Chantry Fine Art

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Chantry Fine Art Collection

Subject:  Portrait of James Scott DD

Artist:  Thomas Beech (1738-1806)

Provenance:  Signed and dated (below)

Date:  1781   Size:  30”x 25”   Condition:  Very fine

Frame:   18th century but not necessarily the original

Details:  This is a very powerful portrait of the gritty clergyman and political writer, which brilliantly sums up Scott’s character. Beach was famous for portraying his subjects ‘warts and all’.


James Scott was a political writer, son of James Scott, vicar of Barnsley. He was born in Leeds and attended Bradford Grammer School, St.Catherine’s Hall and Trinity College, Cambridge.


He was awarded BA in 1757, MA in 1760., BD in 1768 and DD 1775. He won the Seatonian Prize 3 times and became a Fellow of Trinity in 1758.


He took Holy Orders in 1760 and became a preacher at St.Mary’s in 1760. Later that year he moved to Edmonton where he was appointed curate.


In 1767 he was persuaded by Lord Sandwich to contribute to the Public Advertiser’s diatribes against Lord Bute. He used the pseudonyms ‘Anti-Sejanus’, ‘Philangia’ and ‘Old Slybooks’. He published the series as ‘Fugitive Political Essays’in 1770.


He was appointed to the Rectory of Simonburn, Northumberland, in 1770, through Lord Sandwich’s influence, but was very unpopular and spent the next 20 years and £10000 trying to gather in his tithes.


Eventually his unpopularity reached such heights that he moved back to London where he died in 1814.


He had no children by his wife Anne. In his last years he continued to write many Seatonian poems and various religious works. This is a very powerful portrait which brilliantly sums up Scott’s character.


It is in very fine condition and is signed and dated.


Thomas Beach was born in Milton Abbas, Dorset. He studied at the St.Martin’s Academy and with Reynolds; he was said to be the latter’s favourite pupil.


In 1777 he moved from London to Bath, and it was his success there that prompted him to make the move permanent.


He is known for his strong likenesses and Walpole wrote “His portraits never require the horrid question of - Pray, who is that, Sir? They always explain themselves”.


This portrait, of James Scott DD (1735-1814), exemplifies this description.   


Price: £3,750



Please note the following: Chantry Fine Art are happy to supply buyers with a photographic image of this item and believe that all of the details given are correct to the best of their knowledge. Buyers may wish to carry out their own research and again, Chantry Fine Art are more than happy to supply any information that might assist - you can contact Chantry Fine Art either by telephone or email.

Digital reproduction through cameras and monitor screens may not render the true colours of the portraits.

Prospective buyers may also arrange, by appointment, to view individual items.

Contact details can be found using the ‘contact’ link in the navigation bar at the top and bottom of each page.

We look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your interest in Chantry Fine Art.

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