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James Neild

1 of 60 portraits by Samuel De Wilde

James Neild, by Samuel De Wilde, 1804 -NPG 4160 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

James Neild

by Samuel De Wilde
11 3/4 in. x 9 5/8 in. (298 mm x 244 mm)
NPG 4160

This portraitback to top

This is one of the few De Wilde portraits unconnected with the theatre. Neild's letter to the Earl of Romney, then Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, probably relates to his appointment as Justice of the Peace for Buckingham, Kent and Middlesex. Remarks on Prisons originated in the form of a diary describing his tour of the prisons of England and Scotland and addressed to his friend Dr John Cookley Lettsom who persuaded him to publish them in the Gentleman's Magazine 1814.

Physical descriptionback to top

Half-length seated at a writing table with green cloth, holding quill, left hand on folded paper (in the engraving addressed To the Earl of Romney), silver inkstand with red sealing-wax to left, papers to right tied with red tape and marked Remarks on Prisons (in the engraving addressed To Dr Lettsom); close-fitting white hair or wig, blue eyes, clear complexion, affable expression, black coat, white neckcloth and shirt-frill; sky in left background, red curtain to right.

Provenanceback to top

Sotheby's, 1 December 1954 (127) bought Dent; J. A. Tooth Ltd and bought from them 1960.

Reproductionsback to top

Stipple by Maddocks published 1806 with vignette below of two allegorical figures outside a prison, lettered JAMES NEILD ESQre High Sheriff of the County of Bucks 1804, Aet 60 … Treasurer of the SOCIETY for the RELIEF of persons imprisoned for SMALL DEBTS, published in Nichols, Literary Illustrations, II, 1817 and Faulkner's Chelsea, 1829.

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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