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  1. #1
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    Default Thomas Inglefield - Painter

    I am looking for information concerning Thomas Inglefield, said to have been born in Hook, Hampshire, 18 December 1769,"without arms or legs". He is also said to have died in London (having worked in Chapel Street, Tottenham Court Road), probably before the end of the century. So far, I have been unable to find any formal records of his existence (birth, marriage, death). He seems to have been a painter (using his mouth and shoulder) but, again, I can find no certain examples of his work. The only concrete traces of Inglefield are the three engavings showing him at work, which have been reproduced so many times across publications and the internet. Does anyone know of any more details about this man? I have recently come across a link betwwen a "T Inglefield" and my own Collcutt family and I am trying to follow it up.

  2. #2

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    I have been looking at the various sites showing Thomas Inglefield. However I wonder if Thomas and T. Inglefield are the same person. I also wonder if trying to find info on Thomas's benefactors may help, also Charles Reuben Riley who made the drawing of Thomas.

  3. #3
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    Charles Reuben Riley died 1798, buried 5 October 1798 and his will is on ancestry with the surname Ryley. I am hopeless at reading oldstyle writing so haven't attempted to decipher it. He was born 1752.
    The alternative surname of Ryley is given in his very short entry under Rileyin the Dictionary of National Biography volumes 1 - 22.
    His second entry is more informative saying that he was also of weakly constitution and deformed in figure.
    Christina
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  4. #4
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    Hampshire Archives has prints catalogued as:
    (iii) The portrait of Thomas Inglefield born 1769 at Hook in Hampshire without hands or legs. Drawn and etched by F Grose and S Ireland. Published 1787
    (iv) The portrait of Thomas Inglefield, etched by himself from a drawing made by Mr Riley.

    They also have, under NEWNHAM Parish: "There is also (loose) a picture with printed text dated 1804 and 'a page of pencilled notes (undated) concerning Thomas Inglefield who was born in Hook in 1769 without arms or legs".

    Hook & Newnham are barely a mile apart, so I don't think you can disregard this baptism there (transcription only):
    26 Mar 1769 Thomas s/o Joseph & Sarah Englefield.

    A possible in 1841 at Stoke Street, Bishops Stoke, Winchester & Hursley, Hampshire:
    Thomas Englefield 74 Independent. Born in County

    His death a few years later puts his YoB at c1768:
    INGLEFIELD, THOMAS aged 76 GRO Reference: 1844 S Quarter in WINCHESTER & HURSLEY Volume 07 Page 167

    --------------------

    The will of Charles Reuben Ryley mentions a few family members and several people connected to the art world. I can't read all of these latter ones but some are:

    Claude Mattise (?) Drawing Master now living in South Molton Street
    ? Barber now living in Quality Court, Chancery Lane, School Artistess?
    Mr William Shelton?, Engraver, now living ____ in the [??]
    Revd Mr David Williams now living in Russell Street, Bloomsbury
    Charles Peart living in the ??
    Mr Robert Bowyer, Miniature Painter living in ? Street
    Mr Fitler (later named as James Fittler)living in Upper Charlotte Street, Marylebone, Pla__ Engraver

    Witness: John Bacon, Sculptor & James Stanton.

  5. #5
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    Thank you, all, for responding.

    Suemalings: I can find no alternative for "Thomas" given the initial T in any listing for Hampshire in the requisite period.

    All: I agree that Charles Ruben Riley/Ryley is likely to have been the portraitist of one of the Inglefield engravings but I do not see that this gets us very much further; there were certainly a group of diabled artists working in London in the late 18C.

    Jomot1: The Newnham Parish possibility looks interesting - pity the document is not online (I may try to visit one day). The other Newnham entry you cite (26 Mar 1769 Thomas s/o Joseph & Sarah Englefield) is tantalising, as the surname initial 'I/E' seems to be quite 'fluid' (although my link document actually has a signature with 'I').
    There are certainly other Inglefields (including more Thomases) in this small part of Hampshire (e.g. Thomas Inglefield, born 1736, died/buried at Rowner (c.8 km SE of Hook) 9/10/1814); could this have been the artists’s father?), not to mention a whole 'tribe' in Winchester.
    However, 'our' T. Inglefield is said to have died young in London before the end of the century: Cadell, T. & Davies, W. 1796. The Environs of London: Volume 4, Counties of Herts, Essex and Kent. London. Footnote 166: “Thomas Inglefield, born without arms or legs, at Hook in Hampshire, (anno 1769,) died a few years ago in London.”

    Thank you all, again. I will keep hunting....

  6. #6

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    I had found the early death in -
    "The Environs of London ...", author Daniel Lysons, published 1792
    "Thomas Inglefield, born without arms or legs, at Hook in Hampshire (anno 1769) died a few years ago in London. He was not publicly shown but got his bread by writing and drawing. There are two portraits of him, one of which he etched by himself."

    "British Portraits - A CATALOGUE ..." prepared for the auction of the art collection of Mr W Richardson, 31 the corner of Villiers Street. The auction, disposing of a 40 year collection, was scheduled to last 31 days from Feb 3 1880. The items were sold in mixed lots.

    31st Days' Sale
    CONVICTS, PHENOMENA, etc

    "51 Five - Thomas Inglefield, an artist without arms or legs, two different; Poor Joe all alone; Johnson, horse rider; and Italian Singer by J. Kirk, 1740."

    Lot 51 appears to have been bought for 1 8s and the purchaser looks like "Lyfen" - using the long "s"?
    Unfortunately, Thomas' 2 items in lot 51 are unnamed.
    "dyfal donc a dyr y garreg"

  7. #7

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    Richardson's 1791 catalogue -
    "Inglefield Thomas, etched by himself without arms or legs 2s 6d"
    "dyfal donc a dyr y garreg"

  8. #8
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    Dear Helachau,

    Thank you for your interest.

    As for "Environs of London ...", I found the 'death' mentioned only in the 1796 Vol 4, not in Lyson's Vol 1 of 1792.

    Prints of the etching said to be by TI himself are available online all over the place. There are actually 3 well-known etchings of TI in person (all dated c.1787-9, when he was only 18-20 and when he must still have been alive) and, given the title of your 1880 auction ("British Portraits - a catalogue"), if fear that the images in question were probably prints of two of those etchings. It is TI's paintings (which I believe to include what one could call 'early advertising material') which are so elusive (save for the glimpses in the etchings themselves) and which I am trying to find, as well as accurate information about his birth/death/family etc.

    We'll pin him down eventually!

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