Captain William Baillie
- Portrait of Captain
- by Robert Edge PINE (1742-1788)
- courtesy of Royal Pavilion,
Libraries and Museums, Brighton and Hove
In addition to his military career
William Baillie was also an eminent amateur artist. He is
believed to have produced about 100 engravings and restored
one of Rembrandt's worn out plates.
The portrait opposite is believed to
have been painted whilst he was a Lieutenant in Colonel
From Notes and Queries magazine 8th
Capt. William Baillie was second son
of Robert Baillie of Celbridge, County Kildare, a member of
the family, now extinct, of Baillie of Sherwood Park,
Kilbride, County Carlow, and was born at Kilbride on 5th
June, 1723. He was educated in Dublin under Dr. Sheridan, and
at the age of eighteen sent to London for the purpose of
studying the law, and with that view entered himself of the
He, however, soon expressed a wish to
enter the army, and accepted a commission as the senior
ensign in Harry Pulteney's, or the 13th Regiment of Foot, and
was at the battle of Culloden, under the Duke of Cumberland,
and in several engagements in Germany with the Marquis of
Granby. In 1755-6, when the 51st Regiment was raised, he
obtained a company, and was with the regiment as captain of
the Grenadiers and paymaster at the battle of Minden, under
Sometime after this he exchanged into
the 17th Light Dragoons, in which he continued some years;
but, his health failing him, he was allowed to sell his
commission, and appointed a Commissioner of the Stamp Duties,
in which situation he continued for twenty five years, and
retired with a pension. He died at Lisson Green, Paddington,
Dec. 22, 1810, in his eighty eighth year. The etching by
Rembrandt, restored by the Captain, was found among some old
copper. See the Somerset-House Gazette, vol. i. p.300.
Letter in the Pat Purcell Papers:
- From: Leslie Gebauer,
- 27 Warwick Road,
- Earl's Court,
- London. England.
- To: Mr. Patrick Purcell,
- Blackbog Road,
- Carlow. Eire.
20th July 1928
Dear Mister Purcell.
The Reverend Samuel Ridgeway has been
kind enough to give me your name in order that I contact you
to inform you of a piece of artwork that should be of
interest to Carlow people. I have in my possession a framed
glazed copper engraving by Captain William Baillie dated
1746. The work is dedicated to John Stuart, Earl of Bute.
Mr. Baillie was a native of Carlow
town and it is fitting this engraving should be in Carlow. I
believe William joined the army at Carlow Barrack and went
out from there to bring glory to his native place when he
distinguished himself at the battle of Minden.
I am willing to dispose of the
engraving for the sum of Five Guineas sterling and will
arrange transport to the buyer on receipt of payment.
Reverend Ridgeway is willing to act as
bond for me in keeping up my part of the bargain.
If you know of a person with a surplus
of guineas this would make a fine present to suit any
Of course Mr. Purcell if you require
that you need to add to the above amount that will provide
reward to you for finding a suitable buyer.