Lt.-General Richard England

Robert Dighton (1751-1814)


Richard England (c.1750-1812) was an army officer and Lt. Governor of Plymouth. He was a veteran of the American War, having fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 and at the Battles of Saratoga where he was taken prisoner in 1777. He became Commandant of Detroit in 1792 and was one of the first colonists of Western Upper Canada. He was later appointed Colonel of the 5th Regiment of Foot.

Lt.-General Richard England of Lifford, Co. Clare is shown here mounted on his black charger. It is painted in watercolour, the image was subsequently published as an etching in 1808.

Painted on paper, the portrait has – a bit like Old England himself – been through the wars! It has been folded in four and suffered several tears but it has since been through the hands of a conservator and is now housed in a period bird’s eye maple frame with old glass.

Having started out as a drawing master and a portrait painter, Robert Dighton went on to be a printmaker and a caricaturist. He satirised lawyers, military figures, actors and academics and attained notoriety in 1806 when he was caught stealing prints from the British Museum! He avoided prosecution but the scandal prompted him to move out of London to work in the provinces. His sons and two grandsons also became artists.

Item Ref. 6026

Size: framed, 388 x 345mm (15¼ x 13¼")

Literature: A View of Dightons / David Padbury (2007), p.89