Completed Dress and Textiles, Maritime Subjects, Military History, Portraits: British 18th C 47 Who are the artist and sitter of 'An Unknown Young Royal Navy Lieutenant'?

An Unknown Young Midshipman
Topic: Painting description

Suggestions welcome for the artist and sitter of this painting.

Suggestions of an artist may help further the search for the identity of the sitter. The sitter's uniform is that of a Royal Navy lieutenant (1767–1787), down to the detail of the Tudor Rose pattern buttons. The sitter has a fair likeness to Prince Frederick William (1765–1837), subsequently Duke of Clarence and William IV, who would have worn this dress between his commissioning as lieutenant in June 1785 and his rapid promotion to captain in April the following year.

The collection comments: 'Other pictures of William Henry in National Trust collections NT 446684 (Upton) and NT 1449345 (Fenton House) could resemble an older portrait of the same sitter but NT 446706 or 446685 (also Upton) make it hard to ascertain if it is the same person. His older brother Frederick, Duke of York looks more like a contender but was not a naval man.'

Pieter van der Merwe, Maritime Subjects, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

Jade Audrey King,

The title of this record is now 'An Unknown Young Royal Navy Lieutenant (possibly William Henry, Duke of Clarence, later William IV, 1765–1837)'. This amend will appear on the Your Paintings website by the end of July 2015.

Thank you to all for participating in this discussion. To those viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all comments that led to this conclusion.

No conclusion on the artist was reached. If any contributors have new information about the sitter or artist of this painting, we encourage them to propose a new discussion by following the Art Detective link on the Your Paintings page:


Cliff Thornton,

Pieter, he hardly looks old enough to be a lieutenant with the requisite 6 years service behind him! What do you think that his left arm is resting upon? Is it an open book, or the fluke of an anchor?

Its fine for age (1785-6) and his arm is on the fluke of an anchor - by this time an old convention though one started by Van Dyck, at least in English portraiture.,

The painter looks close to Nathaniel Dance, depending on the condition of the left side of the face.

Patty Macsisak,

Mr. van der Merwe, pardon me if I bring some other portraits to the table. In addition to your lieutenant, I had culled this list of "British School" portraits as possibly all by the same artist:

I bring these up with the hope that the other portraits might provide additional clues.

Tim Williams,

This portrait is discussed on this ancestry thread:

The poster believes him to be a member of the Watson family, although the only connection to the other Watson portraits at Cragside are similar frames - however this portrait is certainly connected:

For me it's the same painter, and they are surely siblings if not the same person.

Tim Williams,

Ah, thanks Patty - those are the five portraits that are related (discussed in the link above).

Perhaps they are all members of the Ayde family. One of which was Lieutenant John Miller Adye wounded at the battle of the Nile.

Tim Williams,

His father was Major Stephen Payne Adye and three brothers also served:

Captain Ralph Willett Adye, who died in 1808, was author of the 'Pocket Gunner', a standard work of reference, which first appeared in 1798, and passed through many editions; the second, Major-General Stephen Adye, served in the Iberian Peninsula and at the Battle of Waterloo, and died director of the royal laboratories in 1838; the third, Major James Adye, died in 1831.

See footnotes:

I'm not sure yet who C.E. Adye would be, but most of them wrote books, so the iconography in those portraits fit perfectly.

Patty Macsisak,

Here is the tree of the Adye of St. Kitts family. Unfortunately, you will have to read the tree across multiple pages. Stephen P. Adye, Judge Advocate in the British Army during the War of Independence, is included in this tree. Also, note that many of the family served with Royal Artillery.

I must look closer at the line of Wilfreda, Lady Armstrong. She was the daughter of General Sir John Miller Adye GCB, granddaughter of Major James P. Adye.

Patty Macsisak,

Here is a biography of General Sir John Miller Adye GCB, in which early pages, he gives account of his father and his father's brothers.;=false

I am beginning to wonder if the following Craigside portraits represent the children of Stephen Payne Adye (1734-1794), Captain, Royal Artillery and Judge Advocate of British Army, painted c. 1798. Each portrait seems to highlight a recent accomplishment or milestone.

Ralph Willett Adye (1764-1804) Major, Royal Artillery. His book, the "Pocket Gunner", first appeared in 1798.

John Willett Adye later John Willett Willett He was the heir of his uncle, Ralph Willett (1719-1795), noted rare book collector. I was unable to find later portraits.

Stephen Gallwey Adye (1774-1838) (Major-General, Royal Artillery)éophile-pingret/portrait-of-major-general-stephen-gallwey-adye-7IDN1HDMkkQKHIRX7Sji7A2

John Miller Adye (1788-1831) Captain, Royal Navy, wounded at Battle of the Nile 1–3 August 1798...I suggest this is your sitter.

Maria Pattison Adye Buchan...I find only one possible candidate at Craigside for her portrait.

James Pattison Adye (1783-1831) Major, Royal Artillery

Tim Williams,

Ah, it was late and I placed Stephen P. as a brother. I think the obervation regarding the law books still stands though, so I can't fit him as Ralph - unless Ralph also had an interest in the law?

I would say the two in uniform are definitely brothers - but with there being five, one cannot be a brother, which then casts doubt over another one being a brother (if you see what I mean). I think we need to expand the Adye family tree at that date and determine if one (or more) could be cousins.

The single epaulette thing is a little confusing - in the navy they were introduced in 1785, though I've no idea about the Army. We need the input of Pieter or one of the other military specialists to clarify the uniform and date in order to determine whether it is indeed one of the Adye brothers, and if so, which one.

Patty Macsisak,

Mr. Williams, I think we need to understand how the label C. E. Adye came to be applied. I wonder if it could be the unnamed brother between Stephen Payne Adye and Abraham Charles Adye (d. 1815), Attorney General of Granada? Or even a misunderstanding of the name of Abraham Charles Adye?

I watched the Jonathon Meades program re: Craigside last night. The program included a glimpse of a group of four portraits, all the same size; the placement, at the end of a passageway, seems to indicate a familial relationship which is not that of the owner. The pamphlet and book portraits are definitely of the group, but the other two were obscured by shadow.

Re: Ralph Willet Adye...perhaps it would be possible to read the words on the pamphlet and tie the words to "Pocket Gunner".

Tim Williams,

Sorry Patty, I hadn't elaborated on my source for the text (though in my defence it was 4am):

Recto: faintly inscribed on the manuscript: MAGNA CARTA
Recto: on the manuscript:Anno Primo / GULIELMI & MARIAE / Declaring the rights…
Recto: on the spine of the book: LAWS OF EVID[ENCE] [?]

Yes, we do need clarification from Cragside on C.E. Adye - I should think the surname is correct. For me all five portraits are connected, and three being one size make one group and the other two being the same size make another group - there's only a couple of cm difference, so it could be a mistake in measuring, but if these are Adye brothers/relations, getting them all together in one place to have their portraits done would be a logistical nightmare.

Patty Macsisak,

The portraits could have been completed in the time period in which the estate of Stephen Payne Adye (d. 1794) was settled. I am not sure what standard naval procedures were at the time, but I thought perhaps the portraits were done when John Miller Adye (1788-1831) was recuperating (at home ?) from his injuries (i.e., after August 1798).

All of the documents you just mentioned would have been legal precedents for the development of Stephen Payne Adye's "Treatise on the Courts-Martial".

I find additional references to Abraham Charles Adye: in 1785, he represented Lord Nelson in a St. Kitts court case. He also served as temporary governor of Granada 1804-1812; he died in St. Kitts 1815. If the portrait of C. E. Adye is him, then the portrait would have been completed before 1804.

Title Nelson: A Dream of Glory, 1758-1797
John MacRae Books
Author John Sugden
Edition illustrated, reprint
Publisher Macmillan, 2005
ISBN 0805079343, 9780805079340
Pages 295-296

Title Colonial Office Records: List of Documents in the Public Record Office [relating to Colonial Matters], on 1st July 1876
Author Great Britain. Public Record Office
Contributor Great Britain. Colonial Office
Publisher H.M. Stationery Office, 1876
Original from Harvard University
Page 126

Osmund Bullock,

You can find a slightly more manageable version of the Adye pedigree from Oliver's 'Caribbeana' here:

And you can see all the portraits side-by-side (plus another extraneous one) here:

Quite useful seeing them together. The two on the right - "C E Adye" and the chap reading a printed copy of the 1688/9 Bill of Rights (**I think it says 'An Act' before 'Declaring') - do feel, with their flat, tight, high-fronted wigs, slightly different to the other three. I am unsurprised to find they are the two with slightly different (smaller) dimensions. My feeling - but I am NOT an expert on wigs - is that they may be a bit earlier, perhaps early 1770s or even late 60s. I don't think the others can be as late as the 1790s, however - more like late 1770s-80s.

I am unable to find any trace of a 'C E Adye' anywere, though there are a few men called Charles Adey or Adie born mid-century. Unable to link them with this family at the moment, though. I, too, would like to know where the collection got the name from, and if there's a chance it has been misread from an inventory or scrappy label . I agree that the most likely reason for the other sitter's Bill of Rights & Laws of Evidence is that he is a lawyer.

The man in the brown coat on a faux-bamboo chair is not, I think, reading a printed book: it's very big and looks hand-written (though not a ledger) - a journal, perhaps?

[**'An Act declaring the Rights...' is how the original wording of the Bill starts - see ]

1 attachment
Patty Macsisak,

I found this document in the library of L.L.Hartley..."Anno Regni GULIELMI & MARIAE, primo", printed 1689, declaring the rights and liberties of the Subject, and settling the Succession".
Title Catalogue of the Library of the Late L.L. Hartley, Volumes 2-3
Catalogue of the Library of the Late L.L. Hartley, Leonard Lawrie Hartley
Author Leonard Lawrie Hartley
Compiled by John Corbet Anderson
Publisher East & Blades, 1886
Original from the New York Public Library
Page 442
I find additional Adye/Willett portraits:

Ralph Willett Adye (1764-1804) and his wife, Elizabeth Bawtree
Ref. Page 1, scroll down.

John Willett Adye later John Willett Willett (1745-1815);=
“At the time this was painted, about 1785, he sat to Romney as John Willett Adye, and it was not until the death of his maternal cousin, Ralph Willett of Merly, in 1795, that he took the additional surname of Willett, becoming John Willett-Willett.”
Ref. The Athenaeum, No. 4077, December 16, 1905, page 845.
Ref. The Connoisseur, Volumes 14-16, National Magazine Company, 1906, Page 126.

Mrs. John Willett (1746-1815)

Stephen Gallwey Adye (1774-1838)

Captain David Buchan, husband of Maria Pattison Adye
Ref. Page 2, scroll down, three portraits

John Miller Adye
Ref. Page 2, scroll down
P.S. I recent ran across the oddest reference to an individual, where "C. E." proceeded his surname, meaning that he was a minister in the Church of England. I don't think it is relevant in this case, but I will be suspicious of anyone else with those initials.

The fact there seem to be a group of Adye portraits by the same hand and with an Armstrong connections at Cragside is interesting in itself but doesn't help so far on the sitter of the naval portrait here. It can't be John Miller Adye, who - to be wounded at the Nile in 1798 must also have been born rather earlier than the 1788 ( as given above by Patty). Ten-year old lieutenants don't exist: boys generally went to sea about 12-14 as 'volunteers' rising later to midshipmen and in theory needed six years sea time and to have reached 21 for a commission, though some made it earlier. Adye is therefore likely to have been born no later than the early/mid 1770s - given that the known date of his promotion to lieutenant was 1797 (Tim supplied this in the Sailing Navies link). He therefore never wore the uniform shown in the portrait, which changed in 1787 and again in 1795 - the latter pattern (running to 1812) being the one that introduced epaulettes into naval dress, but not for lieutenants (just commanders up, who wore one on the left shoulder: captains under three years wore one on the right; captains over three years and flag officers wore pairs).

So its not J.M. Adye, but someone - albeit perhaps connected by family or other tie if painted by the same group hand - who was probably born no later than the mid-1760s and promoted to lieutenant before 1787.

Can you be more specific as to why that might be so in terms of specific collateral link to the Paynes? John Willet Payne (1752-1803) was a well known naval man and would fit the uniform, 1777-79; but apart from the blue eyes its not a close likeness with the later Bone enamel (which is NMM MNT0012, after an oil by Hoppner), though perhaps not impossible allowing about 20 years between them.

Patty Macsisak,

Colonel Stephen Payne (1661-1711) was the father of (at least) two children:
- Dorothy Payne who married Spranger Adye (1681-1745), their son was Stephen Payne Adye discussed above;
- Abraham Payne married Ann Willet; their daughter was the wife of Stephen Payne Adye. Her nephew was Ralph Willett of St. Kitts, later of Merly, the book collector, whose heir was her son, John Willett Adye later John Willett Willett.
Thus, three of the wealthiest families in the Leeward Islands were joined.

Frankly, I am fixed on the idea that the Craigside portraits are a set: if not brothers, then cousins?

Ref. Adye of St. Kitts line referenced above

Ref. Title Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire
Publisher Burke's Peerage Limited, 1914
Original from the University of Virginia
Page 833

Osmund Bullock,

[Sorry, been writing this on and off all day, and it's now been superseded rather. But I'll post anyway, as one or two things in it may still be of value.]

You are quite right, Peter. Even from the genealogy it seems likely that John Miller Adye, RN, was born well before 1788 - probably 1770s and conceivably late 1760s. I think this error stems from a misreading of his 1810 marriage record - he and his wife were both given as (over) 21 (i.e. of full age), and this has been taken by many to mean they were exactly 21 - in reality his wife, Allithea Douglas, was born at Yarmouth in 1781, and was 29. JMA's parents were married at Oporto in Jan 1764, and his eldest brother, Ralph Willett Adye, was born in November the same year (bap. Colchester 5 Dec). So clearly not the "third child" as stated in the Caribbeana pedigree (which should I think be taken with caution). The monument at Gibraltar is seriously in error, too, if it gives his age as 34 in Oct 1804 - he was just a month off 40.

Nevertheless, the uniform evidence and date of his lieutenancy make clear that the portrait cannot possibly be him. And even were it not so, the idea that the portrait of the officer in a red uniform might be one of his military brothers doesn't stand up either - nor can it be any other Adye of which we are aware. For the regiment that every army member of the family served in, throughout their careers, was the Royal Artillery; and I find that the RA's uniform coat has since at least the mid C18th always been dark blue (with red facings, and later cuffs/collars) - like, I believe, all British Artillery regiments (bar the Hon Artillery Co), even those raised overseas:

So the Adyes were always a red herring, and it remains to be seen if the identification of one of the group (if is one) as 'C E Adye' has any real substance to it.

Patty Macsisak,

Beyond the references in The Athenaeum and The Connoisseur noted above, is there any source which might detail the December 1905 Christie sales of Willett L. Adye's property?

How about a pink herring, Mr. Bullock? If we run out the theory that the set of portraits may be cousins, couldn't Stephen Payne Adye be a contender for the sitter with the stack of material related to "civil rights" and Ralph Willett, the book collector, be a contender for the sitter with the book/ledger/manuscript?

Patty Macsisak,

Moving right along with the first cousin theory, please take another look at the portraits, especially the two known portraits of John Willet Payne. I read that both his professional and personal lifestyle had caught up with him by the time he arrived at the Royal Naval Hospital, Greewich (ca. 1799) and he was much changed.

There are loose ends. Missing from the cousin line-up are:
- Dr. Ralph Ayde (d. 1804), son of Stephen Ayde (abt. 1706-1756) and his 3rd wife, Clara Payne;
- Ralph Payne (1739-1807), later 1st Baron Lavington, son of Ralph Payne (d. 1763) and his 1st wife, Anne Carlisle;
- Stephen Payne-Gallwey (1749-1803), son of Ralph Payne (d. 1763) and his 2nd wife, Margaret Gallwey. He may well be responsible for suggesting these portraits (e.g., both he and Nathaniel Dance-Holland became members of the Society of Dilettanti in 1777. He sat for three of the Society's portraits, as well as commissioning a portrait of his wife and son, Charles).

Mr. Pieter van der Merwe, can you speak to the uniform of the youngest man? My candidate, William Payne-Gallwey, became at Lt. in the 1st Dragoons in 1777. The sitter looks younger than 20 years old.

In addition to collecting books and pictures, I find that Ralph Willet was interested in genealogy. It is interesting to note that "family pictures" were held back from the 1813 auctions until necessity overrode sentiment (I was amazed when I found dribbles and drabs from his library, as well as family miniatures on the market as late as 2003. I wonder if he gathered "family pictures" that were available.) There is an interesting summary of the auctions of the Ralph Willett estate, a sad tale to tell.,_Ralph_(DNB00)

I can't add anything on the military as opposed to naval uniform.

As regards the Cragside naval lieutenant we seem to have these options:

1. He has some likeness to Prince Frederick William (later William IV), at the right age to wear the uniform shown (1785-6) - but this may just be coincidence of looks.

2. The painting appears on style to be one of a group by the same hand at Cragside, all of or related to the Adye family, among whom the only know sitter who would fit is a 'cousin' (though I still haven't quite worked that one out), the well-known RN man who was eventually Rear-Admiral John Willet Payne (1752-1803). The man shown is of about the right age (ie 23-27) for Payne when he would have been wearing the uniform shown, having passed for lieutenant in 1775 though (I think) only in commission from 1777-79 in that rank.

That said, the likeness to the Hoppner/Bone image of Payne (about 20 years later for the oil) is at best questionable - and it has no likeness to the other known print of him (probably from the Naval Chronicle), other than that both coloured images show blue eyes.

It looks like a question of take-your-pick. The rest of the genealogy really doesn't get us too far on sitter. Artist also remains a problem.

Patty Macsisak,

Abraham Payne (abt. 1679-1740) m. Anne Willett. They had (at least) four children: Ralph, Frances Ann, Clara and Abraham.

Ralph Payne m. 2x, 1st to Alice Carlisle, among others, mother of Ralph Payne, 1st Baron Lavington; 2nd to Margaret Gallwey. They were parents of (at least) 9 children, including Stephen Payne-Gallwey, et. al.

Frances Ann Payne m. William Woodley.

Clara Payne m. Stephen Payne (abt. 1706-1756). She was his 3rd wife. They were parents of (at least) 8 children, including Stephen Payne Adye, et. al.

Abraham Payne...unable to trace.

So in other words, John Willett Payne RN (1752-1803) and his elder half-brother (Ralph, 1st Baron Lavington) were first cousins to Stephen Payne Adye (1734-94), of whom you have suggested the Cragside group might generally be children. The problem there is that he's the generation before them, though of course portraits 'fix' people at the age they are painted: his would be 1775-79 but any showing them at about the same age would be correspondingly later. Not impossible but if by the same artist presumes one working for a single family over a long time.

Patty Macsisak,

I appreciate that this genealogy is complex (e.g., multiple marriages, many dead children, names used multiple times within same family, name changes, etc.) I reconstructed the Payne line back to Ralph Payne, the Royalist and used dates from church records whenever possible.

Based on your argument, I have abandoned the theory that the portraits are the children of Stephen Payne Adye (1743-1795). I am now testing another theory, i.e., whether the portraits are five 1st cousins.

All of the following eight men are 1st cousins:

- Stephen Payne Adye (1743-1795), John Willett Adye later John Willett Willett (1745-1815, Abraham Charles Adye (1748-1815), Dr. Ralph Ayde (d. 1804), sons of Stephen Ayde (abt. 1706-1756) and his 3rd wife, Clara Payne
- Ralph Payne (1739-1807), later 1st Baron Lavington, son of Ralph Payne (d. 1763) and his 1st wife, Anne Carlisle.
- Stephen Payne-Gallwey (1749-1803), John Willett Payne (1752-1803), William Payne-Gallwey (1758-1831), sons of Ralph Payne (d. 1763) and his 2nd wife, Margaret Gallwey.

If I understand your comment, you are missing a generation, i.e.,

Spranger Ayde (Bef. 06 Dec 1681-1745) and his wife, Dorothy Payne, parents of Stephen Adye (1706-1756).

Stephen Adye (1706-1756) and his wife, Clara Payne, parents of Stephen Payne Adye (1743-1795), et. al.

Patty Macsisak,

Mr. van der Merwe, I thought you might be interested in the following information.

Follow this link to a print of Prince William Henry as a mid-shipsman.

Reference this book for a information about the 1781 Gainsborough portrait of Prince William Henry, as the Prince was about to leave for active duty in the Americas.

Ref. Via Google eBooks
Title Thomas Gainsborough
Author William Thomas Whitley
Publisher Smith, Elder & Company, 1915
Original from the University of California
Pages 177-178

Here is a link to the 1782 portrait.,_1782.jpg

Thank you for producing that which. though I can't find it on the Royal Collection web pages, I assume is among the children of George III group (which I should have thought of). Again, its very much a case of whether one sees a likeness or not allowing differing hands and the difference of date . (Round-faced boys rapidly changed under service conditions , of which we have evidence in a Rigaud portrait of Nelson, of which X-ray's show how he did in the period between when it was started and finished: 1777-81 if I remember aright.)

If the Cragside picture was of Prince William, one would also have to explain its origin, given that the artist is so far unidentfied and I have no idea whether there is any portrait of the Prince once recorded but now missing (i.e. a potential 'rediscovery' ). When I first suggested there was a likeness - which is only a personal opinion, given the sitter appears to have blue eyes (as William did) and that the uniform 'fitted' him for c. 1785-86 - I did not realize it was one of a group there, all apparently by the same hand and perhaps of the Adye/Willett/Payne or Watson families (all of which have been mentioned above) which have a collateral connection to the 1st Baron Armstrong of Cragside (d. 1900), given that he himself had no children and that subsequent Armstrong descent and these connections are all in the family of his short-lived elder sister Anne (1802-28) whose grandson became Ist Baron Armstrong of Bamburgh and Cragside (a new creation in effect) in 1903.

We know it cannot be John Adye (who was too young and only a lieutenant from 1797), and the only other suitable naval man so far identified in the rather confusing genealogy appears to be John Willett Payne (1752-1803), who could have been painted in the uniform shown between 1775 and 1779. Again however, one has to square the likeness with the later Hoppner image of him as a captain (as reproduced in enamel by Bone): apart from the blue eyes it's not a patently obvious one.

That said the historical data, though circumstantial, suggests an Armstrong connection: there is nothing but likeness (if, like me, you see it) and the right uniform to support the Prince William theory. Apart from another suitable naval candidate appearing in the Armstrong network (e.g. a Watson perhaps), I'm not sure there is much further one can go, though it would still be good to identify the painter.

Patty Macsisak,

I invite comparison between the midshipsman above and this unidentified picture of an "Associate of the Prince of Wales" Although 1781 is too early for John Willett Payne (1752-1803) to be an intimate of the Prince of Wales, I find that the two faces are similar. Is there any doubt about the date of the Gainsborough? Was this portrait lumped into the bucket of the Prince's "several new commissions" in 1781 which Whitley mentioned above?

In consideration of John Willett Payne (1752-1803) as a candidate for the midshipman, I keep the facts of his dissolute lifestyle and the affect it would have on his looks in mind, but will continue to look for additional candidates within the family.

Ref. via Google eBooks

Tim Williams,

I think it would be prudent to get clarification first from the NT/Cragside regarding the source of the identification of 'C.E. Adye', otherwise this thread could become convoluted and confusing. If there is a label on the reverse of 'C.E. Adye' that has potentially been transcribed incorrectly, we might be able to move forward with more confidence.

Osmund Bullock,

I tend to agree, Tim. And even if the note or label or whatever is more or less right, it could easily indicate the name of the owner rather than the sitter. Indeed, if it has been part-correctly read, I have a strong candidate.

If the 'C' were in fact a loosely-written 'O', it could refer to Octavius Ellerton Adye (1866-1917). He was the youngest, and last surviving son of Willett Lawrence Adye (1818-1878), who inherited the Merl(e)y estate from his cousins the Willetts (formerly Adye) in 1857. Octavius's father sold Merley in 1875: I expect there were any number of family portraits blowing about after that, looking for a home - and Octavius was first cousin to Winfreda Adye, who in 1889 married William Watson-Armstrong, from 1900 owner of Cragside and later Lord Armstrong .

The only apparent problem is that poor Octavius is described in the 1891 Census as an "imbecile from childhood" - in later years he was looked after by his widowed sister Alice (with a live-in nurse). However, despite his condition he left an estate of some substance - £8679 - so he clearly had legal title to a decent amount of property/chattels. I don't think it is too far-fetched to imagine that pictures listed in an inventory or in store might at some stage have had his name on them, as the legal owner - or perhaps his father marked some with his name (for later distribution) before the severity of his condition became clear.

Poor Octavius indeed, but an ingenious possibility. Given we are clearly still in the Adye/Willett/Payne/Watson area the following are Naval lieutenants called Watson who could have worn the uniform up to the date it changed in 1787: I know nothing of their connections but assuming none of their names turn up, that leaves J. W. Payne as prime candidate from a genealogical viewpoint.

Christopher Watson was a lieutenant of 1782, promoted commander 1798 and died as a captain on 21 October 1810.

David George Watson was a lieutenant of 1778 and still serving in 1790, but then vanishes.

James Watson, lieutenant of 1782, commander 1801 and captain 1806 (ending up ashore in the impress service by 1807).

Robert Watson, lieutenant 1778-87, subsequently rising to Vice Admiral of the Blue in 1814 (obviously successful, but not so much as to make ODNB).

Tim Williams,

Although Alison had made a mistake in her Watson genealogy post - putting James Watson of Addlestone's birth date at 1790 instead of 1760, he was an army man (76th Foot).

I did expand on the family but I couldn't readily place one in a direct line to our chap here. A cousin of theirs was Vice Admiral Charles Watson:

But I think we'd just be fitting faces for the sake of it instead of any hard evidence. I did similar to you Pieter and followed a few Watson's from Naval lists - there were two brothers aboard the Aggressor (I think one was Capt. John Watson) but couldn't connect them to this family.

Vice Admiral Watson's uncle was Sir Charles Wager, so we're spoilt for choice with naval family members there.

Patty Macsisak,

I have a few bits to share:

- Regarding "An Associate of the Prince of Wales", I have located a topographical feature (Soufriere Hills volcano on the island of Montserrat) which seems to fit the mountain profile in the background.

- I located a cartoon of John Willett Payne in Brighton, presumably executed after his illness (c. 1798).

Ref. Via Google eBooks
Title Life of Edmond Malone, Editor of Shakespeare: With Selections from His Manuscript Anecdotes
Eighteenth-century sources for the study of English literature
Author Sir James Prior
Publisher Smith, Elder & Company, 1860
Original from the New York Public Library

- The portrait of John Willett Payne, 1752-1803, Rear-Admiral of the Red was commissioned by the Prince of Wales from John Hoppner for display at Carlton House.

Via Google eBooks
The Life of George the Fourth: Including His Letters and Opinions, with a View of the Men, Manners, and Politics of His Reign, Percy Hetherington Fitzgerald
Author Percy Hetherington Fitzgerald
Publisher Tinsley brothers, 1881
Original from Library of Catalonia
Page 423

When I compare the Hoppner to Henry Bone's version, I find the features much softer, whether due to the yellowed varnish, I cannot say.

- I find that a sale was conducted for the benefit of Lady Lavington, after the death of her husband Sir Ralph Payne, 1st Baron Lavington (1739-1807). Does anyone have access to information about this sale? Perhaps we will find our five Cragside paintings there.

Patty Macsisak,

Oops! See page number below:

Title Life of Edmond Malone, Editor of Shakespeare: With Selections from His Manuscript Anecdotes
Page 241

The Hoppner/Bone portrait of J.W. Payne and the Cragside lieutenant are perhaps reconcileable - at a push - partly from being the same sort of 'left-front' painted image. The 'Brighton' caricature and the oval print of him (possibly from a post-mortem biography in the 'Naval Chronicle', though I have not yet checked) could, on looks, be a different man.
Opinions of likeness between the four, however, cannot on their own go anywhere conclusive and that to Prince William (even if just coincidental) remains - though also a matter of opinion. Only resolving the origins of the Cragside image/group is likely to carry this further but I doubt any connection with Vice Admiral Charles Watson, who died in 1757 (unless one of the others I listed was a relative of his) and still less amid Charles's Watson's Wager connections: though again I need t check, the Wagers had rather submerged in naval terms by the second half of the century.

Patty Macsisak,

The Edmund Malone reference states that the cartoon of Admiral Payne was on view at Dighton's shop at Charing Cross c. 1810.

Patty Macsisak,

I've had an opportunity to review the "Biographical Memoir of Rear-Admiral John Willett Payne". Here are dates of Payne's movements (plus dates related to other Adye & Payne candidates) which hopefully will help us test candidates for the artist:

1763 John Willett Adye, later John Willett Willett, admitted to Lincoln's Inn, but did not complete his studies in favor of becoming an antiquarian.
1766-1769 John Willett Payne at Royal Academy, Portsmouth
1767 Abraham Charles Adye admitted to Lincoln's Inn
1769 Stephen Payne Adye publishes "A Treatise on Courts Martial".
1772-1773 John Willett Payne, expedition to St. Vincent, Leeward Islands
1773 John Willett Payne returns to Europe
1773 John Willett Payne, expedition to Guinea, Jamaica. On this voyage, he stopped briefly in Antiqua where his brother, Ralph Payne, Lord Lavington was Governor of the Leeward Islands.
1774 John Willett Payne returns to Europe
1776 William Payne, later Sir William Payne-Gallwey, entered the army as cornet, 1st Dragoons.
1778 John Willett Payne returns to Europe
July, 1780 John Willett Payne, promotion to Post Captain.

Via Google eBooks
Title The Naval Chronicle, Volume 3
Published 1800
Original from the University of California

Edward Stone,

Following a technical error, some recent comments have not been recorded. Below, I have posted the following comment originally from Patty Macsisak:

I have lately created a Pinterest page to cluster portraits et al, related to John Willett Payne.

Of special interest are two larger images at the British Museum: the 'Commodore Payne' portrait and the 'The late Admiral Payne' portrait.

The second image now kindly provided immediately above by Patty, of 'the late Admiral Payne' engraved by Edmund Scott in 1804, is closer than any other Payne images to the Hoppner/Bone portrait, (of which the later 1813 engraving is also attached below) and in almost the same orientation as the Cragside oil portrait of the mysterious lieutenant.

If the latter were 'young Payne', it would represent him between 1777 and 1779 (aged 25-27). The Scott print probably shows him in a more 'Regency' wig, but allowing for age and change, it might just be the same man, given that the Cragside group appears to relate to his broad family, in which there seem to be no other possible candidates.

If this is a possibility as regard likeness, however doubtful - and I do not press it - it is at least apparently supported by circumstantial documentary/ family evidence raised in this long discussion - albeit as yet without proof.

I have nothing further to support the possible likeness I see in the Cragside portrait to a young Prince William, about 1786 at latest, when he would have been 20-21: this may just be coincidental.

I think we should leave this matter with Cragside and the National Trust to decide if any further change of description is desirable at present, and the matter of possible artist as 'unresolved' - since no-one has made a well-supported suggestion. Both matters can be raised again, as and when there is something new to suggest.

Many thanks to everyone who has pitched in.

(Here for reference only is the Hoppner/Bone print made in 1813, presumably from the oil in the Royal Collection rather than the Bone reduction in enamel, which is in the NMM, Greenwich (MNT0012), which also has copies of the following, inc. a proof-before-letter:- )’