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Portrait of Captain Paul Bridson (1694-1771)

Date made: n.d.

Artist: unknown artist

Description: Captain Paul Bridson – his title referring to his Captaincy of Douglas – was the commander of Douglas Fort, as well as deputy searcher or customs officer for Douglas. He was also a merchant and an agent for others in the mid-18th century Guinea goods and smuggling trades. He was a major importer of Guinea goods, which were items re-exported to buy slaves on the African coast. One of his contacts was the leading Dutch importing master Jan Wolfers. Bridson also had strong links with Liverpool merchants. His name appears on the Isle of Man’s customs entries for Derbyhaven, importing goods such as wool from Ireland. Around 1745 he operated his business from Douglas and over two decades imported Guinea goods valued over £80,000, making him a leading merchant on the Isle of Man. He was the youngest son of John Bridson of Orristal, Malew. He married Alice Joyner on 18 March 1755 in Braddan and had four sons and four daughters. He was buried in Braddan on 26 October 1771.

Measurements: overall: 78 cm x 65 cm

Materials: oil on canvas

Object name: painting

Collection: Art Collection

ID number: 1978-0155


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