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Joseph Jekyll (1754-1837), Wit and politician, MP for Calne

Sitter associated with 16 portraits
Jekyll practised law on the western circuit, and wrote comic pieces for Whig newspapers, in particular, the Morning Chronicle and the Evening Statesman. Jekyll entered Parliament as an MP in 1787. He served as Solicitor General and Master in Chancery, but was chiefly remembered for an embarrassing incident in 1798 in which he told the House that an expedition to Ostend had failed. In fact, it was a success as he was forced to acknowledge the following day. He was satirised by James Gillray for this faux pas, in a cartoon that named him 'the little second-sighted lawyer'. Jekyll is best remembered today for writing The Life of Ignatius Sancho, the biography of a black slave.

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