Ballard, Thomas - portrait of Joseph Baylis

This miniature portrait is in pen and ink, but is unsigned. The lower front right, on his sleeve, bears the inscription "AE 81" for 81 years. The sitter is named on the reverse as Joseph Baylis (1764-1853). These dates do not match a period of 81 years, but it probably means that the portrait was drawn in 1845 when he was aged 81.

He is most likely to be the Joseph Baylis recorded in both the 1841 and 1851 English census, living with his unmarried sister Maria, at 156 Homend(?) St, Ledbury, Hereford. In 1851 he was aged 87 and thus born in 1764, a retired carrier.

Since writing the above, a kind visitor called Patt, has left some very helpful comments and corrections. Including the name of the artist and that Joseph was the son of Stephen Baylis and Ann Brown. Also that Joseph was a retired currier, not a carrier (I had misread the census return).

A currier was one who prepared tanned hides for use. This is from the Latin word corium for leather, but also seems to be linked to the word cure, as in curing hides.

Apparently there were father and son artists both named Thomas Ballard in Herefordshire and Patt thinks this portrait is more likely by the elder of the two. I gather from Patt's comments that the elder Thomas Ballard was the nephew of Joseph Baylis. 606


Anonymous said...

Joseph was a Currier not a Carrier - he was the son of Stephen Baylis and Ann Brown

Anonymous said...

Possibly done by nephew Thomas Ballard the Elder or great nephew Thomas Ballard the Younger, both well known artists especially in Herefordshire. I would think the Elder Thomas the more likely bet.

Don Shelton said...

Hi Patt,
Many thanks for your comments and corrections. I am sorry it has taken me so to acknowledge them.