An18th Century English School Armorial Painting
Depicting the Coat of Arms of the Barry Family
Watercolour on card
Measures: 19.3 cm x 24 cm
32.5 cm x 27.5 cm (Framed)
Provenance:- Private Collection, Sussex
A well painted armorial with a shield argent with three bars gules supported by two wolves or ducally gorged and chained, the helm with the crest of a two towered castle issuing a dexter cubit arm grasping a sword. The motto "Boutez En Avant" beneath.
The Barrys were a distinguished Anglo-Irish family whose motto, "Boutez En Avant", roughly translates as "Push On" or "Press the Advantage". They were created Earls of Barrymore in the 17th Century. The penultimate Earl of Barrymore (the 7th Earl), Richard Barry (1769–1793), was nicknamed "Hellgate" (as he was generally though to be heading towards eternal damnation). He was widely considered to be the "Rake of Rakes" and died at the age of 23, following the accidental discharge of a musket. His brothers Rev. Augustus (1773-1818) and Henry (8th Earl) (1770-1824) were known respectively as "Newgate" (after the infamous London prison) and, cruelly, "Cripplegate" (after the old London gateway - as he had a clubbed foot). They were, all three, notorious companions of the Prince Regent. Their sister Lady Caroline Barry (1768–c.1832) was known as "Billingsgate" after the East End fish market (due to her liberal use of explicitly foul language, in the manner of a cockney fishwife). She married the Franco-Scottish 'Comte de Melfort', Louis Pierre François Malcolm Drummond, but their marriage was annulled!
The three brothers were depicted as "A Hellgate Blackguard", "A Newgate Scrub" and "A Cripplegate Monster" in a 1791 caricature by James Gillray entitled "Les Trois Magots". The Earldom became extinct after their deaths.
The characterful watercolour coat of arms here, dates to around the time of the three dissolute Barry brothers. Well presented in a modern, 18th Century style, ebonised cushion frame.
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