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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Captain William Baillie

(b. 1723, d. 1810)

Captain William Baillie

Portrait of Captain William Baillie
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 Pulteney's regiment

From Notes and Queries magazine 8th Sept. 1855

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 Middle Temple.

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 Prince Ferdinand.

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 occasion.

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.

Faithfully Yours,

L. Gebauer.

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2001 Ireland Genealogy Projects, IGP TM