Benjamin Wills Newton

Solomon Polack


Benjamin Wills Newton, shown wearing a double-breasted black coat with a frilled chemise and cravat, was born into a Quaker family in 1777. His parents were William and Susanna Newton of Somerset. Newton became a draper and wholesaler of wool and fabric. In March 1807 he married Ann Treffry of Lostwithiel, Cornwall but he tragically died eight months later, just eleven days before the birth of his only son. His son was given his father’s name and, with the support of his maternal grandfather, was well-educated graduating from Oxford at the age of sixteen. He went on to be a respected scholar and founding member of the Plymouth Brethren.

The portrait is in fine condition and is set in a gold frame that is glazed reverse to show the initial N and a lock of blonde hair laid on plaited brown hair. The rim of the frame is engraved around the top ‘Benjamin Wills Newton / of Plymouth Dock. Died 1807’ and around the bottom ‘Father of Benjamin Wills Newton / the Expositor’.

The artist Solomon Joel Abraham Polack (1757-1839) was born in The Hague. He settled in England and exhibited miniatures at the Royal Academy between 1790 and 1835. He was in Ireland for a time and died in Chelsea.

Item Ref. 9106

Size: framed, 70 x 60mm