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Elizabeth Fry

1 of 8 portraits of Elizabeth Fry

Elizabeth Fry, by Samuel Drummond, circa 1815 -NPG 118 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Elizabeth Fry

by Samuel Drummond
circa 1815
4 1/2 in. x 3 1/4 in. (114 mm x 83 mm)
NPG 118

This portraitback to top

According to a letter from Miss Myra Drummond, Mrs Fry sat to her father at the Royal Academy and also had two of her children painted by him at the same time. She gives no date for the sitting which judging from Mrs Fry's age would be about 1815-20 when her readings from the Bible in Newgate made a profound impression on her listeners. Miss Drummond says that years later when she was at the Mansion House painting the Lord Mayor, Alderman Wilson introduced her to Mrs Fry who 'immediately asked me if I should know her from having seen my Father's portrait of her. I replied certainly, for although many years older I should instantly have recognised her anywhere' (letter from Miss Drummond to James Roffway 27 January 1846 in NPG archive).

Physical descriptionback to top

Half-length seated reading the Bible, probably in Newgate Prison; golden hair, light brown eyes, pale complexion; white Quaker bonnet, white blouse, dark blue dress and shawl.

Provenanceback to top

The artist and bought from his son by James Roffway who sold it to the NPG in 1861.

Exhibitionsback to top

On loan to the Guildhall Library 1900-40.

Reproductionsback to top

Stipple by J. Thomson published in The Ladies' Monthly Museum, 2 June 1818, head to left and without Bible or prison grille.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

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