This wonderful portrait miniature was produced in England during the early 19th century, circa 1815. The portrait is by J. H. Gillespie. The sitter is the William Hugh Wade-Gery (b 1794 – d 1870) of Bushmead Priory, Bedfordshire, England. He was educated at Emmanuelle College, Cambridge (B.A. 1817, M.A. 1820). He went on to become a magistrate for Bedfordshire.
William Hugh Wade-Gery was the eldest son of the Reverend Hugh Wade (b 1761 – d 1823). The Reverend Hugh Wade upon marriage to his wife, Hester Gery in 1792, legally took on the additional surname of ‘Gery’ along with the coat arms. The Gery’s were an important and wealthy Bedfordshire family. William Hugh Wade-Gery inherited Bushmead Priory upon his father’s death in 1832. The priory had been in the Gery family’s possession since the 18th century.
In 1828 William Hugh Wade-Gery married Anne Beckingham Milnes who was the daughter of John Milnes of the 16th century Beckingham Estate. They had two sons William Hugh Wade-Gery (b 1832 – d 1917) and Hugh Wade-Gery. (b 1836 – d 1915). They were also both educated at Emmanuelle College, Cambridge.
On the south side of the All Saint’s Church, Little Staughton there is a wall mounted memorial to William Hugh Wade-Gery, his wife Anne and several other members of the Gery and Wade-Gery family.
This portrait was purchased as part of a trio (each sold separately); the sitters in the remaining portraits are William Hugh Wade-Gery's brothers. This is a unique opportunity to own an important portrait with a fascinating history by a sought after artist.
The portrait miniature is by the sought after artist J. H. Gillespie (fl 1810 – 1830). Gillespie worked in London, Edinburgh and Liverpool, leaving in 1820 for Halifax, Nova Scotia. Profile paintings by Gillespie are highly sought after by collectors. The portrait is on card and it is housed in its original papier mache frame behind original convex glass.
The pencil inscription verso reads ‘William H Wade-Gery when a lad. The late squire of Bushmead Priory, who died September 1st 1870. Buried at Lt Staughton chancel with his wife Anne Beckingham.’ There is also a faint original pencil inscription to the base of the back of the frame reading ‘William’.
Measuring: Frame width 4.25 inch (11 cm) by height 5 3/8 inch (13.5 cm). Aperture width 2.25 inch (5.7 cm) by height 2 7/8 inch (7 cm).
Condition: Some minor nibbles to the frame, old chip to reverse of frame. The original trade label is not present as is so common with portraits miniatures but after retailing Gillespie's portraits for many years, this is unmistakably by his hand.
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Regency 19th Century Gillespie Portrait Miniature William Hugh Wade-Gery Important Family Circa 1815
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