This miniature portrait is signed "E Deane Pinxit". A helpful visitor has advised this is probably for the Erastus Deane who was active in Richmond VA from 1799 to around 1807.
Miniatures by him are held by the Gibbes Museum and the Virginia Historical Society. Apart from those items little is known about him. In October 2007 I commented on three miniatures attributed to Erastus Deane, see 2007 - Additions and Comment: October 2007 - The Market Place
He is possibly the Erastus Dean (1776-1 Sep 1823), son of Gaius and Mary Dean, who was born at Greene, NY and married Mary Fenton around 1805 at Laurens, Otsego, NY. Erastus and Mary appear to have had eight children, with the eldest born around 1806.
However, other references suggest he was born in Canada and his parents moved to Greene NY after he was born, then again to Columbia, NY and they had four other children; Esra (1780-9 Feb 1842), Polly (1784-19 Jan 1869), Thankful (1786-?) and Sabrince (1790-?).
Although the above dates do not confirm a link with Erastus Deane the painter, they almost fit with him being active in Richmond VA from 1799 to around 1807 and then moving to NY. No other Erastus Deane has been found to fit those dates.
For some unknown reason, perhaps added when the miniature was reframed, the backing card for the miniature refers to another miniature painter.
It is part of a trade card almost appearing to be the playing card for the Ace of Spades. It is cut down, but the following can be read. "G III REX - HONI SOIT QUE MALY PENSE - No 21 A - DIEU ET MON DROIT - HART ...YPORTRAITI(ST)". However, as there were several miniature painters named Hart, it was not clear which one this relates to. In view of the extra information below, and the connections to USA, it seems possible the artist may be Sarah Hart who was active in Elizabethtown NJ around 1783. The other Harts active around this date being E Hart in Canterbury, England 1770-1799 and Samuel Hart in Plymouth, Bath, and London 1785-1820.
[A note to earlier visitors, a number of corrections have been made below, following advice received from a kind visitor.]
The sitter in this portrait is Daniel Stewart, who was born in Dominica c1779-1780 and died in South America about 1825. The miniature was acquired in a red leather miniature case together with the several other items shown here.
A note written on the interior silk of the case reads; "Daniel Stewart, only son of Daniel Stewart and his wife Jean Murray & brother of Mrs Broadwood of Lyne - He died unmarried in S. America about 1825 or 6."
A paper note found behind the miniature reads; "Our maternal grandmother Jean Murray - married 1stly Sep 20 1777 Daniel Stewart Esq and by him had a son Daniel and a daughter Mary Schaw - both born in Dominica. - 2ndly her cousin Dr Field. She died May 22 1825 at Petersburg, United States. B.B. Dec 30, 1858". [B.B. = Mrs. Barbara Barker, nee Broadwood, daughter of James Broadwood and Margaret Schaw Stewart, born 1808.]
According to the IGI, the marriage between Jean Murray and Daniel Stewart was on 17 Aug 1777 at Canongate, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland.
As an aside, when I was researching some of my own family tree, I came across the occupation "black borderer". My first thought was that I had come across a Scottish cattle rustler of some kind. However, I soon found that a black borderer was a person who put the black borders around mourning stationery, as can be seen on the edges of the above note."
The miniature is depicted together with some other Stewart family portraits which were acquired at a separate auction a couple of years apart.
From the written inscriptions with them, it was possible to confirm they relate to the same family. Thus it was nice to be able to reunite them with Daniel Stewart.
Apart from the bottom one being by Deane as mentioned, the artists of this second Stewart family group of miniature portraits are currently unidentified. The others may have been painted in Britain or possibly in America by Sarah Hart as mentioned above. Another possibility, now it seems more likely all four miniatures were painted in USA, is that the set of three portraits were painted by Henry Benbridge (1743-1812). This is because the overall style, and in particular the eyebrows of the top and left miniatures, is similar to other miniatures by Benbridge.
As is recorded in a 1971 catalogue of Benbridge's work; "A number of Benbridge's patrons were Loyalists who fled with their family pictures to Bermuda, the Bahamas, Nova Scotia, or "home" to England. Thus a number of Benbridge portraits have turned up and will continue to do so in the British Isles." These miniatures were acquired from Britain, so that location fits.
At the top is a Colonel Macbean (I originally read this as Maclean, but a kind visitor has corrected me). As a result of this correction, it is possible to speculate on his identity. It did initially seem likely he was one of the Macbeans referred to in The Gentleman's Magazine of 1855; "Gen Sir William Macbean KCB May 25 At Brompton aged 73. General Sir William Macbean KCB KTS, Colonel of the 92d Foot. Sir William was the son of Colonel Macbean of the 6th regiment, and grandson of Lieut General Macbean of the Royal Artillery. He was born at Southampton in 1782." However, this Macbean has now been discounted.
Another discounted is Colonel Macbean of the 6th Regiment of Foot. Infantry Regiments of the Line were allocated numbers according to their seniority and in 1743 the successors to Lillingstone’s Regiment was named The Sixth Regiment of Foot. In 1778, the Sixth of Foot came to Warwickshire to recruit and raised companies in Birmingham, Coventry, Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon. Infantry Regiments established formal links with a particular geographical area and The Sixth Regiment became also named The First Warwickshire Regiment of Foot. By 1878, the Regimental Training Depot had been established at Budbrooke Barracks outside Warwick. The site is now the village of Hampton Magna. In 1968 the four English Fusilier Regiments merged into a ‘large regiment’ named The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers with four regular battalions:
* 1st Battalion, originally The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, The Fifth of Foot.
* 2nd Battalion, originally The Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers, The Sixth of Foot.
* 3rd Battalion, originally The Royal Fusiliers (who recruited from London), The Seventh of Foot.
* 4th Battalion, originally The Lancashire Fusiliers, The Twentieth of Foot.
It appears that this Colonel Macbean was a colonel in the 6th regiment in the late 18C, with his uniform dating to around 1780.
Third time lucky!
I am grateful to a kind visitor who has advised, as below, the correct identity of the army officer, and some corrections to the family relationships I had previously attempted to unravel.
[Below is what a researcher has found, and appears to be our man, as his details fit in with two extant letters written by his parents. The uniform he is wearing in the portrait has also been verified as being that of the 71st Regiment, in which he served 1776-1782. This regiment was based for some time in Virginia, so it is quite possible that the portrait was made there.
ALEXANDER MCBEAN - Commission
- 2nd Lieutenant Royal Regiment of Artillery 1st Battalion. w.e.f. 15.4.1771
- Lieutenant 2nd Bt/71st. Rgt. w.e.f 28.8.1776
- Captain 14th Foot. (Rgt 15.12.1784; Army 24.6.1782)
- Major .. .. (Rgt 1.9.1795; Army 1.3.1794)
Last entry in Army List is 1797 annotated “retired”. His replacement’s commission is dated 3.5.1797.
Father: Lieut. Col. Forbes Macbean (Commander of Artillery in Quebec ca.1778)
Mother: Ann Macbean
Brother: Donald Macbean (still researching 3 possible candidates……more later!)]
The lady portrayed in the left of the frame is Jean Murray who married first Daniel Stewart, an army surgeon in Dominica, Sept 20 1777, and married secondly, her cousin Dr Alexander Field, a physician in Richmond, Virginia, Oct 10 1791. She died at Petersburgh, Va, USA on May 22, 1845. She is the mother of the other two sitters, both of whom were born in Dominica in the West Indies.
The lady on the right is Margaret Schaw Stewart, who married James Schudi Broadwood. Her brother, at the bottom of the group photo, Daniel Stewart is the subject of the miniature featured here and he died unmarried in South America about 1825.
Further advice from the kind visitor is that;
Her husband Daniel Stewart (Snr) died in 1779 (one source says 1780). We know their daughter was born in 1778, but the son’s (Daniel Jnr, subject of the portrait) birth date is unknown. However, given the tight timescale, it must have been 1779, unless of course he was Margaret Schaw’s twin, but there is no mention of that anywhere. So I think we can say with reasonable confidence: “Daniel Stewart, born Dominica ca.1779, died S. America ca.1825”. Incidentally, there is an extant letter from him, dated April 24, 1809, Petersburg, Virginia. It is to his sister’s husband James Broadwood. From its contents he is clearly acting as an agent for Broadwood pianos along the Eastern Seaboard (ref. David Wainwright’s ‘Broadwood by Appointment’, London, 1982.).
The last item, much enlarged, was also inside the red miniatures case. It is the front and reverse of a cut down photograph inscribed on the rear; "Kathleen Longfield J(?) at Lyne July 1870". Lyne House was the country seat of the Broadwood family, in S.E. England.
Although cut down, the name photographer is underneath the written name and appears to be "Rudolph Mayer & Co, Artists and Photographers" who operated from 13 Castle Place, Belfast, Ireland.
A full example of the trade card for Mayer is also shown.
At present the relationship of Kathleen Longfield to the Stewart family is unknown. It is possible she is related to the Ada Kathleen Longfield who married Harold Lask and wrote several social history books in the early 20C. 779, 1084
The kind visitor has also supplied a family tree to show the relationships and a little more information about Daniel Stewart.
Here is a little more information I have just found on Daniel Stewart. It is the registration of his settlement in America in Directory of Scottish Settlers in America, Vol VI, pg 111.
Stewart, Daniel - In Petersburgh, Virginia, appointed James Smilie in Edinburgh as his attorney re money inherited from the deceased Margaret Schaw*. Subscribed in Petersburgh, Virginia, on 18 October 1802. Witnesses John R. Lucas. John Brodie jr and Charles Baskerville RD3.296.828)
[*Note – Margaret Borthwick Schaw was his great-grandmother. I have a copy of her Will, in which she leaves him and his sister Margaret each a sum of money.]
It seems almost certain that his portrait was taken in Virginia on or after 1802.