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Joph. Green, London, to Ozias Humphry, the English Coffee House, Rome

RA Collection: Archive

Reference code

HU/2/47

Title

Joph. Green, London, to Ozias Humphry, the English Coffee House, Rome

Date

10 Dec 1776

Level

Item

Extent & medium

1 piece

Historical Background

The writer sets out his position at the head of the letter, stating that he will write as if authoring a biography, making this more a literary effort than an un-selfconcious letter.

Content Description

Mr. and Mrs. Ward, along with his brother Nat. accused him of persuading his mother to mortgage her estate to him, and so forced his mother to sign a Deed of Gift, handing it to over them; he maintains his innocence and thinks he has been very unfairly treated; since then he has received a small sum from his father, and handed over his three natural children to the Asylum, the Foundling Hospital and domestic service respectively; he now plans to travel to India.

[Thos.] Carwardine is living at Mrs. Butler's, he preaches at Westminster every Sunday and receives half a guinea for his trouble; Carwardine has no debts but to his family and he does not intend to settle those; he is a most humourous man.

Jimmy Paine and his wife are settled in a little house with their children, but he fears their financial position is not secure; he has left a couple of fine drawings of villas at Romney's where they could catch the eye of the "Great" and gain him a commission, it is unlikely that as a sculpter he will never receive more than "chips of the Phidian art"; he is a "worthy little man" and deserves to succeed; the Miss Paines still lead their "watched life", Miss Mary stills says their father treated Humphry cruelly.

Mr. and Mrs Stoddart are settled in Ashford, Kent and making babies "like hops"; Allison and his parishoners are much as before; Jack Squire is still a widower. Humphry's family are anxious at his silence, jokes that American privateers infest the Mediterranean preventing any post; Romney has achieved great and sudden success, his painting room is full of pictures of the highest in society, he can scarce believe that a "friendless" man could gain such rapid patronage, and that such a rapid tour of Europe could so benefit his style.

He beseeches Humphry to leave miniature painting, the painters in London praise his miniatures extravagently but only as a silent rebuke to his work in oils; people remember what Humphry said on the matter and the oath he swore, it would be a shame for him to be "hooted" back to painting on ivory.

Physical Characteristics

Folded and badly split as a consequence, requires conservation.