Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Doyle, Henry Edward

DOYLE, HENRY EDWARD (1827–1892), director of the National Gallery of Ireland, born in 1827, was third son of John Doyle [q. v.], 'H. B.' the well-known political cartoonist, and brother of Richard, better known as 'Dick,' Doyle [q. v.], and of James William Edmund Doyle [q. v. Suppl.] A Roman catholic by religion, Henry Doyle was appointed, through the influence of Cardinal Wiseman, commissioner for the Papal States to the London International Exhibition of 1862, when he received the order of 'Pio Nono' in recognition of his services. He was art superintendent for the Dublin exhibition three years later; between 1865 and 1869 he was honorary secretary to the National Portrait Gallery and one of the committee for the three special portrait exhibitions held at South Kensington in 1866-8. In 1869 he was appointed director of the National Gallery of Ireland, in succession to George Mulvany. Early in life Doyle had studied art practically, but never attained any great proficiency. For some time, however, he was political cartoonist to 'Fun,' and never entirely abandoned his pencil. A good many portraits by him are in existence, including two 'Cardinal Wiseman' and 'Richard Doyle' in the Irish National Gallery. Most of these are in a mixture of pencil and water-colour.

Doyle was created a C.B. in 1880, and a J.P. for Wicklow in 1884. He married in 1866 Jane, daughter of Nicholas Ball [q. v.]

He died suddenly on 17 Feb. 1892. During his twenty-three years' incumbency of the directorship of the Irish National Gallery, he raised that collection from insignificance to a more than respectable place among the minor galleries of Europe, and that in spite of extreme parsimony on the part of the treasury.

[Times, 20 Feb. 1892; Men of the Time, ed. 1891; private information.]

W. A.