Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait miniature of William-Crosbie Ward (1786-1819), profile to the left, wearing coat and frilled shirt 

Samuel Andrews (1767?-1807)

Portrait miniature of William-Crosbie Ward (1786-1819), profile to the left, wearing coat and frilled shirt, Samuel Andrews
Watercolour on ivory
18th Century
Oval, 3 ½ in. (89mm) high
As stated on the backing paper, the present miniature was sent from Calcutta following the sitter’s death to his mother; thence by descent to his sister, Arabella Winchilsea
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Original Indian ebony wood frame with brass mount and hanger.

William-Crosbie Ward was the son of Edward Ward (b.1753), son of Bernard Ward, Baron Bangor and Arabella, youngest daughter of William, late Earl of Glandore. His parents married in 1783. There is some evidence of a family connection with Calcutta, India, where this portrait was painted as William’s younger brother married there in 1817. William himself died unmarried at the age of 33 at Grey Abbey, County Down, Ireland. Grey Abbey, a fine Georgian house now open to the public, was a smaller version of the grand house Castle Ward, built by the first Viscount Bangor. Castle Ward is a fascinating property being half Palladian and half Gothic in design – a result of husband and wife choosing to live on different sides of the house with markedly differing tastes in architecture.

At Grey Abbey, the place of William’s early death, there were links with the Montgomery family as William’s aunt, the hon. Emilia Ward, a daughter of the first Viscount Bangor, had married Hugh Montgomery in 1782.

The artist Samuel Andrews was an Irishman by birth, which may have made him the natural choice to paint William-Crosbie Ward in Calcutta. Andrews arrived in Madras in 1791, moving in 1795 to the same house previously occupied by John Smart. He was certainly in Calcutta in the later 1790s. John Smart was of great influence to Samuel Andrews and the two men must have shared client commissions as so many of their works relate to each other. Andrews’ work ‘en grisaille’ as in this example appealed to the new Neoclassical taste for such works which related to the popularity of profile work in other forms of decorative arts.
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