The Rice Portrait Provenance by Mrs. Henry Rice - Mrs. Thomas Harding-Newman 1789-1831, and The Rev. Dr. Thomas Harding Newman 1811-1882
|Thomas Harding Newman|
reproduced by kind permission of Edward Harding-Newman
Elizabeth Hall who married Colonel Thomas Harding Newman in 1818 was the fourth owner of the portrait. She was his second wife, and acquired his son by his first wife Elizabeth Cartwright, as her step-son. In family lore she was the model for Jane Austen's "Emma" so one can only suppose her to be managing and somewhat manipulative; I wonder also if she was a good matchmaker! In any case, she was nineteen when she married and died young, again, I believe in childbirth, in 1831. Her husband married again, but on his death in 1856 the portrait was inherited by his eldest son, the Rev. Dr. Thomas Harding Newman, the fifth owner of the portrait.
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Harding Newman 1811-1882
The fifth owner of the portrait never married. A don at Oxford he hung the portrait in his rooms at Magdalen College where by all accounts he was exceedingly proud of it. So proud in fact, that he decided that the portrait had been painted by Zoffany. The name Humphry is written across the right hand corner of the painting, but rather indistinctly. He may have made a genuine mistake as the names both end in y, or he may just have chosen the smarter artist. Be that as it may, this mis-attribution caused a very great problem for the poor picture later in my story. Humphry and Zoffany were great friends, and Zoffany is credited with teaching Humphry how to paint muslins and draperies whilst they were together in India. Humphry also figures in Zoffany's famous painting 'Colonel Mordaunt's Cockfight' painted in India. This helped the confusion.
|Rev. Dr. Thomas Harding-Newman|