Anecdotes of Painting in England: With Some Account of the Principal Artists - Vol. 3

By Horace Walpole | Go to book overview

REIGN OF JAMES THE SECOND.

HAMLET WINSTANLEY, 1

(1700—1761,)

learned to draw under the Knellers, being designed for a painter, and from thence went to Italy ; but on his return seems to have addicted himself to engraving. He etched and published the Earl of Derby's collection of pictures, as his father Henry had done, several views of Audley-inn, which he dedicated to James II., that building being then a royal palace : 2 he added too an inscription in honour of Sir Christopher Wren. This set of prints is very scarce ; the plates are reserved by the descendants of the Earls of Suffolk. 3 Henry was clerk of the works at Audley-inn in 1694, and in 1700 clerk of the works at Newmarket. It was this artist, I believe, who had a house 4 near Audley- inn at Littlebury, where were several mechanic tricks to surprise the populace, and known by the name of Winstanley's wonders. These childish contrivances, I suppose, he learned in Italy, where they do not let their religion monopolize all kind of legerdemain. In the Villa Borghese

____________________
1
Hamlet Winstanley was buried at Warrington, in Lancashire, May 20, 1761, aged sixty-one. Register.—D.
2
It had been purchased by the Crown, but much of the money not being paid, King William returned it to the family ; but bought as much tapestry there as cost him 4,500l. It is remarkable, that in the church of Walden, which is beautifully light and striking, is still preserved very fresh the achievement of the memorable Frances, Countess of Essex and Somerset.
3
[It is supposed that they perished with the artist at the destruction of the Eddystone lighthouse, as they are certainly not in the possession of Lord Braybrooke, the present representative of the Audley-inn branch of that family.—S.]
4
There is a large print of that house, as an advertisement for a subscription to a set of prints of houses and seats.

-235-

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