William Esdaile (1758-1837), Banker and print collector
Sitter in 2 portraits
Esdaile began his career as a banking clerk with Ladbrooke & Co. In 1781 he joined the new bank founded by his father and Sir Benjamin Hammet, as Esdaile, Hammet, and Esdaile. On his father's death in 1793 Esdaile took over the firm. With business prospering, he began to collect art. In a picture gallery, library, drawing rooms and staircases he displayed paintings by artists including Albrecht Dürer, Rubens and Thomas Gainsborough. The pride of his collection was a set of prints and drawings kept in specially constructed drawers, including a complete set of etchings by Rembrandt, as well as drawings by Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian and Rubens.