Tuesday

Unknown - portrait of James Wills

This unsigned miniature portrait is painted in enamel on copper. As it was painted around 1715-1725, the most likely artist was originally thought to be Christian Friederick Zincke (1683/4-1767), as there were very few painters in England painting enamel miniatures at this time. However, a kind and knowledgeable visitor to the website, advises it is not by Zincke, thus the artist is currently unknown.

The sitter is identified as "Jas Wills, grandfather of Jas Wills of Plas Bellin, died 1730". He is either the father or the grandfather of the James Wills in the portrait below which is signed Collins".
A marriage record has been found for him as James Wills (1675-1731) who married Martha Curtis of Dublin before 1723. In fact their marriage was probably closer to 1700, as their elder son Godfrey Wills married first, Sarah Montgomery on 6 Sep 1731. Godfrey Wills then married, second, Charlotte Elizabeth Stirling of Dublin on 6 Jun 1771. Godfrey and Sarah had a son called James Wills, who married Lucretia Ann Kingsley on 23 Nov 1801. Lucretia was the aunt of the author Charles Kinglsey.
There is a reference to a huge Elizabethan country house called Plas Bellin that is now a family refuge centre, see BBC - Beyond the Broadcast - Changing Places , but James Wills has not yet been confirmed as the owner in the 18C. 18a

Later June 2016
Further to my comment below, Tom, a very kind visitor has also sent me a chart of the relationship from James Wills to Christopher Plummer. Tom adds; As you can see, he is actually well connected - The Sarah Montgomery goes back to brother of the American Rev. War General. The Orme goes back to a minor titled family. The Swift - Christopher is 1st cousin 7 times removed to Jonathan Swift. And Isabella Abbott was grand-daughter of a Canadian Prime Minister. So the Wills family is in good company, one might say...

1 comment:

Don Shelton said...

In June 2016 a kind visitor has advised as follows:
"I was interested to see the miniature of James Wills. He was a direct ancestor of the great actor CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER."