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Portrait of James Grellier

Date made: 1832

Artist: Marsden, Richard

Description: James Grellier had been a vetinary surgeon with a cavalry regiment during the Napoleonic Wars, and came to the Isle of Man as a half-pay officer. Grellier died in 1860, and the following obituary appeared in the Manx Sun of May 12 of that year: 'On Tuesday, May 8, at the Hills House, James Grellier, Esq., Army Surgeon. He was a resident here for nearly the last forty years, during which he lived on terms of great intimacy and friendship with many of the best Manx families.' Elsewhere in the issue it was stated that Grellier was in early life an army surgeon in India under the command of Sir Arthur Wellesley, and that on his return he lived in London for a short time before coming to the Isle of Man. 'For a long-protracted period, his conversational powers and anecdotal reminiscences were known and highly appreciated in our foremost social circles.' He is described also as 'for a long time the proprietor and editor of this journal, but having sold his right therein to Mr. Peter Curphey, he retired to the enjoyment of private life.' His age was 83.

Grellier was a great friend of the Forbes family, and up to 1835 was in partnership with Edward Forbes at a cloth- works in Union Mills. He was one the first men to recognise the genius of his partner's famous son, who became Professor Edward Forbes, and during his editorship of the Sun he published a number of poems by the young naturalist (see Proceedings of the Antiquarian Society, Vol. II, p. 503). The Professor's youngest brother, James Grellier Forbes, was named after him.

Measurements: overall: 77 cm x 63 cm

Materials: oil on canvas

Object name: painting

Collection: Art Collection

ID number: 1954-5805


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