1 portrait matching 'NPG D16495'
by John Kay
7 5/8 in. x 6 in. (194 mm x 152 mm) plate size; 9 5/8 in. x 7 1/8 in. (244 mm x 181 mm) paper size
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- William Wilson (born circa 1708), Chemist's assistant and centenarian. Sitter in 1 portrait.
Artistback to top
- John Kay (1742-1826), Miniature painter and caricaturist. Artist associated with 287 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This shows us 'Mortar Willie', working as a chemist's assistant though over 100 years old. He turned to this trade aged about 70 after a life as an agricultural labourer and a soldier, and worked in almost every pharmacy in town. He ended his days in the laboratory of a Dr Burt, where he continued to be paid his usual daily wage of 2 shillings though unable to work more than a few hours each day.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Schama, Simon, The Face of Britain: The Nation Through its Portraits, 2015-09-15, p. 480
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- John Kay: Portraits of curious characters (15 December 2007 - 13 July 2008)
Events of 1815back to top
Current affairsJohn and James Leigh Hunt are released from prison after a two year sentence for slandering the Prince of Wales in their outspoken, radical periodical the Examiner.
Corn Laws are introduced to protect against the collapse in prices which would inevitably follow peace with France, prompting riots in London.
Art and scienceHumphry Davy invents the miners' safety lamp though its reception is clouded by William Clanny and George Stephenson who present rival models in the same year.
British Institution arranges first in innovative series of Old Master exhibitions
provoking virulent attack on its patrons for neglecting contemporary art.
InternationalNapoleon returns to France from exile in Elba and resumes power until his abdication on 22 June; a period known as the 'Hundred Days'.
Battle of Waterloo concludes the Anglo-French struggle that had lasted more than a century. Peace of Vienna establishes Britain's global political, economic and imperial dominance which lasts for the next hundred years.