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James Kenney

10 of 38 portraits by Samuel Laurence

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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
Primary Collection
NPG 4263

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Artistback to top

  • Samuel Laurence (1812-1884), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 38 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.

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Events of 1845back to top

Current affairs

Cardinal Newman converts to Roman Catholicism. A leader of the Oxford movement , growing in influence since the 1820s, Newman had raised doubts about the authority of the Anglican church.
Ralph Etwall, MP for Andover, demands an inquiry into the administration of the Andover workhouse, which leads to the abolition of the Poor Law Commission, and resolution of Parliament to improve workhouse conditions.

Art and science

The American poet, short story writer, critic and leader of the American Romantic movement, Edgar Allan Poe, publishes his narrative poem 'The Raven'. The poem is a supernatural tale of a mysterious talking raven's visit to a distraught lover, who descends into madness, and explores themes of self-torture and obsession.
The reconstruction of Trafalgar Square, by architects John Nash and Sir Charles Barry, is completed.


Sir John Franklin's expedition in search of the North-West passage, the sea route linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Franklin took two ships, the Erebus and the Terror, and a crew of 129 men made up Royal Navy officers. The crew never returned. Search parties sent out years later discovered the ships had got stuck in frozen waters, and that all the men had died.

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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.

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