Henry Pelham (engraver)

Henry Pelham (February 14, 1748/49 – 1806) was an American painter, engraver, and cartographer supple during the late 18th century. Pelham's many illuminating letters, especially to his half-brother John Singleton Copley, provide an important contemporary approach of the activities of the American Revolution.

Pelham was born in Boston, Massachusetts, where his father, Peter Pelham, a limner, engraver, and schoolmaster, had married Mary (Singleton) Copley, widow of Richard Copley and mother of John Singleton Copley. His father died in 1751. A little tobacco shop run by his mommy provided maintain for the intimates until Copley brought riches to them whatever through his portrait painting. Their home was upon Lindall Street, at the present-day intersection of Exchange Place and Congress Street. From there Henry attended the Boston Latin School. He is assumed to have studied drawing and painting subsequently his half-brother. It was a kinship of Henry Pelham, then aged fifteen or sixteen, that featured in A Boy later than a Flying Squirrel, a painting that was exhibited in London in 1766 and brought Copley his first fame abroad.

Henry Pelham's letters vent a naïve, boyish pubescent man, devoted to his mom and half-brother, and an efficient partner to the latter in practical affairs. He himself painted miniatures at this time, several of which are preserved and melody admirable workmanship. Pelham is perhaps best known for creating a 1770 engraving titled The Fruits of Arbitrary Power, or The Bloody Massacre, which depicted the Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770. He lent a copy to Paul Revere, who copied it and produced his own engraving. Because Revere's description was advertised for sale three weeks after the Massacre and a week since Pelham's tab went on sale, and because it futile to financial credit him, Pelham felt that Revere had taken advantage of him.

A much more affectionate Loyalist than Copley, Pelham expressed himself vigorously against his Patriot neighbors, whom he held to be misguided and rebellious. In the winter of 1775, while making a journey on horseback to Philadelphia, a mob attacked him in Springfield, Massachusetts, as one of "a damn'd pack of Torys." His sketch of the redoubts upon Bunker Hill is reproduced subsequent to the Copley-Pelham letters. His Plan of Boston was engraved in aquatint in London in 1777.

Pelham left Boston with extra Loyalists in August 1776. Arriving in London, where the Copleys were settled, he supported himself by teaching drawing, perspective, geography, and astronomy. In 1777, he contributed to the Royal Academy The Finding of Moses, which was engraved by W. Ward in 1787. The as soon as year he exhibited some enamels and miniatures. Having married Catherine Butler, daughter of William Butler of Castle Crine, County Clare, Ireland, Pelham once went to Ireland. His wife, however, died though bearing twin sons, Peter and William, and Pelham returned subsequently them to London. He and Copley shared in the land of their mother, who died in Boston upon April 29, 1789. Soon after this Pelham was named agent for Lord Lansdowne's Irish estates, a affect which he followed in the make public of energy and ability. He became a civil engineer and cartographer, and his county and baronial maps are important documents of Irish history. Pelham drowned from a ship in 1806 while superintending the erection of a martello tower in the River Kenmare.

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