1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Copley, John Singleton
COPLEY, JOHN SINGLETON (1737–1815), English historical painter, was born of Irish parents at Boston, Massachusetts. He was self-educated, and commenced his career as a portrait-painter in his native city. The germ of his reputation in England was a little picture of a boy and squirrel, exhibited at the Society of Arts in 1760. In 1774 he went to Rome, and thence in 1775 came to England. In 1777 he was admitted associate of the Royal Academy; in 1783 he was made Academician on the exhibition of his most famous picture, the “Death of Chatham,” popularized immediately by Bartolozzi’s elaborate engraving; and in 1790 he was commissioned to paint a portrait picture of the defence of Gibraltar. The “Death of Major Pierson,” in the National Gallery, also deserves mention. Copley’s powers appear to greatest advantage in his portraits. He was the father of Lord Chancellor Lyndhurst.