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James Napper Tandy ('Napper Tandy')

3 of 4 portraits of James Napper Tandy

James Napper Tandy ('Napper Tandy'), by James Gillray, published by  Hannah Humphrey, published 8 November 1799 - NPG D12710 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

James Napper Tandy ('Napper Tandy')

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 8 November 1799
9 3/8 in. x 7 1/2 in. (238 mm x 192 mm) paper size
Purchased, 1947
Reference Collection
NPG D12710

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Sitterback to top

Artistsback to top

  • James Gillray (1756-1815), Caricaturist. Artist associated with 881 portraits, Sitter in 7 portraits.
  • Hannah Humphrey (active 1778-1822), Publisher and printseller. Artist associated with 718 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

A Dublin tradesman, Tandy gained fame as a commander in the 'volunteers' - a loyal corps, formed in response to the threat of French invasion. Disillusioned with continuing restrictions on Irish commerce, he joined the radical United Irishmen and attempted to form a coalition between them and the declining 'volunteers'. He was unsuccessful and fled to Paris where he was assigned a small party of troops to create the nucleus of an Irish army. The plot was discovered and Tandy was arrested and sentenced to execution. Napoleon intervened and made his agreement to the Peace of Amiens (1801) dependent on Tandy's freedom. This portrait by James Gillray was taken from life in Tandy's cell in London's Newgate prison. He is depicted in French uniform.