of Amelia to go with it. 11 

Shortly after her return Mrs. Opie wrote to Mrs. Taylor 
(December 12, 1800) : " . . . you Norwich people can't, even from 
recollection, I think, conceive half the horror of a London fog. 
At present my husband's mind is more affected by it than my 
health (for it is a terrible time for a painter). . . I shall have left 
Norwich a month only next Sunday, and it seems to me three, at 
least, so much have I done and seen since my return. Mr. Opie, 
too, has been constantly employed. 

" I am uneasy about Mr. Opie's mother. She has again taken 
to her bed ; and I fear the long struggle she had with death last 
winter, though she overcame him, will have weakened her too much 
to make it possible for her to endure another and I did so 
ardently wish to see her ! A committee of Academicians is to 
meet every Saturday till means are found to execute Mr. Opie's 
plan for a Naval Pantheon ; and this looks well." 2 

Opie's proposal to erect a public memorial of Great Britain's 
naval glory appeared as a letter to the editor of the True Briton. 
Prince Hoare reprinted it in his " Inquiry into the requisite 
cultivation and present state of the Art of Design in England " 
(1806), and it appeared again with the 1809 edition of Opie's 
" Lectures on Painting." Opie disagreed with suggestions that 
had been made to erect a column, on the grounds that although 
its magnitude might at first excite surprise, the uniformity of its 
impression on the sight, "alike on all sides and at all times," 
would quickly pall upon the observer ; he objected to another 
idea that of a colossal statue because of the corroding effects of 
climate. His proposal was that the memorial should take the 
form of a circular building, as nearly as possible on the plan of 
the Pantheon at Rome. Light was to be admitted from or near 

1 " Biographical Sketches in Cornwall," Rev. R. Polwhele. 
* " Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Brightwell. 


the top of the dome, and the whole of the internal walls were to 
be divided into compartments, in each of which was to hang a 
large picture of one of our great naval victories ; spaces being left 
between the pictures, in which were to be placed life-size statues 
of the great naval heroes who had commanded in the actions 
represented by the adjoining paintings. Smaller pictures relating 
to trade, commerce, colonization, discoveries, and other subjects 
connected with the power and prosperity of the Navy, were to be 
hung under the battle scenes, and above all were to be half-length 
portraits of " great men and gallant officers, who, though not of 
the first class, have deserved well of their country." In the centre 
of the building, under the dome, was to be a colossal group in 
marble representing Neptune doing homage to Britannia, and at 
the head of the room a statue of George III, " in whose reign the 
British naval power has reached a point of exaltation which seems 
to preclude the possibility of its being carried much higher by our 
successors." He provided that vacant spaces should be left for the 
heroes to come after, and the commemoration of their victories ; 
advised simplicity and grandeur as the chief characteristics ; and 
commended the whole to the public as ensuring not only a lasting 
and noble memorial of great deeds, but as giving equal encourage 
ment to the sister arts of painting, sculpture, and architecture. 

" What an effect might a design like this, happily planned and 
executed, produce ! " he urged. " How magnificent, how in- 
structive it might be made ! How entertaining to trace down 
from the earliest records of our history, the gradual increase of our 
navy ! to remark the different stages of its growth, from a few 
simple canoes in its infancy, to the stupendous magnitude of a 
hundred first-rate men of war ! miracles of the mechanic arts, 
proudly bearing Britain's thunder ! the bulwark of England ! the 
glory of Englishmen, and the terror and admiration of the world ! 
How flattering to the imagination to anticipate the pleasure of 
walking round such an edifice, and surveying the different subjects 
depicted on its walls ! Battles, under all the varied circumstances 
of day, night, moon-light, storm, and calm ! the effects of fire, 
water, wind, and smoke, mingled in terrific confusion ! In the 
midst, British Valour triumphantly bearing down all opposition, 
accompanied by Humanity, equally daring and ready to succour 
the vanquished foe ! Discoveries, in which we see delineated the 


strange figures, and still stranger costume, of nations till then 
unknown, and where the face of Nature itself is exhibited under a 
new and surprising aspect. Then to turn and behold the statues 
and portraits of the enterprising commanders and leaders in the 
actions and expeditions recorded, and compare their different 
countenances ; here a Drake and an Anson ! there a Blake, a 
Hawke, a Boscawen, and a Cook ! " 1 If Opie's enthusiasm for the 
" stupendous magnitude " of the Georgian battleships, and his 
description of them as " miracles of the mechanic arts," should 
provoke a smile in view of our modern Dreadnoughts, let it be 
remembered that the former were the vessels that carried a Nelson 
to victory ; shattered Napoleon's dream of founding another 
empire in the East, and emerged triumphant from a struggle 
against the combined fleets of France, Spain, and Holland. They, 
and the gallant Englishmen who manned them, won us a naval 
prestige which has remained to this day : the greatest victory our 
modern navies can boast is their share in promoting peace through 
men's dread of using such terrible engines of destruction. 

It is passing strange that Nelson's name is not included in the 
list of heroes, for his victory of the Nile was but a thing of yester- 
day, and the agitation about a naval memorial arose out of a 
desire to commemorate the recent victories ; but Opie, a west 
countryman himself, found the names of Drake and Boscawen 
come readiest to his pen. His plan for a Naval Pantheon never 
materialized : it was 1843 before the Nelson monument in Trafalgar 
Square was erected a compromise between a column and a statue 
and then only in honour of one great admiral : the Painted Hall 
at Greenwich partly carried out his wish. Perhaps we may some 
day have a national Pantheon after Opie's plan in witness to our 
greatness as a maritime nation. 

Opie was one of the visitors to the Academy in 1800 ; his 
fellows in office were Banks, Hamilton, Bartolozzi, Nollekens, 
Smirke, Fuseli, Flaxman, and Shee. 

1 Letter addressed to the Editor of the True Briton, by Johu Opie. 



O PIE'S second marriage resulted in his renewed popularity as a 
portrait painter. During the years 1799 and 1800 he had 
a constant succession of sitters : in the former year even one of 
the Princesses. This was H.R.H. Princess Charlotte, whom Mr. 
Rogers identifies as the Princess Royal, Charlotte Augusta Matilda, 
wife of Frederick Charles William, Duke of Wurtemberg, although 
he seems doubtful if the portrait is correctly named. A corre- 
spondent of Notes and Queries, " Scrutator," claimed to have 
possession of this in 1873, but gave no description of his picture. 1 
Through his wife's friendship with the Gurney family, Opie had 
many Quaker sitters about this time : portraits being a form of art 
allowed by their tenets. He painted the head of the Earlham 
branch John Gurney, father of Mrs. Fry in 1799; several 
portraits of members of the Kett family, Mr. Hoare of Norwich, 
and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Burton of Langley, Norfolk, in 1800. 
Opie stayed at Langley while he was pointing the portraits of Mr. 
and Mrs. Henry Burton ; their daughter (grandmother to Mrs. 
Berney Fickling, the present owner) remembered his visit. 
Mr. Jope Rogers mentioned a rumour that a second portrait of 
Henry Burton, of which he had been unable to get particulars, was 
in Norwich. A photograph of this was sent me quite recently by 
Mr. Hallam of Lowestoft, who bought the picture at a sale in 
Norwich on July 21, 1901 (Executors of R. Nurse, Deceased), 
when it was described in the catalogue as " Portrait of a Gentle- 
man." A comparison of the photograph with Mrs. Berney 
Tickling's picture shows it to correspond in the minutest detail ; 
much to the surprise of the family, as there is no record of the 

1 Notes and Queries, 4th series, vol. xi, p. 384. 

By permission of the owner. F. P. Barnard, Esij.. F.S.A. 


original, a very fine portrait, even having been out of their posses- 
sion ; while the fact that it was painted at Mr. Burton's own house 
seems to preclude the possibility of a copy being painted without 
Mr. Burton's knowledge. 

Opie does not seem to have cared to copy exactly. In the 
portrait of the Sebright sisters, he preferred to paint them on one 
canvas rather than make the copies desired by their uncle ; the 
Girtin portraits differ in small details : in the case of the Burton 
replica, the most probable explanation is that some friend or 
relative of Mr. Burton desired an exact copy (the same reason that 
duplicated the portrait of Mrs. Delany) and that it was made at 
Langley during Opie's stay there. The fact that, so far as the 
owner of the Langley picture knows, there has been no opportunity 
for copying by any other artist, makes this theory feasible, and 
an attempt is being made to trace the origin of the Norwich 

" Father and Daughter " (1801) was not Mrs. Opie's first attempt 
at fiction ; an anonymous tale, " The Dangers of Coquetry," having 
failed to excite attention. Opie's partiality for novels encouraged 
her to try again. Perhaps in some forgotten corner of an old 
library, or stowed away in lumber rooms, copies of " Father and 
Daughter," over which Sir Walter Scott cried ; after reading which 
Prince Hoare could not sleep all night, " it made him so wretched " ; 
may yet be found, yet if so, it is doubtful if the finder could, 
reading it, squeeze a single tear. Are we harder-hearted than our 
great-grandfathers, or does the keynote of sentiment change with 
each generation ? Its success for a while was immense. It ran 
through a dozen editions, the last in 1844 ; Paer founded on it his 
opera, "Agnese," in which Ambrogetti sang to the delight of fashion- 
able London: Mrs. Kemble took from it her play "Smiles and Tears." 
To a modern reader the pathos is overdone ; the characters lack 
individuality. Mrs. Opie was deficient in literary style, and inter- 
rupted the action of her story with banal didactic attempts to 
point the moral or pile on the pathos. But in an age when novels 
and plays were coarse, she wrote purely, and Miss Lydia Languish 
would have had no need to push " Father and Daughter " under 
the sofa cushion when visitors were announced. For this cause 
alone her writings found a large sale, and Mrs. Opie's magnetic 
personality, her wide circle of friends and acquaintances, had no 


small share in ensuring success with a public less sated by novels 
than at the present day. Whether it was from a becoming 
modesty or a sounder literary judgment than her husband it 
is impossible to say, but Mrs. Opie, who was a singularly truthful 
woman, wrote to Mrs. Taylor about the book : " As usual all the 
good I saw in my work, before it was printed, is now vanished from 
my sight, and I remember only its faults. All the authors, of 
both sexes, and artists too, that are not too ignorant or full of 
conceit to be capable of alarm, tell me they have had the same 
feeling when about to receive judgment from the public. Besides, 
whatever I read appears to me so superior to my own productions, 
that I am in a state of most unenviable humility. Mr. Opie has 
no patience with me ; but he consoles me by averring that fear 
makes me overrate others, and underrate myself." l Mrs. Opie's 
treatment by posterity is one that must be shared by all but 
a chosen few out of every generation of writers, and perhaps it may 
serve to show how often the literary standard of one generation is 
reversed by the next. But if her novels are forgotten, her letters, 
written from sheer joy of life, grow more interesting every day on 
account of their vivid pictures of the social and literary world. 

In a letter dated only with the year (1801) she writes to 
Mrs. Taylor : " Heigho ! I am very stupid to-night, ... so for 
want of something better to say I will tell you a characteristic 
anecdote of Mr. Northcote. Mr. Opie, and he, and Sir Francis 
Bourgeois (the landscape painter) dined at Sir William Elford's 
the other day, and met there a Colonel Elford. After dinner some 
disputatious conversation took place, in which my husband and 
Mr. N. took a principal part ; after some time the Colonel said 
in a low voice to Sir Francis, ' Painters are queer fellows ; how 
oddly they converse. One knows not what to make of them ; how 
oddly these men run on ! ' Sir Francis assented, and consoled 
himself as well as he could, for being so little eminent as not to be 
known to be a painter himself. After tea, he took an opportunity 
of telling this story to Northcote ; who, starting back with a face 
of horror, exclaimed, ' Gude G ! then he took you for a 
gentleman ! ' I dare say he did not sleep that night. My 
husband says very truly and admirably of this queer little being, 
that his mind resembles an old family mansion in which some of 
1 " Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Brightwell. 


the apartments are furnished and in good repair, while the major 
part are empty or full of rubbish. . . . (Enter Mr. Northcote !) 
(Sunday) I have nothing to tell you in consequence of the little 
man's visit, except a fresh proof of the care he takes of his little 
health. I had some cheese toasted and brought up. * Gude G ! 
how very unwholesome ; one piece if you please, and no more.' 
Presently after, he says, ' Bless me, Mrs. Opie ! eating still ? how 
much have you ventured to eat ? ' ' Two pieces.' * Oh, then, so 
will I, I'll venture to eat two pieces too.' As a proof of his 
politeness, I will tell you that on my saying Sir Roger L'Estrange 
was a Norfolk man, he exclaimed, ' A Norfolk man ! could anything 
good or great come out of Norfolk ? ' " 1 

Somehow, the preceding extract from Amelia Opie's letter 
gives us a better impression of Northcote than pages of biography. 
We find out at once that the home truths he was so ready with 
were not prompted by ill-nature, but want of tact. He becomes 
alive and human at once ; blurting out his thoughts impulsively, 
and then unable to sleep afterwards because the purport of his 
words had at last struck him ; risking indigestion out of compli- 
ment to his hostess, and then telling her, a Norfolk woman, in 
what low esteem he held her county. 

The student of eighteenth-century life meets with some strange 
deviations from the normal. There was the sculptor, John Deare, 
who believed, and carried out his theory, that prayer was only 
acceptable when offered up in a state of nudity : he died of a chill 
caught by sleeping all night upon a block of marble in order that 
his dreams might supply inspiration for the figure he proposed to 
cut from it. The mystic genius of Blake, poet-artist, perhaps 
overstepped that narrow boundary between sanity and insanity : 
Cosway, with his spirits, remains open to the suspicion of char- 
latanism : Loutherbourg, the mesmerist, if not endowed with 
special psychic powers, was at least self-deceiving. But, of all 
the queer characters contemporary with Opie, Nollekens and his 
wife are pre-eminent. It would be unwise to take the assertions 
of a disappointed legacy hunter as facts : divested of evident 
embroidery, enough remains to prove strange eccentricity. 

The housewife whose economy extends to meanness, and the 
miser with unexpected lapses into generosity, may be common to 
1 " Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Brightwell. 


all periods ; nor is there anything remarkable in the cunning of a 
parsimonious man who plays upon the greed of expectant legatees. 
The type remains constant, but the individual varies with the age, 
and Mr. and Mrs. Nollekens were products of a time of much 
affectation and little refinement, when class distinctions were 
wider, and personal angles not rubbed off by an educational 
system that now threatens to reduce all to a set pattern. 

Miss Mary Welch, whose father succeeded Henry Fielding as 

Justice of the Peace for Westminster, deemed that she had made 

a mesalliance in marrying Nollekens. She was a beauty when 

Nollekens, who had made money by patching up antiques in Italy, 

came courting her: he must have been a handsome man judging 

by his portrait, even if he was too short in stature, and with bowed 

legs ; defects compensated in the lady's eyes by the soundness of 

his investments. Dr. Johnson had had a tenderness for handsome 

Mary Welch, and was reported to have said, " Yes, I think Mary 

would have been mine, if little Joe had not stepped in." He 

introduced her in " Rasselns " as Pequah, the companion of the 

Princess of Abyssinia ; though it is difficult to reconcile the 

account of Mrs. Nollekens in " Nollekens and his Times " with 

" the generous frankness, the modest obsequiousness, and the 

faithful secrecy of my dear Pequah." We recognize her wardrobe, 

though, when Johnson relates the astonishment of the Arabs who 

captured Pequah at the splendour of her clothes, for Mrs. Nollekens 

had a trousseau that cost two hundred pounds ; its richness 

putting Mrs. Opie's quite in the shade. Dress, it is true, was far 

more sumptuous when Mary Welch bestowed her hand on Joseph 

Nollekens than when, about a quarter of a century later, Amelia 

Alderson married John Opie. We have no description of the 

wedding garments of the latter couple, but Nollekens wore a suit 

of Pourpre du Pape ; whether of superfine cloth, satin, or velvet is 

not stated. With this he wore silk stockings of blue and white 

stripes, lace ruffles and frill ; all brought from Rome presumably 

after the manner in which he brought home other lace and silk 

articles, to the evasion of King George's Customs, by packing them 

inside a bust and plastering over the opening so as to give it the 

appearance of being solid. The bride wore a sacque and petticoat 

of the richest white brocade, shading to delicate pink in the folds : 

a deep-pointed stomacher was finished off by a large pin set with 


diamonds, which held in place a point lace apron, then out of 
fashion, but worn in memory of her mother. Tight-fitting sleeves 
to a little below the elbow were finished by three point lace ruffles 
of great depth : a kerchief of the same costly lace partly concealed 
her bosom, wherein was fastened by a large bow a bouquet of 
rosebuds whose " delicate tints . . . imperceptibly blended with 
the transparency of her complexion, and not a little increased the 
beauty of a triple row of pearls, tied behind with a narrow white 
satin ribbon." Miss Mary Welch had beautiful auburn hair, and, like 
a wise woman, declined to spoil the colour with powder : on her 
weddirig day it was fashionably dressed over a cushion raised to an 
immense height, with large round curls on either side, but 
unpowdered. On the summit of this erection was a little pleated 
cap of point lace to match her apron and ruffles, while her height 
was still further increased by heels three and a half inches high, on 
shoes of the same brocade as her dress ; silver spangled and with 
square Bristol buckles. Little Nollekens, with his hat on, reached 
to her shoulder : then, as now, the bridegroom played a secondary 
part at the wedding, so his lack of importance was no serious 
drawback. One welcome change has taken place in wedding 
customs since these Georgian days : a newly married pair need no 
longer fear the rough music of the butchers with marrowbones and 
cleavers, which persisted until the bridegroom gave drink money to 
purchase quietude. 

Other fine clothes were included in Mrs. Nollekens's trousseau. 
We read of a rich purple-brown Carmelite, and a lavender silk 
brocaded with white, " enriched with bouquets of carnations, 
auriculas, and jessamines the size of nature." There were no 
cheap silks, it must be remembered, at that period : these gowns, 
no doubt, lasted for years, yet the outfit was a most lavish one 
for her generation : it is difficult to imagine a girl so addicted 
to finery developing into a woman remarkable for niggardliness. 

The love of fine clothes survived even when parsimonious 
habits had destroyed all resemblance to Pequah. Mrs. Nollekens 
had a sister, Miss Nancy Welch, a lady with some pretensions to 
learning and gentility, who gave evening parties at which Mary 
Nollekens was a welcome guest, but to which her husband was not 
invited : for Mrs. Nollekens was not so successful as Mrs. Opie in 
taming her Orson perhaps she went to work the wrong way, and 


tried nagging instead of gentle persuasion. At these parties Mrs. 
Nollekens arrived early, on foot ; changed her homely gown for her 
best party attire in a spare room (which contained a wardrobe well 
filled with her finery), and bided her time for slipping into the 
room after some of the other guests, with an air of having just 
arrived : a scheme which served the double purpose of saving 
coach hire and mollifying her husband. Nollekens was, however, 
sometimes allowed the privilege of escorting the sisters home when 
they had been out to a card-party. The ladies wore clogs, which 
impeded their progress. Nollekens, who carried the lantern, was 
more anxious to get home to bed than to suit his pace to that of 
his charges. He trotted on at a brisk rate while his wife and 
Miss Welch, who despised her brother-in-law for his want of 
refinement, but accepted his escort for want of a better, vainly 
struggled to keep up with him. 

" Stop, sir, pray stop ! " cried Mrs. Nollekens appealingly, when 
they found the lantern-bearer vanishing in the distance. The 
sculptor then went to the other extreme, and lagged behind until 
the two ladies were in an agony of apprehension lest drunken 
revellers should suddenly appear out of the surrounding darkness, 
and Mrs. Nollekens would wait, under the excuse of seeing if her 
husband had the umbrellas safe, until he overtook them. When 
they came to a wide puddle, which must have been frequently, we 
are told that she insisted on his crossing it first to sound its 
depths, we suppose. 

There was very little return hospitality at Nollekens's house, 
where the stupid servant had always forgotten to light a fire in 
the drawing-room, and the guests, after a glimpse through the 
doorway at its chilly splendour, were marched into the parlour. 

" I am afraid you are cold here," said Nollekens to Jackson, when 
he was making a drawing of a monument at the former's house. 

" 1 am, indeed, 11 assented Jackson. 

" Ay, 11 remarked Nollekens, " I don't wonder at it ; why, do 
you know, there has not been a fire in this room for forty years ! " 

There is grim humour in a story told of Mrs. Nollekens. One 
bitter winter morning, two men in a pitiable state of destitution 
came to the house for alms. The maid gave them a trifie from 
her own purse : Mrs. Nollekens, not to be outdone in generosity, 
opened the parlour door and called out : 


" Betty ! Betty ! there is a bone below, with little or no 
meat on it ; give it the poor creatures ! " 

The man who had asked for help turned to his pale, shivering 

" Bill," he said solemnly, ** we are to have a bone with little or 
no meat on it ! " 

Nollekens himself, though he achieved a reputation for pocket- 
ing nutmegs at the Academy dinners, and lived like a miser, could 
give royally : his charity was not of the " bone with little or no 
meat on it " description. Asked by Turner to subscribe a guinea 
to the Artists' Fund, he gave thirty : a needy sculptor was made 
happy by the gift of a lump of stone which enabled him to 
execute a commission that must otherwise have been lost for lack 
of means to purchase the marble. Yet, while capable of generosity 
like this, he would be seriously disturbed by the loss of a worn-out 
quill pen, and would blow out the light and sit in the dark to save 
an inch of candle. Nollekens must have derived much pleasure and 
a sense of importance from hoarding up riches and playing off' one 
grasping friend against another, but the zest would have vanished if 
he could have known how mean a revenge would be taken by one 
of them on finding his hopes of a fat legacy blighted. J. T. Smith 
averred that in 1810 Nollekens showed him a list of a hundred 
friends who were to have legacies : among them were those of several 
widows of Academicians, but Mrs. Opie's name does not appear ; 
nor, we may be sure, would Opie's have been in it had he lived. 
Nollekens evidently had a high opinion of John Opie, as may be 
seen in his skirmish with Wolcot, but the Cornishman was no 
fortune-hunter : a little additional moroseness would more probably 
mark his behaviour towards one who might misinterpret any 

Another of Mrs. Opie's undated letters for the same year 
(1801) tells Mrs. Taylor that Opie had gone to Chatham for a 
few days : " I expect my husband home in half an hour. He 
went to please me, and after he was gone I repented of my 
persuading him to go, but I thought the air and exercise 
would do him good. Do not laugh, but though only two days 
absent, the house seems so strange without its master, that I 
have learned to excuse, nay, to commend, women for marrying 
again ! How dreadfully forlorn must be the situation of a 


widow ! " ' In spite of this assertion she endured forty-six years of 
widowhood, although opportunities for a second marriage were not 

Opie had seven portraits and a picture, " The Love-sick Maid, 
or the Doctor Puzzled," in the exhibition for 1801 ; but towards the 
end of the year the influx of clients that had kept him busy during 
the two preceding years subsided, and another dull interval set 
in. His picture was greatly admired, and found a ready purchaser, 
but as orders for fresh work did not arrive, he was " almost wholly 
without employment," and the resulting anxiety not only aggra- 
vated his gloom and despondency, but even shadowed his wife's 
cheerful optimism. As on a former occasion, Opie did not waste 
his time in bewailing the lack of clients : he was not idle, says 
Mrs. Opie, " even when he had no pictures bespoken : and as he 
never let his execution rust for want of practice, he, in that case, 
either sketched out designs for historical or fancy pictures, or 
endeavoured, by working on an unfinished picture of me, to 
improve himself by incessant practice in that difficult branch of 
his art, female portraiture." 2 

Mrs. Opie began to fear that even their modest expenditure 
must be reduced in view, we must suppose, of the uncertainty 
how long the dull time would last rather than on account of 
absolute need. She acted the part of a brave wife ; cheered him 
with her hopefulness ; kept her own fears from him, and turned his 
thoughts to the future instead of allowing him to brood over 
his disappointment. Meanwhile he continued painting regularly, 
"and no doubt by that means increased his ability to do justice 
to the torrent of business which soon after set in towards him, and 
never ceased to flow till the day of his death." 1 ' 3 

Possibly it is to this period that an undated note from Opie 
to Ozias Humphrey belongs : 


" I find it will be impossible for me to let you have the 
picture at present, as it breaks into a Course of Study I am going 

1 " Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Brightwell. 

3 Memoir by Mrs. Opie prefixed to " Lectures on Painting." 

1 Ibid. 


From a photograph after the painting in the National Portrait Clallery. 









" When I have finished or when I go out of town for a week 
you shall be welcome to it, till then I cannot, will not part with it. 

" Yours sincerely, 

" Thursday." l 

Can we doubt that Opie had in mind the mental torture and 
suspense of this anxious time when he said in one of his lectures : 

"... It is practice, and not models, which the artists of this 
country stand in need of, and ... he who employs the humblest 
artist in the humblest way of history, contributes more to the 
advancement of national genius than he that imports a thousand 
chefs d^ceurres, the produce of a foreign land. Let us, then, hear 
no more of dealers as patrons of art ! they are no true votaries 
they are but buyers and sellers in the temple of Taste, and, when 
the deity himself comes, will be driven forth with ignominy and 

" Before I quit this ungrateful theme, candour requires me to 
state, that opinions differ even on this subject : it has lately, to 
my great surprise, been discovered, that in no age or country have 
the arts been so splendidly and liberally encouraged as in England ; 
that all proper stimulus has here been applied to exertion ; that 
no artist has wanted employment, but through his own demerits, and 
that all complaints and remonstrances are neither more nor less 
than libels on the nation. Hear this ! injured, but immortal, 
shades of Hogarth ! Wilson ! Barry ! Proctor ! and many others 
equalled with you in fate ! of Hogarth, who was compelled to 
dispose of works of infinite, and till then unknown and unimagined 
excellence, by the disgraceful modes of raffle or auction, and who, 
in his ironical way, gave his opinion on the point in question, by 
dedicating one of his most beautiful prints to the king of Prussia, 
a patron of the arts ; of Wilson, who, though second to no name 
of any school or country in classical and heroic landscape, succeeded 
with difficulty, by pawning some of his works at the age of 70, 
in procuring ten guineas, to carry him to die in unhonoured and 
unnoticed obscurity in Wales ; and of Barry, who, scorning to 

1 From a copy inserted in the Anderdon collection of Academy catalogues 


prostitute his talents to portraiture or paper staining, was necessi- 
tated, after the most unparalleled exertions, and more than monastic 
privations, to accept of charitable contribution, and at last received 
his death-stroke at a sixpenny ordinary ! It may, however, afford 
some consolation and some hope, to observe, that the public felt 
for Barry, that they acknowledged his abilities subscribed readily 
to his necessities, and at least 

' Help to bury whom they helped to starve.' " l 

Richard Wilson, on one occasion, had a picture commissioned, 
but was unable to begin work on it until he had borrowed money 
for canvas and colours. Opie did not relate the sorrows of Proctor ; 
the gifted young sculptor who died in obscure lodgings (1794) while 
arrangements were in progress to send him to Rome with a travel- 
ling scholarship : whose poverty was such that his fine model for 
" Diomede.s thrown to his Horses'" ; too large to find an immediate 
purchaser ; was broken up because he could not afford to rent a 
place to keep it in. His case was more pitiable than that of Barry, 
whose unhappy temper aggravated his difficulties, and who, so 
J. T. Smith averred, did not die destitute, but with 4>Q in his 

Mi's. Opie said that the crisis lasted " three alarming months." 
During part of this time, at least, Opie and his wife were in 
Norwich ; presumably on a visit to Dr. Alderson. While there 
he rented a studio of Mr. Stannard, who lived in St. George's 
Plain : the painting room let to Opie was next door to Mr. 
Stannard's own house, and approached by a flight of steps, up 
which the horse painted in the portrait of John Harvey (now in 
St. Andrew's Hall, Norwich) had to be led for the sittings. In lieu 
of rent he painted a portrait of Mrs. Stannard, now owned by her 
grandson, Mr. Frederick Cubitt. To commemorate the incident 
an inscription was written on the back of the picture : 

" In 1802 Opie occupied rooms as a studio hired from Mr. Jos. 
Stannard in St. George's Parish, Norwich and Painted this portrait 
in lieu of payment of Rent."" 

Few portraits are definitely known to have been painted during 
this Norwich residence, though as there are so many in the district 
it is only reasonable to surmise that Opie painted more than the 
1 " Lectures on Painting" (Lect. Ill, " On Chiaro Scuro"), J. Opie, R.A. 


large one of John Harvey ; Miss Alderson, Mrs. Opie's cousin ; the 
Hon. Henry Hobart ; Mrs. Stannard, and perhaps, Miss Talbot, 
during his tenancy of the studio. The portrait of John Herring, 
Mayor of Norwich in 1799, in his robes of office, was painted and 
exhibited a year earlier. There is a fine one of Samuel Favell 
(an old friend of the Aldersons), now at Brancaster Hall, which 
may date from this period. 

Opie's usual reluctance to remain in Norwich unless he had 
commissions to fulfil is hard to explain. It was not for want of 
congenial companionship, for the city had its own artistic circle ; 
centring in "Old" Crome, and including Cotman, Stark, and some 
promising youths, who were soon (1803) to found the Norwich 
Society of Artists, with Crome as President. " Modern Athens " 
held its first Exhibition of Pictures of Living Artists two years 
later, and added to its claims to distinction that of having founded 
the Norwich School. Here, at least, it would seem possible for an 
enthusiastic artist to linger without yearning for a London painting- 
room. But open-air painting was almost an unheard-of proceeding 
except for preliminary sketches, and Constable, its earliest devotee, 
only a boy. Landscape painting was done in the studio ; where it 
could be toned down to the conventional brownish hue free from 
the hindrances of intrusive cattle, or the embarrassing criticism of 
local rustics. Unless, as on this occasion, Opie had his own paint- 
ing room, with its familiar equipment, he goaded himself with the 
idea that precious time was being wasted, even in a district that 
has been a famous nursery for artists. 

His dislike to the place was certainly not due to any aloofness 
on the part of Norwich artists, who appear to have treated him 
with marked deference. In a letter from Mrs. Opie to Mr. Dawson 
Turner, Crome's biographer, quoted in the catalogue of Norwich 
Museum Art Gallery, she says that Opie highly admired Crome's 
talents : they became acquainted in 1 798, when the Opies first 
visited Norwich after their marriage. " Crome used frequently 
to come to my husband in Norwich ; and I have frequently seen 
him and Crome and our dear friend Thomas Harvey, in the 
painting-room of the latter. I have also seen my husband painting 
for Crome ; that is, the latter looking on, while the former painted 
a landscape or figures. And, occasionally, I have seen him at work 
on Crome's own canvas, while the latter amused us with droll 


stories and humorous conversations and observations." Here we 
have all the elements for cheerful and congenial society, and Opie^s 
attitude is unexplainable. 

The same Norwich catalogue tells that it was through watching 
Opie at work while engaged on a portrait of one of the Clover 
family, that young Clover became fascinated with the man and his 
art, and determined to become a painter himself. 

Once more commissions began to come in, the Opies returned 
to London, and we find Mrs. Opie much worried about a lying and 
dishonest servant whose delinquencies must be kept from Opie, 
" in order to avoid an eclat which would blast the poor wretches 
character for ever." x Evidently Mrs. Opie feared that her 
husband would lean towards justice rather than mercy ; though his 
interference was probably dreaded more because Mrs. Opie blamed 
herself for carelessness, than from a conviction that he would wish 
to set the machinery of the law at work to transport a young girl 
without giving her a chance of amendment. This was not the 
only servant difficulty in the household : one maid, in her excess of 
zeal for dusting and cleaning, carefully removed the white specks 
from the eyes of some portraits in the painting room ; a mishap 
which Opie took with philosophic calm. 2 

Holiday plans soon began to agitate the Berners Street house- 
hold. Mrs. Opie felt drawn towards Norwich ever attractive 
because of her father, and little literary parties where the elect of 
the town regaled themselves on negus and jellies ; spiced with 
philosophical discussion, and the reading of manuscript poems and 
tales : Mrs. Opie's own writings taking honourable place among 
them. " To Cornwall, or even to Fiance, we cannot afford to go ; 
at least so Mr. Opie thinks ; and that is the same thing." 3 A 
little later in the year circumstances must have altered for the 
better : either Opie's Academy pictures sold at higher prices than 
he anticipated, or Mrs. Opie's literary earnings justified a little 
extravagance, for they had their French holiday. 

Four fancy pictures " The Unfortunate Traveller," which an 
old newspaper cutting describes as "truly interesting" (thought 

1 "Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Brightwell. 

' Anecdote related by Edward Opie to Rev. R. 1'olwhele. Quoted in 
" Biographical Sketches in Cornwall." 

1 " Memorials of Amelia Opie/' Miss Brightwell. 


by Mr. Rogers to be the same as " The Dead Traveller and his 
Faithful Dog," which sold at Opie's sale, on June 6, 1807, for 
19 guineas) ; " Damon and Musidora " ; " Rizpah watching by 
the Bodies of Saul's Sons"; and "The Angry Father" until 
Dr. Alderson's death this hung in his house at Norwich ; it is now 
in the Art Gallery at Birmingham were in the exhibition this 
year, as well as the portraits of John Harvey of Norwich, Miss 
Alderson, and Miss Talbot in the character of Lavinia. 

A passage in one of her letters to Mrs. Taylor throws a 
startling light on the system of espionage practised in England 
by the Government with regard to the correspondence of families 
known to be attached to the Reform party. " As opening and 
detaining letters to and from active partisans is the order of the 
day, and as the enclosed contains numbers, I write to you instead 
of my father, and shall get my letter directed for me." This was 
in June 1802, on the eve of a general election. Faction was 
running high in Norwich, and Mrs. Opie longed to be on the spot ; 
especially for the excitement of the election ball. Windham had 
deserted the Reform party, and disapproved of the Peace of 
Amiens. This, and his rooted distrust of Napoleon, cost him his 
seat at Norwich. Mrs. Opie had half a mind to pardon him his 
change of front, but decided against him on account of some 
election squibs issued by his supporters. " Till I read the squibs, 
&c., I could not, con amore, say I wished Mr. Windham to be 
ousted; but now indignation has assisted principle to conquer 
feeling, and I will not say of the agreeable delinquent, 

' If to his share some manly errors fall 

Hear him converse and you'll forget them all,' 

' Look in his eyes and you'll forget them all.' 

(which you please, Mrs. Taylor)." " Weathercock Windham " was 
evidently a favourite of hers, or Mrs. Opie would not have looked 
so leniently on his secession from the principles of Reform. 

Dr. Alderson was a member of the Norwich " Corresponding 
Society," and this is probably the reason for his daughter's fears 
about the safety of their correspondence. As he had been under 
suspicion of disaffection for years had, in fact, decided to take 
refuge in America if the trials of Hardy and Home Tooke ended 
in a verdict of treason it is strange that there should be this 


sudden alarm about intercepted correspondence : the election 
would not account for it, so it looks as if Mrs. Opie feared that if 
her intention to visit France had become known she might have 
fallen under suspicion of conveying information between the 
English republican party and their French sympathizers. 

The same letter tells of a then novel sight : " Yesterday 
evening, at half-past five, we saw the balloon, from the painting 
room window, distinctly. Suddenly it was lost in a cloud, and the 
feeling it gave me was a very strange one. Soon after it emerged 
again, considerably higher than it was before; then it entered 
another cloud and disappeared. It is past two, and Mr. Garnerin 
is not returned, but I have been to the Pantheon to enquire 
concerning him, and I find he landed at Colchester in an hour and 
forty minutes.'" 

To us, accustomed during the last few years to hear almost 
daily of some fresh conquest over the unstable dominion of the 
air, this account of an early attempt at aeronautic travel is 
intensely interesting. Mrs. Opie writes of it as the balloon ; a 
proof of the rareness of the sight, and the talk it gave rise to. 
Not quite nineteen years before (September 1783), crowds assembled 
at Versailles to see the brothers Montgolfier send up their balloon 
in the presence of Louis XVI. For the first time it was to carry 
living freight : a wicker cage was attached holding a sheep, a cock, 
and a duck. A sudden gust of wind tore the balloon before it 
ascended, yet it rose to the height of 1,440 feet, remained in the 
air eight minutes, and descended 10,200 feet from the starting- 
point. It is a satisfaction to be able to record that the animals 
were not in the least hurt, but the chronicler fails to state what 
became of the illustrious trio. Was the sheep allowed to live out 
its span of life in a rich pasture ? did it tour through the French 
provinces with a show ? or did an enthusiastic chef convert it into 
cotelettes a la Montgolfier ? for a feast in honour of the occasion ? 
These involuntary pioneers having led the way, M. Pilatre de Rozier 
offered to ascend. He went up in a balloon elegantly painted with 
signs of the zodiac and the royal cipher, but made no effort to break 
the animals' record ; remaining up only four and a half minutes, 
and ascending only to the height of 84 feet : his balloon being held 
fast by a rope all the time. After this rapid progress was made : 
the Channel was crossed by a balloon without passengers which was 


sent up at Sandwich, and in November 1783, Londoners had a 
sight of one of the new machines ; though it was not until nearly 
a year later that Lunardi made the first English ascent from the 
Artillery ground ; taking with him a dog, a cat, and a pigeon. 
The cat nearly died of cold, and Lunardi had to come down far 
enough to land her, but he went up again, and landed near Ware. 
Windham, member for Norwich, noted in his diary, May 5, 
1785, " Went up in balloon " ; following the example set by 
Admiral Sir Edward Vernon the preceding March. Since Mrs. Opie 
mentions that the balloon descended at Colchester, we can date 
her letter she had a bad habit of using only the day of the 
week and the year for Garnerin, a French citizen who had taken 
advantage of the peace to visit England, ascended from Ranelagh 
on June 29, 1802, accompanied by Captain Sowden, and Mrs. Opie 
says he landed at Colchester in an hour and forty minutes. The 
accounts of his journey, though, give the time as less than three- 
quarters of an hour: a discrepancy that may be accounted for 
by the slowness and uncertainty with which news travelled then. 
He went up again from Vauxhall Gardens on August 3, taking 
with him a cat and a parachute. The parachute was duly launched 
with its feline burden, and the peaceful market gardeners in that 
charming riverside resort, Millbank, were startled by the sudden 
descent of an agitated and misanthropic cat. Mrs. Opie has not 
left any record of having seen this ascent, but she was on the eve 
of starting for France with her husband, and her thoughts were 
otherwise occupied. 



inRANCE was closed to English travellers for several years 
J- owing to the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror 
following it : war between the two countries kept them apart 
during Napoleon's brilliant march of conquest : the Peace of 
Amiens reunited them for a brief interval. During 1802 the tide 
of travel set Channelwards all the stronger for the years of 
enforced separation. Now it was no longer only young men of 
family making the Grand Tour. Artists, men of letters, poli- 
ticians, flocked to Paris : drawn thither to see the loot brought by 
the victorious First Consul from the art galleries of Europe, to find 
a temporary resting-place in the Louvre. When the Opies went 
over they found no lack of compatriots : some, like Charles James 
Fox and Mrs. Cosway, renewing old impressions of bygone days 
there; others, like themselves, seeing France for the first time ; but 
all alike eager to see the art treasures so conveniently gathered 
together. Besides Mr. and Mrs. Fox and the Cosways, the visitors 
to Paris just then numbered, for instance, Benjamin West, P.R.A. ; 
J. W. M. Turner ; Phillips ; Shee ; Thomas Daniell ; Flaxman ; 
and Abraham Raimbach, the engraver. 

Several Norwich friends joined them for the journey ; Mr. and 
Mrs. Favell and Miss Anne Plumptre among them. When they 
arrived at Calais Mrs. Opie drank in eagerly the novel sights and 
sounds of a strange country " the strangely interesting moment 
when one's foot first touches a foreign land, and when one hears 
on every side a foreign language spoken by men, women, and 
children." She met with an adventure almost on landing, for 
while her epicurean tastes were being gratified by a first experience 
of French cookery, a gentleman sitting opposite, wearing an order 



unknown to her, showed himself very alert in attending to the 
wants of his pretty neighbour. She spoke to him in French, and 
as he did not reply, jumped to the conclusion that he belonged to 
" some nation in which French was not very generally spoken." The 
unknown turned out to be an English King's messenger, " and the 
order which gave him such distinction in my curious eyes was 
nothing more than a silver greyhound, which messengers then 
wore ! " 1 

Next morning they started early, and had gone a long stage 
before breakfast: their eagerness to get to Paris allayed by their 
delight in the picturesque appearance of the peasants. Mrs. Opie 
noted, though, that " the whiteness of the caps and full sleeves, of 
even the young women, sometimes formed an unpleasant contrast 
with their dark, sunburnt, and almost parchment-looking com- 

When they at last entered the suburbs of Paris, the proud 
assertion, L 'Indivisibilite de la Republique, was still written in 
huge chalked letters on the walls, " but all traces of republicanism 
were so rapidly disappearing, that the word without the second 
syllable would have described it better, namely, * invisibility.' " 
France, in her recoil from monarchy, had swung past the centre 
of anarchy to a military autocracy. Napoleon, the Corsican 
adventurer, was already lodged in the palace of the murdered 

Opie's only care was to get to the pictures at the earliest 
possible moment, and he started off for the Louvre long before the 
others were ready. He soon returned to the Hotel de la Rue des 
Etrangers, where they had decided to stay, with such an expression 
of anxiety and suffering on his countenance that his wife was 
seriously alarmed, and asked what calamity had occurred. 

" Calamity, indeed ! " replied the artist, " the Louvre is shut 
to-day, but then it will be open to-morrow, so that it would not 
much signify ; but I cannot stay here the whiteness of everything 
the houses the ground we walk upon all dazzle and blind me ; 
and if I stay I shall lose my eyesight, and then I shall be a lost 

Mrs. Opie saw that he was evidently suffering, and was over- 
whelmed with consternation and disappointment. She recognized 
1 " Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Brightwell. 


that if her husband's sight was in danger they must turn their 
backs on fascinating Paris while yet on the threshold. Fortunately 
her wifely devotion was not put to so severe a test : they suc- 
ceeded somehow in getting admittance to the Louvre at once, and 
" as the painter, while contemplating the wonders of the museum, 
ceased to feel the inconvenience which the man had thought 
unbearable, I had the joy of finding that we should not quit Paris 
that day. 11 

We hear no more of Opie's eyes, but his fears prove that, even 
in 1802, he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Incessant 
work, no matter how congenial, exacts its penalty. There are 
other signs of the highly strung condition of his nerves. His wife 
gave a morning party, and was amusing her guests by singing to 
them, when the door opened abruptly and Opie looked in : 

" Amelia, don't sing : I cannot paint if you do. 11 An un- 
reasonable request, but one that she immediately complied with. 1 

Seldom has an artist had such a feast of masterpieces spread 
before his eyes as the Louvre then contained. When, after 
Waterloo, the Powers of Europe demanded back their stolen 
property, "Conversation 11 Sharpe was in Paris, and wrote to 
Samuel Rogers on August 23, 1815, describing the scenes of 
restitution. Sixty pictures of the Dutch school had been taken 
away some days earlier, and a hundred and sixty-five more since. 
" Yesterday I actually saw two noble statues removed under the 
direction of a Prussian officer and a superintendent of the gallery. 
Denon told me yesterday that his heart was broken. 11 ' The King 
of Spain not only demanded back the Spanish Raphaels, but 
ordered France to have them cleaned first ; Jerome Bonaparte 
thought it well to comply with the demand. Sharpe gives the 
names of these as " Lo Spasimo, 11 " Madonna del Pesche, 11 " The 
Pearl, 11 and " The Salutation." Envoys from the Emperor of 
Austria and the Pope were there ; the former claiming all pictures 
and statues belonging to his Italian States. 

But when the Opies were admitted to the gallery the star of 
Napoleon was in the ascendant, and no thought of coming 
humiliation dimmed his pride in the treasures he had amassed. 
" My own pleasure," 1 wrote Mrs. Opie, " my ignorant pleasure, was 

I " Memories of Seventy Years," edited by Mrs. Herbert Martin. 

II " Rogers and his Contemporaries," P. W. Clayden. 


nothing to the more scientific delight of my husband ; and I 
recall with melancholy satisfaction the enjoyment which he derived 
from this visit to the French metropolis ; an enjoyment purchased 
and deserved by many years of the most assiduous labours in his 
difficult profession ; and which, with the single exception of a 
week spent in a visit to Flanders a few years previously, was the 
only relaxation to his well-principled industry, in which he ever 
allowed himself to indulge." x 

When Opie prepared his lectures a few years later, he was not 
repeating criticisms of the great masters from books, or the 
experience of others, but recalling his own impressions of this 
memorable visit. It is pity that he did not, so far as we know, 
record them at the time, for in the lectures he is so impersonal 
that the Paris visit is not even mentioned, though he criticizes 
several of the pictures known to have been there. 

While her husband was engrossed with the pictures, Mrs. 
Opie, more attracted by the life around her, just missed seeing 
Napoleon at a memorable moment in his career : 

" I was in the Louvre gallery, and standing alone before the 
picture of the Deluge, by N. Poussin, (my favourite station,)" 
she wrote, " when I heard some one say that the First Consul was 
just going to enter his carriage, on his way to the Conservative 
Seriate. ' Oh that I could but see him ! ' exclaimed I aloud, and 
in French; on which one of the guardians of the gallery said, ' Eh 
bien, mademoiselle, suivez-moi et vous le verrez? Without daring 
to lose a moment in order to seek for my companions, I followed 
rapidly whither he led. He took me through a door at the 
extreme end of the gallery, opening into a room on the [same] 
floor, and against the wall of which were several unframed pictures. 
Another door led us into an apartment which looked immediately 
on the Place du Carrousel. Ladies were sitting at the window, who, 
at my guide's request that they would make room for an English 
stranger, kindly allowed me a seat beside them. 

"I arrived just in time to see the procession form. The 
carriage of Buonaparte, drawn by eight bays, was already at the 
palace gate, and was soon followed by that of the other consuls, 
Cambaceres and Le Brun, drawn by six black horses. Soon after 
the corps d'elite, the body guard, and the troop of Mamelucs made 
1 " Memorials of Amelia Opie/' Miss Brightwell. 


their appearance ; and Rustan, the favourite Mameluc of Napoleon, 
was also at his post awaiting his master. At length an increased 
noise at the door announced that he was coming, and I gazed to 
an almost painful degree of intensity, in order to catch one glimpse 
of this extraordinary man ; but he sprang into his carriage with 
such rapidity that not one of us could see him ! Rustan quickly 
jumped up behind, and the procession went forward. It was, I 
own, a striking sight ; but I did not think equal in beauty and 
grandeur to the procession of our King to the House of Lords 
when he goes to open or prorogue the Parliament. 

" Who knows what views of royal splendour to come were even 
then floating before the mind of Napoleon ! He was going that 
morning to realize and enjoy the highest present object of his 
' vaulting ambition. 1 He was going, for the first time, to open the 
Conservative Senate as First Consul for life. He had taken the 
first step on the path to despotic power ; he had ascertained the 
extent of his own influence ; he had succeeded in his endeavours to 
be voted a sort of Dictator for life ; and he had proved that the 
self-denying and noble example of Washington had been thrown 
away on him. But even then, at this seeming height of his proud 
career, I do not remember to have heard him greeted by a single 
shout ; the evidences of a people's love did not hail his presence : 
and no eager and exulting crowd hung on his chariot wheels ; and 
when I turned from the window, as the cortege disappeared, I felt 
disappointed, not only because I had not seen Buonaparte, but 
because there was no expression heard of animating popular 
feeling." l 

This testimony to the apathy of the Parisians at a vital 
moment in their history is instructive. Paris was stupefied; inert ; 
after her Saturnalia of the Reign of Terror : having waded through 
blood to freedom from one race of tyrants, she was indifferent to 
the installation of another. The little Corporal had chosen a fit 
time to grasp at permanent power. Mrs. Opie's heroine in 
" Temper " draws an invidious comparison between the incor- 
ruptible Governor of Athens, Phocion, and modern republicans : 
it was probably the reflection of her own thoughts. 

Mrs. Opie went back to rejoin her husband, and arrived just 
as Mr. Brown, Mr. Whitbread's partner, had introduced Opie to 
1 " Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Brightwell. 


Charles James Fox ; to whom the artist presented a letter of 
introduction given him by Mr. Coke. Fox greeted the Opies cor- 
dially, and made them known to his wife. An official just then 
came up to tell Fox that he was granted the privilege of entry 
to the Louvre at all times, with permission to see rooms that 
were closed to the general public. Fox offered to take the Opies 
into them with his own party ; a suggestion that was gladly 
accepted. He paid special attention to Opie, who walked by his 
side, discussing art. They stopped before the "Jerome of 
Domenichino," and the statesman, finding that they differed in their 
criticism of the picture, gracefully yielded to the artist's 
judgment, saying, " Well, to be sure, you must be a better judge 
of such points than I am." Mrs. Opie rejoiced at this acknow- 
ledgment of her husband's right to speak with authority, and 
Opie's pleased and animated expression as he talked with Fox 
convinced her that he was enjoying one of those rare moments 
when he felt conscious that his listener was appreciative and 

Did Mrs. Opie ever confess to her husband, we wonder, that 
the famous room he was allowed to see through Fox's intervention 
was the same from which she saw the First Consul's carriage drive 
off? If so it is to be feared that she had to hear some scathing 
remarks on her indifference to art. For she confesses that on the 
first occasion she had passed, without noticing it, Raphael's 
" Transfiguration." The picture was now raised up by the at- 
tendants for their inspection, and brought into the position 
affording the best light, while the visitors stood round it, lost in 
admiration. Opie was delighted beyond words. He rejoiced at 
his good fortune in arriving before it was hung in the appointed 
place, because he was thus able to see it to better advantage. In 
his lectures, Opie was continually referring to Raphael ; whom he 
considered unrivalled in expression, though he admitted that "his 
manner, at the commencement of his career, was dry, minute, and 
hard to excess." In the picture then before him Opie specially 
remarked on " the demoniac phrensy [sic] of the possessed boy " as 
illustrating Raphael's power of portraying k ' every effect of mind 
on matter, every affection of the human soul, as exhibited in the 
countenance. . . ." It is characteristic of his own work that he 
should select a phase of the darker side of humanity for com- 


mendation, though it is true he contrasts it as a proof of 
Raphael's versatility in this respect with ' the melting rapture 
of the Virgin Mother contemplating her divine offspring," in 
another of Raphael's pictures. 

While they were still admiring the " Transfiguration " a 
whisper came that Napoleon was returning in state from the 
Senate, and that they would be able to see the procession from 
the window. With the exception of Mrs. Opie the whole party 
crowded to it. Why she kept away is a mystery, unless she felt 
piqued by the disappointment of her first attempt to see the sight. 
Even Opie temporarily lost interest in the pictures under stress of 
temptation to see the man of the hour ; who, though small of 
stature, was yet to cast a dense shadow over Europe. Fox, Mrs. 
Opie recorded, soon turned away, and stood again before the 
picture ; again he turned to the window, and a second time 
retired ; the struggle between curiosity and real or simulated 
indifference being a hard one. " It was the first time he had ever 
seen aught appertaining to the consular government, and it was 
natural that his curiosity should be excited ; but there was 
evidently a feeling uppermost in his mind, which struggled with 
his wish to indulge in it, and before the procession was out of 
sight, it had ceased to appear an object of interest to him. 1 " * Mrs. 
Fox noted disparagingly the ceremony attending the passing of 
the First Consul, and remarked to Mrs. Opie that considering 
Bonaparte was a republican, he seemed very fond of state and 

Next day Opie and his wife called on Mr. and Mrs. Fox at the 
Hotel Richelieu, and accepted an invitation to dinner. Miss 
Brightwell says that " the company . . . was too numerous to 
admit of general conversation," so that Mrs. Opie only recorded 
one observation made by Fox ; illustrating the changes wrought 
in France by the Revolution. He told his guests that they were 
then dining in the room where, twenty-nine years earlier, he had 
supped with Marochal Richelieu. On the other hand, in Trotter's 
" Last Days of C. J. Fox," we are told of Fox's partiality for 
little dinners, where the guests rarely exceeded six or eight and 
the conversation was invariably " cheerful and pleasant. At one of 
these pleasant small dinner parties, I have seen Mr. West and Mr. 
1 " Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Brightwell. 


Opie, and heard Mr. Fox discuss the merits of almost all the great 
painters with great acumen, taste, and discrimination. Lord 
Robert Spencer was one of the guests." These conflicting accounts 
are easily explained if, as is quite possible, Opie dined more than 
once with the statesman. The object of Fox's visit to Paris was 
to collect documents for his projected " History of the Reign of 
James II " : his search among.the French State Papers being varied 
by sight-seeing : 

" The following day, after the usual occupation at the Archives, 
I was glad to go to the palace of the Thuilleries with Mr. and Mrs. 
Fox, Mr. West, and Mr. Opie. In front are still to be seen the 
marks of cannon balls ; the memorable night between the 9th and 
10th of August, 1792, was thus vividly recalled to the memory. 11 1 
Mrs. Opie described her own sensations on entering the Tuileries 
in her novel " Temper " (published 1812), putting them into the 
mouth of her heroine, Emma Castlemaine : 

"Emma could not help stopping in the hall of the palace, 
as certain recollections came across her mind ; and going up to a 
soldier on guard there, she said in French, ' And it was on these 
stairs that the poor Swiss were massacred ? 1 The soldier, colour- 
ing deeply, replied, ' Mais oui, Mademoiselle ' ; while Mr. 
Egerton, all the terrors of the revolutionary government recurring 
to his mind, hurried into the Place du Carrousel, saying, ' For 
the future be more guarded. Why could you not have said 
killed, instead of massacred ? ' 

" ' Because my pity got the better of every other consideration. 1 " 
We can imagine Opie rebuking his impetuous wife. His 
politics were of the lukewarm variety, but Mrs. Opie was an 
enthusiastic reformer and democrat. With the French political 
atmosphere still highly charged with electricity, and Napoleon so 
recently elected First Consul for life, Opie's caution and common 
sense must have been severely tried when his vivacious wife sang 
the revolutionary song composed by John Taylor of Norwich, 
" Fall, Tyrants, Fall, 11 on the Paris boulevards. Fox, who had 
allowed his revolutionary sympathies to sever his friendship with 
Burke, probably took it more calmly. He was hailed in France 
as leader of the English Jacobin party, and cries of " Bravo, 
Fox ! " greeted him when he attended the theatre of the Republic. 
1 " Latter Years of Charles James Fox," J. B. Trotter. 


They saw no more of Fox until he sat to Opie in 1804 for the 
portrait at Holkham : painted under difficulties, for Fox either 
could not or would not spare time for the sitting, while his friends 
pestered the artist with advice and criticism. Mr. Coke, of 
Holkham, afterwards Earl of Leicester, expressed himself satisfied 
with Opie's work, and Fox good-naturedly begged the artist not 
to mind the critics : " Mr. Opie, don^t mind what these people 
say, for after all you must know better than they do." At last, 
in desperation, Opie finished the portrait from the bust by 
Nollekens ; in spite of which the portrait was much admired at 
the Academy exhibition of 1805, and Mr. Coke pronounced it" the 
most striking likeness of that immortal man I have ever seen."" In 
Dibdin's " Northern Counties " it is stated that Opie only had two 
sittings from Fox. 

At the Academy dinner West gracefully alluded to the 
portrait, and called attention to the artist. Fox, evidently 
anxious to prove himself in the right, called across the table, 
" There, Mr. Opie, you see I was right ; everybody thinks it could 
not be better : now if I had minded you, and consented to sit 
again, you most probably would have spoiled the picture." 

Mrs. Opie, an inveterate hero-worshipper, had an immense 
admiration for Charles James Fox. Her last sight of him was in 
1806, when, having accepted office as Secretary for Foreign Affairs 
in the Grenville Ministry, his admirers expressed their delight at 
his return to office by chairing him. Death was already over- 
shadowing him. Mrs. Opie, shocked and saddened by the 
change in his appearance, " plucked a laurel leaf from that car 
of triumph," convinced that this was his last ovation. Only a 
few more months, and the great English statesman was dead, his 
work for the abolition of slavery, and efforts to promote a much- 
needed peace, left unfinished. The Whig party mourned his loss 
as irreparable. Nollekens took a cast of his face immediately after 
death, and Mrs. Opie went to his studio to see it. Two other 
casts were lying on the same table, " that of his dear friend 
Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and of William Pitt, his 
powerful opponent. The two latter masks I could look at, and 
did look at, with painful interest and serious meditation : but 
when I took up the other, I laid it down and ran out of the room ; 
I could not bear to survey the ravages which disease and death 


By permission of the owner, the Karl of Leicester. 


had made in that benevolent countenance ; indeed the features 
were not recognizable, and though I often returned to gaze on the 
others, on that I could never look again." 

J. T. Smith describes this death mask of Fox as ghastly, and 
utterly unlike his living features, but thought the shape of the 
forehead truly remarkable and interesting. In the two busts it 
appears low and rugged, but the death mask showed it " even, 
high, and prominent, full of dignified grandeur, and more so, 
perhaps with the exception of Lord Bacon, than that of any other 
statesman of equal celebrity." l 

1 "Nollekens and his Times/' J. T. Smith. 

IN PARIS (Continued) 

O PIE'S visit to Paris was not entirely devoted to the study of 
art. At a safe distance from his painting-room he resigned 
himself to the pleasure of the hour, overcame his dislike of fashion- 
able functions in the enjoyment of meeting people of European 
renown, and took part in the social life around him with almost as 
great a zest as that of his pleasure-loving wife. 

If pride and the remembrance of recent horrors kept Royalist 
doors closed to the gay cosmopolitan crowd, there was still no lack 
of entertainers. Opie's reputation as an artist, and his wife's 
personal charm and social standing, made them welcome guests. 
" A beautiful Irish Countess " ; most likely the Countess of 
Charlemont, whose girlhood was spent abroad because her father 
feared abduction and forced marriages for his beautiful daughters 
if they remained in their native Ireland that being the ingenious 
way in which the young Irish gentleman went a-wooing in the 
good old days was one of their hostesses : probably at the 
following reception, described by Mrs. Opie : 

" One evening at Lady 's we met a party consisting chiefly 

of ambassadors from different nations and other strangers. I had 
not long entered the room, when our hostess led me up to the 
Turkish ambassador, and desired me to ' make the agreeable to 
him.' ' Can he speak French ? ' said I. ' No, but here is a 
gentleman who will interpret between you.' At the same time she 
introduced to me a gentleman in Asiatic costume, and I readily 
seated myself by the Turk. He was a little elderly man, splen- 
didly attired in the dress of his country ; and I prepared to 
answer his questions. One of them was, ' how long I had been 
in Paris ? ' and when my reply, * a few days only, 1 was repeated 
to him, he said, not very gallantly, ' that he concluded so from 



my complexion, 1 which, I was very conscious, was tanned, by the 
broiling heat of the sun on the recent journey, to a red brown. 
At last we ceased to converse through our interpreter, and sub- 
stituted signs for words. For instance, he took my fan, and 
made me understand that he wanted to know what I called it; 
and I tried to make him comprehend that it was fan in English 
and eventail in French. He then pronounced its name in Turkish ; 
and I was learning to speak it after him, when I was interrupted 
by my husband, who, with glowing cheek and sparkling eye, 
exclaimed, ' Come hither, look ! there is General Kosciusko ! ' 
Yes, we did see Kosciusko ; ' Warsaw's last Champion ! ' he who 
had been wounded almost to death in defending his country 
against her merciless invaders ; while (to borrow the strong, ex- 
pressive figure of the poet) : 

' . . . Freedom shriek'd as Kosciusko fell ! ' 

" Instantly forgetting the ambassador, and, I fear, the proper 
restraints of politeness, I took my husband's arm, and accompanied 
him to get a nearer view of the Polish patriot, so long the object 
to me of interest and admiration. I had so often contemplated a 
print of him in his Polish dress, which hung in my own room, that 
I thought I should have known him again anywhere ; but whether 
it was owing to the difference of dress, I know not, but I saw 
little or no resemblance in him to the picture. He was not 
much above the middle height, had high cheek bones, and his 
features were not of a distinguished cast ; with the exception of 
his eyes, which were fine and expressive, and he had a high healthy 
colour. His forehead was covered by a curled auburn wig, much 
to my vexation, as I should have liked to have seen its honourable 
scar. But his appearance was pleasing, his countenance intel- 
lectual, his carriage dignified ; and we were very glad when our 
obliging hostess, by introducing us, gave us an opportunity of 
entering into conversation with him. He spoke English as well 
as we did, and with an English accent. On our expressing our 
surprise at this unusual circumstance, he said he had learned 
English in America. The tone of his voice was peculiar, and not 
pleasing ; however, it was Kosciusko who spoke, and we listened 
with interest and pleasure ; though, at this distance of time, I am 
unable to say on what subject we conversed." 


Time has destroyed the magic that once clung round the name 
of the noble patriot who sleeps in the vaults of the old Polish 
kings ; forgotten by all but the people of his own race. Yet his 
name and that of his friend La Fayette could oncej make even 
English pulses beat faster : on her own confession, we have heard 
that Amelia Opie, like many another fair reformer, had Kosciusko's 
portrait hanging in her own room. He stood for all that was best 
in the fight against the old system : for high ideals and uncorrupt 
politics : the love of country and hatred of injustice. Later in 
the evening Mrs. Opie was discussing him with a friend, and 
drawing invidious distinctions between Polish and Corsican soldiers 
of fortune : to the advantage of the former. Bonaparte"^ ambitious 
schemes seemed, even at this early date, to be a matter of common 
talk. While she spoke Mrs. Opie had her eyes fixed on Kosciusko, 
who crossed the room and asked her what she had said of him. 
Amelia Opie's courage failed her, but she referred him to her friend, 
who repeated the conversation to Kosciusko's gratification. The 
patriot may have been incorruptible, but the man was vulnerable 
to flattery especially when it came from so charming a woman as 
Amelia Opie. Kosciusko's request that she should write some verses 
on him might be interpreted as a sign that the hero-worship of 
so many pretty women had taken effect. Mrs. Opie was obliged 
to confess that her Muse required time for consideration, and the 
gallant Pole expressed his willingness to await her pleasure. So 
they parted. She only saw him once more before their return to 
England, but Kosciusko had stood the test of a personal interview 
that perilous ordeal for most objects of feminine hero-worship. 

The next time that his birthday was commemorated at Paris, 
Mrs. Opie wrote some verses on the occasion, and sent them to 
him by a private hand. 

" During the rest of that memorable evening, when we had the 
gratification of seeing that Polish patriot and of conversing with him, 
I did not venture to resume the seat next the Turkish ambassador 
which I had so unceremoniously quitted ; but I contrived to enter 
into conversation with the interpreter, whose handsome figure and 
features, added to the gracefulness of his costume, made him, next 
to our hostess, the most striking-looking person in the assembly. He 
spoke French fluently, and his manner was particularly pleasing." ! 
1 " Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Brightwell. 


Not content with this semi-flirtation with the Turkish 
ambassador, whom she deserted so quickly for the superior attraction 
of the Polish patriot, Mrs. Opie took a strange and violent fancy 
for that queer woman Helen Maria Williams. It must have been 
her revolutionary principles, and the glamour surrounding a friend 
of Madame Roland and a prisoner of Robespierre, that made this 
perverter of history attractive to Mrs. Opie. " Miss Jane Bull," 
as Wolfe Tone called her, one of the most aggressive emancipated 
women of her time credited with two liaisons : one with fickle 
Imlay, Mary Wollstonecraft's first lover does not seem to have 
had much in common with Amelia Opie ; whose Bohemianism was 
all on the surface, and who was singularly pure-minded : unless 
indeed, Amelia cultivated a regard for her ; just as in childhood 
she became first tolerant of, and then affectionate towards, black- 
beetles and lunatics, actuated by a certain pride in having 
conquered her first fear of them. 

A closer acquaintance with Paris fed neither her sympathy 
with the revolutionists nor her enthusiasm for Napoleon. With 
regard to the former let us see what she wrote afterwards in 
" Temper " : " * As exhibiting an awful picture of human passions 
in uncontrolled action, 1 said Mrs. Castlemaine, ' the history of 
the French revolution is an instructive volume to read, though 
every page be written in characters of blood. 1 " Ceasing to be the 
disinterested saviour of France, Napoleon fell from his high estate 
in her estimation. Not in Amelia Opie's alone. We, who can 
trace Napoleon's career from the taking of Toulon to his death at 
St. Helena, find it difficult to understand the enthusiasm he 
inspired. Generous hearts idealized him as the liberator of France 
from anarchy and ruin : they saw only one step of his onward 
march at a time. A bitter disillusionment followed when ambition 
took the place of patriotism. It was to the idealized Napoleon 
that we owe Beethoven's " Eroica" symphony : that great musician's 
tribute to the victor of Marengo. The dedication had been 
written, a copy of the music was ready for despatch, when news 
reached Vienna that Napoleon had been proclaimed Emperor. 
Beethoven's idol was shattered : Napoleon was no longer a hero 
but a tyrant. Furious with rage and grief Beethoven tore away 
the title-page that bore the First Consul's name ; the music he 
had composed and copied so carefully as tribute of respect and 


admiration to a hero was flung on the ground ; a torrent of 
execrations and imprecations burst from the composer's lips. Not 
until Napoleon^ death in exile had blotted out all remembrance 
of his frailty would Beethoven forgive him the destruction of his 
republican ideal, and allow the despairing wail of the "Funeral 
March " to be linked with the memory of his fallen hero. 

If Mrs. Opie's hero-worship was over, curiosity remained. 
" We had now been several days in Paris, and yet we had not 
seen the First Consul ! I own that my impatience to see him had 
not abated, by the growing conviction which I felt of the possible 
hollowness of the idol so long exalted. 

" But still we were desirous of beholding him ; and I was glad 
when we received a letter from our obliging acquaintance, Count 
de Lasteyrie, informing us that Buonaparte would review the troops 
on such a day, on the Place du Carousel (Vic], and that he had 
procured a window for us, whence we should be able to see it to 
advantage. But, on account of my short-sightedness, I was still 
more glad when our friend De Masquerier, (a very successful young 
English painter,) informed us that he had the promise of a window 
for my husband and myself, in an apartment on the ground-floor 
of the Tuilleries, whence we should be able to have a near view 
of Buonaparte : our friends, therefore, profited by M. de Lasteyrie's 
kindness, and we went to the palace. 

"As the time of seeing the First Consul drew nigh, I was 
pleased to feel all my original impressions in his favour return. 
This might be a weakness in me, but it was, I hope, excusable ; 
and our sense of his greatness and importance was, as my husband 
observed, heightened by seeing the great man of our own country, 1 
he who was there a sight himself to many, cross the Place du 
Carousel, with his wife on his arm, going, as we believed, to gaze 
like us, on, at least, a more fortunate man than himself for, at 
that time, Charles James Fox had not seen Napoleon Buonaparte. 

" The door which opened into the hall of the palace was shut, 
but, after some persuasion, I prevailed on the attendant to open it; 
and he said he would keep it open till the First Consul had mounted 
his horse, if I would engage that we would all of us stand upon the 
threshold, and not once venture beyond it. 

" With these conditions we promised to comply ; and, full of 

1 Fox. 


eager expectation, I stationed myself where I could command the 
white marble stairs of the palace ; those steps once stained with 
the blood of the faithful Swiss guards, and on which I now expected 
to behold the ' Pacificator, 1 as he was called by the people and his 
friends the hero of Lodi. 

" Just before the review was expected to begin, we saw several 
officers in gorgeous uniforms ascend the stairs, one of whom, whose 
helmet seemed entirely of gold, was, as I was told, Eugene de 
Beauharnois. A few minutes afterwards there was a rush of officers 
down the stairs, and amongst them I saw a short pale man, with 
his hat in his hand, who, as I thought, resembled Lord Erskine in 
profile ; but, though my friend said in a whisper ' (Test lui^ I did 
not comprehend that I beheld Buonaparte, till I saw him stand 
alone at the gate. In another moment he was on his horse, and 
rode slowly past the window ; while I, with every nerve trembling 
with strong emotion, gazed on him intently ; endeavouring to 
commit each expressive, sharply chiselled feature to memory ; 
contrasting also with admiring observation, his small simple hat, 
adorned with nothing but a little tri-coloured cockade, and his 
blue coat, guiltless of gold embroidery, with the splendid head 
adornings and dresses of the officers who followed him. 

" A second time he slowly passed the window ; then, setting 
spurs to his horse, he rode amongst the ranks, where some faint 
huzzas greeted him from the crowd on the opposite side of the 
Place du Carousel. 

" At length he took his station before the palace, and as we 
looked at him out of the window, we had a very perfect view of 
him for nearly three quarters of an hour. I thought, but perhaps 
it was fancy, that the countenance of Buonaparte was lighted up 
with peculiar pleasure as the corps cTelite, wearing some mark of 
distinction, defiled before him, bringing up the rear that fine 
gallant corps, which, as we are told, he had so often led on to 
victory ; but this might be my fancy. Once we saw him speak, as 
he took off his hat to remove the hair from his heated forehead, 
and this gave us an opportunity of seeing his front face, and his 
features in action. Soon after, we saw him give a sword of honour 
to one of the soldiers ; and he received a petition which an old 
woman presented to him ; but he gave it, unread, to some one 
near him. At length the review ended ; too soon for me. The 


Consul sprang from his horse we threw open our door again, and, 
as he slowly ascended the stairs, we saw him very near us, and in 
full face again, while his bright, restless, expressive, and, as we 
fancied, dark blue eyes, beaming from under long black eyelashes, 
glanced over us with a scrutinising but complacent look ; and thus 
ended, and was completed, the pleasure of the spectacle. 

" I could not speak ; I had worked myself up to all my former 
enthusiasm for Buonaparte ; and my frame still shook with the 
excitement I had undergone. 

" The next day sobered me again, however, but not much, as 
will be soon seen. 

" The day after the review, our accomplished countrywoman, 
Maria Cos way, took the President of the Royal Academy, Benjamin 
West, and ourselves, on a round of picture-seeing ; and at length 
we proceeded to the residence of a gentleman, who was, I concluded, 
only a picture dealer, or one of the many nouveaux riches, who had 
fine collections ; because, whenever she spoke of him, Maria Cosway 
called him nothing but 'Fesch. 1 We stopped at the door of a 
very splendid hotel in the Chaussee d'Antin, and were met at the 
top of a magnificent flight of stairs, by a gentleman in the garb 
of an ecclesiastic. His hair was powdered, and he wore it in a full 
round curl behind, after the fashion of an abbe ; his coat was black, 
but his stockings were of a bright purple ; his shoe and knee buckles 
were of gold ; round his neck he wore a glossy white silk handker- 
chief, from under which peeped forth a costly gold crucifix. His 
countenance was pleasing ; his complexion uncommonly blooming ; 
his manners courteous ; and his age (as I afterwards learned) was 

" This gentleman was the ' Fesch ' we came to visit, but I soon 
discovered that though he lived in the house, it was not his own ; 
for Maria Cosway was summoned to an adjoining room, where I 
heard her conversing with a female ; and when she returned, she 
told us that Madame Buonaparte Mere, (as she was called to dis- 
tinguish her from her daughter-in-law), the mistress of the hotel, 
was very sorry that she could not see us, but that she was so unwell, 
she was obliged to keep her bed, and could not receive strangers. 
So then ! we were in the house of Letitia Buonaparte, and the 
mother of Napoleon ! and in the next room to her, but could not 
see her ! how unfortunate ! however, I was sure I had heard her 


voice. I now supposed that * Fesch ' was her spiritual director, 
and believed his well studied dress, si bien soignee, was a necessary 
distinction, as he belonged to the mother of the First Consul. 

" He seemed a merry, as well as a courteous man ; and once he 
took Maria Cosway aside, and showed her a letter that he had only 
just received, which, to judge from the hearty laugh of ' Fesch,' 
and the answering smiles of the lady, gave them excessive pleasure. 

" By and by, however, I heard and observed many things which 
made me think that ' Fesch ' was more than I apprehended him to 
be. I therefore watched for an opportunity to ask the President 
who this obliging person was. ' What ! ' cried he, ' do you not 
know that he is the Archbishop of Lyons, the uncle of Buonaparte ? ' 
I was astonished ! What the person so familiarly spoken of as 
' Fesch, 1 could he be indeed ' du sang ' of the Buonapartes, and 
the First Consul's uncle ! How my respect for him increased when 
I heard this ! How interesting became his every look and word ; 
and how grateful I felt for his obliging attention to us ! 

" While we were looking at the pictures, his niece, the wife of 
Murat, drove to the door ; and I saw the top of her cap as she 
alighted, but no more, as she went immediately to her mother's 

" After devoting to us at least two hours, the Archbishop 
conducted us down the noble staircase, to the beautiful hall of 
entrance, and courteously dismissed us. My companions instantly 
went away, but I lingered behind ; for I had caught a view of a 
colossal bust of Buonaparte in a helmet, which stood on a table, and 
I remained gazing at it, forgetful of all but itself. Yes ! there were 
those finely cut features, that ' coupe de menton a VApollon ! ' and, 
though I thought the likeness a flattered one, I contemplated it 
with great pleasure, and was passing my hand admiringly over the 
salient chin, when I heard a sort of suppressed laugh, and, turning 
round, saw the Archbishop observing me, and instantly, covered 
with confusion, I ran out of the house. I found Marie Cosway 
explaining what the letter was which had given ' Fesch ' and her 
such evident satisfaction. It was nothing less than a letter from 
Rome, informing him that he would probably be put in nomination 
for the cardinal's hat. 

" How soon he was nominated I cannot remember, 1 but it is 
1 Cardinal in 1803. 


now many years since the blooming ecclesiastic of 1802, exchanged 
his purple for scarlet stockings, his mitre for a red hat, and his 
title of Archbishop of Lyons, for that of Cardinal Fesch." ' 

The Cosways succeeded famous " Doctor " Graham, of the 
Temple of Health, as tenants of the middle portion of Schomberg 
House, Pall Mall. There Maria Cosway became celebrated for 
her Sunday concerts, to which princes begged invitations, and 
which were attended by crowds of fashionable and titled guests. 
Maria sang well herself, and tolerated no other amateur per- 
formers perhaps an exception may have been made for Mrs. 
Opie, who was fitted both by nature and training to be heard by 
such an audience. The most celebrated professional musicians 
and singers were to be heard there, and as a consequence Pall 
Mall was almost impassable on Sunday evenings. Mrs. Opie also 
had her Sunday reception crowded by people of note, though John 
Opie would never have tolerated the lavish display affected by the 
Cosways. Of the two rival salons, that held by Mrs. Opie was 
indisputably in better taste than the one presided over by Maria 
Cosway, but the former, pleasure-loving and fond of society, would 
have been hardly human if she had not sometimes coveted 
the sumptuously furnished rooms in which this social rival re- 
ceived her guests. 

From Pall Mall the " Macaroni miniature Painter " moved to 
Stratford Place. Unluckily, the house he fixed on had a lion 
outside. Cosway, a foppish little man, well-made, but curiously 
like a monkey so far as his face was concerned, had hardly moved 
in before he found affixed to his door : 

" When a man to a fair for a show brings a lion, 
Tis usual a monkey the sign-post to tie on : 
But here the old custom reversed is seen, 
For the Lion is without and the Monkey's within ! " 

" Peter Pindar" was said to be the culprit. Cosway was enraged, 
and moved again to another house, lionless, in the same street. 
Here he fitted up the rooms in princely style. J. T. Smith thought 
they were " like scenes of enchantment, pencilled by a poet's fancy : 
" His furniture consisted of ancient chairs, couches, and con- 
versation-stools, elaborately carved and gilt, and covered with the 

1 (< Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Brightwell. 


most costly Genoa velvets ; escritoires, of ebony, inlaid with 
mother-of-pearl ; and rich caskets for antique gems, exquisitely 
enamelled, and adorned with onyxes, opals, rubies, and emeralds. 
There were also cabinets of ivory, curiously wrought ; mosaic 
tables, set with jasper, bloodstone, and lapis-lazuli, having their 
feet carved into the claws of lions and eagles ; screens of old raised 
oriental Japan ; massive musical clocks, richly chased with ormolu 
and tortoise-shell ; ottomans, superbly damasked ; Persian and 
other carpets, with corresponding hearth-rugs, bordered with 
ancient family crests, and armorial designs in the centre ; and rich 
hangings of English tapestry. The chimney-pieces were carved by 
Banks, and were farther adorned with the choicest bronzes, models 
in wax terracotta ; the tables covered with old Sevre [.c], blue, 
Mandarin, Nankin, and Dresden china ; and the cabinets were 
surmounted with crystal cups adorned with the York and Lan- 
caster roses, which might probably have graced the splendid 
banquets of the proud Wolsey." 1 

The little artist who strutted through these rooms in his 
embroidered mulberry silk coat, and persisted in having his wife 
treated as an amateur artist, no doubt found this mode of life as 
valuable for advertising purposes as Nollekens did penuriousness 
and squalor and far more comfortable. After all, did not Sir 
Joshua himself send his sister out riding in a gorgeous chariot, so 
that people might remark it and be told that it was the great 
artist's sister ? 

But, on the other hand, it seems highly probable that Cos- 
way's eccentricity was not far removed from madness. He claimed 
to have a large circle of acquaintances with the illustrious dead. 
Charles I was a frequent visitor, and held long conversations with 
him : was as persistent in his dealings with Cosway, as his Sacred 
Majesty's head became in Mr. Dick's famous memorial. Mr. Pitt, 
too, paid him a morning call about four years after death. Cosway 
mentioned the incident at the Royal Academy dinner. 

" Well," asked a brother Academician, " and pray what did he 
say to you ? " 

" Why, upon entering the room, he expressed himself pro- 
digiously hurt that, during his residence on this earth, he had not 
encouraged my talents." 

1 f< Nollekens aud his Times/' J. T. Smith. 


" How can you, Cosway, utter such trash ? " virtuously de- 
manded his listener. " You know all you have now uttered to be 
lies, and I can prove it ; for this very morning, after Mr. Pitt had 
been with you, he called upon me and said, ' I know that Cosway 
will mention my visit to him at your dinner to-day ; don't believe 
a word he says, for he will tell you nothing but lies.' " 

Cosway's last act of eccentricity was pathetic. The Cosways 
had a little daughter ; dearly loved. Husband and wife separated 
for a while : Mrs. Cosway went abroad ; the child remained with 
her father. She died, and Cosway had her body embalmed and 
placed in a marble sarcophagus : this stood in his drawing-room 
for some years, until Mrs. Cosway returned to England, when she 
had the body buried and sent the sarcophagus to Nollekens. 
Cosway is said to have died at the same hour that the sarcophagus 
was taken away again from Nollekens's house. 

Opie and his wife paid a visit to the atelier of Jacques Louis 
David, the republican artist, while they were in Paris. One of his 
pictures which they saw on this occasion affected Mrs. Opie very 
painfully " Brutus returning from the tribunal after adjudging 
his sons to death." They went to the Theatre francais also, and 
heard the great tragedian, Talma, as Cain, in " The Death of 
Abel." Mrs. Opie was so delighted with his acting that when 
quite an old woman she was still able to recall his look and 
manner, and would mimic the tone in which he replied to the 
question, " Ou est tu Cain ? " with a " deep and sepulchral " " Ici, 
Seigneur " : the sounds appearing to come from the ground 
beneath him. 

The luxury affected by the new regime made Murafs hotel a 
sight of Paris, and the Opies went to see it. Mrs. Opie described 
Caroline Murafs bed as standing " in a recess which was lined with 
looking-glass, and at the foot of the bed were, as I think, two 
finely chiselled marble cupids. The draperies were of the clearest 
muslin, lined with rose-coloured satin ; and the counterpane as 
well as the valance was flounced with deep point lace. The panels 
of the room were painted in drab and rose colour ; and all the 
decorations of the apartment were in the most costly but tasteful 
style." l It does not impress us now as very wonderful, but these 
were the days of heavy damask hangings in England, so the 
"Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Brightwell. 


lightness of the decorations and bed furniture was a novelty in 
English eyes. For the son of an innkeeper, and the daughter of a 
Corsican in straitened circumstances, it must be admitted that 
the Murats had made a good beginning : indeed the history 
of the Bonaparte family is instructive as regards the ease with 
which a ruling class, republican or royalist, adopts luxurious and 
extravagant surroundings. 

A full-length life'-size portrait by Gerard of General Moreau, 
which leaned, unframed, against a wall, pleased Mrs. Opie better 
than anything else at the hotel. 

As they were leaving the Hotel Murat they saw General 
Massena talking to the porter. " His head," wrote Mrs. Opie, 
" was one of the largest I had ever seen, his hair long and thick 
and curled, a la Brutus, and his features large and not fine. His 
eyes, however, were bright ; in his ears he wore gold rings of large 
dimensions, (then commonly worn by French officers,) and his 
person was large, his height apparently nearly six feet. On the 
whole, however, his appearance was not prepossessing, and there 
was a look of coarse brutal daring, which contrasted unfavourably 
with the pleasing expression in the countenance of his rival in 
military fame, General Moreau." l 

1 " Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Brightwell. 



"1 T OLIDA YS were not of long continuance with Opie. How 
J L much time they spent in France is not stated, but it must 
have been brief for so long a journey. Mrs. Opie wrote to 
Mr. Coke from Paris, " my husband is more wild than ever to get 
home to work again. 11 Reluctantly, she turned her back on the 
delights of the French capital : regretting most of all that 
she was leaving Kosciusko and Helen Maria Williams ! Opie 
bought a little dog before leaving France, and entrusted the care 
of it to his wife, who was not fond of animals : rather to her relief 
it died soon after, " which saved me, 11 she confessed, u from the 
danger I seemed likely to incur of becoming the slave of a pet 
animal. 11 Possibly it was the same breed as Mrs. Nollekens^ little 
white dog, cut poodle fashion, also brought from France. A 
picture of Opie^ dog once belonged to Alfred Bunn, the theatrical 
manager, and was sold at Christie's for eight shillings. Whether 
it was of this animal or another cannot be told : probably the latter, 
since the French dog lived such a short time. Unlike his wife, 
Opie loved animals, and the dogs he frequently introduced in 
portraits are painted with a sympathetic brush. 

Back again in London, Opie took up the threads of his work : 
portraiture " the parasite of personal vanity, 11 as he called it 
because there was a steady demand for such work ; and subject 
pictures in which he strove to satisfy the cravings of his soul : 
shackled in both by the need to paint what would sell. He railed 
at " the general frivolity and meanness of the subjects " an artist 
was called on to treat : at " the inordinate rage for portrait 
painting (a more respectable kind of caricature), by which he is 
condemned for ever to study and copy the wretched defects, and 



By permission of the owner. Captain Philip Hunlokf. 


conform to the still more wretched prejudices, of every tasteless 
and ignorant individual, however in form, features and mind utterly 
hostile to all ideas of character, expression or sentiment. And 
may it not, in part, be attributed to the necessity he is under, 
of painting always with reference to the Exhibition ? " suggested 
Opie. " In a crowd, he that talks loudest not he that talks best is 
surest of commanding attention ; and in an Exhibition, he that 
does not attract the eye, does nothing. But, however plausible 
these excuses, it becomes the true painter to consider, that they 
will avail nothing before the tribunal of the world and posterity. 
Keeping the true end of art in view, he must rise superior to the 
prejudices, disregard the applause, and contemn the censure, of 
corrupt and incompetent judges ; far from aiming at being fashion- 
able, it must be his object to reform, and not to flatter, to 
teach, and not to please if he aspires, like Zeuxis, to paint for 
eternity." : 

It would be interesting to know how far Opie succeeded in 
carrying out these exhortations to disregard the multitude. A 
man of such marked personality should have been able to do so, 
unless he allowed his anxiety for riches to govern him. Of the 
two evils, an artist of Opie's temperament must have found the 
fetters of portrait painting far more galling than any need to 
study popular taste in exhibition pictures : in that respect, as a 
leading Academician of the day, he must have been sufficiently 
independent to show what he liked. But sitters were exacting : 
Opie's detractors accused him of meeting their objections with 
coarse plainness of speech. Indulgence in that luxury becomes 
excusable ; his restraint from it (if indeed he exercised it) 
commendable, under aggravations such as Mrs. Opie described : 
"... of all employment, portrait-painting is, perhaps, the most 
painful and trying to a man of pride and sensibility, and the 
most irritating to an irritable man. To hear beauties and merits 
in a portrait often stigmatized as deformities and blemishes; to 
have high lights taken for white spots and dark effective shadows 
for the dirty appearance of a snuff-taker ; to witness discontent 
in the standers-by because the painting does not exhibit the sweet 
smile of the sitter, though it is certain that a smile on canvass 
looks like the grin of idiocy ; while a laughing eye, if the artist 
1 " Lectures on Painting" (Lect. I,, " On Design"), J. Opie, K.A. 


attempts to copy it, as unavoidably assumes the disgusting 
resemblance of progressive intoxication. Sitters themselves Mr. 
Opie rarely found troublesome, except when they were not 
punctual, or when they exhibited impatience to be gone, and the 
restlessness consequent on that feeling : but not so, sometimes, were 
their companions and friends. Persons of worship, as Mr. Opie 
used to call them, that is, persons of great consequence, either 
from talent, rank, or widely spreading connections, are sometimes 
attended by others, whose aim is to endeavour to please the great 
man or woman by flattery, wholly at the expense of the poor 
artist ; and to minister sweet food to the palate of the patron, 
regardless though it be wormwood to that of the painter. Hence 
arise an eulogy on the beauties and perfections of the person 
painted, and regrets that they are so inadequately rendered 
by the person painting ; while frivolous objection succeeds to 
frivolous objection, and impossibilities are expected and required 
as if they were possibilities. I have known, indeed, several honour- 
able exceptions to this general rule ; but I have only too frequently 
witnessed its truth, and my temper and patience have so often 
been on the point of deserting me, even when Mr. Opie's had not, 
apparently, undergone the slightest alteration ; a strong proof 
that he possessed some of that self-command which is one of 
the requisites of good breeding. But it is certain that the 
picture suffered on such occasions. . . . He could not converse 
according to his best manner, unless convinced that he should 
be listened to with pleasure and candour; nor could he paint 
according to his best manner, unless he felt a perfect conviction 
that the person whom he painted, and the person's friends, had an 
entire reliance on his talents and execution. If he saw that they 
sat reluctantly ; if he suspected that they or their connections 
preferred another artist, and feared that he was not able to 
succeed to their wishes, his hand was, as it were, paralysed ; he 
became as impatient to dismiss them, as they were to be 
dismissed ; and the picture thus finished proved usually an un- 
satisfactory one to the artist and his employers. Well do I 
remember the pleasure Mr. Opie expressed on reading a proverb 
in one act, taken from the French of Carrnontel, and published 
by Mr. Holcroft, with other entertaining things in his ' Theatrical 
Recorder.' 1 Mr. Opie came down to read it to me, declaring 


By permission of the owner, the Kurl of 


that it described so exactly the martyrdom which portrait-painters 
undergo, he could scarcely believe that he did not write it 
himself." * 

It must be allowed that Opie's philosophy and patience were 
not always proof against vexatious criticism. A portrait of Mrs. 
Bulkeley who had a reputation for beauty was disfigured by 
daubs of paint on the dress, "said to have been applied inten- 
tionally because Mr. Bulkeley was dissatisfied with the represen- 
tation of his wife." 2 Now as the discontented husband would 
undoubtedly have disfigured the features had he wielded the 
avenging brush, we must, pace Mrs. Opie, reluctantly admit that if 
Opie refrained from words on this occasion, he relieved his mind by 
action even if his heart limited the destruction to a subordinate 
part of the picture. 

Opie had a portrait of Mr. (afterwards Sir James) Mackintosh 
in the Academy of 1803 ; believed to be the same as that once 
belonging to " Conversation " Sharpe. Mackintosh was a great 
admirer of Opie's original manner of thinking and expressing 
himself in conversation, and said he might have been one of the 
first philosophers of the age had he turned to that study. 
" Hobnelia, or the Spell," was also exhibited this year : it is now 
in the Earl of Denbigh's collection at Newnham Paddox. The 
subject of this fine picture is taken from an old May-day 
custom, described by Gay in the fourth Pastoral of his " Shepherd's 
Week" : 

" Last May-day fair, I search'd to find a snail, 
That might my secret lover's name reveal : 
Upon a gooseberry bush a snail I found, 
For always snails near sweetest fruit abound. 
I seized the vermine ; home 1 quickly sped, 
And on the hearth the milk-white embers spread : 
Slow crawl'd the snail, and, if I right can spell, 
In the soft ashes marked a curious L : 
Oh, may this wondrous omen lucky prove ! 
For L is found in Lubberkin and Love." 

A contemporary review of this year's Academy Exhibition 
says : " Among the Artists, the names of Sir William Beechey, 

1 Memoir by Mrs. Opie, prefixed to " Lectures on Painting," by 
J. Opie, R.A. 

- " Opie and his Works," J. Jope Rogers, M.A., p. 7S). 


Opic, Lawrence, Hoppner, Copley, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 
Northcote, Turner, Westall, and Shee, hold the most distinguished 
rank. . . . Opie has finished a piece, ' Clothing the Naked," 1 in a 
style which gives him a superiority over his fellow Artists in the 
historical department. It is marked with boldness in the execution 
and the idea is finely conceived and expressed. His picture of Mr. 
Adam, the Barrister, is a happy resemblance." 

Before the Exhibition opened, startling news arrived from 
France, and the Opies must have congratulated themselves that 
their holiday had not been postponed. Lulled into security by the 
Peace of Amiens, numbers of English in pursuit of business or 
pleasure were scattered over France. At the Consular levees, 
where Napoleon, in his richly embroidered coat of crimson velvet, 
white breeches, and silken stockings, assumed regal state; the 
English ambassador was usually accompanied by Englishmen of 
distinction who wished to be presented, and amity between the 
two countries seemed assured. But on March 13, 1803, at one 
of these levees, Napoleon suddenly threw off the mask. He 
behaved with great discourtesy to the Ambassador, Lord Whit- 
worth ; asserting that the treaty had been broken by England's 
failure to evacuate Malta, and insisting that the English were 
determined to provoke war. This scene was quickly followed by 
orders to arrest all English subjects travelling in France. Within 
a few days two thousand had been imprisoned, while others, more 
fortunate or more astute than their fellows, escaped in disguise. 
The sudden rupture after such a short-lived peace caused great 
consternation in England ; which was not allayed by news that 
Napoleon was preparing to invade the country, and that a fleet 
of flat-bottomed boats was collecting at Boulogne to convey his 
troops. On May 12, after presenting an ultimatum, Lord Whit- 
worth left Paris. Financial disaster ensued, and the list of 
bankruptcies testified to the blow credit had received by this 
renewal of war. And as time went on without any actual attempt 
to invade the country, it became certain that the intention was 
to injure our financial stability by constant menace rather than to 
effect a landing. But whether the hostile preparations were real 
or feigned, the alarm felt, especially near those parts of the 
coast peculiarly liable to attack, was genuine enough. Mr. Gurney 
of Earlham had four carriages kept in constant readiness to bear 


his family to a place of safety in the Isle of Ely at the first 
news of a landing on the Norfolk coast. 1 

Nervous little Harriet Martineau lived in dread of a visit from 

" But, papa, what will you do if ' Boney "* comes ? " 

" What will 1 do ? " said her father, cheerfully, " why I will 
ask him to take a glass of Port with me," and he helped himself to 
a glass as he spoke. 

" From the moment I knew that ' Boney ' was a creature who 
could take a glass of wine I dreaded him no more." 2 

Lucky for Opie that he had returned to England before the crisis 
came, or Napoleon, who desired to be thought a modern Maecenas, 
might have detained him to paint pictures commemorating his 
triumphant progress through Europe, and the Berners Street 
painting-room would have seen him no more. The artist and his 
wife must have mingled congratulations on their own good luck 
with comments on this unlooked-for development in our relations 
with France when, the busy day over, they met for the quiet 
domestic evenings Opie loved. 

So many of the discordant elements that marred Opie's union 
with Mary Bunn were repeated in his second marriage venture 
that the success attending it is marvellous. Here again was a 
pretty wife ; fond of gaiety and excitement, and accustomed to 
admiration : added to all this, Amelia was an only, and spoilt, 
child ; while Opie was no fonder of gay society than before, 
though his company was appreciated when he could be induced to 
accept an invitation : 

" Where is Mr. Opie ? " asked Mrs. Siddons at an evening 

" He is gone." 

" I am sorry for it," replied Mrs. Siddons, " for I meant to have 
sought him out, as when I am with him I am always sure to hear 
him say something which I cannot forget, or at least which ought 
never to be forgotten." 

One of Amelia Alderson's reasons for considering marriage was, 
as we have seen, the hope of motherhood. This desire had not 
been fulfilled : she was childless. While they were in Norwich 

1 " Gurneys of Earlham/' Augustus Hare. 
3 "Autobiography of Harriet Martineau." 


during the winter of 1801-2, maternal craving led Mrs. Opie to 
suggest that they should adopt little Eleanor Rooks, daughter 
of a Norwich architect. Mrs. Rooks refused : she could not part 
with the child, who was about six or seven years old. 

" Then," said Opie, " I must paint her." 

She was brought to him dressed in a smart white frock elabo- 
rately worked. Opie looked disapproval. 

" Has she no other dress ? " he asked. 

" Yes, sir," replied the nurse, " a pink and a blue gingham." 

" Then go and put on the blue," said Opie. 

The plain blue frock is caught up in the picture by a long 
bunch of wheat little Eleanor is carrying, and shows a white 
petticoat beneath ; her gipsy hat has fallen back and hangs by the 
strings, and serves to throw into relief her red hair and rosy face : 
justifying the artist's choice of dress. In another and much earlier 
child's portrait, that of Ann Rogers, Opie objected to the arrange- 
ment of her hair, but in this case his roughness frightened the 
child. He was introduced to her in the garden, and without 
further ceremony loosened her hair ; offending and startling her so 
much that she ran away. Opie kept her in view, however, and, 
when shortly after he saw her playing with a dog, decided to paint 
her in the attitude she had assumed naturally. 

The experience of childish prejudices acquired in this manner 
may have prompted his future methods of dealing with children, 
unless Opie shared his wife's fondness for them. Eleanor Rooks, 
we are told, played about in his painting-room. The same story 
is related of William Frost, another juvenile sitter. Indulgence of 
this kind must have meant one of two things real love of children 
and their companionship, or a feigned welcome to put the little 
one at ease for professional purposes. Opie's portraits of children 
show them so easy and unconstrained that it is only just to suppose 
that he took pleasure in their society. The child peeping over his 
mother's shoulder in the group of I^ady Warde and her children is 
a good instance of this. 

There is every reason to believe that the Opies' married life 
was harmonious : far more so than might have been expected in 
the case of a couple of such widely differing tastes, intensified by 
class distinctions, and childless. Two causes were responsible for 
this. Opie's love for Mary Bunn, if it ever existed, was quickly 


Portrait of Miss Elizabeth Reynolds. By 
William Walker, Esu 

.emission of her son. 


extinguished ; that roused by Amelia Alderson, though it sprang 
into existence so suddenly, was deep and lasting. The second and 
even stronger reason was due to his wisdom in encouraging her 
literary tastes. No matter how absorbed in his work he might be 
by day, the evenings brought them together again, and his wife, 
instead of meeting him with black looks and a grievance, had an 
account of her own busy day ready, so that hours of separation 
made those of companionship more welcome. Their most serious 
disputes, on the frequency of her social engagements, were harmless 
owing to Mrs. Opie's tact and sweet temper, together with her 
views on the duties of -wifely submission. 

Mrs. Opie's was essentially a happy temperament, and with 
such adaptability as she possessed, quiet home evenings were not 
without their charm ; even when her husband sat there deep in his 
books or prints. He liked novels also : had the marital virtue of 
appreciating her own : when she read her latest work to him in 
the dramatic manner that made the Martineaus weep over her 
pathos in manuscript and wonder at the lesser charm of the printed 
page, if her audience was so much smaller than at the Norwich 
literary gatherings, it was an indulgent one. There would be 
evenings too when they discussed subjects for his next picture, and 
others when his friends dropped in : men who sought out the 
artist for his conversation, and had learnt in " blue stocking "" 
circles that subtlest flattery of talking to women as to reasonable 

Opie^s aversion to society appears to have been limited to 
fashionable crushes and lion-hunting parties, for Mrs. Opie admits 
that he was always willing to accept invitations to dine, if the 
guests were well chosen. The theatre interested and amused him ; 
so did the opera. He delighted in Italian music and singing : aided 
by a good musical ear and retentive memory, their visits to the 
opera resulted in his bringing away, after only once hearing it, any 
air that had taken his fancy. Mrs. Opie omits to say whether his 
flute-playing, which she describes as pleasing, was by ear or note. 
It will be remembered that in one of his letters to Owen he alludes 
to his old friend Mr. Sanders, who played " finely on the flute." 
The grave and so-called morose artist could unbend, too, in his 
hours of ease : his wife was sometimes entertained with a comic 
song, though he " had not the smallest pretensions to voice." He 


recited comic verses with greater success, for his expression was 
humorous and apt, and Mrs. Opie was accustomed to tell him that 
" had a troop of comedians visited his native place before he con- 
ceived his decided predilection for painting, he would have been an 
actor instead of a painter ; and probably would in time have been, 
in some kinds of comedy, at the head of his profession." He had 
also the gift of mimicry. This lighter aspect of Opie^s character 
seems to prove that his unattractive outer husk was due to the 
consciousness of early educational deficiencies, and that the real 
man beneath it was cheerful and humorous. 

During the summer of 1803, Lieut. -Colonel Harwood com- 
missioned Opie to paint a portrait of John Home Tooke, and lent 
Tooke the use of his carriage to convey him from Wimbledon to 
the artist's painting-room in Berners Street. But alas for the 
frailty of the bond of friendship ! Before long these devoted friends 
had quarrelled over money matters, and the following April the 
dispute culminated in a Chancery suit. During the sittings for 
his portrait Home Tooke had ample opportunities for estimating 
the artist's conversational powers. His verdict was very favourable : 
" Mr. Opie crowds more wisdom into a few words than any man I 
ever knew ; he speaks, as it were in axioms, and what he observes 
is worthy to be remembered." It is worth noting that the Act 
which disqualifies any one in Holy Orders for a seat in Parlia- 
ment was specially aimed at Home Tooke, who was returned as 
member for Old Sarum in 1801, but whose extreme politics rendered 
him so obnoxious to the Ministers that they took advantage of his 
clerical status to unseat him by means of an Act passed the next 

As usual Mrs. Opie made her way to Norwich in the summer, 
and equally as a matter of course she overstayed the limits of time 
thought necessary by her husband. He wrote urging her to return 
speedily, as he longed so much to see her : " my affection for you 
is even increased in point of general feeling and interest, so that if 
I do not admire you more, I feel you more a part of myself than I 
ever did at first." Opie told her that a letter and a volume of 
his poems had come for her from Henry Kirke White, as a tribute 
of admiration. The youthful poet had been " struck with the 
resemblance of one of his poems to one of yours, ' though to compare 
the former to the latter, is like comparing O'Keefe to Shakespeare 1 


there ! I hope this will give you pleasure. Let me hear on 
Wednesday how you are. The cat and parrot are both well, and 
the kitten beautiful and merry. The guns have been firing to-day, 
but on what account I am ignorant yet. 

" Adieu, my only love." l 

The kitten he mentions attached itself to Opie with uncatlike 
devotion. During his illness it sat at the door of his room and 
watched there with the fidelity of a dog. Mrs. Opie also seems 
to have been attached to this cat and taught it tricks. Miss 
Brightwell thought that her reason for keeping no pets in after- 
years was because this one, which she often talked of, came to an 
untimely end. 

Still Mrs. Opie lingered at Norwich, to Opie's exasperation, 
especially when he found that in her enthusiasm she had made 
herself conspicuous during the election. He wrote rather im- 
patiently : 

" Your letter is arrived ; and I am very sorry to find this 
cursed election lasting so long, and I wish you would not appear 
so prominent in it. I asked Mrs. N. about the box, and she says 
it was not to go till I went ; however, I shall now have it sent as 
soon as possible. I have seen nothing of Erskine or Reynolds 2 for 
some time. The cloak I am afraid is lost, for Mr. Bunn 3 wrote 
me that he had made every inquiry in vain. Dr. Haweis has been 
sitting two or three times, and makes a good head. I shall write 
to you to-morrow or next day, so, God bless you, yours ever, J. O. 

" Let me hear again, Friday or Saturday at furthest ; I feel 
desirous enough of seeing you, but I have not much more to say at 
present, unless I begin scolding you about the election. What 
business had you to get mounted up somewhere so conspicuously ? 
But there is no more room ; I am going now to dine with Thomson, 
to meet little J. A Mr. Best called on Saturday, and said he 
meant to be or to have somebody painted, but I have heard no 
more." 4 

1 " Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Brightwell. 
* Most probably S. W. Reynolds, the engraver. 

3 Alfred Bunn. 

4 " Memorials of Amelia Opie," Miss Brightwell. 


Opie's anger at the part she was playing in the election was 
more than the average man's dislike for anything approaching 
notoriety in the women of his family. Norwich citizens were hot- 
headed politicians, and their partisanship was apt to take a violent 
form. Stones and other missiles flew freely at election time. Mrs. 
Opie had plenty of courage and a desire to be in the thick of 
anything exciting that was going on. No doubt his wrath was the 
result of fears for her personal safety : though he had his full share 
of the desire to keep her from foolish impulses ; either in deed or 
speech. Like many another impulsive woman, she was inclined to 
little inaccuracies of speech. One day a discussion arose as to the 
length and depth of the river Waveney. Mrs. Opie, reluctant to 
give up her point, exclaimed : 

" Well, I am sure it would come up to a man's chin. 1 ' 
" Perhaps it might," growled Opie, " if he stood on his head." 1 
In the autumn Opie went to Norwich. He was there in 
October, painting the portrait of a nobleman who had been in the 
naval service and was about to be married. Strange to say he had 
no sword, and it was desired, by the bride-elect presumably, that 
one should appear in the portrait to give the proper martial air. 
Sir Edward Berry lent his own for the occasion, and the incident 
led to a flood of epigrams, of which one of the best was : 

" Blest change ! from wounding human noddles, 
To rest among the artist's models." 2 

William Godwin and his second wife (Mary Jane Clairmont) 
were in Norwich during October 1803, and he renewed his old 
intimacy with the Opies. The acquaintance flagged again after- 
wards, for the second Mrs. Godwin had not the attraction of her 

1 " Memories of Seventy Years," edited by Mrs. Herbert Martin. 
1 Monthly Magazine, October 1807. 



IN 1804 another young aspirant for fame came up from the 
west country. In character the new-comer was a striking con- 
trast to Opie. Benjamin Robert Haydon, splendidly gifted by 
nature, lacked Opie's modesty and common sense : there was also 
a curious moral obliquity about the younger man (sometimes 
found in conjunction with the artistic temperament), from which 
Opie was singularly free. 

Haydon, vain, egotistic, and with all the rashness and en- 
thusiasm of youth, could hardly wait to refresh himself after his 
journey from Plymouth before he made his way to the Academy 
Exhibition, then open. In his ignorance of London he started 
with a ludicrous blunder, for, seeing a beadle resplendent in laced 
cocked hat and cloak, he darted up the steps of a church and 
tendered his shilling for admission. "The beadle laughed and 
pityingly told me where to go. Away I went once more for 
Somerset House, squeezed in, mounted the stairs to the great 
room, and looked about for historical pictures. Opie's ' Gil Bias ' 
was one centre, and a shipwrecked sailor-boy (Westall) was the 
wonder of the crowd. These two are all that I remember. I 
marched away, saying, ' I don't fear you. 1 " 

And this was a lad of eighteen, son of a Plymouth bookseller, 
with but little knowledge of art or of the world. He did not 
carry his self-confidence so far as to refuse letters of introduction ; 
though as will be seen, he took little heed of any advice offered by 
the recipients. Prince Hoare, who was Honorary Secretary for 
Foreign Correspondence to the Academy, wrote letters introducing 
him to Opie and Northcote ; two of the leading artists of the day : 



it will be seen what use Haydon made of them, and how the two 
friends impressed a stranger : 

" Northcote being a Plymouth man, I felt a strong desire 
to see him first. 

" I went. He lived at 39 Argyle Street. I was shown first 
into a dirty gallery, then upstairs into a dirtier painting-room, 
and there, under a high window with the light shining full on hi* 
bald grey head, stood a diminutive wizened figure in an old blue 
striped dressing-gown " (Northcote was notorious for parsimony, 
and his painting-gown was an object to wonder at), " his spectacles 
pushed up on his forehead. Looking keenly at me with his little 
shining eyes, he opened the letter, read it, and with the broadest 
Devon dialect said, ' Zo, you mayne tu bee a peinter doo-ee ? what 
zort of peinter ? ' 

" ' Historical painter, sir.' 

" ' Heestoricaul peinter ! why ye'll starve with a bundle of straw 
under yeer head ! ' 

" He then put his spectacles down and read the note again ; 
put them up, looked maliciously at me, and said, ' I remember 
yeer vather, and yeer grand-vather tu ; he used to peint ! ' 

" ' So I have heard, sir.' 

" ' Ees ; he peinted an Elephant once for a Tiger, and he asked 
my vather what colour the indzide ofs ears was, and my vather 
told-un reddish, and your grand-vather went home and peinted un 
a vine vermilion.' He then chuckled inwardly, enjoying my con- 
fusion at this incomprehensible anecdote. 

" ' I zee,' he added, ' Mr. Hoare zays you're studying anatomy ; 
that's no use Sir Joshua didn't know it ; why should you want to 
know what he didn't ? ' 

" ' But Michel Angelo did, sir.' 

" ' Michel Angelo ? What's he tu du here ? you must peint 
pertraits here ! ' 

"This roused me, and I said, clinching my mouth, 'But I 

" ' Won't ? ' screamed the little man, ' but you rmist ! your 
vather isn't a monied man, is he ? ' 

" ' No, sir ; but he has a good income and will maintain me for 
three years.' 

" ' Will he ? he'd better make'ee mentein yeezelf.' 


By permission of the owner, J. K. Christie Miller. Kscj. 


" A beautiful specimen of a brother artist, thought I. ' Shall 
I bring you my drawings, sir ? ' 

" ' Ees, you may,' said he, and I took my leave. 

" I was not disconcerted. ' He looked too much at my head,' I 
thought, * to be indifferent. I'll let him see if he shall stop me,' and 
off I walked to Opie, who lived in Berners Street. I was shown 
into a clean gallery of masculine and broadly painted pictures. 
After a minute down came a coarse-looking intellectual man. He 
read my letter, eyed me quietly, and said, ' You are studying 
anatomy master it were I your age, I would do the same.' 

"My head bounded at this: I said, 'I have just come from 
Mr. Northcote, and he says I am wrong, sir." 

" ' Never mind what he says,' said Opie ; ' he doesn't know it 
himself, and would be very glad to keep you as ignorant.' I could 
have hugged Opie. 

" ' My father, sir, wishes me to ask you if you think I ought to 
be a pupil to any particular man ? ' 

" I saw a different thought cross his mind directly, as, with an 
eagerness I did not like, he replied, ' Certainly ; it will shorten 
your road. It is the only way.' After this I took my leave and 
mused the whole day on what Northcote said of anatomy, and 
Opie of being a pupil, and decided in my mind that on these 
points both were wrong. The next day I took my drawings to 
Northcote, who, as he looked at them, laughed like an imp, and as 
soon as he recovered said : 

" ' Yee'll make a good engraver indeed.' 

" I saw through his motive, and as I closed my book said, ' Do 
you think, sir, that I ought to be a pupil to any body ? ' 

" ' No,' said Northcote, ' who is to teach 'ee here ? It'll be 
throwing your vather's money away.' 

" ' Mr. Opie, sir, says I ought to be/ 

" ' Hee zays zo, does he ? ha, ha, ha, he wants your vather's 
money ! ' 

" I came to the conclusion that what Opie said of Northcote's 
anatomy and Northcote of Opie's avarice was equally just and 
true : so took my leave, making up my mind to go on as I had 
begun, in spite of Northcote, and not to be a pupil, in spite 
of Opie ; and so I wrote home." l 

1 " Life of Benjamin Robert Haydon," edited by Tom Taylor. 


Haydorfs insinuation that Opie wanted him as a pupil may be 
considered the suspicion of a self-centred youth. Opie had a few 
pupils, but the list, so far as can be ascertained, is too short to 
suggest any attempt on his part to obtain them : it appears rather 
as if they came to him from choice. Only eight are known : can 
it be doubted that an artist of Opie's reputation might have had 
many more if he desired them ? His pupils were : Henry Thomson, 
R.A. ; Theophilus Clarke, A.R.A. ; Thomas William Stewardson, 
who held the appointment of portrait painter to Queen Caroline ; 
the Rev. John Owen ; Jane Beetham ; Miss Katherine St. Aubyn ; * 
William Chamberlain ; 2 and John Cawse. 3 

Of these only two, the Rev. John Owen and Miss St. Aubyn, 
were amateurs. 

Opie\s commendation of Haydon's determination to study 
anatomy he frankly told him his anatomical studies were 
' capital " : sufficient refutation of the calumny that Opie never 
praised the work of another artist and his avowal that he would 
do the same if he were Hay don's age, need not be construed into 
an assertion of his own ignorance of it. Wolcot, who gave him 
his first art training, understood anatomy, and it is generally 
supposed that he imparted some knowledge of it to his pupil. In 
his lectures, Opie advised a knowledge of anatomy, but insisted 
that it must not obtrude itself on the spectator. It was to be the 
means, not the end of art. He told the students that an artist 
might show himself an able anatomist, and yet for that very reason 
a bad painter. " Let him remember that the bones and muscles 
are always covered by their integuments, and that they are more 
or less visible, square or round, soft or firm, divided or united into 
masses, according to the age, sex, occupation, situation, circum- 
stances, and character of the subject, the expression of which with 
force, precision, and fidelity, is always to be regarded as the principal 
end of drawing." 4 

As with everything else, Opie's remarks on anatomy for artists 
were based on strong common sense. It must, he said, be accom- 
panied by a knowledge of proportion and symmetry. With regard 

1 "Opie and his Works;" pp. 61, 165, 221. 

* Monthly Magazine, August 1807. 

:i "Northcote's Conversations with Ward." Tregellas also mentions it. 

4 " Lectures on Painting " (Lect. I, " On Design "), J. Opie, R.A. 


to the antique also, the study of which had received an impetus 
during the last few years through the collection of Greek marbles by 
Mr. Townley, and the more recent arrival of those sent to England 
by Lord Elgin, Opie's common sense was again to the front : he 
took neither the view of those who underrated their value, nor of 
those who advocated their exclusive study, but the middle course. 
" General notions of proportion may undoubtedly be acquired . . . 
by a careful and persevering study of the antique, but they can be 
matured and completed only by referring to Nature, the fountain- 
head or mine, from whence all those surprising, and since that 
time incomprehensible, treasures of excellence must have been 
derived." 1 

Haydon's conceit, and distrust of a master with designs on 
" vather's money," led to the acquirement of experience by slow 
and painful stages. It did not hurt him to pore over paintings 
and study marbles to learn the secrets of old, but he sometimes 
lost valuable time in rediscovering methods only to find that they 
were in general use. By long and patient study of Titian's " Venus 
and Adonis," he discovered, so he thought, that great artist's 
method, and confided the secret to his friend, Jackson. To 
Haydon's surprise and chagrin Jackson burst into a roar of 
laughter : 

" Why, every one knows how to glaze ! " 

Poor Haydon was supported in his determination not to paint 
portraits by Fuseli, who applauded a lofty ideal without inquiring 
how a lad who had his own way to make in the world was to carry 
it out. " I told him that I would never paint portraits, but 
devote myself to High Art." 

" Keep to dat ! " said Fuseli, looking fiercely at me. 

" I will, sir." 

Good advice for a man with a fortune behind him ; or with 
other means of livelihood to keep him out of debt while he was 
acquiring experience and a reputation with the picture-buying 
public. Haydon had neither, nor had he the moral fibre necessary 
for such a struggle. Opie disliked portrait painting as much as 
his fellow artists, but in his sturdy independence he preferred the 
drudgery of an uncongenial branch of his art to debt and depend- 
ence in the pursuit of an ideal : "... he was resolved to deny 

1 "Lectures on Painting" (Lect. I, "On Design"), J. Opie, R.A. 


himself every indulgence that was not absolutely necessary ; for he 
shrunk with horror from the idea of incurring debts or pecuniary 
obligation : and as he never squandered anything on unnecessary 
wants, he was always able to discharge every debt as it was incurred, 
and to meet the exigencies of the moment, not only for himself, 
but sometimes for others less provident, less self-denying, and less 
fortunate than he was."" l 

Opie, at sixteen, told his mother that for the future he would 
keep himself. Before many years had passed he was charging her 
not to let his father work any more, and from that time he kept 
his mother and sister in comfort besides maintaining his own house- 
hold. Haydon, at eighteen, confidently assumes that his father 
will keep him another three years. With the petulance of a spoilt 
child he refused to follow the plan older and wiser men than him- 
self found necessary : that of painting small pictures or portraits 
as a means of procuring money for more ambitious work. He 
quarrelled with the Academy for not giving his pictures the position 
he thought should have been allotted them ; ran into debt to 
procure means for painting the heroic scenes his vanity insisted 
on as the only subjects fitted for his brush. He was too proud 
to paint portraits, but not to borrow or beg. And then, 
when at last adversity had so far humbled him that he sought 
employment as a portrait painter, it was too late, and the old 
struggle had to be renewed ; the large sums he made by his 
pictures being always spent in advance ; until at last he took 
the weakling^s way out of his difficulties and died by his own 

Haydon followed one path open to an artist : the tempting 
one for young and enthusiastic idealists : it ended in debt and 
dishonour. Opie took the other : the straight line of duty led 
him by toil and sturdy self-reliance to the honour and esteem of 
his contemporaries, and to a steadily increasing measure of appre- 
ciation in our own times. 

" It was curious," confessed Haydon, " the power I had of 
sifting all advice, and discarding everything which interfered with 
my own decisions. Many miserable moments did Northcote infiict 
upon me, which Smirke used to laugh at so excessively that my 
mind was always relieved. I always went in better spirits from 
1 Memoir by Mrs. Opie, prefixed to " Lectures on Painting." 


Smirke better informed from Opie and exasperated from little 
Aqua-Fortis." l 

The scene from "Gil Bias" which Haydon saw at the Academy 
exhibition of 1804 was the last subject picture shown by Opie : 
from now onwards he exhibited nothing but portraits, though 
these included two in character : Lady F. Ponsonby, as " Rebecca " 
" the best of his female portraits this year " : and Master 
Betty, as " Young Norval." It is difficult to say why, in face of 
these facts, which speak for themselves, there should be such a 
persistent belief that Opie had lost ground as a portrait painter. 
On the contrary, he seems to have had his time well occupied, and 
the portraits of this period include some very fine examples of his 
art. Haydon's assertion that Opie " had not foundation enough 
in his art to fall back upon when the novelty was over ; his 
employment fell off' and he sank in repute and excellence," may be 
taken as a splenetic outburst from a jealous rival. 

Mrs. Opie published her novel "Adeline Mowbray " in 1804: 
the plot being partly founded on the life-story of Mary Wollstone- 
craft. In the winter of 1804-5 one of her songs brought her into 
blushing prominence at the recently established British Institution. 
The Rev. Sydney Smith, lecturing on Moral Philosophy, cited her 
verses, " Go, youth beloved," as an illustration of peculiar excel- 
lence in the expression of feeling. Opie made his first appearance 
as a lecturer at the same place : not very successfully, as he took 
his subject too seriously for the fashionable audience that came 
to hear him : Cunningham described these lectures of Opie's as 
"confused, abrupt, and unmethodical." Mrs. Opie, rather a 
partial judge, declared that his audience was satisfied, but Opie 
himself evidently was not, for he declined to finish the course. 

1804 was a turbulent year at the Royal Academy : a desperate 
attempt being made by the Cabal to rule the Council. The 
insurgent party had already grown so strong that the President 
was completely in its power, and it controlled every election to the 
General Assembly. The Council, being non-elective, was enabled 
to retain its independence ; though in 1800 the Cabal tried to 
obtain an ascendancy on it by passing over Tresham in favour 
of one of their own party. The plan was foiled by an appeal to 

1 " Life of Haydon," edited by Tom Taylor. 

2 Monthly Mirror, 1804. 


the King, who used his authority to order Tresham's election. 
In 1804 the Cabal made a bolder bid for power, and suspended 
five members of the Council Copley, Wyatt, Venn, Soane, and 
Sir Francis Bourgeois. Then came a time of bitter recriminations, 
" Concise Vindications," and retorts uncourteous : the King was 
again obliged to intervene, and by his orders the suspended members 
were reinstated, and the notice of their suspension removed from 
the minute book. Opie prophesied that these internal dissensions 
would be the ruin of the Academy. 



O PIE'S mother died at Harmony Cot in May 1805, aged 
ninety- two. She kept her faculties unimpaired to the last, 
and died as she had lived surrounded by all the comforts filial 
affection could provide. 

That same year Opie obtained his wish to be professor of 
painting at the Academy. Fuseli resigned the office on being 
elected Keeper, and Opie, having presented himself a second time 
as candidate, was elected unanimously. The laws of the Academy 
required a new professor to give a course of lectures two winters 
after his election. Opie, over-zealous, announced his intention to 
get them ready for the following winter. This, however, proved 
an impossibility, and they were not delivered until the beginning 
of 1807. 

One of Opie's portraits exhibited in 1805 was a full-length of 
the juvenile prodigy, William Henry West Betty, known as 
" the young Roscius," who made his first appearance on the stage 
of Belfast Theatre at the age of eleven. He appeared in London 
at the age of thirteen (December 1, 1804), introduced by a 
prologue written by John Taylor (of the Sim and Records), 
and spoken by Charles Kemble. This youthful actor created such 
a sensation that on one occasion Pitt adjourned the House of 
Commons in order that the members might have an opportunity 
to see him act ! Opie painted him as " Young Norval," in the 
play of " Douglas." There are two of these portraits : one at 
the Garrick Club, and one, bequeathed by Betty's son, at the 
National Portrait Gallery : the latter hung in such a position that 
it can only be seen to advantage at the risk of falling downstairs. 
It is difficult to say which was the picture exhibited in 1805. 

Windham's diary (May 31, 1805) records: "... Went to 



Mr. Boddingtorfs ; present, Mr. Sharpe, Lord H. Petty, Ward, 
I think ; Lady Cockbtirn, Mrs. Hibbert, Mrs. Opie, Mr. Rogers." 
Opie, apparently, was not among the guests, though it seems 
a snug little gathering where he would have been in his clement. 
He may not have been in town as it was so soon after his mother's 
death. Thomas Green in his " Diary of a Lover of Literature," 
notes that he met him on June 26 (1805) : " After dinner," he writes, 
" went with Ellis to tea at Shee's. Opie called in. He possesses, I 
think, but a very ordinary mind. Had much political discussion. 
It is remarkable that all artists and literati have a tendency, more 
or less, to revolutionary principles." Evidently Mr. Green and 
Opie disagreed over politics : perhaps the latter was worsted in the 
debate, and solaced himself with the reflection that his opponent 
had " a very ordinary mind." On July 2, 1806, Mr. Green entered 
another interview with Opie in his diary : " Walked to Opie's and 
viewed his pictures. Opie said he wrote Sir J. Reynolds 1 Life in 
Pilkington's account of Painters." 

Both husband and wife made a lengthy stay in Norwich this 
summer, during which Mrs. Opie indulged in her favourite amuse- 
ment of attending the Nisi Prius Court at Norwich assizes. 
She had the good fortune to hear Erskine plead in a right-of- 
way case : one of his last brilliant speeches before he became 
Lord Chancellor. How Opie passed his time will be seen in the 
following letter, dated October 7, written after his return in reply 
to congratulations from Mr. Davies Giddy (Davies Gilbert) on his 
appointment as professor : 

"... I have been spending five weeks at Norwich, and parts 
adjacent, where, through the medium of beef, dumplings, wine, 
riding, swimming, walking and laughing, I have endeavoured (I 
hope not unsuccessfully) to lay in a stock of vigour against winter ; 
and my time, I must say, has past pleasantly enough, as in addition 
to the above mentioned substantial and capital enjoyments, I have 
occasionally had some agreeable conversation with several not 
unclever people. . . ." J 

In the same letter Opie expresses a hope that Mr. Giddy's 
senatorial duties will soon bring him to town. Probably they did, 
not long after, for a portrait of Davies Giddy, M.P., was shown at 
the next exhibition of the Academy. 

1 "Opie and his Works," J. Jopc Rogers, M.A. 


The cheerful tone of this letter appears a proof that in the 
autumn of 1805 Opie was in good health. A sensible holiday had 
given him renewed vigour for his work ; by economy and self-denial 
he had nearly succeeded in amassing the sum that was to render 
him independent of fashionable caprice ; there was as much work 
waiting for him as any reasonable man could wish for, and his 
appointment as professor of painting added prestige to an already 
well-known name. 

No doubt he tried his health severely during the winter. He 
had eight portraits in the exhibition for 1806, and these do not 
represent all his work. Opie was not a quick painter, in spite of 
his large brushes and broad, vigorous manner : we shall see from 
Robert Southey^s letters how painstaking were his efforts to get 
the desired result. 

Early in 1806 Southey visited Norwich and went to see William 
Taylor, the translator of Burger's " Leonore," in whose library 
hung a fine portrait of Dr. Sayers by Opie. Southey admired this 
so much that Taylor, for whom it had been painted, expressed 
a wish to have Southey "s portrait by the same artist as a companion 
picture, and asked Southey to give the necessary sittings. Southey 
consented, and wrote from London on April 23 to tell Taylor that 
he had given Opie a first sitting : 

" Had I begun to write to you sooner, I could not have told 
you that your picture was begun this morning, that I had sat two 
hours in a very fine velvet chair, and that there my portrait is, 
looking, Mrs. Opie says, quite alive ; and, if it does, looking very 
unlike the original, who is but half alive." 1 

On April 27 William Taylor replied to Southey's letter. 
Alluding to the portrait he said : " I thank you for submitting to 
the ennui of Mr. Opie's velvet chair ; but I hope Mrs. Opie now 
and then hands you chocolate herself, and talks to you pleasantly." 3 

Southey had returned to Keswick when he next reported 
progress. Writing to Taylor on May 27 (1806) he gives an 
account of his sufferings in the cause of art and friendship : 

" I sate five times in the velvet chair, and each time little less 
than three hours, though the law is satisfied with one hour in the 
pillory and at the gallows. Opie will perhaps complain ; if he 

1 " Memoir of the late William Taylor," J. W. Robberds. 

2 Ibid. 


does, put him in the thirtieth chapter of the book of Proverbs, as 
the fifth of those things which are never satisfied. You, I hope 
will like the picture, as every one who has seen it is much pleased.'" l 
Evidently Opie and Southey held different views of the number 
and length of sittings necessary to complete the portrait. 

Opie must have retained possession of this picture for some 
reason, as it was not until July 31, 1807, that Taylor wrote to 
Southey from Norwich : " Your portrait by Opie is arrived. It 
stands beside me, against the shoor of the chimney-piece, still 
framed in the box of conveyance. We are all delighted with it ; 
'tis one of Opie's best likenesses, and in his best manner : to me it 
has the one fault of having rendered me less content with Dr. 
Sayers's portrait, by surpassing it in felicity of execution."" : 

William Taylor valued the two portraits so highly that he 
specially disposed of them in his will : that of Dr. Sayers he 
bequeathed to Thomas Amyot, Esq., while Southey 's was left to 
the poet's brother, Dr. Henry Southey. 

In the late summer of 1806 Opie and his wife, accompanied by 
Wilkie, 3 paid a visit to Mr. Samuel Whitbread's country house, 
Southill, near Biggleswade. Mr. Whitbread was a personal friend 
of Charles James Fox, and one of his most zealous political 
supporters : both took a prominent part in the movement for the 
abolition of Slavery, in which Mrs. Opie also was greatly interested. 
Fox now held office as Secretary for Foreign Affairs under the 
Grenville Ministry, so credence may be given to a scrap of gossip 
related by William Taylor of Norwich to Robert Southey in a 
letter dated June 3 : " Opie is soon to be Knighted." We have 
no other authority for the news, and Fox's death soon after put 
an end to any hope of political honours, but if Opie's own life had 
been prolonged some recognition of his position in such an 
institution as the Royal Academy would most probably have come 
in due course on his own merits. 

They arrived at Southill at three o'clock on Saturday of an 
unspecified month in 1806, Mrs. Opie wrote to her father. As 
they were not expected until six, no member of the family was at 
home to receive them. They were taken to their rooms which 

1 "Memoir of the late William Taylor," J. VV. Robberds. 

1 Ibid. 

s The artist, then just coming to the front. 


By permission of the owner. Kalph Brovldtibank, 


" commanded the pretty view at the front of the house, of which 
a pond, prettily shaded, is an agreeable feature " and by the 
time the sandwiches sent to them were eaten Mr. Whitbread and 
his family had returned from their drive. Opie was carried off 
by their host in the barouche, while Mrs. Opie and Wilkie went 
for a walk. 

" At six," she wrote, " we all met at dinner. ... I need not 
tell you our dinner was excellent, and French enough to delight 
me. The dessert consisted of ice, pine apples, and every variety 
of fruit and wine. The only guests here are Reynolds, 1 Wilkie, 
ourselves, and Lady Roslyn [sic] and her children. After a 
pleasant evening, Lady Elizabeth [Whitbread] 2 being much 
recovered, we retired at eleven, and were summoned to meet the 
next morning at the breakfast table at nine, that we might get 
off for Woburn Abbey in good time. We got away a little 
before eleven, Tom Adkin and Wilkie in a gig, Lady Elizabeth 
Whitbread, Lady Roslyn, Miss Whitbread, her brother, Reynolds, 
and ourselves in the barouche and four greys, driven by Mr. 
Whitbread. The day was only too fine, as its extreme bright- 
ness almost made it impossible to gaze on the really pretty country 
which we passed." 3 

The story of this visit to Wobum Abbey, and other drives 
taken in the neighbourhood, is promised for another letter which 
is not given by Miss Brightwell, but we read that during their 
visit some extraordinarily heavy thunderstorms occurred. " Wed- 
nesday . . . nine o'clock," writes Mrs. Opie. " Nobody down 
but my husband and myself. He is standing under a colonnade, 
going from the open window at which I am now sitting, en- 
joying the rolling of the thunder and the forked lightning, 
which, untired with its tremendous violence last night, has 
renewed the elemental strife to-day. It reminds me of the storm 
some twenty years ago which made a tour through the whole 
country." 4 The storm increased in violence until even Mrs. Opie 

1 Probably S. W. Reynolds, who engraved several Whitbread portraits 
in 1806. 

2 Wife of Mr. Samuel Whitbread and eldest daughter of the first Earl 

3 " Memorials of Amelia Opie/' Miss Brightwell. 

4 Ibid. 


was alarmed and nearly fainted, but she says no more of her 
husband, whether he braved the lightning under the colonnade or 
came to the rescue of his frightened wife. 

" But no society and no situation, however honourable and 
however pleasant, could long keep him from his painting-room. . . . 
Never did I see him so happy, when absent from Ixmdon, as he 
was there [at Southill] ; for he felt towards his host and hostess 
every sentiment of respect and admiration which it is pleasant to 
feel and honourable to inspire. But though he was the object of 
the kindest and most flattering attention, he sighed to return to 
London and his pursuits : and when he had been at Southill 
only eight days, he said to me, on my expressing my unwillingness 
to go away, ' Though I shall be even anxious to come hither again, 
recollect that I have been idle eight days? " l 

Opie painted several portraits for Mr. Whitbread, but the 
" eight days 1 " idleness sho\vs that this was only a friendly visit. 
Truly he was a most unreasonable man : it is hardly surprising 
that Mrs. Opie went off to Norwich for a more extended holiday, 
and remained there until his appealing and despondent letters 
alarmed her. Then he repented his impatience, and a half- 
apologetic letter, complaining of sleeplessness, reached her : 

" My dearest life, I cannot be sorry that you do not stay 
longer ; though, as I said, on your father's account, I would 
consent to it. Pray, love, forgive me, and make yourself easy, 
for I did not suspect till my last letter was gone that it might 
be too strong ; I had been counting almost the hours till your 
arrival for some time, and have been unwell and unable to sleep 
these last three weeks, so that I could not make up my mind to 
the disappointment. As to coming down again, I cannot think 
of it ; for though I could, perhaps, better spare the time at present 
from painting than I could at any part of last month, I find I 
must now go hard to work to finish my lectures, as the law says 
they must be delivered the second year after the election, and though 
they have never acted on this law, yet there are many, perhaps, 
who would be glad to put it in force in the present instance. I 
had almost given way to the suggestions of idleness, and deter- 
mined to put them off' till another year ; but since I have been 
1 Memoir by Mrs. Opie, prefixed to " Lectures on Painting." 


acquainted with the above-mentioned regulation, I have shut 
myself up in the evenings, and, I doubt not, shall be ready with 
three or four of them at least. We had a thin general meeting on 
Monday last, and elected Calcot l an Associate of the R.A. 
Lawrence and Hoppner attended. Thompson was also there, and 
we were very sociable ; but he has not called, nor was there any 
notice taken, on either side, of our long separation. Pray, love, be 
easy, and as (I suppose) you will not stay ; come up as soon as 
possible, for I long to see you as much as ever I did in my 
life." 2 

No reason is given for Opie's estrangement from Thomson, but 
it was evidently of long standing. The fact that they were " very 
sociable " at the Academy meeting seems to put out of the question 
any idea that they belonged to opposite factions : had Thomson 
been one of the old friends who looked askance at Opie's fashion- 
able wife, he would have taken advantage of her absence to renew 
the old intimacy : it appears likely that Opie's overwrought nerves 
were to blame. A man leading such an unhealthy life, his 
mind fixed on one idea, and suffering from sleeplessness, must have 
been ripe for quarrels. 

Mrs. Opie returned home, and her husband applied himself 
each evening to the preparation of his lectures, after working hard 
all day in his painting-room. He allowed himself neither rest nor 
relaxation in the company of his friends : even the necessary 
exercise of walking, which he had been accustomed to take, was 
indulged in grudgingly. His savings now reached the prescribed 
sum : he talked of indulging in the purchase of a horse, and 
of being able to collect a library of good books which he could 
study at his leisure, but postponed both until his lectures were 
completed. Mrs. Opie was given the long-desired permission to 
increase her expenditure : she was allowed to make alterations and 
improvements in her own rooms, and prepare to entertain friends 
in a manner suited to Opie\s position and her own ideas of what 

1 Sir Augustus Wall Callcott ; elected A.R.A. in 1800. 

2 " Memorials of Amelia Opie." (This letter, undated, was arranged by 
Miss Brightwell under the year 1800 ; an obvious error, as it must have been 
written after Opie's election as professor of painting. The election of Callcott 
as Associate fixes the date as 1800.) 


was required from him in the way of hospitality. A serious source 
of domestic friction was thus removed. She may be forgiven if, in 
her pre-occupation with household affairs, and the enjoyment 
of looser purse-strings, she omitted to notice Opie's failing health. 
Indeed, 1806 appeared in every way a fortunate year, and the 
promise of 1807 equally so ; for Opie had been singled out again 
for royal favour. He was engaged on a full-length portrait of 
William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester ; who had recently suc- 
ceeded to the title on the death of his father the recalcitrant 
brother of George III, whose love-match with Countess Walde- 
grave caused such a commotion at Court a generation earlier. 
Duke William Frederick was himself the victim of a family agree- 
ment. Sincerely attached to his cousin, Princess Mary, he was 
compelled to remain a bachelor in order that little Princess 
Charlotte, then between ten and eleven years old, should not lack 
a husband if no better match could be found for her. 



O PIE'S ambition to excel as a lecturer cost him his life. From 
September 1806 to February 1807 he had taken no rest, 
and but little exercise. The first of his course of lectures was 
delivered at the Academy on February 16. He began by explain- 
ing the plan he meant to follow : the art of Painting was to be 
divided into two branches Practical or Physical, and Intellectual. 
The former he should subdivide into four ; Design or Drawing ; 
Colouring ; Chiaroscuro, and Composition : the latter into two ; 
Invention and Expression. The subject of his first lecture was 

Opie's Royal Institution lectures, we are told by Prince Hoare, 
were "abrupt, crowded, and frequently unmethodical. 1 " In- 
experience, or perhaps pardonable vanity, led him to display the 
depths of his professional knowledge before a gay and fashionable 
audience seeking only to be amused. His second appearance as a 
lecturer was more successful. He was addressing students and 
artists, eager to learn, and appreciative of his arguments. Their 
attention fired his enthusiasm ; for Opie's temperament needed the 
stimulus of sympathy : he profited by former errors, and arranged 
his thoughts in more orderly sequence. These Academy lectures 
were described by Prince Hoare as " a mixture of humorous and 
impassioned sentiment in a strain of clear, natural, and flowing 
eloquence.' 1 '' 

Scandalmongers, noting the improvement, and ignorant of the 
real cause, did not hesitate to attribute it to his wife's editing. 
Mrs. Opie took the trouble to deny " in the most solemn and un- 
equivocal manner," that her husband had received the slightest 
assistance " from any human being " in the composition of his 



lectures. She admitted having read parts of those given at the 
Institution "by herself" before they were delivered, and after- 
wards reading them aloud to the Bishop of Durham. The four 
Academy lectures she declared she never saw, Opie read each 
of them to her as it was finished, and two of them were, she 
believed, read to Landseer, the engraver (father of three noted 
sons), and Phillips, the Academician. " Assistance from any one 
Mr. Opie would have despised," wrote Mrs. Opie with commend- 
able but wasted indignation, " even if he had needed it ; as none 
but the most contemptible of human beings can endure to strut 
forth in borrowed plumes, and claim a reputation which they have 
not conscientiously deserved. Such meanness was unworthy a 
man like Mr. Opie, and the lectures themselves are perhaps a fatal 
proof not only of his eagerness to obtain reputation as a lecturer, 
but also of the laborious industry by which he endeavoured to 
satisfy that eagerness." 1 

Prince Hoare also thought it necessary to state that Opie's 
manuscripts were given into his keeping immediately after the artist's 
death, and that the lectures were faithfully printed from them. 

The accusation of assisted authorship is absurd on the face of 
it. A man who was noted for close reasoning and originality in 
conversation, and known to be clever and well read, needed no 
apologist when it came to the question of his ability to write 
on a subject so entirely his own. Indeed his letters, few as they 
are, show an adaptability to the nature of the correspondence ; 
playful, tender, friendly or formal ; which should convince the 
most sceptical of his ability to express his thoughts in writing. 
The suggestion that he owed anything to his wife is a striking 
proof of the ease with which feminine literary reputations were 
made a hundred years ago. His sturdy independence is the most 
conclusive argument of all : even Opie's fond partiality for his 
wife^s work would not have allowed him to profit by her un- 
acknowledged help. 

At the close of this first lecture he had the gratification of 
receiving compliments from his brother artists. Sir William 
Beechey and Sir Francis Bourgeois then insisted on escorting him 
home in triumph to receive further congratulations from his 
delighted wife. 

1 Memoir by Mrs. Opie, prefixed to " Lectures oil Painting." 


Opie's face told her that the lecture had been a success before 
his companions could relate the joyful news: they seemed as 
pleased as himself. Next morning he complained of having passed 
a restless night : 

" For indeed," he said, " I was so elated that I could not sleep." 

Three other lectures were equally well received. On February 23, 
his subject was Invention ; on March 2, Chiaroscuro ; and on 
March 9, his last, Colouring. With this his course for the winter 

Prince Hoare, who edited the Artist, asked him to contribute 
an article for a given date. Opie refused : 

" I am tired," he said ; " tired of writing, and I mean to be 
a gentleman during the spring months ; keep a horse, and ride 
out every evening." : A reaction had set in after the long- 
continued strain of those winter months : all too late, he felt the 
need of rest. An unfinished paper " On Composition," signed 
" J. O." appeared in the tenth number of the Artist, but this 
probably represents all that was written of his fifth lecture 
(undelivered), and not the special article asked for by Prince 
Hoare. This leaves only one of his headings unaccounted for 
Expression : most likely this was never written. 

Within a few days after the lecture of March 9, Opie went to 
see Henry Tresham. On his way home he caught cold : 2 at first 
it appeared only a slight indisposition attended by fever. On 
March 15 and 16 he left his bed to work on a portrait of John 
Peter Wilson, a lad of sixteen. This was his last attempt at 
work ; no more sittings were given, and the portrait was left 
unfinished. 3 

Mrs. Opie does not mention this incident, but it is so highly 
probable and so in keeping with Opie's devotion to work that it 
is worthy of credence. The last lecture was given on the 9th : his 
illness followed within a few days : it was not at first considered 
serious : what could be more likely than that Opie, in the first 
stages of a cold or influenza, insisted on rising and going to his 
painting-room to work on this portrait, and paid forfeit with 

1 Memoir by Mrs. Opie, prefixed to "Lectures on Painting." 
* Annual Register, 1807. 

3 "Opie and his Works/' J. Jope Rogers, M.A V p. 179; evidently from 
the family tradition. 


his life ? The illness increased with alarming rapidity. In a few 
days it became evident that he was seriously ill. Dr. Ash and 
Mr. (afterwards Sir Anthony) Carlisle, were in attendance, but 
confessed themselves unable to diagnose the disease. 

As the news spread, friends and acquaintances hastened to 
show their sympathy. Neither Northcote, for so many years his 
friend, nor Thomson, his old pupil, had been on visiting terms 
with Opie for some months past. Whatever the reasons for this 
estrangement, all bitterness vanished when they heard of Opie's 
illness. Northcote came with William Owen to promise that they 
would use their influence on the Council, of which they were then 
members, to get permission for Opie to finish his pictures at 
Somerset House if he recovered before the exhibition opened ; 
hoping thus to relieve his anxiety. Northcote was admitted to 
Opie's bedside, and Mrs. Opie took it as a sign that her husband 
was better because he was able not only to discuss the subjects of 
his pictures with his old friend, but also to criticize some papers 
on art that had lately been published. She was " led away by 
the weak and ill-founded, though comforting idea, that, as Mr. 
Opie's mental powers remained so vigorous and unimpaired, the 
chance of his recovering his physical strength was by no means at 
an end." 1 

Henry Thomson came with a very generous and practical offer. 
He suggested that, as soon as his own exhibition pictures were 
finished, he should complete those that Opie particularly desired 
to show. Mrs. Opie told her husband of Thomson's offer. With 
an exclamation of joy the sick man asked that his ex-pupil should 
be brought to his bedside : this done, he begged Thomson to finish 
the robes and background in the Duke of Gloucester's portrait, 
and also a portrait of Mrs. Heathcoteas Miranda. Time, however, 
would not suffice for this, and Thomson was only able to finish the 

A few hours after his interview with Northcote Opie was 
delirious. Betty Opie came to share the work of nursing with 
Mrs. Opie ; who was determined not to admit one of the ghoulish 
hired attendants of the period to her husband's sick-room. Dr. 
Ash and Mr. Carlisle were in regular attendance ; coming three 
and even four times a day. Dr. Vaughan joined them ; and at 
1 Memoir by Mrs. Opie, prefixed to " Lectures on Painting." 


last Dr. Pitcairn and Dr. Baillie were called in for consultation : 
Mr. Cline also attending as consulting surgeon. 

Dr. Alderson was unable to be with his daughter during this 
time of anxiety and trouble ; for his own mother, aged eighty-five, 
was seriously ill. Mrs. Opie related that the only member of her 
own family able to be with her was Dr. Woodhouse, the mathema- 
tician, afterwards Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge ; 
whose mother was cousin to Mrs. O pie's father. But Dr. Alderson 
must have come up from Norwich to see the patient towards the 
end of the illness, for, writing from Norwich on April 10, 1807, 1 
William Taylor tells Southey that " Mr. Opie, who has been at 
the point of death from an abdominal paralysis, which Dr. Sayers 
thinks may reasonably be classed with the Devonshire colic, and 
ascribed to the absorption of the lead vapours to which plumbers 
and painters often fall victims, begins to amend. Dr. Alderson 
went to London, thought him in danger, advised a change of treat- 
ment from cathartic to strongly stimulant, and has, we hope given 
a good turn to the disorder.'" 2 Southey had evidently heard later 
news when he replied to this letter on April 13, for his only com- 
ment was : 

Poor Opie ! " 

We have no record of the physicians 1 opinion after consultation. 
All we are told is that it was "a slow, consuming illness" ; the 
nature of which they were apparently not able to determine : the 
Annual Register called it " an inflammation in the brain." 

His was : 

" A fiery soul, which, working out its way, 
Fretted the pigmy body to decay, 
And o'er-informed the tenement of clay." 

On the day appointed for the delivery of pictures at Somerset 
House, Thomson brought the portrait of the Duke of Gloucester 
to Opie's bedside for his approval. Delirium had set in, but the 
sight of the picture recalled the artist's wandering fancies. He 
commented on the painting, and on Thomson's share in it, with 
clearness and judgment. 

1 Opie was already dead when this was written. 

2 ''Memoir of the late William Taylor/' J. W. Robberds. 


" I think there is not colour enough in the background," said 

Thomson agreed ; added more colour, and brought it into the 
room again. Opie looked at it with a satisfied smile : 

" It will do now. Take it away it will do now. Indeed, if 
you can't do it, nobody can." 

The lucid interval was quickly over, but the dying man's mind 
continued to dwell on the art he loved so well. In fancy he was 
painting, always painting ; and with an imaginary brush he worked 
on the visionary canvas before his mind's eye, feebly and ever more 
feebly, until at a few minutes before four o'clock on Thursday, 
April 9 (1807), the tired hand gave up its task, and fell : stilled 
by death. 

" The toil or difficulties of his profession were by him con- 
sidered as matter of honourable and delightful contest ; and it 
might be said of him, that he did not so much paint to live, as live 
to paint." So wrote Northcote ; his friend and rival. Lonsdale 
feared to tell him of Opie's death : probably thinking of the added 
poignancy of the loss, after so long an intimacy, just when the 
breach between them had been healed. The queer little painter 
heard the news with philosophic calm : his reply was characteristic : 

" Well, well," said he, " it is a very sad event, but I must 
confess that it takes a great stumbling block out of my way, for I 
never could succeed where Opie did." ' 

The Academy catalogue had evidently gone to press when Opie 
died, for his pictures are not described " by the late," as was usual 
after the death of an Academician : his name, however, was omitted 
from the list of members. 

No greater proof can be given of the esteem in which Opie was 
held than the sympathy roused by his illness and death. Anxious 
inquiries were made at the door, not only by acquaintances and 
friends, but by strangers. More active sympathy was shown by 
those who had known him personally. Thomson " with affectionate 
solicitude," shared Mrs. Opie's exertions and anxieties. Prince 
Hoare remained with her until all hope was gone, and to his " well- 
timed, though unsolicited interference " Mrs. Opie stated that she 
owed, " under circumstances as difficult and delicate as they were 
agonizing and overwhelming, the support and sanction of Sir John 
1 " Century of Painters," Redgrave. 


St. Aubyn's presence and advice." The " difficult and delicate " 
circumstances to which she alludes may be the post-mortem which 
was held : presumably because the doctors were not satisfied with 
regard to the cause of death. If Mrs. Opie opposed this on 
sentimental grounds, who more likely to overcome her scruples 
than Sir John ; whose social position, and continuous patronage 
of the dead artist, gave him a double claim to act as her adviser ? 

In 1807, Socialism and the Smart Set had not combined to 
cheapen the aristocracy : the widow found a solace for her grief in 
thinking that she had been sustained during a most trying ordeal 
by the company and condolences of a baronet. 

Prince Hoare gave the result of the post-mortem, but only in a 
vague and unsatisfactory manner : 

" The symptoms of his disorder were extraordinary. On dis- 
section, the lower portion of the spinal marrow, and its investing 
membrane, were found slightly inflamed, and the brain surcharged 
with blood ; with other accordant appearances, constituting a case 
of most rare occurrence in the records of medicine. 1 ' l Betty Opie 
used to relate that at the post-mortem they found " a bladder on 
the brain." As the Annual Register for 1807 justly reports: 
"... In truth, there was that uncertainty as to the nature of his 
complaint, that it may be affirmed that medicine had not its fair 
chance. . . . Opie, and his style, are equally lost to the world." 

At the beginning of the nineteenth century medical knowledge 
was vague and unscientific. Many diseases now well understood 
were then unclassified. Rather more than sixteen years after 
Opie's death Dr. Baillie himself fell a victim to laryngitis because 
so little was known of its nature and treatment. The physicians 
of that day were apt to describe any illness marked by delirium 
and a high temperature as " inflammation of the brain " : a 
confusion of cause and effect. The accounts of Opie's illness are 
so vague, and the report on the post-mortem is so fragmentary, 
that modern medical science can only hazard a guess as to the 
nature of his illness. No mention is made of the kidneys and 
their condition at the post-mortem : Bright's disease had not been 
discovered at the time, and one theory is that Opie's declining 
health, alluded to in his letter to Mrs. Opie the previous autumn, 
may have been due to kidney trouble ending in uraemia. The lead 
1 The Artist, no. vii. 


poisoning suggested by Dr. Sayers is feasible ; for that also, either 
in an acute or chronic form, might lead to brain trouble. Betty 
Opie's " bladder,"" taken in conjunction with the complaint about 
his eyes made by her brother during his visit to Paris in 1802, 
would have opened up another possibility that of a slow-growing 
cystic tumour, with early optic neuritis had it not apparently 
been of a very transitory nature. We must be content to leave 
the cause of Opie's death in the same uncertainty in which we 
found it unless at some future time fuller particulars can be 
discovered in a forgotten diary or the case-book of one of his 
medical attendants. 

The sympathy of doctors and surgeons, and their acknow- 
ledgment of Opie's position as a leading Academician, took the 
form of a refusal to accept fees for their professional services. Dr. 
Ash seems to have been rather popular with artists and authors, 
as his name is found in sundry memoirs of the time. Mr. Carlisle 
had, of course, as an old Academy student, special interest in such 
a case : his own election as professor of anatomy at the Academy 
was to follow a year later : he was of the party holding the opinion 
that historical painters and sculptors had no need for a minute 
knowledge of anatomy. Dr. Vaughan, who evidently came out of 
friendly sympathy, is difficult to identify, unless he was Charles 
Richard Vaughan, who, after holding a travelling Radcliffe 
fellowship, deserted medicine for diplomacy. He returned to 
England in 1806, so this theory is at any rate within the bounds 
of probability. 

The consultants were leading men of their day. Dr. Pitcairn, 
who was in great repute as a physician, had his country house, 
with five acres of botanical gardens, in Upper Street, Islington ! 
He attended Holcroft, to whom he " behaved very kindly " : the 
patient's diary shows that in this case also he seldom took his 
fees. The Pitcairn ward at St. Bartholomew's serves as a reminder 
that he was treasurer to the hospital. Dr. Pitcairn was himself in 
bad health through a fall from his horse when he attended Opie : 
two years later the handsome physician, whose good stories had so 
often delighted his special friends, was dead. 

Matthew Baillie, who was with Pitcairn at Opie's bedside, 
succeeded to the former's practice and gold-headed cane. Brother 
to Joanna Baillie, nephew to William Hunter, and himself an 

By permission of the owner. K. Hall McCormick, Esq. 


exceptionally clever man, he was the most celebrated physician 
attending Opie ; he was a man noted for his skill in diagnosis, 
and one of the pioneers in pathology. Throughout his profes- 
sional career Baillie had to maintain a constant struggle to keep a 
feeble body in fit condition to withstand the strain of his restless 
mind and ceaseless activity : his kind heart and generous nature 
adding to the already heavy burden of professional duties by 
afflicting him with remorse when he waxed irritable under the 
provocation of tiresome patients. One day, a prolix lady, whose 
indisposition did not extend to that evening's amusements, tired 
his patience sorely. He succeeded at last in getting out of the 
room, only to be called back : 

" Doctor, may I eat some oysters after returning from the 
opera ? " 

Dr. Baillie's patience suddenly failed him : 

" Yes, ma'am ; shells and all." 

History does not relate if this was one of the cases in which his 
sensitive conscience led him back again later in the day to make 
amends for sharp speeches he had been betrayed into by over- 
wrought nerves. 

Surgery also was represented by one of the best surgeons of his 
time, for the name of Cline is still venerated in the profession. 

The old school of medicine was passing away when Opie lay ill 
in Berners Street. The red cloak and wig of the last century had 
gone : the gold-headed cane was soon to vanish. Dr. Pitcairn 
carried one of historic associations. Dr. Radcliffe (on whom Prior 
wrote a witty epigram) * took it to Court when he was appointed 
physician to Princess Anne in 1686, and onwards until, as Queen, 
she lay dying, and he gave his own ill health as the excuse for non- 

1 ' ' I sent for Had cliff ; was so ill, 
That other doctors gave me over : 
He felt my pulse, prescribed his pill, 
And I was likely to recover. 

But when the wit began to wheeze, 
And wine had warmed the politician, 
Cured yesterday of my disease, 
I died last night of my physician." 

Dr. Radcliffe had a reputation for wit and intemperance : he was elected 
M.P. for the town of Buckingham in 1713. 


attendance. He survived his royal patient two months, and then 
the cane served as a symbol of professional dignity to Dr. Richard 
Mead : later on it went again to Court when he became physician 
to George II. With increased prestige from the reputation of 
Mead it passed on at his death to Dr. Askew, who, in turn, handed 
it down to Dr. Pitcairn. The coats of arms of its four possessors 
ornamented the golden crutch when Opie died. Soon another was 
added, for Pitcairn bequeathed it to Dr. Baillie. By the time the 
latter died, in 1823, the old order was so far changed that the cane 
had become valuable as a relic rather than as an outward sign of 
the physician's dignity. Instead of passing on to a sixth genera- 
tion of practitioners, it was presented by Mrs. Baillie to the 
College of Physicians. 



"XT' EARS earlier, John Opie, young and sanguine, said to his 
JL sister on the occasion of a great artist's funeral : " Aye, 
girl ! and I too shall be buried in St. Paul's." Mrs. Opie gave to 
this remark the weight of a sacred charge, and determined that 
her husband should be laid by the side of Reynolds. There seems 
no evidence of any official invitation to bury him there, but her 
avowed intention may have anticipated this : Opie's reputation 
stood high enough to gain him the honour of a resting-place in 
the Cathedral without depending on his wife's influence. 

Sir Joshua's funeral had been a great pageant ; as was only 
right in the case of the first President of so highly privileged an 
Academy, under the direct protection of the King. The expenses 
were borne by the Academicians : the bill amounted to 588 14?. 6eZ., 
of which 61 9*. represented the cost of bands and leather gloves 
for the servants, and <*44 7*. 5d. the amount of burial fees at 
St. Paul's. 1 

In Opie's case the cost could not have been much less, and yet 
it is evident that the expenses were defrayed by his widow ; for 
there is no mention of a subscription, and such an additional 
mark of esteem would undoubtedly have been mentioned by Mrs. 
Opie. " / bless God that / was able to bury him there," she 
wrote, emphatically, in his Memoir " Nor shall I ever cease to 
remember with gratitude and satisfaction the long and honourable 
procession which attended him thither." The service done by 
funeral reformers in establishing the fact that a widow's sorrow 
is not to be measured by the extravagance of her outlay on these 

1 " Eight Friends of the Great," W. P. Courtney, p. 28. 


last sad offices, can only be properly appreciated by recalling 
vanished conventions. 

Mrs. Opie and Betty had endured a most trying ordeal. 
Nearly a month of anxious nursing must have seriously affected 
their own health, yet from April 9, when Opie died, until the 
funeral, which did not take place until the 20th, they had to 
remain in the seclusion of a darkened house ; surrounded by all the 
accessories of woe a barbarous custom could suggest to keep their 
lowered vitality from recovering tone. Even the door-knocker 
must be muffled in flannel, and it would have been indecorous 
beyond words to enter the widow's presence without assuming 
a look of chastened sorrow. 

Meanwhile John Opie, at rest from his labour's, held state 
in a chamber hung with black and lit with candles of yellow 
wax placed in sconces round the walls. His old friend John 
Penwarne assumed charge of the funeral arrangements. The 
cards of invitation were sent out in his name, bidding the 
friends assemble at the house at eleven o'clock. Mr. Rogers 
reprints one of the cards (p. 47), but he does not say if it was 
decorated with death's head and crossed bones, hour-glasses, and 
other customary reminders of mortality in addition to the deep 
black-edged border. His memorial cards, bearing a design by 
R. Smirke of two figures mourning over a coffin, were engraved 
by A. Raimbach. 

On the day of the funeral, mutes took up their posts at the 
front door, and stood there in attitudes of dejection. The 
mourners as they arrived were regaled with wine and cake : when 
Sir Joshua was buried, each coachman was allowed a shilling for 
drink money. At one o'clock the procession started. 

At the head walked, two by two, six mutes ; with black staves 
and hat-bands. Then the undertaker, on horseback, followed by 
eight more horsemen (two conductors, four cloak men, and two 
more conductors) riding two by two. After them came a funeral 
banner or " State lid " of ostrich feathers, carried by a mute, 
with a page walking on either side : it preceded the hearse, 
crowned with ostrich feathers, " supported right and left by 
Marshal-men, in deep mourning, and drawn by six black horses." 
Three mourning coaches, each with its six black horses, 
followed the hearse : these held the pall bearers and chief 


mourners. 1 Then came twenty-seven more mourning coaches, 
each drawn by two horses, " filled by eminent artists and friends 
of the deceased," and behind these was led the coach of his High- 
ness the Duke of Gloucester : twenty-nine other coaches, all with 
the blinds drawn, belonging to various noblemen and gentlemen 
who had chosen this means of showing their esteem for the dead 
painter, brought up the rear. 

Never since the funeral of Reynolds had such a gathering 
of artists assembled to do honour to one of their number. Ben- 
jamin West was there as President of the Academy, and Fuseli as 
Keeper ; Soane attended as professor of architecture. Northcote, 
half jealous, half admiring, was here to see the last of his friend: 
Sir William Beechey and Sir Francis Bourgeois, who had rejoiced 
so recently over Opie's success. Flaxman came, and Henry Bone, 
the enameller : queer old Nollekens rode in the same coach as 
Hoppner and Loutherbourg. 

Following in the funeral train of the son of a village carpenter, 
came another and greater artist who had risen from the ranks : 
Joseph William Mallord Turner, the barber's son, a comparatively 
recent recruit to the ranks of Academicians, had a seat in the 
twelfth coach. 

Of the physicians and surgeons who had gathered so recently 
in consultation over the dying painter, only Mr. Carlisle attended 
in person : no doubt his colleagues were represented by their 
empty coaches. Several other doctors came, though, and Sir 
William Blizard, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, was 
there to pay a last token of respect to the artist who had painted 
his portrait two or three years earlier. Needless to say that 

1 Two accounts of the occupants of these coaches are given : the first gives 
the names as " the Earl of Carysfort, Lord De Dunstanville, Earl Stanhope, 
Sir J. Leicester, Sir J. St. Aubin [sic], Mr. West, Mr. Smith, Mr. Whitbread, 
Mr. Hoppner, Mr. Owen, Mr. Favill [sic], and Mr. Shee." The second 
gives the occupants of each coach : " First coach : pall bearers, Sir John 
St. Aubyn, Sir J. Leicester, S. Whitbread, Esq., M.P. Second coach : 
pall bearers, Hon. W. F. Elphinstone, Lord De Dunstanville, William 
Smith, Esq., M.P. Third coach : Chief mourners, Mr. Alderson, Dr. 
Woodhouse, Mr. Henry Thompson, Mr. J. Penwarne " : this is more likely 
to be correct. Probably the noblemen mentioned in the first list but not in 
the second sent their carriages. 


Norwich was well represented : Mrs. Opie had some reason to feel 
satisfied with the response to her invitations. 

At Temple-Bar-gate two City Marshals on horseback, in full 
uniform with black sashes, were awaiting the procession, and from 
thence to St. Paul's they rode immediately before the ostrich- 
feather banner carried before the hearse. Arrived at St. Paul's, 
the coffin was removed from the hearse and taken to the choir : the 
pall being supported by those who had ridden in the two first 

They laid him to rest in a vault near that containing the body 
of Reynolds : on the coffin-lid was engraved : 

Royal Academician 


Professor in Painting 

Died April 9, 1807 

Aged 45 years. 

As a Royal Academician he had become a reputed esquire, 
but does not appear to have applied for arms. In fact he never 
made any pretensions to gentle birth, and never shrank from 
confessing his lowly origin. Mrs. Opie said that she never heard 
of his mother's descent from the Tonkins of Trevaunance until she 
read Prince Hoare's memorial article in the seventh number of 
the Artist. Opie's restraint in fashionable society was not 
due to false shame of birth, but doubt of his ability to satisfy 
a higher standard of refinement than his own. 

Let us hope that Mrs. Opie never heard of an unfortunate 
blunder, due, no doubt, to her lavish hospitality at the funeral. 
After the ceremony at St. Paul's, the chief mourner, her cousin, 
Mr. Robert Alderson, Recorder of Ipswich, was sought out by the 
undertaker : 

" Oh ! Mr. Alderson," exclaimed the agitated master of dismal 
ceremonies, " I am sorry to say that we have placed Mr. Opie's 
coffin the wrong way. Shall we change it ? " 

By a sad irony of Fate, the dead artist's chief mourner disliked 
him exceedingly : 

" Oh, Lord, no ! " he replied. " Leave him alone ! If I meet 
him in the next world walking about on his head, I shall know 


By permission of the owner. Colonel Wai'Jc. M.I'. 


For Opie, unconventional in life, this departure from convention 
in the death attitude seems of little moment. The story is of 
more interest as offering a possible explanation of the artist's 
reluctance to stay in Norwich for any length of time. Amelia 
Alderson's family and friends might have outwardly accepted her 
choice of a husband, but a sensitive man like Opie must have 
discerned their unfavourable criticism, no matter how carefully it 
was concealed. 

The last pictures Opie painted were a full-length portrait 
of the Duke of Gloucester, finished by Henry Thomson ; a portrait 
of Mrs. Coxe ; one of Mrs. Heathcote, as Miranda ; and a head 
taken from this, but differing from it in features and drapery. 
This study of a head of Miranda, bespoken by Mr. Lyster Parker, 
but given up to his relative Sir John Leicester because he so 
greatly admired it, was the last finished picture : Mrs. Opie 
thought it was also " perhaps the most spirited as well as the 
most beautiful female head that he ever painted."" If we are to 
credit the statement that Opie worked on a portrait of John Peter 
Wilson on March 15 and 16, these were his last working days, but 
we cannot expect the painting to be up to his usual standard. 
Several other unfinished portraits were also in the studio : either 
because Opie had tired of his ungrateful task and delayed working 
on it, or from press of other commissions. The beautiful group of 
Lady Warde with her children is said to have been completed after 
Opie's death, as far as some of the accessories are concerned, by 
his wife. Mrs. Opie certainly had some skill in making profile 
sketches, a talent she exercised freely for the benefit of her 
friends. She may have painted in oils also : Mr. W. F. Fraser- 
Tytler has a picture on panel of a lady reading by lamp-light, 
reputed to be painted by Amelia Opie ; a coincidence which appears 
to be corroborative evidence. A picture by Mrs. Opie, "The 
Neglected Lesson," sold at Christie's on January 12, 1889, for 2. 

Six pictures, all portraits, were sent in to the Academy 
exhibition : Lord Lowther ; Sir Daniel Williams ; the Duke of 
Gloucester ; Mrs. Gary of Torr Abbey, Mr. Dingwall, and the Rev. 
Samuel Parr. The Literary Panorama of September 1807 said 
in a criticism of his recent portraits, " Some of these are almost 
alive . . . His portraits of Holcroft, of Tresham, and that of Mr. 
Dingwall almost breathe." 


Opie died within a month of completing his forty-sixth year : 
that is to say in the full vigour of mental power. Sir Joshua left 
his work all done ; even had he not become blind, he could 
not have added to his repute : with Opie it was different. How 
can we measure the heights he might have attained had he lived 
another ten years ? " Others get forward by steps, but that man 
by strides.' 1 '' 

Out of those forty-six years, fifteen had been spent in the 
seclusion of a remote country village : a boy possessing strange 
cravings he was unable to satisfy until the coming of an inter- 
preter. For five more years he lived under the influence of a man 
who believed that the surest means of attaining fame and fortune 
was to accentuate the clownish coarseness of his pupil's manners. 
The next seventeen were passed in a Bohemian atmosphere ; 
friends and critics alike agreeing that Opie's early education 
unfitted him for depicting anything but the coarsest type of 
female beauty. It was not until nine years before his death that 
he was brought under the influence of a refined gentlewoman : 
taught by his deep and sincere love for her to cultivate a code of 
manners hitherto unknown to him : learnt through her to see not 
only surface loveliness, but the more subtle and evanescent beauty 
of the soul. He had just shown his ability to profit by this 
teaching when he died. 

And for what ambition ? He had attained nearly to the 
highest rank in his profession : there was no need to toil un- 
ceasingly, and neglect wholesome recreation and health-giving 
rest. Money ? Undoubtedly his desire to be independent of " the 
slings and arrows of outrageous fortune " was a weighty reason for 
industry, but not for slavery ; he had, we are told, amassed (or 
nearly so) the coveted sum : not a very large one, though it may 
have seemed immense to a man who had seen his parents bring up 
a family on a carpenter's weekly wage. Opie died intestate. His 
widow took out letters of administration the following October ; 
the "Goods, Chattels and Credits" being sworn at ,10,000. 
(Northcote's personal estate was proved under ,25,000.) In 
August 1854, after Mrs. Opie's own death, <2,000 was added for 
" Administration for Goods remaining " : no doubt the value of 
some pictures she retained during her lifetime. With the exception 
of these, Opie's pictures were sold by auction in May 1807, and 


realized <\ ,386 : this sum was, of course, included in the value of 
his estate. 

Is it possible that a man whose thirst for gold was satisfied 
when he had saved <>! 0,000, and whose personal desires were 
limited to a horse and a library, would be in such haste to get 
rich that he must kill himself with over-work in the prime of life ? 

So, while admitting that Opie was ambitious, and that he 
frankly intended to render himself independent of public caprice, 
we must find some stronger motive for his excessive zeal. The 
truth seems to be that he carried industry to such an extreme that 
it became almost a mania. He was driven by the fury of work. 
Beginning with an ardent love for his profession, and a desire to 
achieve distinction in it, he allowed his devotion for art to engross 
him so completely that at last he defeated his own object. Can it 
be denied that Opie would rank higher as an artist if his pictures 
were reduced by half? We have the story told by Northcote in 
evidence of a disastrous result of Opie's over-anxiety and nervous 
attempts to improve an already fine effect : there were doubtless 
many similar instances of pictures spoiled by working with jaded 
eyes and tired brain. Disappointments such as these probably 
account for his attacks of despondency, during which he would 
throw himself down on the sofa in his wife^s sitting-room with the 
exclamation, " I am the most stupid of created beings, and I never, 
never shall be a painter as long as I live." If he had kept to the 
habit, mentioned in one of his letters to the Rev. John Owen, of 
riding out regularly ; had let his brain lie fallow now and then, 
content with storing impressions ; the average level of his work 
would have been higher, and his originality of mind might have 
extended to greater variety in the choice of backgrounds. 

It is strange how such a conscientious man sometimes spoilt 
a portrait for want of a little patience in finishing, especially with 
regard to the ears, a detail he had little regard for. These coarser 
portraits, evidently either represent those of the unsatisfactory 
sitters Mrs. Opie mentions, or some which he painted for less than 
his usual fee ; putting as little work as possible into them after 
securing the likeness : truth compels an admission that the latter 
theory is far from improbable. 

But even in his coarser works there is a breadth and power 
that marks the hand of a master, and at his finest he is very great 


indeed. A good Opie makes its presence felt in a room or gallery. 
There is something uncanny in the way it compels attention. 
Everything about it is subordinate to the face, and that stands 
out from the dark, shadowy background no ideal, but the living 
image of a man or woman ; in all the original's strength or 
weakness : self-revealing, and sometimes self-accusing. Opie is 
said to have wanted imagination : to have painted the outward 
aspect faithfully without going deeper. Two portraits by him 
hang in an old ancestral hall : an elderly husband and his young 
wife. There is grim tragedy of the bloodless, heart-breaking kind 
in the hard eyes of the old man, and the close-shut, thin-lipped 
mouth : his very attitude tells a tale of dogged obstinacy, and the 
hands beneath the sleeve- ruffles were not painted from a stranger, 
we may be sure ; they bear out the tale of his lips and eyes, and 
the carriage of the head, too well : a hard man inflexible, cold, 
and narrow. Now for the wife. She must have forgotten the 
painter's eyes were upon her, or Opie had the insight generally 
denied him. The portrait represents a young woman with some 
pretensions to beauty, though a trifle thin perhaps. The most 
arresting fact about it is the pathetic droop of head and figure, 
the hopeless sadness of eyes and mouth : taken in conjunction with 
the other portrait we have no need to pry into family records to 
find out that the marriage was an ill-assorted one. 

That is one of the chief characteristics of Opie\s work. His 
people interest you. They are flesh and blood personages. If 
they are less graceful and attractive than portraits by Gainsborough 
and Lawrence, they are more real. You can like or dislike them, 
wonder over their possible histories : Opie's men and women not 
only live on the canvas themselves, but the man who painted them 
has left some of his own strong personality there. He has had his 
imitators, some not unsuccessful, but if they copied his manner 
they could not achieve his virility and single- mindedness ; nor 
that subtle quality to be found in the work of every great artist, 
which is beyond imitators because it is of the man himself. 

Taking Opie's desire for knowledge into consideration, and 
the known fact that he experimented largely with pigments, it 
is strange that his pictures have stood the test of time so well. 
A network of cracks, due to the excessive use of bitumen, dis- 
figures some of his backgrounds ; in a few cases the paint has 


run, suggesting the tallow Haydon accused him of using ; others 
have faded in places though this change is not so marked as in 
some of Sir Joshua's canvases, nor have Opie's peeled like his. 
This seems as if the younger man was more cautious in his 
experiments. There is a curious fault in more than one picture 
a disproportionately long forearm. It appears probable that Opie 
painted in the arms from a model having this natural defect. 

With regard to the anachronisms of costume and accessories in 
historical pictures, Opie was neither better nor worse than his 
contemporaries. Accuracy of detail or congruity of drapery did 
not trouble the artist of his time ; the public did not wish for, nor 
would they have understood and appreciated, such niceties. Our 
modern regard for antiquarian truth revolts against this odd 
jumble of periods : we could enjoy some eighteenth-century 
pictures so much more under a different title. So, although it 
is rather a shock at first to find that Hannah, having lost Eli 
somewhere, landed in America with little Samuel as " Lady 
Hamilton and Child " (a title to which she certainly has no legal 
claim) ; still her maternal though tfulness in clothing Samuel for 
the voyage, and the charming picture they make, wins forgive- 
ness even if to be in keeping with her alias she had to exchange 
the Temple background for one suggesting foliage. What became 
of Eli is unknown : perhaps he is enjoying an old-age pension, or 
has found a home as " an aged beggar." 

These dual personalities have made the work of preparing the 
list of pictures doubly difficult. Many portraits are sold unnamed, 
either privately or by auction, often with no clue to the previous 
owner. Some of these no doubt are unavoidably anonymous, 
because the identity of the person represented is lost ; others 
because, unfortunately, the tenant for life of a family portrait is 
tempted to dispose of it without the consent of other members of 
the family. In either case the impossibility of avoiding duplicate 
entries can be understood. The " lady in white " is a hardened 
offender in this respect. Does she wander through the sale-rooms 
seeking vainly for a permanent hook from which to display her 
charms, or is she one of a large family of sisters ? Portraits of 
the artist by himself were distractingly difficult to class : so were 
those of Mrs. Opie, but in a lesser degree. Taking into con- 
sideration these uncertainties, and that some of the pictures 


mentioned by Mr. J. Jope Rogers remain unaccounted for, the 
total number of pictures of each class painted by John Opie given 
at the end of Appendix C can only be taken as approximate. 

Schools of painting have their day and pass into disrepute 
for some other and newer cult. Romantic, Naturalistic, Pre- 
Raphaelite, Impressionist, and Post-Impressionist come and go : 
the true in each remains to be added to the heritage of the 
ages ; the false perishes. John Opie, the truth-lover ; a man in 
advance of his own artificial age ; is only half understood now. 
Men of less rank as artists have had exhibitions devoted to their 
works in recent years : why not he ? Then the last lingering 
prejudices and misapprehensions would be dispelled : Opie has 
been maligned too long as a painter of " pitchy canvases " and 
ugly women ; it is time that the value of his share in the work 
done by the British School should be understood. Nor ought we 
to forget his lofty conception of the artist's life. John Opie 
served Art with a whole-souled devotion, and warned the Academy 
students that they must do the same or give up all idea of 
excelling as artists. 

"Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to 
excellence, and few there be that find it. True as this un- 
doubtedly is in all cases, in no instance will it be found so 
applicable as the present ; for in no profession will the student 
have so many difficulties to encounter in no profession so many 
sacrifices to make in no profession will he have to labour so hard, 
and study so intensely and in no profession is the reward of his 
talents so precarious and uncertain as is lamentably proved by 
every day's experience, and by every page of history. 

" Let me not be told that, by such assertions, I am raising 
obstacles and throwing obstructions in the paths of men of genius, 
for to such obstacles act as a stimulus ; what quenches others gives 
them fire ; and I am confident a knowledge of the truth will in the 
end equally benefit the art and the artist. Should any one be 
discouraged by it, I will say to him, I have rendered you an 
essential service ; you will soon find some other situation better 
suited to your talents. But to those who can, undismayed, look 
all the difficulties in the face ; who have made up their minds to 
conquer ; who are ready to sacrifice their time, their ease, their 
pleasure, their profit, and devote themselves, soul and body to the 


By permission of the oxvner. R. Hall McCormick, Esq.. Chicago. 


art, in short, who cannot be restrained from the pursuitof it; to those 
I will say, You alone are worthy, you alone are likely to succeed : 
You give the strongest proofs that can be obtained, of possessing 
all the necessary requisites, and there is every probability that you 
will do honour to your art, your country, and yourselves ; for 
nothing is denied to persevering and well-directed industry. 11 J 

1 " Lectures on Painting " (Lect. I, " On Design"), J. Opie, R.A. 



OEVERAL of Opie's old friends paid a tribute to his memory 
k_) by contributing articles for a memorial number (No. VII.) of 
the Artist which appeared on April 25, 1807. Prince Hoare, 
as Editor, wrote a short memoir ; Benjamin West, P.R.A., a critical 
article on Opie's work ; Northcote, James Boaden, and Mrs. Inch- 
bald, appreciative notices of his mental and moral qualities ; and 
M. A. Shee some verses on the same subject. 

As a token of esteem for a friend cut off in his prime it was all 
that could be desired ; but it was not so satisfactory from the 
biographical point of view. Prince Hoare's memoir was chiefly 
confined to an account of Opie's boyhood : his life after he came to 
London was almost wholly ignored. The plan pursued led to 
much repetition : we should have learnt more of Opie by a con- 
secutive narrative, but Mrs. Opie had undertaken to write a memoir, 
and it was possibly felt that the matter should be left to her. 

In 1809 Mrs. Opie's memoir of her husband appeared ; prefixed 
to his lectures. The volume, which was published by subscription, 
included also reprints of the memorial number of the Artist 
and Opie's letter to the True Briton on the subject of a naval 
memorial. Unluckily for admirers of John Opie's work who would 
have liked a good biography of the artist by one so well able to 
supply the facts, Mrs. Opie thought it her duty to write a mingled 
eulogy of her husband's virtues and denial of his faults ; the 
biographical fragments being tantalizingly few and far between. 
Neither praise nor apology escaped without contemporary criticism. 
" Dead angels are common enough (vide Mrs. Opie's life of her 
Husband . . .), but living ones are scarce indeed," was the cynical 
comment of Mary Russell Mitford in a letter to her father on 


MRS. OPIE 243 

March 17, 1810. 1 Sir James Mackintosh also had objections to 
offer, but his were based on her defence of wifely duty " Whatever 
were the faults of Mr. Opie, admitting that I was aware of them, 
it was not for me to bring them forward to public view. . . ." He 
disagreed entirely with this : Mrs. Opie should have been " abso- 
lutely silent, or, with an intrepid confidence in the character of her 
husband, to have stated faults which she was sure would have been 
' dust in the balance, 1 placed in the scale opposite to his merits." 2 
So far as can be ascertained now, these faults were no more than 
the shortcomings natural in a man of his class, which, as Sir James 
stated, were of little weight against his fine natural qualities. 

Opie's lectures have been reprinted several times. In 1832, 
together with his letter on the Naval memorial, as an appendix to 
the " Library of the Fine Arts," Vol. IV ; seven years later the 
lectures alone were included with John Kennedy's " Thoughts on 
the present state of the Fine Arts " ; and in 1848 they were re- 
published by Bohn in one volume with those of Barry and 

Mrs. Opie returned to Norwich soon after her husband's death 
and resumed the management of her father's household. The 
next three years were spent in retirement, solaced by the work of 
collecting and publishing her poems and Opie's lectures. 

But so pleasure-loving and vivacious a temperament could not 
long be kept under, and in the spring of 1810 Amelia Opie found 
her way back to the gay world her zest for pleasure all the keener 
for the enforced seclusion of those years of early widowhood 
reaching London in time to enjoy the excitement of finding peaceful 
Hanover Square occupied by artillery, Sir Francis Burdett's house 
barricaded, and himself under arrest on a Speaker's warrant, com- 
mitting him to the Tower on a charge of scandalous libel against 
the House of Commons. 

For some years after this Amelia Opie took a prominent part 
in the life of social and literary London. She was still very attrac- 
tive, though stouter than when she married ; some said that during 
middle life her appearance inclined to coarseness. But her beautiful 
voice was as sweet as ever ; her eager enjoyment of life as marked 

1 " Life of Mary Russell Mitford," A. G. L'Estrange. 
* "Life of the Rt. Hon. Sir James Mackintosh," edited by R. J. 


as in girlhood. After each London season she would flit back to 
Norwich, finding endless diversion there during the Assizes, when 
she was a regular attendant in the Nisi Prius Court, following the 
progress of each case with breathless interest. She was seldom to 
be seen in the Criminal Court, because of a reluctance to hear 
judgment passed on the unhappy culprits. 

Mrs. Opie's social experiences brought her into touch with every 
notable character of her time. Lord Erskine discussed his speeches 
with her ; she knew Brougham well, and George Canning in his 
boyhood. Tom Moore sang duets with her; she felt, without 
capitulating to, the deadly fascination of Byron. The eccentric 
Countess of Cork specially favoured her ; Mrs. Opie was a welcome 
guest not only at her " blue," or literary, parties, but also at the 
" pink " exclusive ones. She dined with Lydia White, " nineteen 
times dyed blue;" knew the mystic significance of a lighted lamp 
over the door of the Misses Berry's house in Curzon Street ; Madame 
de Stael bored her with praises of Bernadotte. Her good advice 
was given to wayward, half-crazy Lady Caroline Lamb ; her sweet 
voice charmed blind Lady Sarah Napier once, as beautiful Sarah 
Lennox, the pawn advanced by Fox in the hope of giving check to 
Bute's King. She met Humboldt, who led her, in fancy, to Peru 
and Mexico : " so full of information, and so simple in his manner 
of giving it." 

On Sunday mornings Mrs. Opie was at home to her friends, 
who, as she proudly told her father, " chiefly came in carriages." 
These succeeded each other so quickly that the neighbours' 1 servants 
inquired of her own what was to be seen at No. 11. He (for it 
was the day of pages and footmen, before Thackeray's satires took 
effect) replied " a lady." 

" What, is she ill ? " they asked. 

In 1814 Mrs. Opie began to show signs of a curious psycho- 
logical change. The London season that year was a very gay one. 
The Peninsular War ended in 1813, leaving Wellington free to 
enter France ; Paris had been taken by the Allied armies ; 
Louis XVIII was for a time at least established on the throne 
of France, and Napoleon had retired to Elba. The Czar of Russia, 
the King of Prussia, with sundry minor royalties, Wellington, and 
Bliicher were in London. A grand ball was given in their honour 
at White's ; the arrangements for which were marred by undignified 

MBS. OPIE 245 

attempts on the part of the Prince Regent to exclude his wife, and 
equally foolish threats on her part to attend " weak vixen, 11 Mrs. 
Opie called her. There was a grand gala night at the opera for 
the Royalties, and all London went mad with excitement. Mrs. 
Opie was as keen in her enjoyment of life as ever. A previous 
engagement kept her from the opera, but she went to the masked 
ball given to the Duke of Wellington, wearing a pink domino 
(made long and high to more effectually disguise her) over " full 
dress, but no train, and high feathers," so that she might remain 
masked until she was tired and had fully mystified her friends 
when off would come the domino and the handsome " wreath of 
white satin flowers worked upon net, 11 given her by Lady Cork as 
a trimming for the bottom of her dress, could be displayed. At 
forty-five Mrs. Opie was as fond of finery as when she captivated 
John Opie in her jaunty little bonnet with its blue feathers. Her 
personal charm was the same : who but Mrs. Opie could have 
wheedled the constables guarding the steps of the Pulteney Hotel 
so effectually that she was allowed to enter the hall and bribe the 
porter into according permission to wait there until the Emperor 
returned from Carlton House ? She really meant to keep to the 
line and let his Anointed Majesty pass unmolested, but the other 
ladies pressed forward to touch his hand ; the temptation was 
strong ; just in time she grasped his wrist " but the grasp would 
not have crushed a fly. 11 She found his countenance " pleasing, 11 
even although he had a flattish nose, " with a funny little button- 
end to it. 11 Her energy was such that after a dinner party she 
went home, changed into walking dress, and joined a party bent 
on seeing the illuminations ; returning home at three in the 

But this mad merry time was followed by the death of a friend 
John Gurney ; eldest of the Earlham brothers. On hearing the 
sad news, Mrs. Opie gave up all her London engagements, and 
travelled all night in order that she might reach Norwich in tim 
for the funeral. The Gurney s had been her intimate friends from 
childhood : in her unmarried days their Quaker tenets had sat 
lightly on them, but now four of the Earlham family were strict 
Quakers Mrs. Fry, Samuel, Joseph John, and Priscilla Gurney. 
All had a sincere affection for Amelia, but they disapproved of her 
love for worldly amusements. The loss of an old friend deeply 


wounded Mrs. ()pie\s affectionate nature ; she was in a mood to 
receive impressions, and the Gumeys sei/ed the opportunity to 
make a proselyte. Until now she had divided a conventional 
religious attendance between Unitarianism at the Octagon Chapel 
in Norwich, and fashionable church-going in London with a 
special predilection for Sidney Smith : from this period she attended 
the Meeting Houses of the Society of Friends. 

For some time the change made little difference in her love for 
society. The brooding quiet of First-day Meeting seems to have 
been followed by her customary week of dinners and parties. But 
the net was closing in. She retired from London society in 1820 
to nurse her father. He lived until nearly the end of 1825 ; 
during which time she nursed him devotedly. Away from the 
fascination of society ; in close contact with the Gumeys ; her 
plastic nature took the mould of the life around her. Dr. Alderson, 
like herself lax in early years, grew to love the Quaker doctrines : 
was buried in their cemetery. His opinions must have added to 
the weight of the Gurney influence : she was a Friend in every 
essential long before the ceremony of admission took place in 
response to her application during August 1825, shortly before 
her father's death. 

Norwich people saw the gradual transformation : to her London 
friends it was a matter for incredulous surprise and consternation. 
Mrs. Opie, so blithe, so coquettish, so full of the joy of life, turned 
Quaker : the pretty, fair hair hidden under a prim cap ; ; her charm- 
ing ballads exchanged for hymns ! For the second time in her 
life Amelia Opie gave rise to a nine-days' wonder. Gossip, eager 
to find a cause for the transformation, thought it due to matri- 
monial designs on handsome Joseph John Gurney, " the Quaker 
pope,' 1 nearly twenty years her junior. That the attachment 
between them was very sincere is certain, but Mrs. Opie, who pre- 
ferred middle-class widowhood in comparative luxury, to genteel 
poverty as sister-in-law to a Marquess, might have been credited 
with more common sense : the reasonable conclusion is that her 
affection for him was either maternal or that of an elder sister. 
The middle-aged worldling turned devotee is not of very rare 
occurrence after all. 

Her sincerity was above suspicion. Up to 1822 she had 
written and published fiction ; though as her religious convictions 

MRS. OPIE 247 

deepened her tales became more and more didactic. But imagina- 
tive work was strongly disapproved of by the Society of Friends : 
in 1823 she adopted their view of the matter, cancelled her 
publisher's announcement of a new novel, " The Painter and His 
Wife,"" at considerable pecuniary loss to herself, and told her 
friends that the book would never be finished. Her pen still 
remained active, but only in work of a moral nature. 

Still " the habit does not make the monk."" Amelia Opie 
might use " the plain language," dress in Quaker garb, refresh her 
soul at the well of silence, attend May meetings, minister to those 
who were sick and in prison, take part in Anti-Slavery con- 
ventions and other philanthropic work ; but her love of dress and 
excitement remained unchanged. The former led her to choose 
the daintiest lawn and richest satin for her attire ; the latter 
would break out at times in spite of all efforts to suppress it. 

Paris drew her like a magnet. She was there in 1829 ; meet- 
ing Cuvier and Lafayette, and renewing her acquaintance with 
Humboldt. News of the revolution of July sent her hurrying 
over once more in November 1830. Her stay this time was so 
prolonged that Quakerdom grew agitated over the danger of a 
relapse into worldliness, and clucked like an anxious hen for the 
return of this adventurous duckling ; who crowned her social 
triumphs with an invitation to visit Queen Marie Amelie one 
evening en famille. Years after, when Louis Philippe and his 
family were in exile again, Mrs. Opie went to Claremont, and the 
ex-queen pressed her hands affectionately, calling her " ma chere, 
bonne Opie" 

Betty Opie died in 1826, aged seventy-eight. Mr. Polwhele stated 
that her death occurred, suddenly, at Harmony Cot : the Gentleman^ 
Magazine for 1826 (ii, p. 475) gives the place of death as Dawlish. 
Three years afterwards Amelia Opie carried out a long-desired 
plan to visit Cornwall, and spent part of her time with her 
husband's relatives ; to whom she had been uniformly kind. 

" I am here," she wrote on November 26, 1832, " with my 
poor husband's nephew, and his wife and family, which consists of 
Edward Opie the painter ; a boy of ten ; and of a gentle and 
pleasing young woman, named Amelia, after me, at the desire 
of my poor sister. . . . The whole family have soft pleasing 
manners ; in short, I like them all. . . . Yesterday I dined at 


Harmony Cot, where my husband and all the family were born 
and bred. It is a most sequestered cottage, whitewashed and 
thatched ; a hill rising high above it, and another in front ; trees 
and flower-beds before it, which in summer must make it a 
pretty spot. Now, it is not a tempting abode ; but there are 
two good rooms, and I am glad to have seen it." 

A rheumatic affection troubled Amelia Opie^s latter years. 
She was compelled to use crutches, but the indomitable old lady 
never lost her interest in men and events. As an enthusiastic girl 
she had kissed Home Tooke ; in old age she saw an Anti-Slavery 
meeting interrupted by Chartists. She still haunted the Nisi 
Prius Court : would be there often at half-past seven to get a 
good seat. She was in the Judge's room one evening with her 
cousin, Baron Alderson, and the High Sheriff: the former asked 
her how she was going home : 

" Oh ! she shall go with us, we will take her home, 11 said the 
High Sheriff. 

" Yes ! let us take her, 11 assented the Judge. " Come brother 
Opie ! " The High Sheriff led the way, the Judge tucked the 
cheerful little lady^ arm within his own, and in spite of her 
laughing protests, she was led to the carriage with its four horses 
harnessed and two outriders with trumpets. It was an adventure 
after her own heart, and we can imagine, notwithstanding her 
demure attire, it would not have detracted from her pleasure if the 
trumpeters had led the way, instead of being left behind to await 
the High Sheriff's return in the carriage to fetch the other Judge. 

Mrs. Opie^ last visit to London was in 1851 ; when, although 
she had to be wheeled through the building in a chair, she saw 
the Great Exhibition. She was now eighty-two and although for 
another year she continued able to pay a few visits, the sand had 
nearly run out. Most of her time was spent on a couch in her 
room ; the walls of which were hung with portraits by Opie, lit up 
at night with wax candles in branch candlesticks : his subject 
pictures (" The Angry Father " and " Shepherd Boy 11 ) were sold 
when she gave up her father's house in 1832, for Quakers did not 
allow any pictures other than portraits in their houses. Flowers 
were always about her room in abundance, and her special delight 
was a frame hung with prisms to flash back many-coloured 
reflections when the sun shone : ample testimony that her natural 

By permission of the late owner, R. Hall McCormick. Ksc|. 

MRS. OPIE 249 

craving for brightness and beauty was strong to the last. Amelia 
Opie was sincerely pious, without a doubt ; but she was too like 
a child in her exuberant vitality to be a successful Quakeress. 
She died on December 2, 1853, after some weeks of intense suffer- 
ing. Her last message to her friends was : 

" Tell them that I have suffered great pain, but I think on 
Him who suffered for me. Say that I am trusting in my Saviour. 
All is peace, and all is mercy." * 

1 Leisure Hour, October 5, 1834. 





147. " An Old Man's Head." 

199. " Country Boy and Girl." 

224. " Boy and Dog." 

371. " An Old Woman." 

384. " A Beggar." 


6. " Age and Infancy." 

61. " Portrait of a Gentleman." Identified as William Jackson, 
of Exeter, in " The Royal Academy of Arts," Algernon Graves. 
85. " Portrait." 
191. " Portrait of a Lady." 
205. " Boy and Girl." 


109. " Portrait." Mr. Rogers gives this as Lady Honywood, on the 
authority of Mr. Algernon Graves, from a contemporary 
newspaper. It does not appear in " The Royal Academy of 
Arts," Algernon Graves. In the Anderdon Collection of 
Academy Catalogues No. 112 (Portrait of a lady and child, 
by Sir Joshua Reynolds) is identified as Lady Honywood. 

111. "Portrait." 

136. " Portrait of a Gentleman." Identified as Mr. Philips in " The 
Royal Academy of Arts." 

162. " A School." 

172. " Portrait of a Child." Was this Ann Rogers, whose portrait 
is said to have been exhibited about this time ? 

174. " Portrait of a Lady." 




216. " Portrait of two Children." Identified as the children (Elizabeth 
Maria and Harriett Anne) of John Seale of Mount Boon, 
Devon, in the Anderdon Catalogues. 

381. " An Old Woman." 


22. " Portrait of a Gentleman," whole length. Identified as Sir 

John St. Aubyn in " The Royal Academy of Arts." 

103. " Portrait of a Lady." 

202. "A Woman's Story at a Winter's Fire." 

236. " Card-Players." 

389. " Portrait of a Gentleman." 

391. " Sweet Poll of Plymouth." 


8. "A Gentleman and a Miner with a Specimen of Copper Ore." 
Identified as Mr. Ralph Allen Daniell (M.P. for West-Looe, 
1806-1813), and Captain Morcom, both by Mr. Rogers, and 
in " The Royal Academy of Arts." 

25. " Portrait of a Lady." 

79. " Portrait of a General Officer." 

96. " James the First of Scotland, assassinated by Graham at the 

instigation of his uncle the Duke of Athol." 
136. "A Sleeping Nymph, and Cupid stealing a Kiss." 
380. " Portrait of a Gentleman." 
406. " Portrait of a Lady. 


5. " Portrait of a Gentleman." Identified as William Shield : 
Anderdon Catalogues. 

26. " Assassination of David Rizzio." 
75. " Portrait of a Lady." 

147. " Portrait of a Gentleman." Identified as Mr. Galiagan (of 

Soho) : Anderdon Catalogues. 
218. "Portrait of a Nobleman." Identified as Lord Sandwich: 

Anderdon Catalogues. 


121. " A Child and Dog." 

161. " Portrait of a Gentleman." Identified as Mr. Alderman 
Newnham: Anderdon Catalogues. 



176. " Portrait of a Gentleman." Identified as Councillor Newnham : 

Anderdon Catalogues. 
184. " Portrait of a Lady." Identified as Lady Louisa Stuart : 

" The Royal Academy of Arts." 
223. " Portrait of a Gentleman." 
442. " Portrait of a Gentleman." 


61. "Portrait of a Gentleman." Identified as Mr. Stanley: "The 
Royal Academy of Arts." 

186. " Portrait of a Gentleman." Identified as Mr. Vaughan : " The 

Royal Academy of Arts." 

187. " Portrait of a Judge." Identified as Lloyd, 1st Lord Kenyon : 

Anderdon Catalogues. 

218. " Portrait of a Lady." Identified by Horace Walpole as Miss 
Lennox, afterwards Lady Apsley, and from a newspaper as 
Mrs. Leonard (? Lady Barrett Lennard), sister of Sir John 
St. Aubyn. Mr. Algernon Graves thinks the newspaper may 
be correct, and that Horace Walpole put the name to a wrong 

272. " Portrait of a Judge." Identified as Sir Alexander Thomson, 

Baron of the Court of Exchequer : Anderdon Catalogues. 


210. " Portrait of a Gentleman." Identified as Colonel Henderson : 
" The Royal Academy of Arts." 

273. " Portrait of a Nobleman." Identified as Lord Bagot : Ander- 

don Catalogues. 


Opie did not exhibit this year. 


100. " Portraits of Two Children, a Horse, and a Dog." Identified 

as the children of Counsellor Newnham : " The Royal Academy 

of Arts." 
196. " Portrait of a Gentleman." Identified as Mr. Alderman 

Pickett : " The Royal Academy of Arts." 
526. " Portrait of a Gentleman." Identified as Mr. Taylor, surgeon : 

" The Royal Academy of Arts." 


Opie did not exhibit this year. 




29. " Portrait of a Gentleman." Identified as Henry Fuseli, R.A. : 

Anderdon Catalogues. 
42. " Portrait of a Lady." Identified as Mrs. Fuseli : Anderdon 

97. " Portrait of a Gentleman." Identified as Joseph Faringdon, 

the painter : " The Royal Academy of Arts." 
120. " Portrait of a Boy." Identified by Mr. Rogers as Lieut. 

McDonough, " The Red Boy." 
154. " Portrait of a Lady." Identified as Mrs. Opie : " The Royal 

Academy of Arts." 


124. " A Country Girl." 
154. " Portrait of a Lady." Identified as Mrs. Allen : " The Royal 

Academy of Arts." 
226. " Portrait of a Lady." 


1. " Pastoral Courtship." 
67. " Portrait of a Lady." Identified as Miss Peters : " The Royal 

Academy of Arts." 
196. " Portraits of Two Children." Identified by Mr. Algernon 

Graves, in " The Royal Academy of Arts," as Mr. W. Smith's 

two children. Mr. Rogers adds, " of Norwich." 
208 " Portrait of a Lady." Identified as Miss Vinicombe in " A 

Companion to the Exhibition of the Royal Academy, with a 

list of the principal portraits," 1796. 
339. " Portrait of a Young Gentleman." 
350. " Portrait of a Clergyman." Identified as Dr. (Abraham) 

Rees : " The Royal Academy of Arts." 


64. " Children in the Wood." 

121. " A Winter Piece." 

243. " Coronation of Henry VI, at Paris." 

257. " Murder of Archbishop Sharpe." 

268. " Courtship in the Park." 


26. " Elizabeth Grey petitioning Edward IV to restore her Estates." 
46. " Sir Calepine freeing Serena " Spenser. 



191. " Portrait of a Gentleman." Either this or No. 647 must have 
been the portrait of Thomas Holcroft, mentioned in his diary. 

198. " Portrait of an Artist." A note in pencil against this entry in 
the Anderdon Catalogue, " vide No. 220," refers to a picture 
by Fuseli : another note in ink by Mr. Anderdon says, " It 
may have been that of Henry Fuseli, R.A." Ridley's engraving 
of Fuseli, after Opie, is pasted facing it in the Catalogue. 

647. " Portrait of a Gentleman." 


31. " The Tired Soldier." 
46. " Portrait of a Lady." 
70. " Portrait of a Lady." 

96. " Portrait of a Lady." Identified as Mrs. Price of Cornwall 
(afterwards Lady Price), by a newspaper cutting in " Scraps 
Relating to the Fine Arts," a volume of cuttings in the Vic- 
toria and Albert Museum Library. 
101. " Portrait of a Gentleman." 
123. " Cupid protecting a Nymph from a Satyr." 
187. " Portrait of Mr. Gurney." 
205. " Portrait of Sir J. B. Warren." 
268. " Portrait of a Lady." 


39. " Portrait of Mr. Smith." Mr. Rogers suggested probably Mr. 
Francis Smith of Norwich. 

79. " Portrait of Mr. Hoare." 

90. " Confession." 

117. " Portrait of a Lady in the Character of Cressida." 

154. " The Fugitive, or La Fille mal gardee." 

189. " Portrait of Mrs. Smith." 

243. " Portrait of a Gentleman." 

662. " Portrait of a Gentleman." 


26. " Portrait of John Herring, Esq., Mayor of Norwich." 

f In a second-hand copy of " Opie 

and his Works " was found a MS. 
75. Portrait of a Gentleman. , . 

lin ,, \ note suggesting that these were 

110. Portrait of a Lady. . . , , 

portraits of Sir W. B. Rush and 

I Lady Rush. 

162. " Portrait of the Hon. Mrs. Charles Finch." 
183. " The Love-sick Maid, or the Doctor puzzled." 



205. " Portrait of a Lady." 
258. " Portrait of a Lady." 

282. " Portrait of the Rev. Dr. Valpy, Master of Reading School." 
Painted for his pupils by subscription. 


30. " The Unfortunate Traveller." 

78. " Portrait of Miss Alderson." Identified by Mr. Rogers as 
Miss Isabella Alderson ; daughter of Mrs. Opie's cousin, 
Robert Alderson. 
116. " Portrait of J. Harvey, Esq.," Captain of the Norwich Volunteer 


162. " Damon and Musidora " Thomson. 
180. " Rispah watching by the Bodies of Saul's Sons." 
195. "The Angry Father, or the Discovery of the Clandestine Corre- 
247. " Portrait of Miss Talbot, in the Character of Lavinia." 


16. "The Visit to the Cottage, or Clothing the Naked." 

44. " Juliet ' See how she leans her cheek upon her hand.' " 

56. " Portrait of Mr. Mackintosh." 
63. " Portrait of Earl Stanhope." 
80. " Hobnelia, or the Spell." 

85. " Portrait of Mr. Adam." 

150. " Portrait of Mrs. Crane." 

151. " The Infant Moses treading on Pharaoh's Crown." 


5. " Portrait of Sir W. Blizard, Knight." 

57. " Portrait of Lady F. Ponsonby as Rebecca." 

71. " Gil Bias taking the Key from Dame Leonarda in the Cavern 

of the Banditti." 

106. " Portrait of Samuel Whitbread." 
123. " Portrait of T. Holcroft, Esq." 
142. " Portrait of T. Bernard, Esq." 
250. " Portrait of a Lady." 


6. " Portrait of Master Betty." 

82. " Portrait of the Right Hon. C. J. Fox." 
167. " Portrait of the Rev. Dr. Clarke." 



186. " Portrait of Miss Beauchamp." 

206. " Portrait of Miss Wilson." 

222. " Portrait of the Bishop of Durham (Shute Barrington)." 


22. " Portrait of Miss Gifford." 

94. " Portrait of Miss Vaughan." 

129. " Portrait of G. Rush, Esq." 

132. " Portrait of Henry Tresham, Esq." 

198. " Portrait of Mrs. Clarke." 

215. " Portrait of a Lady." 

259. " Portrait of Mrs. Cripps." 

277. " Portrait of Davies Giddy, Esq., M.P." 


36. " Portrait of Lord Lowther." 

89. " Portrait of Sir D. Williams." 

161. " Portrait of H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester." 

174. " Portrait of Mrs. Gary, of Torr Abbey." 

225. " Portrait of Mr. Dingwall." 

284. " Portrait of the Rev. Samuel Parr, LL.D." 




Engraved by Bartolozzi for Macklin's " Illustrations to the British 
Poets," London, 1788-9, oblong folio. 

"The Freeing of Amoret by Britomartes "" Faery Queen," 

Bk. Ill, Canto 12. 

"Damon and Musidora " Thomson's " Seasons." 
" Henry and Emma " Matthew Prior. 

Macklin's Bible in 6 volumes, royal folio, 1800 : published by Thomas 

" The Sacrifice of Jephthah's Daughter " Judges xi, 39, 40. 
" The Presentation in the Temple " St. Luke ii, 22-28. 
" Judith Attiring" Judith x, 1-4. 
"The Lord of the Vineyard "St. Matthew xx, 8-12. 

View of St. Michael's Mount for " Delices de la Grande Bretagne." 
A book of views of Great Britain by the most eminent artists. 
Published 1791, by W. Birch, Enamel Painter, Harnpstead, and 
sold by Edwards, Pall Mall. 

" The Dramatic Works of Shakespeare," revised by George Steevens. 
Printed by W. Bulmer & Co. for John and Josiah Boydell, George 
and W. Nicol, from the types of W. Martin, 1802. 

" Antigonus swears to expose the Child" "Winter's Tale," 

Act II, Sc. hi. 

" Juliet on her Bed " " Romeo and Juliet," Act IV, Sc. v. 
" Timon, Alcibiades, Phrynia, and Tj'mandra in a Wood "- " Tiinon 

of Athens," Act IV, Sc. iii. 
"Countess of Auvergne's Castle" "King Henry VI," Pt. I, 

Act II, Sc. iii. 

'' Bolingbroke consults Mother Jourdain " " King Henry VI.," 
Pt. II, Act I, Sc. iv. 



"Arthur taken Prisoner" " King John," Act III, Sc. ii. 
" Arthur and Hubert " " King John," Act IV, Sc. i. 

Hume's " History of England," published by Robert Bowyer, London, 
1806, folio. 

" Joan of Arc declaring her Mission." 

" Balliol surrendering the Crown to Edward I." 

" Coronation of Henry VI." 

" Lady Elizabeth Grey and Edward IV." 

" Mary of Modena secretly embarking at Gravesend." 

" Assassination of Becket." 

" Seizing of Mortimer." 

" Death of Archbishop Sharpe." 

" Duke of York, brother of Edward V, resigned by the Queen." 

" Boadicea haranguing the Britons." 

" Mary, Queen of Scots, previous to her Execution." 



The classification adopted by Mr. J. Jope Rogers in " Opie and his Works " has 
been adhered to, but portraits and pictures entered by him in a Supplement and 
Addenda are here included in one list. It is hoped that this plan will facilitate 
reference. No selective arrangement has been attempted, though where reasonable 
doubt of a picture's authenticity exists, it has been noted : the task of criticism is 
left for others. For the sake of brevity a description of the picture is given only in 
the case of those not appearing in " Opie and his Works," or where several portraits 
exist of the same person and it was thought advisable to note their distinguishing 
features. In all other cases the reader is referred to " Opie and his Works " for 
the description. No responsibility can be accepted for the genuineness of any 
picture in the list. 

Esq. is understood after the owner's name unless any other form of address is 
indicated. All pictures are in oils on canvas except where stated. 

x denotes that the present possessor of the picture cannot be traced, and the 
information given is from " Opie and his Works " : in such cases the name of the 
last known owner is given. 

* Not in " Opie and his Works." 

t Pictures that can be traced back to the artist's lifetime. 

$ Doubtful. 

Classed by Mr. Rogers in Supplement or Addenda. 

1 From Mr. Rogers' s MS. notes ; now at the National Portrait Gallery. 

2 From MS. notes kindly supplied by Mr. J. D. Enys. 

f ABRAHAM, THOMAS, aged 16. Size, 28 x 24 in. Date, 1784. 

Present owner, Rev. John Kitson. A copy, by Opie, at Mrs. 

Fisher's, Hessenford. 

*ADAM, WILLIAM, M.P. (died 1839). Date, 1803. Exhibited at the 

Royal Academy, 1803. Engraved by S. W. Reynolds, 1804, 

mezzo., 24 x 17$ in. 
ADAMS, REV. DR. WM. (1707-89), Master of Pembroke College, Oxford ; 

an intimate friend of Dr. Johnson. Size, 29 x 24 J in. Date, 1782-9. 

Present owner, F. A. Hyett. 
*ADENBROOKE, COLONEL. Present owners, Bristol Art Gallery ; 

presented by Miss Caroline Russell. 
ADKIN, THOMAS, of Norfolk. Size, 32 x 27 in. Engraved by Elizabeth 

Reynolds, fo., mezzo., half-length, 1814. Present owner, Samuel 

Whitbread, J.P., D.L. 


ALDERSON, AMELIA, aged about 18. Size, 30x25 in. The age and date 
of painting (1787) given by Mr. J. J. Rogers are open to question. 
The most careful inquiry failed to produce any proof that John 
Opie met Miss Alderson before 1797. Exhibited at the National 
Portrait Exhibition, South Kensington, 1868 (No. 88). Last heard 
of with Mrs. W. C. Sidgwick. 

f ALDERSON, AMELIA. Size, 30 x 24 in. Date, about 1790 (see 
previous note as to date of painting). Present owner, Lieut. -Col. 
E. M. Alderson. 

ALDERSON, ELIZABETH, nee Canning (Grandmother (?) of Amelia Alder- 
son). (Miss Russell, granddaughter of Olyett Woodhouse, thinks 
this portrait is wrongly described in " Opie and his Works." 
Elizabeth Canning, not Canham, was Dr. Alderson's grandmother. 
His mother is believed to have been named Judith.) Size, 30 x 26 
in. Date, 1800-7. Last heard of with Mr. Edward S. Alderson. 

x ALDERSON, Miss ISABELLA. Date, 1802. Exhibited at the Royal 
Academy, 1802 (No. 218). Sold at Christie's, March 11, 1871. 

*ALDERSON, JAMES, M.D. (1742-1825). Size 30 x 26 in. Etched by 
Mrs. Dawson Turner of Great Yarmouth (private plate). Last 
heard of with Mr. Edward S. Alderson. 


*fANDRAS, CATHERINE, Modeller in wax to Queen Charlotte. Size, 
30 x 24 in. Date, 1800-7. Present owner, Miss Alice M. Westerdale. 

X APSLEY, LADY. Date, 1789. Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 
1789 (No. 218, "A Lady"). Identified as Lady Apsley in the 
Anderdon Catalogue. 

j- ARGYLL, GEORGE WILLIAM, 6TH DUKE OF (1768-1839). Son of the 
beautiful Elizabeth Gunning. Painted for his father, the 5th 
Duke, about 1784. Present owner, Duke of Argyll. 

son of the beautiful Elizabeth Gunning. Painted for his father, 
the 5th Duke, about 1784. Present owner, Duke of Argyll. 

-(ARMSTRONG, MRS. Size, 30 x 26 in. Painted for her mother in 1806. 
Present owner, J. Scobell Armstrong. 

*BACELLI, MME. Sold at Christie's on June 18, 1892. 

fBADCOCK, JOHN. Size, 23 x 18 in. Date, 1790-2. Present owner, 
Mrs. F. W. Field. 

J-BADCOCK, JOHN, of Trengwainton, son of the above-named. Size, 
23 x 18 in. Date, 1790-2. Present owner, Mrs. F. W. Field. 

XBAGOT, WILLIAM, IST LORD (1728-98). Size, 36 x 27 in. Date, 
1790. Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1790 (No. 273). Last 
heard of with Lord Bagot. 

X BAGOT, LADY, wife of the above (married, 1760). Size, 36 x 27 in. 
Date,jfcl790. Last heard of with Lord Bagot. 


X BANNISTEK, JOHN, Comedian (1760-1837). Size, 50 x 40 in. Date, 
about 1795. Sold at Christie's on February 9, 1877. Last heard 
of with H. D. Clark. 

XBANNISTER, JOHN, Comedian (1760-1837). Size, 36 x 28 in. Last 
heard of with J. Fitzroy Morris. 

X BANNISTER, JOHN, Comedian (1760-1837). Bought by H. Graves & 
Co., Pall Mall, in 1867. 

*BANNISTER, JOHN, Comedian (1760-1837). Present owner, George 
Pearson, of Manchester, who inherited it from his grandfather, 
Mark de Giherne, Bannister's friend. 

*BARKER, MRS. MILNE. Size, 29 x 24 in. Sold at Christie's, May 6, 
1910, for 130 guineas; bought by Dowdeswell. Seller's name 
not stated. 

*BARLEC, MRS., in white dress seated on terrace. Size, 40 x 50 in. 
Sold at Christie's, June 10, 1899, for 600 guineas. 

Reynolds. Sold at Christie's, May 6, 1893, for 40 guineas, 
from the collection of the late Thomas Price, Esq. Bought by 
Tooth. Present owner, Lieut. -Col. Robert Barrington Baker. 

BARTOLOZZI, FRANCIS, R.A. (1730-1813). Size, 29J x 27 in. (J.J.R.), 
35 J x 27 in. (N.P.G.). Date, 1788-90. Engraved as large mezzo. 
Presented in 1866 to the National Portrait Gallery by Mr. G. P. 
Everett Green. 

BASSET, FRANCIS, D.C.L. (created Baron de Duiistanville of Tehidy, 
1796) (1780-1845), at age of about 19, after the portrait by Sir 
Joshua Reynolds at Tehidy. Size, 32 x 27 in. Painted for Sir 
John St. Aubyn. Present owner, Lord St. Levan. 

X BATEMAN, LORD, with HIS SISTER ANNE (1780-1845). Size, 50 x 40iii. 
Date, about 1790. Last heard of with William Angerstein. 


X BEARD,MRS. ELIZABETH. Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, before 1781. Ex- 
hibited at the Polytechnic Hall, Falmouth, in 1854. Last heard 
of with Miss Beard. 

BEAUCHAMP, Miss EMILY, third daughter of Sir Thomas Beauchamp. 
Married in 1815 to the Hon. and Rev. Armine Woodhouse. Size, 
60 x 48 in. Date, 1805. Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 
1805 (No. 186). Present owner, Sir Reginald P. Beauchamp, Bart. 

*BEAUCHAMP- PROCTOR, SIR THOMAS, 2ND BART. Size, (*) 31 x 26 in. 
or 2 31 x 28 in., half length, three-quarter face to right. Date, 
about 1803. Engraved for W. T. Clark, of Holborn. Present 
owner, Sir Reginald P. Beauchamp, Bart. 

*BEAUCHAMP-PROCTOR, LADY (nee Mary Palmer), wife of 2nd Bart. 
Size, 31 x 26 in. Date, about 1803. Present owner, Sir Reginald 
P. Beauchamp, Bart. 


*BEAUCHAMP-PROCTOR, ROBERT, Captain in Madras Artillery. Half 
length, full face. Size, 31 x 26 in. Date, about 1803. Present 
owner, Sir Reginald P. Beauchamp, Bart. 

and Elizabeth Boscawen, his wife. Small head ; in the manner 
of Gainsborough. Size, 21 x 17 in. Date, after 1782. Present 
owner, Viscount Falmouth. 


fBEAVER, CAPTAIN PHILIP, R.N. (1766-1813). Unfinished. In Opie's 
studio when he died. Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, 1806-7. Present 
owner, Colonel Philip K. L. Beaver, late R.A. 

*fBEDiNGFELD, CHARLOTTE, LADY, daughter of Hon. Frances, Lady 
Jerningham. See " A House of Letters," pp. 82, 83. Size, 
30 x 26 in. Painted for her father in 1803 in a dress designed by 
herself. Present owner, Sir Henry Bedingfeld, Bart. 

BEDINGFELD, CHARLOTTE, LADY, daughter of Hon. Frances, Lady 
Jerningham. In " The Jerningham Letters," vol. i, p. 234, this 
is alluded to as by Shee. A copy is at Oxburgh Hall. The 
original is neither at Costessey nor Oxburgh. 

fBEETHAM, CECILIA. " Opie and his Works," p. 227, " A Young 
Girl." Size, 30 x 25 in. Relined in 1872. Exhibited at the 
Winter Exhibition of Old Masters, 1873 (No. 229). Bequeathed 
by Miss Read, in 1871, to the Consumption Hospital, Brompton. 

*BEETHAM, CECILIA. Of a later date than the former picture. 
Present owner, Dr. Frederick Beetham. 

fBEETHAM, HARRIET. " Opie and his Works," pp. 227-8. " A Young 
Lady." Size, 30 x 25 in. Relined in 1872. Exhibited at the 
Winter Exhibition of Old Masters, 1873 (No. 211). Bequeathed 
by Miss Read to the Consumption Hospital, Brompton. 

fBEETHAM, JANE (afterwards Mrs. Read) (born, 1774). Size, 30 x 25 
in. Relined, 1872. The date of painting is given by Mr. J. J. 
Rogers as between 1790 and 1800, but more probably it was 
before 1797. Bequeathed by her daughter, Miss Cordelia Read, 
in 1871, to the Consumption Hospital, Brompton. 

*fBEEVOR, REV. JOHN (1758-1808), Rector of Seaming, Norfolk. Said 
to have been painted by Opie at Seaming. Gown and bands, 
powdered hair. Size, 29 x 24 in. Present owner, P. Berney 

BELL, Miss HENRIETTA. Size, 14 x 11 in. Date, 1785. Exhibited 
at the Polytechnic Hall, Falmouth, in 1834. Present owner, Lord 
Vivian . 

f-BELL, MRS., Housekeeper at Clowance. An early picture. Size, 
30 x 25 in. Exhibited at the Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy, 
1876 (No. 47). Present owner, Lord St. Levan. 


*fBELT,ETT, MRS. JOHN (rUe Ann Dyer) (1752-1836). Mrs. John 

Bellott was grandmother to Lady Lethbridgo's first husband. 

Hands unfinished. Size, 28 x 24 in. Date, probably 1806-7. 

Present owner, Lady Lethbridge. 
*fBELLETT, JOHN GIFFORD, stepson of above (1772-92). Size, 

24 x 20 in. Date, before 1792. Present owner, Lady Lethbridge. 
*BELLHOTTSE MR ( Attributed to Opie. Mr. Edward Opie considered 

*BEi >USE' MRS. I these his uncle ' 8 work ' Present owner, Charles 
I Phillips. 

, RICHARD FISHER, D.D., F.R.S. (1746-1803), Master of 
Gonville and Caius. The size is given by Mr. J. J. Rogers as 
30 x 25 in. and by the Gonville and Caius College authorities as 
32 x 26 in. Date, 1796. Engraved by Facius, half -sheet, stipple 
(private plate), large head, date 1804, size 14 x 11 J in. Pre- 
sented in 1797 to Gonville and Caius College (Master's Lodge) by 
Dr. Belward. 

BENNET, CAPTAIN, R.N. Size, 32 x 27 in. Present owner, Samuel 
Whitbread, J.P., D.L. 

*BENNET, MRS., and HER SON. Sold at Christie's, May 13, 1893, and 
bought by Watling. Previous owner not named. 

*BENSLEY, SIR W. Size, 30 x 25 in. Sold at Christie's, July 2, 1906, 
for 5 guineas, to Buttery. Previous owner not named. 

x BERNARD, SIR THOMAS, BART. (1740-1818). Date, 1804. Mr. Rogers 
says that there are two portraits : Ward's engraving being standing 
holding a letter (Smith's MS. Cat.). This word "standing" 
appears to be a misprint. It is " sitting " in the MS. Cat. Ex- 
hibited at the Royal Academy, 1804 (No. 142, " T. Bernard, Esq."). 
Engraved by W. Ward, undated, large fo., mezzo. ; by Scriven, 4., 
seated at a table ; (Bromley) undated ; by S. W. Reynolds, 1805, 
mezzo., 17J x 13f- in., and by C. Picart, vignette for Cadell's " Con- 
temporary Portraits." 

BETTY, WILLIAM HENRY WEST, " The Young Roscius," as " Young 
Norval " (1791-1874). The composition seems the same as that 
in the National Portrait Gallery. Size, 72 x 48 in. Date, 1805. 
Engraved in line, sheet 20 x 13 in., by James Heath, 1807, and 
F. Egerton, 1808 (?). (1805 in Wm. Smith's MS. Cat.) In posses- 
sion of the Garrick Club since 1835 ; formerly in the Mathews 

*tBETTY, WILLIAM HENRY WEST, " The Young Roscius " as " Young 
Norval " (1791-1874). Size, 77 x 57 in. Bequeathed by H. S. 
Betty, son of W. H. W. Betty, to the National Portrait Gallery, 
and accepted by the Trustees, January 1905. 

"tBEVAN, DAVID, of Belmont (1774-1846), Partner in Barclay, Bevan 
& Tritton, Bankers. Present owner, Francis A. Bevan. 


X BEVAN, SILVANTTS (died in Swansea, 1783). Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, 
about 1783. Last heard of in possession of Mrs. William 
fBiDDULPH, REV. THOMAS, Vicar of Padstow, 1790. Size, 16 x 13 in. 

Date, about 1780. Present owner, Rev. Arnold Pinchard. 
fBiDDtrLPH, MARTHA (nee Tregenna), wife of above (died, 1783). 

Size, 16 x 13 in. Date, about 1780. Present owner, Rev. Arnold 

fBiDDULPH, THOMAS TREGENNA, son of above (1763-1838). Size, 

16 x 13 in. Date, about 1780. Present owner, Rev. Arnold 

fBiRD, PENELOPE, daughter of the Rev. Sir Charles Wheler, 7th Bart. 

Size, 29| x 24J in. Exhibited at the Winter Exhibition, Royal 

Academy, 1875 (No. 238). Present owner, Mrs. James Watson 

(grand-daughter ) . 

fBLACKWELL, SIR LAMBERT, BART. (1732-1801). Bought by C. Black- 
well Foster on the death of Mr. Charles Foster (in 1906), who had 

inherited it from Sir William Foster. 

30 x 24 in. Date, about 1797. Engraved by Ridley, 1805. 

Present owner, Arthur J. Day. 
*fBLiGH, LADY, wife of above. Size, 30 x 24 in. Present owner, 

Arthur J. Day. 
*BLIGH, LADY. Lady Bligh was a Miss Beetham, and related to 

Edward Beetham, Miss Read's grandfather. Bequeathed to the 

Consumption Hospital, Brompton, by Miss Read. Sold to Agnew, 

*$BLIGHT, TAMSON, the Helston Witch. Attributed to Opie : doubtful. 

Size, 28 x 23J in. Bought at Penzance about thirty years ago 

by Mr. William Burridge, its present owner. 
fBuzARD, SIR WILLIAM, K.T. Size, 56 x 44 in. (J.J.R.) or 54 x 43 

in. (Sec. R.C.S.). Date, 1804. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 

1804 (No. 5), and the National Portrait Exhibition, 1868 (No. 8). 

Engraved by S. W. Reynolds, mezzo., 1805. Presented by Mr. 

Samuel Jackson to the Royal College of Surgeons. 
XBOADEN, JAMES (1762-1839). Date, before 1795. Engraved by E. 

Bell, large fo., mezzo., 1795, and half length, mezzo., published by 

A. Bengo, February 20, 1801, and from same plate by J. H. Green, 

1801. It was also engraved by Ridley, stipple, oval 3 x 3 in., 

in Monthly Mirror, 1803. 
|BoNE, HENRY, R.A. (1755-1834), Enameller to George III, George 

IV, and William IV. Size, 31 x 26| in. Date, 1795. Given to 

Henry Bone by Opie, and purchased by the Trustees of the National 

Portrait Gallery from his; : grandson, June 1891. 


X BONE, JAMES, an old man of Helston. Size, 48 x 36 in. Date, 

1779-81. Painted for Dr. Gould of Truro. Last heard of with 

the Rev. R. J. Gould. 
fBoRLASE, CAPTAIN SAMUEL. Size, 24 x 21 in. Date, 1778. Present 

owner, C. A. Borlase. 

amongst unnamed portraits. 
"tBoscAWEN, HON. EDWARD, 4th Viscount and 1st Earl (1787-1841). 

A copy of the picture at Tregothnan. Size, 30 x 24 in. Date, 

about 1805. Painted for Dr. Goodall, headmaster of Eton. En- 
graving in Mr. Gust's Eton College portraits. Present owners, 

Eton College. 
fBoscAWEN, HON. EDWARD, 4th Viscount and 1st Earl (1787-1841). 

Half length. Size, 30 x 25 in. Present owner, Viscount Fal- 

X BOVER, CAPTAIN PETER, R.N. Size, 23 x 19J in. Said to have been 

copied by a local artist named Robson. Last heard of with the 

Rev. Edward Hinchliffe. 
X BOVER, CAPTAIN PETER TURNER, R.N. Size, 24 x 21 in. Last heard 

of with Miss Stevens, Southsea. 
x Bowi>ES, MR., the Cherokee Chief. Sold at Opie's sale, June 1807, 

for 9 guineas, in one lot (79) with "Head of an Assassin " and " A 

Female." See supplement to " Opie and his Works," p. 235. 
*fBowYER, ROBERT, Engraver, Miniature painter to George III. 

Size, 31 x 23 in. Exhibited at a Loan Exhibition in Hull some 

years ago. Present owner, Miss Lucy Stratton. 
*fBowYER, MRS. ROBERT. Size, 30 x 24 in. Exhibited at a Loan 

Exhibition in Hull some years ago. Present owner, Miss Lucy 

*BRADDON, MRS. HENRY, of Skisdon. Present owner, Major W. Clode 

*BRAHAM, JOHN, Singer. Size, 23 x 19 in., oval. From Earl Walde- 

grave's Collection. Sold at Christie's, February 10, 1900, for 

9 guineas to Gribble. 
fBRiSTOW, GEORGE, Clerk of Merchant Taylors' Company. Size, 

50 x 43 in. Painted by order of the Court held July 9, 1788. 

Entry in Company's accounts for 1789 : " Paid to Mr. John Opie 

for painting the Clerk's Picture, and to his Servant, 47 15*. 6d." 

Present owners, Merchant Taylors' Company. 
BRUCKNER, REV. JOHN, Pastor of the Walloon Church, Norwich, 

from 1753 to 1804. See " Journals of Caroline Fox," vol. ii, 

p. 20. Size, 29 x 24j in. Date, 1800. Painted for Mrs. Opie. 

Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1800 (No. 243 or 662). " Portrait 

of a Gentleman." Present owner, Sir Somerville Gurnoy, K.C.V.O. 


*BUCKLE, MBS. FRANCES, an aged dame in dark dress, holding a book 
and spectacles. Size, 29 x 24|- in. Sold at Christie's, January 28, 
1911 (Lot 134). Seller's name not given. 


X BULKEI,EY, CATHERINE EYCOTT (nee Williams). Dress disfigured by 
daubs of paint, said to have been applied intentionally. Size, 
30 x 25 in. Last heard of with Colonel R. H. Champion. 



BUNN, Miss, sister of Opie's first wife. Size, 32 x 27 in. Date, about 
1788. Exhibited at the Truro Exhibition, 1861 (No. 82). Mezzo., 
engraver unknown. Present owner, Lord St. Levan. 

*|BuNN, ROBERT. Half length. Size, 30 x 25 in. Present owner, 
his great-grandson, John Abercrombie. Never out of family. 
Never exhibited. 

f BURKE, EDMUND, M.P. (1730-97). Label on back stating that it 
was purchased by Duke of Dorset in 1792, and on back of canvas : 
" Opie Pinxit 1792, Ed. Burke, Esq re ." Size, 29J x 24 in. Date, 
1792. Exhibited at the National Portrait Exhibition, 1867 (No. 
560). Present owner, Lord Sackville. 

*BURKE, RT. HON. EDMUND. Sold at Christie's, February 29, 1896, for 
25 guineas, and bought by Colnaghi. Seller's name not stated. 

*BuRKE, RT. HON. EDMUND. Size, 23J x 19J in. Sold at Christie's, 
December 1, 1906, for 6 guineas, and bought by Renton. 

fBuRRELL, SIR MERRIK, BART., M.P. (died, 1787). Lieut. -Col. Wyatt- 
Edgell writes that Lady Burrell, widow of the last baronet, sent 
him a photograph of another portrait of Sir Merrik by Opie : he 
does not know if it was destroyed in the fire at Knepp Castle. 
Size, 29J x 24jin. Date, about 1785. Painted for Mr. Richard 
Wyatt, of Egham. Present owner, Lieut. -Col. Arthur Wyatt- 

tBuRTON, HENRY, of Langley, Norfolk. Mr. Hallam's portrait of 
Mr. Burton is apparently an exact copy of this. It is evidently 
the one Mr. Rogers heard of in Norwich. Size, 28 x 24 in. Date, 
about 1800. Present owner, Mrs. Berney Ficklin. 

*BURTON, HENRY, of Langley, Norfolk. Described in sale cat. as 
" Opie, R.A., Lot 411, Portrait of a Gentleman, 24 x 30 in." Size, 
29J x 24J in. Sold by Nurse's Executors at Norwich, July 24, 
1901 (Spelman, auctioneer). Present owner, W. W. Hallam. 

fBuRTON, ELIZABETH (nee Young). Size, 28J x 24 in. Date, about 
1800. Present owner, Mrs. Berney Ficklin. The portraits of 
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Burton owned by Mrs. Berney Ficklin were 
painted while Opie was at Langley. 



CAMPBELL, LADY AUGUSTA. Painted for her father, the 5th Duke of 
Argyll, about 1784. Present owner, Duke of Argyll. 

CAMPBELL, LADY CHARLOTTE SUSAN MARIA. Painted for her father, the 
5th Duko of Argyll, about 1784. Present owner, Duke of Argyll. 

fCARDEW, REV. CORNELIUS, D.D. (1784-1831). An entry in Dr. 
Cardew's diary under date July 4, 1778, says: "Sat to Opie for 
my picture." No other sittings are recorded, so its present 
possessor's opinion, " A poor specimen," is accounted for. Mr. 
Cornelius E. Cardew has a portrait of Dr. Cardew at the age of 82 
by Edward Opie. Exhibited at Taunton Castle, 1875. Present 
owner, F. Cardew Woodforde. 

*fCARNE, JOSEPH, ESQ., F.G.S., a Penzance banker (1772-?). Size, 
30 x 24 in. Date, probably about 1806. Present owner, Major 
John J. Ross, late the P. A. Somersetshire L.I. 

{CARPENTER, JOHN, of Taviton (died, 1797). Mr. Carpenter-Gamier 
thinks that Mount Tavy was not built in his great-grandfather's 
time, and that he should be described as of Taviton, the older 
house. His picture is of a gentleman in a brown coat, buff waist- 
coat buttoned to the throat, and neckcloth of same colour, wearing 
wig, seated, not showing hands. Size, 29 x 24J in. Present owner. 
J. Carpenter-Gamier. 

*CARPENTER, JOHN, of Mount Tavy. This picture shows a gentleman 
in brown coat, with white cravat. Size, 30 x 25 in. Sold by 
Agnew (1908) to H. L. C. Brassey. 

x JCARRINGTON, NICHOLAS TOMS (1777-1830). Mr. Edward Opie told 
Mr. Enys this was not by John Opie. Both dress and age are of a 
later date. Size, 13 x 9 in. Date, 1800. (2) Exhibited in 
" Devon and Cornwall Worthies," 1873. Present owners, Ply- 
mouth Athenaeum. 

X CARY, MRS., of Torr Abbey. "His most graceful picture is that of 
Mrs. Gary, in the present Exhibition." Literary Panorama, 
1807. Date, 1807. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1807 
(No. 174). Probably now at Torr Abbey. 

fCAWSE, JOHN. Size, 20 x 16 in. Successively in possession of Sir 
Francis Knowles, Mr. John Knowles, Mr. Samuel Forgate Knowles, 
and his nephew, the Rev. John Avent, the present owner. 

CAWSE, JOHN. Engraved by Stalker, line 4. (E. Stalker, Etching 
published by D. Rymer). The arrangement of hair and age of 
sitter in Stalker's engraving differ from those of Mr. Avent's picture. 


x CHARLOTTE, H.R.H. THE PRINCESS. See letter of " Scrutator," 
Notes and Queries, 4th series, vol. xi, p. 384. There is nothing in 
the letter to support Mr. Rogers's identification with the Princess 
Royal, daughter of George III. Probability slightly in favour of 


Princess Charlotte of Wales. The picture would solve the diffi- 
culty. Who was " Scrutator " ?. Signed and dated, 1799. 
*fCHABBiNGTON, JOHN, ESQ., of Mile End and Bures Manor (1739- 
1815). Size, 29 x 24 in. Copied in enamel (miniature) by Bone. 
Present owner, Edward Somerset Charrington. 

|CHATFIELD,MBS. MARY. Size, 30 x 26 in. (Director, Brighton Gallery), 
30 x 25 in. (J.J.R.). Exhibited at the British Institution (No. 148), 
1854, and (No. 141) 1861 ; Paris (Femmes des lcoles Anglaise et 
Francaise du XVIII Siecle), 1909 ; and Japan-British Exhibition, 
1910. Presented by her son, Mr. Frederick Chatfield, in 1872, to 
the Brighton Public Library and Museum. 

*CHATTEBTON, by Opie. Belonging to Sir Edward Hornby. See 
West Briton, August 7, 1888. 2 

"CHURCHILL, MASTEB HOBACE, in white dress. Size, 30 x 25 in. Sold 
at Christie's, December 3, 1904, for 490 guineas ; purchased by 
M. Colnaghi. 2 

X CLABK, WILLIAM, of Meavy (1757-1832). Oval canvas, size, 18J x 15|- 
in. Date, 1791. Painted at Durnford Street, Stonehouse. Last 
heard of with Alfred Hinton, Exeter. 

X CLABK, JANE (nee Fox), wife of the above. Oval canvas, size, 
18|- x 15|- in. Date, 1791. Painted at Durnford Street, Stone- 
house. Last heard of with Alfred Hinton, Exeter. 

x CLARK, THOMAS BASKEBVILLE, son of the above, at age of 4 
(1787-1862). Oval oak panel, size, 11 x 9 in. Date, 1791. 
Painted at Durnford Street, Stonehouse. Last heard of with 
Alfred Hinton, Exeter. 

X CLABK, MABY, eldest daughter of William Clark. Aged about 9. 
Oval canvas, size, 11 x 9 in. Date, 1791. Painted at Durnford 
Street, Stonehouse. Her nephew, Mr. Alfred Hinton, remembered 
this picture, but did not know what became of it. 

X CLABK, JANE APPLEBEE, second daughter of William Clark. Aged 
about 8. Oval canvas, size 11 x 9 in. Date, 1791. Her nephew, 
Mr. Alfred Hinton, remembered this picture, but did not know 
what became of it. 

X CLABK, DEBOBAH, third daughter of William Clark, aged about 5; 
Married Mr. John Lawrence Hinton. Oval oak panel, size 11x9 
in. Date, 1791. Last heard of with Alfred Hinton, Exeter. 

*CLABK, MRS. Sold at the 5th Avenue Art Gallery, April 1908 (Edward 
Brandon's sale), for $190, to Mrs. S. R. Sigismund, and in 1909, 
at the Mendonca sale at the 5th Avenue Art Gallery for $130, to 
J. B. Fraser, its present owner. 

CLARKE, REV. EDWARD DANIELL, LL.D. (1769-1822). Size, 
36 x 28 in. Date, 1805. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1805 
(No. 167). Engraved by R. Golding, fine line, 4, 1811, and by 


W. J. Fry, 8, 1816, both for his "Travels." An MS. note in a 
second-hand copy of " Opie and his Works " says that this is 
" In Rev. J. M. Cripps' possession. A duplicate at South Ken- 

*CLAKKE, REV. EDWARD DANIELL, LL.D. (1769-1822). The National 
Portrait Gallery picture is a bust, slightly turned to left ; 
the Cripps picture is to waist, nearly full face, to right, furred 
overcoat or cloak. Size, 16J x 15 in. Presented, April 1889, to 
the National Portrait Gallery, by Henry Willett, Esq., Brighton. 

fCLARKE, REV. EDWARD DANIHLL, LL.D. (1769-1822). Half length, 
head turned to look over left shoulder. Size, 30 x 26 in. 
Date, 1807. Engraved by E. Scriven (pub. by G. Corrie), stipple, 
large fo., 1825, and also 8, with autograph, for his life, by 
Otter, 1825. An etching and lino engraving (head only) was made 
by Mrs. Dawsoii-Turner (Anon) as frontispiece of " Life of Clarke," 
by Otter, 4, 1824. Sold at Sotheby's, May 24, 1888, to E. Lionel 
A. Clarke (Master of Supreme Court, Chancery Division), the son 
of Dr. Clarke's eldest son. Previously in possession of Mrs. An- 
gelica Forbes, Mrs. Clarke's daughter. 

fCLARKE, MRS. Size, 30 x 26 in. Date, 1806 (?). Exhibited at the 
Royal Academy, 1806 (No. 198). There is a miniature of this 
picture by Satchwell last heard of in possession of the Rev. J. M. 
Cripps. Sold at Sotheby's, May 24, 1888 (after the death of the 
previous possessor, Mrs. Angelica Forbes), to E. Lionel A. Clarke 
(Master of the Supreme Court, Chancery Division), the present 


"fCLiNTON, LORD (Robert Cotton St. John), as a boy (1787-1832). Size, 
about 36 x 34 in. Present owner, Earl of Mount Cashell ; inherited 
from his mother, who was daughter of the 17th Baron Clinton. 

*fCLOVER, MRS. JOSEPH (nee Ann Floodman), first wife of a cousin of 
Joseph Clover, Artist, of Norwich (died, 1784). Bust, three-quarter 
face, powdered hair. Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, before 1784. Present 
owner, Mrs. Beevor, who is a great-grand-daughter of Ann Flood- 
man's husband by his second wife. 

COKE, THOS. WM., M.P., of Holkham Hall (created Earl of Leicester, 
1837) (1752-1842). See Country Life, January 29, 1910, for an 
illustration of the dining-room at Winkerworth Hall, with this 
portrait hanging over the sideboard. Captain Hunloke has since 
had this and other pictures removed to Bucknell Manor. He does 
not know how it first came to Winkerworth, but presumes it was 
through Margaret, wife of Sir Henry Hunloke, and sister of Lord 
Leicester. Date, about 1806. Engraved by S. W. Reynolds, 1807, 
sheet, mezzo. Present owner, Captain Philip Hunloke, J.P. 


J-COLE, REV. JOHN, D.D. (1758-1819). Rector of Exeter College, 
Oxford, 1808. Size, 24J x 23J in. Presented by his nephew, J. G. 
Cole, Esq., to Exeter College, Oxford. 

fCoMBE, HARVEY CHRISTIAN, M. P. (1752-1818), Governor of the Hon. 
the Irish Society, 1806-17 ; Lord Mayor of London, 1800. Size, 
66 x 54 in. (restored). Date, April 1806. Engraved by C. Turner, 
on copper, fo., mezzo., 1812, and by J. Baker, line, 4| x 3| in., 
1798. Same plate with inscription altered for Gentleman's 
Magazine, 1818. Present owners, the Hon. the Irish Society. 

CONDELL, HENRY, Musical Composer. Sold by Puttick & Simpson, 
March 4, 1864, and on November 15, 1866. Formerly in possession 
of H. F. Long, Esq. 

*COOKWORTHY, WILLIAM (1705-80), Chemist and discoverer of china 
clay in Cornwall. Wolcot took Opie to Cookworthy's house soon 
after the lad came under his notice, for the express purpose of 
painting this portrait. See " Memoirs of William Cookworthy." 
Date, very early. Present owner, 2 Mr. Edward Harrison (great- 

X COOMBE, WILLIAM. Bust, three-quarter face ; probably painted at 
one sitting. Size, 24 x 18 in. Mr. James Leyson owned this. He 
bought it at sale of effects of Miss Coombe, daughter of William 
Coombe, at Swansea, 1873. 

*COOPER, Miss, sister of Lady Waterpark. Size, 50 x 40 in. From 
Lord Waterpark's Collection. Seen at Agnew's, May 1910. 

x CoRY, REV. NICHOLAS (died, 1791). Size, 29 x 25 in. Date, about 
1780. Last heard of with the Rev. Canon Cory. 

*COTTON, Miss, one of the four daughters of George Cotton, LL.D., 
Dean of Chester. Three-quarter length to right, holding basket of 
fruit. The engraving has a quotation from Thomson. Engraved 
as " Melinda " by W. T. Annis, mezzo., 12| x lOf in., 1803. 

*COURTENAY, Miss ELLEN. Oval, size, 17 x 15 in. Sold at Christie's, 
December 14, 1907, for 14 guineas, and on February 29, 1908, 
for 21 guineas. 


"COVENTRY, MRS. Size, 27 x 22 in. Sold at 5th Avenue Art Gallery 

(Eugene Fischof's sale) for $320. Present owner, Mrs. N. W. 

*|Cox, GEORGE LISSANT, of Leen Side, Nottingham. Size, 30 x 24J in. 

Present owner, George Henry Cox (great-grandson). 
x CoxE, MRS., wife of R. Albion Coxe. Date, 1806-7. "One of the 

last pictures on which his genius was employed." Memoir by 

Mrs. Opie, prefixed to the "Lectures." 
X CRANE, MRS. Date, 1803. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1803 

(No. 150). 



X CRIPPS, MRS. Date, 1806. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1806 
(No. 259). A MS. note in a secondhand copy of " Opie and his 
Works " says this was in possession of the Rev. J. M. Cripps. 

CROME, JOHN, " Old Crome " (1768-1821). Size, 21 x 16J in. Date, 
about 1795. Exhibited at the Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy, 
1878 (No. 42). 1>2 Written on back of modern strainer, " Bought 
by Sir Francis Boileau, 1873," and on back of canvas, " Portrait 
of Old Crome, by Opie." Sold by Sir Francis Boileau to 
Mr. J. J. Coleman, of Norwich, and by him bequeathed in 1899 
to the Norwich Castle Museum. 

*|CROMPTON, MRS. SAMUEL (nee Hannah Woodhouse, married 1769). 
White mob cap with satin bow, white dress, crossed fichu, blue 
silk at waist, black lace scarf over shoulders. Age between 50 
and 60. Size, 30 x 24 in. Present owner, H. B. Lawford (great- 

*CROSS, THE MISSES. Two young girls sitting by a gipsy fire. Rich 
chiaroscuro. Size, 50 x 40 in. Bought from Mrs. Cross of 
Tewkesbury, by Messrs. Dowdeswell, the present owners. 

*CROSSMAN, L., ESQ. Size, 29 x 24 in.. Sold at Christie's, May 6, 1910, 
for 45 guineas, and bought by Cremetti. Seller's name not given. 

CROWTHER, JOHN (born 1778). Size, 25f x 21J in., three-quarter face 
to left, blue coat, gilt buttons, white stock. Age, about 25. 
Present owner, W. H. Romaine- Walker (great-nephew). 

X DANBY, WILLIAM, of Swinton Hall. In 1865 this was in possession 
of Admiral O. H. Vernon Harcourt, through his wife William 
Danby's widow. See " History of Masham," by John Fisher. 

*DANIEL, , of Fowey (unknown). " Late the property of a gentle- 
man [" late Dr. Willis, D.D.," note by Mr. Enys] who inherited part 
of them [the pictures] from Dr. Wolcot." Painted for the late 
Dr. Wolcot, who first brought Opie into notice. Sold at Christie's, 
April 19, 1828 (No. 42 in sale cat.). Cat. not priced. 

39 x 49 in. Date, 1786. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1786 
(No. 8). " A Gentleman and a Miner with a Specimen of Copper 
Ore." Present owner, W. C. Pendarves. " Old Mr. Daniell's 
admirable picture by Opie was sold to Mr. Pendarves, June 1835." 
"Reminiscences" of Rev. R. Polwhele. 

"{DAVIDSON, DAVID, of Cantray (1720). White wig, red coat, and 
waistcoat, white stock and ruffles ; the left hand thrust into breast 
of coat. Aged about 60. Size, 30 x 24 in. Date, before 1785. 
Present owner, Miss Davidson of Cantray. 

*|DAViDSON, DAVID, of Cantray. Seated in red chair, black velvet (?) 
coat, white cambric stock, frilled shirt, and ruffles, wig ; holds a 


stick in right hand. Size, 36 x 28 in. Date, about 1790. Present 
owner, Miss Davidson of Cantray. 

*fDAviDSON, MBS. DAVID (nee Maria Cuthbert of Castlehill ; married, 
1785), wife of above. Large black hat with feathers, hair pow- 
dered and curled, white fichu, bodice slightly open at neck. Dark 
shawl over shoulders. Size, 36 x 28 in. Date, about 1790. 
Present owner, Miss Davidson of Cantray. 

*DAVY, SIR HUMPHREY (1778-1829). Attributed to Opie. Present 
owner, Frederick Sleep. 

DAVY, REV. MARTIN, D.D., Master of Gonville and Caius. Size, 
29 x 24 \ in. (J.J.R.), about 36 x 26 in. (Gonville and Caius). 
Date, about 1803. Bequeathed by Dr. Davy in 1838 to Gonville and 
Caius College. 

DEANE, MRS. SARAH (?). Mrs. Tweedy has always understood that the 
Christian name was Dorothy, not Sarah, as given in " Opie and 
his Works." Size, 32 x 28 in. (J.J.R.), 30 x 25 in. (Mrs. Tweedy). 
Date, about 1800. Present owner, Mrs. Tweedy. 

*DE BURGH, THOMAS, of Oldtown (1754-1832). Half length, three- 
quarter face. Attributed to Opie. Size, 37 x 28 in. Present 
owner, Lieut. -Col. T. J. de Burgh. 

DE BURGH, FLORINDA, MRS. (nee Gardiner), wife of above. Size, 
40 x 30 in. Present owner, Lieut. -Col. T. J. de Burgh, who believes 
this picture to be by Sir Joshua Reynolds. 

*DE DUNSTANVILLE, LORD. After Reynolds. Present owner, Lord 
St. Levan. 

fDELANY, MRS. (nee Mary Granville) (1700-88). Size, 30 x 25 in. 
Date, 1782. Painted for King George III. Exhibited at the 
National Portrait Exhibition, 1867 (No. 708). Engraved by Anon, 
stipple, vignette frontispiece to " Diary of Mme. D'Arblay," pub. 
H. Colburn, 1842. At present time at Kensington Palace. 

IDELANY, MRS. The frame was designed and inscription composed 
by Horace Walpole. Size, 29 x 24 in. Painted for Lady Bute. 
Engraved by J. Brown, as frontispiece to 1st vol. of her " Auto- 
biography." Bequeathed by Lady Llanover to the National Por- 
trait Gallery, and accepted by the Trustees, February 1896. 
Another duplicate is now at Wellesbourne, near Stratford-on-Avon. 
See " The Granville Family." 

"fDEMPSTER, GEORGE, M.P., of Dunnechan (1732-1818). Size, 30 x 24 
in. Present owner, D. C. Guthrie of Craigie, who inherited it 
from George Dempster, whose daughter Anne married a Guthrie 
of Craigie. 

*DIBDIN, CHARLES. Size, 3H x 26 in ('78 x '65 cm.). Present owners. 
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Mass., U.S.A. 

DIBDIN, CHARLES. Size, 30 x 24 in. Exhibited at the Grosvenor 


Gallery, 1888. Sold at Christie's, May 29, 1897 (Sir John Fender's 

sale), for 52 guineas ; bought by Tooth. 
fDiCKSON, LADY. Unsigned. Hands clasped on lap, ungloved. 

" Opie and his Works," p. 244. Size, 29 x 24 in. (J.J.R.) or 

30 x 24 in. Date, about 1799. Present owner. Captain W. D. 

f- DICKSON, LADY. Signed " J. Opie " on background a few inches above 

right hand. Left hand gloved and hanging down, right gloved 

and resting on her lap. Size, 29 x 24 in. (J.J.R.) or 30 x 24 in. 

Date, about 1801. Present owners, Miss F. M. O'Brien Despard 

and Mrs. Stevenson. 
DINGWALL, JOHN, of Buckley (1734-1812). Date, 1807. Exhibited 

at the Royal Academy, 1807 (No. 226). Engraved by Charles 

Turner, mezzo., 12J x 10 in., 1812. 
DOLBEN, SIR WILLIAM, M.P. (died, 1814). Size, 30 x 24 in. Date, 

about 1800. Present owners, Bodleian Library, Oxford. 
fDowsoN, BENJAMIN UTTING, of the Old House, Geldoston. Size, 

29 J x 24 J in. (or 30 x 26 in., J.J.R.). Painted at one sitting. 

Date, 1800. Present owner, E. Theodore Dowson. 
fDowsoN, SUSANNA, wife of above. " Opie and his Works," p. 245. 

Mr. Rogers gives the date of painting as 1806, but Mrs. Dowson 

wrote some lines addressed " To Mr. Opie, 1800," in her book of 

verses : 

" When low in earth this faded form shall lie, 

Thanks to thy genius, Opie, I shall live ; 
Still speak the language of a mother's eye, 

And almost breathe the precepts she would give." 

Size, 29 x 24 J in. (or 30 x 25 in., J.J.R.). Present owner, E. 
Theodore Dowson. 

x DuMERGTJE, CHARLES, Surgeon. Engraved by Conde (Evan's Cat.). 

session of the present Viscount. 

DUNSTAN, SIR JEFFREY. 1 Sold at Smithers's, 1814 (No. 23 in cat.), 
for 4. 

X DURHAM, BISHOP OF (SHUTE BARRiNGTON) (1734-1826). Date, 1805. 
Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1805 (No. 222). 

fEARLE, JAMES, Gentleman of the Privy Chamber to George III. 
Size, 29 x 24 in. Date, about 1796. Present owner, Percy Bel- 

|EARLE, MRS. JAMES, wife of above. Said to be especially graceful 
and charming. Size, 29 x 24 in. Date, about 1796. Present 
owner, Percy Belgrave. 

x EDWARDS, MRS. MAJOR. "Portrait of a Lady" and "A Female 


My pot-mission of the owner. F. M. Bland, Hsi|. 


Head " sold together. Marked in MS. in cat., " Mrs. Major 
Edwards, Aunt of Alfred Bunn, probably, therefore, Opie's first 
wife, Mary Bunn " (Supplement to " Opie and his Works," p. 238). 
Sold at Christie's, February 7, 1863 (Lots 713, 714), for 2. 

x ELLIOTT, MRS. (nee Ann Maria Maltby), sister of the Bishop of Dur- 
ham (died, about 1853). Buff dress, short white sleeves, right 
elbow resting on red-covered table, hand at cheek. Size, 30 x 25 
in. Date, about 1800. Sold to Agnew about 20 years ago by 
Mrs. Fraser-Tytler. 

*fELLiOTT, MRS. (nee Ann Maria Maltby), sister of the Bishop of 
Durham (died, about 1853). White dress. Size, 30 x 25 in. 
Date, about 1799. Present owner, F. M. Bland. 

x ELLIOTT, MRS. (nee Ann Maria Maltby), sister of the Bishop of Durham 
(died, about 1853). Sold by Mr. Charles Cope's Executors at Chris- 
tie's, June 8, 1872, for 23 guineas. 

*fELLis, REV. WILLIAM, LL.B. (1760-1824), for 42 years Rector of 
Thames Ditton. Present owner, Molesworth Ellis. 

*ELPHINSTONE, HON. WM. FULLERTON (1744-1834). Engraved by L. 
Haghe, lith. vignette, with facsimile of authograph, ' Cat. of En- 
graved British Portraits," F. O'Donoghue, vol. ii. 


owner, Sir Archibald Orr-Ewing, Bart. 


Half length. Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, about 1805. Present owner, 
Viscount Falmouth. 

30 x 25 in. Date, about 1805. Present owner, Viscount Falmouth. 

fFANSHAWE, JOHN, of Shabden (1738-1807). Size, 30 x 25 in. Re- 
lined. Date, about 1795-1800. Present owner, Admiral of the 
Fleet Sir Arthur Fanshawe, G.C.V.O., K.C.B. 

X FARINQTON, JOSEPH, landscape painter (died, 1818). See note in 
" Opie and his Works," p. 92. Date, 1794. Exhibited at the 
Royal Academy, 1794 (No. 97). 

*fFAVELL, SAMUEL, Freeman of City of London and Cloth workers' 
Company. Aged about 45. Three-quarter face. A fine picture. 
Mr. and Mrs. Favell were friends of Amelia Opie : they travelled 
with the Opies to France. Size, 29 x 24 in. Present owner, 
Mrs. Simms Reeve. 


x FiNCH, HON. MRS. CHARLES. Date, 1801. Exhibited at the Royal 
Academy, 1801 (No. 162). 

X FOOT, JESSE, Surgeon (died 1826). Engraved by Freeman, undated, 


6J x 4J in. (pub. C. Dyer, Soho) ; S. Freeman, stipple, 3$ x 3 in. 
(pub. C. Dyer) ; and W. Ward, rne/vso., 12 x 10J in. See Anderdon 
Collection : Catalogue for 1798. 

*FORDYCE, Miss. Present owner, Mrs. Morris K. Jesup, New York, 

FORSTER, REV. SAMUEL, D.D. (1752(?)-1843), Fellow of St. John's 
College, Cambridge ; Headmaster of Free School, Norwich. Full- 
length, in a gown. Size, 95 x 59 in. Date, about 1804. Engraved 
by E. Bell, sheet, mezzo., 1805, 24 x 15$ in. (private plate). 
Present owners, St. John's College, Cambridge. (In the College 

x FoRTESCUE, SIR JOHN, KT., Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, 
1442. The portrait is inserted in upper part of a mirror frame 
elaborately carved with cupids, flowers, and foliage. Beneath the 
portrait is a shield inscribed " De laudibus legum Anglise," the 
title of his famous treatise. Octagonal canvas, size 30 x 22 in. 
Painted for Colonel Fortescue from the original at Castlehill, 
attributed to the school of Mabuse. Last heard of with J. W. 

fFox, RT. HON. CHARLES JAMES (1748-1806). Finished from the bust 
by Nollekens ("Nollekens and his Times," vol. ii, p. 289). 2 A 
drawing by Derby after the Holkham portrait sold at Christie's 
May 3, 1838, for 20 9s. 6d. At Raith, near Kirkcaldy, is a portrait 
of Fox by Opie (?), the upper part of this Holkham portrait (see 
Dibdin's "Northern Counties' 1 ). Reduced copy (5x4 in.) in 
enamel by Bone. Size, 106J x 72 in. Date, 1804. Painted for 
Mr. Coke at Holkham. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1805 
(No. 82). Engraved by S. W. Reynolds, large fo., mezzo., 1806, 
32 x 21J in., and by H. Robinson, mixed, three-quarter length, 
in " Lodge's Portraits," 1835, vol. xii (reduced in size). Present 
owner, Earl of Leicester. 

x Fox, RT. HON. CHARLES JAMES (1748-1806). Sold at Christie's, 
June 14, 1862, for 40 guineas. 


"fFROST, MASTER WILLIAM (1798-1875). At the age of seven or 
eight. Dark suit, frilled white muslin collar, hat in hand. Size, 
29 x 24 J in. Date, 1805-6. Present owner, Mrs. Frost. 


FUSELI, HENRY, R.A. (1739-1825). Size, 29f x 24J in. Date, 1794. 
Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1794 (No. 29), " A Gentleman." 
2 Engraved by G. Harlow, 1834, and by Ridley, stipple 8, 1801, 
for Monthly Mirror (Vernon & Hood). Presented, June 1885, by 
Lord North and Colonel North, M.P., to the National Portrait 


X FUSELI, MRS., wife of above. Date, 1794. Exhibited at the Royal 

Academy, 1794 (No. 42), "A Lady." Sold at Christie's, June 6, 

1896, for 190 guineas ; bought by Masters. See Athenceum, 

June 13, 1896. 2 

X GALIAGAN, MB., of Soho Square. Date, 1787. Exhibited at the 

Royal Academy, 1787 (No. 147), " Portrait of a Gentleman." 

GARDNER, and a dog. Size, 30 x 37| in. Date, about 1805. 
Present owner, Philip Thomas Gardner. 

GAY, JOHN, of Norwich. Size, 28 x 24 in. Date, 1799. This and the 
following portrait were in possession of the late Canon Girdlestone 
of Bristol. His son and daughter know nothing of them. 
GAY, Miss, daughter of above. Size, 28 x 24 in. Date, 1799. 

*GEORGE, COLONEL G. C., of Penryn Volunteers (died, 1807). Seen 
to waist, seated, three-quarter face to left, dark coat, metal 
buttons, full white neckcloth. Size, 30 x 24 in. Bought by Mr. 
J. C. Williams, its present owner, in 1867 ; formerly owned by 
Mr. P. Tregellas, Truro. 1 

|GiDDY, DA VIES, M.P. (he took the name of Gilbert after his marriage 
with the heiress of Thomas Gilbert) (1767-1839). At Tresillick. 
Marked " Opie, R.A., 1805." Copied twice by Edward Opie, 
and also once by R. A. Gilbert. This last copy is at Gawdy 
Hall, Norfolk. Size, 29 x 24 in. Date, 1805. Exhibited at the 
Royal Academy, 1806 (No. 277). Present owner, C. Davies Gilbert. 
*fGiDDY, REV. EDWARD. At Tresillick. Present owner, C. Davies 


JGiDDY, MRS. Size, 22 x 18 Jin. Date, probably before 1781. Present 
owner, Rev. H. de Courcelles, who purchased it from the widow 
of Mr. E. Trewbody Carlyon. It was in bad condition and had 
to be restored. From the style and texture of canvas the restorer 
thought that it was not an Opie, but of much earlier date, and 
belonging to the Vandyke school. 
x GiFFORD, Miss. Date, 1806. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1806 

(No. 22). 


fGiLLiES, JOHN, M.D., F.R.S. (1747-1836). Size, 30 x 24 in. Painted 
for himself in 1795. Engraved by K. Mackenzie, stipple, 8., 
octagon, 1800, and by C. Pickart (drawn by Evans), stipple, fo. 
1813, for Cadell's -'British Gallery." Mr. Rogers gives Pickart's 
engraving as 4 ; Wm. Smith's MS. Cat. has it fo. Present 
owner, Mrs. Mennell. 


fGiLLiES, CATHERINE (nee Beaver), wife of above. Half length. Size, 
30 x 24 in. Date, 1795. Present owner, Miss Helen S. Gillies. 

GILLIES, CATHERINE (nee Beaver). Another portrait. Three-quarter 
length. Size 35 J x 27 in. Date, 1805. Present owner, Lieut. - 
Col. H. Lockhart Smith, D.S.O. 

fGiRTiN, THOMAS (1773-1802). Black coat, white neckcloth ; palette 
and crayon in his hands. Size, 29 x 24| in. Date, 1800-2. Ex- 
hibited at the Winter Exhibition,' Royal Academy, 1875. Engraved 
by S. W. Reynolds, mezzo., May 16, 1817 (pub. by J. Girtin), and 
by E. Scriven, stipple, vignette (for " Library of Fine Arts "), 1832. 
Present owner, Thomas Girtin. 

*|GiRTiN, THOMAS (1773-1802). Brown coat, in right hand a crayon, 
left a sketch-book. Has been put under plate-glass and panelled 
at the back. Size, 30 x 24J in. Present owner, F. P. Barnard, 
M.A., F.S.A., etc. (Girtin's great-grandson), Professor of Mediaeval 
Archaeology, University of Liverpool. 

*GIRTIN, THOMAS (1773-1802). Half length, face three-quarters to the 
left. Size, 29J x 24J in. Purchased, November 1891, by the 
National Portrait Gallery. 

*GIRTIN, THOMAS (1773-1802). Sold for the late Mr. W. F. Tiffin at 
Christie's, April 13, 1892, for 1 16s. ; bought by Parsons. 

GIRTIN, THOMAS (1773-1802). Seen to waist, seated, three-quarter 
face to left, rich brown hair, dark eyes ; in brown coat and white 
cravat ; his right arm rests on a table in front, a pen in hand, 
his left hand holds a roll of paper. Size, 29 x 24 in. Sold for 
Mr. Wm. Cox, Pall Mall, at Christie's, February 18, 1884, for 3J 
guineas. Present owners, Messrs. Colnaghi & Co. 

*GIRTIN, THOMAS (1773-1802). 1 Sold at Christie's, April 1, 1879 
(Domenic Colnaghi Sale), for 1 2s. ; bought by Richardson. 

GLASS, THOMAS, M.D. (died, 1786). " Hands inexpressive and inferior 
in power to the rest of the work." J Date, about 1871. Exhibited 
in "Portraits of Devon and Cornwall" (No. 154), Exeter, 1873. 
Engraved by E. A. Ezekiel, 1788. Present owners, Devon and 
Exeter Hospital. 

fGLOucESTER, H.R.H. WILLIAM HENRY, DUKE OF. Half length, nearly 
full face, powdered hair. In white uniform, with lace cravat and 
red sash crossing from right shoulder and passing round waist. 
Wearing the mantle of the Order of the Garter ; Collar, and George 
the former set with large red stones. Size, 30 x 25 J in. Painted 
for himself about 1782. Given by the Duke to Lord Harcourt. 
Present owner, Rt. Hon. Lewis Harcourt. 

Date, about 1 782. Mentioned in a letter from Wolcot, and in an 
MS. memoir of Wolcot by his nephew, Edward Collins Giddy. 


of foregoing (1776-1834). Finished by Henry Thomson, under 
Opie's direction, during the latter's fatal illness. Size, 102 x 58 in. 
Date, 1806-7. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1807 (No. 161). 
Engraved by S. W. Reynolds, fo. mezzo., and by H. Meyer, after 
a drawing by R. W. Satchwell, in which Chancellor's robe is sub- 
stituted for black gown, as frontispiece to Ackerman's " History 
of Cambridge," 4, 1815. Present owners, Trinity College Cam- 
bridge (Combination Room). 

GODWIN, MARY WOLLSTONE CRAFT (1759-97). Size, 29J x 24 in. 
Painted for William Godwin about 1797. Engraved by Heath, 
oval stipple, 3f x 2| in. 1798 (pub. by Johnson) ; by W. T. Annis, 
1802, half length, mezzo., 10 x 8 in., in a small cap, in a border; 
again by Annis, 4 mezzo., and 8, 1815 (octagon, half length, 
pub. by Dean & Munday) ; Woodbury type, as frontispiece to vol. 
ii of " Godwin and his Friends," 8 1876 ; and by Anon, stipple 
octagon, 3J x 2f in. Bequeathed to the National Portrait Gallery 
by Jane, Lady Shelley ; accepted by the Trustees, July, 1899. 

GODWIN, MARY WOLLSTONE CRAFT (1759-97). Size, 29 J x 24 J in. 
Date, in or before 1796. Exhibited at the British Institution 
(No. 173), 1861, and the National Portrait Exhibition (No. 689), 
1867. Engraved by Ridley for Monthly Mirror, February 1, 
1796, half length in an oval, stipple 3 x 3 in., and by T. Cole 
(wood engraving), June 1898. Etched by Mrs. Merritt for memoir 
prefixed to " Letters to Imlay, 1879 " (Kegan, Paul). Purchased 
by the National Gallery for 231, out of the Clarke Fund, at the 
sale of the late Mr. Russell's pictures, December 5, 1884. See the 
Times for discussion as to the authenticity of this portrait. Mr. 
Rogers enters the Ridley engraving, on p. 182 of " Opie and his 
Works," as referring to a different picture. 

GODWIN, MARY WOLLSTONE CRAFT (1759-97). Mr. Rogers gives this 
(p. 99) as a portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft's daughter, afterwards 
Mrs. Shelley. In an MS. note of his preserved by Mr. Enys he 
amends this, and states Sir Percy Shelley's opinion that it refers 
to the wife, not the daughter, of Godwin. Sold for 3 guineas at 
sale of Opie's pictures, June 6, 1807. 

GODWIN, WILLIAM (1756-1836). Size, 29J x 24J in. Present owners, 
National Gallery (purchased in London from Mr. C. Campbell 
Feetum, in 1886, out of Lewis Bequest). 

GOODRIDGE, JOHN, R.N. (1709-81), Commander of H.M. Packet Duke 
of Cumberland. Size, 10 x 8 in. Painted at Flushing, 1780; re- 
stored, 1874. Exhibited at the Polytechnic Hall, Falmouth, 1854. 
Engraved by J. Heath, 8, 1781, oval in a square, as frontispiece 
to the Phoenix. Present owner, Miss Gay. 


x GORDON, LIEUT. -CoL. HUGH MACKAY (Quarter-Master-General of 
Forces in India). Engraved by W. W. Barney, mezzo., 11 J x 9| in. 
(pub. W. Barney). Same plate, with address of T. Falser. 

XGBAHAM, SIB JAMES, BART., M.P. (1753-1825). Exhibited in 1854 
by Sir A. Dalrymple at the British Institution (No. 167). Engraved 
by C. S. Taylor, 4 (private plate). 

*|GRAHAM, SIR SANDFORD, BART. Painted on leaving Eton. To waist, 
three-quarter face to left, blue coat, buff waistcoat, white neckcloth. 
Size, 30 x 24 in. Painted for Dr. Goodall, probably about 1805, 
Engraved for Mr. Gust's " Eton College Portraits." Present owners, 
Eton College (Provost's Lodge). 

GRANDI, MR. Painted as an experiment on a canvas prepared with a 
composition invented by Mr. Grandi. Size, 17 x 14 in. Be- 
queathed by the Rev. T. Penrose, D.C.L., to the University 
Galleries, Oxford. 


GRAVES, MRS. MARY, daughter of Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Graves, K.B. 
Date, before 1780. Present owner, Sir Charles J. Graves-Sawle, 

*GREOORY, DR., (the identity of the sitter has been questioned), 
Inventor of Gregory's Powder (?). Engraved, stipple at British 
Museum, engraver unknown. Present owners, Agnew's Gallery. 

GREY, CHARLES, IST EARL (1729-1807). Half length, seated, full face. 
Mr. S. H. Whitbread, M.P., has seen an engraving, but does not 
know by whom. Present owner, Samuel Whitbread, J.P., D.L. 

X GRIBBLE, CAPT. C. B., Hon. East India Company's Service. Size, 
30 x 24 in. Date, about 1806. Exhibited by Mr. C. Turner at 
Taunton Castle, 1875. Last heard of with Mrs. Turner, Taunton. 

fGRYLLS, MRS. R. GERVEYS (nee Charity Hill). Size, 21J x 18 in. 
Date, 1779-81. Present owner, Horace Grylls. 

*|GRYLLS, MR. THOMAS, Solicitor, of Helston. A young man in frock 
coat, with stock collar, powdered hair ; background of red curtain, 
draped. Size, 29 x 24 in. Present owner, C. R. Gerveys Grylls. 

*fGRYLLS, MRS. THOMAS. Curly brown hair covered with scarf or veil ; 
reddish brown dress cut low at neck, with kerchief folded inside ; 
string of beads round throat. Size, 29 x 24 in. Present owner, 
C. R. Gerveys Grylls. 

"fGuiLLEMARD, MRS. (nee Mary Phillippa Davies Giddy). At Tresil- 
lick. Canvas marked on lower left hand corner " M. P. D. Giddy, 
Opie, p. 1805." Size, 29 x 24 in. Present owner, C. Davies 

fGuLLETT, CHBISTOPHEB (1740-98), with ANNE, HIS WIFE (died, 1801), 
and THEIR YOUNGEST CHILD, GEORGiANA (1781-1868). Size, 
51 x 40 in. Date, about 1786. This picture, in excellent 


condition, has never been exhibited. Mr. Rogers gives the 
date of painting as 1790. Present owner, W. A. Geare. 

jGuLLETT, ANNE (1771-1839), CHRISTOPHEB (1767-1800), and JOHN 
(1770-1825). Size, 51 x 40 in. Date, about 1786. This and the 
following picture were formerly in possession of Mr. Geare, son of 
Charlotte Gullett, and were sold to Mr. A. Wertheimer, December 

fGuLLETT, MARY (1773-1833), CHARLOTTE (1775-1851), CAROLINE 
(1778-1863), and ELIZABETH (1779-1801). Size, 51 x 40 in. Date, 
about 1786. Present owner, A. Wertheimer. 

*|GuLSTON, MRS. JOSEPH (nee Susanna Woodham) (died, 1806). Aged 
about 21. Half length to left; dark chestnut hair curling over 
forehead, grey eyes, fresh complexion; no ornaments, black dress 
opening over white muslin, ruffled. Opie is said to have observed 
that " he would not add another touch, lest he should spoil his 
best work." Size, 30 x 25J in. Present owner, Alan Stepney- 


*fGuRNEY, AGATHA (afterwards Mrs. Hanbury). 2 See Hare's " Gur- 
neys of Earlham," vol. i, pp. 204, 258. Present owner, J. H. 

"fGuRNEY, ELIZABETH (Mrs. Fry) (1780-1845), at age of 14. Full 
length, three-quarter face to left, white dress, with a dog. Size, 
30 x 25 in. Date, 1794. Exhibited at the Norwich Art Loan 
Exhibition, 1878. 2 Bought at Lord Oxford's sale, Aylsham, 
1878, by C. L. Buxton, its present owner. 



GURNEY, HUDSON, M.P., of Keswick (1775-1867). Size, 29J x 24J in. 
Date, 1797. Etched by Mrs. Dawson Turner, vignette 4. Present 
owner, J. H. Gurney. 

*GURNEY, HUDSON, M.P. Present owner, Reginald Gurney. 

GURNEY, JOHN, of Earlham, Norfolk (1750-1809). Probably the por- 
trait referred to by T. S. Cooper, R.A., in " My Life," as hanging 
in Gurney's Bank, and not appreciated by Mr. Richard Gurney. 
Cooper told him he would cover its value three times over with 
his own works to be its possessor. Size, 29 x 24 in. Date, about 
1799. Probably the picture described as " Mr. Gurney of Norwich" 
(No. 187), exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1799. Present owner, 
Eustace Gurney, J.P. 


GURNEY, JOHN, of Trevorgus, Cornwall (1753-1823). Size, 28 x 22 in. 
Date, before 1781. Present owner, G. G. H. Gurney. 


*HAMILTON, LADY (1761-1815). The influence of Reynolds is apparent 
in this picture, but it is said to differ from his representation of 
her as a Bacchante. Size, 29 x 25 in. Date, 1785-95. Captain 
B. Hamilton owned this. It was presented by Opie to his father- 
in-law, Mr. Bunn. 



"J-HAMILTON, MAJOR DANIEL (1722-1810), a founder of the Exeter 
Bank. Dark green coat, gold buttons, white cravat, and lace 
ruffles. Presented to the Exeter Museum in 1895. 

x HAMILTON, MR. AND MRS. JOHN. Size, 50 x 49 in. Relined in 1862 
by Anthony. Last heard of with Major James Hamilton. 


HANCOCK, JOHN EASTMAN (1755-1832). Size, 29 x 24 in. Relined. 
Present owner, Talbot Fry Dobson. 


X HANKEY, JOHN CHAPLIN, M.P. Half length, sitting, holding a letter 
(Evans, and W. Smith's MSS.). Engraved by C. Watson, 4, 1793. 

HARCOURT, LAST COUNTESS (Hon. Mrs. W. Harcourt). After the 
original by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Mr. Harcourt knows of no 
other portrait of Lady Harcourt by Opie, and thinks this copy 
must be the one mentioned on p. 105 of " Opie and his Works." 
Date, 1782 (?). Present owner, Rt. Hon. Lewis Harcourt. 

x HARD ING, JOHN. Size, 28 x 24 in. Date, 1799. This was owned by 
the late Canon Girdlestone, of Bristol, but his son and daughter 
know nothing of it. 


fHARMER, SAMUEL (died, 1808). Speaker of the Common Council 
of Norwich. Size, 93 x 58J in. Painted for the Council about 
1798. " Presented by the Common Council, Sept., 1798, as 
a mark of their approbation of his uniform conduct in supporting 
the rights of his fellow citizens." Engraved by S. W. Reynolds, 
sheet, 22f x 15 J in., mezzo., 1805. Present owners, Guildhall, 
Norwich (Police Court). 

*HARRIS, THOMAS. Mr. J. N. Longman, great-grandfather of the 
present Mr. J. N. Longman, married a sister of Harris. See 
Notes and Queries, 7th series, vol. viii, p. 374. Present owners, 
Messrs. Longman. 

fHARRis, HENRY, third son of Thomas Harris of Rosewarne. Size, 
30 x 26 in. Date, before 1781. Sold at the Rosewarne sale, 
October 2, 1894, to Mrs. Bond, the present owner. 

[HARRIS, MARY (afterwards Mrs. H. W. Hartley) (died, 1868 (?)), only 
daughter of William, eldest son of Thomas Harris of Rosewarne. 
To waist, three-quarter face to left, dove-coloured evening dress, 


hair dressed over a cushion, with pearls, throat ribbon. Either 
the identity of this picture, or the year in which it was painted, 
must be incorrect. Possibly it represents the wife, not the daughter, 
of William Harris. The dress and appearance are those of an 
adult. Size, 30 x 26 in. Date, before 1781. Sold at the Rose- 
warne sale, October 2, 1894, to Mrs. Bond, the present owner. 

(HARRIS, WILLIAM, Sheriff of Cornwall, eldest son of Thomas Harris 
of Rosewarne. Size, 30 x 26 in. Date, before 1781. Sold at the 
Rosewarne sale, October 2, 1894, to Mrs. Bond, the present owner. 

HARRIS, PETER BOWN, J.P., D.L., of Rosemerryn, Falmouth. Oval 
canvas ; size 8 x 6 in. Date, about 1786. Not included in the 
Millett sale, and believed to be now owned by a relative in Australia. 

*fHARRis, PETER BOWN, J.P., D.L., of Rosemerryn, Falmouth. Half 
length, blue coat, yellow waistcoat, white frill. Panel, size, 
26 x 20 in. Date, 1796. Sold at the Millett sale ; bought by 
John Williams, the present owner. 

fHARRis, PETER BOWN, J.P., D.L., of Rosemerryn, Falmouth. Claret 
coat, striped waistcoat. Size, 28 x 24 in. Date, about 1796. 
Sold at the Millett sale ; bought by Mr. J. A. D. Bridger, the 
present owner. 

*HARRISON, LADY. Size, 30 x 25 in. From the Fischof Blakeslee 
Collection. Sold at Chickering Hall, February 9 and 10, 1900, 
for $950 ; bought by J. Richmond. 


*fHARVEY, FRANCES, wife of Mr. John Harvey, and daughter of Sir 
Roger Kerrison, of Brooke, 1 (1765-1809). Three-quarter length. 
Size, 30 x 24 in. Date, 1790-1800. Present owner, Lieut.-Col. 
J. R. Harvey. 

fHARVEY, JOHN, of Thorpe Lodge, Norwich (1755-1842), Mayor of 
Norwich, 1792 ; commanded the Norwich Light Horse Volunteers, 
1797. Size, 102 x 70 in. Date, 1802. Painted for the Norwich 
Light Horse Volunteers. " This portrait of John Harvey, Esq., 
Mayor of this City, 1792, Major Commandant of the Norwich Light 
Horse Volunteers, established 1797, was presented by that Corps 
in testimony of their attachment, esteem, and regard." Exhibited 
at the Royal Academy, 1802 (No. 116). Present owners, St. 
Andrew's Hall, Norwich. A copy of this picture by Mrs. Day 
is in possession of Lieut.-Col. J. R. Harvey. 

*HARVEY, JOHN, 1 of Thorpe Lodge, Norwich (1755-1842), Mayor 
of Norwich, etc. To waist, in uniform, three-quarter face to right, 
left arm folded across breast, showing sword-hilt above it. Size, 
30 x 24 in. Date, 1790-1800. Lately in possession of Mr. Savill 
Onley, of Stisted Hall, and believed to be now owned by a nephew. 

* HARVEY, ROBERT, of Catton 2 (1752-1820), Lieut.-Col. East Norfolk 


Militia, and Colonel of Norwich Volunteers. To waist, three-quarter 
face to left, Militia uniform, sword-hilt raised on his left arm. Size, 
30 x 24 in. Date, 1790-1800. Lately in possession of Mr. Savill 
Onley, of Stisted Hall, and believed to be now owned by a nephew. 

*HARVEY, ROBERT, of Catton. 2 A fac-simile of the above. Size, 
30 x 24 in. Date, 1790-1800. Present owner, Sir Charles Harvey, 

*HARVEY, THOMAS, uncle of Bishop Maltby of Durham's first wife. 
Present owner, M. J. Urquhart. 


x HAWEis, REV. THOMAS, M.D. (1733-1820), Rector of All Saints', 
Aldwinkle. See "Memorials of Amelia Opie," p. 117 (2nd edition). 

X HAWKER, JOHN NICHOLS, Merchant of Plymouth. Size, 23J x 19J in. 
Last heard of with the Rev. Treasurer Hawker. 

*fHAWKiNS, MR. JAMES, of Croydon. Ivory miniature. Size, 2J x 2J in. 
Painted for and given to his friend, Mr. Thomas James, of Croydon. 
Present owner, Stewart Sutherland. Mr. James was Mr. Suther- 
land's grandfather. He left it to his eldest daughter (born 1802), 
who wrote on the back of the frame, " James Hawkins of Croydon, 
painted by Opie." On Miss James's death it came to Mr. Suther- 

X HEAME, BENJAMIN, of Penryn. Size, 23 x 21 in. Date, about 1778. 
Last heard of with Mr. J. A. Spargo. 

X HEATHCOTE, MRS. R., represented as Miranda. Date, 1807. One of 
Opie's last pictures. 

x HENDERSON, COLONEL. Date, 1790. Exhibited at the Royal 
Academy, 1790 (No. 210). 

(HERRING, JOHN, Mayor of Norwich, 1799. Size, 96 x 60 in. Date, 
1801. Painted for the citizens of Norwich ; subscribed for by 
them for " his assiduous and humane attention to the soldiers 
on their return from the Continent." Exhibited at the Royal 
Academy, 1801 (No. 26). At present at St. Andrew's Hall, Norwich. 


X HILL, REV. ROWLAND (1744-1833), Minister of Surrey Chapel. 
Size, 10J x 8| in. Date, about 1804. Last heard of with 
J. Fitzroy Morris, of Salisbury. 


X HOARE, MR. Date, 1800. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1800 
(No. 79). 

x HoARE, PRINCE (1755-1834), Secretary for Foreign Correspondence, 
Royal Academy. Engraved by J. Hopwood, 8, square, half length, 
in a border for the Cabinet, July 1807, stipple, 5f x 3 in. 

HOARE, SIR RICHARD, IST BART. Size, 29 J x 24 in. Date, 1785. 
Painted for Mr. Richard Wyatt of Egharn. Sold for 8 on fourth 


day of 8 days' sale of the late Richard Wyatt, of Egham, March 19, 
1813 (No. 2 in sale cat. ; vol. 8. South Kensington Museum 
Library). Probably bought in by family. Present owner, Lieut.- 
Col. Arthur Wyatt-Edgell. 

HOARE, LADY (nee Acland), wife of above. Size, 29J x 24J in. Date, 
about 1785. Painted for Mr. Richard Wyatt. Present owner, 
Lieut.-Col. Arthur Wyatt-Edgell. 

fHoBART, HON. HENRY, M.P. Size, 80 x 60 in. Date, 1802. Painted 
for presentation to the Corporation of Norwich. Engraved by 
E. Bell, large fo., mezzo., 1804, half length in a border (Wm. Smith's 
MS. Cat.). (Is this the same as that published by J. Fenman, 
Norwich, 12| x 11 in. ?) At present at St. Andrew's Hall, Norwich. 

*HOLCROFT, JOHN (?). Sold at Christie's, June 1, 1900, for 8J guineas ; 

bought by Shepherd. Seller's name not given. 

^ HOLCROFT, THOMAS (1744-1809). Size, 29 x 24 in. (J.J.R.) or 
29J x 24 in. (Dr. Miers). Date, about 1782. Painted for Mr. 
Holcroft. Mrs. Holcroft gave it to Mr. Francis Place, who be- 
queathed it to his son-in-law, Mr. John Miers, grandfather of Dr. 
Henry A. Miers, D.Sc., F.R.S., etc., the present owner. 

X HOLCROFT, THOMAS. See " Holcroft's Diary," edited by Hazlitt, and 
" Godwin and his Friends." Date, about 1798. Exhibited at the 
Royal Academy, 1798 (?). Is this the picture sold at Christie's, 
July 18, 1891, for 5 guineas, bought by Graves ? 

HOLCROFT, THOMAS. Mr. Rogers thinks it possible that this is identical 
with the one for which Holcroft records sitting in 1799, intended 
for Colonel Barry. But Holcroft says Barry was satisfied and 
gave Opie a draft on his banker, in which case the portrait might 
be expected to be found in the Barry family. It appears probable 
that there is another portrait. Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, 1804. 
Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1804 (No. 123). Engraved by 
Hodgetts (Anon), mezzo., 8| x 7J in. ; Anon, Longmans Exc., 
1816, 4, mezzo. ; and by T. Blood, 12, 3f x 3 in. for Hazlitt's 
"Diary," 1816, stipple. Purchased by the National Portrait 
Gallery from Mr. Kenney in 1878. 

x HOLCROFT, MRS. THOMAS (nee Louisa Mercer), wife of above. Size, 
30 x 25 in. Date, 1799. Painted for herself. Last heard of 
with Mme. le Crosnier, Paris, her daughter by her second husband 
Mr. Kenney. 

HOLCROFT, Miss, daughter of Thomas Holcroft. Seen to waist, full, 
face, white dress. Size, 29J x 24 in. Photogravure for McKay's 
"Hoppner," 1909, 8 x 6J in. Bought at Christie's by Mr. J. L. 
Mieville, in 1871, for 38 guineas. " A Portrait of a Girl in White 
Muslin," from the Mieville Collection, was sold at Christie's for 
1,480 guineas, April 29, 1899, and bought by Agnew. See 


Athenaeum, May 6, 1899. Probably the same. Present owner, 
A. Hirsch. 

t-HoLE, REV. HUMPHRY ARAM, Rector of Okehampton (died, 1824, 
aged 49). Size, 30 x 24 in. Date, about 1796. Present owner, 
Miss Hole. 

*fHoLLAND, HENRY (1745-1806), Architect. Three-quarter length, 
nearly full face, powdered or white hair, dark blue coat, red waist- 
coat ; red curtain in background. Size, 29 x 25J in. Present 
owner, Miss Elizabeth Holland. 

fHoLLis, JOHN, of High Wycombe (1743-1824). Size, 30 x 25 in. 
Engraved by C. Warren, 4 (Evans), line, 7| x 6J in. Present 
owner, Mrs. Anthony (widow of his great-great-nephew). 

X HONYWOOD, LADY (probably Frances, wife of Sir John Honywood ; 
married 1779). Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1784 (No. 109). 

fHosKiNG, JOHN. Size, 35 x 27 \ in. Date, about 1798. Exhibited 
at the Royal Academy, year unknown. Present owner, Miss Ellen 
L. Hosking. 


"HowELL, SARAH (afterwards wife of Rees Goring Thomas, Lord of the 
Manor of Tooting Graveney ) (1768-1838). Half length ; a beautiful 
young woman in black negligee gown ; sky for background. Sold 
by her great-grandson, Mr. Rhys Goring Thomas, for 700 (?) to 
a dealer named Corrie in 1898 or 1899. Present owner unknown. 

*HUMFREY, REV. RICHARD, M.A. 2 (1721-about 1805), age about 60-70. 
Seated, full face, hands folded, M.A. gown, bands, powdered wig. 
Size, 29 x 26 in. Date, about 1790. Present owner, R. Blake 

*HUNTER, JOHN. 2 Attributed to Opie. Size, 6J x 8 in. Sold by 
Cockitt & Son, Birkenhead, December 1888, for 15s. 


*!MPEY, MASTER (" The Boy in Brown "). Half length, figure to right, 
three-quarter profile ; brown coat, light waistcoat, wide lace collar, 
long fair hair ; head of large dog to right ; foliage and sky back- 
ground. Size, 30 x 24J in. Exhibited at the Exhibition of Old 
Masters, 1906. Present owner, Lieut. -Col. C. a Court Repington. 

*!NCHBAXD, MRS., Novelist (1753-1821). Is this the Petworth picture ? 
Sold for 5J guineas at Opie's sale, June 6, 1807. 

INCHBALD, MRS., Novelist (1753-1821). Size, 29 x 24$ in. Present 
owner, Lord Leconfield. 

*tl8TED, SAMUEL, of Ecton (1750-1827). In the dress of the Pytchley 
Hunt red hunting coat with white collar. Size, 30 x 26 in. 
Present owner, Mrs. Sotheby. 

* JACKSON, MR., Surgeon R.N. Opie's receipt for half payment of the 
stipulated sum (10 guineas) is pasted on the back. A rather 


sketchy picture. Size, 22 x 19 in. Date, 1787. Present owner, 

Rev. J. H. de Courcelles, M.A. 
x JACKSON, WILLIAM, Composer ; Organist of Exeter Cathedral (1730- 

1803). Size, 30 x 25 in., untouched. Date, 1783. Exhibited at 

the Royal Academy, 1783. Last heard of with Rev. John Abbott, 

* JACKSON, WILLIAM, Composer ; Organist of Exeter Cathedral (1730- 

1803). Opie painted Jackson twice. See "Devon Characters," 

Baring Gould, p. 608. 
x JAMES, JAMES, of Germoe, known as "the Marquis James." Size, 

29 J x 24 in. Date, about 1800. Last heard of with Major Frank 

fjAMES, JOHN, Steward at St. Michael's Mount. Size, 49J x 39J in. 

Date, early. Piesent owner, Lord St. Levan. 
fJEBNiNGHAM, MABY, LADY (nee Plowden), widow of Sir George 

Jerningham, Bart (married, 1733). Size, kitcat. Date, 1782. 

Engraved by J. Brown, on steel, as frontispiece to vol. vi of 

" Mrs. Delany's Life." Present owner, Lord Stafford. 
fjEBNiNGHAM, SIB WILLIAM, of Shifnal, Salop (1736-1809). A portrait 

of Sir William from a miniature after a full-length painting by 

Opie appears facing p. 334 of " The Jerningham Letters," edited 

by Egerton Castle. Size, kitcat. Engraved by Goldby, 8 (Evans). 

Present owner, Lord Stafford. 
*fjEBNiNGHAM, HON. FBANCES, LADY (nee Dillon) (died, 1825). Size, 

kitcat. Present owner, Lord Stafford. 
*fjEBNiNGHAM, HON. FBANCES, LADY (nee Dillon) (died, 1825). An 

earlier portrait. Size, kitcat. Present owner, Lord Stafford. 
*fjEBNiNGHAM, EDWABD (third son of Sir William Jerningham). Size, 

kitcat. Present owner, Lord Stafford, 
f JEWEL, GEOBGE, M.D. Size, 23 x 19 in. Date, about 1800. Present 

owner, Mrs. George Wilton (great-granddaughter). 
JEWEL, MBS. GEOBGE, wife of the above. Size, 23 x 19 in. Date, 

about 1800. Present owner, Mrs. George Wilton. 
JEWEL, JOHN, of Tregony, Surgeon. Size, 29 x 25 in. Date, about 

1800. Believed to be in possession of the late Dr. Henry Jewel's 

daughter, Mrs. Whitting. 
JOHN, THOMAS, of the Miners' Bank, Truro. Size, 24 x 15 in. Date, 

1776-7. Present owner, E. B. Willyams, J.P., D.L. 
f JOHNSON, SAMUEL, LL.D. (1709-84). "A very delicate pencil 

miniature by Cosway in the possession of Dr. T. K. Chambers has 

the appearance of being after one of these two fine heads of John- 
son " ("Opie and his Works"). Size, 30 x 26 in. Date, 1782. 


Engraved by Townley, mezzo., February 20, 1792 (three states : 
the third may be from a second plate) ; etched by P. L. Lamborn, 
8 (Bromley); small folio, Davenport; 12, 1819, Davenport; 
T. Tegg, 1826. Formerly the property of the Rev. H. A. Hole, 
whose portrait was painted by Opie. Present owner, Miss Hole. 

JOHNSON, SAMUEL, LL.D. (1709-84). Size, 29J x 24 J in. Date, about 
1782. From the St. Aubyn Collection. Has been exhibited three 
times as a Gainsborough (British Institution, 1857 (No. 137) ; 
Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy, 1871 (No. 42); Grosvenor 
Gallery Exhibition of Works of Gainsborough, 1885), but it has 
a strength and vigour that justifies its inclusion with Opie's 
pictures. Mr. Rogers places Heath's engraving under the pre- 
ceding portrait. It is entered here in accordance with Lady 
Wantage's private catalogue. The two portraits appear very 
similar. Owned by Sir R. Loyd Lindsay in 1885. 2 "The 
Life of Goldsmith," by Frank Frankfort Moore, contains a portrait 
of Dr. Johnson from Heath's engraving after Opie. Engraved 
by James Heath, fo., line, 12 x 7| in., 1786 ; oval, with ornamental 
border and sarcophagus, designed by R. Smirke, published by 
Harrison & Co. as frontispiece to his Dictionary ; copied from 
above plate for another edition of Dictionary, line, 9| x 6 in. Also 
engraved by P. Audinet for Biographical Magazine, 1794, line, 
oval, \l x lin. ; by J. Dadby, line, oval, 3J x 2J in ; and by W. 
Sharp, oval, unfinished line, 1 x 1J in. Sold at the Lime Grove 
sale in 1856. Present owner, Lady Wantage. 

JOHNSON, SAMUEL, LL.D. (1709-84). Without wig. Commenced 1783, 
interrupted by Johnson's illness, resumed in 1784, but never 
finished. An enamel miniature by Henry Bone, R.A., was ex- 
hibited at the Royal Academy, 1854, and sold at Mr. John Bow- 
man's sale at Clapham, February 1856. Size, 35 x 28 in. Present 
owner, Lieut. -Col. Sir Audley D. Neeld, Bart. 

*JOHNSON, SAMUEL, LL.D. (1709-84). Given by Mr. T. Humphrey 
Ward in 1889 to the Athenaeum Club. 

*JOHNSON, SAMUEL, LL.D. (1709-84). Unfinished. Sold at Christie's, 
June 16, 1900. 

*JOHNSON, SAMUEL, LL.D. (1709-84), Head of. Sold with "Head of, 
a Man " and " Madonna and Saints," a miniature, at Christie's, 
February 28, 1910, for 2 guineas; bought by Grose. 

JOHNSON, SAMUEL, LL.D. (1709-84). Engravings after Opie in W. 
Smith's MS. Cat., not identified with any special portrait : oval, 
12, unnamed ; oval, half length, 12, by J. Dadby (query same 
as above) ; oval, half length, by Hall ; medallion, with four others, 
by S. Fittler, 1806 ; square, half length, 8, by J. Rogers, no date. 

*f JOHNSON, SAMUEL, LL.D. (1709-84). Attributed to John Opie, R.A. 


Size, 20 x 16J in. Presented in November, 1901, to the National 
Portrait Gallery, by Lord Ronald Sutherland Gower. 

*$JOHNSON, SAMUEL, LL.D. (1709-84). Attributed to Opie. Similar 
to that owned by Lady Wantage. Process block engraved for 
Cat. of Portrait Exhibition at Oxford, 1906. At present at Trinity 
College, Oxford. 

*JOHNSON, SAMUEL, LL.D. (1709-84). Similar to Lady Wantage's. 
Present owners, Messrs. Shepherd Bros. 

x JONES, CALVEBT. Painted at Plas House, Swansea, about 1784, when 
Opie was at Swansea with his first wife and Dr. Wolcot. Size, 
30J x 24J in. Last heard of with the Rev. Calvert R. Jones, 

*KEAN, EDMUND (1787-1833), as Macbeth. Attributed to Opie. Size, 
30 x 25 in. Formerly the property of Sir John Gilbert, R.A. 
Present owner, W. J. Dyer. 



KEMBLE, FANNY. See MBS. F. Twiss. 

*KEMBLE (JOHN PHILIP ?) (1759-1823). Red cloak, with jewels 
fastening it ; flowing hair. Once the property of Mrs. Gordon of 
Plymouth, Bought in Plymouth, 1883, by Mr. James C. Inglis, 
its present owner. 

fKENYON, LLOYD, IST LORD (1732-1802). Size, 52 x 40 in. Date, 
1789. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1789 (No. 187), and at 
the National Portrait Exhibition, 1867 (No. 837). Engraved by 
J. Fittler, line, 16| x 13f in. (pub. by Fittler), 1789. Present 
owner, the widow of the Hon. G. T. Kenyon. 

J-KERRISON, SIR ROGER, KT., of Brooke, Norfolk (1740-1808). 
1)2 Three-quarter length, seated, three-quarter face to left ; blue 
dress coat, white waistcoat and breeches ; curtain and landscape 
at left. Size, 51 x 39 in. Engraved by E. Bell, half sheet, 
17| x 14 in., mezzo., 1804 (pub. by J. Freeman, Norwich). 
Present owner, Lieut. -Col. J. R. Harvey. 

*fKERRisoN, LADY, daughter of Sylvester Davis, Esq., of Harrington, 
Suffolk, and wife of above (1738-1825). x Three-quarter length, 
seated, three-quarter face to right; white evening dress, black 
scarf, white cap, long glove on left arm ; a geranium in a pot on 
table, tree, landscape. Size, 51 x 39 in. Present owner, Lieut.- 
Col. J. R. Harvey. 

KETT, THOMAS, of Seething Hall, Norfolk. Size, 29J x 24J in. Date, 
about 1799. Present owner, Viscount Canterbury. 

KETT, MRS. THOMAS (nee Hannah Gurney). Size, 29| x 24J in. Date, 
about 1799. Present owner, Viscount Canterbury. 

KETT, ANNE MARIA AND JULIANA, daughters of the above. Size, 

' CT ' 
JXT. f^ i; >^ ,U'. . ;>.A A' -7 ' 

L _'" '' '' \ 

r i ' f * I ' 'T' ' , s-> t ' "2 1 

rw' M, -'. 14, viu 1 -: l> &** ' i~> 1 


35J x 41 J iu. Date, about 1799. Present owner, Viscount Can- 
*KINO, LADY (nee Trentcroft). White dress, powdered hair, holding 

a letter. Size, 30 x 24 in. Sold at Christie's, February 22, 1902, 

for 90 guineas ; bought by Dowdeswell. 
fKNEEBONE, OLD, of Helston. At Tresillick. One of the pictures 

shown to George III. Size, 29 x 23 in. Date, about 1780. 

" Obtained from Giddy by John Da vies Gilbert in lieu of money 

lent." 2 Present owner, C. Davies Gilbert. 
KNILL, JOHN, of Tregonnett (1734-1811). Head only by Opie ; coat 

and hands by Mr. Acres : see p. 20. Size, 27J x 20 in. Relined. 

Date, 1777. Painted for himself. Exhibited at the Cornwall 

Polytechnic Hall, 1854. Present owner, Captain J. P. Rogers. 
*fKNOWLES, Miss ANNA MARIA, daughter of one of the claimants (1813) 

of the " Banbury " peerage (afterwards Mrs. Joseph Gulston) 

(1789-1809). White "Empire" dress, short sleeves, low neck, 

high waist, no ornaments. Unfinished at Opie's death. Size, 

21| x 19 in. Date, 1807. Present owner, Alan Stepney-Gulston. 
LAKE, REV. JOHN, Naval Chaplain. Size, 24 x 20 in. Date, before 

1781. Present owners, Misses Passingham. 
LAKE, WILLIAM, brother of above. Size, 24 x 20 in. Date, before 

1781. Present owners, Misses Passingham. 
*fLATTER, FRANK AND BARRE, with a toy terrier. To left Barre, the 

younger boy (afterwards Major H.E.I.C.), seated on a rock under 

trees, holding toy terrier in his arms ; Frank, to right, holds a string 

from the collar of the dog in his brother's arms. Size, 39 x 48 in. 

Present owner, A. Forbes, C.S.I. 
J-LAWRANCE, LIEUT. GEORGE BELL, R.N., as a boy of 7. Coloured 

crayons on paper. Size, 17 J x 14 in., oval. Painted at Falmouth 

in 1785. Present owner, Miss Margaret E. Lawrance. 
*LEE, FRANCIS, M.A., Translator of Pindar's "Odes." Date, 1803. 

Engraved for " The Odes of Pindar," printed in London for Wm. 

Miller, 1810. The engraving shows bust looking left, nearly full 

J-LENNARD, SIR THOMAS BARRETT, BART. (1761-1857). Size, 30 x 25 

in. Present owner, Sir Thomas Barrett-Lennard. 
J-LENNARD, LADY BARRETT, (nee St. Aubyn). Size, 29 J x 25 in. 

Present owner, Sir Thomas Barrett-Lennard. 
*LETSUM, LADY. In white dress with black scarf. Size, 26J x 23 in. 

Sold at Christie's, November 25, 1905, for 24 guineas ; bought by 

LEVERTON, HENRY (born, 1775), at age of 16. Size, 72 x 53 in. Sold 

at Oundle, October 1902, for 190. Present owner, Joseph Roe. 2 


*LINLEY, MASTER. Size, 28 x 23 in. Sold by the American Art 
Association (sale of Senhor Salvador de Mendonca's Collection), 
April 1899, for $1,210 ; bought by W. S. Stern. 


*LITCHFIELD boys trout fishing. Two sons of Mr. Litchfield, formerly 
Solicitor to the Treasury 2 . Dr. Litchfield has always understood 
that there was a picture representing his father, as a boy, trout 
fishing, but does not know who painted it, who owns it, or remember 
ever seeing it. 

*JLiTCHFiEL,D, MRS., mother of above. Dr. Litchfield has a portrait of 
his grandmother, but does not know by what artist. Engraved 
in mezzotint. Present owner, Dr. Litchfield. 2 

"LIVERPOOL, LORD. In black dress. Size, 34 x 27 J in. Sold at 
Christie's, June 1, 1900, for 90 guineas; bought by Gooden. 
Seller's name not given. 

"LIVERPOOL, LORD. Size, 34J x 28 in. Sold at Christie's (sale of 
E. M. Denny, Esq.), March 31, 1906, for 5 guineas; bought by 

XLONG, EDWARD (1734-1813), Chief Judge, Vice-Admiralty Court, 
Jamaica. Date, about 1795. Engraved by W. Sharp, line, fo., 
dated 1796. 

XLOWTHER, LORD (1757-1844). In his Peer's robes, with arms. Date, 
1807. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1807 (No. 36). Engraved 
by S. W. Reynolds, fo., mezzo. (Bromley and Evans.) 

JLuKE, STEPHEN, M.D. (1763-1829). Doubts have been expressed of 
this being by John Opie. Size, 28J x 23J in. Date, about 1800. 
Present owner, P. V. Luke. 

*LTJTTRELL, JOHN FOWNES, M.P., of Dunster Castle (died, 1816). In 
Mr. Luttrell's pocket diary for 1782 is entered under payments, 
" June 15th, Opie, 4 4s." Mr. Luttrell cannot tell how long this 
portrait has been at Dunster Castle, but it was among the family 
portraits when his father succeeded to the estate in 1867. Size, 
29 x 24 J in. Date, 1782. Present owner, Alex. F. Luttrell. 

LUTTRELL, JOHN FOWNES, M.P., of Dunster Castle (died, 1816). 
Powdered hair, his head on one side, in brown dress, the lappets 
of his coat faced white. Except as regards size the description 
agrees exactly with that of the Dunster portrait. In " Opie and 
his Works " this is described as "a family portrait," but Mr. 
Luttrell says he thinks " the only connection between the Towns- 
ends and Luttrells was through the Stewkeys, and that very 
remote." He believes that the late Mr. G. F. Luttrell had some 
correspondence with a gentleman on the subject of this replica, 
but the letters cannot now be found. Size, 28 x 24 in. Last heard 
of with J. S. Townsend, Esq. 


*LUTTRELL, MBS. Mr. George Mackey, 70, New Street, Birmingham, 
had a portrait of Mrs. Luttrell by Opie sent to him for sale a few 
years ago. He returned it unsold, and knows no more of it than 
that it has since been disposed of. 

*MAODONALD, MRS. 2 Low white dress ; seated, in a landscape. 
Size, 29J x 24 in. From the collection of the late T. H. Ismay, 
Esq. Sold at Christie's, April 4, 1908, for 420 guineas ; bought 
by Gooden & Fox. 

McDoNOUGH, LIEUT. (" The Red Boy "). Size, 53 x 43 in. Date, 1794. 
Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1794 (No. 120). Sold at Chris- 
tie's, June 3, 1876, for 25 guineas, to Mr. George Williams, of 
Scorrier, and sold by Mr. John Williams to Colonel Repington, the 
present owner. 

XMACINTOSH, SIR JAMES, M.P. (1765-1832). Date, 1803. Exhibited 
at the Royal Academy, 1803 (No. 56). Engraved by Ridley, 8, 
1804, for Monthly Mirror. Was this the portrait of Macintosh 
owned by " Conversation " Sharp ? 

MACKLIN, or MACLAUGHLIN, CHARLES (1690-1797). Size, 36 x 26 in. 
Date, about 1782. Engraved by Conde, for his "Works," and 
by Murphy, 4. From the Mathews Collection. In possession of 
the Garrick Club since 1835. 

MACKLIN, CHARLES (1690-1797). Opie's name on stretcher. Painted 
for a " clergyman named Clarke, who went abroad " (" Records of 
My Life," John Taylor). Macklin hinted that the sitter should 
be paid for lending his features. Size, 36 x 24 in. (J.J.R.) or 
35 J x 27 J in. (N.P.G.). Date, 1796. Sold at Christie's, March 
1856, for " a gentleman named Clarke " ; bought by Mr. Hermann 
for John Green of Covent Garden. Sold again at Christie's in 
July 1871, and again bought by Hermann. Purchased from Mr. 
James McCulloch by the Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery, 
March 1902. 

*MACLEOD, COL. DONALD, of St. Kilda. 2 In scarlet coat, resting his 
hand on his sword. Size, 49 x 39 in. From the collection of the 
Rev. Hugh Alex. Macpherson, of Glendale, Skye. Sold at Christie's, 
February 27, 1909, for 145 guineas ; bought by Vicars. 


*MAOOR. JOHN PENBERTHY, of Lamellen (died, 1869, aged 70), as 
a little boy. Attributed to Opie. Size, 17 x 14 in. Present owner, 
E. J. P. Magor. 

*MAGOR, Miss, sister of above, as a child. Attributed to Opie. 
Size, 17 x 14 in. Present owner, E. J. P. Magor. 

*MAGOR, Miss (?), sister of above (afterwards wife of Mr. Turner, 
M.P. for Truro), as a child. Attributed to Opie. Size, 17 x 14 
in. Present owner, E. J. P. Magor. 


*MAGOB, R. F., father of the three preceding. Attributed to Opie. 
Size, 17 x 14 in. Present owner, E. J. P. Magor. 

*MAGOB, GRACE, mother of R. F. Magor. A very old lady. Attributed 
to Opie. Size, 17 x 14 in. Present owner, E. J. P. Magor. 


*MABA, JOHANN, Violoncello Player. No. 26 in sale cat., February 18, 


MABSHALL, DIGOBY KING, of Truro, Surgeon (died, 1833, aged 79). 
Size, 28 x 24 in. Date, before 1780. Last heard of with Lieut.- 
Gen. Cavanagh, Long Ditton. 

fMABTiN, SIMON, Manager of Gurney's Bank (died, 1808, aged 66). 
Size, 29 x 23 in. Date, after 1790. Present owners, Gurney's 
Bank, Norwich. 

*tMABTiNEAU, MBS. DAVID, of Norwich. Portrait of an old lady 
seated at a table. Hood over frilled cap, shawl, sleeves to elbow, 
with white frills ; right arm, ungloved, rests on closed Bible, 
spectacles in right hand : left arm gloved to elbow. This and the 
following portrait are exactly alike. Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, 
about 1796-7. Painted for her son, Mr. David Martineau. Present 
owner, David Martineau. 

*fMABTiNKAU, MBS. DAVID, of Norwich. This portrait is a facsimile 
of the one preceding. Size, 30 x 25 in. Painted for her son, 
Mr. Philip Meadows Martineau, about 1796-7. Present owner, 
P. E. Martineau. 


*fMEE, BENJAMIN, of Dublin. Half length, full face, middle-aged man 
in blue coat, powdered hair. Mr. Mee was brother to the second 
wife of the 2nd Viscount Palmerston. This portrait belonged 
successively to the 2nd and 3rd Viscounts Palmerston, and on the 
death of the latter passed by will (with the estate, etc.) to Lord 
Mount Temple, from whom it descended to the present possessor's 
father, the Right Hon. Evelyn Ashley. Size, 29 x 24 in. Present 
owner, Wilfrid W. Ashley, M.P. 

*MELVILLE, Miss. Size, 24 x 29 in. Sold by the American Art Asso- 
ciation (Brandus Sale), April 17 and 18, 1907, for $135 ; bought 
by J. B. Speed. 

*MENDOZA, DANIEL, Pugilist (1764-1836). Size, 30 x 24 in. Sold at 
Christie's, March 21, 1904, to Chadwick, for 10 guineas, and again 
at Christie's on July 9, 1904, to White, for 4J guineas. 


x METJX, SIB HENBY, BABT. (1770-1841 ). Sold at Christie's, March 3 1 , 

I860, for 2 guineas ; bought by Graves. 
MEYMOTT, MBS. ELIZABETH, sister of Mary Bunn. Attributed to Opie. 


Lately owned by Mrs. Boyd Carpenter, who purchased it from 
the widow of a collector who had always spoken of it as a Romney. 
Date, 1782-6. Engraved by J. R. Smith, fo., mezzo., 1787, as 
" Almeria " (two states). " Almeria " shows the hands, which are 
badly drawn ; no hands in the picture. Offered at Christie's as 
" Lady in Red Dress," May 9, 1910, and withdrawn ; sold there, 
July 22, 1910, as of the "Early English School," for 80 guineas. 

*MIDDLETON, IST BISHOP OF CALCUTTA. Bequeathed to his godson, 
Mr. Middleton Ward. Present owner unknown. 

XMILNER, REV. ISAAC, D.D., F.R.S. (born, 1751). Date, before 1798. 
Engraved by Facius, fo., 1798. 

*MITFOBD, DR. Describing Bertram House during the brief interval 
of prosperity after Mary Russell Mitford left school, Mr. 
L'Estrange included in the pictures, " a portrait of the Doctor by 

xMoiRA, LORD, 2ND EARL (1754-1836). Whole length. Sold at Chris- 
tie's, May 10, 1862, for 151 gunieas. 

*MONTAGU, Miss. Size, 30 x 25 in. Sold for Mr. Eugeno Fischof at 
the 5th Avenue Art Galleries, February 22 and 23, 1907, for $575 ; 
bought by W. G. Peckham. 

XMONTAGUE, BASIL, Q.C. (1770-1851). Size, 50x40 in. Exhibited 
at the National Portrait Exhibition, 1868 (No. 183). Formerly 
in possession of Mr. Bryan Waller Proctor. 

MOORE, MRS. GEOROE (nee Joanna Tregosse Jackson), aged about 14. 
Size, 28 x 24 in. Date, about 1786. Present owner, J. G. D. 
Moore, J.P. 

*JMooRE, SIR JOHN (1761-1808). Attributed to Opie. Half length, 
full face, head uncovered, scarlet coat, yellow lapels and collar. 
Size, 28 x 21 in. Bought at Dundee in 1908 by David Burns, its 
present owner. 


MORE, HANNAH (1744-1833). Copied (1788) by Roberts for Horace 
Walpole. Is there another portrait by Opie ? See p. 176 of " A 
House of Letters," by Ernest Betham. Size, 30 x 25 in. Painted 
for Mrs. Boscawen in 1786 (J.J.R.) or 1787 (National Portrait Exhi- 
bition Catalogue). Exhibited at the National Portrait Exhibition, 
1868 (No. 150). Engraved by Heath, 4, 1798, for Lord Orford's 
"Works," and by Woodman, 12, 1838, for "Memoirs of Hannah 
More." Present owner, Duke of Manchester. 

*MOROAN, GEORGE CADOGAN, Unitarian Minister at Octagon Chapel, 
Norwich. His portrait by Opie is " unfortunately not in the 
possession of his descendants." See "A Welsh Family," Miss 
Caroline E. Williams. 

fMoRGAN, THOMAS DE WINTON, St. George's. Somersetshire. Described 


in " Opie and his Works " as " Thomas Edward Thomas." Mr. 
Iltid E. Thomas assures me that the miniature represents Thomas 
de Winton Morgan, and not his son-in-law. Miss Morgan did not 
marry until 1810, three years after Opie's death. Inside the case of 
both this and the following miniature is a slip of paper in the hand- 
writing of Mr. Iltid E. Thomas's father : " Thomas de Winton 
Morgan, St. George's, Somersetshire, Opie pinxit," and " Mary Anne 
de Winton Morgan, daughter of T. do W. Morgan, wife of Thomas 
Edward Thomas, Glan Mor, Swansea, Opie pinxit." Ivory, oval, 
size, 2f x 2 in. Date, about 1796. The present owner, Mr. Iltid 
E. Thomas, is grandson of Mrs. Thomas Edward Thomas, and 
great-grandson of Thomas de W. Morgan. 

fMoRGAN, MARY ANNE DE WINTON, daughter of T. de W. Morgan, wife 
of Thomas Edward Thomas (married, 1810), Glan Mor, Swansea. 
Ivory, 2 x 2 in. Date, about 1796. Present owner, Iltid E. 
Thomas (see above). 

*MORLAND, Miss. Size, 30 x 26 in. Sold at the 5th Avenue Art 
Gallery (Brandus Sale), March 1906, for $300 ; bought by R. A. 
McAllister. In the U.S.A. (?). 

x MORRISON, JOHN, Deputy Commissary-General in America. Size, 
30 x 25 in. Last heard of with W. R. Bingley. 

MORSHEAD, SIR JOHN, BART, (died, 1813). Size, 30 x 24J in. Painted 
for himself. Present owner, Lady Morshead. 

*MoTTNT-EDGCtrMBE, GEORGE, IST EARL OF. Half length, face and 
figure turned to left, powdered hair ; red robe, lined white, and 
trimmed white fur. Size, 30 x 25 \ in. Date, about 1782. 
Present owner, Right Hon. Lewis Harcourt. 

XMTJDGE, CAPTAIN ZACHARY, R.N. (1770-1852). Size, 29J x 24 in. 
Date, about 1800. Last heard of with Arthur Mudge. 

MtrNDEN, JOSEPH SHEPHERD (1758-1832). Size, 30 x 24 in. Date, 
about 1801. Engraved by S. W. Reynolds, fo., mezzo. From 
the Mathews Collection. In possession of the Garrick Club since 

fNANKTVELL, JOYCE (Mrs. Joseph Townsend). Size, 28 x 23 in. Date, 
about 1775. Present owner, Miss Octavia Townsend. 

*NAPLETON, DR. " Dr. Napleton's picture sold at Bath for 7, cost 
70" ("Reminiscences" Rev. R. Polwhele). 

*NAYXOR, JEREMIAH TODD. Attributed to Opie. Present owner, 
the Hon. Sir William Pickford. 

*JNELSON, HORATIO, VISCOUNT (1758-1805), as a young man. 
Attributed to Opie. Panel. Size, 24 x 20 in. Present owner, 
Mr. W. C. Ely. 

*NELSON, ANNE, sister of Viscount Nelson (died, 1783, aged 23). In 
possession of " her granddaughter, the widow of Dr. Thomas Fitz- 


patrick." See Notes and Queries, series X, vol. i, p. 170. Present 
owner, Mrs. Thomas Fitzpatrick. 

X NEWNHAM, MB. ALDERMAN NATHANIEL, Lord Mayor of London, 1782. 
Date, 1788. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1788 (No. 161). 

X NEWNHAM, COUNSELLOR. Date, 1788. Exhibited at the Royal 
Academy, 1788 (No. 176). 

X NEWNHAM, COUNSELLOR, Two CHILDREN OF, and a horse and dog. 
Date, 1792. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1792 (No. 100). 

x NICHOLS, JOHN. Engraved by Ridley, 1799, for Monthly Mirror, 
oval, in a square. 

*fNicoLLS, MARTHA, of Rosedale, Ludgvan (died, 1829, in her 65th 
year). Size, 32 x 27 in. Exhibited at the Loan Exhibition, Bir- 
mingham. From the St. Aubyn Collection. Remained in the St. 
Aubyn family until 1893, when it was sold to Messrs. Dowdeswell, 
and by them to Sir Carl Meyer, the present owner. 

NOLLEKENS, JOSEPH, R.A. (1737-1823). Size, 30 x 25 in. Painted 
after 1782 for Mary Moser, R.A., who left it at her death to Mrs. 
Nichols. Exhibited at the Leeds Exhibition, 1868 (No. 1,102). 
Last heard of with D. C. Nichols. 

X NORFOLK, CHARLES, HTH DUKE OF (1746-1815). Mentioned in Cart- 
wright's " History of the Rape of Arundel." 

*NORTHCOTE, JAMES, R.A. (1746-1831). In blue dress. Size, 30 x 
24 in. Was this the portrait engraved for the Monthly Mirror ? 
Bought at Christie's for 21 guineas, by Hoskins. Seller's name not 

X NORTHCOTE, JAMES, R.A. (1746-1831). Engraved mezzo, (three- 
quarter face to right, velvet coat, erect collar), 4, clipped, so that 
it retains neither sitter's nor engraver's name, ; believed after Opie ; 
and by Ridley, stipple (coat buttoned, oval, half length), 8, 
Monthly Mirror, 1799. 

*NUGENT, , Painter. Size, 30 x 25 in. From the collection of David 

H. King, Jun., Esq. Sold at the American Art Gallery, March 31, 
1905, for $625 ; bought by the New York Co-operative Society. 

*OAKES, Miss ANNE. 2 White satin dress, leaning her right hand on 
the back of a chair. Sold at Christie's, May 6, 1910, for 136. 

x GATES, CAPTAIN MARK, R.M. Size, 23 x 19 in. Last heard of with 
the Rev. J. H. Glencross, whose father bought it in 1837. 

OLLIVANT, MRS. WILLIAM (nee Langston), mother of the Bishop of 
Llandaff. Size, 28f x 24 in. Date, about 1803. Exhibited at the 
Grosvenor Gallery, 1889 (No. 72), see Daily News, January 21, 
1889). Destroyed by fire at Dixon's warehouse a few years ago. 
Her grandson, Mr. J. E. Ollivant, the last owner, has a photo- 
graph coloured in oils from the portrait before its unfortunate loss. 

OPIE, EDWARD, father of John Opie, R.A. Leaning on a staff. Size, 


30 x 25 in. Exhibited at the Royal Academy Winter Exhibition, 
1881. Sold for Lord Bateman at Christie's, April 11, 1896, for 80 
guineas ; bought by Agnew. A portrait of Mr. Opie was sold in 
London, Nov. 1903, for 58 guineas. 2 

X OPIE, EDWABD. With a Bible. The artist's first portrait. Present 
owner unknown. 

fOpiE, MKS. MARY, wife of Edward Opie, and mother of John Opie, 
R.A. (died, 1805, aged 92). Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, about 1791. 
Exhibited at the British Institution, 1817 (No. 14), and at the 
Polytechnic Hall, Falmouth, 1836. Formerly owned by Lady 
Williams, and sold for her by Christie's, November 28, 1903, for 58 
guineas to the late Hon. Richard Oliver. Present owner, Mrs. 

x OPIE, MBS. MAKY, wife of Edward Opie. Small portrait of Mrs. Opie, 
seen by Mr. Edward Opie at Norwich in 1826, and believed to have 
been sold there about 1859. 

*OPIE, MKS. MARY, 1 wife of Edward Opie. " Opie's mother, reading," 
from the collection of Dr. Wolcot, the friend and patron of the 
artist, was sold for 10 guineas, June 30, 1831, at Fortess ; No. 28 
in gentleman's (Mr. Taylor in MS. in margin) sale catalogue. 

*OPIE, MRS. MARY, wife of Edward Opie. 1 " Portrait of his mother." 
Painted for the late Dr. Wolcot. No. 44 in sale catalogue of the Rev. 
Dr. Willis, at Christie's, April 19, 1828. This and -the foregoing 
are probably the same. 

*OPIE, MRS. MARY, wife of Edward Opie. There is some doubt if 
this is an original by Opie or a copy by his pupil, Jane Beetham. 
The Beetham family tradition is that it is by Opie himself, and 
was given to Jane Beetham during the period of his attachment 
to her. Now owned by the Brompton Consumption Hospital. 

*OPIE, MRS. MARY, wife of Edward Opie. Half figure, nearly full face, 
black hood and cloak, dark background. Size, 30 x 24 in. Ex- 
hibited at Exhibition of Old Masters, 1881 (No. 57). Sold at 
Christie's for Lord Bateman, April 11, 1896, for 55 guineas to 

*OriE, MRS. MARY, wife of Edward Opie. Mr. Ernest Pattison writes 
that his late father had a portrait by John Opie, supposed to repre- 
sent the artist's mother. After his death it was sent to a relative 
in America. Possibly one of the Wolcot portraits. 

fOpiE, JOHN, R.A. (1761-1807). Head of youth about 15, three- 
quarter face to left, white cravat ; light admitted from right ; 
" shows his early and intuitive knowledge of chiaro-oscuro." Size, 
13 x 10J in. Date, 1775-6. Present owner, Captain J. P. Rogers. 

*|OpiE, JOHN, R.A. The portrait Opie took to Penryn (" Opie and 
his Works," p. 16). Bust to Ipft, brown hat and coat, wide lace- 


edged tasselled collar. Size, 18 x 16 in. Date, 1777 or 1778. Ex- 
hibited at the Winter Exhibition, 1881 (No 44). Sold at Christie's 
for Lord Bateman, May 27, 1882, for 40 guineas to its present 
owner, the Rev. J. H. de Courcelles, M.A. 

*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. 2 Sold in 1807 at Penzance at sale of Mr. George's 
books, and at Christie's, May or June 27, 1882. The portrait 
sold at Penzance was described as " the first portrait of himself 
he ever attempted," and was possibly the same as that sold at 
Christie's, painted at the age of 17. 

fOPiE, JOHN, R.A. Life-size head ; age 16 ; three-quarter face to 
right, white neckcloth. Size, 13 x 9 in. Date, 1777-8. Present 
owner, Colonel Prideaux-Brune. 

OPIE, JOHN, R.A. To waist, left elbow on window-sill, right arm 
hanging at side, olive-green coat and waistcoat, white collar, sky 
beyond, foliage in foreground. " Sold as a portrait of-Burns ; since 
pronounced to be portrait of Opie himself ; impossible that Opie 
could have painted Burns at age represented." Size, 30 x 25 in. 
Date, 1777-80. Sold at Phillipps's, Bond Street, 1873, and at 
Christie's, July 3, 1897. Previously to 1897 in possession of the 
late Mr. G. P. Boyce. 

fOpiE, JOHN, R.A. Bust, three-quarter face to right, wide slouched 
hat, broad lace-tasselled collar, olive coat ; fine chiaroscuro, face 
highly finished. A pendant to Mr. Ouvry's " Wolcot," same size 
and date. Size, 19 J x 15$ in. Relined by Merrott, 1876. Date, 
1779-81. Formerly in possession of Mr. Frederic Ouvry, and 
bequeathed by his widow to Mr. F. E. Street, the present owner. 

X OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Bust, three-quarter face to left, slouched hat, 
brown dress, lace collar, tasselled. Marked in paint on stretcher, 
" Portrait of J. Opie, by himself, Etatis * * * June 17, Anno 1780." 
Size, 20J x 17 in. (original state). Date, 1780. Sold at Christie's, 
1853. Formerly in possession of Sir Rose Price. Last heard of 
with Mr. George Fournier, who bought it in 1853. 

OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Signed in paint at back, with fine brush, " J. Opie, 
pictor, 1785." Size, 29 J x 24 J in. (J.J.R.) or 29J x 24J in. (N.P.G.). 
Engraved by Ridley, 8, 1789, vol. ii, Polwhele's "Biographical 
Sketches." Sold at Christie's, June 1858 ; purchased by the 
Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery. Formerly in possession 
of Alfred Bunn. 

OPIE, JOHN, R.A. A sketchy portrait, painted in one afternoon. Size, 
21 x 18 in. Date, 1786. Painted for Miss Opie, his only sister. 
Last heard of with Mrs. Newton, St. Agnes. 

OPIE, JOHN, R.A. The portrait given to Jane Beetham. Highly 
finished. To waist, three-quarter face to left, within oval ; deep- 
collared grey coat, hair slightly powdered, palette in right hand. 


Size, 29 x 24 in. Relined, 1872. Date, probably 1790-7. Ex- 
hibited at the Winter Exhibition of the Royal Academy, 1873 
(No. 203). Bequeathed to the Brorapton Consumption Hospital 
by Miss Read. Sold to Agnew, 1907. 

OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Size, 18 x 14 in. (J.J.R.) or 16 x 12f in. (N.G.). 
Date, about 1791. Bought by Mr. Henry Vaughan from the 
collection of Mr. Knapp and the Rev. T. J. Judkins at Chris- 
tie's, November 1872, and bequeathed by him to the National 
Gallery in 1900. 

fOpiE, JOHN, R.A. Very dark, never touched or restored. Size, 
23 x 19 in. sight measure. Date, 1791-7. Inscription on back, 
" This portrait of Opie was painted by himself and presented by 
him to me in the year 1797. H. Aspinwall, Lincoln's Inn, Aug. 
1804." It came into the possession of Mr. Boxall's great-grand- 
father on Mr. Aspinwall's death. Present owner, W. G. P. Boxall. 

OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Bust, age about 30, three-quarter face to left, black 
dress, white cravat. Size, 22 J x 18 in. Date, about 1791. Sold 
at Christie's, 1864. From the collections of Dr. Wodehouse and 
the Bishop of Ely. Present owner, J. C. Williams. 

OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Mr. Edward Opie told Mr. Enys that this once 
belonged to the St. Aubyn Collection, and had been copied by 
him. Probably it is this copy that is now at Harmony Cot, 
in possession of his nephew, Mr. Edward Opie. Size, 20 x 17 in. 
Date, about 1796. Engraved by J. R. Smith, 4, mezzo., proof 
before letters. Sold at Christie's in 1877 for 7 guineas. Present 
owner, J. D. Enys. 

fOpiE, JOHN, R.A. Finely finished. Said by Mrs. Opie to be one of 
the best. Recently cleaned. Size, 24 x 21 in. Date, about 
1798. Exhibited at the Council Hall, Truro, 1861 (No 38). Late 
the property of Sir William Williams, Bart. Sold at Christie's, 
November 28, 1903, for 20 guineas. Present owner, John Williams. 

fOpiE, JOHN, R.A. Size 33 x 25 in. Date, probably about 1800. Re- 
tained by Mrs. (Amelia) Opie after her husband's death as one 
of his best portraits of himself, and presented by her to the Royal 
Cornwall Polytechnic Society about 1853. 

X OPIE, JOHN, R.A. To waist, three-quarter face to left, white neck- 
cloth, hair slightly powdered ; rich chiaroscuro ; effect of Rem- 
brandt. Size, 37 x 32 in. Date, about 1801. Last heard of 
with Mr. P. G. E. Taylor of Beaconfield. 

OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Bust, three-quarter face to right, cascade neck- 
cloth ; grave, melancholy expression, bare forehead, sunken eye ; 
age about 40. Size, 23J x 19 in. Date, about 1801. Last 
heard of with the Rev. T. Heathcote Tragett, to whom it was 
bequeathed by Sir T. F. Heathcote in 1825. 


OPIE, JOHN, R.A. In the catalogue of the National Portrait Exhibition, 
1867, this was described as "bust, to right"; " Opie and his 
Works " gives it to "left" Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, 1801-2. Ex- 
hibited at the British Institution, 1817 (No. 75), by Henry 
Thomson; in 1846 by the Royal Academy; National Portrait 
Exhibition, South Kensington, 1867 ; and at the Winter Exhibi- 
tion, Royal Academy, 1872. Engraved by Henry Dawe, fo., 
mezzo. Presented to the Royal Academy by Henry Thomson, 
R.A., in 1827. 

fOPiE, JOHN, R.A. "A highly finished portrait." Bust, three- 
quarter face to right, dark brown hair and eyes, white neckcloth. 
Octagonal frame. Size, 21 x 14 in. Date, about 1805. Sold 
at the Lime Grove Sale, Putney, August 2, 1856, for 12 15s. 
Present owner, S. R. Christie-Miller. 

OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Described by Mrs. Jameson in " Public Galleries," 
1842, as " Powerful, rather coarse, but full of character." Size, 
23f x 20 in. Presented by Sir Peter F. Bourgeois, Kt., R.A., to 
the Gallery of Dulwich College. 

X OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Sold by the Assignees of William Kershaw at 
Christie's, February 14, 1876, for 41 guineas. 

X OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Bust, three-quarter face to left, looking over left 
shoulder, dark coat, white neckcloth, hair rather short and scanty, 
sedate expression. Small panel. Size 7| x 6J in. Engraved 
by S. W. Reynolds as frontispiece to Opie's " Lectures," 4, 1809. 
Formerly in the possession of Mr. Charles L. Kenney. Given by 
Amelia Opie to Thomas Holcroft, whose widow became Mr. 
Kenney's mother. This portrait, reduced for the engraver by Opio 
from a larger picture, was lost about 1836. 

*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Size, 13 x 10 in. Bequeathed by Miss Lain^ 
in 1896 to the National Museum of Antiquities. At present in 
the National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh. 

*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Size, 30 x 25 in. Sold by Dowdeswell to R. Hall 
McCormick of Chicago. 

*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Size, 22 x 18 in. From the collection of the late 
Sir James Knowles. Sold at Christie's, May 29, 1908, for 17 
guineas ; bought by Partridge. 

X OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Erroneously marked at back, "Mr. Owen, R.A." 
Bust, three-quarter face to left, age about 30 ; black coat, deep 
collar, white cravat. Size, 23 x 19J in. Date, about 1791. Sold 
at Christie's, March 26, 1870 ; bought by Mr. William Cox, Pall 

X OPIE, JOHN, R.A. From Sir Joshua Reynolds's collection. With a 
palette. Sold at Christie's, January 17, 1857, for 1 16,9. : 
bought by Harrison. 


*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Three-quarter face. A young man, clean shaven, 
dark, and rather long hair, bright complexion ; blue coat, with 
high wide collar ; white folded cravat, ends tied in a bow. The 
painting is delicate and the colour transparent. Size, 9 x 7 in. 
Formerly belonging to the late Thomas Butt Miller of Bristol, who 
died in 1855. Present owner, Captain D. M. Miller. 

*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. In a dark coat. Size, 11 J x 9f in. Sold at 
Christie's, March 13, 1905, for 2 5s. ; bought by Glen. Seller's 
name not stated. 

*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Size, 18 x 13 in. (sight measure). Given to the 
father of Dr. W. D. Kingdon, the present owner, by a friend many 
years ago. 

*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Head and shoulders, three-quarter face. Too dark 
to see details. Size, 24 x 19 in. Formerly in possession of the 
late Mr. J. Muckley (flower and fruit painter), father of Mrs. 
Marshall, the present owner. 

*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Bust, three-quarter face to right, hair thin over 
forehead, clean shaven except for a little side whisker, eyes looking 
full at spectator, rather sunken, grave expression ; dark coat, 
white neckcloth ; age apparently about 45 ; dark background. Size, 
22 x 16 J in. Bequeathed to Mr. James Parsons, the present owner, 
in 1894, by his uncle, Mr. Edward Opie, great-nephew of the artist 
(Mr. Parsons is John Opie's great-great-nephew). 

*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Hair in disorder ; a pleasant expression about 
the mouth. The canvas is not modern. It is placed in an oval 
mount ; no signature. Attributed to Opie. Mr. J. J. Green, the 
present owner, purchased this at a second-hand furniture shop in 
1909. Size, 24 x 20 in. 

*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. This portrait and that belonging to Mr. Green 
are exactly alike, except for a very slight difference in the ex- 
pression of the mouth. Size, 19J x 15J in. (quarter-inch mill- 
board). From the collection of Mr. Henry Robson of Birmingham, 
and believed to have been bought there. Present owner, J. W. 
Robson, J.P. 

*OpiE, JOHN, R.A. A head, dark coat. Size, 23 x 19 in. Sold at 
Christie's (sale of J. J. Wigzell), January 27, 1906, for 14 guineas ; 
bought by Carfax. 

*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. A head, red coat. Oval. Size, 16J x 13 in. 
Sold at Christie's, December 1, 1906, for 4 guineas ; bought by 

*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Powdered wig or long hair, great-coat. Inscrip- 
tion on back, " Portrait of John Opie, R.A., born at St. Agnes, 
near Truro, 1761. Died in London, 1807. Painted by Opie 
in 1806, in the 46th year of his age." Size, 30 x 25 in. Purchased 


from Messrs. Graves, Pall Mall, October 1895, by T. W. Bacon, 
the present owner. 

*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Full size, head turned slightly to right, eyes 
looking at spectator, red cloak on shoulder. Size, 20J x 15 J in. 
At present at the Art Gallery and Museum, Kelvingrove, Glasgow. 

*OriE, JOHN, R.A. 2 Small-sized head to left, three-quarter face. 
Sold at Christie's (Domenic Colnaghi Sale), about April 1, 1879, 
for 1 Is. ; bought by the late John Waller. 

*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Nearly half length, seated to right, head towards 
right shoulder, towards spectator ; hair dark, parted over right 
temple, a heavy lock falling in front of right ear ; right arm bent 
and extending into background as if writing or painting ; coat 
dark, loose, and wrinkled, high collar, very little white cravat 
shown. Size, 30f x 26 in. (76 x 65 cm.). Exhibited at Bideford 
Fine Art Exhibition, 1877, by Thomas Martin. Sold by Arthur 
Tooth & Sons to V. G. Fischer, Art Dealer, Washington, U.S.A., 
and by him to Mr. Richard Olney, by whom it was lent to the 
Boston (U.S.A.) Museum of Fine Arts, 1910. 

*OpiE, JOHN, R.A. Side face, powdered hair, reddish-brown coat, 
ruffles at wrists ; eyes lowered, looking at a book ; background 
dark behind head, trees in landscape on the right. Size, 31 x 28 in. 
Formerly owned by Mr. William Howgate, and sold privately by 
his son to Mrs. Hert, of Kentucky, U.S.A. 

*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Size, 28 x 21^ in. Date, 1799. At present in the 
Norwich Castle Museum, for which it was purchased in 1910 from 
Mrs. Griffiths of Ipswich. 

OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Supposed to be painting a portrait of Thomas 
Gainsborough, R.A. Size, 76 x 65 in. Sold at Christie's (sale 
of Mr. Benoni White's pictures), May 24, 1879, for 21 guineas, and 
bought by Cox ; again sold at Christie's, November 28, 1903, for 
52 guineas, and bought by de Cormick. Seller's name not given. 

OPIE, JOHN, R.A. This and the nine following are engravings after 
Opie not yet identified with the original pictures. Three-quarter 
face to right, powdered hair ; a pleasing and expressive portrait. 
Bust in an oval by Ridley, 8, stippled, 1793. Probably identical 
with "oval half length, Ridley, 1793," for General Magazine 
(Smith's MS. Cat.). 

, JOHN, R.A. Three-quarter face to left, slightly powdered long 
hair and queue ; gloomy expression. Bust in an oval by Leney, 
8, mixed, 1795. 

JOHN, R.A. Half length in border by S. W. Reynolds, 1798. 
large fo., mezzo. 

JOHN, R.A. Square, half length with trees, 8, by Ridley, 


x OpiE, JOHN, R.A. Three-quarter face to right, swarthy countenance, 
short hair. Bust in an oval, by Hop wood, 8, mixed, 1807. 

xQpiE, JOHN, R.A. Square, half length, 8, by Meyer, 1809. 

X OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Three-quarter face to right, erect figure, short 
hair, a slight smile. Bust, "Mr. Opie," without engraver's name 
or date ; a small stippled sketch. 

*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. 2 Holl ; small oval. 

*OpiE, JOHN, R.A. 2 E. Scriven ; with autograph. 

*OPIE, JOHN, R.A. Half length to left, looking to front ; hair rather 
long, slightly powdered, and curled inward to neck ; white neck- 
cloth ; grave and rather sullen expression. Engraved by S. W. 
Reynolds, mezzo. 13 x 10 in. (lOrs x 8H in.), pub. by John Jeff ryes, 
Clapham Road, and dedicated to " John Boydell, Esq., Alderman 
of the City of London." In narrow square border ; date June 1, 
1802. Engraving at Victoria and Albert Museum. 

fOpiE, MABY (nee Bunn), first wife of John Opie, R.A. Bust, 
quarter size, three-quarter face to left. A dark-eyed beauty with 
light brown flowing hair, light blue neckerchief, blue bow, and 
pearl pendant over forehead, white muslin dress, red cloak. Size, 
7 x 5J in. Date, about 1782. Given to Mr. H. Mallaby Firth, 
the present owner, by the late Rev. E. Penwarne-Wellings. 

OPIE, MARY (nee Bunn), first wife of John Opie, R.A. To waist, three- 
quarter face to left ; full white morning dress, white neckerchief, 
broad straw hat, with ostrich feathers, shading her face ; left hand 
across waist ; seated in a rocky recess at seaside ; sea, sky, and 
ships at left beyond. Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, about 1785. Last 
heard of with Mr. Samuel Lewis ; formerly owned by Samuel 
Humphreys Pellew. It appears probable that this is the picture 
sold at Christie's, February 4, 1899, for 32 guineas ; bought by 
Lacey. Seller's name not given. 

*OPIE, MAKY (nee Bunn), first wife of John Opie, R.A. Bust, about 
three-quarter face to right ; low-bodiced brown evening dress 
with white frill on shoulder ; brown hair brought low, and curling 
over forehead ; dark, sad-looking eyes, fair complexion, and well- 
modelled features ; a coral necklace ; dark background. Size, 
17 x 13 J in. Bequeathed to Mr. James Parsons, its present 
owner, by his uncle, Mr. Edward Opie. 

*OPIE, MABY (nee Bunn). 2 Sold at Christie's, April 7, 1902, for 
155 guineas, as " Portrait of the artist's first wife, in white dress 
and powdered hair." Previous owner's name not given. 

*OPIE, MAKY (nee Bunn). Sold at Serjeant Thompson's sale, 1865, 
for 76 guineas ; bought by Thompson. 

fOpiE, AMELIA (nee Alderson), second wife of John Opie, R.A. Size, 
27J x 35 J in. Date, 1798-1802. Engraved by Ridley, 8, in an 


oval for European Magazine. Present owner, Mrs. Carr, the 
daughter of the late Mr. H. P. Briggs, R.A., Mrs. Opie's cousin. 

fOpiE, AMELIA (nee Alderson). A double portrait ; on the left a full- 
faced bust, white dress ; on the right profile bust, black dress. 
A copy is at Chyverton. 

*OpiE, AMELIA (nee Alderson). Seated, nearly half length, facing 
spectator. Size, 29J x 24J in. Purchased by the Trustees of the 
National Portrait Gallery, March 1887. 

OPIE, AMELIA (nee Alderson). Exhibited at the Winter Exhibition 
of the Royal Academy, 1873 (No. 50), as " A Lady," unnamed. 
Sold at Christie's, 1876, for 171 guineas, for William Kershaw's 
assignees as " Portrait of the artist's wife ; " bought by Lesser. 

X OPIE, AMELIA (nee Alderson). " Head of Mrs. Opie, a sketch." Sold 
at Christie's, June 3, 1871, by E. W. Cooke for 17J guineas. 

*OPIE, AMELIA (nee Alderson). Nearly full face, looking over left 
shoulder ; very penetrating eyes ; hair piled liigh on top of 
head with band of blue ribbon, parted in the middle and brought 
down to the corners of eyebrows, partly covering ears ; dark blue 
dress, open in front over transparent muslin ; no ornaments ; 
dark background ; age 30-35. Size, 20 x 15 in. Bequeathed to 
its present owner, Mr. James Parsons, by his uncle, Mr. Edward 

OPIE, AMELIA (nee Alderson). Bust, full face ; frilled morning gown open 
at neck ; hair dressed very high, double horizontal plait half hidden. 
Date, 1798. Etched by Mrs. Dawson Turner of Yarmouth. The 
etching is inscribed, " Mrs. Opie, John Opie, Esq., pinx., 1798." 

OPIE, AMELIA (nee Alderson). Full face ; short hair under a cap ; dark 
dress, open and frilled white at neck ; to waist. Engraved by 
Mackenzie, small stipple, March 1, 1801 (pub. by Vernon & 

OPIE, AMELIA (nee Alderson). Three-quarter face to right ; frilled 
morning dress ; hair elaborately dressed. Engraved by Hopwood, 
small (pub. by Matthew & Leigh, June 2, 1807). 

OPIE, AMELIA (nee Alderson). Seen to waist, three-quarter face to 
right, closely curled hair, frilled evening dress, triple necklace of 
pearls with small cross. Engraved by Hopwood ; oval, half length, 
with lyre and flowers, 8 (pub. by Dean & Munday, 1817), and 
by R. Cooper (pub., February 1821, for " La Belle Assemble," 
No. 145, roy. 8). A close comparison of these engravings 
makes it almost certain that both are engraved from the same 
picture. In Hopwood's the curls are more formal than in 
Cooper's, but the stiffness is presumably due to the engraver, not 
the artist. Both engravings are in the library of Devonshire 


OPIE, BETTY, only sister of John Opie, R.A. (1748-1826). Size, 
24 x 19 in. Last heard of with Mr. T. Hitchins. 

OPIE, EDWARD, brother of John Opie, R.A. Size, 24 x 20 in. Last 
heard of with Mr. Edward Opie of Plymouth. 

OPIE, EDWARD, JUN., nephew of John Opie, R.A., and father of 
Edward Opie the artist (died, 1870). Size, 15 x 12 in. Date, 
about 1788. Last heard of with Mr. John Opie of St. Agnes. 

OPIE, WILLIAM, nephew of John Opie, R.A. Size, 20f x 16| in. Pre- 
sented by Mr. Edward Opie (John Opie's great-nephew) shortly 
before his death, in 1894, to the National Gallery. 

OWEN, VEN. ARCHDEACON JOHN (1754-1824). Size, 24 x 20 in. 
Owen was a pupil of Opie, and his intimate friend. Present 
owner, George W. Beardmore (Canada). 

*OXFORD, EARL or. Size, 30 x 25 in. Sold at 5th Avenue Art Gallery, 
January 1909, for $145 in sale of Sir Robert Waycott, Devon, 
England. Present owner, H. D. Babcock. 

f PAD LEY, MARY AND ELIZABETH. Sixteen sittings. Size, 25 x 30 in. 
Painted at Swansea in 1783. Exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery, 
1889. Sold at Christie's, June 16, 1900 ; bought in at sale, and 
afterwards sold to Dowdeswell. Present owner, Sigismund 

x PAD LEY, PAUL. As Cupid. It is said that there is a miniature of 
Paul Padley, dressed in velvet, with large lace collar, but by whom 
painted is uncertain. Painted at Swansea, 1783. 

f PADLEY, SILVANUS. Showing influence of Reynolds. Size, 24 x 18 
in. Painted at Swansea, 1783. Exhibited at the Grosvenor 
Gallery, 1889. Bought by Dowdeswell at Christie's, June 16, 
1900, for 210 guineas. Present owner, Miss Lucy Norton, Louis- 
ville, U.S.A. 

PAGET, HON. MRS. BERKELEY (nee Sophia Askell). Size 24 x 19 in. 
Date, 1807. Present owner, Mrs. Leopold Paget. 

*PAPE, MRS. MARY, Hostess of the White Hart Hotel, Launceston 
(born 1747). Size, 30 x 24 in. Date, about or before 1804. 
Present owner, William Procter. 

fPARR, REV. SAMUEL, LL.D. (1747-1825). Size, 36 x 28 in. Date, 
1807. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1807 (No. 284). En- 
graved by Facius, fo., 1808 ; by Picart (drawn by Evans), fo., 
1811, for Cadell's "British Gallery" ; and by Padley for European 
Magazine, vol. Ivi, 1809. Presented by Dr. Parr to the first Earl 
of Leicester. Present owner, Earl of Leicester. 

XPARR, REV. SAMUEL, LL.D. (1747-1825). Size, 36 x 28 in. Last 
heard of with R. M. Fellowes, in whose family it had been since 

PATCH, JOHN, JUN., Surgeon to Devon and Exeter Hospital (died 


1787). Date, probably 1781. Exhibited at Exhibition of Devon 
and Cornwall Worthies, 1873, at Exeter. Engraved by E. A. 
Ezekiel, large fo., 1789. Owned by Devon and Exeter Hospital. 

f PEELE, REV. JOHN, Vicar of St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich (1720-1804). 
Size, 29 J x 24 J in. (sight measure). Date, October 1799, (in- 
scribed on frame). Engraved by Facius, fo., 1806. Dr. Peele 
died childless, and his widow gave, or left, the portrait to her 
sister, Mrs. Robert Bevan. Mr. W. R. Bevan's representatives sold 
the picture a few years since to its present owner, Mr. Hatton 
Wilson, who had married Mr. W. R. Bevan's daughter. 

*fPEELE, MKS. JOHN (nee Weldon) (1730-1806). (Her first husband 
was the Rev. John de Burgh ; her second the Rev. John Peele, as 
above). Half length, full face. " A pretty painting of a lady 
of 69." Size, 30 x 27 in. Date, 1799. Bequeathed in 1807 by 
Mrs. Peele to her first husband's nephew, Thomas de Burgh, of 
Oldtown. Present owner, Lieut. -Col. Thomas J. de Burgh. 

PENNECK, CHARLES, of Tregembo, Cornwall (died 1801). Size, 
24 x 20 in. Date, about 1780. Present owner, C. A. Borlase. 

fPENTREATH, DOLLY (died 1777 at reputed age of 102). Size, 30J x 
25 J in. Date, about 1777. Exhibited at Exhibition of Devon 
and Cornwall Worthies, 1873, at Exeter (No. 6). Etched on 
copper by John Opie, R.A., about 1784. Written on the back of 
an impression preserved in the Penwarne family is, " This etching 
(the only one, I believe, he ever did) was done by Mr. Opie in my 
presence at his house in Great Queen Street, I believe, in the year 
1784. John Penwarne." Also etched by Miss Katherine St. 
Aubyn (Mrs. Molesworth), 1789 (private plate), 8 x 6 in. Present 
owner, Lord St. Levan. 

f PENWARNE, JOHN, of Penwarne, near Falmouth (1721-88). Size, 
29 x 24 in. Date, about 1786. Sold for Mrs. Penwarne-Wellings 
at Sotheby's, March 24, 1911, for 27 ; bought by Waters. 

f PENWARNE, JOHN, JUN., eldest surviving son of above (born 1758), 
John Opie's friend. Resting on a mossy bank, a book in his right 
hand. Size, 29 x 24 in. Date, 1778-81. Sold for Mrs. Pen- 
warne-Wellings at Sotheby's, March 24, 1911, for 21 ; bought by 

PENWARNE, JOHN, JUN. Fancy russet dress, lace collar, slouch hat. 
Size, 29 x 24 in. Date, 1778-71. Sold for Mrs. Penwarne- 
Wellings at Sotheby's, March 24, 1911, for 20; bought by 

t PENWARNE, EDWARD (about 1760-1813), second surviving son of 
John Penwarne. Size, 27 x 21J in. Date, about 1800. Sold for 
Mrs. Penwarne-Wellings at Sotheby's, March 24, 1911, for 26; 
bought by Blackstone. 


By permission of the owner, Mrs. (5. A. Greene. 


, Miss ELIZABETH (1760-1799), daughter of John Penwarne, 

Sen. Size, 29 x 24 in. Date, about 1785. Sold for Mrs. Pen- 

warne-Wellings at Sotheby's, March 24, 1911, for 166; bought 

by Vicars Bros. 
fPENWARNE, ANNE (Mrs. George Wellings), daughter and heiress of 

John Penwarne, Jun. (born 1793). Size, 23 x 18J in. Twilled 

canvas. Date, about 1806. Present owner, Mrs. Penwarne- 

*PEBINQ, COLONEL RICHABD. Bust, three-quarters to right ; scarlet 

military uniform, gold facings and epaulettes ; dark background. 

Size, about 30 x 25 in. Date, end of 18th century. Present 

owner, Mrs. G. A. Greene. 
PETERS, CAPTAIN JOHN, R.N. Size, 22 x 19 in. Mr. J. J. Rogers 

thought this portrait was painted before that of Mrs. Peters, and 

probably before Opie went to London. It is more carefully 

finished than the following picture. Date, probably before 1783. 

Present owner, Mrs. Tonkin. 
PETERS, CATHERINE, wife of above. Sketchy, features coarsely 

painted. Size, 22J x 19 in. Date, 1783. Present owner, Mrs. 


PETERS, Miss. Mr. J. J. Rogers gives this in the statement of Aca- 

demy Pictures, but omits it in the main list. Date, 1796. Ex- 

hibited at the Royal Academy, 1796 (No. 67). 
X PICKETT, MR. ALDERMAN. Date, 1792. Exhibited at the Royal 

Academy, 1792 (No. 196). 
PICKFORD, JAMES, of Markyate Street, Beds. Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, 

about 1800. Present owner, Mrs. McKay. 
PICKFORD, MARY (afterwards Mrs. Seabroke, of Market Harborough). 

Rather badly scorched in the fire at Mr. Seabroke's house. Size, 

29 x 24 J in. Date, 1800. Present owner, G. M. Seabroke. 
PICKFORD, THOMAS (afterwards of King's Sterndale). Size, 30 x 24 

in. (sight measure). Attributed to Opie. Mr. Rogers mentioned 

a portrait of Thomas Pickford as destroyed in the Markyate 

Street fire ; is this the same ? Sir William Pickford thinks not. 

Present owner, the Hon. Sir William Pickford. 
x PICKFORD, MARTHA, daughter of Thomas Pickford. This picture 

was burnt in the Markyate Street fire. 
x PICKFORD, MATTHEW, son of Thomas Pickford. This picture was 

burnt in the Markyate Street fire. 
fPiNDER, DANIEL, Member of Common Council, City of London, 

1765 ; senior Member of the Common Council, 1807. Subscribed 

for by several of his colleagues, and presented to the Corporation, 


1807. Size, 55 x 43J in. Date, 1807. At present in the Guild- 
hall, London. 


fPoLWHELE, REV. RICHARD (1760-1838). Size, 21 x 17 in. Date, 
about 1778. Exhibited at Exhibition of Devon and Cornwall 
Worthies, 1873, at Exeter (No. 84). Engraved by Audinet, 12, 
1826, as frontispiece to his "Biographical Sketches." Present 
owner, Polwhele. 

fPoMEBY, REV. JOSEPH (1749-1837). Size, 28 x 24 in. Date, 
1778-80. Present owner, Mrs. Pomery. 

fPoMEBY, MBS. JOSEPH (nee Melloney Scobell), wife of the above. 
Size, 28 x 24 in. Date, 1778-80. Present owner, Mrs. Pomery. 

XPONSONBY, LADY F., as " Rebecca." Date, 1804. Exhibited at the 
Royal Academy, 1804 (No. 57). 

*POPE, MBS. In white dress and cap. Size, 30 x 25 in. Bought 
at Christie's July 9, 1900, by Ichenhauser, for 5 guineas, and 
sold again at Mendelssohn Hall, February 26 and 27, 1903, for 
$300. Present owner, Mrs. Sinclaire. 

XPOPHAM, CAPTAIN JOSEPH LAMB, R.N. (1771-1833). Size, 24 x 20 in. 
Date, 1801-2. Last heard of with Mrs. C. W. Popham. 

x POPHAM, MBS. J. LAMB (1775-1859), wife of above. Size, 24 x 20 in. 
Date, 1801-2. Last heard of with Mrs. C. W. Popham. 

*POBTEB, Miss JANE (1776-1850). Half length, seated to left, head 
turned to look at spectator ; blue dress, short white sleeves, brown 
hat, long hair falling over shoulders ; landscape background. 
Size, 29 x 22 J in. Exhibited at Exhibition of Old Masters, 1907 
(No. 141). Sold at Christie's, June 14, 1907, for 131. Present 
owner, Mrs. Hamilton. 

fPBETYMAN, MBS. JOHN, wife of Dr. John Pretyman, Prebendary of 
Norwich. The left arm is bare and rather thin. Mrs. Pretyman 
was in bad health when the portrait was painted. She died in 
1810, and was buried in Norwich Cathedral. Size, 30 x 26 in. 
(29 J x 24jin., J.J.R.). Date, about 1807. Present owner, Major- 
Gen. Sir George Pretyman, K.C.M.G., C.B. 

PBICE, SIB ROSE, BART. (1768-1834). Date, before 1781. Present 
owner, Mrs. Field. 

PRICE, SIB ROSE, BART. Size, kitcat. Bequeathed by Sir Rose Price 
to Earl Talbot. Supposed to have been burnt at Ingestre when 
the house was destroyed by fire in 1882. 

fPBiCE, LADY, wife of above (nee Lambart). This portrait by 

Opie has been attributed to Hoppner. Size, 92 x 56 in. Date, 

1795 (J.J.R.); more probably 1798-9. Exhibited at the Royal 

Academy, 1799 (No. 96). Bequeathed by Sir Rose Price to Earl 


Talbot. Present owner, Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot. A 
copy made by Mr. H. Grant twenty years ago is now in the 
Earl of Shrewsbury's sitting-room at George Street, Hanover 

*PRICE, LADY CAROLINE. Size, 39 x 29 in. Sold at 5th Avenue 
Art Galleries in sale of Senhor Mendonca and others, for $250. 
Present owner, W. G. Peckham. 

PRIDEAUX, MRS. (nee Pleydell) (died 1793). Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, 
before 1781. Present owner, Sir Charles J. Graves-Sawle, Bart. 

PRIESTLEY, JOSEPH, LL.D (1783-1804). Painted at the residence of 
Mr. J. Johnson, Dr. Priestley's publisher and friend. Size, 30 x 
25 in. Exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, 1867 (No. 684), 
and 2 at Loan Exhibition, Oxford. See Athenaeum, September 22, 
1906. Engraved by Caldwell, 1801, oval, half length, supported 
by an eagle, for " Thornton's Botany." Photograph by Arundel 
Society. Bequeathed by Mr. Barham of Exeter to Manchester 
New College, London (in University Hall). Formerly belonging 
to Rev. Hole. 

* PROUT, SAMUEL, Artist (1783-1852). Said to have been painted by 
Opie. See " Devonshire Characters," Baring Gould, p. 566. 

fPROUT, THOMAS OLIVIE, of St. Agnes, near Truro (died 1833). Mr. 
Prout was thrown from a chaise on Highgate Hill and killed. His 
body was sent to Cornwall for burial, packed as " glass, with care." 
Size, 30 x 24 in. Date, about 1800. Purchased from the grand- 
daughter of T. O. Prout by its present owner, the Rev. J. H. de 

PYE, REV. CHARLES, Rector of St. Mary's, Truro. Size, 36 x 28 in. 
Some years ago Mr. J. R. Collins held this for a friend. It has since 
been lost sight of. 

fQuiCK, MR., 2 " A humble parishioner of Zennor." Size, 24J x 21 in. 
Date, before 1781. Painted for John Rogers of Penrose. Ex- 
hibited at Polytechnic Hall, Falmouth, 1854. Present owner, 
Captain J. P. Rogers. 

*fRAiLTON, ISAAC, of Calbeck Manor (1744-1817). No book in hand. 
Size, 29 \ x 24 in. Date, 1806. Painted for himself. Present 
owner, Miss F. Railton. 

*fRAiLTON, ISAAC, of Calbeck Manor (1744-1817). Left hand holding 
a piece of paper ; right hand not shown. Size, 29 x 24 in. Present 
owner, C. W. Railton. 

*fRATLTON, ISAAC, of Calbeck Hall (1744-1817). 1 Book in left hand. 
Size, 30 x 25 in. Given by I. Railton to John Harvey, and 
exchanged by Mr. Kerrison Harvey with Mr. Molesworth Ellis, 
Isaac Railton's grandson (the present owner), for a portrait of John 


fRASHLEiGH, PHILIP, M.P. (1729-1810). Size, 29$ x 24J in. Date, 
probably about 1795. Present owner, J. C. S. Rashleigh. 

fRASHLEiGH, ROBERT, of Coombe, near Fowey, fifth son of above 
(1744-84). Size, 29 x 24J in. Date, before 1781. Present owner, 
J. C. S. Rashleigh. 

RAWLINQS, WILLIAM, of Padstow (died 1795). Attributed to Opic. 
Size, 15 x 12 in. Date, about 1778. Present owner, James 

RAWLINGS, MRS. WILLIAM, wife of above. Attributed to Opie. Size, 
15 x 12 in. Date, about 1778. Present owner, James Rawlings. 

RAWLINGS, THOMAS, son of above, Size, 29 x 26 in. Date, about 1778. 
Mr. James Rawlings does not know who now owns this. 

READ, HENRY (born 1767), together with HIS SISTER FRANCES, eldest 
son and daughter of John Read of Walthamstow. Henry Read 
afterwards took the name of Revell, of Round Oak, Englefield. 
Frances married Colonel Peters, Equerry to H.R.H. the Duke of 
York. Last heard of with Lieut. -Col. J. L. Revell. 


XREES, ABRAHAM, D.D. (1743-1825). Date, 1796. Exhibited at 
the Royal Academy, 1796 (No. 350). Engraved by J. Yeatherd, 
mezzo., 20 x 14 in. (three states, the third retouched) ; by 
J. Yeatherd, fo., mezzo, 1797, in a border ; by W. Holl, stipple, as 
frontispiece to the "Cyclopaedia," 1811; and by J. Thomson, 
square, 1820, for European Magazine. 


X REMBRANDT, portrait of. After (?). Sold at Christie's, 

March 31, 1854, for 3. 

fREYNOLDS, Miss ELIZABETH, daughter of S. W. Reynolds; as "Red 
Riding Hood." Elizabeth Reynolds married William Walker, the 
engraver, and the present possessor of the portrait is their son. 
Size, 21J x 16 in. mill-board; 21 x 16 in. panel (J.J.R.). 
Exhibited at the Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy, 1875 
(No. 234); the Grosvenor Gallery, 1888-9; and with "Fair 
Children," Graf ton Gallery. Engraved by herself when only 14 
or 15. Present owner, William Walker. 

x REYNOLDS, SIR JOSHUA, P.R.A. (1723-92). Sold at Christie's, 
January 4, 1862, for 19s. 

*REYNOLDS, SAMUEL WILLIAM, 1 Engraver. Mahogany panel, Size, 
17 x 13J in. or 16} x 13f in. (N.P.G.). Date, about 1806. Etched 
privately (head only). Purchased by the Trustees of the National 
Portrait Gallery, March 1902. 

*fREYNOLDS, JANE (nee Cowen), wife of S. W. Reynolds. Size, 30 x 
24 in. Date, 1795. Painted for S. W. Reynolds. Engraved by 
S. W. Reynolds. Present owner, A. G. Reynolds. Mr. William 


Walker (Mrs. Reynolds's grandson) has a copy on ivory by George 
Clint, A.R.A. 

*REYNOLDS, JANE (nee Cowen). Short-sleeved green gown ; holding 
a basket. A study. Present owner, Earl Cowper. 

x RICHARDS, MBS. JAMES (nee Grace Giddy), niece of Dr. Wolcot (born 
1767). Size, 14 x 11 in. Date, about 1781. Painted at Penzance. 
Last heard of with Mrs. Lambe, of Bath. 

x ROBINSON, CAPTAIN. In Gainsborough's manner. Sir William 
Beechey pronounced this one of Opie's best. Size, 30 x 25 in. 
Date, about 1800. Last heard of with the Rev. Henry Barrett, 

*fRoGEBS, ANN (afterwards Mrs. William Venning) (1773-1834). As 
a cottage-girl in a brown frock ; seated in a wood, face turned 
over left shoulder to look full at spectator, arms showing white 
sleeve, over a dog's neck. Miss Emma L. Lister (grand-daughter), 
the present owner, says this picture was exhibited at the Academy, 
but not under the child's name. As she has not the date, it is 
impossible to identify it. Query " Portrait of a Child," 
Academy, 1784, or " Child and Dog," Academy, 1788 ? Size, 
30 x 24 in. Cleaned by Buttery, 1909. Date, 1781-3 (?). 
Painted for Richard Trist, a relative of the child. 

*fRoOKS, JOHN, Architect, of Norwich. Half length. Size, 28 x 24 in. 
Date, 1802 (?). Present owner, Dr.Roper. 

*f ROOKS, ELEANOR, daughter of above (born 1796). Rosy child 
with red hair and blue eyes, in a blue gingham dress, caught up 
under one arm to show white petticoat beneath. A gipsy hat 
hangs down behind by the strings ; arms bare ; carrying a long 
bunch of wheat-ears. Size, 28 x 24 in. Date, 1802. Present 
owner, Dr. Roper, the youngest of her twelve children. 

*ROWLEY, WILLIAM. Size, 29J x 25 in. Bequeathed by Mrs. Alice 
Rowley to the National and National Portrait Galleries, Dublin, 
in 1899. 

x RusH, GEORGE. Date, 1806. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 
1806 (No. 129). 

*RusH, SIR W. (1750-1832 (?)). Knighted 1800. This and the 
following picture are mentioned in a MS. note by the Rev. J. M. 
Cripps, found in a second-hand copy of " Opie and his Works." 

*RusH, LADY (1755(?)-1822). 

ST. AUBYN, SIR JOHN, M.P., 5th Bart (1757-1839). Full length. 
Size, 94 x 58 J in. Date, about 1780. Exhibited at the Winter 
Exhibition of the Royal Academy, 1876 (No. 281). Engraved by 
S. W. Reynolds, mez/.o. Present owner, Lord St. Levan. 

ST. AUBYN, SIR JOHN, M.P., 5th Bart. Three-quarter length, evening 
dress, roll of paper in right hand. Size, 52 J x 40 in. Date, about 


1797. Engraved by W. W. Barney, fo., mezzo., 1800. Present 
owner, Lord St. Levan. 

ST. AUBYN, SIR JOHN, M.P., 5th Bart. After Sir Joshua Reynolds. 
Size, 27 x 22 in., oval canvas. Date, about 1790. Present owner, 
Lord St. Levan. 

ST. AUBYN, SIB JOHN, M.P., STH Bart. A copy by Opie of the portrait 
after Sir Joshua Reynolds. Present owner, Sir Thomas Barrett- 

*ST. AUBYN, SIR JOHN, M.P., 5th Bart. Three-quarter length, seated 
in a red velvet chair, with a greyhound across the knees, and a 
writing-table at his side. Size, 49 x 39 in. Present owner, Miss 
St. Aubyn. 

*JST. AUBYN, JAMES, son of the 1st Bart (1703-94). Close wig, brown 
coat, metal buttons, lace cravat. Attributed to Opie. This 
picture was once thought to be a Hogarth, but has been declared 
not by him. The fact that it came from the St. Aubyn Collection 
supports the theory that it is by Opie. It is a very fine picture. 
Present owner, Rev. J. H. de Courcelles. 

ST. AUBYN, JULIANA, LADY, wife of Sir John, 5th Bart. Size, 36 x 28J 
in. Date, 1796. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1796 (No. 
208). Engraved by W. Ward, Jun., 1833 (private plate). Present 
owner, Lord St. Levan. 



SALISBURY, COUNTESS or (1750-1835). Date, 1782. Lost her life 
in the fire at Hatfield House. Present owner, Marquess of 

x SANDWICH, EARL OF. " Marked at lower left corner, ' J. Opie, 
1804.' It seems doubtful whether this indicates date of presenta- 
tion or painting ; if the latter, it is probably a repetition 
by Opie of the exhibited portrait." Size, 94 x 58 in. Date, 
1787. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1787 (No. 218). At 
present at the Marine Barracks, Stonehouse. 

SAVERS, FRANCIS, M.D. (1763-1817). Size, 28 x 24 in. Date, 1798. 
Painted for William Taylor of Norwich. Engraved by W. C. 
Edwards, of Bungay, 1823, as frontispiece to " Dr. Sayers' Col- 
lected Works." Sold on May 31, 1907, by Bynold, Pollard & 
Wilson, Norwich. Present owner, Knyvet Wilson. A replica 
is at Keswick Hall, Norwich. 

fScoBELL, REV. GEORGE PENDER, Vicar of Sancreed and St. Just (died, 
1811). In gown and bands. Size, 29 x 22 in. Date, about 
1779. Present owner, J. Scobell Armstrong. 

MRS. GEORGE PENDER, AND CHILD (her second son, John). 
Date, about 1779. Present owner, J. Scobell Armstrong. 


f SCOBELL, AAKON. The Christian name appears in error as Alloan in 
" Opie and his Works." Size, 29 x 22 in. Date, about 1779. 
Present owner, J. Scobell Armstrong. 

fScoBELL, REV. GEORGE, D.D., eldest son of Rev. George Fender 
Scobell. As a child of 5, with his pet dog " Fop." Size, 29 x 22 
in. Date, 1779. Painted for his father. Present owner, J. 
Scobell Armstrong. 

fScoBELL, JOHN, Collector of H.M. Customs at Penzance. Size, 29 x 22 
in. Date, about 1779. Present owner, J. Scobell Armstrong. 

fScoBELL, Miss MARY (afterwards Mrs. David Wise). Size, 29 x 22 in. 
Date, about 1779. Present owner, J. Scobell Armstrong. 

fScoBELL, Miss MELLONEY (afterwards Mrs. George Pomery). Size, 
29 x 22 in. Date, about 1779. Present owner, J. Scobell Arm- 

*ScoTT, HON. ADA. Size, 23 x 19J in. Sold at Christie's, Decem- 
ber 19, 1908, for 5 guineas ; bought by Brodie. 


SEALE, Two CHILDREN OF MR. JOHN, of Mount Boon, Devon (Elizabeth 
Maria, afterwards Mrs. George Kekewich, and Harriet Anne, after- 
wards Mrs. Thomas Lister). Size, 54 x 42 in. Date, 1784. 
Painted for their father. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1784 
(No. 216). Present owner, Sir John Henry Seale, Bart. 

SEALE, JOHN HENRY, 1st Bart. (1785-1844), son of Mr. John Seale, 
of Mount Boon, Devon. At age of 4 ; playing with a dog. 
Size 54 x 42 in. Date, 1789. Present owner, Sir John Henry 
Seale, Bart. 

*fSEALY, EDWARD, of Bridgwater (1749-1828). On the back is the 
following inscription, believed to have been written by Edward 
Sealy's grandson: "Edward Sealy, obt. 1828, Ms. 78. ne Dec re ; 
1749. Opie pinxit." It has been neglected and much knocked 
about. Ivory miniature. Size, 5 x 3 in. Present owner, Rev. 
R. W. Sealy. 

x SEALY, CAPTAIN J., Captain in East India Company's Navy. En- 
graved by Reynolds, fo., mezzo. (Evans's Catalogue). 

tSEBRiGHT, HENRIETTA SATJNDERS (afterwards Countess of Harewood), 
eldest daughter of Sir John Sebright, 6th Bart. Size, 30 x 25 in. 
Date, about 1784. Present owner, Sir Edgar Sebright, Bart. 

fSEBRiGHT, MARY SAUNDERS (afterwards Mrs. Fenwick), younger 
daughter of Sir John Sebright, Bart. Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, 
about 1784. Exhibited at the Exhibition of Old Masters, 1908 
(No. 158). Present owner, Sir Edgar Sebright, Bart. 

(SEBRIGHT, HENRIETTA AND MARY. This was painted from the two 
preceding pictures after the varnish had darkened, as Henrietta's 
hair is too dark. Size, 48 J x 48 in. Date, after 1784. Painted 


for Mr. Payne Knight (their uncle). Exhibited at the Exhibition 
of Old Masters, 1879 (No. 165). Present owner, Granville E. Loyd 

+SEWARD, ANNA (1747-1809). Size, 30 x 25 in. Exhibited at the 
National Portrait Exhibition, 1868 (No. 140), as by Opie, but has 
since been attributed to Roinney. Engraved. Opie presented 
this portrait to William Hayley, after whose death it was bought 
by Mr. W. P. Boxall. Present owner, W. P. G. Boxall. 

*fSHAW, ANNE. Size, 45 x 30 in. Date, 1805. The Right Hon. 
Walter L. Shaw (Chief Justice, St. Vincent), the present owner, 
says that another and similar portrait is in existence. He believes 
it was sold at Christie's in 1909. 

*SHERID AN, RICHARD BRINSLE Y (1751-1816). Size, 28x24 in. Bought 
by the father of Mrs. H. Milner- White, the present owner, fifty or 
sixty years ago. 

*SHERIDAN, RICHARD BRINSLEY (1751-1816). Size, 30 x 25 in. Sold 
at the 5th Avenue Art Gallery (Erich Gallery Sale), March 24, 
1905, for $550 ; bought by Rutherford. 

*SHERIDAN RICHARD BRINSLEY (1751-1816). Dark coat, white frill 
and cuffs, powdered hair ; holding portfolio. Size, 30 x 25 in. 
Sold at Christie's as the property of Sir Lewis Morris, May 6, 1905, 
for 300 guineas ; bought by C. Davis. 

x SHIELD, WILLIAM (1754-1829). Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, 1787. Ex- 
hibited at the Royal Academy, 1787 (No. 5). Engraved by R. 
Dunkarton, large fo., mezzo., in a border, 1788 ; by Ridley, 
oval 8, in Monthly Mirror, 1798 ; and again by Dunkarton, mezzo., 
27 x 18 in., October 1801. Sold by Puttick & Simpson, Feb- 
ruary 1864, and again in November 1866. Formerly in posses- 
sion of Mr. T. H. Bates. 

fSiDDONS, WILLIAM. Size, 30 x 25 in. Bequeathed to the National 
Gallery by his daughter, Mrs. Cecilia Coombe, in 1868. 

*SIDDONS, MRS., Actress (1755-1831). Size, 50 x 38 in. Sold at 
Christie's, July 23, 1909, for 8 guineas ; bought by Beale. 

*SIDDONS, MRS., Actress (head of). Size, 11^ x 9 in. Sold at Christie's, 
December 16, 1905, for 5 guineas ; bought by Parsons. Formerly 
belonging to Sir Henry Irving. 

SIDDONS, MRS., Actress. Size, 15 x 11 J in. Date, about 1785-90. 
Sold at Christie's, date unknown, and again at Christie's, Feb- 
ruary 18, 1884 (sale of Mr. William Cox's pictures), for 15a. 

*SIDDONS, MRS. Probably one of the above. Present owner, Lionel 

, ROBERT, ESQ.. Secretary to the Hon. the Irish Society, 
1789-1830. Size, 54 x 44 in. Date, October 1806. Present 
owners, the Hon. the Irish Society. 


fSLioo, MARQUESS OF, K.P. (John Denis Browne, 3rd Earl of Alta- 
mont and 1st Marquess) (1756-1809). Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, 
1806. Painted for himself. Engraved by W. W. Barney, fo., 
mezzo, (pub. by T. Falser). Present owner, Marquess of Sligo. 

Earl Howe, K.G., etc. (1767-1817). Painted when Countess of 
Altamont. A very fine picture. Size, 30J x 25 in. Date, about 
1787 (?). Engraved by S. W. Reynolds, mezzo. Present owner, 
Marquess of Sligo. 

SLOGGATT, THOMAS ROSEVEAR, of Boscastle, Cornwall. Oval minia- 
ture, ivory. Size, 2f x 2 T \j. in. Probably painted about the same 
time as Opie's other miniatures late in the 18th century. Last 
heard of with his grandson, Thomas Sloggatt. 

, MRS. CHARLES (nee Beaver). Size, 36 x 27 in. Date, before 
1806. Present owner, Mrs. Beaver. 

, MRS. CHARLES (nee Beaver). This is a copy of the foregoing. 
Present owner, Colonel H. Lockhart Smith. 

COLONEL JOHN, AND HIS SISTER LUCY, at the ages of 7 and 6 
respectively. Size, 35f x 27f in. Date, 1806. Present owner, 
Colonel H. Lockhart Smith. 

x SMITH, CHARLOTTE, Poetess, daughter of Nicholas Turner of Bignor 
(1749-1806). Engraved by Duncan, square, half length, 8, 1824, 
in Walker's " Poets," and by Pierre Conde, bust in small oval (Dyce 
Bequest, S.K.). Formerly in the possession of William Hayley, 
the poet. 

fSMiTH, FRANCIS, of Norwich, brother of Sir J. E. Smith, Pres. Linn. 
Soc. Put under glass and panelled at the back. Family tra- 
dition says Opie thought this and the following the two best por- 
traits he ever painted. Size, 28 J x 24 in. Cleaned in 1875. Date, 
1800 (?). Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1800 (No. 39 ?). 
Present owner, Francis Pierrepont Barnard, F.S.A., F.R.H.S. 
Professor of Mediaeval Archaeology, Univ. of Liverpool. 

MRS. FRANCIS (nee Sarah Marsh), wife of above. Put under 
glass and panelled at the back. Size, 28J x 24 in. Cleaned 
in 1875. Date, 1800 (?). Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 
1800 (No. 189 ?). Present owner, Francis Pierrepont Barnard, 
F.S.A., F.R.H.S. 

iTH, JAMES, of Ashlyns Hall, Herts (1768-1834). This and the 
following picture were included in Mr. J. Jope Rogers's " Opie and 
his Works," but according to General Sir H. Smith-Dorrien they 
were painted by Hoppiier and not by Opie. 
, JAMES, JUN. (1800-11). See above. 

, SIR JOHN, BART. (1744-1807). Size, 29 x 24 in. Date, 1784. 
Engraved by J. R. Smith, mezzo. ; and by J. Walker, 4, oval 


frame (two states), half length in square. Engraving in the Ander- 
don Collection, with date, 1795, over coat of arms ; engraver's 
name cut off. Present owner, Sir William Henry Smith-Marriott. 

x SMITH, MASTER, son of Sir John Smith ; probably the eldest, John 
Wyldbore Smith (1770-1852). Date, about 1783. Engraved by 
W. Ward, 1784. Last heard of with the Rev, J. Digby-Wingfield. 

x SMITH, ADMIRAL SIR W. SIDNEY, G.C.B. (1764-1840). Engraved 
by S. Cheesman, fo., May 6, 1796, and by 2 W. Greatbatch. 

fSMiTH, WILLIAM, M.P. for Norwich (1756-1835). Painted for the 
family. Engraved by Valentine Green, mezzo. (16| x 14J in.), 
August 1, 1800. Present owner, Benjamin Leigh Smith. 

x SMITH, WILLIAM, Two CHILDREN OF (probably children of the pre- 
ceding). Date, 1796. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1796 
(No. 196). 

fSMiTH, LADY (nee Pleasance Reeve) (1773-1876). As a gipsy, but 
differs in many details from the one once owned by Lady Smith. 
Size, 29 J x 24 J in. Date, 1797. " Inferior lithograph printed by 
Graf & Soret, 4, n.d., J. Opie, pinxit, 1797." Present owner, 
Earl of Coventry. 

*SMITH, LADY (nee Pleasance Reeve). Also as a gipsy. Formerly 
in the possession of Mrs. Fellowes, sister-in-law of Dean Liddell, 
who left to it to her niece, Mrs. Corpe, by whom it was sold. The 
illustration is from a photograph of it taken some years ago by Coe 
of Norwich, for Professor F. P. Barnard, Lady Smith's great- 
great-nephew. This picture was retained in Lady Smith's own 
possession until her death in 1876, at the age of 103. Sir Richard 
Owen's grandson, the Rev. Richard Owen, has two photographs, 
one from this picture and one taken from life in 1875. 

SMITH, LADY (nee Pleasance Reeve). A crayon (?) by Opie (?). A 
copy of the above is at Lowestoft with Lady Smith's niece, Miss 

SMITH, LADY (nee Pleasance Reeve). See GIPSY. 

x SOMERSET, LADY ARTHUR. Size, 30x25 in. Date, probably after 
1782. Last heard of with her son, the Rev. George Somerset, to 
whom it was given by Viscount Falmouth in 1875. 

SOMERSET, LORD CHARLES HENRY, second son of 5th and brother of 
6th Duke of Beaufort (1767-1831), aged about 15. Small head. 
Size, 21 x 17 in. Date, probably after 1782. Present owner, 
Viscount Falmouth. 

*SOUTHCOTE, JOHN HENRY, of Buckland Toutsaints and Stoke 
Fleming, Devon (married Margaret Luttrell ; died, 1820). Size, 
35} x 27 J in. Present owner, Alexander F. Luttrell. 

SOUTHEY, ROBERT, Poet Laureate (1774-1843). "Mr. Scharf, Keeper 
of the National Portrait Gallery, considers it one of his finest 


male portraits." " Opie and his Works." Size, 28 x 23 in. 
Date, 1806. Painted for William Taylor of Norwich. Exhibited 
at the Winter Exhibition of the Royal Academy, 1876 (No. 230). 
Engraved by W. H. Egleton as frontispiece to " Life and 
Correspondence of Robert Southey," 1849. Last heard of with 
Dr. Reginald Southey. 

SPEARE, REV. DR. WILLIAM, Prebendary of Exeter Cathedral. Size, 
30 x 25 in. Present owner, Rev. H. Speare-Cole. 

SPEARE, ARTHUR. Size, 30 x 25 in. Present owner, Rev. H. Speare- 


x STANHOPE, CHARLES, 3RD EARL OF (1753-1816). Date, 1803. Ex- 
hibited at the Royal Academy, 1803 (No. 63). Bequeathed to 
Lord Holland by the Earl of Stanhope. At Holland House (?). 

x STANLEY, MR. Date, 1789. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 
1789 (No. 61). 

*fSTANNARD, MRS. JOSEPH, of Norwich, aged 29. Restored by 
Leggatt Bros, about ten years ago. See p. 166. Size, 30 x 25 
in. Date, 1802. Present owner, Frederick Cubitt. 

*STEPHENS, JUDGE. Engraved in miniature, no engraver's name 
shown. The portrait by Opie from which the engraving was 
made is supposed to have been sold on the death of Miss Carter 
(sister of Captain Rodney Carter). 

STEPHENS, MRS., wife of the above. Also painted by Opie, and 
engraved ' in miniature ; no engraver's name. Like that of 
Judge Stephens, the portrait is supposed to have been sold 
after Miss Carter's death. 

*STEPHENS, ANN, daughter of the Rev. Edward Stephens and Anne 
Darell (baptized 1734, buried January 2, 1816). Head and 
shoulders. Attributed to Opie. Size, 24 x 17 in. Present owner, 
D. Darell. 

XSTEWARDSON, THOMAS (1786-1859). Date, about 1804. Engraved 
by W. W. Barney, large fo., mezzo. 

X STEWARDSON, MRS. Exhibited at the British Institution, 1817 
(No. 104), by Thomas Stewardson. 


*JSTRACEY, LADY. A young woman with a wealth of golden hair ; 
broad green felt hat. Attributed to Opie. An heirloom, always 
hung at Rackheath Park, but during the minority of the present 
baronet, Sir Edward P. Stracey, the picture was lost. Lady 
Sondes and General Henry Stracey, Sir Edward's aunt and uncle, 
are confident that the picture was by John Opie, but a copy made 
by Mrs. Graves-Browne (in possession of Sir Edward Stracey) is 
endorsed "Copy of Lady Stracey, 'by Sir Joshua Reynolds." 


*SUTHERLAND, IST DUKE OF, 1 as (?). Present owner, 

Duke of Sutherland. 

*SUTHERLAND, IST DUCHESS or, 1 as ( ?). Present 

owner, Duke of Sutherland. 

XTALBOT, LADY CHARLOTTE. Mentioned in a letter of Dr. Wolcot's 
to Mr. J. James of Rosenvale, St. Agnes, and in Mr. E. Collins 
Giddy's MS., " Opie and his Works." Date, 1782. 

XTALBOT, Miss, as Lavinia. Date, 1802. Exhibited at the Royal 
Academy, 1802 (No. 247). 

TAYLOR, REV. DR. JOHN, LL.D., of Ashbourne, Rector of Bos- 
worth, Prebendary of Westminster and friend of Dr. Samuel 
Johnson. Half length, looking to right, wig, gown, and bands. 
His portrait from Opie's painting appears facing p. 56 in " The 
Life of Dr. John Taylor of Ashbourne," published there for the 
first time. Present owner, Lady Grant Duff. 

TAYLOR, THOMAS, of Ogwell House, Devon. Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, 
probably before 1782. Engraved by Mackenzie, 4, oval, half 
length. The separate entries for engraving and painting in " Opie 
and his Works " have here been combined in one. Present owner, 
Earl of Devon. 

XTAYLOR, DR. Size, 19 x 18J in. Date, probably after 1798. Last 
heard of with Mr. William C. Maclean, of Great Yarmouth. 

x TAYLOR, MR., Surgeon. Date, 1792. Exhibited at the Royal 
Academy, 1792 (No. 526). 

x THOMAS, JOHN, of Chyverton, Vice-Warden of the Stannaries (died 
1825). Size, 29 x 24 J in. Date, before 1780. At present at 
Chyverton (?). 

x THOMAS, MRS. JOHN. Size, 29 x 24 in. Date, before 1780. At 
present at Chyverton (?). 


*THOMAS, MRS. REUBEN, wife of Reuben Thomas of St. Austell. Size, 
30 x 24 in. Sold for 80 guineas ; presumably the price paid to 
Opie, as it is still in the family. Present owner, Mrs. Blackbee, 
her grand-daughter. 

THOMAS, SAMUEL, of Tregolls, Truro (died about 1796). Size, 
30 x 25 in. Present owner, J. S. Spry. 

THOMAS, ANNA MARIA, sister of above, and wife of Admiral Thomas 
Spry. Size, 30 x 25 in. Present owner, J. S. Spry. 



x THOMPSON, ALEXANDER, Master in Chancery. Inscribed on back, 
" Alexander Thompson, Esq., Master in Chancery, llth May, 1782, 
Sir Alexander T., Knight, afterwards one of the Barons of the 
Court of Exchequer, 9 Feb., 1787, J. Opie pinxt. 1782." Size, 


29 x 24 in. Date, 1782. Last heard of with William Cox- 
head, Bath. 

x THOMPSON, SIR ALEXANDER, Baron of the Court of Exchequer, 1787. 
Date, 1789. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1789 (No. 272). 


X TIPPETT, MBS. JAMES (nee Mason ; married 1771). Size, 23 x 15 in. 
Date, 1779-80. Last heard of with Edward P. Tippett, of Ply- 

x ToDD, LOVELL, of Falmouth. Size, 14 J x 10 in. Date, about 
1778. Given by John Opie to Mr. Lo.vell Todd. Signed, " Opie 
hoc. delin." Last heard of with the Rev. Fortescue Todd, Vicar 
of St. Austell. 


TOOKE, JOHN HORNE (1736-1812). Date, about July 1803. Painted 
for Lieut. -Col. Harwood. 

x TowoooD, REV. MICHAIAH, Dissenting Minister (1700-92). Date, 
1783. Engraved by Anker Smith, in an oval, 8, 1787, for " Dis- 
sent from the Church of England Justified " ; by Ezekiel, more 
fully, sheet, March 1794; and by 2 Hopwood, in octagon. 

TOWNLEY, CHARLES, Collector of the Townley Marbles (1737-1805). 
Size, 29 x 25 in. Date, about 1783. Sold at Oxford in 1875, and 
at Christie's in 1899. Present owner, J. H. Smith Barry. 

XTOWNSEND, REV. JOSEPH, Rector of Pusey, Wilts (1740-1816). 
Engraved by Holl, 4, in an oval, for Thornton's " Elementary 
Botanical Plants." 


xTozEB, REV. ABBAHAM, of Exeter (died about 1796). Size, 29 x 24 
in. Last heard of with Edgar Tozer, of Exeter. 

x TozEB, MRS. ABRAHAM, wife of above (died about 1809). Size, 
29 x 24 in. Last heard of with Edgar Tozer, of Exeter. 


TBEMAYNE, ABTHTTB, of Sydenham, Devon (1735-1808). Signed, 
" Opie pt." Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, about 1795. Present owner, 
Hon. Mrs. Tremayne. 

XTBESHAM, HENBY, R.A., a native of Ireland (died 1814). Date, 
1806. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1806 (No. 132). En- 
graved by S. Freeman, stipple, in an oval, 1809. 

J-TBEVENEN, MATTHEW (1762-85). Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, 1782. 
Present owner, Miss Trevenen. 


X TURNER, MB., Surgeon, of Marazion. An early work. Sold at 
Christie's, February 5, 1859, for 1 guinea. 

jTwiss, MBS. FBANCIS (Fanny Kemble, sister of Mrs. Siddons). 
Size, 30 x 25 in. Painted for Mrs. Opie in 1799. Present 


owner, Mrs. Ernest Waggett, daughter of the late Mr. Quintin 

*TYSSEN, FKANCIS, of Hackney (died 1813, aged 68). Not a good 
specimen of Opie's work, and appears to have been retouched. 
On the back is inscribed, " Portrait of Francis Tyssen, Esqre., of 
Hackney, painted by his friend, J. Opie." Size, 20 x 16 in. 
This portrait of his great-great-uncle was purchased by the Rev. 
R. D. Tyssen, the present owner, in 1908, from Mr. T. Morgan, 54, 
Redcliffe Square, S.W., who had it from a relation. 


VALPY, REV. RICHARD, D.D., F.A.S. (1754-1836). Size, 96 x 57 in. 
Painted for his pupils, by subscription, in 1801. Exhibited at the 
Royal Academy, 1801 (No. 282). Engraved by C. Turner, large 
mezzo., 1811. Present owner, Oliver H. Valpy. 

XVAUGHAN, GEORGE (died 1828). Size (enlarged), 36 x 27 in. Ex- 
hibited at the British Institution, 1862 (No. 182). Last heard of 
with Mrs. Vaughan, Westbourne Terrace. 

XVAUGHAN, Miss. Date, 1806. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 
1806 (No. 94). 

*VINICOMBE, Miss. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1796 (No. 

VINICOMBE, REV. JOHN. Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, 1796. Bequeathed 
by Sir Rose Price to Pembroke College, Oxford. 

*ViviAN, ELIZABETH, sister of James Vivian of Pencalenick, Sheriff of 
Cornwall, 1772; married the Rev. John Richards, Rector of 
Camborne. (1751-1820.) To waist, three-quarter face to left ; 
pink evening dress ; hand holding an apple ; headdress, blue 
velvet and pearls ; muslin frills on sleeves. Size, 30 x 25 in. 
Present owner, Mrs. John Richards Paull. 

* VIVIAN, JANE C., sister of above ; married Admiral Robert 
Carthew Reynolds of Pennir (born 1748 ?). To waist, three- 
quarter face to right ; blue evening dress, pearl necklace, frilled 
muslin sleeves ; open music-book in hand, with a rose. Size, 
30 x 25 in. Present owner, Mrs. John Richards Paull. 

VIVIAN, JOHN, of Pencalenick (1771-1817), Sheriff of Cornwall, 1812. 
Represents a lad of 14 to 16 years. On the back of the canvas is 
written, " Mr. Opie, at Captri. James, To be left at the Star, 
Marazion." Size, 29 x 24J in. Date, between 1785-7. Present 
owner, Rev. C. H. G. Vivian. 

VIVIAN, MATTHEW, of Redruth (died 1814). Size, 29 x 23 in. Re- 
lined by Neill. Date, before 1781. Present owner, E. J. P. 

VIVIAN, MRS. MATTHEW, of Redruth (nee Mary Ennis) (died 1850. 
aged 80 ?). The identity as given in " Opie and his Works " is 


questionable. If Mrs. Vivian (Mary Ennis) was 80 when she died 
in 1850, it follows that she was born in 1771, and the date of 
painting is given as before 1781. Size, 29 x 23 in. Present owner, 
E. J. P. Magor. 


fWALLER, MRS. FREDERICK (nee Anne Westcott). Size, 20 x 16 in. 
Date, 1799. Present owner, Mr. John Edmund Linklater. 

| WALLER, MRS. BENJAMIN (nee Mary Westcott). Size, 20 x 16 in. 
Date, 1799. Present owner, Mr. John Edmund Linklater. 

*WALMSLEY, REV. EDWARD, Rector of Falmouth from 1734-94. 
Signed and dated. Size, 29 x 25 in. Date, 1780. Last heard of 
with W. T. Tressider, St. Ives, Cornwall. 

fWARDE, RIGHT HON. GENERAL GEORGE, Commander in-Chief in Ire- 
land (1725-1803). Size, 50 x 40 in. Exhibited at the National 
Portrait Exhibition, 1868 (No. 868). Present owner, Lieut. -Col. 
C. A. M. Warde. 

fWARDE, MRS. GEORGE, daughter of Dr. Madan, Bishop of Peter- 
borough, and wife of above (died 1832). Size, 29J x 23 in. 
Date, about 1782. Exhibited at the Winter Exhibition, Royal 
Academy, 1906 (No. 35). Present owner, Lieut.-Col. C. A. M. 

*fWARDE, LADY (wife of General Sir Henry Warde, Grenadier Guards), 
SIR EDWARD WARDE, K.C.B.). Lady Warde is seated on a bank ; 
on her lap is her youngest child, Frederick ; the eldest sits on the 
bank at her knee ; Harriet stands at her right side ; and Edward 
leans on his mother's shoulder ; woodland background. Colonel 
Warde says that it was unfinished at Opie's death and completed 
by Mrs. Opie (?). Size, 54 x 42 in. Date, 1806-7. Present 
owner, Col. C. E. Warde, M.P. 

30 x 25 in. Date, 1799. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1799 
(No. 205), and at the National Portrait Exhibition, 1867 (No. 720). 
Present owner, John Simonds, whose wife was daughter of the late 
Rev. Sir John Warren Hayes, Bart., godson of the Admiral. 

30 x 25 in. Engraved by H. Richter, fo., in an oval surrounded 
by trophies, etc., and again by H. Richter in April 1800. Mr. 
Simonds has a copy of the engraving by Richter, on which the 
artist's name appears as James Opie. It is entitled " Admiral 
Sir J. B. Warren, Bart., K.B., and the Victory off Ireland. The 
portrait by James Opie, Esq., R.A., the shipping by W. Anderson. 
Engraved by H. Richter. Published by G. Riley, 65, Old Bailey, 


Ludgate Hill, April, 1800." Presented by the Admiral's widow 
to Greenwich Hospital in 1824. 

x WARRICK, MARGERY, daughter of Christopher Warrick. Size, 21 J v. 
17J in. Date, before 1781. Last heard of with the Hon. Captain 
Vivian, Park. 

X WABRICK, SOPHIA, daughter of Christopher Warrick, and after- 
wards wife of the Rev. Robert Walker, Vicar of St. Winnow. Size, 
21 i x 17 J in. Date, before 1781. Last heard of with the Hon. 
Captain Vivian, Park. 

"{WEBSTER, MR. JAMES. A quaint-looking elderly gentleman in a 
wig. The picture is at Inveresk Lodge, Musselburgh. It is con- 
siderably cracked and requires cleaning. On the back is written 
in large text hand, " James Webster, Esq.," and farther down 
towards the left-hand corner, " Opie," immediately below which 
is the date, " 1796." Mr. Webster befriended Sir John Wedder- 
burn when he was tried for his share in the rebellion of 1745. 
Present owner, Sir William Wedderburn, Bart. 


*f WESLEY, probably CHARLES (1708-88). Attributed to Opie. 
Size, 10 x 8 in., oval oak. Sold in 1892 at the late Dr. Grant's 
sale, Cheltenham ; bought in at 5s. Present owner, Walter 

fWESTCOTT, MRS. JOHN (1750-94). The Westcotts were intimate 
friends of Dr. Wolcot. Size, 30 x 25 in. Relined. Date, 1793. 
Present owner, Walter E. Dobson. 

fWESTCOTT, PETER THOMAS (1783-1846). Size, 20 x 16 in. Relined. 
Date, 1793. Present owner, R. V. Fry Seton. 

fWESTCOTT, JOHN HANDCOCK (1787-1849). Size, 21 x 17 in. Re- 
lined. Date, 1793. Present owner, Mrs. Borkett. 

tWESTCOTT, JANE SARAH SUSANNAH (1790-1834). Size, 20J x 16 
in. Relined. Date, 1793. Present owner, Miss E. P. W. Seton. 

x WESTMORELAND, EARL OF. Believed to have been exhibited at the 
Royal Academy, year unknown. 

*fWHATLEY, MRS. KEMBLE (nee Elizabeth Dare) (died, September 4, 
1793, aged 72). Size, 29 x 24J in. Present owner, J. O. Whatley. 


tWHiTBREAD, SAMUEL, M.P. (1758-1815). To waist, full face. Date, 
1804. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1804 (No. 106). En- 
graved by Hopwood, oval, half length, 8, 1805 ; by S. W. Rey- 
nolds, 1806; and by T. Blood, 1813. Present owner, Samuel 
Whitbread, J.P., D.L. 

J-WHITBREAD, SAMUEL, M.P. (1758-1815). Full length, seated, to 
left. Engraved by S. W. Reynolds, mezzo., 1804. Present owner, 
Samuel Whitbread, J.P., D.L. 


X WHITBREAD, LADY ELIZABETH (1765-1846). Engraved by A. 
Garden, square, half length, 1808, for " La Belle Assemblee," 
1808. On the engraving it states that this was Opie's last picture. 
Mr. J. H. Whitbread says that the portrait of Lady Elizabeth 
Whitbread at Southill is by Hoppner and differs from the en- 
graving after Opie in " La Belle Assemblee." 

x WHITE, THOMAS, of Fordlands, Exeter. Considered a fine specimen. 
Size, 30 x 24 in. Date, about 1781. Last heard of with Miss 
Abbott, Exmouth. 

XWILKIE, Sra DAVID, R.A. (1785-1841). Sold at Christie's (W. 
Anthony's Sale), February 20, 1871, for 27 guineas. 

*WILKIE, SIR DAVID, R.A. Sold at Christie's, November 24, 1894 ; 
bought in by Leggatt for 5 guineas. Seller's name not given. 
Query, the same picture as the preceding ? 


WILLIAMS, SIR DANIEL, KT., Colonel of Tower Hamlets Militia. Size, 
50 x 40 in. Date, 1807. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1807 
(No. 89). Sold at Christie's, January 25, 1904, for 16 guineas ; 
bought by Weyland. Formerly owned by Mr. Mansel Rees. 

x WILLS, REV. THOMAS, Vicar of Wendron. Painted in Court suit with 
sword, etc., before he entered Holy Orders. " On his sister's, 
Miss Wills's, death, in 1856, the picture was by her desire 
removed from the frame, rolled up and buried with her." Date, 

WILSON, Miss. Date, 1805. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1805 
(No. 206). 

x WILSON, JOHN PETER. Unfinished at Opie's death. His last sittings 
were on March 15 and 16, 1807, when Opie left his sick-bed to 
paint the portrait. Size, 30 x 24 in. Painted for his father. 
Last heard of with J. P. Cockburn, The Mount, Totnes. 



tWoLCOT, DR. JOHN (" Peter Pindar "), of Dodbrook, Devon (1738- 
1819). On the back of the drawing is, " A young man residing 
at Fowey." Size, 14 x 11 J in., crayon on paper. Date, before 
1781. Exhibited at the British Association, Plymouth, August 
1877, and at Exhibition of English Pastelists of the Eighteenth 
Century, Paris, 1911. From the Carlyon Collection ; previously 
in the Giddy family. Present owner, Rev. J. H. de Courcelles. 

*fWoLCOT, DR. JOHN (" Peter Pindar "). Part of the Bateman heir- 
looms. Sold by Robinson & Fisher at Willis's, October, 1895 ; 
bought by Tooth for 36 guineas. Present owner, V. G. Fischer 
Art Galleries, U.S.A. 

WOLCOT, DR. JOHN (" Peter Pindar "). Size, 21 x 15 in. Date, 1778- 


88. Exhibited at the Council Hall, Truro, 1861 (No. 9). Present 
owner, G. A. L. Woollcombe. 

WOLOOT, DR. JOHN ("Peter Pindar"). Rich chiaroscuro, highly 
finished. Size, 19 J x 16 J in. Relined by Merrott. Date, pro- 
bably 1779-81. Formerly in possession of the late Mr. Frederick 
Ouvry, and bequeathed by his widow to Mr. F. E. Street, its 
present owner. 

WOLCOT, DR. JOHN (" Peter Pindar "). Size, 21 x 15 in. Date, 
probably before 1782. Formerly owned by Mrs. Lambe of Bath. 
At present in the National Portrait Gallery. The National Portrait 
Gallery picture was purchased from Messrs. Agnew ; it appears 
to agree with this. 

WOLOOT, DR. JOHN (" Peter Pindar "). Size, 24 x 20 in. Date, 
before 1789. Given by Opie to Mr. Seale when lie painted his 
portrait about 1789. Present owner, Sir John Henry Seale, 

WOLCOT, DR. JOHN (" Peter Pindar "). Size, 30 x 25 in. Ex- 
hibited at the National Portrait Exhibition, 1867 (No. 809). En- 
graved by C. H. Hodges, 4 (? large foL), mezzo., April 30 (?), 1787, 
with autograph ; also mezzo., 4, unnamed (pub. by G. Kearsley), 
December 23, 1788, inscribed " Peter Pindar," Esq. ; and by 
J. Chapman. Last heard of with J. Stirling Taylor. 

X WOLCOT, DR. JOHN (" Peter Pindar "). Size, 23 x 19J in. Once 
owned by Mr. Tregellas ; last heard of with Mr. F. W. Bond. 

WOLCOT, DR. JOHN (" Peter Pindar "). From the collection of 
Lord de Dunstanville, and later from " a gentleman," Sold at 
Christie's, April 18, 1896 ; bought by Young for 2 guineas. 

WOLOOT, DR. JOHN (" Peter Pindar "). Size, 22J (?23)xl9J in. 
Date, after 1800. Formerly belonging to Mr. John Heugh. 
Bought at Christie's, May 11, 1878, for 23 guineas, by Agnew, 
for J. Pender, Esq. (afterwards Sir John), and sold at Christie's, 
June 1, 1897, in Sir John Fender's sale, for 14 guineas, with "Bust 
portrait of a gentleman." Present owners, Shepherd & Sons. 

*WOLCOT, DR. JOHN ("Peter Pindar"). Exhibited at the Council 
Hall, Truro, 1861 (No. 60). The index of the catalogue men- 
tioned this as lent by " G. Trowbridge, Esq. For sale." Last 
heard of with Sir Stafford Northcote, Bart. 

*WOLCOT, DR. JOHN ("Peter Pindar"). Sold at Christie's, July 24, 

1863, for 14s. 

WOLCOT, DR. JOHN (" Peter Pindar "). The four following are en- 
gravings of Dr. Wolcot unidentified with any special portrait: 
Bust in an oval, by Corner, 8, European Magazine, vol. xii ; in- 
scribed " Peter Pindar, Esq." Half length in an oval, by Ridley. 
8, 1792, General Magazine. Bust in an oval, no engraver's name. 


as frontispiece to Wolcot's " Works," 3 vols., pub. by Walker, 
1794. Bust in an oval, by K. Mackenzie, for 4 edition of " Tales 
of a Hoy," 1798, Richardson (Smith's MS. Cat. has 8). 

x WooDHOUSE, DK., possibly Robert Woodhouse, Lucasian Professor 
of Mathematics at Cambridge (1773-1827). A portrait under 
this title was exhibited by Robert Woodhouse, Esq., at the British 
Institution, 1817. 

*|WooDHOusE, OLYETT, Judge-Advocate-General of Bombay, cousin 
of Amelia Opie (died, 1822). Present owner, Matthew Wood- 
house. Some drawings by Opie of Olyett Woodhouse are in the 
possession of Mr. Robert Woodhouse. 

*tWooDHOTJSE, OLYETT, Judge-Advocate-General of Bombay. To 
waist, three-quarter to right, black coat, white neckcloth. Size, 
30x25 in. Date, 1798-1804 (?). Present owner, Lieut.-Col. 
Lechmere Russell. 

x WooDis, or WOODHOUSE, THOMAS, of Northrepps (died at Penzance 
1818). Size, 28 x 24 in. Date, about 1799. Last heard of with 
the late G. B. Millett, Penzance. 

x WRIGHT, JOHN, of Soho Square, Master of the Vintners' Company in 
1797 (died, 1816). Engraved by Ridley, 8. Presented to 
Vintners' Hall, Upper Thames Street. 

fWYATT, ISABELLA, daughter of Mr. Richard Wyatt of Egham. Size, 
29 x 24 in. Date, about 1785. Painted for Mr. Richard Wyatt. 
Present owner, Lieut.-Col. A. Wyatt-Edgell. 

X WYCHE, MBS. (nee Mary Pymar). Size, 29 x 24 in. Date, about 
1800. Last heard of with Mrs. Ferrier, Beccles. 

* WYNNE, STAFF-SURGEON W. W. With Lord Nelson during the Pe- 
ninsular War. See Notes and Queries, 8th series, vol. ix, p. 207. 

X WYNYARD, BRIGADIER-GENERAL. Engraved by W. W. Barney, 
mezzo., 1809. The engraving represents him half length in uniform. 



X PORTRAIT OF AN ACTOR. Sold at Christie's, November 1868 ; 

bought by Parker for 2. 
*PORTRAIT OF A BOY. 1 "Very fine." Sold by H. Phillips (No. 187 in 

cat.), March 22, 1809. 
*HEAD OF A GENTLEMAN. Size, 20 x 16 \ in. Sold at Christie's, 

December 21, 1907 ; bought by Moir for 3 guineas. 
*BusT PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN. Sold at Christie's, June 1, 1897 ; 

bought by Shepherd with " Portrait of Dr. Wolcot," for 14 guineas, 

at Sir John Fender's sale. 


*POKTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN. Size, 23 x 19 in. Sold at Christie's, 
May 11, 1908 ; bought by Shepherd for 15 guineas. 


April 14, 1864, for 1 guinea. 

*PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN READING. Sold at Stanley's, Quadrant, 
8 (No. 114 in cat. of Mr. Archbutt's pictures), July 9, 1830, for 
17 10s. 


at Christie's, July 7, 1900 ; bought by S. F. Smith for 3J guineas. 

Seller's name not stated, 
x PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN. Previously in possession of Mr. James 

Apps. Sold at Christie's, April 11, 1863, for 9s. 
x PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN. Sold at Christie's, March 11, 1871, for 

2 10s. 
*PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN (supposed to be one of the Harris family). 

Slightly to right, eyes turned to spectator, left hand tucked into 

brocaded waistcoat, wig or hair powdered. Size, 30 x 26 in. 

Sold at the Rosewarne Sale, October 2, 1894. Present owner, 

Mrs. Bond. 
K PORTRAIT OF A GIRL. Size, 30 x 25 in. Last heard of with J. Fitzroy 

Morris, Salisbury. 

BtjNDLEOF STICKS. ) Size, 29 x 24 in. Sold at Christie's, May 27, 

1910 ; bought by Agnew for 80 guineas. Seller's name not given. 

24 J in. Date, before 1782. Formerly at Menabilly. Sold at 

Winkworth's, March 1906, for the executors of the late Mrs. 

Stopford Sackville, and bought by McLean, 
x PORTRAIT OF A GIRL. Size, 21 x 13in. An early work, Last heard 

of with the Hon. Captain Vivian, Park. 
*PORTRAIT OF A GIRL IN A LANDSCAPE. Sold at Robinson & Fisher's, 

January 1901 ; 2 bought by Smith for 110 guineas. 
PORTRAIT OF A GIRL IN WHITE MUSLIN. From the Mieville Collection. 

PORTRAIT OF A GIRL IN A WHITE DRESS. Oval, size, 28 x 24 in. Sold 

at Christie's (sale of Messrs. Lawrie & Co., New Bond Street), 

January 28, 1905 ; bought by M. Nicolle for 60 guineas. 


& Fisher's, June 27, 1901 ; bought by M. Colnaghi for 105 guineas. 

*YouNG GIRL. Size, 35 x 28| in. From the Edward Brandus Collec- 
tion. Sold at the 5th Avenue Art Galleries, March 1904 ; bought 
by L. A. Lanthier, U.S.A., for $375. 

K PORTRAIT OF AN ITALIAN DANCER. Sold at Opie's sale, June 1807, 
for 4 guineas (Lot 61), with two other pictures a fancy subject 


(a very early picture) and the sketch of " A Child relating a Tale 

to its Mother." 
^PORTRAIT OF A LADY, unframed. Size, 29 x 23 in. Sold at 

Christie's, January 27, 1907 ; bought by Landstein for 1 5s. 
*PORTRAIT OF A LADY. Size, 29 x 24 in. From the collection of the 

late Herman Zoeppritz, Esq. Sold at Christie's, May 15, 1908 ; 

bought by Bohler for 45 guineas. 
*PORTRAIT OF A LADY. 2 Sold at Christie's, June 23, 1826 (No. 29 in 

cat. of sale of J. W. Steers, deceased, and another), for 4 14#. 
*PORTRAIT OF A LADY. Size, 29 J x 24 in. Sold at Christie's as " the 

property of a gentleman in Scotland," July 3, 1908 ; bought by 

James for 35 guineas. 
*PORTRAIT OF A LADY. Size, 30 x 25 in. From the collection of the 

late Sir John D. Melburn, Bart. Sold at Christie's, June 10, 1909 ; 

bought by Shepherd for 70 guineas. 


HER YOUNG CHILD ON LEFT ARM. Size, 30 x 25 in. Sold at 
Christie's (sale of Messrs. Lawrie & Co.), January 28, 1905 ; bought 
by Lawrie for 280 guineas. 

*PORTRAIT OF A LADY IN A WHITE DRESS. 2 Sold at Christie's, Feb- 
ruary 1, 1896 ; bought by A. Smith for 29 guineas. 

Sold at Christie's, April 10, 1899 ; bought by Vokins for 58 guineas 
Seller's name not stated. 

HER ARMS. Evidently wrongly named. There is no evidence that 
Mary Opie presumably nee Bunn ever had a child. Sold at 
Christie's, July 9, 1904 ; bought by White for 16 guineas. Seller's 
name not stated. 

^PORTRAIT OF A LADY IN A WHITE DRESS. 2 Sold at Christie' in 1894 ; 
bought by Clayton for 560 guineas. 

Size, 30 x 25 in. The property of the late Mr. George Duncombe. 
Sold at Christie's, March 16, 1901 ; bought by Parsons for 87 


Lady"). Three-quarter length, seated, dog in lap ; full face. Iden- 
tity of lady not known ; usually called " The Norwich Lady." Size, 
31 x 26 in. Has descended in the family of Herbert T. Herring, 
the present owner, from John Herring, Mayor of Norwich in 

LACE. Size, 23 x 19 in. Sold at Christie's, March 19, 1898 ; 
bought by Cohen for 5 guineas. Seller's name not stated. 


X PORTRAIT OF A LADY. See Seguier's " Critical and Commercial Dic- 
tionary," 1870. Sold in 1826 for 4. 

*PORTRAIT OF A LADY. Sold at Christie's, January 10, 1885 ; bought 
by Wilson for 8J guineas. Previous owner's name not given. 

*POKTRAIT OF A LADY. Sold at Christie's, April 8, 1893 ; bought by 
Shepherd, for 8J guineas. Previous owner's name not given. 

X POKTRAIT OF A LADY. Formerly in possession of Baron Alderson. 
Sold at Christie's (No. 139), March 11, 1871. 

X PORTKAIT OF A LADY. Sold at Christie's, February 5, 1875, for 


CHILD. Sold at Christie's, May 6, 1910, as the " property of a 

gentleman " ; bought by Gooden & Fox for 72 guineas. 
X PORTRAIT OF A LADY. Sold at Christie's, February 11, 1861, for 

*PORTRAIT OF A LADY. Sold at Christie's, March 21, 1894 ; bought 

by Wigzell for 38 guineas. Seller's name not given. 
*PORTRAIT OF AN OLD LADY. Oval, size, 30 x 25 in. Sold at Cliristie's, 

April 5, 1909 ; bought by Wood for 6 guineas. Again sold at 

Christie's, May 27, 1909 ; bought by Holt for 2J guineas. 
PORTRAIT OF AN OLD ST. AGNES MAN. Believed to be from the same 

model as a " Portrait of an Old Man at Trelissick." Size, 27 x 19J 

in. Date, before 1781. Present owner, J. C. Williams ; purchased 

in 1861 from Mr. Graves. 
*PORTRAIT OF AN OLD LADY WITH OPEN BOOK, suggested as possibly 

Mrs. Boscawen. The open page shows " So teach us to number 

our days, etc." From the Carlyon family. Present owner, 

Rev. J. H. de Courcelles. 
*PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG LADY. Size, 36 x 27 in. Sold at Christie's, 

July 17, 1908 ; bought by Partridge for 70 guineas. 
* PORTRAIT or A YOUNG LADY. Present owner, Sir Thomas Glen-Coats, 

who bought it of Messrs. Dowdeswell. 


July 23, 1864, for 1 3s. ; previously in possession of Mr. Battam. 

*PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG AND PRETTY W T OMAN. Let into overmantel at 
69, Lowndes Square. Size, 50 x 40 in. Bought from Messrs. 
Dowdeswell by Arthur Hammersley, the present owner. 

X PORTRAIT OF A MUSICAL COMPOSER. Size, 29 x 24 in. Relined. 
Last heard of with Mr. William Cox, Pall Mall. 

*PORTRAIT OF A YOUTH. Size, 30 x 25 in. Sold at Christie's, Decem- 
ber, 14, 1907 ; bought by Holland for 21 guineas. Sold again at 
Christie's, March 28, 1908 ; bought by Renton for 12J guineas. 

'PORTRAIT, unnamed. Sold at Greenwood's, May 21, 1807, for 14^. 
(No. 35 in sale cat.). 


X FOUB POBTBAITS, all unnamed. Sold at Opie's sale (Lot 81), 
June 1807. 

*POBTBAIT, A. 2 Sold by Stanley withjanother picture in one lot 
(No. 26) for 1 guinea at the sale of Peter Coxe's Collection, 
June 14, 1815. 

*POBTBAIT, A. 2 Sold by Stanley (No. 758 in sale of pictures, ancient 
and modern), March 8, 1811, for 5 guineas. 

*POBTBAIT, FAMILY. 2 Small size. Sold at Christie's (No. 115 in col- 
lection of various pictures), April 12, 1843. 

*POBTBAIT, UNKNOWN. Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, 1790-1800. Last 
heard of with Mr. Robert Walker, Bath. Bought as a portrait of 
George Colman, the elder, by Opie ; but the features are not those 
of either Colman, nor could Opie have painted either at the age 
represented. Sold at Sotheby's, June 1877. 

POBTBAIT OF A LADY IN A GBEEN DBESS. Size, 23 x 17 J in. Sold 
at Christie's, July 20, 1906 ; bought by Money for 1J guineas. 
Seller's name not stated. 

LACE. Size, 23 x 17 in. Sold at Christie's, July 20, 1906 ; 
bought by Parsons for 1 guinea. Seller's name not stated. 

*POBTBAIT OF AN OBiENTAL. Size, 29 x 25 in. Sold at Christie's, 
June 13, 1898, by the executors of the late Lucy Copeman, and 
bought by J. D. Ichenhauser for 4J guineas ; sold for him in New 
York by the American Art Association, February 26 and 27, 1903, 
and bought by C. Hildebrandt for $100. 

* POBTBAIT OF A YOUNG MAN. Purchased from Mr. Avery, Art Dealer, 
New York, by R. Hall McCormick, Chicago, the present owner. 

?*POBTBAIT OF A YOUNG GiBL. Size, 30 x 25 in. Sold by the 
American Art Association at the Dowdeswell and T. J. Blakeslee 
Sale, April 7 and 8, 1904, and bought by C. Downing for $220 ; sold 
in 1908 for Brandus, and bought by A. Andrew, U.S.A., for $900. 

*POBTBAIT OF A YOUNG GIBL. Size, 35 x 28| in. From the Brandus 
Collection. Sold at the 5th Avenue Art Galleries, March 29 and 
30, 1905 ; bought by S. P. Shotter, U.S.A., for $330. 


CHABITY CLOTHING THE NAKED. Size, 93 x 66 in. Present owner, 

Lord Leconfield. 

16). Painted f or T. Macklin. Engraved by W. Bromley, fo., line, 

January 4, 1799. 
x CONFESSION ("The Nun at Confession"?). Date, 1800. Ex- 


hibited at the Royal Academy, 1800 (No. 90). Sold at Christie's, 
February 17 and 18, 1809, for 45 guineas, and at the sale of William 
Gust of Bristol for 26 guineas. Formerly in the possession of 
Thomas Alderson. 

XCORONATION OF A CHILD. Size, 50 x 40 in. Last heard of with 
John Thome, Cheltenham. 

{CRUCIFIXION, THE. Injured by damp. Size, 60 J x 49 J in., rising to 
66 J in. in the centre. Date, 1789-91 (some time in progress). 
Presented in 1791 to Cornworthy Church, Devon, by Mr. John 
Seale, of Mount Boon, Patron and Lord of the Manor, for whom 
it was painted for the Reredos when the Chancel was restored. 
At present in the Chancel of Cornworthy Church. 

DEVOTION. Size, 24 x 20 in. Date, after 1782. Exhibited at the 
Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Hall, 1854. Present owner, Vis- 
count Falmouth. 

*HoLY FAMILY. A sketch after Raphael. 1 , 2 . Sold at Squibbs's (No. 75 
in cat.), May 16, 1811, for 1 3*. 

x !NFANT DAVID PLAYING WITH A LYRE. Sold at Christie's, March 3, 
1855, with "Two Peasant Children," for 1 2s. Sold a second 
time at Christie's, February 20, 1858, for 1. Last heard of with 
W. H. Morley. 

x JEPHTHAH'S DAUGHTER, THE SACRIFICE OF (Judges xi, 39, 40). Size, 
82 x 60 in. Date, about 1790. Painted for T. Macklin ; No. 41 
in Macklin's "Gallery of British Poets," April 2, 1790. Engraved 
by J. Hall, oblong fo., line, October 15, 1791, Macklin's Bible. 
Sold at Christie's, March 19, 1838, and at sale of John Green's 
pictures, April 1830, for 23 guineas. Last heard of with Mr. 
William Cox, Pall Mall. 

x JEPHTHAH'S DAUGHTER, THE SACRIFICE OF (Judges xi. 39, 40). Copied 
in needlework for Miss Linwood's Gallery in Leicester Square, 
which copy sold at Christie's, April 23, 1846, for 16 guineas. 
This picture is the same as the preceding, but reduced by Opio 
for the engraver. Size, 18 x 14 in. Date, probably about 1790. 
Last heard of with the Rev. William Norris, Warblington Rectory. 

x JEPHTHAH'S RASH Vow (Judges xi, 39, 40). Similar composition 
to the two preceding pictures, but differing in size. Size, 70 x 56 
in. Last heard of with J. Fitzroy Morris, Salisbury. 

JOSEPH SOLD BY HIS BRETHREN (Gen. xxxvii, 27, 28). A picture of 
this name was in possession of the late Mrs. Forbes of Brighton, 
daughter of Dr. E. D. Clarke, in whose handwriting was the follow- 
ing inscription written on the back : " Painted by John Opie, R.A., 
Professor of Painting in the Royal Academy. It was a present 
from George Rush, Esq., of Farthinghoe, Northamptonshire, to 
Mrs. Edward Clarke when she sat to Opie for her portrait a short 


time before his (Opie's) death. Opie then informed her that he 
had painted it twenty-one years before Mr. Rush purchased and 
presented it to her. E. D. Clarke, Cambridge, July 30th, 1807." 
Mrs. Clarke told her daughter, Mrs. Forbes, that the figures in 
this picture were believed to be portraits of members of Opie's 
own family (MS. note made by Rev. J. M. Cripps in a copy of 
" Opie and his Works "). Size, 32 x 27 in. Date, 1785. En- 
graved by W. Bromley, fo., 8, 1804; illustrates Taller, No. 233, 
Sharpe's " British Classics," vol. iv. Sold at Christie's, January 28, 
1911 ; seller's name not stated. 

x JUDITH ATTIRING. Is this the picture sold in America as "The 
Toilette"? See THE TOILETTE. Painted for T. Macklin about 
1792. Exhibited at the British Institution, 1817, by the Earl 
of Egremont. Engraved by W. Sharpe, fo., line, July 21, 

X THE LOBD OF THE VINEYARD (St. Matt, xx, 14). The companion 
picture to " The Death of Sapphira." Painted for T. Macklin 
before 1793. Engraved by J. Hall, oblong fo., line, March 25, 1793, 
for Macklin's Bible, and by H. Gillbank, mezzo, oblong fo., 1802, 
for Daniell. Sold at Christie's, February 25, 1809 (No. 112 in cat.), 
described as belonging to "an eminent publisher retiring " 
(Macklin), for 15 guineas. 

*MADONNA AND SAINTS. A miniature. Sold at Christie's, Febru&ry 28, 
1910, with " Head of Dr. Johnson " and " Head of a Man." 

as " sweetly coloured." Date, 1803. Exhibited at the Royal 
Academy, 1803 (No. 151). Not in Macklin's Bible. Sold at Opie's 
sale, June 1807 (No. 88 in cat.) for 21 guineas. 

(Acts xvi, 16-18). Painted for T. Macklin before 1795. Engraved 
by J. Fittler, fo., line, August 22, 1795. 

fST. PETER, STUDY FOR HEAD OF. Size, 30 x 26 in. Painted for 
Mr. Peter Ilbert (who died in 1825) before 1782. Present owner, 
Miss Ilbert. 

*ST. PETER, STUDY FOR. 2 An old man's bust, nearly full faced, in 
red cloak, key in his right hand, wards up. Size, 25 x 20 in. 
Exhibited at the Norwich Art Loan Exhibition, 1878. Purchased 
at sale of Rev. Spurgeon, Mulbarton Rectory, Norwich, about 
1840. Last heard of with E. Turner, Thorpe, Norwich. 

Painted for T. Macklin about 1791. Exhibited by Sir T. Bernard 
at the British Institution, 1817 (No. 41), and at the British Institu- 
tion, 1824 (No. 133), by the Bishop of Durham. Engraved by 
W. Bromley, March 25, 1795, for Macklin's Bible. Sold with 


" Seven heads, various " at Opie's sale, June 1807 (No. 70), for 
4 5*., and at Christie's (sale of last Earl of Egremont), Novem- 
ber 26, 1892 ; bought by Hunn for 1 guinea. 

X PBOPHET RAISING THE SICK CHILD (1 Kings xvii, 22). Size, 49 x 40 
in. Last heard of with William Lambert, Exeter. 


Canvas reduced to suit a small room. Not in Macklin's Bible. 
Date, 1802. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1802 (No. 180). 
Formerly in possession of Mr. Samuel Favell, at Camberwell. 

SAMUEL AND ELI Hannah presents Samuel to Eli in the Temple 
(1 Sam. i, 25). A portion of this picture the figures of Hannah 
and Samuel appears to be that owned by Mr. R. Hall McCormick 
of Chicago, under the title of " Lady Hamilton and Child " ; but 
the fillet in Hannah's hair is white, not black, and Samuel is clothed 
instead of nude in the American picture, while the background is 
dark, apparently foliage, instead of architectural. Mr. McCormick 
has a small line engraving showing only the figures of Hannah and 
Samuel ; no engraver's name. Size of the original picture, 84 x 60 
in. ; size of picture owned by Mr. McCormick, 41 J x 31 J in. Painted 
for T. Macklin, 1 783-96. Engraved by W. Bromley, line, f o. , April 2, 
1796. Sold at Christie's (sale of the late John Carwardine, Esq.), 
February 22, 1890 ; bought by Parsons for 6 guineas. Formerly 
owned by Mr. Samuel Favell of Camberwell. Present owner, R. 
Hall McCormick. 

x SAMUEL, THE CALLING OF (1 Sam. iii, 4). Size 50 x 40 in. En- 
graved by J. Young in cat. of Tabley House Gallery, 1821 
(No. 56), 4 ; etching. Formerly in possession of Lord de 

ELI TEACHING SAMUEL. Size, 49 x 40 in. Last heard of with William 
Lambert, Exeter. 

*ELI AND SAMUEL. 2 Panel. Size, 49 x 39 in. Sold at Christie's (sale 
of the late Ph. Panne, Esq.), March 1819. 

x SAMUEL. Sold at Opie's sale (Lot 68, " Head, a sketch, a study 
for Samuel, in possession of Sir John Leicester, Bart., with a final 
sketch "), June 1807, for 7 guineas. 

*THE INFANT SAMUEL. Probably the same as above. Size, 35 x 27 in. 
Sold at Christie's, March 21, 1904 ; bought by Wheeler for 
2 15s. 

X SAPPHIKA, DEATH OF (Acts v, 7-10). Companion picture to " The 
Lord of the Vineyard." Painted for T. Macklin about 1795. 
Engraved by J. Hall, fo., line, December 16, 1796, for Macklin, 
and by H. Gillbank, fo., mezzo. 1802. Sold at Christie's (No. Ill 
in sale cat., of "an eminent publisher retiring [Macklin])," Feb- 
ruary 25, 1809, for 35 guineas. 



*AssASSiN. 2 Sold at Christie's (No. 108 in collection of pictures of 
the Rev. Dr. Willis, D.D., deceased. Said to have been pur- 
chased at sale of artist after his death), April 19, 1828, for 4 

hardt for the collection of George III, shown at the Shakespeare 
Gallery. Size, 68 x 85 in. Date, 1786. Exhibited at the Royal 
Academy, 1786 (No. 96), and at BoydelTs Shakespeare Gallery. 
Engraved by T. Ryder, 19 x 24 in., August 1, 1792. Presented 
to the Corporation of the City of London by Alderman Boydell. 
At present in the Guildhall Art Gallery, London. 1 A full-sized 
replica was left to the Brompton Consumption Hospital by Miss 
Read, but was in such a deplorable condition that it was given 
to her next-of-kin, Dr. Frederick Beetham. 

the Brompton replica ; the only portion of it that Mr. Graves was 
able to restore. Present owner, Dr. Frederick Beetham. 

graver. Panel. Size, 18 x 24 in. Date, probably about 1789. 
Shown by J. H. Anderdon at the Exhibition of Old Masters, 1875. 
Bought at Christie's by Mr. J. H. Anderdon, Upper Grosvenor 
Street, " from the collection of a lady " ; sold after Mr. Anderdon's 
death, 1879 ; bought by Mr. John Baylis for 12. Again sold at 
Christie's, December 21, 1907 ; bought by Hutchinson for 21. 
X DEATH OF JAMES I OF SCOTLAND. Sold at Christie's, March 11, 1871, 
for 13J guineas, as the " property of a gentleman deceased." 

t ASSASSINATION OF DAVID RIZZIO. Size, about 96 x 132 in. Date, 

1787. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1787 (No. 26); at the 
British Institution, 1817 and 1852; and at South Kensington 
International Exhibition, 1862. Engraved by Isaac Taylor, Jun., 
for Boydell, January 1, 1791, line, 18 x 24 in. Presented to the 
Corporation of the City of London by Alderman Boydell. At 
present at the Guildhall Art Gallery, London. Copied by Josiah 
Boydell for George Ill's collection, shown at the Shakespeare 
Gallery, 1790. 

x ASSASSINATION OF DAVID RIZZIO. Reduced for the engraver from 
the larger picture. Panel. Size, 18 x 24 in. Date, probably about 

1788. Last heard of with Frederick J. Turner, whose father 
bought it in London previously to 1839. 

JCiNCiNNATtrs STABBING HIS DAUGHTER. 2 Attributed to Opie. Size, 
71 J x 83i in. At present at the Albert Memorial Exhibition, 


x QUEEN ELIZABETH, LAST MOMENTS OF. A sketch. Formerly in 
the possession of Sir Thomas Lawrence, P.R.A. See Seguier's 
"Dictionary of Works of Painters," 1870. Sold in 1830 for 5 


X| THE DEATH OF BECKET. Painted for Bowyer's edition of Hume's 
"History of England," fo., 1806. Engraved by J. Stowe, 
December 1793, line, 18J x 12J in. Sold at sale of Historic 
Gallery by Peter Coxe, May 29 and 30, 1807, for 22 guineas. 

x THE SEIZING OF MORTIMER. Painted for Bowyer's edition of Hume's 
" History of England," fo., 1806. Engraved by J. Fittler, April 2, 

1794, line, 18 J x 12J in. Sold at sale of Historic Gallery by Peter 
Coxe, May 29 and 30, 1807, for 15 guineas. 

Size, 92 x 66 in. Painted for Bowyer's edition of Hume's " His- 
tory of England," fo., 1806. Exhibited at the British Institution, 
1853 (No. 166), by G. Young, Esq., as " Elizabeth, Queen of 
Edward IV, placing the Duke of York in Sanctuary." Engraved 
by J. Fittler, April 1795, line, 18 J x 12J in. Sold at sale of 
Historic Gallery by Peter Coxe, May 29 and 30, 1807, for 
40 guineas; and at Christie's, December 16, 1882; bought by 
M. Colnaghi for 20 guineas. Presented by the late Miss Sarah 
Flower, who purchased it from Messrs. Henry Graves, to the 
Picture Gallery of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford- 
on-Avon. Title of picture in catalogue, " Elizabeth Woodville, 
Queen of Edward IV, with the Young Duke of York." 

X MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS. Painted for Bowyer's edition of Hume's 
" History of England," fo., 1806. Engraved by Skelton, June 

1795, line, 18 x 12J in., and by A. H. Payne, 8, n.d. Sold at 
sale of Historic Gallery, May 29 and 30, 1807, for 23 guineas. 

Bowyer's edition of Hume's "History of England," fo., 1806. 
Engraved by Sharpe, November 1795, line, 18J x 12J in. Sold 
at sale of Historic Gallery, May 29 and 30, 1807, for 19 guineas. 

Painted for Bowyer's edition of Hume's " History of England," 
fo., 1806. Engraved by J. Stowe, April 1796, line, 18J x 12$ in. 
Sold at sale of Historic Gallery, May 29 and 30, 1807, for 20 
guineas. Presented to the Corporation of Devonport by Sir John 
St. Aubyn. At present in the Town Hall, Devonport. 

edition of Hume's " History of England," fo., 1806. Engraved 


by T. Holloway, May 12, 1796, line, 18$ x 12J in. Sold at sale 
of Historic Gallery, May 29 and 30, 1807, for 78 (or guineas t). 

J-CORONATION OF HENBY VI (AT PARIS). The Pope is Wolcot. Painted 
in 1797 for Bowyer's edition of Hume's " History of England," 
fo., 1806. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1797 (No. 243). 
Engraved by T. Holloway, March 1797, line, 18J x 12J in., and 
by A. H. Payne, 8, n.d. Sold at sale of Historic Gallery, May 29 
and 30, 1807, for 100, and at Christie's (sale of Mr. John Green), 
April 23, 1830 ; bought by the Neeld family for 74 11s., and has 
been in their possession ever since. Present owner, Lieut. -Col. 
Sir Audley D. Neeld, Bart. 

"CORONATION OF HENRY VI (AT PARIS). Size, 100 x 77 in. Sold at 
Christie's, June 25, 1900 ; bought by Lacey for 16 guineas. 
Previous owner's name not stated. 

X BALIOL SURRENDERING His CROWN. Painted for Bowyer's edition 
of Hume's " History of England," fo., 1806. Engraved by J. 
Parker, March 1799, line, 18 x 12 in., and by J. Rogers, 8, n.d. 
Sold at sale of Historic Gallery, May 29, 1807, for 88 (or guineas ?). 

x DEATH OF ARCHBISHOP SHARPE. Painted in 1797 for Bowyer's 
edition of Hume's " History of England," fo., 1806. Exhibited 
at the Royal Academy, 1797 (No. 257). Engraved by T. Holloway, 
March 1799, line, 18 x 12 J in. Sold at sale of Historic Gallery, 
May 30, 1807, for 30 guineas. 

HER ESTATES. Painted in 1798 for Bowyer's edition of Hume's 
"History of England." Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1798 
(No. 26), and at the British Institution, 1817 (No. 155). En- 
graved by W. Bromley, line, May 1, 1800, and by J. Rogers, for 
Tallis, 8, n.d. Sold at sale of Historic Gallery, May 29, 1807, for 
96 guineas. 

George Virtue. Not one of the Historic Gallery pictures, nor was 
it included in the sale with these on May 29 and 30, 1807. 
*ROMAN WARRIOR. Sold at Phillips's, March 2, 1809, for 7J guineas. 


x ARTHUR AND HUBERT (King John, Act IV, Sc. i). Painted for 
Boydell between 1786 and 1789. Engraved by J. Hall, small fo., 
line, August 1794, for Boy dell's " Shakespeare." 

ARTHUR TAKEN PRISONER (King John, Act III, Sc. ii). Size, 72 x 48 in. 
Painted for Boydell between 1786 and 1789. Engraved by J. 
Fittler, small fo,, line, August 1794, for Boydell's " Shakespeare." 


Sold at Christie's, April 21, 1877, as belonging to Mr. Robert 
Vernon, Hatley Park, and bought by Mr. Clarke of the Museum 
Gallery for 15 guineas. Present owner, Earl of Shrewsbury and 

Attributed to Opie. Last heard of with James Fitzroy Morris of 
Salisbury. Size, 31 x 21 in. 

^BEAUFORT, CARDINAL, DEATH OF (Henry VI, Pt. II, Act III, Sc. iii). 
Attributed to Opie. Size, 84 x 102 in., three-seamed canvas. 
Bought about thirty years ago by H. H. Squire, the present owner. 

JULIET IN THE BALCONY (Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Sc. ii). Size, 
21 x 16J in. Date, 1803. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 
1803 (No. 44). Sold at Opie's sale (entitled " Juliet in the Garden 
Scene "), 1807, for 56 guineas, and on March 27, 1832, at the sale 
of the pictures of the late Henry Rowe, Esq., it was bought by the 
Neeld family, in whose possession it still remains. Present owner, 
Lieut. -Col. Sir Audley D. Neeld, Bart. It was once in the pos- 
session of Mr. John Green. 

x JULIET ON HER COUCH (Romeo and Juliet, Act IV, Sc. v). Painted 
for Boydell between 1786 and 1789. Engraved by G. S. and J. G. 
Facius, fo., mixed, 1791, for Boydell's " Shakespeare " ; by J. P. 
Simon, small fo., stipple, showing only nine of the fourteen figures, 
in 1792 for Boydell's smaller " Shakespeare." Sold, May 17, 1805, 
to Mr. John Green for 39 guineas ; at Foster's, November 17, 1841 ; 
and at Christie's (from the collection of the last Earl of Egremont), 
November 26, 1892; when it was bought by Colnaghi for 30 

x"Kmo HENRY VI" (Pt. I, Act II, Sc. iii). Painted between 
1786 and 1789 for Boydell. Engraved by Robert Thew, fo., 
mixed, June 4, 1796, for Boydell's " Shakespeare." Sold at 
Christie's (Boydell's sale), May 17, 1805 ; bought by W. Lygon, 
M.P., for 50 guineas. 

x"KiNG HENRY VI" (Pt. II, Act I, Sc. iv). Painted for Boydell 
between 1786 and 1789. Engraved by C. G. Play tor, finished by 
Robert Thew, fo., mixed, for Boydell's " Shakespeare," December 1, 
1796. Sold at Christie's, May 18, 1805, to Robert Bowyer, for 
19 guineas. 

x KiNG LEAR. Previously in possession of Mr. S. G. Crouch, of 
Norwich. Sold at Christie's, January 28, 1871, for 2 guineas. 

*KiNG RICHARD III. A spirited study for the character of. Sold by 
Peter Coxe, Burrell & Foster (sale of paintings belonging to Sir 
John Boyd, Bart.), May 8, 1805, for 3 12s. 

x" KING RICHARD III " (Act V, Sc. iii). Date, 1792-3. Engraved by 
W. Sharp, small fo., line, August 1, 1794. 


"OTHELLO" (Act II, Sc. xii). Size, 27 J x 35 J in. Present owner 
Lord Leconfield. 

X"TIMON OF ATHENS" (Act IV, Sc. iii). Painted for Boydell in 1789. 
Exhibited at the Shakespeare Gallery, 1790 (No. 54). Engraved 
by Robert Thew, fo., mixed, September 29, 1799, for Boydell's 
" Shakespeare." Sold to Mr. John Green for 31 guineas by Peter 
Coxe, May 20, 1805, and again sold at Mr. John Green's sale, 
April 1830, for ll guineas. 

TBOILUS, CBESSIDA, AND PANDAKUS (Lady in the character of Cressida, 
a portrait) (Troilus and Cressida, Act III, Sc. ii). Size, 92 x 57 in. 
Date, 1800. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1800 (No. 1026). 
Engraved by P. Lightfoot, royal 8, n.d. Bequeathed to the 
National Gallery in 1834. At present at the Manchester City 
Art Gallery. 

x "WrNTEn's TALE" (Act II, Sc. iii). Painted for Boydell between 
1786 and 1789. Exhibited at the Shakespeare Gallery, 1790 
(No. 16). Engraved by J. P. Simon, fo., mixed, June 4, 1793, 
for Boydell's " Shakespeare." Sold by Peter Coxe to Mr. G. Stain- 
forth, May 18, 1805, for 53 guineas. 

x WINTEB'S TALE " (Act III, Sc. iii). Date, 1792-3. Engraved by 
J. Hall, small fo., line, August 1, 1794. 


X A BEGGAB. "In an Armenian dress" (see "Life of Reynolds," 
by C. Leslie, vol. ii, p. 366). Probably the picture mentioned 
by Wolcot as shown to Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1782. Date, 
1782. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1782 (No. 384). 

x AESCULAPIUS AND CBSES. The figures of Cupid and Flora are by 
John Russell, R. A. Engraved by Caldwell, f o., 1807, in Thornton's 
" Sexual System of Linnaeus, 1808," and in his " Temple of Flora," 

fAGE AND INFANCY. Opie's diploma picture deposited on his nomina- 
tion as R.A. elect, 1786. Size, 50 x 40 in. Date, before 1786. 
Exhibited at the Manchester Art Exhibition, 1857 (No. 124). At 
present at the Royal Academy of Arts. 

j'AGE AND INFANCY. This differs in composition from the diploma 
picture. The figure leaning over the child was changed from an 
assassin to a venerable old man by request of Mr. Wyatt. Size, 
39 x 50 in. Date, 1783. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1783 
(No. 6). Engraved by J. R. Smith, fo., mezzo., June 15, 1785. 
Present owner, Sir W. H. Smith-Marriott, Bart. 

AGE AND YOUTH. Size, 30i x 25i in. Date, probably about 1782. 



Exhibited at the British Institution, 1844 (No. 151). Present 
owner, Viscount Falmouth. 

x AGNES ENTEKINO FITZHENRY'S CELL. Engraved by Reynolds, 12, 
as frontispiece to Mrs. Opie's novel, " Father and Daughter," 
7th ed., 1813. 

Queen," Book III, Canto xii). Painted for T. Macklin about 
1790. 2 Exhibited in Third Exhibition of Pictures (No. 16 in cat.), 
Macklin's Gallery of Poets, April 2, 1790. Engraved by Barto- 
lozzi, fo., mixed, for T. Macklin, 1792. 

X AN AGED BEGGAR. Painted for Mr. Price, father of Sir Rose Price, 
about 1778. In possession of Sir Rose Price in 1831. 

ANGRY FATHER, THE, or "Disco very of the Clandestine Correspondence." 
Now known as " Detected Correspondence." Size, 96 x 66 in. 
(7 ft. 9 in. x 5 ft. 5| in. in Birmingham Cat,). Date, 1802. Ex- 
hibited at the Royal Academy, 1802 (No. 195). Engraved by 
James Ward, fo., fine mezzo. A picture with this title was sold 
at Christie's, May 23, 1807. If it was the same it must have been 
bought in by Dr. Alderson, as the Birmingham picture belonged 
to him until his death and was kept by Mrs. Opie until 1829. It 
was bought at Christie's in 1829 by Mr. Joseph Strutt of Derby, 
whose son-in-law, Mr. J. H. Galton, presented it to the Society of 
Arts, Birmingham, by whom it was presented to the City of Bir- 
mingham Art Gallery in 1867, where it still remains. 

X AN OLD MAN'S HEAD. Date, probably before 1782. Exhibited at 
the Royal Academy, 1782 (No. 147). 

* APPLE GATHERERS, THK. Girl in white and red dress handing apples 
to young girl seated on the ground playing with a dog. Size, 
77 x 48 in. 2 From the Heinemann Collection ; cost 200 guineas. 
Sold at Christie's, March 1, 1902, for 700 guineas. 

*$ARMY and NAVY J - 2 . Sizes, 50 x 40 in. Dates, 1790-1800. A pair 
of pictures bearing these titles was bought at an auction at Ware 
by Mr. George Higham of Holborn, and sold by him at Christie's, 
April 9, 1879, to Gridley, for 37 guineas. The subjects are playfully 
treated in each. " Army " : A girl in centre, white and red dross, 
trying on a grenadier's plumed helmet ; a boy on either side of 
her, red drapery at back. " Navy " : Three children with a boat. 
After recording these pictures in an MS. note, Mr. Rogers seems to 
have had doubts of their being by Opie, for a separate note says : 
" ' Army ' and ' Navy ' (already reported), Page, rival of Opie. Two 
groups of children seen in Garrick Street, March 24, 1881. ' Army ' 
and ' Navy,' large mezzts. engraved by Jn. Young, painted by 
R. M. Page. Girl holding cap on (or over) her head. Children 
swimming a boat in front. No dates." Mr. Enj's describes the 


" Navy " picture more fully : "A girl in white with pink sash 
between two boys, a model of a ship of war floats in front, and the 
boy on right holds another model of a ship. Ages 4 to 6 ; probably 

*JARMY and NAVY. 2 Sizes, 48 x 48 in. Two pictures with these 
titles were bought by Mr. H. Williams of Pencalenick in 1884 
from Benjamin of Bond Street. Query, are they by Opie or 
Page ? 

*BACCHANTE. Query, the same picture as LADY HAMILTON, which 
see p. 282. Size, 29| x 24J in. Sold by the American Art 
Association (from the collection of David H. King, Jun., Esq.), 
March 31, 1905, for $800. Present owner, Payne Whitney. 

*BALLAD SINGEB. Size, 30 x 26 in. Sold at Christie's July 26, 1890, 
by the executors of the late Rev. Thomas Colly er, of Gillingham, 
and bought by Smith for 9 guineas. Again sold at Christie's 
(from Lord Bateman's collection), April 11, 1896, for 21 guineas. 
Bought by Mr. R. Hall McCormick from Blakeslee of New York, 
and sold to him again some time later. 

x BEGGAR AND HIS DOG. Date, before 1781. Purchased by King 
George III ; not now with the Royal Collections. 

x BELISABIUS. Formerly in British Gallery, afterwards in possession 
of the Marquess of Stafford. 

*BLIND BELISARIUS. Attributed to Opie. Size, 35| x 27| in. Re- 
lined. Present owner, J. W. Savage ; bought about thirty years 
ago of a general dealer who had it from the sale of an old lady at 
Hemel Hempstead. 

BESSIE. Supposed to be from the same model as Sir Joshua 
Reynolds's " Belisarius." Size, 35x27 in. Date, after 1782. 
The description of the picture sold at Robinson & Fisher's, June 27, 
1901, as " The Blind Beggar " for 170 guineas, agrees with this, ex- 
cept that the one sold was said to be 25 x 27 in. Seller's name 
not given. It is included in this entry. The two following pictures 
are similar in composition to this and were thought by Mr. Rogers 
to be copies by Opie. No record of exhibition or engravings in 
either case. In " Opie and his Works " this is given as in pos- 
session of Mr. C. D. E. Fortnum. 

Size, 35 x 27 in. Date, after 1782. In the possession of John 
Williams, who purchased it from Mr. Locke, its late owner, after 
he sold Northmoor. 

BESSIE. Size, 35 x 27 in. Originally painted for Mr. Hall, sold 
in 1806 to Mrs. Methold, on whose death in 1827 it was bought by 


Dr. Cooke. Last heard of with Mr. J. Henderson of Durham, who 
had it from Dr. Cooke in 1834. 

?*BLIND BEGGAR, THE. Size, 35J x 27 in. Sold at Christie's, May 31, 
1906, for 5 guineas, to Mrs. Wheeler, its present owner. 

BLIND FIDDLER, THE (" The Blind Beggar " " Opie and his Works," 
p. 199). Blind man, hat in hand, staff under arm ; girl with straw 
hat and blue coat stands by with printed paper in her hand, in- 
scribed, " The Royal Visit to Saltash." Size, 36 x 28 in. Pur- 
chased at Christie's (Creswick's sale), May 7, 1870, for 19J guineas 
by Mrs. Christie-Miller, its present owner. 

x BLIND MAN LED BY A GIRL. Size, 36 J x 28 J in. In possession of 
Sir Richard Brooke, Bart., many years previously to 1814. 

BOY AND DOG (Major Hamilton). Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 
1872 (No. 224), and at South Kensington Museum, 1879. Sold 
on the death of Mrs. Impey, and subsequently at Christie's, 
June 5, 1876, for 260 guineas. Present owner, Earl of Dun- 

X BOY AND GIRL. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1783 (No. 205). 

*BoY WITH A DOG. Sold at Christie's, June 17, 1881, for 6 guineas ; 
bought by J. Williams. Previous owner not stated. 

*BoY WITH A DOG. Size, 50 x 40 in. Sold at Christie's (sale of J. J. 
Wigzell), June 27, 1906, for 6 guineas ; bought by Wynberger. 

*BoY AND DOG. A sketch for a larger work. Size, 9 x 7 in. Sold 
at Christie's for J. H. Anderdon, May 31, 1879 ; bought by Smith 
for Mr. de Murietta for 20 guineas. Sold again at Christie's, 
February 24, 1894, for 16J guineas ; bought by Wallis. 

*BoY IN BLUE. Full length, life size. Seen at the principal hotel in 
Thrapston about thirty years ago by Mr. C. Davies Gilbert. 

*BoY IN BLUB DRESS, HEAD OF. Size, 17 x 13 in., oval. Sold at 
Christie's, April 25, 1903, to Gribble for 46 guineas. Seller's name 
not stated. 

BOY IN CRIMSON DRESS. This boy in crimson is supposed to be a 
member of the Bunn family. Size, 30 x 30 in. Date, after 1782. 
Purchased at Christie's in 1861 by Mr. J. M. Williams. Present 
owner, J. C. Williams. 

X BOY, HEAD OF. Sold at Christie's, March 27, 1876, to Agnew for 
62 guineas. 

*BoY, HEAD OF. Bust to right, brown jacket, white collar, dark back- 
ground. Possibly the same as the above. Size, 12J x 10 in. 
Exhibited at the Exhibition of Old Masters, 1882 (No. 274) ; lent 
by E. E. Leggatt. 


Last heard of with W. P. Boxall, Brighton. 
|BoY MENDING A PEN. Size, 32J x 25J in. Purchased at the sale 


of effects of the Rev. William Bell Christian by his son-in-law, the 
Rev. F. H. du Boulay, the present owner. 

X BOY PLAYING WITH A HOOP. Size, 54 x 44 in. Last heard of with 
the Rev. John Purton. Bought at Mr. Williams's sale, Bridge- 
north, about 1862 ; formerly owned by Mr. Durant of Tong 
*BoY TEASING A CAT. Sold at Christie's, January 27, 1900, and bought 

by Faulkner for 9 10s. Previous owner not stated. 
*CHILD WITH A CAT. Sold at Christie's, November 24, 1900 ; bought 

by M. Colnaghi for 7 guineas. Seller's name not stated. 
x BoY WITH A DEAD PIGEON. Size, 28 x 23 in. Relined 1877. Last 

heard of with Mrs. Nas field Robison. 

*BoY IN A RED WAISTCOAT. Attributed to Opie. Boy in red waist- 
coat and shirt-sleeves. The face is strongly suggestive of Sir 
Joshua Reynolds's " Robinetta." Size, 16 x 12 J in. Purchased 
in London some years ago by the Rev. W. H. Wayne, its present 
X BOY IN RED DRESS. Size, 12 x 8 in. Last heard of with Mr. F. 


X BOY, SPARTAN. Handsomely framed. Sold at Opie's sale, June 

1807, for 18 guineas. 

BOYS AND BIRD. (See also Two BOYS WITH A BIRD.) "Boy and 
Bird " (" Opie and his Works," p. 202). Two boys with a gold- 
finch in a cage ; one a young gentleman (E. Impey), the other a 
farm-boy in a smock, both half length. Very strong light and 
shade. Size, 30 x 25 in. Date, early. Exhibited at the Council 
Hall, Truro, 1861 (No. 29). Present owner, John Williams. 
BROKEN PITCHER, THE. Size, 36 x 27 J in. Sold at Christie's, July 19, 
1860 ; bought by Louis Huth for 8 15s. Again sold, by the 
American Art Association (from the T. J. Blakeslee Collection), 
April 6 and 7, 1905 ; bought by H. C. Perkins for $520. 
x CAPTIVE, THE. An upright picture. Sold at Opie's sale, June 
1807 (No. 62 in cat.), in one lot with " Old Man and Child " and a 
small landscape. 

CARD-PLAYERS, THE. MS. paper label at back: " ' The Card-players,' 
painted by Mr. Opie." Size, 40 x 49 J in. Date, 1785. Ex- 
hibited at the Royal Academy, 1785 (No. 236). Engraved by 
J. Dean, mezzo. May 1, 1786. Bequeathed by Miss Read to the 
Brompton Consumption Hospital, 1871 ; sold by the Hospital 
to Agnew in 1907. 

CARD-PLAYERS, THE (alias " Pam, Flush, and Loo"). This and the 
former picture differ in composition. Size, 38 x 50 in. Exhibited 


at tho British Institution, 1817 (No. 150). Engraved by H. Meyer. 

Formerly owned by W. Owen, R. A. The picture sold for 9J guineas, 

March 22, 1809, by 2 H. Phillips as " The Card-players," was pro- 
bably identical witli this. Present owner, Lord Leconfield. 
x CHILD, A. Portrait of a child from Treville's Downs, St. Agnes, 

Size, 19 x 23 in. Date, before 1781. Last heard of with Mrs. 

Salter, Truro. Obtained by Mr. Salter from Mr. Opie, Harmony 

"fCniLD FEEDING A SPANIEL. Girl seated, dressed in white bodice 

and red skirt, holding a mug in left hand and spoon in right. Size, 

36 x 30 in. Date, before 1781. From tho St. Aubyn Collection. 

Sold at Lime Grove Sale in 1856 for 51. Present owner, Mrs. 

x CHILD AND Doo, A. Was this the portrait of Ann Rogers ? See 

Rogers, Ann. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1788 (No. 121). 
x CHILD RELATING A TALE TO ITS MOTHEB. A sketch. Sold at Opie's 

sale, June 1807 (No. 61). 
*CHILD ON THE SEASHORE. Panel. Size, 11 x 10 in. Sold at Christie's, 

April 25, 1903 ; bought by McLean for 28 guineas. Seller's name 

not stated. 
*CHILD WITH A WHITE CAP, HEAD OF A. Size, 12 x 9 in. Sold at 

Christie's, February 28, 1910, and bought by Wythes for 2J guineas. 

Seller not named. 
x CHILD STUDYING HORN-BOOK. Mr. Rogers thought this might bo 

the same at a picture called THE STUDIOUS CHILD, which see p. 356. 

Sold at Opie's sale (No. 82), June 1807, for 17 3s. 6d. 
XCHILD WITH FLOWERS, IN A LANDSCAPE. Sold at Christie's, April 14, 

1864, for 4 guineas. Previously in possession of the Bishop of Ely. 
*CHILDREN IN A THUNDERSTORM. Size, 41 x 54 in. l . - Purchased by 

the father of the Rev. J. D. Middleton, its present owner, and pro- 
nounced an original by Opie. 
x CHILD REN IN THE WOOD. Date, 1797. Exhibited at the Royal 

Academy, 1797 (No. 64). 

April 24, 1857, for 19 guineas. Formerly in possession of Mr. 

x CONJURER, THE. Portraits of Opie's first wife and a famous conjurer 

named Chamberlain, Opie's own face being in the shadow of a 

curtain behind. " The Lost Opie." Size, 58 x 48 in. Date, 
1782-92. Once owned by Sir Joshua Reynolds. Last heard of 

in possession of Mr. J. D. Bell, whose father, Professor George 
Joseph Bell, had it from his brother, Sir Charles Bell, in 1807. 
*CONSOLATION. Sold at Christie's, April 24, 1897, and bought by 
Agnew for 35 guineas. Seller's name not given. 


* CONTEMPLATION. Size, 30 x25 in. Sold at Christie's, December 13, 
1895, for 135 guineas to Wallis. Seller's name not given. 

*CORNISH GIRL, THE. Bought from Messrs. Wertheirner in 1905 by 
Leopold Hirsch, the present owner. 

x CORNISH MINER, A (title suggested by Mr. J. Jope Rogers). Marked 
in ink on stretcher, " Opie, Peter Pindar," but having no resem- 
blance to him. Size, 29 x 25 in. Date, probably about 1790. 
Bought by J. W. Nichols in a sale at a mansion near Sevenoaka 
{? date), who sold it to Captain B. Hamilton in 1873, with whom 
it was last heard of. 

COTTAGE GIRL, A. From the Ham Gallery (Mr. Jesse Watts Russell's 
collection). Sold at Christie's, July 3, 1875, for 84 guineas. Pre- 
sent owner, Earl of Dunmore. 

x COTTAGE GIRL, A. Exhibited at the British Institution, 1817, by 
Mrs. Lawrence. 


x COUNTRY BOY AND GIRL. Was this the " Peasant Boy and Girl " 
sold in 1856 to Rippe for 310 guineas (?). Date, probably before 
1782. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1782 (No. 199). 

steal a kiss. Sold at Christie's, June 26, 1875, for 31 guineas. 
Formerly in possession of the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P. 

x COUNTRY GIRL, A. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1795 (No. 124). 


x COURTSHIP, SCOTCH. Sold for Richard Walker in 1803 for 75 guineas. 

x COURTSHIP IN THE PARK. Date, 1797. Exhibited at the Royal 
Academy (No. 268). 


at the Royal Academy, 1799 (No. 123). Sold at Opie's sale, June 
1807 (No. 107), for 65 guineas. In sale catalogue described as 
" ' Sleeping Nymph, Cupid, and Satyr,' in a landscape, a glow- 
ing, harmonious, beautiful composition." 

DAMON AND MUSIDORA. " Summer " (Thomson's Seasons). Size, 
50 x 40 in. Date, about 1788. Printed for T. Macklin. En- 
graved by Bartolozzi, line, for Macklin's " Poets," 1788-9, oblong, 
fo., and etched by John Young for the " Tabley House Gallery," 
1821. From the de Tabley Collection. Sold in 1827 for 79 guineas. 
Present owner, Lord Leconfield. 

x DAMON AND MUSIDORA (See also MUSIDORA). Date, 1802. Ex- 
hibited at the Royal Academy, 1802 (No. 162). Probably a different 
picture to that of Lord Leconfield. 


DIANA. Size, 38 x 28 in. Exhibited at Taunton Castle, 1875, and 


again in 1881 by Mr. Hardwill. Sold at the sale of Miss Thompson 

of Shrapwell. 
xDoo AND PHEASANT. Sold at Christie's, February 13, 1874, for 

2 10s. Previously at 51, South Audley Street. 
xDoo, OPIE'S. Sold at Christie's, May 31, 1858, as the property of 

Alfred Bunn, to E. White, for 8s., and re-sold by him at Christie's, 

April 5, 1872, for 15*. 
fDoo's HEAD. Date, about 1788. Present owner, Colonel C. R. 

Prideaux-Brune, J.P. 
tDoo's HEAD. Date, about 1788. Present owner, Colonel C. R. 

Prideaux-Brune, J.P. 
X DONKEY (after Morland). Sold at Opie's sale, June 1807, with two 

landscapes, for 2 8s. 
x Eix>iSA, A NUN. Engraved by J. Ogborne, roy. 8, November 12, 

1793. A copy in worsted (No. 31 in catalogue of Miss Linwood's 

pictures) sold at Christie's, April 23, 1846, for 6. 
" FAERY QUEENE," SPENSER'S (Book VI, Canto 7, 8). Southey to Mr. 

Cottle, 1797: "He (Opie) has begun a picture from Spenser, 

which he himself thinks the best design he has made, but it has 

remained untouched for three years. The outline is wonderfully 

fine." Size, 92 x 65 in. Date, 1798. Exhibited at the Royal 

Academy, 1798 (No. 46). Sold at Christie's, February 18, 1884 ; 

bought by Joy as " Serena rescued by Sir Calepine," for 3 guineas. 

Restored by Bell of Liverpool about ten years ago. Given to Mr. 

Mackay eighteen or twenty years ago by a friend, in gratitude 

for services rendered ; it was purchased by this friend from a 

London dealer, but when or from whom Mr. Mackay does not 

know. Probably it was Mr. William Cox, who had it when Mr. 

J. Jope Rogers compiled his book. Present owner, Campbell T. 


x FANCY SUBJECT, A. Sold at Opie's sale, June, 1807 (Lot 61). 
FARMYARD. Size, 45 x 37 in. Date, 1771-2. Bought from Opie for 

5s., by Mrs. Walker, mother of the Vicar of St. Winnow. At present 

at Newquay. 
X FEMALE HEAD, A. Sold at Christie's, February 7, 1863, together 

with a portrait of a lady, for 2. 
XFEMALE, HEAD OF. Sold, " with another," at Opie's sale, June 1807, 

for 9 J guineas. 

Opie's sale (No. 84), June 1807, for 11 guineas. 
x FISHERMAN, A. Sold at Christie's, for Mr. William Hardman of 

Manchester, May 9, 1865 ; bought by Mr. Graves for 10J guineas. 

Destroyed in the fire at H.M. Theatre in December, 1865. 
XFLOWER-GIRL, THE. Sold at Christie's, June 26, 1869, for 20 5s. 


*FLOWER-GIRL, THE POOR. Probably the same as the preceding pic- 
ture. Size, 36 x 27 in. Sold at Christie's, April 23, 1904, and 
bought by Edwards for 23 guineas. Seller's name not stated. 

fFoRTUNE-TELLER, A. Portraits of Richenda, Hannah, and John 
Gurney, Jun. Size, 37 x 49 in. Exhibited at the British Institu- 
tion, 1817 (No. 126). Present owner, Marquess of Cholmondeley. 
A copy by Clover is at Brancaster Hall, and another copy at North 
Runcton Hall. 

x FORTUNE-TELLER, THE. Sold at Christie's, March 21, 1835 (No. 71), 
for Charles John West, of Norwich. Offered for sale at Christie's, 
December 10, 1859 (owner's name not mentioned), but not sold. 

*FORTUNE-TELLER, THE. Young girl in white dress holding hat in 
left hand, standing, having fortune told by a gipsy-woman with 
baby on back ; a gipsy-boy and dog in front. Size, 92 x 56 in. 
Sold at Christie's, May 19, 1900, by the executors of Mme. de Falbe, 
and bought by Partridge, for 1,200 guineas. 

*FORTUNE-TELLER, THE. Size, 36 x 28 in. Sold at the 5th Avenue 
Art Galleries (sale of Edward Brandus), April 1908, for $170. 
Present owner, J. L. Newborg. 

x FRUIT-GIRL, THE. Companion picture to "The Milkmaid." Sold 
at Christie's, February 7, 1873, for 10 guineas. 2 A small copy sold 
at Christie's, June 2, 1808, for 10s. 6d 

*FRUIT-SELLER, A. Possibly the same as the above. From the col- 
lection of the late Robert Hollond, Esq. Sold at Christie's, 
April 27, 1889, and bought by Smith for 2 guineas. 

tFuoiTivE, THE, or LA FILLE MAL GARBLE. Size, 108 x 72 in. Date, 
1800. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1800 (No. 154), and at 
the British Institution, 1817 (No. 23), by N. R. Colborn, who 
bought it of Mrs. Opie (?) (at Opie's sale). Engraved. Sold at 
Christie's, May 23, 1807. Present owner, Sir Edmund Nugent, Bart. 

" GAMESTER, THE " (Act V, Sc. iv). There is a picture, " The Game- 
ster," at the Garrick Club, but the secretary says it was painted by 
Mather Brown. Opie's picture contains portraits of the leading 
actors of the time. The heads were inserted from another canvas 
when the work was partly finished. Date, 1782-92. Engraved 
by Fittler, 8, August 4, 1792, in Bell's " British Theatre." 

*GATHERING BLACKBERRIES. Size, 16 x 13 in. Sold at Christie's, 
March 25, 1905, and bought by Ceilings for 5 guineas. Seller's 
name not given. 

X GENTLEMAN IN A GREEN COAT. Sold with "Head of a Girl" at 
Christie's, April 5, 1872, for 13s. Previously in possession of 
Edward White, deceased. 

*" GEORGE BARNWELL " (Act V, Sc. ii). Engraved by J. Fittler in 
Bell's "British Theatre." 


GHOST STORY, THE. This picture was described to Mrs. Opie about 
the year 1835 or 1836 by Mr. J. Fuge (artist and drawing-master). 
She recognised it as one much prized by Opie and intended by 
him for "Joan of Arc relating her Dream." Size, 40J x 50 in. 
Date, after 1782. Exhibited at the British Institution, 1844 
(No. 167). Engraved, large mezzo., no engraver's name, Decem- 
ber 1, 1785, " A Winter's Tale," and by Valentine Green, mezzo, 
(scratched lettering), pub. December 1, 1785, size, 20 x 24J in. 
This latter is probably the same as the unnamed engraving. It 
shows an additional (fifth) figure listening, and an indefinite 
form in the background, suggested by Mr. Rogers to be the Ghost. 
Present owner, Viscount Falmouth. 

THE BANDITTI, (Bk. I, Ch. x). Gil Bias, holding a sword in his 
right hand, is trying to wrench the key from Leonarda with hit> 
left. Enlarged from 82 x 53 in. to 93 x 57 in. Date, 1804. 
Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1804 (No. 71). Sold at Opie's 
sale, June 1807, for 45 guineas. Formerly in the hall at Kingsley 
House ; purchased by J. L. Brenchley, and presented by him to 
the Museum, Maidstone, Kent, where it still remains. 


THE BANDITTI (Bk. I, Ch. x). Size, 83 x 53 in. Sold at Christie's, 
December 12, 1903, and bought by Zimon for 24 guineas. Seller's 
name not stated. In the sale catalogue this is said to have been 
exhibited in 1802. The Maidstone picture appears to have tho 
better claim to this distinction, but it was in 1804- 

D'TJNE GROSSE TABLE " (Bk. I, Ch. x). The Duchess is said to 
have been painted from the mother of Lord Rancliffe of Bunney. 
Size, 82 x 53 in. Successively in possession of Sir Thomas Parkyns, 
Bart., of Ruddington Manor, Mr. Charles Paget, of Ruddington 
Grange, Mr. Paget's daughter (Mrs. J. W. Mellor), and now of her 
husband, the Right Hon. John W. Mellor, K.C. 

D'UNE GROSSE TABLE '' (Bk. I, Ch. x). Present owner, R. Hall 
McCormick, of Chicago. 

PIEDS D'UNE GROSSE TABLE " (Bk. I. Ch. x). This picture 
and the following are replicas of that belonging to the Right 
Hon. J. W. Mellor. Size, 42 x 30 in. Exhibited at Taunton 
Castle, 1881, by Mr. V. Reynolds. Once the property of Mr. 
Vincent J. Reynolds, grandfather of Mr. Helyar, the present 
owner. . 



D'TTNE GROSSE TABLE" (Bk. I, Ch. x). Size, 42 x 30 in. Present 
owner unknown. 


The last of Opie's historical pictures, according to Tregellas. 
Painted for Mr. Wright of Upton Hall. Sold at Christie's, Febru- 
ary 23, 1861, for 5 10s. Previously in possession of the Rev. Jesse 
Spencer, of York. 

GIPSY, THE. A gipsy-girl in a straw hat tied with a blue scarf, wearing 
a red shawl. Size, 18 J x 14 in. Exhibited at the British Institu- 
tion, 1852 (No. 136), by Mr. Beriah Botfield, and at the Exhibition 
of Old Masters, 1875. Present owner, Morgan Williams, who in- 
herited it from the late Miss Williams, Vicarage Gate. It is believed 
to be identical with that exhibited by Mr. B. Botfield. 

*GiPSY-GiRL. Possibly the missing portrait of Lady Smith as a gipsy. 
Size, about 25 x 30 in. Bought recently from Arthur Tooth & 
Sons by the V.G. Fischer Art Galleries, of Washington, U.S.A. 

x GiRL, A. Exhibited at the British Institution, 1817, by Henry 
Thomson, R.A. 

*GiRL AND CAT. Attributed to Opie. Bequeathed by Richard 
Godson Miller to the Nottingham Art Gallery. 

*?GiRL AND GOLDFINCH. Three-quarter figure of girl seated at a table 
on which is a cage with a goldfinch in it. Size, 29J x 24 in. Ex- 
hibited at the Exhibition of Old Masters, 1882 (No. 167); lent by 
George Williams, Esq. 

*GiRL CRYING OVER HER DEAD BiRD. 2 Girl seated in chair (short- 
sleeved white frock, pink sash, and neck ribbon) presses to her 
bosom the bird in her right hand ; elbow on arm of chair. Size, 
29 x 25 in. Restored. Believed to have been engraved for one 
of the annuals. Bought at Chertsey in 1835 by the father of 
Bishop C. J. Abraham. Lord Powerscourt, the present owner, 
bought the picture at Christie's, June 7, 1884, for 2J guineas, from 
the collection of the late General Sir George Buller. 

x GiRL, HEAD OF A. Sold at Christie's, February 14, 1874, for 08 guineas. 
Previously in possession of Mr. Samuel Turner, of Gray's Inn. 

*GiRL, HEAD OF A. Size, 17 J x 14 in. Sold in New York, February 26 
and 27, 1903, and bought by George G. Benjamin for $250. From 
J. D. Ichenhauser's collection. 

xGiRL, HEAD OF A. Sold at Christie's, February 20, 1870, for 10. 
Previously in possession of the late W. Anthony, of Duke 

*GiRL, HEAD OF A. Sold at Christie's, April 5, 1872, for 13s. Pre- 
viously in possession of Edward White, deceased. 

*GiRL, HEAD OF A. Three-quarter face, low-cut dress, dark hair and 
background. Size, 24 x 18 in. Present owner, Charles Coltman 


Rogers, J.P., D.L. Bought previously to 1860 by Mr. Rogers' s 

great- uncle. 
*GiRL, HEAD OF A. Head and shoulders of a girl 10 or 12 years of 

age ; brown hair hanging loose on left shoulder, dark blue eyes, 

bright red cheeks and lips ; top of a white dress, cut low, just 

appears ; three-quarter face. Suggests sketch for larger picture. 

Size, 14 x 12 in. This belonged to Sir John Boileau, who died 

in 1869. Sir Maurice C. Boileau, Bart., the present owner, thinks 

it may have been given him by Mrs. Opie, who was a great friend 

of the family and visited at Ketteringham Park. 
*GiRL AND DOG. Sold by Phillips, May 12, 1807 2 (No. 38 in catalogue, 

Charles Offley's sale). 
x GiRL WITH A DOG. Possibly the same picture as the preceding. 

Sold at Christie's, January 21, 1871, for 2 guineas. 
*GiRL AT A SPUING, A. Sold at Christie's as " the property of a noble- 
man," January 20, 1894, and bought by Beauchamp for 6 guineas. 
x GiRL ASLEEP AT HER TOILET. Size, 30 x 24 in. Is this the picture 

engraved as " The Toilet " by Sharpe ? Bought at Mr. Clarke's 

sale at Brentingby Hall, about 1860. Last heard of with Mr. 

H. S. Jones, Leicester 
*GiRL AT A WINDOW, A. Is this the same as " The Laughing Girl " 

after Reynolds ? Sold at Christie's, May 9, 1846. 
*GiRL IN A HAT. Sold at Christie's, January 24, 1891, to Munting for 

1 guinea. Seller's name not given. 
*GiRL IN A WHITE DRESS AND HAT. Sold at Christie's, June 29, 1889, 

to Ellis for 15 guineas. Seller's name not given. 
*GiRL AT THE WELL. Size, 56 x 44 in. Sold at the 5th Avenue Art 

Galleries (sale of Erich Galleries), March 21, 1906, to John D. 

Crimmins, for $1,050. At present in America. 
*GiRL SPINNING FLAX. 1 Sold at Winstanley's, March 7, 1816 (No. 3 

in sale cat.). 
x GiRL WITH BEER. See Holcroft's "Diary" (March 1, 1799), edited 

by Hazlitt, 1816. 

FAGGOT. A coarsely painted half-length of a girl carrying a 

bundle of sticks. Seen at the National Gallery Offices, June 



PARTAKER WITH HER. Sold at Opie's sale, June 1807 (No. 78), 

for 28 guineas. 
x GIRL WITH A PITCHER. Sold at Christie's, March 23, 1 868, for 25 10s. 

Previously in possession of Mrs. Seymour. 
x GiRL, VILLAGE, IN A LANDSCAPE. A small upright. Sold at Opie's 

sale, June 1807 (No. 95), for 22 guineas. 


^GLEANER, THE. Country girl, brown, low-necked dress, straw hat, 
seated with hands clasped on knees, and a sheaf of corn in lap. 
Mrs. Opie's favourite picture, reserved for her drawing-room 
after Opie's death ; from her it passed to Opie's nephew (Edward 
Opie), from whom Mrs. Thomson's father, Mr. J. J. A. Boase, 
obtained it in 1838. Size, 30 x 24 in. (J.J.R.), or 28 x 24 in. 
(owner). Date, probably after 1782. Exhibited at the Royal 
Cornwall Polytechnic Hall, 1854. Present owner, Mrs. Lewis C. 

x HENRY AND EMMA (" Henry and Emma," Matthew Prior). Ten lines 
quoted : "A Shepherd . . ." to " offend the ear." Date, about 
1793. Engraved by Bartolozzi, fo., mixed, 1796, for Macklin's 
" Poets." 

x HEROD AND MARIAMNE (Josephus, "Antiquities," Bk. XV, Ch. iii). 
Engraved by Anker Smith, February 19, 1803, for Spectator, vol. iii. 
No. 171, and vol. vii of Sharpe's " British Classics." Motto of en- 
graving, " Credula res amor est," Ovid. No motto was on a 
print seen at the Victoria and Albert Museum Library. 
HOBNELIA, OR THE SPELL (" Slow crawls the Snail " " Shepherd's Week," 
Gay). Size, 55 x 45 in. Relined. Date, 1803. Exhibited at the 
Royal Academy, 1803 (No. 80). Engraved by P. W. Tomkins, 
12, for Gay's " Poems." Present owner, Earl of Denbigh. 
HOBNELIA, OR THE SPELL. Same composition as the above, but smaller. 
Size, 29 x 24 in. Date, about 1803. Sold at Opie's sale, June 
1807, for 9 guineas. Present owner, J. C. Williams ; bought in 
1862 through Mr. Graves. A picture of this name described as 
" after Opie " was No. 17 in sale cat., Christie's, November 8, 1817, 
not priced (" Sale Cat.," South Kensington Museum, vol. ii). 
*HOP-PICKER, A. Sold at Christie's, January 4, 1879, to Wells, for 8 

guineas. Previous owner not named. 
x HUNTER, MRS. JOHN, BALLAD OF. Sold at Opie's sale, June 1807 

(No. 90), for 25 guineas. 
*!NTERIOR, WITH VARIETY OF FIGURES. x No. 87 in catalogue of Sir 

James Craig's sale, March 18, 1813. 

Quadrant (No. 7 at the sale of the Altamira Collection from Madrid) 
June 29, 1833 or 1838. 

10 in cat. of acollection sold by order of the assignees), March 2, 1 844. 
*!TALIAN BOY, HEAD OF (aged 12). 1 Probably a study from life. To 
waist, face to right, blue blouse, old slouched hat, crumpled white 
collar. No hands or instrument shown. Size, 22 x 18 in. Sold 
at Burston, near Diss, in 1868. Present owner, Miss Mary Taylor, 
niece of J. Taylor, Norwich. 


t JEW, AN OLD. One of the pictures shown to King George III. Size, 
26 J x 17| in. Date, before 1781. Exhibited at the Royal Corn- 
wall Polytechnic Hall, 1854. Present owner, J. D. Enys. Given 
to Mrs. Enys by her brother, Mr. John Davies Gilbert, who had it 
from Mr. Giddy. 

Mr. J. J. Rogers suggests this as the Academy picture named 
"The Visit to the Cottage, or Clothing the Naked." Exhibited 
at the Royal Academy, 1803 (No. 16) ?. Sold at Opie's sale, 
June 1807 (No. 106), for 125. 

*COTTAGE, CHARITABLE VISIT TO A. 1 Possibly the same picture as the 
foregoing. Sold by II. Phillips (No. 333 in sale cat.), June 5, 1811, 
for 115 guineas. 

*LADY SEATED IN A GARDEN WITH A DOG. Sold at Christie's, Feb- 
ruary 15, 1897, to Adamson, for 20 guineas. Seller's name not 

X LADY SEATED READING. Sold at Christie's, March 18, 1854, to 
Herman, for 3 10s. Previously owned by J. Wilson. 

*LADY WITH MANDOLIN. Size, 30 x 25 in. Sold by the American Art 
Association (sale of Harris-Holbrook-Blakeslee Collection), April 13 
and 14, 1899 ; bought by John Notman, for $300. 

LADY WITH Two CHILDREN AND A PARROT. Size, 66 J x 47 in. Sold 
at Opie's sale, June, 1807 (No. 104), for 58 guineas. Presented 
by J. L. Brenchley, M.A., to the Museum, Maidstone, Kent. 


LAUGHING GIRL, THE. After Sir Joshua Reynolds. Size, 24 x 21 in. 
Date, after 1782. Exhibited at the Council Hall, Truro, 1861 
(No. 13). Present owner, John Williams. 

X LAVINIA. Exhibited at the British Institution, 1817 (No. 46), by 
Robert Burrowes, and again in 1843 (No. 173), by Lady Woolmore. 

x Ln>FORD FALL, DEVON, THE GUARDIAN OF. Probably a portrait. 
An old peasant seated, Bible on knee, spectacles, another book on 
table at his side. Well finished in the upper part. Size, 57$ 
x 37J in. Date, probably before 1782. Bought in 1876 by the 
Rev. Donald M. Owen ; previously in possession of Mr. Turner, 

50 x 40 in. Date, probably about 1790. Seen in November 1877 
at Mr. Faucett's, Co vent Garden. " The Lion and Faucett's 
Daughter," was sold at Christie's, November 25, 1826. Was this 
the same picture ? 


*LOVERS, THE. 2 Was this the same picture as that from Mr. Galton's, 


Hadzor, exhibited (at Worcester ?) in 1882 ? Sold at Christie's, 
June 22, 1889, for 440 guineas. 

tLovE-ScENE, A. An unfinished picture. Size, 30 x 39 in. Given 
by Opie to a pupil, who gave it to Mr. P. G. Todd, on whose death 
about 1867, it was bought by Mr. Courtney. Present owner, Miss 

that this is the same picture as " The Puzzled Doctor," which see. 
Date, 1801. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1801 (No. 183). 
Sold at Christie's, May 23, 1807, and bought in for 99 5s. Sold 
in 1809 by H. Phillips for 48, and again by H. Phillips in 1810 
for Mr. S. T. Ward, and bought by Akers for 52 10s. 

* MAGDALEN, A. 1( 2 Sold at Foster's, May 27, 1840 (see sale cat. of 
Charles O'Neill, Esq., in 1840), and by Phillips (No. 9 in sale cat. 
of pictures " various "), July 7, 1842. 

*MAN, HEAD OF A. Sold at Christie's with " Head of Dr. Johnson " 
and " Madonna and Saints," February 28, 1910, for 2 guineas. 

x MAN'S HEAD. Size, 14 x 12 in. Date, before 1781. Last heard of 
with Dr. H. H. Drake, of Fowey. 

*MAN'S HEAD. Sold at Christie's, with " A Female," by S. Ricci, for 
1 guinea, April 14, 1881. 

X MAN'S HEAD, AND AN INTERIOR. Sold at Christie's, March 13, 1863, 
for 17s. Previously in possession of the late Mr. Alphonse C. 

*MARKET~GIRL. 2 Whole length ; girl in brown dress, seated in a wood, 
a basket on left arm. Sold, May 6, 1905, to Samuels, for 340 

*MATERNAL FELICITY. Size, 55 x 43 in. Sold at Christie's, July 8, 
1910, to Connell, for 55 guineas. Seller's name not given. 

X MILKMAID, THE. Companion picture to "The Fruit Girl." Sold 
at Christie's, February 5, 1863, for 1 4s. Previously in possession 
of Mr. Partridge. 

fMiNSTREL, THE (Beattie's " Minstrel," Bk. I, St. xvi). Now very dark 
Cleaned by Yates, 1852. Size, 29 x 24 in. Date, 1782-5. Engraved 
by W. Ward, September 25, 1784. Present owner, Sir William 
Henry Smith-Marriott, Bart. 


x MIRANDA, A HEAD FROM THE. Opie's last finished picture. Size, 30 x 
25 in. Date, 1806-7. Painted for Mr. Lyster Parker. Etched 
by John Young, 4, 1821 (cat. of Leicester Gallery). In posses- 
sion of Sir John Leicester from 1809 to 1821. 

*MOTHER AND CHILD. Size, 36 x 28 in. Sold at Christie's, January 21, 
1893, to Donoghue, for 4 15s. ; seller's name not given. After- 
wards taken to America by the late John Hay, Secretary of State, 


U.S.A., and Ambassador to England, and sold by the American 
Art Association at the Bronson Sale, March 15, 1907, to T. 
Heinemann, for $1,050. 

MUSICAL PAKTY. Group of supposed portraits. Sold at Foster's, 
February, 1876, for 15 guineas. Last heard of with Messrs. Henry 
Graves & Co. 

MUSIDORA (Thomson's "Seasons" Summer). No Damon in this picture. 
Size, 48 x 39 in. Sold at Opie's sale (?), June 1807, for 25 guineas, 
at the Todd Sale, 1811, for 29 guineas, and at Christie's, February 
28, 1891 ; bought by Ward for 31 guineas. Once in possession 
of Dr. Thomas Spinks, who obtained it from Mr. Hedge, in whose 
family it was said to have been ever since painted. 

MUSIDORA. See also DAMON AND MTTSIDOBA. Size, 49 x 39 in. Sold 
by Christie's as the "property of a gentleman." March 23, 1910, 
to Cohen, for 13 guineas. It is possible that all the sale entries 
refer to the same picture. 

NAVY. See under ARMY. 

xNuN, HKAD OF. Sold at Christie's, January 30, 1875, for 18. 

tOLD MAN, PORTRAIT OF. Supposed to have been "Old Trevennen," 
a beggar of St. Agnes. One of the pictures shown to George III. 
Size, 29 x 25 in. Relined 1869. At Tresillick. Painted before 
1781. Bought by Mr. Giddy from Opie. Present owner, Mr. C. 
Davies Gilbert. 

OLD MAN, AN. An early study from life. Size, 29J x 24J in. Date, 
before 1782. Sold by Winkworth's for the executors of the late 
Mrs. Stopford Sackville, March 1906, and bought by Mr. Wynne, 
20, Market Street, W. 

*OLD MAN, HEAD OF. Sold at Christie's, March 23, 1868, to Merritt, 
for 2 15s. 

*OLD MAN, HEAD OF. Possibly the same as the preceding picture. Sold 
at Christie's, July 18, 1881, to Roberts, for 2 5s. 

X OLD MAN, HEAD OF. Size, 22 x 18 in. Formerly in possession 
of Sir Francis Chan trey, R.A., who lent it to Mr. R. Redgrave, 
R.A., to copy, fifty years ago. 

X OLD MAN, BUST OF. "A carefully finished work." Last heard of 
in possession of Mr. Knee, of Chippenham. 

X OLD MAN AND CHILD. Sold at Opie's sale, June 1807, for 1 65. ; 
included in the same lot as " The Captive " and a small landscape. 

fOLD MAN'S HEAD, AN. Head resembles Opie's " Jephthah." Said 
to have been cut out, lozenge-shape, from a large picture, in- 
serted in another canvas, and finished for Miss Katherine St. 
Aubyn (Mrs. Molesworth). Size, 20 x 18J in. Date, before 
1795. Present owner, Rev. St. A. H. Molesworth. 



X OLD WOMAN, AN. Date, probably before 1782. Exhibited at the 

Royal Academy, 1782 (No. 371). 
*OLD WOMAN BEADING BIBLE. a Offered for sale at Foster's (sale 

of Samuel Archbutt's collection), May 23, 1838 (No. 36 in cat.), 

but not sold, and offered again at Christie's on the 13th of the 

following April. 

x OYSTER-GIBL, AN. Labelled at back, " Opie, from the life, 1798, 15 

guineas." Panel. Size, 6x5 in. Date, 1798. Last heard of 

with F. J. Hext, Tredethy. 
X PAOLO AND FKANCESCA (Dante). "A spirited sketch." Sold at 

Opie's sale, June 1807 (No. 83), for 1 12*. 
PASTOBAL COUBTSHIP. Size, 40 x 50 in. Date, 1796. Exhibited at 

the Royal Academy, 1796 (No. 1). Sold at Christie's, April 1901, 

for 480 guineas. 
x PASTOBAL SUBJECT. Exhibited at the British Institution, 1848 

(No. 147), by T. Chamberlayne, Esq. 
*PEASANT BOY AND GIRL. Sold in 1856 for 310 guineas. Is this the 

same as "Boy and Girl " exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1783 ? 
x PEASANT GIRL WITH SCOTCH TERBIER. Size, 31 x 42J in. Bought 

by Mr. Serjeant Bellasis in 1837 from a collection in Montague 

Place. Last heard of with Miss Bellasis. 

S. H. Whitbread, says this picture was seen last year by Mr. 

Lionel Cust and Mr. Temple, who both thought it probably by 

Opie. All the pictures at Sou thill were bought before 1815. 

Present owner, Samuel Whitbread. 
X PEASANT GIRL. Seated, with a basket of fruit, a dog at her feet. 

Sold at Christie's, April 20, 1861, for 4 guineas. 
PEASANT GIBL, A. An unfinished sketch. Size, 29 x 29 in. Date, 

early. Exhibited at the Council Hall, Truro, 1861 (No. 65), as 

" Rustic Figure." Present owner, J. C. Williams. 
X PEASANT, HEAD OF A. Sold at Christie's, July 1, 1854, with a small 

Vandevelde, for 1 3s. Previously in possession of Mr. Joseph M. 

X PENZANCE SCAVENGEB, A. A reputed portrait name unknown. 

Date, about 1778. Exhibited at the Exhibition of Devon and 

Cornwall Worthies, Exeter, 1873 (No. 64). Bought at Bath in 

1790 by Mr. Humphry Lawrence. Last heard of with N. H. P. 

Lawrence of Launceston. 

x PROPOSAL, THE. Exhibited by H. C. Long, Esq., at the British In- 
stitution, 1849 (No. 130). 


" J Opie, 1801." Restored by Merritt. Size, 40 x 50 in. Date, 
1801. Exhibited at the Leeds Exhibition, 1868 (No. 1294), as 
" The Fortune Teller." Engraved by S. Freeman (?). Last heard 
of with the Rev. J. E. Waldy. 

READING GIRL, THE. Girl seated, head bent over book, profile ; 
dull yellow skirt, white muslin apron, grey-blue bodice, blue-and- 
white check kerchief over shoulders and tucked in at waist. A 
dark green workbag hangs on chair. Size, 38 x 30J in. Ex- 
hibited at the Old Masters' Exhibition, Burlington House. Present 
owner, Mrs. Charles Edward Dyer, whose father, the Rev. William 
Vincent, purchased it from Miss Brown, of Barnsbury Park, 


*RED BOY, THE. This differs in size from " Lieut. McDonough." Size, 
49 x 39 in. Lent by Mr. Hardy Wells to the Exhibition of Old 
Masters, 1876. 

REFLECTION. Size, 39 x 49 in. Sold at Christie's, December 19, 
1908, and bought by Inglis for 6J guineas. 

x JREFUSAL, THE. Attributed to Opie. Mr. Rogers marks it " very 
doubtful." Canvas on panel. Size, 13J x 10 in. Bought at 
Rainy 's, about 1865, by Mr. R. P. Edwards of Bath. 

*REPRIEVE, THE. Sold at Christie's, January 4, 1862, for 1 3*. 

REST BY THE WAY. A, Size, 50 x 40 in. Sold at Christie's (sale of 
J. J. Wigzell), January 27, 1906, to Thomas, for 4J guineas. 

ROMAN WARRIOR, A. Sold by H. Phillips ( 2 No. 116 in sale cat. of 
" cabinet pictures of a gentleman "), March 2, 1809, for 7J 

x SAILOR'S ORPHAN, THE. Face and hair beautifully finished. Size, 
36 x 30 in. Date, about 1778. Last heard of with Mrs. Marchant 
of Carlton Hill. 

fScHOOL, A (more recently known as THE SCHOOLMISTRESS). Size, 
39 x 49 in. Date, 1784. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1784 
(No. 162), the Graf ton Gallery Exhibition of Fair Children, 1895, 
and the Guildhall Exhibition of French and English Painters of 
the Eighteenth Century, 1902. Engraved by John Young, also by 
Valentine Green, mezzo., fo., as " The School," February 1, 1785; 
scratched inscription and engraved inscription (both of the same 
date). Chaloner Smith gives the date as 1 786. Sold in 1823 by Mr. 
G. Watson Taylor, M.P., to Mr. Jesse Watts Russell (Ham Gallery), 
for 90 guineas. At the sale of the Ham Gallery pictures at 
Christie's in 1875 it was bought by Lord Overstone for 750 guineas. 
Present owner, Lady Wantage. 

x SCHOOLMISTRESS, THE. Exhibited at the Manchester Exhibition of 


Art Treasures, 1857 (No. 133). Last heard of with the Earl of 
Stamford and Warrington. See also A SCHOOL. 


SHEPHERD BOY. At Christie's, May 12, 1810 ( 2 sale of "small 
collection of pictures ") ; the only lot not priced, so probably it 
was not sold. 

SHEPHERD BOY. Companion picture to "A Fisherman." This and 
the foregoing may be the same. Sold at Christie's, May 9, 1865, 
to Messrs. Graves, for 31 guineas. Formerly in possession of Mr. 
William Hardman of Manchester. 

SHEPHERD BOY. Believed to be the picture that hung in Dr. Alder- 
son's house during his lifetime. Size, 52 x 39 in. Present owner. 
Sir Somerville A. Gurney, K.C.V.O. 

*SHEPHERD AND DOG. Sold at Christie's, May 26, 1810 ( l No. 14 
in sale cat. of pictures belonging to Michael Bryan and others), 
not priced. 


*SLEEPING GIRL, A. Sold by Robinson & Fisher, May 29, 1902, for 
250 guineas. Query, is it identical with " The Sleeping Nymph "? 

*SLEEPING GIRL. Size, 29 x 23 in. Sold at Christie's, July 20, 1906, 
to Deacon, for 32 guineas. Seller's name not stated. Possibly 
the same picture as THE SLEEPING MAIDEN. 

*SLEEPING MAIDEN, THE. Size, 30 x 24 in. Sold at the Blakeslee 
Sale, 1908, for $250. Present owner, W. T. Sumner. 

*SLEEPING GIRL. Size, 10 x 8 in. Sold at Christie's, November 1900, 
to Buck, for 7 guineas ; seller's name not stated. Again sold, on 
January 26, 1906, at the sale of Edward M. Knox, by the American 
Art Association, and bought by Emerson McMillin, for $225. 

receipt for 42 in full from Boydell for " The Nymph and Cupid " 
is inserted in the Anderdon Collection. Date, 1786. Exhibited 
at the Royal Academy, 1786 (No. 136), and at Boydell's Shakes- 
peare Gallery, 1790. Engraved by Peter Simon (rare). 

x " SPECTATOR" (No. 611). Engraved by Joseph Collyer, 8, line, 1803, 
for "Spectator," No. 611, in Sharpe's "British Classics," vol. xii. 
The " Spectator " engraving bore the motto, " Perfidious man." 
The subject of the picture from the collection of Sir Francis 
Morland, of Lee, offered at Christie's, May 19, 1832, as "A Scene 
from 'Spectator ' " was not stated, but possibly it was the same 

STUDENT, THE. " The colour is exquisitely pure and pearly, though 
on the shadow side of the head some little fading has taken place. ' ' 
Size, 18| x 15} in. (J.J.R.), or 19 x 15 in. Exhibited at the 


Liverpool Art Club, 1881, and at the Manchester Exhibition of Old 

Masters, 1909. Sold from the Heugh Collection at Christie's, 

May 11, 1878, to Agnew for 150 guineas, and sold by him in 1879 

to Ralph Brocklebank, the present owner, 

Sold at Christie's (No. 55 in cat.), March 23, 1878, to W. B. 

Denison, M.P., for 25 guineas. 
*STUDIOUS YOUTH, THE. Boy with long curls, three-quarter length, 

seated, legs crossed, drawing the figure of a woman ; intent ex- 
pression. " Very fine work ; evidently one he put a lot of time to." 

Size, 25 x 30 in., twill. Present owner, John Williams. 

FEMALE). Size, 55 x 45 in. Sold at Opie's sale (No. 98), June 

1807, for 21J guineas. Presented by J. L. Brenchley, M.A., to 

the Maidstone Museum, Kent. 
x SWEET POLL OF PLYMOUTH. Date, 1785. Exhibited at the Royal 

Academy, 1785 (No. 31). 
*"TAMEBLANE," (Act V). Engraved by Fittler for the "British 

*THBEE YOUNG GIBLS WITH RABBIT. Size, 30 x 25 in. Sold at 

Christie's, June 1903, to 2 Hodgkins for 190 guineas. 
*YouNG GIBL FEEDING RABBITS. Query, is this the same picture 

as the above ? Size, 30 x 25 in. Sold at the Blakeslee Sale, 1908, 

for $275. Present owner, Louis R. Ehrich. 
x TiBED SOLDIEB, THE. Possibly the same as "The Old Soldier." 

Date, 1799. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1799 (No. 31). 

Sold by H. Phillips, June 3, 1807, and by S. T. Ward, 1810, 

when it was bought by Ackers for 33 guineas. Destroyed 

at Messrs. Graves's by the fire at H.M, Theatre on December 6, 

*ToiLETTE, THE. Is this "Judith Attiring " ? Size, 35 x 27 in. Sold 

by T. J. Blakeslee, April 9 and 10, 1908, for $975. Present owner, 

J. D. Chapman. 
*Two BOYS WITH A BDRD. Size, 29 x 24 in. Sold at Christie's, 

February, 5, 1910, to Bale, for 5 guineas. Previous owner's name 

not stated. 
x Two JOLLY COBBLEBS. " J. Opie, pinxit " in lower left-hand corner. 

Size, 22 x 18 in. Last heard of with E. C. Edward Collins, of 

x Two PEASANT BOYS. See " Opie and his Works," p. 242. Half length. 

Sold at Christie's, July 19, 1860, for 3 5s., and again on March 15, 

1862, to Mendoza, for 3 5s. Previously in possession of J. E. 

Two PEASANT CHILDBEN. " In the spirit of Gainsborough." Size, 


49 x 40 in. Date, probably about 1783. Bought by Mr. Michael 
Williams, M.P., at Lord Orford's sale, in 1856. Present owner, 
John C. Williams. 

x UNFORTUNATE TRAVELLER, THE. Date, 1802. Exhibited at the 
Royal Academy, 1802 (No. 30). Sold at Opie's sale, June 1807, 
for 19 guineas, as " The Dead Traveller and his Faithful 

x VENUS AND ADONIS. Exhibited by E. T. Carver, Esq., at the British 
Institution, 1843 (No. 126). 

x VENUS AND ADONIS. Sold by H. Phillips, December 22, 1812, for 
30 9s., and at Christie's, March 27, 1857, for 4 10*. At Phillips's 
this was No. 45 in cat. of " historical and other pictures of a gentle- 
man," and at Christie's the picture was described as " very richly 
coloured." Probably both these sale entries refer to Mr. Carver's 

x WATCHMAN AND HIS DOG. Sold at Opie's sale, June 1807, for 
10 J guineas. 

*WAYFARER, A LITTLE. Sold at Christie's, July 9, 1886, to Fry, for 
10 guineas. Seller's name not given. 

x WIDOW, THE. Engraved by Reynolds, sm. mezzo., as frontispiece of 
" Poems by Mrs. Opie," 3rd ed., 12, 1804. 

x WINTER PIECE, A. Date, 1797. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 
1797 (No. 121). 

x WOMAN'S STORY AT A WINTER'S FIRE, A. Probably the same picture 
as "The Ghost Story." Date, 1785. Exhibited at the Royal 
Academy, 1785 (No. 202). 

* WOOD MAN, THE. Restored by Grundy & Smith of Manchester, 1909. 

" A man cutting a piece of bread for his rather ugly boy's dinner." 
The man's face is good, but the rest of the picture is rather roughly 
painted. Size, 72 x 48 in. Bought by the grandfather of Lieut. 
Col. B. H. Phipps, the present owner, in 1835, 


*YOUNG GIRL IN BROWN AND RED DRESS. Size, 27 x 20 in. Sold at 
Christie's, December 8, 1900, to Tooth, for 65 guineas. 

*? YOUNG GIRL. Size, 30 x 25 in. Sold at the 5th Avenue Art 
Galleries (Edward Brandus's sale), April 1908, for $900. Present 
owner, A. Andrews. 


*YOUNG WALTONIAN, THE. Boy with a fishing-rod, full face. Re- 
cently cleaned. Size, 28 x 22 in. Present owner, John Williams. 

* YOUTH AND AGE. Size, 35 x 27 in. Sold at Christie's, May 7, 1909, 

to Marshall, for 55 guineas. 

* YOUTH AND AGE. Size, 35 x 28 in. Sold at Christie's, May 27, 1909, 

to Knell, for 9 guineas. 



(LANDSCAPE NEAR PENRYN. Written on the canvas by Mr. Penwarno : 
" An original sketch by Opie, sketched and painted from a view 
near Penryn in my presence, the building introduced from fancy. 
J. Penwarne." Size, 14 x 17$ in. Painted for Mr. John Pen- 
warne between 1779 and 1781. Present owner, Mrs. Penwarne- 

LANDSCAPE AT NORWICH. Sketch from the garden of Mr. Robert 
Alderson's residence at St. Helens. Size, 17J x 25 in. Date, 
after 1798. Last heard of with Mr. Gerard Hoare, Stanstead House. 
Given to Mrs. Hoare's father by the Rev. S. H. Alderson. 

40 x 52 in. Date, 1785. Exhibited at the Council Hall, Truro, 
1861 (No. 50). Etched by Mrs. Molesworth (?). Engraved by W. 
Birch, November 1, 1788, 6J x 7J in. published 1791, oblong 4, 
in " Delices de la Grande Bretagne." Present owner, Lord St. 

tViEW OF ST. MICHAEL'S MOUNT. Moonlight scene. Size, 53 x 51 J 
in. Date, before 1798. Present owner, Lord St. Levan. 

CAUSEWAY. Size, 41J x 51 in. Present owner, Lord St. Levan. 

x LANDSCAPES, Two. Sold at Opie's sale (Lot 66), June 1807, with 
a donkey, after Morland, for 2 8s. 

x LANDSCAPES, Two. A pair of sketches. Sold at Opie's sale (Lot 
65), June 1807, for 1 16s. 

XLANDSCAPE, SMALL. Sold with " The Captive " and " Old Man and 
Child " at Opie's sale, June 1807, for 16*. 


PORTRAITS, counting each head in family groups 

(named, 756; unnamed, 69) .... 825 





LANDSCAPES ....... 8 

Total . 1,147 



POBTBAITS ....... 508 



SHAKESPEARIAN . . . . . .11 


LANDSCAPES ....... 5 

Mixed (Supplement) ..... 63 

(Addenda) ...... 10 

Total . . 770 

Mr. Rogers mentioned three miniatures on ivory (one in the 
Addenda). To these have been added two others, making five in all. 
The number of crayon drawings remains unaltered. 


Abington : Mrs., 38. 

Academy : see Royal Academy. 

Acres i Mr., 20. 

Adam, M.P. : William, 198. 

Adams Bros : 42, 78. 

Adeline Mowbray : 211. 

Adelphi : 67. 

Adkin : Thomas, 217. 

Adolphus : Recollections of John, 


" Age and Infancy " : 49, 60. 
" Aged Beggar " : an, 20. 
Agnew : 113 and App. C. 
Agreement with Wolcot : 25. 
Alderson : Amelia, see Opie. 

Amelia (Mrs. James), 129. 

Baron, 248. 

- (Mrs.) Elisabeth, 225. 

Isabella, 167, 169. 

(Dr.) James, 124, 128, 129, 130, 134, 
151, 166, 169, 216, 225, 246. 

Judith (Mrs. Woodhouse), 225. 

Robert, 233, 234. 
Allied Armies : 244. 
Altamont : Countess of, 72. 
Ambassador : English, 198. 

Turkish, 182, 183, 184. 
Ambrogetti : in Agnese, 157. 
America : 38, 68, 69, 183. 

Opie's pictures in, 47, 269, 271, 
273, 276, 283, 291, 293, 295, 296, 
300, 302, 305, 308, 309, 314, 323, 
326, 329, 331, 332, 339, 341, 345, 
346, 347, 348, 350, 351, 352, 355, 
356, 357. 

war with, 70. 

American Colonies : loss of, 27. 
Amiens : Peace of, 70, 172, 198. 
Amsterdam : 38, 63. 

Surgeons' Hall at, 63. 
Amyot : Thomas, 216. 
Anatomy : 206 to 209. 
Anderdon Collection : 165. 
Anderson : W., 57. 

Andras : Catherine, 69, 70. 

Angelo : Henry, 122, 137. 

" Angry Father " : the, 169, 248. 

Annual Biography and Obituary : 11. 

Annual Register : 32, 223, 225, 227. 

Anson : Lord, 155. 

Antigonus : 65. 

Anti- Jacobin : 136. 

Anti-Slavery : 70, 247, 248. 

Antwerp : 62, 63. 

Appleby : 103. 

Apsley : Lady, 72. 

Archceologia : 61. 

Argyle Street : 206. 

Argyll : Duchess of, 54. 

Dukes of, 54, 55. 

Armenian Dress " : " Beggar in, 43. 

Art Galleries : 56, 57, 167, 168, 169, 
172, 260, 262, 264, 265, 269, 270, 
272, 276, 278, 279, 282, 284, 285, 
289, 292, 298, 299, 300, 302, 303, 
304, 310, 311, 323, 324, 332, 333, 
334, 337, 338, 346, 347, 349, 350, 

Art of Design : Inquiry into, 1 53. 

" Arthur supplicating Hubert " : 18. 

Artist: The, 17, 100,223, 227, 234, 242. 

Artists' Fund : 163. 

Artists : Society of, 25. 

Ash : Dr., 224, 228. 

Askew : Dr., 230. 

Asquith : Mrs., 71. 

" Assassination of James I " : 51, 55, 
57 to 60, 75, 81, 114. 

" Assassins " : 58, 59, 60. 

Athenseum Club : 75. 

Athens: 115, 116, 176. 

Austin : Sarah, 105, 142. 

Australia : Opie's pictures in, 283. 

Austria : Emperor of, 174. 

Aylesford : Earl of, 79. 

Bacon : Lord, 181. 

R.A., 82. 




Bagot : Lord, 72. 

Baillie : Dr. Matthew, 225, 227, 228, 
229, 230. 

Joanna, 228. 
Balloons: first, 170, 171. 
Bank of England : 131. 
Banks, B. A. : 79, 155, 191. 
Barbauld : Mrs., 142. 
Barrington : Daines, 20. 

Barry : Colonel, 134, 135, 138, 139. 

James, 80 to 82, 92, 149, 165, 166, 

Bartolozzi : 155. 

Bassano : Jacopo, 115, 116. 

Bastille : 95, 142. 

Bateman : Lord, 19, 72. 

Bath : 28. 

" Battle of the Bards " : 137. 

" Baviad and Mseviad " : 38. 

Beardmore : Rev. H. L., 62. 

Beaufort : Death of, 93. 

Beauharnois : Eugene de, 187. 

Beaumarchais : 126. 

Bedford Square : 137. 

Bedingfeld : Charlotte Lady, 1 14, 

161, 152. 
Beechey : Sir William, 78, 133, 197, 

222, 233. 
Beer Ferris : 61. 

Beetham : Cecilia, 105, 113, 114. 
- Edward, 103 to 106, 1 12 to 1 14, 124. 

Mrs. Edward, 103 to 106. 

Dr. Frederick, 103, 113, 114. 

Harriet, 105, 113. 

Jane, 105 to 107, 112 to 114, 124, 

(or Betham), Rev. William, 103, 
105, 106. 

Beethoven's " Eroica Symphony " : 

185, 186. 

Beggar " : " Cornish, 30. 
" Beggar and his Dog " : 33, 34. 
Belfast Theatre : 213. 
Bell : Letters of Sir Charles, quoted, 

44, 99. 

Bell : G. J., 44, 99. 
Bellamy : 105. 
" Bellendenus " : 134. 
Berkeley : 84. 
Bernadotte : 244. 
Berners Street : 69, 130, 136, 165, 

168, 199, 202, 207, 229. 
Berry : Misses, 41, 244. 

Sir Edward, 204. 
Best : Mr., 203. 
Betham : Ernest, 106, 114. 

Matilda, 106, 114. See also Beet- 

Betty: Master W. H. W., 211, 


" Bible " : 2, 6, 22, 23. 
Bible : Bowyer's, 70. 
Macklin's, 68. 

Stackhouse's History of the, 104. 
Biggleswade : 216. 
Biographical Sketches : (Pol whole), 

quoted, 14, 35, 151, 153, 168. 
Birch : W., 141. 

Delices d*. la Grande Bretagne, 68, 

Birmingham Art Gallery : 169. 
Blackmail: 38, 143, 144. 
Blake : Admiral, 155. 

- William, 159. 

Bligh : Admiral, 105, 113. 

-Mrs., 113. 

Blizard : Sir William, 148, 233. 
" Blowing House " : the, 1, 2, 4, 99. 

See also " Harmony Cot." 
Blucher : 244. 

" Blue " set : 32, 41, 42, 135, 244. 
Boaden : James, 242. 
Boddington : Mr., 214. 
Bohn : 243. 
Bonaparte : Jerome, 174. 

-Letitia, 188, 189. 

-Napoleon, 70, 155, 169, 172, 173, 
175 to 179, 184 to 189, 198, 199, 

Bond Street: 113. 
Bone : Henry, 233. 
Bonne ville : 126. 

Bonnycastle : John, 114, 115, 119. 
Bonomi : Joseph, 78 to 80, 82, 89. 
Book for a Rainy Day : quoted, 

52, 56, 137. 

Book of Fables : 58, 81, 120. 
Book of Historical Costumes : 61. 
Booth : Barton, 92. 
Borrow : George, 142. 
Boscawen : Admiral, 32, 155. 

-Hon. Mrs., 15, 32, 33,44. 

William Glanville, 32. 
Boulogne : 198. 

" Bounty " : the, 105. 

Bourgeois : Sir Francis, 138, 158, 

198, 212. 222. 233. 
Bowyer : Miss, 69. 

- Robert, 68, 69, 70, 71. 

Mrs. Robert, 69, 70, 71. 

and Parkes, 71. 

" Boy and Dog " : 43. 
" Boy and Girl": 49. 
Boydell : John, 55, 56, 57, 60, 64, 68, 

70, 76, 89, 90. 
" Boy's Head " : a, 25. 



Brancaster Hall : 167. 
Bread : price of, 102, 103. 

riots, 102. 

Briggs, R.A. : Henry Perronet, 148. 

Brightwell : Miss, 100, 125, 149, 151, 
153, 159, 164, 168, 175, 176, 184, 
190, 192, 193, 203, 217, 219. 

Bristol : 69, 78. 

Bishop of, 108. 

" Redmaids " of, 69. 
British Museum : 35. 

School : 28, 64, 240. 
British Theatre : Bell's, 53. 

" Britomart delivering Amoret " : 


Brodum : 121. 
Bromley : 71. 
Brompton Consumption Hospital : 

113, 114. 

Brougham : Lord, 142, 244. 
Brown : Mather, 53. 

Mr., 176. 
Browne : Lady, 43. 
Brownlow : Lord, 108. 
Brown's Coffee House : 104. 
Bruges : 63. 

Brushes : Opie's, 44, 121. 

sent to Owen, 77. 
Brussels : 63. 
Buckingham : 229. 

- Palace, 32, 34, 36, 37. 
Bulkeley : Mr. and Mrs., 197. 
Bull : Miss Jane, see H. M. Williams. 
Bulstrode Park : 44. 
Bunn : Alfred, 110, 111, 194, 203. 

Benjamin, 44, 45, 46, 47, 63, 109. 

Mary, see Opie. 

Mrs., 44, 109. 
Burdett : Sir Francis, 243. 
Burger's Lenore : 142, 215. 

Burke : Edmund, 23, 39, 72, 95, 1 79. 
Burlington House : 18. See also 

Royal Academy. 
Burney : Miss, 28. 
Burrel : 141. 
Burrell : family, 52. 
Burton : Mr. and Mrs. Henry, 156, 


Sir F., quoted, 123. 
Bute : Lady, 33, 36. 

Lord, 10, 33, 36, 246. 
Butler's Hudibras : 23. 
Byfleet : 70. 

Calais : 172. 

Callcott : Sir Augustus Wall, 219. 

Cambac6res : 175. 

Cambridge : 53, 68, 225. 

Cambridge : University of, 68. 
Campbell: Ladies Augusta and 
Charlotte, 54. 

Lord John, 54, 55. See also 

Canada : Opie's pictures in, 305. 
Canning : George, 244. 
Cannock : 125. 

Heath, 126. 

Canterbury : Archbishop of, 120. 
Caravaggio : 30, 31. 
Cardew : Dr., 2. 

Mr. C. E., 2. 

" Cardplayers " : the, 59, 113. 

Caricatures : 61, 102, 121. 

Carlisle : Sir Anthony, 224, 228, 233. 

Carlton House : 107, 245. 

Carmontel : 196. 

Carrousel: Place du, 175, 179, 186, 


Gary : Mrs., 235. 
Carysfort : Earl of, 233. 
Castle : Egerton, 152. 

Street, 26. 
Catholic Relief Bill : 28. 
Catton : 82. 

Cawse : John, 208. 
Centenarians : 20, 43, 53, 54, 142. 
Century of Painters : 57, 65, 226. 
Chamberlain (conjurer) : 99. 

William: 208. 
Chancery Lane : 105. 
Charlatans : 120 to 122. 
Charlemont : Countess of, 182. 
Charles I : Cosway and, 191. 
Charleville : Lady, 141. 
Chartists : 248. 

Chatham : Lord, 27. 
Chatterton: 47. 
Chaussee d'Antin : 188. 
Cherbury : House, 52. 

Lord Herbert of, 52. 
Chiaroscuro : 13, 14, 30, 39, 85, 221, 

Chiaroscuro": "Of (Lect. III.), 

quoted, 38 to 40, 165, 166. 
Child": " Antigonus swearing to 

expose the, 65. 
" Child and Dog " : 68. 
"Children in the Wood" : 143. 
Children : Opie's success with, 62, 200. 

sweetmeats for, 148. 
Chorley : Henry, quoted, 111. 
Christie : 139, 141. 

Christie's : 47, 56, 110, 143, 194, 235, 

and App. C. 

Churchill : Charles, 52, 125, 143. 
Cipriani : 42. 



City of London : 65, 89. 

Corporation of, 57. 
Clainnont : Mary Jane, see Godwin. 
Claremont : 247. 
Clark : William, 72. 
Clarke : Rev. E. D., 53, 54. 

R.A., Theophilus, 208. 
Clayden : P. W., 174. 
Clementi : 138. 
Clifton : 107, 108. 

Cline (surgeon) : 225, 229. 

Clive : Kitty, 52. 

" Clothing the Naked " : 198. 

Clover : Joseph, 168. 

Club : Athenaeum, 75. 

Sons of Neptune, 37. 
Cockburn : Lady, 214. 
Coinage Hall Street : 24. 

Coke: Thomas William, 124, 128, 

177, 180, 194. 
Colborn : 30. 
Colchester : 170, 171. 
" Collins " : 61. 
Colonial troubles : 27. 
Colour : 18, 67, 84, 95, 120, 141, 221, 


Opie on, 82, 83, 84 to 88. 

Rembrandt's, 39, 134. 

Rubens's, 87. 

running, 65, 239. 

Titian's, 87, 209. 

Committee on Seditious Practices : 96. 
Commons: House of, 91, 110, 131, 


Companion to Exhib. R.A. : 143. 
Composition : on, 221, 223. 
Concise Vindication " : " The, 212. 
Consistory Court : 108, 109. 
Constable : 167. 
Contemporary Art : 28, 75. 
Conversations of Northcote : with 

Hazlitt, 30. 
Conversations of Northcote : with 

Ward, 19, 51, 53, 103, 107. 
Conway House : 52. 
Cook : Captain, 27, 60, 155. 
-Mr., 137. 
Cookworthy : Memoirs of William, 

10, 25. 

Copley : 64, 82, 198, 212. 
Cork and Orrery : Countess of, 135, 

141, 244, 245. 
" Cornish Beggar " : 30. 
Cornish language : 20. 
" Cornish Wonder " : 12, 28. See also 

John Opie. 
Cornwall : Historical Survey of, 1. 

Tonkin's History of, 3. 

Cornwallis : 27. 

"Coronation of Henry VI": 143, 

Corporation of : City of London, 57. 

Truro, 24. 

Correggio : ; 121. 

Correspondence Society : London, 96. 

Norwich, 169. 
Cosway : Maria, 172, 188, 189, 190 to 

- Richard, 28, 73, 82, 121, 159, 172, 

190 to 192. 
Cotes: Francis, 114. 
Cotman : 167. 
Cottle : Joseph, 127. 
Council : Order in, 131. 
" Country Boy and Girl " : 43. 
"Country Girl": 107. 
Courcelles : Rev. J. H. de, 76. 
Courtney : William Prideaux, 231. 
Courtship": "Pastoral, 143. 
" Courtship in the Park " : 143. 
Cox: 141. 
Coxe : Mrs., 235. 
Cricket-bat : Sign of the, 55. 
Crome : " Old," 167. 
Cubitt : Mr. Frederick, 166. 
Cunningham : 46, 119, 129, 211. 
Curzon Street : 244. 
Custom House : 140, 160. 
Cuvier : 247. 

Daily habits : Opie's, 101, 147, 194, 

201, 202, 214, 215, 218, 219, 223, 


" Damon and Musidora " : 169. 
Daniell : family, 20. 
Mr., 59. 
Thomas, 172. 
Darley : Matthew, 37. 
David : Jacques Louis, 192. 
Deare : John, 159. 
" Death of Rizzio " : 57, 58, 65, 67, 

75, 81. 

Declaration of Conformity : 11. 
De Dunstanville : Lord, 108, 233. 
Delany : Mrs., 33, 34, 36, 37, 41, 157. 
Delany : Autobiography of Mrs., 36, 

Delices de la Grande Bretagne : 68, 


" Deluge " : Poussin's, 175. 
Denon : 174. 
Desenfans : Mr., 89. 
Design: of, 85, 221. 
Design": "Of (Leot. I), quoted, 13, 

194, 195, 208, 209, 241. 
Devonshire : Duke of, 10. 



Devonshire : Georgians, Duchess of, 

Diary of a Lover of Literature : 

quoted, 214. 

Dibdin's Northern Counties : 180. 
Dickinson : Plaxton, 109. 
Dickson : Lady, 148. 
Dictionary of National Biography : 

quoted, 31. 
Dingwall : Mr., 235. 
Dining out : Opie, 74, 178, 179, 180, 


" Diomedes " : Proctor's, 166. 
Divorce : Opie's, 100, 108 to 1 10. 
Dobson : Mrs. Austin, 62, 64, 78, 83. 
" Doctor Puzzled " : see " Love-sick 


Dog " : " Beggar and his, 33. 
Dog " : " Child and, 68. 
Dog " : " Dead Traveller and his, 

Dog : Nollekens's, 137, 194. 

Opie's, 194. 

Dog " : " Portrait of a, 21. 
Domenichino : 177. 
Drake : 155. 
Drawing : see Design. 
Drury Lane : 92, 93. 
Dryden : 23. 
" Duke Williams " : 7. 
Duke's Court : 55. 
Durham : Bishop of, 222. 
Dutch School : 38,40, 174. 
Dyer : G., 133. 

Eagle Insurance Company : 104. 
Earlham : 198. 

Eastbourne : Thomas Gilbert of, 33. 
Ecclesiastical Courts : 108. 
Edgcumbe : Lord and Lady, 33. 
Edwards : Edward, 79. 

Major, 107, 108, 110, 111. 

Mrs., 110. See also Mary Opie, 
nee Bunn. 

Egham : Mr. Wyatt of, 52. 
" Eidophusticon " : the, 122. 
Eight Friends of the Great : 231. 
Elections : Norwich, 203, 204. 

Old Sarum, 202. 
Elford : Colonel, 158. 

Sir William, 158. 
Elgin : Lord, 209. 

marbles, 209. 

" Elizabeth Grey petitioning Ed- 
ward IV ": 68. 

Ellenglaze farmyard : picture of, 4, 
5, 16. 

Ellis: 214. 

Elphinstone : Hon. W. F., 233. 
Emperor : Napoleon proclaimed, 185. 
England and the English : quoted, 43. 
Engravings : 55, 57, 67, 72, 258, 259, 

and App. B and C. 
Enys : Mr. J. D., MS. quoted, 5, 124, 

and in App. C. 

Mrs. (nee Gilbert), 33. 
Erskine : Lord, 187, 203, 214, 244. 
Este : C., 109. 

Etching : Mrs. Molesworth's, 55, 72. 

Opie's only, 55. 
Eton College : 119. 
Exeter : 20, 25, 49, 73, 74. 

Cathedral, 49. 
Expression : on, 221, 223. 

Faerie Queen : 127. 
Falmouth : 19, 24. 

parish church, 4. 
Farington : 82, 120. 
Father : portrait of Opie's, 6. 
Father and Daughter : 132, 157. 
Favell : Mr. Samuel, 167, 172, 233. 

Mrs., 172. 

Fesch : Cardinal, 188 to 190. 

Fickling : Mrs. Berney, 156. 

Field : John, 138. 

Fielding : Henry, 160. 

Fifty Years' Recollections : quoted, 

15, 99. 
Fire : pictures destroyed by, 135, 

296, 307, 308, 344, 35(5. 
Fittler : 53. 
Flanders : 175. 

churches of, 63. 
Flaxman: 155, 172, 233. 
Fleet Street : 103, 104, 105. 
Fletcher : E., 19, 51, 53, 103. 
Follies of a Day : 126. 
Foote : Samuel, 103, 104, 105. 
Four Georges : Thackeray's, 71. 
Fowey : 9, 19. 

river, 5. 

Fox (the elder), 244. 

Charles James, 68, 124, 149, 172, 
177 to 181, 186, 216. 

latter years of, 178, 179. 

- Mrs., 172, 177, 178, 179, 186. 

Secretary for Foreign Affairs, 


France : war with, 56, 155, 198. 
Fraser-Tytler : Mr. W. F. 235. 
Freemasons' Tavern : 52. 
French : Archives, 1 79. 

Consul, 70. 

engravings, 55. 

Jacobins, 149. 


French: Revolution, 95, 133, 149, 
172, 179, 185. 

Senate, 175. 

Opie's knowledge of, 23. 
Friends : Society of, see Quakers. 
Friends of the People : Society of, 

96 97. 

Frost : William, 200. 
Fry : Elizabeth, 142, 156, 245. 
Funeral : expenses, 91, 231. 

Opie's, 100, 231 to 235. 

Reynolds's, 90, 91. 

Fuseli, R.A. : Henry, 56, 59, 64, 72, 
73, 75, 79, 80, 82, 114, 115, 119, 
120, 149, 150, 155, 209, 213, 233, 

Fuseli: Life of, 150. 

Fuseli: Mrs., 73, 114. 

Gainsborough : 12, 28, 48, 54, 66, 

78, 238. 

Galiagan : Mr., 68. 
" Gamester " : the, 53. 
Gardiner : William, 63, 104. 
Garnerin : 170, 171. 
Garrick : David, 53. 

Club, 53, 213. 

Gay's Shepherd's Week : 197. 

" Gentleman and a Miner " : see 

Daniell, and Morcom. 
Gentleman's Magazine : quoted, 57, 

65, 75, 76. 
George II : 230. 

Ill : 27, 28, 32, 33, 34, 36, 37, 41, 
47, 59, 61, 67, 70, 71, 120, 132, 137, 
138, 154, 176, 212, 220, 231. 

Gerard : 193. 
Ghent : 63. 

Gibraltar : siege of, 27. 
Giddy : family, 20, 33. 

Mr. C. Collins, 11. 

M.P., Mr. C. Davies, see Gilbert. 
Gifford : John, 136, 137. 

William, 136, 137. 
"Gil Bias" : 205, 211. 
Gilbert : Mr. C. Davies, 33, 214. 

C. S., quoted, 1. 

heiress of Thomas, 33. 

see also Giddy. 
Gillies : family, 140. 

Dr. John, 140. 

Mrs. 140. 
Gillray : 102, 121. 
Gilpin : Sawry, 79. 

Girl " : " Country Boy and, 43. 
" Girl milking Cow " : 44. 
Girtin : Thomas, 157. 
Glass : painting on, 104. 

Glazing : 83, 86, 209. 
Gloucester : Maria, Duchess of, 33, 
41, 220. 

William Frederick, Duke of, 220, 
224, 225, 226, 233, 235. 

William Henry, Duke of, 7, 33, 

41, 220. 
Godwin : Mary Jane (Clairmont), 204. 

Mary Wollstonecraft, 123 to 125, 
128, 141, 185, 211. 

-William, 105, 111, 123 to 125, 128, 

133, 134, 138 to 141, 204. 
Godwin, William : his Friend* and 

Contemporaries, 141. 
Godwin : see also Mary Shelley. 
Gordon riots : 28. 
Graham: Dr., 121, 122, 190. 

Sir Robert, 58, 59. 
Graves: Mr., 113, 114. 
Gray : Thomas, 23 
Great Exhibition : 248. 

Queen Street : 52. 

Green : John Richards, see John 


-Thomas, 214. 

Greenwich : Painted Hall, 155. 
Grenville Ministry : 180, 216. 
Grey : first Earl, 217. 
Grylls : family, 20. 

Mr. C. R. Gerveys, 17. 

Thomas, 17. 
Guildhall : 58, 65, 66. 

Art Gallery, 57. 

Council Chamber, 64. 

Library, 56. 
Gullett : Ann, 61. 

Christopher, 61. 
- Georgiana, 61, 62. 

Mr. and Mrs., 61, 62. 
Gunning : Elizabeth, 54. 
Gurney : family, 156, 245, 246. 

Elizabeth, see Mrs. Fry. 

John, 156, 198. 

John (jun.), 245. 

Joseph John, 245, 246. 

Priscilla, 245. 

Samuel, 245. 

Gurney a of Earlham : quoted, 199. 

Gwydir : Lord, 108. 

Gwynne : Mr. Stephen, quoted, 81. 

Habeas Corpus suspended : 96. 
Hackman : Rev. James, 68. 
Hague : the, 63. 
Hallam : Mr., 156. 
Hamburg: 139. 

Hamilton : Duchess of, see Elizabeth 


Hamilton : Lady, and child, 239 

R.A. : 155. 
Hampstead : 43, 58. 
Hampton Court : 36, 37. 
Handbook to Young Painters : quoted, 


Hanover Square : 91, 243. 
Harcourt : Lady (the Hon. Mrs. W. 

Harcourt), 33. 
Hardy : 97, 169. 
Hare : Augustus, 199. 
" Harmony Cot " : 99, 213, 247, 248. 

See also " Blowing House." 
Hart : Emma, 122. See also Lady 

Harvey: John, 167, 169. 

Thomas, 167. 
Harwood : Lieut.-Col., 202. 
Hastings : Warren, 27. 
Haweis : Dr., 203. 
Hawke : 155. 

Hawkins's Life of Reynolds : quoted, 

Haydon : Benjamin R., 165, 205 to 
211, 239. 

Haydon : Life of, by F. W. Hay- 
don : quoted, 75. 

by Taylor, quoted, 72, 73, 

206, 207, 210, 211. 

Haydon and Opie : comparison 
between, 209, 210. 

Haymarket : 103. 

Hazlitt : William, 31, 100, 141. 

Heads : of Angels, 67. 

inserted, 58, 81. 

Heads : Moral Lectures on, 104. 

Hearne : 28, 29, 46. 

Heathcote : Mrs., as Miranda, 224, 


Helston : 24. 
Henderson : 78. 

" Henry VI crowned at Paris " : 133. 
Herefordshire Militia : 19. 
Herring : John, 167. 
Hesse-Homburg : Landgravine of, 71. 
Hibbert : Mrs., 214. 
Historical painting : 55, 63, 75, 89, 

144, 205, 206, 209, 210. 
Hoare : family, 52. 

Mr., of Norwich, 156. 

Prince, 21, 100,153, 157, 205, 206, 
221, 222, 223, 226, 227, 234, 242. 

Hobart : Hon. Henry, 167. 
" Hobnelia " or " The Spell " : 197. 
Hodges : William, 60, 68. 
Hogarth : 133, 165. 
Holcroft : Thomas, 22, 43, 125, 126, 
128, 133 to 135, 138 to 141, 196,235. 

Holcroft : Mrs., 139. 

Holkham: 124, 180. 

Holland : war with, 155. 

Homer: 23. 

Hone : 81. 

Honywood : Lady, 54. 

Hoole: 52. 

Hoppner: 78, 120, 150, 198, 219, 233. 

Hoppy : 26. See also John Opie. 

Hotel de la Rue des Strangers : 173. 

House of Commons: 91, 110, 131, 

213, 243. 

House of Letters : 106, 114. 
House of Lords : 108 to 110, 176. 
Howe : Lord, 96. 
Howitt : Margaret, 142. 

Mary, 142. 

Howitt, Mary : An Autobiography, 


Hudson : Thomas, 52. 
Humboldt : 244, 247. 
Hume's History of England : 68, 69. 
Humphrey : Ozias, 25, 83, 90, 97, 98, 


Hunter : William, 228. 
Hurry : Ives, 105. 
Hyde Park : 43. 

Imlay : Mrs., see Mary Wollstonecraft 


Imported pictures : 140, 141. 
Inchbald : Mrs., 53, 139, 142, 242. 
India : 27, 62, 90. 

" Infant Hercules " of Reynolds : 65. 
Ingestre : 135. 
Ingpen : Mr. Roger, 123. 
Invasion : fears of, 131, 198, 199. 
Invention : of, 221, 223. 
Invention," " Of : (Lect. II), quoted, 

13, 92, 93, 115 to 119. 
Ipswich : 234. 
Ironmonger Lane : 56. 
Islington : 43. 
Italian : Opie's knowledge of, 23. 

music : Opie's love of, 201. 

refugees, 23. 

school, 63. 
States, 174. 
Italy : 31, 160. 

Jackson : 162, 209. 

Mr. (surgeon), 76. 

William (of Exeter), 49. 
Jacobins : 97, 179. 
Jamaica: 9, 10, 11, 32. 
James : Mary, 44, 153. 

Mr. John, 32. 

" Jephthah's Daughter " : 122. 



Jerdan : Autobiography of, quoted, 

Jerningham : family, 152. 

Hon. Prances Lady, 151, 152. 
Lady, 44. 

Letters, 151, 152. 
" Jerome " : of Domenichino, 177. 
Jew " : " An Old, 30, 32, 33. 
" Jew that Shakespeare drew " : 53. 
Jews money-changing: 131. 
Johnson : Dr., 20, 23, 41, 54. 
Journals: House of Commons, 131. 
Lords, 109. 

Kauffmann : Angelica, 42. 
Kemble : Charles, 92, 213. 

Mrs., 157. 
Kennedy : John, 243. 
Kensington : 43. 

Palace, 37. 
Kenyon : Lord, 72. 
Keppel : Admiral, 67. 
Keswick: 215. 

Hall, 151. 
Kett family : 156. 
Kew: 83. 

King's Bench : Court of, 108. 

King's Theatre : 68. 

Kingsbridge : 72. 

Kneebone of Helston : Old, 32, 33. 

Knill : John, 20. 

Kosciusco : 69, 183 to 185. 

Lafayette : Marquis dc, 184, 247. 
Lamb : Charles, quoted, 52, 104. 
Lamb : Final Memorials of Charles, 

quoted, 56. 

Lamb : Lady Caroline, 142, 244. 
Lamb and the Lloyds : quoted, 124. 
Lamb's Conduit Fields : 43. 
Landscape painting: 167. 
Landscapes : Opie's, 68, 71, 72. 
Landseer : John, 222. 
Langley: 156, 157. 
Lanhainsworth : 1. 
Lasterie : Comte de, 186. 
Lastman : 38. 

Latin : Opie's knowledge of, 23. 
" Lavinia " : see Miss Talbot. 
Lawrence : Sir Thomas, 28, 75, 78, 

89, 90, 198, 219, 238. 
Le Brun: 175. 
Lectures on Painting : Opie's, 21, 84, 

163, 175, 218, 221, 222, 223, 243. 

quoted, 13, 38 to 40, 84 to 
88, 92 to 94, 115 to 119, 177, 178, 
195, 208, 209, 241. 

syllabus of Opie's. 221. 

Leicester : Earl of, 180. See also 

Fields, 26, 35. 

Sir J., 233, 235. 

Square, 56, 122. 
Leisure Hour : quoted, 249. 
Le Mariage de Figaro : 126. 

Leslie, R.A. : C. R., quoted, 12, 64, 

66, 83, 84. 
L'Estrange : Rev. A. G., 243. 

Sir Roger, 159. 
Leydon : 38. 

Library of the Fine Arts : quoted, 

28, 29, 46, 150. 
Light : 13, 65, 60, 84. 
Lincoln : Bishop of, 108. 
Lincoln's Inn Fields : 52. 
Linnaean Society : 142. 
Linwood : Miss, 122. 
Literary Panorama : quoted, 18, 

Lloyd : Robert, quoted, 124. 

- Mrs., 130. 
Lockinge : 54. 
Lodi : 187. 

London : Betty Opie in, 34. 

Correspondence Society, 96. 

dangers of, 42 to 43. 
-fog, 34, 77, 153. 

need to be known in, 34. 
Lonsdale : 226. 

Lord Mayor : suggestion for, 89. 
Lords : House of, 108 to 110. 
" Lo Spasimo " : 174. 
Loss of American Colonies : 27. 
" Lost Opie " : the, 99. 
Lottery : 56. 

Loughborough : Lord, 108. 
Louis XIV and James II : 76. 

XVI : 170. 

court dress, 61. 
-XVIII: 244. 

- Philippe : 247. 
Loutherbourg : Mrs., 122. 

- Philip, 122, 233. 
Louvre : 172, 173, 174 to 178. 

" Love-sick Maid " : the, 164. 
Lowestoft : 156. 
Lowther : Lord, 235. 
Lucas : E. V., quoted, 124. 
Lucasian Professor of Mathematics : 


Lunardi : 171. 
Luttrell : Mr., 76. 
Lyons : Archbishop of, see Fesch. 
Lyric Odes : cost of publishing, 


quoted, 29, 45, 47 to 49. 



Macaulay : 38. 
Macbeth : 92. 

Lady, 92 to 94. 

Mackintosh : Rt. Hon. Sir James, 23, 

134, 142, 197, 243. 
R. J., 243. 
Macklin : Charles, 43, 53, 54. 

Thomas, Bible, 68. 

Poets, 68, 75, 76. 

McSycophant" : "Sir Pertinax, Mack- 
lin as, 53. 

" Madonna del Peschi " : 174. 

Malta: 198. 

Mansion House : 89, 90. 

Marbles : Elgin and Townley, 209. 

" March to Finchley " : Hogarth's, 

Marengo : 185. 

Margate : 63. 

Maria Theresa : Empress, 75. 

Marie Amelie : Queen, 247. 

Marriage : Holcroft's fourth, 139. 

Nollekens's, 160, 161. 

Opie's first, 44. 

Opie's second, 129. 

register of Opie's, 109. 
Martin : Mrs. Herbert, 174, 204. 
Martineau : family, 199, 201. 

Harriet, 127, 148, 199. 
Martineau : Autobiography of Harriet, 


Mary Magdalene : 142. 

" Mary of Modena quitting Eng- 
land ": 68. 

Mary Queen of Scots: 81. 

Marylebone : 57. 

Church, 129. 
Masquerier : De, 186. 
Massena : General, 193. 
Master of the Rolls : 72. 
Matrimonial Causes Act : 110. 
"Mauritius Moonshine": 137. 
Mead : Dr. Richard, 230. 
Measure for Measure : 82. 
Medmenham : Monks of, 67. 
Memoirs of the Royal Academi- 
cians : 37, 92. 

Memories of Seventy Years : 174, 204. 
Mercier : 139. 

Louisa, see Mrs. Holcroft. 
Method of Painting : Opie's, 17, 44, 

50, 82, 83, 147, 148, 200, 215, 237 

to 240. 
Meyer : 79. 

Michael Angelo : 46, 63, 136, 206. 
Midas : 40. 
Middlesex: 109. 
Millbank: 171. 


Milton : 23, 59, 74. 

Gallery, 150. 

Miniature Painters : 69, 71, 106. 
Miniatures by Opie : 106. 
Mineralogy : Professor of, 53. 
Mint : the, 131. 
Miranda : Mrs. Heathcote as, 224, 


Head from the, 235. 
Mitford : Life of Mary Russell, 242. 
Mithian : 1, 4, 5. 
Mitre Court : 104. 
Mob law : 28, 95, 96. 
Modelling : in butter, 71. 

in wax, 69, 70. 

Molesworth : Mrs., see Miss Katherine 

St. Aubyn. 
Moncton : Miss, 41, 135. See also 

Countess of Cork. 
" Monsieur Tonson " : 90. 
Montague : Mr. Basil, 123. 

Mrs., 32, 42. 
Montgolfier : 1 70. 

Monthly Magazine : 204, 208. 
Montrose : Duchess of, 43. 
Moore, Sanders, and Lacy : 64. 

Thomas, 244. 

Moral Lectures on Heads : 104. 
Morcom : Captain, 59. 
Moreau : General, 193. 
Morning Chronicle : quoted, 107, 131. 
Morning Post : quoted, 54, 143. 
Morris : Mr. Burton, 109. 
Moser : Mary, 72, 130. 
Mother : portrait of Opie's, 2. 
" Murder of Archbishop Sharpe " ; 
143, 144. 

Nankivell : Benjamin, 4. 

Mrs. Benjamin, 5, 7, 1 6. 

Joyce, 16. 

Thomas, 16. 

Napier : Lady Sarah, 244. 

Lord, 108. 

Napoleon : see Bonaparte. 
National Gallery: 18, 26, 65, 123, 

124, and App. C. 

Portrait Gallery : 36, 53, 123, 213, 
and App. C. 

Naval Memorial : scheme for, 153 to 

155, 242, 243. 
Nelson : 70, 155. 

Monument, 155. 

" Nelville " : Lord, see Lord John 

Newgate : 97. 
Newmarket: 125, 126. 
Newnham Paddox : 197. 



Newton : Isaac, 84. 
Nil Admirari : Wolcot's, 136. 
Nile : victory of the, 155. 
Nisi Prius Court : 214, 244, 248. 
Nollekens: Joseph, 43, 80, 101, 137, 
155, 159 to 163, 180, 191, 192, 233. 

Mrs., 71, 137, 159 to 163. 
Nollekens and his Times : quoted, 

7, 25, 130, 137, 161, 181, 191. 

Norfolk: 159. 

Northcote, R.A. : James, 56 to 58, 60, 
67, 68, 72, 73, 76, 78, 80 to 82, 89, 
90, 134, 138, 150, 158, 159, 198, 
205 to 207, 210, 224, 233, 236, 237, 

- quoted, 30, 31, 56, 58, 73, 74, 107, 
120, 226. 

Northcote : Conversations with Jaa. 
Ward, quoted, 19, 51, 53, 208. 

" Norval " : see Master Betty. 

Norwich : 95, 124, 128 to 132, 140, 
142, 151 to 153, 156, 166 to 169, 
171, 172, 201 to 204, 214, 215, 218, 
225, 234, 235, 243, 245, 246. 

artists, 167, 168. 

Assizes, 214, 244. 

Corresponding Society, 169. 

- Elections, 203, 204. 

Mayor of, 167. 

Museum Art Gallery, 167, 168. 

Society of Artists, 167. 

Notes and Queries : quoted, 10, 156. 
Nottingham Place : 148. 
Nuneham Park : 33. 
Nurse, deceased : Executors of R., 

Nut Street : 25. 

Gates : Mark, 4, 12. 
O'Connor : Arthur, 134. 
Octagon Chapel : 132, 246. 
O'Keefe : 202. 
Old Bailey : 97. 

man, 60, 63. 

" Old Man's Head " : an, 43. 

Old Sarum Election : 202. 

" Old Woman " : an, 43, 54. 

Old Woman " : " Head of an, 114. 

Opie : Abraham, 1. 

Amelia, 2, 3, 19, 70, 96, 97, 100, 
101, 105, 119, 120, 124 to 130, 
132 to 136, 138 to 142, 144 to 149, 
151 to 153, 156 to 161, 163, 164, 
166 to 190, 192 to 204, 211, 214 to 
227, 231, 232, 234 to 237, 239, 242 
to 249. 

Memoir of John Opie by, 

quoted, 2, 100, 101, 119, 120, 144, 

145, 146, 164, 196, 197, 210, 218, 
222 to 224, 231,242. 

Opie : Memorials of Amelia, quoted, 
100, 125, 129, 130, 149, 153, 
159, 164, 168, 175, 176, 184, 190, 
192, 193, 202, 203, 217, 218, 219. 

Opie: Amelia (jun.), 247. 

-Betty, 1 to 5, 35, 150, 152, 153, 
224, 228, 231, 247. 

Edward (father), 1, 3 to 6, 8, 22, 
34, 35. 

(nephew), 1, 35. 

Mrs., 35. 

(grandfather), 1. 

(great-nephew), 2, 21, 168, 247. 

Elizabeth, see Betty Opie. 

James, 57. See also John Opie. 

John, R.A., 1 to 8, 10, 12 to 
26, 27, 28 to 38, 41, 42, 43, 44 to 
53, 54 to 68, 70, 71 to 78, 80 to 84, 
85, 86, 87, 88, 89 to 94, 95 to 103, 
104, 105 to 112, 113, 114, 115, 119 
to 122, 123 to 125, 126 to 130, 131, 
132 to 136, 137, 138 to 153, 155, 
156 to 158, 159, 160, 161, 163 to 
167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173 to 
175, 176 to 180, 181, 182, 190, 192, 
194 to 205, 207 to 229, 231 to 243, 
245, 247. 

birth and parentage, 1, 2; 

education, 2, 3, 12 to 14, 22, 23 ; 
first artistic efforts, 3 et seq. ; life 
with Wolcot, 8, 12, 14, 15, 22 
to 26, 28 to 33 ; as travelling 
artist, 16, 17, 19, 21 ; character- 
istics of his painting, 17 to 19, 31, 
44, 50, 54, 65, 66, 80, 95, 194, 200, 
215, 237 to 240; patrons, 20, 32, 
33, 52, 55 to 57, 60, 65 ; his charges, 
5, 16, 20, 35, 60, 76; unfinished 
portraits, 20, 21 ; at Prideaux 
Place, 21 ; first love, 23, 44 ; 
moves to Helston, 24 ; to Exeter 
and London, 25 ; exhibits, 25, 43, 
49, 54, 59, 60, 64, 67, 68, 72, 95, 
107, 134, 135, 138, 142, 143, 144, 
164, 168, 169, 195, 197, 198, 205, 
211, 213, 214, 224, 225; agree- 
ment with Wolcot, 25 ; at Orange 
Court, 26, 41 to 43, 45 ; success, 
29, 30, 156, 168, 199; neglect, 50, 
1 64 ; introduced to Reynolds, 30, 
31 ; rivalry with Northcote, 31, 
58, 65, 226 ; friendship with North- 
cote, 31, 51, 74, 107, 134, 158, 159, 
224 ; Royal patronage, 32 to 34, 
36, 156, 220 ; country visits, 44, 
47, 61, 72, 73, 114, 115, 119, 140, 



151, 156, 157, 163, 216 to 218; 
first marriage, 44, 45 ; quarrel with 
Wolcot, 45 to 47, 58, 59 ; moves to 
Great Queen Street, 52 ; his only 
etching, 55 ; paints for Boydell, 
56, 57, 68 ; elected A.R.A., 60 ; 
visits Antwerp, 62 ; elected R.A., 
68 ; divorce, 107 to 110 ; marriage 
proposal declined, 112; duped by 
Miss Provis, 120, 121 ; meets 
Amelia Alderson, 124 to 127 ; 
second marriage, 129, 199; re- 
moves to Berners Street, 130 ; 
final breach with Wolcot, 136 ; 
applies for Professorship, 149 ; 
retires in favour of Fuseli, 149 ; the 
Naval Pantheon, 1 53 ; studio at 
Norwich, 166, 167 ; in Paris, 172 
et seq. ; Royal Institution lectures, 
211; Professor of Painting, 213; 
estrangements from friends, 219, 
224; delivers R.A. lectures, 221, 
222 ; rumours of knighthood, 216 ; 
illness, 223 et aeq. ; death, 226 ; 
funeral, 231 et seq. ; value of his 
estate, 236, 237 ; personal appear- 
ance, 7, 21, 22, 28, 29, 30, 46, 207 ; 
character, 6, 14, 15, 17, 19, 22, 28, 
50, 51, 144, 145, 150, 151 to 153, 
195 to 197, 199, 201, 202, 204, 205, 
208 to 210, 218, 219, 222, 226, 235, 
236 237 

Mary, 1 to 6, 21, 22, 34, 35, 83, 
101, 105, 113, 150 to 153, 213, 214. 

( ne 'e Bunn), 44, 45, 47, 58, 60, 

99 to 111, 141, 199,200. 

William, 1. 

Opie and his Works: quoted, 20, 
22, 31, 33, 34, 36, 58, 110, 113, 114, 
124, 156, 169, 175, 197, 208, 214, 
223, 232, 240. 

Oppy : 25, 26, 57. See also John Opie. 

Optics : 84. 

Orange Court : 26, 29, 35, 41, 45, 
47, 52. 

Ostend : 63. 

Othello : 92. 

Otto : Mr., 70. 

Ouvry : Mr., 22. 

Ovid : 91. 

Owen : Rev. John, 62, 64, 78, 82, 83, 
108, 201, 208, 237. 

William, 224, 233. 
Oxford : 78. 

Padley : portraits, 47. 

Sylvanus, 47. 
Padstow : 19. 

Paer's Agnese : 157. 
Paine : Thomas, 95, 133. 
Painter and his Wife : the, 247. 
Painting : Lectures on, see Lectures 

on Painting. 

Painting: Professor of, 213, 219. 
Pall Mall : 18, 56, 69, 70, 190. 
Pamphlets : 80 to 82. 
Pantheon : 170. 

Naval, 153 to 155. 

at Rome, 153. 

" Paolo and Francesca" : by Fuseli, 

Paris : 70, 172 to 179, 182 to 190, 

194, 198, 228, 247. 
Parker : Mr. Lyster, 235. 
Parkes : 71. 
Parliament : 176. 

Acts of, 56, 108 to 110, 202. 
Parr: Dr. Samuel, 124, 134, 142, 

Parrot : Opie's cat and, 203. 

painted by Opie, 20. 

Pasquin " : " Anthony, see John Wil- 

" Pastoral Courtship " : 143. 
Patrons : Art, 52, 55. 
Paul : Mr. C. Kegan, 123,141. 
Paulet House : 52. 
Peace : Justice of the, 160. 

of Amiens, 169, 172. 

with France, 70. 

"Pearl" : the, by Raphael, 174. 

Pegasus : 94, 95. 

Penhale : 33. 

Penrose : 19. 

Penryn : 19, 25. 

Pentreath : Dolly, 20 55. 

etching, 55. 
Penwarne : Edward, 35 

family, 20. 

John, 35. 

John (jun.), 22, 35, 232, 233. 
Penzance : 19, 20. 
"Pequah " : 160, 161. 
Perspective : Professor of, 78 to 82. 
" Peter Pindar " : works of, 11, 59, 

quoted, 29, 45, 47 to 49. See 

also Wolcot. 

Peterborough : bishopric of, 10. 
Petty : Lord H., 214. 
Phillips : H., 141. 

R.A., 172, 222. 
Picture dealing : 139 to 141. 
Pictures : Opie's, buried, 323. 
destroyed by fire, 135, 296, 307, 

308, 344, 356. 



Pictures: dilapidated, 113, 114, 333. 
Pilkington's Dictionary: 121, 134, 


Pindar " : " Peter, see Wolcot. 
Pitcairn : Dr., 225, 228, 229, 230. 

- Ward, 228. 
Place : Francis, 96. 
Plumptre : Miss Anne, 172. 
Plymouth : 25, 31, 205, 206. 
Poets : Macklin's, 68. 
Political Justice : 111. 
Polvvhele : John, 15. 

Rev. Richard, 75. 

quoted, 1, 2, 3, 14, 15, 17, 

22, 52, 76, 132, 150, 151, 152, 153, 
168, 247. 

Ponsonby : Lady F., 211. 
Pope : Alexander, 23. 

Miss, 62. 
-the, 174. 

Portman Square : 42. 

Portraits of John Opie : 105, 113, 

Poussin : N., 175. 

Powel : 134. 

President : Norwich Society of Ar- 
tists, 167. 

Royal Academy, 37, 78 to 82, 121, 
188, 211, 231, 233. 

death and burial of, 90, 91, 


election of, 91. 

resignation of, 80. 

Royal College of Surgeons, 148, 

Price : Mrs. (afterwards Lady), 20, 
134, 135. 

Sir Rose, 20, 135. 
Prideaux : family, 20, 21. 

Brune : family, 21. 

- Place, 21, 22. 

Prince Regent : 71, 137, 245. See 
also Prince of Wales. 

of Wales, 27, 137. See also Prince 

Princess : Charlotte, 156, 220. 

- Mary, 220. 

Royal, 29, 156. 

- of Wales, 245. 
Prior : Matthew, 229. 
Proctor : 165, 166. 
Professor of : Anatomy, 228. 

Painting, 149, 213, 215, 219. 

Perspective, 78 to 82. 
Profile portraits : 104, 105. 
Pronunciation of Opie : 26. 
Provis : Miss, 120, 121. 
Prussia : King of, 165, 244. 

Pupils : Opie's, 62, 105, 207, 208. 
" Puzzle " : Mr., 104. 

Quakers: 25, 96, 130, 148, 245 to 

Quarrel with Wolcot : 45 to 47, 58, 


Quarterly Review : 136. 
Queen : Anne, 229. 
Caroline, 208. 

Charlotte, 29, 32, 33, 34, 36, 70, 

RadcliSe : Dr., 229. 

travelling fellowship, 228. 
Raimbach : Abraham, 172, 232. 
Ramberg : 67. 

Ranelagh : 171. 

Raphael: 31, 63, 174, 177, 178. 

Cartoons of, 114 to 119. 
Rashleigh family : 20. 
Rasselas : 160. 

Ray : Miss, 68. 

Read: Cordelia, 112, 113. 

John, 112, 114. 

Mrs. John, see Jane Beetham. 
Rebecca : see Lady F. Ponsonby. 
Receipts for paintings : 20, 76. 
Receptions : Mrs. Opie's, 132, 244. 
Records of my Life : 213 ; quoted, 7, 

45, 46. 
Redding : Cyrus, quoted, 8, 15, 22, 

59, 90, 100. 
Redgrave's Century of Painters: 57, 

65, 226. 

Dictionary : 57. 
Redruth : 5. 

Reflections on the French Revolution : 


Reform Societies : 96, 97, 169. 
Rembrandt : 14, 33, 36, 38 to 40, 63, 


dangerous to imitate, 40. 
Reminiscences of S. T. Coleridge and 

R. Southey : quoted, 127. 
Republic : Theatre of the, 179. 
Reynolds : Miss, 64, 83, 191. 

Sir Joshua, 12, 21, 28, 30 to 33, 35, 
41, 48, 52, 56, 63 to 66, 72, 75, 78 to 
82, 84, 89, 92, 93, 99, 121, 134, 191, 
231 to 234, 236, 239. 

Reynolds : Life of (Hawkins), 544. 
(Leslie and Taylor), 43, 78. 
Reynolds " : " Life of (Pilkington's 

Dictionary), 121, 134, 214. 
Reynolds : Memoirs of (Northcote), 

quoted, 31. 
Reynolds : S. W., 203, 217. 



Reynolds's Life of Fuaeli : 150. 

Ricardo : Mr., 25, 35. 

Richardson: 118. 

Richelieu : Hotel, 178. 

Mar6chale, 178. 

Richmond : Archdeacon of, see Rev. 

John Owen. 
Richter : H., 57. 
Rigaud : 80, 120. 
" Rights of Man " : 95. 
Riley : G., 57. 
Riots : Bread, 102. 

Gordon, 28. 

" Rizpah " : 169. 

Rizzio " : " Death of, 64, 65, 66, 75, 


Road to Ruin : the, 126. 
Robberds : J. W., 215, 216, 225. 
Robespierre : 185. 
Robinson : Diary of Henry Crabbe, 

quoted, 75, 136. 
Robson : T., 104. 
Rogers : Ann, 200. 

Captain, 19. 

Mr. J. Jope, quoted, 20, 22, 31, 33, 
34, 36, 58, 59, 61, 68, 71, 110, 113, 
114, 124, 156, 169, 197, 208, 214, 
223, 232, 240. 

Samuel, 174, 214. 

Rogers, Samuel : and his Con- 
temporaries, 174. 

Roland : Mme., 185. 

Rome : 78, 166. 

Romney : George, 28, 64, 78. 

Rooks : Eleanor, 200. 

Roscius : the young, see Betty. 

Rosenvale : 16, 32. 

Rosewarne : 33. 

Rosslyn : Lady, 217. 

Rotterdam : 63. 

Rowlandson : 137. 

Royal Academy : 12, 18, 21, 28, 38, 
89, 90, 91, 137, 210, 211, 212, 216, 

Catalogue, 165, 226. 
Council, 82, 211, 212. 

dinner, 163, 191, 192. 

dissensions, 78 to 82, 89, 90, 

211, 212. 

elections, 78 to 82, 90, 149. 

exhibitions, 43, 49, 54, 57, 68, 

72, 75, 94, 105, 107, 112, 120, 134, 
142, 143, 149, 164, 168, 169, 180, 
195, 197, 205, 211, 215, 224, 225, 
226, 235, 251 to 257. 

General Assembly, 80, 211, 


Hanging Committee, 81, 149. 

Royal Academy : Hon. Sec. for 
Foreign Correspondence, 205. 
-Keeper of, 150,213,233. 

Lectures, 74, 213. 

penalty for not exhibiting, 72. 

Professors, 149,213, 228, 233, 


Rules, 72, 93, 211, 213. 

Schools, 37, 90. 

Secretary, 80. 

suspension of members, 211, 
Visitors, 155. 

collection, 33, 34. 

College of Physicians, 230. 

College of Surgeons, 233. 

Cornwall Polytechnic Society, 19. 

family, 32, 33, 137, 143, 156. 

Institution, 56, 221, 222. 

Marriage Act, 41. 
Rozier : M. Pilatre de, 170. 
Rubens : 63, 84, 140. 
Rugeley: 126. 

Russia : Czar of, 244, 245. 
Rustan : 176. 

Sadler's Wells : 103. 
St. Agnes : 1, 2, 8, 21, 32, 34, 150. 
St. Andrew's Hall, Norwich : 166. 
St. Anne's (Jamaica): 10, 11. 
St. Aubyn : collection, 54. 

family, 20. 

Miss Katherine, 55, 72, 208. 

-Sir John, M.P., 19, 55, 227, 


St. Botolph's, Aldgate : 44, 109. 
St. George and the Dragon : 61. 
St. George's parish : 166. 
St. Helena : 185. 
St. Levan : Lord, 71. 
St. Martin-in-the-Fields : 44, 109, 111. 
St. Martin's Lane : 55. 
St. Michael's Mount : 68, 71, 72, 134, 

St. Paul's : 91, 100, 120, 231, 234. 

crypt of, 150. 
St. Winnow : 5. 
Sale of pictures : 44,71, 113, 124, 143, 

156, 169, and App. C. 
Salisbury : Lady, 33. 
Salisbury Journal : 74. 
" Salutation " : the, Raphael, 174. 
" Samuel and Eli " : 239. 
Sandby : 80, 82. 
Sanders : Mr., 64, 201. 
Sandwich : 171. 
Earl of, 67, 68. 
Saxon : Mr., 106. 



Bayers : Dr. Frank, 142, 151, 215, 216, 

225, 228. 

- Essay on Beauty, 142. 
Sayera : Life of Dr. Frank, 142. 
Schomburg House : 1 90. 
" School " : 54. 
"Schoolmistress": 54. 
Scobell family : 20. 
Scorrier : 19. 

Scotland : historiographer for, 140. 
Scott : Sir Walter, 157. 
Scraps relating to the Fine Arts : 

134, 144. 

" Scrutator " : 156. 
Seale : Mr., 54. 
Sebright sisters : 1 57. 
Secretary for Foreign Affairs : 216. 
Senate : French, 175, 176, 178. 
" Serena rescued by Calepine " : 127. 
Shakespeare : 23, 74, 93, 202. 

Gallery, 56, 64, 93. 

Illustrations to, 63, 64, 68. 
Shakespeareshire " : " Mrs. Montague 

of, 42. 
Sharpe : "Conversation," 174, 197, 


Mrs., 148. 

Shee : Sir M. A., 150, 155, 172, 198, 

214, 233, 242. 
Shee : Life of Sir M. A., by his son, 

quoted, 73. 
Shelley : Lady, 123. 

Mary (nee Godwin), 123, 124. 

Sir Percy, 124. 

Percy Bysshe, 123. 
" Shepherd Boy " : 248. 
Sheridan : Richard Brinsley, 52. 
Shields : William, 68. 

Shoveller : Mary, see Mrs. R. Bowyer. 

Shrewsbury and Talbot: Earl of, 135. 

" Shy lock " : Macklin as, 53. 

Siddons : Mrs., 53, 92, 199. 

Simonds : Mr. John, 57. 

Slavery : Abolition movement, 216. 

" Sleeping Girl " : 12. 

" Sleeping Nymph and Cupid ": 59,60. 

Sligo : Marchioness of, 72. 

Smart : 69. 

Smiles and Tears : 157. 

Smirke : R., 120, 155, 210, 211, 232. 

Smith : J. T., quoted, 7, 25, 37, 52, 

56, 74, 130, 137, 163, 166, 181, 190, 


Sir James Edward, 142. 

Lady, as a Gipsy, 142. 

Rev. Sidney, 132, 211, 246. 

William, 233. 
children of, 144. 

Soane : Sir John, 212, 233. 
Society : of Artists, 25, 57. 
of Arts, 67. 

of Friends, 130. 
Soho Square : 68. 

Somerset House : 18, 28, 67, 205, 224 


" Sons of Neptune " Club : 37. 
South Kensington : 114, 134. 
Southey : Dr. Henry, 210. 
-Robert, 127, 142, 215, 216, 225. 
Southgate : 133. 
Southill: 216 to 218. 
Sowden : Captain, 171. 
Spain : war with, 155. 
Spanish: Raphael's, 174. 

silver issued, 131. 
Spencer : Lord Robert, 179. 
Spenser : Edmund, 127. 
Stael : Mme., 55, 244. 

" Staffordiensis " : 75. 
Stage-coaches : 73, 74. 
Stanhope : Earl, 233. 
Stannard : Mr. Joseph, 166. 

Mrs. Joseph, 166. 
Stark : 167. 

" Statesmen " : Westmoreland, 103. 
Stewardson : Thomas William, 208. 
Stocks : depreciation of, 132. 
Stonehouse, Devon : 72. 
Stothard : Thomas, 120. 
Stratford : Lord, 140. 

Place, 190. 
Stratton : Mrs., 71. 
Studio : Fuseli's, 72. 

Opie's, 58, 106, 140, 149, 166, 167, 

Sun : the, 100, 213. 

Surgeons : President, Royal College 

of, 148. 

" Sweet Poll of Plymouth " : 59. 
Swiss Guards : 179, 187. 
Sydney : William Connor, quoted, 43. 

Talbot : Lady Charlotte, 33. 

Miss, 167, 169. 
Talfourd : T. N., 56. 
Talma: 192. 
Tassie : Mrs., 56. 
Tasso : 52. 
Tavistock : 61. 
Taylor : Dr., 54. 

Isaac, 67. 

Isaac (jun.), 1, 67. 

John (of Norwich), 179. 

John (of the Sun), 141, 213; 
quoted, 7, 45, 46, 48, 54, 100, 110, 



Taylor : Mrs. John (of Norwich), 105, 
125, 128, 142, 147, 149, 153, 158, 
163, 169. 

Tom, 73, 207, 211. 

William (of Norwich), 142, 151, 
215, 216. 

Taylor : Memoir of William (Rob- 

berds's), quoted, 215, 216, 225. 
Temper : 176, 179, 185. 
Temple Bar : 97, 234. 

of Health: 122, 190. 
Terrick : Bishop, 10, 120. 
Thackeray : W. M., 71, 120, 244. 
Theatre: 201. 

Belfast, 213. 

Covent Garden, 126. 

francais, 126, 192. 

of the Republic, 179. 
Thelwall: 97, 136. 

Thomson, R.A. : Henry, 105, 203, 
208, 219, 224, 225, 226, 233. 

Thoughts on the Present State of the 
Fine Art* : 243. 

" Three Indian Chiefs " : 38. 

Thumbnail likeness : 71. 

Timbs : John, quoted, 50. 

Times : the, quoted, 102. 

" Timon of Athens " : 76, 77. 

Tintoretto : 67. 

Titian : 63, 84, 121, 209. 

" Titianus Redivivus " : 121. 

Tone : Wolfe, 185. 

Tonkin : John, 2, 5. 

Thomas, 3. 

Tooke : Home, 97, 169, 202, 248. 
Torchlight effects : 65, 66. 
Torr Abbey : 235. 
Toulon : taking of, 185. 
Tower : the, 243. 
Townley : Mr., 209. 
Townsend : Charlotte, 17. 

Mrs. Joseph, see Joyce Nankivell. 
Traditions and Recollections : quoted, 

15, 76. 

Trafalgar Square : 18, 155. 
" Transfiguration " : Raphael's, 177. 
Tree of Liberty : 95, 142. 
Tregaskis : Mr. James, 74, 76. 
Tregellas: 3,57, 111,208. 
Trelawne : 9. 
Trelawney : Lady, 9, 11. 

Sir William, 9, 10, 11. 
Trengwainton : 20. 

Tresham, R.A. : Henry, 211, 212, 223, 


Tresillick : 33. 
Trevenen : Rev. John, 33. 

Matthew, 33. 

Trevennen (or Trevenen) : Old, 33. 
Trinity College, Camb. : 68. 
Trotter : J. B., 178, 179. 
True Briton : the, 153, 155, 242. 
Truro: 1,2,7,8,11,12,16,20,24,33. 

Grammar School, 2. 
Tuileries : 179, 186. 

Turner : J. W. M., 75, 163, 172, 198, 

Mr. Dawson, 167. 
Tuthill: 123. 

Tyler : William, 78, 79. 

Unfinished paintings : 20, 21, 54, 235. 
" Unfortunate Traveller " : the, 168. 
Unnamed portraits : 68 and App. C. 
Upper Street, Islington : 228. 

Vandyck : 63, 84, 140. 

Van Rhyn : see Rembrandt. 

Vaughan : Charles Richard, 228. 

Dr., 224, 228. 
Vauxhall : 101, 171. 
Velasquez : 31. 
Venetian : secret, 120, 121. 

School, 143. 
Venice : 104. 

" Venus and Adonis " : Titian's, 


Vere (Jamaica) : 11. 
Vernon : Sir Edward, 171. 
Vesey : Mrs., 42. 
Victoria and Albert Museum Library : 


Vienna : 185. 
Vivian family : 20. 
Voltaire : 106, 133. 

Waagen's Art and Artists in Eng- 
land : quoted, 165. 

Wages : scale of, 102. 

Waldegrave : Countess, see Maria, 
Duchess of Gloucester. 

Wale : Samuel, 78. 

Wales : 47. 
-Prince of, 27, 71. 

Walker : Mrs., 5. 

Walpole : Sir Edward, 41. 

Horace, 36,41,43. 

quoted, 10, 36, 41, 42, 49, 54, 68. 

Walsingham : Hon. Mr. and Mrs., 33. 

Lord, 108, 109, 110. 
Wantage : Lady, 21, 54. 
War : Peninsular, 244. 

with America, 27, 70. 

with France, 56, 67, 131, 132, 198, 

with Spain, 131, 132. 



Ward : James, 19, 51, 53, 103, 107, 

208, 214. 

Warde : Lady, and children, 200, 235. 
Warren : 29. 

Admiral Sir J. B., 57. 
Washington : George, 70, 176. 
Waterloo: 174. 

Waveney : river, 204. 
Wax : portraits in, 69, 70. 
Webb: 118. 

Welch : Miss Mary, see Mrs. Nolle- 

Miss Nancy, 161, 162. 
Wellington : 244, 245. 

West, P.R.A. : Benjamin, 17, 18, 32, 
33, 36, 37, 47, 48, 56, 64, 75, 82, 
83, 91, 115, 134, 136, 172, 188, 233, 

Westall : 120, 198, 205. 

Westcott: 72. 

Westerdale : Miss Alice, 71. 

Westminster : 160. 

- Abbey, 70. 

Weymouth: 109. 

Wheeler: 6. 

Whig party: 96, 149, 180. 

Whitbread: Lady Elizabeth, 217. 

Miss, 217. 

M.P. : Samuel, 176, 216, 218, 

White : Henry Kirke, 202. 

Lydia, 244. 
White's: 244. 
Whitten : Wilfred, 137. 
Whitworth : Lord, 198. 
Widow : Opie and the, 23, 24. 
Wilkes: 96. 

Wilkie : Sir David, 65, 216, 217. 
Williams : Sir Daniel, 235. 
-Helen Maria, 185. 194. 
John ("A. Pasquin "), 37, 38, 91, 
92, 95, 143, 144. 

Mr. John, 19. 
Wilmot: 71. 

Wilson : John Peter, 223, 235. 

-Richard, 12, 48, 165, 166. 

Wimbledon : 202. 

Windham: 114, 115, 120, 169, 171, 

Windsor Castle : 36, 71, 114. 
Chapel Royal, 71. 

Woburn Abbey : 217. 

Wolcot : John, 7 to 12, 14 to 16, 22 
to 26, 28 to 33, 37, 38, 45 to 49, 58, 
59, 71, 97, 98, 136 to 138, 145, 163, 
190. See also " Peter Pindar." 

Wolcot's epigrams : 9, 190. 

copyright : 45. 
Wollstonecraft ; Mary, 72. See also 

" Woman's Story at a Winter's 

Fire " : 59. 

Woodhouse : Dr., 225, 233. 
Worlidge : 52. 
Worsted pictures : 122. 
Wright: 136, 137. 
Wurtemburg: Duke of, 156. 
Wyatt : R.A., 212. 

Yenn : 212. 

Yorktown : defeat at, 27. 

Zeuxis : 1 95. 
Zoffany : 80. 

Printed by Uauell, Watson A Viney, Ld., London and Aylttbury. 


UCLA-Art Library 

ND 497 061E12 

L 006 2.32. 541