Nollekens and His Times/Volume 2/Hayman


Francis Hayman, Historical-painter, one of the first members of the Royal Academy, a native of Devonshire, and a pupil of Brown, the artist, first resided in Craven-buildings, Drury-lane; next in Prince's-court, Westminster; then in St. Martin's-lane; and, finally, in Dean-street, Soho, in a house now divided into two, Nos. 42 and 43.

In the early part of Mr. Hayman's life, he was employed at Drury-lane Theatre, as a scene-painter, and was afterwards engaged by his friend Mr. Jonathan Tyers, to decorate the Rotunda and other parts of Vauxhall Gardens; but his best works, and those by which he is most publicly known, are his designs for the Adventures of Don Quixote. In 1755, Hayman etched a small quarto plate of Quin, the actor, in the character of Falstaff, seated on a drum, in a swaggering attitude, with his right elbow resting upon the hilt of his sword, by the side of the body of Hotspur. This is a truly spirited production, and is so rare, that the only impression known to collectors is the one the artist gave to his friend, the late President of the Royal Academy, in 1770, and which was, by the liberality of Mrs. Benjamin West, presented to me.

The following anecdote of Hayman was related to me by the late venerable President West, who received it from Mr. Hayman himself. Quin and Hayman were inseparable friends, and so convivial, that they seldom parted till daylight. One night, after "beating the rounds," and making themselves gloriously drunk, they attempted, arm in arm, to cross a kennel, into which they both fell, and when they had remained there a minute or two, Hayman, sprawling out his shambling legs, kicked Quin. "Hollo! what are you at now?" stuttered Quin. "At? why endeavouring to get up, to be sure," replied the Painter, "for this don't suit my palate." "Poh!" replied Quin, "remain where you are, the watchman will come by shortly, and he will take us both up!"

The following is a copy of the undertaker's invitation to his funeral, the original of which was kindly presented to me by Raphael and Benjamin West, Esqrs.

To Benjamin West, Esq. R. A.


"The favour of your company is desired to attend the corpse of Francis Hayman, Esq. from his late dwelling- house, in Dean-street, St. Anne's, Soho, to the parish church of the same, on Wednesday next, the 7th instant, at half-past six o'clock in the evening."