Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Wadmore, James

720481Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 58 — Wadmore, James1899Campbell Dodgson

WADMORE, JAMES (1782–1853), connoisseur, was born on 4 Oct. 1782 in the Hampstead Road, London. His father, James Wadmore, was in the stamp office. The son, on leaving a school near Greta Bridge, Yorkshire, obtained a place in the same office, which he resigned to become a land-surveyor. On finishing his apprenticeship, he set up on his own account at Lisson Grove. He began early in life to collect pictures, and his first purchase of importance was Richard Westall's ‘Hagar and Ishmael.’ In 1815 he inherited a fortune from an uncle, and removed to 40 Chapel Street, Marylebone, where he collected pictures by modern English artists, Turner, Wilkie, Webster, and others, and also by old masters. He formed a good collection of English watercolours, as well as prints, books, and manuscripts. He passed the later years of his life at Upper Clapton, where he died on 24 Dec. 1853. He was buried at Highgate. His pictures, 186 in number, of which seventy-five were by old masters, the remainder by modern English painters, were sold at Christie's on 5 and 6 May 1854. The older pictures, with the exception of three by Ruysdael, Dow, and Carracci, fetched small prices. The English collection contained Vincent's masterpiece, ‘Greenwich Hospital,’ with other works by the same painter, and three important Turners—‘Cologne,’ ‘Dieppe Harbour,’ and the ‘Guardship at the Nore’—which realised over five thousand guineas.

[Gent. Mag. 1854, ii. 85–7.]

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