Maritime Subjects 72 Can you help us learn more about the Tudgay family of artists?

Topic: Artist

This portrait of the 'Ramsay' at Manx Museum is probably by Frederick J. Tudgay (1841–1921, British).

There are 12 paintings by him on Art UK but no details about his life and work.

Also on Art UK are I. Tudgay (active 1836–1865, British) and L. Tudgay (c.1852–1877, British Colombian)

The entry in Archibald’s ‘Dictionary of Sea Painters’ (3rd ed., 2000), p.223, reads:

‘TUDGAY family. Efforts to find out details of this family of talented ship portraitists, working probably in London in the second half of the 19th century, have so far proved unsuccessful, and as time goes by hopes of finding anything must dim. There are pictures signed with the initials F., J., L., and possibly I. There are also pictures signed J. & L. and J. & F. They never exhibited.'

Marion Richards, Art Detective Manager, Entry reviewed by Art UK


Simon Kidner,

Son of John Tudgay, marine artist, living at 15 Phoebe Street, All Saints Poplar in 1851.

Simon Kidner,

I'll do the full census check if you like on Frederick Tudgay, but silly for six of us to do it!

Tony Hart,

born in Limehouse, Lived all his life in the East end of London Always recorded as a Painter of Ships, Died Early in 1921 at West Ham, London

Simon Kidner,

Frederick had a brother John, also a painter. Both the sons of John Lashbrook Tudgay, painter (c. 1788-1874).

Simon Kidner,

I've seen no evidence that Frederick was Frederick J.
I have not found Frederick in 1871 or 1881 censuses. Summary of findings in attached MS Word document.

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Simon, a list based on a full census check would help as would explanation of where the 'Frederick J. Tudgay 1841-1921' as it currently appears on Art UK came from.

I don't think its from the NMM examples, at least from a quick online look (not directly from the database, which sometimes holds other information).

Osmund Bullock,

Can't speak for anyone else, Simon, but I'm happy to hold back and give you some researching space. It's worried me sometimes that a small number of us have tended to leap on every new question with such speed and gusto that others who'd like to contribute may have felt shut out - and mindful of this, I've been trying to move a bit slower of late.

I might have a look at some newspapers, though...

Jacinto Regalado,

Since this is dated 1847, it cannot be by someone born in 1841.

Also, why is this listed on Art UK under Todgay instead of Tudgay?

Osmund Bullock,

Too late! Anyway, I'll cover some books I have to hand. Christopher Wood's 'Victorian Painters' says only that the Tudgays were a "family of marine painters, including F.I.J. [sic - commas missing?] and L. Tudgay", "many of their works were joint productions", and refers us for full details to Wilson* p.78 (pl.39) & Brook-Hart** pls. 11, 55.

[*A. Wilson, 'Dictionary of British Marine Painters', 1967.
**D. Brook-Hart, 'British 19th Century Marine Painting', 1974.]

I agree there seems to be no exhibiting - I've drawn a blank with Johnson & Greutzner (which covers 1880-1940), the SBA/RBA (1824-93), and the RA.

Doubtless a typo, Jacinto, and I'm sure Marion will fix it.

Simon Kidner,

Here's a .pdf file of an expanded version of my earlier note. The formatting should survive!

Thanks, Osmund. I hope I've covered the area, but please add. ( I couldn't find any refereence in the newspapers.)

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Simon Kidner,

Re Newspapers - some mentions in The Times Archive. I will post later if no-one else does so,

Simon Kidner,

The Times:

17th April 1928, page 11 of 16. Reference to painting by “Tudgay” of ‘the fleet at anchor the morning after the battle’ of the Nile, painted for the grandfather of Mr. Harry John Cornish, who had served on Nelson’s flagship, the Vanguard, at the battle.

2nd December 1955, page 7 of 12. Photograph and notes on the painting of Cutty Sark, painted for ship’s owner John Willis. “The […] picture, by F. Tudgay, signed and dated 1872, shows the Cutty Sark under full sail with stunsails set. …”. The painting, which in 1955 was owned by Mr William Kirkaldy Willis in Kenya, is now held by Royal Museums Greenwich.

Simon Kidner,

Three later classified ads from the Times interesting in that they refer to F. Tudgay and not to 'F.J. Tudgay'

2nd March 1976, page 21 of 26 – Bonham’s notice of auction on Thursday 4th March to include ‘Selected oil painting’ including by ‘F. Tudgay’

29th March 1976, page 26 of 26. Notice of £10,000 reward in connection with theft of 37 paintings from restorer’s premises, including work by ‘F. Tudgay’.

12th February 1980, page 22 of 27 – Bonham’s notice of auction on Thursday 14th February including works by F. Tudgay.

Can someone from RMG confirm signature on 1872 Cutty Sark painting?

Jacinto Regalado,

Perhaps it is a technical problem, but the linked collection's entry does not mention the painter, and I cannot see a signature or date on the image. Is that on the back of the canvas?

Jacinto Regalado,

An NMM Tudgay listed under Frederick J. Tudgay on Art UK is listed under "Tudgay, T." in the collection's own entry. Perhaps Pieter can sort that out.

Jacinto Regalado,

The collection should be asked how, exactly, the picture is signed. I found an 1856 picture attributed to Frederick J. Tudgay, who would only have been 15 at the time, but it is only signed "Tudgay," meaning it could have been painted by an older member of the family.

This link may also be of interest.

Thank you for all these comments.

Finding 'Todgay' provided a good excuse for a discussion about the Tudgays and it will be updated at the end of the process.

Jacinto Regalado,

If Frederick had no middle name corresponding to the initial J, the pictures signed F. J. Tudgay could refer to both Frederick and either his father or his brother John.

Mark Wilson,

The date of 1847 on the painting of the “Ramsey” is clearly a mistranscription from when the Manx Museum records were computerised. Not least because the “Ramsey” wasn’t launched till early 1863. An article by Dr E C B Corlett ( in the Journal of the Manx Museum of January 1965 shows this painting with a date of circa 1867 ( as well as a photograph of it under construction.

The picture is actually one of a pair with a similar size one of its sister-ship the “Euterpe, which was launched in November of the same year. The collection’s record is at and is zoomable etc. As you can see the two compositions mirror each other and they came into collection at the same time as explained in the Journal of the Manx Museum of January 1964 (

“THE 14th November 1963 saw the centenary of the launching of the Euterpe at the Ramsey shipyard of Gibson, McDonald and Arnold. It is a happy coincidence that earlier in the year the Manx Museum Trustees were pleased to accept the generous gift of two interesting oil paintings of Ramsey-built ships from Mr. C. F. Tebbutt, of St. Neots, Huntingdonshire: the Euterpe, and the Ramsey, also launched from the same yard in 1863.

“The painting of the Euterpe, which was reproduced in the Journal of the Manx Museum, vol. 3, no. 53, plate 118, is dated 1867, and signed "F. Todgay " on the back of the canvas”.

This explains where the attribution of that picture to “Todgay”. Corlett as a naval historian was probably aware of the painter’s actual name, not least because of his picture of the Cutty Sark, and corrected it for his article. It also explains why the “Ramsey” was also attributed to him as its pair.

Charles Frederick Tebbutt was a Huntingdonshire businessman and magistrate. His archaeological interests centred on St Neots and, after his retirement, Sussex (re National Archives) and he was the author of a history of his native town. So it’s possible that he had the pictures from some personal connection or that he acquired them for antiquarian interest – though they seem far from his main interests.

Both ships were built for Wakefield Nash & Co of Liverpool and then sold to David Brown of London by February 1867 re Lloyds Foundation records for Euterpe ( and Ramsey ( So Brown commissioning the portraits may explain these from a London painter.

The Euterpe was eventually renamed the Star of India and still exists as a museum ship in San Diego, the oldest ship still sailing regularly ( The Ramsey was less lucky and, according to Corlett’s article – best accessed through a search, eg, and click on Page – was sunk off Cape Moreton in Queensland in October 1882.

Osmund Bullock,

Great research, Mark. That certainly explains how the current error in the surname came about, and also the attribution of our work to F[rederick], which now seems likely to be correct.

Meanwhile I’ve been concentrating on trying to understand the whole family genealogically and biographically, and sort out which members actually were (or at least might have been) painters. I’ve made good progress with this, which I’ll post in bits as and when I can; but so far the only ones I confirm were active artists are the father, John Lashbrook(e) Tudgay (1798[sic]-1874), and his eldest and youngest sons John (1820-1846) and Frederick (1841-1921) – John the younger’s painting career was clearly rather short. Two more sons, Thomas (b. 1829/30) and Lashbrook (b. 1837/8) died in 1838 and 1844 respectively, aged 8 and 6, so can be discounted. We should of course also consider the daughters (I’ll write more on them shortly), but there is no evidence that any of them painted; nor can I see any sign of other relations – uncles, cousins, etc – who lived anywhere nearby and who might have contributed.

What we will certainly need at some point is as full a list as possible of all the initials / initial combinations that are *actually found* on their signed (as opposed to attributed) paintings, along with the relevant years where dated. Combining those with the biographical details should enable us to make sense of – or at least make plausible suggestions about – whose work they represent.

Jacinto Regalado,

The most common signature seems to be F Tudgay, found on works dated 1861, 1863, 1866, 1869, 1871, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1885

J & F Tudgay is used in 1864, 1865 and 1870

FJ Tudgay is used in 1872

J Tudgay is used in 1859

Two pictures listed under I Tudgay on Art UK, and and dated 1836 and 1850, respectively, are bound to be by John L. Tudgay, as they are too early for Frederick, and the one from 1836 is probably too early for the John born in 1820.

The Heligoland picture at the NMM, which is misattributed on Art UK to "L Tudgay" instead of John L. Tudgay in the NMM's entry, exists in a variant version signed J & F Tudgay

Jacinto Regalado,

Thus, it seems likely that the related Tudgay marine painters were John Lasbrook(e) and his sons Frederick and John, and that pictures currently under "I Tudgay" and "L Tudgay" are misleadingly designated. As for one of the Tudgays being "British Colombian," that sounds exceedingly dubious.

Jacinto Regalado,

I meant Lashbrook(e) in my preceding comment. I expect that extant pictures by the younger John are probably relatively rare.

Jacinto Regalado,

This 1856 picture is listed as by Frederick and John Tudgay, but I cannot see the actual signature.

I also found an 1879 picture signed F Tudgay.

Andrew Pease has contacted us in relation to a Tudgay painting on Art UK, 'A Frigate Chasing a Smuggling Cutter' (National Maritime Museum). He hopes this will be of interest to the discussion.

Andrew writes, 'Hello I have what I believe to be a nearly identical original signed by what looks like F Tudgay 1861 or 1864. I bought this from an art dealer in Charleston South Carolina around 2005. The dealer said he or it from an estate sale in North Carolina. Examining the painting it seams real. It’s canvas on board. I do notice the differences between the two but it’s clearly the same scene. My question is, is it common for an artist to paint nearly the same painting twice? Maybe mine was his study?'

The following is a note of mine in a so-far backstage discussion about an example (at Sewerby Hall Museum) of the rather mysterious but quite numerous group of pictures showing Revenue vessels of varied sorts chasing smugglers by moonlight which appear to have been done in (roughly) the 1820s.

'Thomas Buttersworth and apparently one or two other minor hands working in similar style in the 1820s (e.g. William Doust and Francis Hustwick) produced a number of small night-time pictures on the subject of HM Revenue vessels chasing smugglers, probably in the English Channel. Though general details and the types of vessel vary, the elements are all similar: a Revenue brig or cutter chasing and firing at the smuggler off a cliff coastline by moonlight, usually with a lighthouse and/or a fire burning somewhere ashore (perhaps as a signal to the smuggler for a landing point). They may derive from a poplar early 19th-century song 'Will Watch, the Bold Smuggler' in which Will promises his lover he will give up the business if his next 'run' is successful but is pursued and killed during it. This became the basis of at least one nautical stage melodrama, which may have helped the subject into pictorial currency.'

Both Andrew's example above and the version in the NMM (BHC1236) are clearly enough later Tudgay variants on the same theme and - in Tudgay's case - certainly 'historical subjects' alluding to the early 19th c., not the 1860s.

In the Tudgay examples the chasing vessel is probably a brig (two masted) or small 'sloop' (i.e. in the naval meaning of three-masted ship smaller than a frigate) and the 'chase' an armed cutter more with the lines and rig of a mid-century yacht. If it was flying a French flag one might say 'privateer' rather than 'smuggler' though it looks rather undermanned for either but one has to make allowances for romantic/artistic licence.

Jacinto Regalado,

Pieter, as noted above, there are problems with some of the NMM Tudgays, either on the NMM side or the Art UK side. I suppose their online NMM entries may not include all the data the NMM has on them, and your access to that may be needed for resolution.

I'll look: I suspect that the reported 'I' and 'J' initials are the same (i.e. for John) and it may be that 'F.J' is a conflation for cases of 'F & J' even if there is no '&', but its just a guess at present.

For whatever reason Teddy Archibald only listed 3 by 'F' at NMM and 2 by F at the Peabody Museum in Salem, Mass., all ship portraits, plus another by 'J and F' and one by 'L' also at Salem; also one by 'J.' of a ship off Dover in Auckland City Art Gallery. He ends with 'Battle of Heligoland 1864' but what looks like an unspotted setting error makes it unclear where, though probably the NMM one (unless Salem has another from the way its entered).

So far there doesn't seem to be other documentation above for a male 'L' other than John Lashbrook (the father) so that may also be misreading of cases where the J has been missed, or is missing. If firmly 'L' then Louisa is the only other option.

Thanks for that: it looks like 'F TUDGAY [above] 1880' to me and I note (though only off the Bridgeman images site so needs checking) that the ship was built in 1847. It's not immediately clear why it's titled 'iron barque' since it's ship-rigged in the painting but that may have been noted from a source when it was barque-rigged (i.e. fore-and-aft sails, none square, on the mizzen).

Jacinto Regalado,

Pieter, It looks like J Tudgay to me, and the date looks like 1869 or 1889. What is the collection's reading?

Lloyd's Register for 1880 only lists one 'Ramsey' (signal code number 45858) iron barque; master, G. Cater; 767 tons, 209ft 5 in x 32 [beam] x 19ft 2 [depth in hold]; built by Gibson in the Isle of Man in 1863 (not 1847); registered in London and owned there (in 1880) by J.R. Harper, and last surveyed in July 1880. This suggests it was built as a barque but later ship-rigged, as shown, which is an aspect not recorded in the register.

In 1869 the 'Ramsey' is noted as an iron ship; master J. Weeks; owned by D.Brown, McKay & Co.; registered in Liverpool and trading London to New Zealand. The only other technical difference is the registered tonnage as 809 tons.

It does not figure in the 1887-8 register so looks as though gone by 1889 but I still think the last two letters of the date look like 80. I am reading the 'dot' between the initial and the T as the lower bar of an F with the top one missing. At present we have no terminal date for John Tudgay junior, only a date of birth about 1820. John Lashbrook Tudgay, the father, died in 1874.

Jacinto Regalado,

Osmund noted above that the younger John died in 1846.

Manx National Heritage,

Thanks for your comments. I've taken a look at the painting itself, which appears to have been re-stretched and re-lined. According to our conservation records, this looks to have been undertaken c.2001. I can see no evidence of the original signature on the reverse.

The original entry in the museum register says "Unframed Oil Painting, 23 1/2 inch x 35 1/2 inch sight, of the iron built barque, 'Ramsey', built and launched in Ramsey shipyard, signed on reverse side, Painted by 'F. Todgay 47. 3, Colt Street, Limehouse.'" which explains how the painting was attributed to 'Todgay'.

Thanks also for the information from the Journal of the Manx Museum of January 1965, which dates the painting to c.1867. I have updated our collections management database to reflect this.

Hannah Murphy (Manx National Heritage)

Marcie Doran,

Here is John Tudgay's (d. 1846) marriage record from the Ancestry website that shows his signature and that of his father John Lashbrook Tudgay.

Perhaps John Lashbrook Tudgay signed with his middle initial since his own father (d. about 1836) was also named John. His "L" looks like an "I". Strangely, the "J" of John doesn't have a hook but there is one in the abbreviation for "Junior" after his name.

Just skimming back: we have a clear enough history of the 'Ramsey' (1863- wrecked 1882) above and sources on it and its sister 'Euterpe' - both apparently oil carriers. Ewan Corlett, who wrote on them, was a great Manx authority on iron sailing ships and the man primarily responsible for the Falkland Islands salvage and return to Bristol of Brunel's 'Great Britain'. He was a Trustee of the NMM for a period and I remember him well by sight and hearing him lecture (rather than knowing him). The painting also appears to be one of a pair with 'Euterpe'.

Osmund, above, gives an 'in-passing' date of death for John Tudgay junior of 1846, but without a source, which is also not immediately obvious on Ancestry: could we have clarification that was the case? He certainly married in 1844, had a son (John Lashbrook Tudgay junior) in 1845 and does not appear in the 1851 census, but that's as far as current documentation goes.

If he died that early the 'Ramsey' has to be by Frederick as I think the initial in the signature reads (confirmed by the now invisible inscription on the back) and, despite the odd '47.8 Three Colt Street' apparently mistaken as a dating in the record, I stand by thinking the date on the front is 1880 unless the collection has another view. (We know that the family address in 1861 was '8 Three Colt Street' but, so far, the next known address for Frederick was elsewhere in 1891, since there are no 1871 and '81 census records.)

Marcie Doran,

Osmund is correct about the 1846 year of death of John Tudgay junior. To save him the trouble of formatting and posting, here are the documents from Ancestry. They show John’s dates as birth October 3, 1820 to burial October 13, 1846.

John was shown as an “artist” on the record for the baptism of his eldest son John Lashbrook Joseph Tudgay in 1845. Sadly, the child passed away in 1846.

John’s wife Amelia Tudgay (née Stuart) must have been pregnant when her husband passed away. In 1851 she was living with her four-year-old son John Tudgay at 6 Edward Street, in Limehouse. John's birth was registered in Poplar in Q2 1847.

Osmund Bullock,

I have a huge amount more (with documentation) about the Tudgay family from 1797 onwards, including all their addresses (Rotherhithe/Bermondsey >> Wapping >> Poplar >> briefly Bloomsbury >> Limehouse >> Stepney), professions, further children, one (unhelpful) Will, etc. I'm sorry not to have collated and posted this before, though I'm sure Marcie will continue to dig much of it out anyway, which is fine; I will endeavour to do so from tomorrow onwards. This will help answer much of the "more about the Tudgay family..." question, but I'm still as baffled as everybody else by who signed what and how - and indeed what is actually written in many cases.

Marcie Doran,

It will be great to see that documentation, Osmund.

I’ve been concentrating on the “who signed what and how”. The earliest Tudgay reference that I have been able to find was for ‘A Three Decker Off Gibraltar’, by "Francis Tudgay", dated 1834. There are many references to paintings signed by J. and F. Tudgay in the 1860s – I found them for 1862, 1863, 1864 and 1865. The most recent reference to a Tudgay work is this one by Frederick Tudgay dated 1896.

MutualArt has a category for works by the "Tudgay Family" – I think that is a clever way of dealing with attribution issues.

Thanks to both (Marcie and Osmund): it will be good to get the individual biographies clearer. These people are not 'ODNB-worthy' but - unlike Art UK - ODNB does have 'family' entries, which is a good way of dealing with cases of this sort rather than having to list everyone separately.

Points becoming clear are, first,that the father appears to have started as a 'ship chandler' but is likely to have painted things for pleasure/ speculation that he hung in the shop and, finding they sold, made it his main business; second, that any F&J collaboration after 1846 is between son and father, not siblings. If there are any plain 'J. Tudgays' (rather than an signed 'J.L.' ditto) before 1846/7 it may also be difficult to decide whether by the father or son John. I've also begun to wonder if the latter was an artist at all: his marriage entry calls him a 'painter' and his father an 'artist' which, without firm evidence to the contrary, might simply mean he was a decorator/house-painter. All that will revolve round the practicalities of re-examining signatures, which may be rather drawn out.

Osmund Bullock,

The letter in Kent Archives ( relates to assistance given to the widow and children of William Brock, the Master of the Brig ‘Hebe’ (of London), which was lost with all hands off Margate on the night of Oct 13th 1822 en route to Antwerp from London. John Tudgay senr (father of John Lashbrook Tudgay) was one of three collectors of donations to a subscription raised on the family’s behalf – the two John Tudgays were in business together as John Tudgay & Son, sailmakers and ship’s chandlers (of which more anon).

Much of this I deduced a month ago from the attached cutting from the Public Ledger & Daily Advertiser of 18 Nov that year (plus supporting records about the loss of the ship), and didn’t feel it was worth shelling out a large sum to get a scan of the archive letter. However just to make sure, I have recently been in touch with Kent Archives, and they have been very helpful. Although a scan would indeed cost a minimum of £16 (more for both sides), one of their officers agreed to give me some detail of the letter’s contents, though it adds little to what I already know: “Unfortunately there is no additional information regarding the Tudgay family contained in the document ... that would assist you with your research. The letter to Cobb is signed by John Tudgay and mentions his long and friendly acquaintance with Captain Brock. It is dated October 24th 1822. The reverse lists items of clothing received by Margaret Brock.” He adds that there are no detailed addresses given, only ‘Tudgay & Son, London’, sent to ‘Mr Cobb & Sons, Bankers, Margate’. Anyway, this at least explains why Tudgay was involved in helping Brock’s family; perhaps it relates to clothes he had already sent his widow before the subscription was launched.

Mark Wilson,

A few snippets from the Manx Museum’s archives that Osmund has probably picked up from other sources, but just in case:

The Manks Advertiser, of Thursday, September 26, 1816, lists a J Tudgay a sail-maker of East-lane Stairs, Bermondsey-wall, among its list of bankrupts (, indeed does so on two different pages. Local newspapers desperate to fill space isn’t a new thing. Possibly the business continued under the son’s name as the same paper on Thursday, October 23, 1823 reported an unidentified brig wrecked on 11 October at the mouth of the Humber which might be identified by a ‘top-gallant sail marked " J- Tudgay, Jun., sailmaker, London,"’ (

Perhaps more cheerfully, the Manks Advertiser of Thursday, December 07, 1820 reported (

“Two natives of Owyhee, (where Captain Cook was killed, [ie Hawaii]) were brought to the Mansion House, on Thursday. They had been taken prisoners off their own Island by an American schooner, brought to Europe, and by various singular events reached this country. Mr. J. Tudgay, a benevolent publican at Wapplng has kept them for the last two months”

Though given that when the King and Queen of the Hawaiian Islands visited London four years later, both dies of measles, perhaps not. Whether this is the same Tudgay or a relative I’m not sure

There are apparently quite a lot of John Tudgays.
We know that our man, John Lashbrook Tudgay, had children starting with another John born in 1820, then Elizabeth in early 1822 and both were baptised that year on 4 August when he was noted in the register as 'ship chandler'. It is a reasonable assumption the children were named after their father and mother, but the only such marriage we have is between a John Lashbrook Tudgay and an Elizabeth Tate in 1844: it is at least possible the marriage was 'regularisation' of the situation four years after the last of their children (Frederick) was born but not that he was the John Lashbrook Tudgay who also married Anne Ottys in 1836 unless something very odd was going on.

Our man was also said to be 86 when he died in 1874, but the previous census dates suggest this is a mistake for 79/80 and that he was born in 1798 rather than the 1788 that would have been necessary to make him 86. He and his partner Elizabeth were noted as 40 and 35 at the 1841 census, which only required accuracy within five years, but looks pretty precise from the other data we have and (married or not) they must have been together by late 1819 for their son John to be born on 3 October of the following year.

Osmund Bullock,

John Lashbrook(e) Tudgay’s parents, John (c.1771-1836) and Sarah Elizabeth (1774-1833), were married at St Giles, Camberwell 17th Dec 1797 – bachelor/spinster, and both ‘of the parish’ (though that should not be relied on). In the register her maiden surname is given as Lashbrook, without the final ‘e’, but she signs it with. She was born 14th Dec 1774 and baptised on the 18th at St John Horsleydown (Bermondsey), the daughter of Susan & John Lashbrook (no ‘e’), a shipwright. John Tudgay senior’s origins are unknown - there were contemporary Tudgays in several parts of Britain (& Ireland), the biggest concentration being in Somerset (and west Wilts) where they are recorded from at least the 1540s, but in online records I can see no likely baptism for him anywhere. However the only clue to the right period to be looking at for his birth is the age given for him (65) at his August 1836 burial at St George in the East (adjacent to Wapping), and adult ages at death in the C19th are notoriously unreliable**.

Relevant records images attached.

[**This is particularly true if the deceased had no family around, and there is good reason why John senr might have fallen out with his married son. In April 1836, three years after his wife Sarah’s death, John senr remarried in the City of London a young widow, Ann Otteys (nee Aspland). No-one from his son’s family was present, and three weeks later he wrote a Will naming his new wife as sole heir & sole executrix, and giving her sole control over his funeral arrangements. Barely three months later he was dead...and two years after that his widow Ann married for a third time. But I’m getting ahead of myself...]

Osmund Bullock,

John Lashbrooke Tudgay (often found later as 'John junr'), seemingly their only child, was born 19th Aug 1798 and baptised 9th Sept at St Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey. His father John’s profession is ‘Sail Maker’, and their address Printers Place, overlooking one of the many rope walks in the parish. Thereafter we can follow some of their moves, always near the Thames, in Land Tax records: to Rotherhithe in 1804-5 (Clarence St, near the church), then Bermondsey again 1815-17 (East Lane Stairs on the riverbank) until in Sep 1816 John senior, still a sail-maker, went bankrupt. The event seems to have triggered another move, this time across the river, for when his (bankruptcy) discharge came in Dec 1817 he was living in Little Hermitage St, Wapping. In Kent’s Directory for 1820 he appears as a ship chandler at 28 Wapping [High St], just round the corner from L. Hermitage St, and very close to one of the channels/basins that led from the Thames into the newly-built London Dock.

Osmund Bullock,

From 1820 onwards the Land tax listings get more confusing – perhaps because John Tudgay senr was doing well enough in his new business as a ship chandler to buy other property, but also because that year in April his son JLT married at Southwark Elizabeth Miller, the mother of his eleven children; his father John senr was a witness. One or other of the Johns was living in nearby Great Hermitage Street in 1820, though this may just have been a brief stay between Little Hermitage St & Wapping High St, where the family home and business was until 1823. All of these Wapping addresses, incidentally, were technically in the neighbouring parish of St George in the East, and the family used both parish churches.

Mark has drawn attention to the story of the Hawaiians in 1820 and John junr’s sail being seen on a wrecked ship in 1823 – I’m attaching press cuttings about both as they give further detail. Many aspects of the Hawaiians’ tale were corrected in later reports (the 'kidnapping' was not as straightforward as first reported), but the upshot was that a substantial subscription was raised that enabled them to set off for home the following spring. It was definitely one of our John Tudgays – presumably the father – who was the owner of the pub, ‘The Ship & Pilot’, which adjoined his ship’s chandlery and house; however, other records suggest he may not have been the active publican, just the owner.

Kent’s Directory for 1823 (doubtless from info collected the previous year) interestingly lists both father and son at 28 Wapping [High St] - John senr as ship-chandler, junr (JLT) as sail-maker. But the next big event, and one which may well have been the impetus for JLT taking up the profession that concerns us, was imminent.

[My apologies for repeated information (and there may be more). The only way to keep on top of this long and complex story is to keep chipping at it in the same logical, mainly chronological order in which I have it saved.]

This discussion provided a lot of information on the Tudgay's which Marion now has a potted biographies of John Lashbrook, 1798-1874 (inc. his son John 1820-46) and Frederick, 1841-1921.

What is no longer certain is that why this painting is attributed to Frederick. If it's dated 1847 (as in the details given) than it can't be.
Perhaps the inscriptions, if any could be checked (?)

Manx National Heritage,

Thanks for your comments. I've taken a look at the painting itself, which appears to have been re-stretched and re-lined c.2001. I can see no evidence of the original signature on the reverse.

The original entry in the museum register says "Unframed Oil Painting, 23 1/2 inch x 35 1/2 inch sight, of the iron built barque, 'Ramsey', built and launched in Ramsey shipyard, signed on reverse side, Painted by 'F. Todgay 47. 3, Colt Street, Limehouse.'" which explains how the painting was attributed to 'Todgay'.

Hannah Murphy (Manx National Heritage)

Jacinto Regalado,

Pieter, as Mark Wilson previously clarified, the 1847 date is incorrect. The Ramsey did not launch till 1863, and the date of the Euterpe in this collection, thought to be this picture's pair, is 1867 (the Euterpe is signed F. Todgay).

Thanks, sorry I failed to re-spot Mark Wilson's note of 8/10/2022.

Could I suggest that Hannah has a second look at that and come back on the matter, especially as regards the one of the 'Euterpe', which is where the original visible evidence about the artist seems to be since no longer visible here.

Ewan Corlett was an I.o.M. authority, as I'm sure she knows, and I remember him well enough as a Trustee of NMM and the man who saved the 'Great Britain' etc., so if he produced the evidence that the ships were launched in the 1860s then whatever the original acquisition registers say (and since we don't know any artist called 'Todgay' only Tudgay) then someone must have misread whatever the inscriptions were, unless they were simply misspelt too. (It's also not uncommon for a rapidly scrawled 6 or one that has lost something on the right side to be misread as 4.)

Marion - I think this can close, subject to any further comment as requested above from Manx Heritage re: the their early records of this painting and its pair of the 'Star of India' (aka the 'Euterpe') for which see

The prime change needed is to confirm the artist as Frederick Tudgay, not 'Todgay', and with his correct dates, 1841-1921. The painting cannot be 1847 since the ship's dates were 1863-82, but the no-longer visible inscription on the back ('F. Todgay 47. 3, Colt Street, Limehouse.') was clearly miscopied as to artist name so '47' is also likely to have been a misread [18]67, rather than 1877. If the second 7 was clear then the preceding number must have been another, and 6 is the only alternative, so the date should at least be given as '1867(?)'.

There is pleanty of other Tudgay family information given above, for which thanks all round, and potted biographies of Frederick and his father John Lashbrook Tudgay are already in the Art UK list.

The one missing 'vital' detail I have not spotted above is the exact date of death of John Lashbrook in 1874 but, if discoverable, that can be spliced in.

Manx National Heritage,


The painting titled Star of India (the Euterpe) was recently restored, re-lined and re-framed and the reverse of the original painting is not visible. The accession register entry reads as follows:

"Unframed oil painting, 23 1/2'' 35 1/2 '' sight, of the iron built barque, 'Euterpe' ('Star of India'), built and launched in Ramsey ship-yard, 14th Nov 1863. On the reverse side signed "Painted by F. Todgay 1863, 3 Colt St., Limehouse".

I have amended the artist's name to 'Tudgay, Frederick' on our collections management system and added a biography for this artist, based on the research provided above. Dates have also been amended as suggested. Thanks also to Pieter for flagging the amend required for the 'Star of India' (aka the 'Euterpe').

Best wishes,
Hannah (Manx National Heritage)

Thanks. Given that the 'Star of India' is still afloat in San Diego but has only borne that name (and as a barque) since 1906, the painting - which shows it ship-rigged and when new - should probably be titled 'Euterpe (later 'Star of India')' rather than the other way round. That's a collection call, however.

Both could use an Art UK note in 'more information'. E.g. for 'Ramsey':

'This iron ship was one of two built by Gibson, McDonald & Arnold at Ramsey, Isle of Man, for Wakefield, Nash & Co., Liverpool, and launched in August 1863. Its sister, 'Euterpe', followed in November that year. By February 1867 both had been sold to David Brown of London, who had them painted by Frederick Tudgay that year as a complementary pair, which they remained until presented to the Manx Museum in 1955. 'Ramsey' was wrecked on the Queensland coast of Australia in 1882. 'Euterpe' was rerigged as a barque in 1901 to ship salmon from Alaska to California under San Francisco ownership, and was renamed 'Star of India' in 1906. It is still afloat as barque-rigged museum ship at San Diego, southern California.'

For 'Euterpe':

One of a pair of ship portraits, the other being of its sister-ship 'Ramsey', presented to the Manx Museum in 1955. Both ships were built by Gibson, McDonald & Arnold at Ramsey, Isle of Man, for Wakefield, Nash & Co., Liverpool. 'Ramsey' was launched in August 1863 and 'Euterpe' in November. By February 1867 both had been sold to David Brown of London, who had them painted by Frederick Tudgay as a complementary pair, as they have remained ('Euterpe' in starboard-broadside view, 'Ramsey' in port-broadside). 'Ramsey' was wrecked on the Queensland coast of Australia in 1882. In 1901, after being sold to the Alaska Packers' Association of San Francisco, 'Euterpe' was re-rigged as a barque to carry Alaska salmon to California and was renamed 'Star of India' in 1906. After being laid up in 1923, plans to turn it into a museum ship were only finally achieved in the 1970s. It is not only still afloat as one at San Diego, California, but also kept in sea-going condition and put under sail at least once a year.'

Osmund Bullock,

Could we pause closure for 24 hours? I have further info that may possibly change the conclusion as to artist, and also provide a quite tight date range for the painting, but cannot post it till later tonight. I actually have a lot more on the Tudgays, but so as not to delay things I'll keep most of it back and send to Pieter direct.

John Lashbrook Tudgay died on 21 Sep 1874.

'F[rederick] Tudgay' was noted as present at and reported the death of his father at 48 Three Colt Street, Limehouse, in 1874: that may suggest both were then living there but also that the recorded inscription on this painting of '47. 3 Colt Street' -which has long misled it to it being dated 1847 - was Frederick's address when he painted it, certainly after 1863 (when the ship was launched) but more probably after 1867 when it and 'Euterpe' wer both sold into the same London ownership, so '1867(?)' or 'c.1867' remain the best date options we have.

Osmund Bullock,

Yes, that’s right, Pieter – I was about to post the following (but still resizing and collating the images that support it for posting):

'47' is not a mis-read date: the name of the road was and is 'Three Colt Street', and no. 47 was the number of the house where John Lashbrook Tudgay and family lived, and where he is listed (home & business) in PO Directories from 1868 until his death (and slightly after). The address is also given in the 1871 Census.

JHL had previously been listed from 1854 to 1867 at no. 8 in the same street; however, analysis of his neighbours shows that this was in fact the same address before the street was renumbered in 1866 or 1867 (the directories have an intro that makes clear the info within dates from the previous year).

In 1869 Frederick is briefly listed separately at the same address, but as a tobacconist. In 1870-71-72 it is 'Tudgay, John Lashbrook & Son, marine artists', which must refer to Fredk – the latter is however found in the 1871 Census living with his sister Clara at 11 Oriental St, Poplar. In 1873 JLT is listed on his own again at no. 47, and Fredk now has his own listing, also as a marine artist, at 5 Bromley St, Commercial Rd east. Frederick seems not to have had any further listings, but his father JLT’s one continues in 1874 & ’75.

On the face of it, therefore, an ‘F Tudgay’ name with the no. 47 address must date to between 1866/7 and early 1871 (the Census was on 2 Apr) – unless, of course, Frederick continued to work at his father’s address in Limehouse, while living 10 mins’ walk away.

Here for starters are the two relevant (JLT & Fredk) 1871 Census pages.

Marcie Doran,

That death record from 1874 likely reads 'J[ulia] Tudgay' (Pieter 22/09/2023 12:08).

Osmund Bullock,

That's probably right, Marcie, though it's hard to be certain without seeing an example of the registrar's capital 'F'. And another less likely candidate is JLT's grandson John (b. 1847, a few months after his father John's death in 1846), who was living in the same Poplar street as his uncle Frederick in 1871. But Julia makes more sense: in 1871 she and her elder sister Louisa, both unmarried, were living with their father JLT & mother Elizabeth at no. 47. Elizabeth died in 1872 Q4, after which the widowed JLT (aged 74 - he was 76 at death, not 86) probably needed support, and as is often the way, this was doubtless provided by his unmarried daughters.

The no.48 is slightly puzzling (unless an error) - it is the other (west) side of the road from no.47, a fair distance further down the road, and the listed occupant (or at least business) in 1873/4/5 was a cheesemonger. But it's not a worry - there are many very plausible scenarios.

Thanks for the further information. If there's more to come just say when complete and I'll make further corrections then, but let's try and wrap up within the week.

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