Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 47.djvu/355

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


unpresuming actor.’ In private life Rayner's character stood high. He was indefatigable in work and always conciliatory. When a house for his benefit was full, and a crowd outside was clamorous, he came and spoke to those assembled, asking what he could do for them. ‘Sing us a song, Rayner,’ was the reply, ‘and we'll go quietly home.’ Rayner mounted a tub, and, with the accompaniment of one violin, sang a song, receiving in response hearty cheers. He had a tenor voice of no great compass and of indifferent tone. His comic singing was, however, one of his chief attractions. He had a remarkable gift, amounting almost to eloquence, in impromptu speaking.

Rayner was five feet eight in height, stoutly made, dark in complexion, with hazel eyes and a certain appearance of rusticity. He was a sporting man, a member of Tattersall's, and, while in the country, a follower of the hounds. His portrait as Giles in the ‘Miller's Maid’ appears in the second volume of Oxberry's ‘Dramatic Biography.’

[Oxberry's account of Rayner, with all its mistakes, is copied into the Georgian Era. A Memoir appearing in the Era for 30 Sept. 1855 is also inaccurate. In addition to the works cited, Genest's Account of the English Stage, Era Almanac, and the New Monthly Magazine have been consulted.]

J. K.

RAYNER, SAMUEL (fl. 1850), water-colour painter, was an exhibitor at the Royal Academy and other exhibitions, commencing in 1821. He painted interiors of abbeys, churches, and old mansions, in a style closely resembling that of George Cattermole [q. v.] Five of his drawings were engraved for Britton's ‘Cathedral Antiquities,’ and there is a lithotint of his view of the Retainers' Gallery at Knole in S. C. Hall's ‘Baronial Halls of England.’ Rayner was elected an associate of the Society of Painters in Water-Colours in February 1845, but expelled six years later in consequence of a judgment in the court of queen's bench which involved him in a charge of fraud. His name continued to appear in exhibition catalogues until 1872. Rayner had five daughters, who all became professional artists. The eldest, Nancy, painted rustic figures and interiors, and was elected an associate of the Water-Colour Society in February 1850. She died of consumption in 1855.

[Roget's Hist. of the ‘Old Water Colour’ Society; Clayton's English Female Artists; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1893.]

F. M. O'D.

RAYNOLD. [See Rainolds, Raynalde, and Reynolds.]

REA, JOHN (d. 1681), nursery gardener, lived at Kinlet, near Bewdley, Worcestershire, of which he says in his ‘Flora’ (1676): ‘it is a rural district where it was my unhappiness to plant my stock.’ He is said to have had the largest collection of tulips in England, to have introduced some new plants, and to have planned the gardens at Gerard's Bromley, Staffordshire, the seat of Charles, fourth baron Gerard of Bromley, to whose son he dedicated his ‘Flora.’ He died in November 1681, bequeathing his holding at Kinlet to his daughter Minerva, wife of Samuel Gilbert [q. v.], author of the ‘Fons Sanitatis.’

Rea's only work appears to have been ‘Flora, seu de Florum Cultura, or a complete Florilege,’ with a second engraved title-page, ‘Flora, Ceres, and Pomona, in III. Books,’ London, 1665, fol. Of this a second impression, ‘with many additions,’ appeared in 1676, and was reissued, with a new title-page, in 1702. By Allibone, Watt, and others, John Rea has been confused with his great contemporary, John Ray [q. v.]

[Journal of Horticulture, 1876, i. 172–3.]

G. S. B.

REACH, ANGUS BETHUNE (1821–1856), journalist, son of Roderick Reach, solicitor, of Inverness, was born at Inverness on 23 Jan. 1821, and was educated at the Inverness Royal Academy. While a student at Edinburgh University he contributed literary articles to the ‘Inverness Courier,’ of which his father had once been proprietor. In 1842 the family removed to London, where Dr. Charles Mackay [q. v.], sub-editor of the ‘Morning Chronicle,’ obtained for young Reach employment on his paper as reporter at the central criminal court and afterwards in the House of Commons gallery. To its columns in 1848 he contributed most of a series of articles on ‘Labour and the Poor,’ which have been described as ‘an unparalleled exploit in journalism’ (Fox Bourne, English Newspapers, ii. 154). He also wrote many articles for newspapers and magazines, including ‘Bentley's Miscellany,’ ‘Chambers's Journal,’ the ‘Era,’ the ‘Atlas,’ the ‘Britannia,’ ‘Gavarni in London,’ the ‘Puppet Show,’ and the ‘Sunday Times,’ while he supplied to the ‘Illustrated London News’ a weekly summary of witty gossip entitled ‘Town Talk and Table Talk.’ In 1848–9 he published, in monthly parts, a romance called ‘Clement Lorimer, or the Book with the Iron Clasps,’ with twelve etchings by Cruikshank, which give the work a high value among collectors, and in 1850 a two-volume novel, ‘Leonard Lindsay, or the