Blennerhassett Family Tree
Genealogy one-name study - by Bill Jehan
   Introduction      John Blennerhassett, son of Arthur - portrait miniature
 
John Blennerhassett, son of Arthur Blennerhassett of Ba...

unidentified and undated portrait miniature, of late 18th or early 19th century,
painted at London (Covent Garden) by William John Thomson (c1771-1845)

also shown here are two other miniatures by the same painter, with matching surname signature
 
 
 
 
Portrait of a gentleman (PM24)
 John Blennerhassett

 son of Arthur Blennerhassett of Ba...
 
 
 
painted by William John Thomson
at Covent Garden, London (undated)
 
images: copyright © Bob Pino
 - used with permission
 
OBVERSE
 Portrait of John Blennerhassett, son of Arthur, of Ba... - obverse
Portrait of a lady (PM72)
 Christian Bannatyne [Bannatyre?] Lundie

daughter of Archibald Lundie of Edinburgh,
Attorney & Writer to the Signet;
wife of Andrew Wardrop the younger [?]
 of Torbane Hill, West Lothian, Scotland
and a merchant at the island of Madeira
 
painted by William John Thomson
at Edinburgh 1804
 
image: copyright © Bob Pino
- used with permission

OBVERSE
Portrait of Christian Bannatyne Wardrop, nee Lundle, 1804 - obverse
Portrait of a lady.
Charlotte Trotter

daughter of William Trotter,
noted Scottish cabinet-maker,
 who served as Lord Provost of Edinburgh
 
 
 
painted by William John Thomson
at Edinburgh 1831
 
image: copyright © Don Shelton
- used with permission
 
OBVERSE
 
 
 
 
 
portrait of Charlotte Trotter, 1831 - obverse
 
 

 
 

REVERSE
 
 
Portrait of John Blennerhassett, son of Arthur, of Ba... - reverse
click on image to rotate
 
 
REVERSE OF MINIATURE
Portrait of Christian Bannatyne Wardrop, nee Lundle, 1804 - reverse

REVERSE





portrait of Charlotte Trotter, 1832 - reverse

 

 
 
 
the reverse is signed
Thomson (without initials)
 
[Painted by]
[William John] Thomson,
No 20 Tavistock Street,
Covent Garden  [London]



 
An additional, but still old, label with name of sitter:
the label was four segments of border from
a perforated sheet of postage stamps or similar
- unfortunately the last of these segments is missing.
 
                      John Blennerhassett
                      son of Arthur of Ba....          see: note a)


 
a) The truncated place-name Ba... on the perforated label could be
    Ballyseedy, Co.Kerry, Ireland or Bath, Somerset, England.
 
Arthur and John are both family names used by the Blennerhassetts of Ballyseedy at that date; three men named Arthur Blennerhassett, of the Ballyseedy family, resided at both Ballyseedy & at Bath, but none of these are known to have had a son named John.
 
b) The date has been estimated by specialists in miniatures as c1780-1790 and as c1800. The frame appears original but has the look of the early 19th century.

c) The miniature was purchased 3-Jan-2003 from a Florida antique dealer at a D.S.Clark antique show held in Atlanta, Georgia (this show no longer happens). D.S.Clark was publisher of the "Antique" journal.
 
a card attached to the reverse is signed W.J.Thomson,
his surname signature matching that on the
John Blennerhassett portrait
 
Painted by
W[illiam] J[ohn] Thomson
Sep[tembe]r 1804
Edinburgh -
 
 
REVERSE OF FRAME
 
click on image to enlarge
click on image to enlarge
 
Christian Bannatyne Lundie,
daughter of Archibald Lundie, W.S.,
[Writer to the Signet]
Edinburgh, and wife of
Andrew Wardrop, ygr [?] of Torbanhill,
and Merchant [at] Madeira.
--------
Painted by
W. J. Thomson, Edinburgh,
September 1804.
 
a card attached to the reverse signed W.J.Thomson,
his surname signature matching that on the
John Blennerhassett portrait
 
Painted by
W[illiam] J[ohn] Thomson
Sep[tembe]r 1831
Edinburgh -



For further information on William John Thomson, see:

 "Thomson, William John
 - portrait of Charlotte Knox Trotter"
 
also
"Miniatures, Dictionary and Guide"
by Daphne Foskett
 
 
 
 
 
THE PAINTER

William John Thomson (sometimes recorded as Thompson) was born at Savannah, Georgia, USA c1771.
 
After moving with his father from USA to London, UK he sold portraits and miniatures to support himself, exhibiting at the Royal Acadamy in London as early as 1795. He married at Edinburgh, Scotland in 1797 and was painting in Edinburgh in 1804. In 1807 he became a member of the Assciated Artists, London. He first entered the Royal Academy Schools, London in 1808 at the age of 35. He was active in Scotland from 1812 until his death at Edinburgh in 1845. For most of his life he worked in Britain and there is evidence he travelled back and forth between Edinburgh and London during his early career.
 
Sources:
"Dictionaire International Peintres Miniaturistes, Peintres sur Porcelaine, Silouettistes" by Harry Blattel
"Miniatures, Dictionary and Guide" by Daphne Foskett
"The Miniature in Europe" by Leo R. Shidlof
 
"Thomson, William John - portrait of Charlotte Knox Trotter" in Don Shelton's Blog for July 2008
also see: Don Shelton's researches into mid 18th century English literature and in particular discoveries of "lost works" by author Tobias Smollett, i.e. works previously defined as anonymous or pseudonymous, in: "The Lost Works of Tobias Smollett and the War of the Satirists"
 
 
THE SITTER
 
John Blennerhassett, son of Arthur of Ba... [perhaps Ballyseedy, Co.Kerry, perhaps Bath, Somerset...]
 
The sitter for this portrait is a middle-aged gentleman in late 18th century dress.
 
In the Blennerhassett family of Ballyseedy, Co.Kerry at that time were four men named Arthur (♦ 1,2,3,4 below).
Three of these (♦ 1,2,3 below) sometimes took town houses for the season in the fashionable Georgian City of Bath, Co.Somerset.
As far as is known none of these three Arthurs had a son named John, although both Arthur and John were traditional names for the Ballyseedy branch of the family. 
 
There was also a John Blennerhassett (alias Hassett) in business as "John Hassett, stay manufacturer" (♦ 5 below) at Bath 1799-1831, his business continued after his death by his widow Elizabeth Hassett (nee Lansdown), their children and grandchildren at Bath, Cheltenham and London.
This John was born c1757 in Ireland but I am unable to find the name of his father - it would be interesting to know if his father was named Arthur. 
If you know anything of a John Blennerhassett born in Ireland c1757, please get in touch.
 
 
 ♦ 1. Arthur Blennerhassett (b.1719 d.1799 at Bath) succeeded to the Ballyseedy estate 1775,
         also at London 1774-1783, also at Bath 1785-1799 (two daughters).
 
 ♦ 2. Col. Arthur Blennerhassett (b.1731 d.1810 at Bath)
         succeeded to Ballyseedy 1799, also at Bath 1800-1810 (one son, Edward).
 
 3. Arthur Blennerhassett (b.1779 d.1815 at Bath)
        succeeded to Ballyseedy 1810; also at Bath 1811-1815.
 
        This Arthur had a son Rev. John Blennerhassett
        M.A. (b.1803 d.1890), Rector of Ryme Intrinseca,
        Dorset, England whose portrait in oils formerly hung
        in the village school at Ryme Intrinseca.
 
        Following closure of the school the painting (see right)
        has hung in the church at Ryme Intrinseca;
        Looking at that portrait it is clear he is not
        John Blennerhassett of the miniature...
Portrait of Rev. John Blennerhassett (1803-1890), vicar of Ryme Intrinseca, Dorset
click on image
for further detail
 
 4.  Arthur Blennerhassett MP (b.1799 d.1843 at Nantes, France)
         succeeded to Ballyseedy 1815 (had issue sons, but not named John).
 
♦ 5. John Blennerhassett (alias Hassett) (b.c1757 Ireland d.1831 at Bath),
         in business as "John Hassett, stay manufacturer" at Bath 1799-1831.
         Family tradition has it that this branch of the family came from the Dingle Bay area of Co.Kerry, which could
         suggest the Blennerhassett family of Blennerville, near Tralee, Co.Kerry, but Arthur was not a name used by that branch.
 
 
 
Thus the identity of "John Blennerhassett son of Arthur of Ba...." remains unknown 
 
The owner of this fine miniature will be pleased to hear from anyone who can assist in indentfying the sitter.

If you can help in any way, please get in touch.
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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