The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

James Kenney, by Samuel Laurence, circa 1845 - NPG 4263 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

  • Image zoom
  • Buy a print
  • Use this image
  • ShareShare this

James Kenney

by Samuel Laurence
chalk, circa 1845
18 1/8 in. x 13 1/4 in. (460 mm x 337 mm)
Given by Elizabeth ('Elsie') Newmarch, 1962
NPG 4263

Back to main page

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license this image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

Mr Boyd-Otley (Damian MacAdam Kenney)

03 January 2019, 16:05

The subject is James Kenney, father of Charles Lamb Kenney. James Kenney, 1780-1849, is my great-great-great-grandfather. James was born in Limerick, Ireland, in 1780. He was the son of another James Kenney (circa 1760-1800) who was the manager and co-founder of Boodle's Club in St James's Street London. James Kenney, of the portrait, began his working life at the banking house of HERRIES, FARQUAR & Co. It was at this time that his 'poetical and playwright' careers began to take shape. James invented the verb 'To Diddle'. James is recognised as such by the OXFORD DICTIONARY; this came from the character 'Jeremy Diddler' a main character in the farce 'Raising the Wind,' produced at Covent Garden on 5.X.1803. James married Louisa, widow of Thomas Holcroft. Louisa was the daughter of Louis Sebastian Mercier - the French writer and 'father' of science-fiction. When James died in poverty in 1849, Louisa was granted a civil list pension by Queen Victoria of 40 shillings per annum.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.