Chantry Fine Art Collection
Subject: Portrait of James Scott DD
Artist: Thomas Beech (1738-
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-
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 -
This portrait, of James Scott DD (1735-
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