Lemuel Francis Abbott (Leicestershire circa 1760-1803 London) Portrait of Bryan Edwards (1743-1800), half length,
Lot 57
Lemuel Francis Abbott (Leicestershire circa 1760-1803 London) Portrait of Bryan Edwards (1743-1800), half-length,
Sold for £4,200 (US$ 7,162) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Lemuel Francis Abbott (Leicestershire circa 1760-1803 London)
Portrait of Bryan Edwards (1743-1800), half-length, in a brown coat, seated before a green curtain, a view to a Caribbean landscape beyond
oil on canvas
76.3 x 63.3cm (30 1/16 x 24 15/16in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    The Collection of Zachary Bayly Edwards (younger brother of the sitter) and thence by family descent to the present owners.

    ENGRAVED:
    Thomas Holloway (1748-1827), London, 1800

    Born at Westbury, Wiltshire, on 21 May 1743, Bryan Edwards was the eldest son of Bryan Edwards and his wife Elizabeth Bayly. His father died when Edwards was only 13, leaving his widow and six children virtually destitute. Fortunately, his mother had two wealthy brothers in Jamaica, Zachary and Nathaniel Bayly, both of whom took care of the family. At the age of 16, Edwards was shipped off to Jamaica to live with his eldest uncle, Zachary, a man of great political and economic influence on the island. At his uncle's death in 1769 Bayly bequeathed various estates to his young nephew, Edwards, who, four years later, also inherited two plantations and a cattle pen from his friend, Benjamin Hume.

    In 1765, Edwards was elected a member of the house of assembly for the parish of St. George and began his long career in the political life of the colony. After a brief trip back to England in the 1780s, he returned to Jamaica to continue his political career, a tumultuous period which saw the latter part of the America War of Independence, the French Revolution, slave revolts in the colonies and the campaign to end the slave trade.

    After an abandoned attempt to help the colonists of French St. Domingue, Edwards decided to leave Jamaica permanently in 1792. Upon his return to England, Edwards settled in Southampton and became a very successful West India merchant. He was an active voice in defence of the planters in the face of Wilberforce's attacks on the slave trade. Edwards also wrote on West Indian history and his most important work, published in 1793, was History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies. He went on to write extensively on the French colony of St. Domingue and other accounts of the sugar trade and the treatment of slaves.

    Edwards died in on 16 July 1800 at his house, The Polygon, near Southampton, leaving one son, Zachary Hume Edwards, who inherited his great wealth.
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