Macbride, John Alexander Paterson (DNB00)


MACBRIDE, JOHN ALEXANDER PATERSON (1819–1890), sculptor, son of Archibald Macbride of Cambeltown, Argyllshire, was born in February 1819. At an early age he entered the studio of William Spence of Liverpool, and studied drawing at the Liverpool Art School, having as fellow pupils Richard Ansdell and Samuel Huggins [q. v.] He had also the great advantage of studying anatomy at the Liverpool Medical School under the eminent surgeons, James Long and Alfred Higginson. After completing his time with Spence he removed to London, where he studied at the British Museum. At this time he modelled his life-size group of ‘Margaret of Anjou and her son,’ which was highly commended at the first sculptural contest in Westminster Hall. One of the judges on that occasion, Samuel Joseph [q. v.], was so struck with the talent displayed that, foregoing his customary fee of five hundred guineas, he took Macbride into his studio, making him premier pupil and manager. His name appears on the list of associates of the Liverpool Academy in 1848, in which year, among his four exhibits in their gallery, was a bust of his friend Philip James Bailey [q. v.], author of ‘Festus.’ From 1836 he showed many important works in the exhibition of the Liverpool Academy, of which he became a full member in 1850, and was secretary for 1851 and 1852. During his long residence in Liverpool he executed many portrait-busts and monuments, which were placed in the institutions of the town and neighbourhood, among them being the bust of Sir William Brown, bart., in St. George's Hall, the Rev. T. S. Raffles (exhibited in Liverpool Academy in 1865) in the Great George Street Chapel, and Lieutenant-colonel Thomson, mayor of Liverpool, in the Walker Art Gallery. He executed the full-size statues of the four seasons in front of Garswood Hall for Lord Gerard, and in 1853 the marble bust of General Lord Viscount Combermere presented to the viscountess by the freemasons of the province of Cheshire, and a statue of Sir Hugh Myddelton at the Royal Exchange, London. He also modelled statuettes of Lord Clyde, Lord Havelock, Prince Albert, and a reduction of the ‘Margaret of Anjou’ group and others, which were reproduced by Messrs. Minton of Stoke. A statuette in this manner of (Sir) H. M. Stanley he completed shortly before death. He was an able art critic and lecturer, delivering successful courses on sculpture at the British Museum, at the Crystal Palace, for the corporations of Liverpool, Bradford, Greenock, and elsewhere. About 1883 he came to London, but owing to ill-health he removed to Southend-on-Sea, where he died on 4 April 1890. A portrait appeared in the ‘Graphic’ 3 May 1890.

[Liverpool Mercury, 12 Oct. 1890; communications from Mr. C. Mackenzie Macbride, the sculptor's son; Liverpool Academy Catalogues.]

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