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Henry Kirke White

(1785-1806), Poet

Regency Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 4 portraits
Initially a clerk in a legal practice, White decided to pursue a career in the church. To raise funds for this move he published a small volume of poems in 1803, which was not successful. In 1805, he began studying at Cambridge where he became a highly regarded scholar. However, the punishing regime he set himself made him ill and he died of consumption at the age of twenty-one. After his death a large quantity of verse and prose was found among his papers, which was published as The Remains of Henry Kirke White with an Account of his Life (1807). This volume, which went to ten editions, formed the basis of White's reputation as a promising poet who had died tragically young.

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Henry Kirke White, by Sylvanus Redgate, after  Thomas Barber - NPG 3248

Henry Kirke White

by Sylvanus Redgate, after Thomas Barber
oil on millboard, mid 19th century, based on a work of circa 1805
NPG 3248

Henry Kirke White, by Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey - NPG 93

Henry Kirke White

by Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey
plaster medallion, 1819
NPG 93

Henry Kirke White, by Samuel Freeman, after  Thomas Barber - NPG D8308

Henry Kirke White

by Samuel Freeman, after Thomas Barber
stipple engraving, published 1808
NPG D8308


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