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Lethbridge, Walter Stephens (DNB00)


LETHBRIDGE, WALTER STEPHENS (1772–1831?), miniature-painter, son of William Lethbridge, a farmer, was born at Charleton, Devonshire, and baptised there on 13 Oct. 1772. He was apprenticed to a house-painter; for a short time he acted as assistant to a travelling artist, and then came to London, where he studied in the schools of the Royal Academy. From 1801 to 1829 Lethbridge was an annual exhibitor of miniatures at the Academy; these included portraits of Mrs. Glover, Miss Booth, Miss Kelly, Miss Lacy, and other theatrical celebrities. His likenesses of the Earl and Countess of Huntingdon and Henry Nugent Bell were engraved for the latter's ‘Huntingdon Peerage,’ 1821, and those of Captain George Nicholas Hardinge, R.N., George P. Bidder (‘The Calculating Boy’) and Sarah Lysons, the Ipswich centenarian, have also been engraved. In 1830 Lethbridge retired to Stonehouse, Plymouth, where he is said to have died in 1831, but this is not confirmed by the parish register. His miniatures of Samuel Horsley, bishop of St. Asaph, and Dr. John Wolcot (‘Peter Pindar’) are in the National Portrait Gallery.

[Bryan's Dict. of Painters and Engravers (Armstrong); Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1880; Royal Academy Catalogues; information from the Rev. Vincent Young, vicar of Charleton.]

F. M. O'D.