FRITH, William Powell (1819–1909), painter. Autograph letter signed to a Mr Finlay, 2 sides pasted onto two pieces of card (one cut down) , 8vo, 5 Robertson Terrace, Hastings, Sept. 25 , informing his correspondent that on 13th October his eldest daughter is to be married, when they are having “a little gathering of friends” in the evening - “I hear from Yates that you are likely to be in London at that time & I write to you in the hope that I may induce you to join in the pleasure of your company on what I hope may be called the auspicious occasion. The Yates are enjoying this place with us & would, if they knew I was writing, join us in best wishes to you.”
Frith's first marriage was in 1845 to Isabella Jane, daughter of George Baker, a stockbroker, of York. They had twelve children: seven sons and five daughters, of whom the eldest was Isabella, born in 1846. She married in 1864 Charles Augustus Oppenheim (1836-1878) a merchant banker, their wedding taking place as per this letter on Thursday 13th October.
During much of their marriage Frith led a double life, maintaining a mistress Mary Alford, with whom he had seven children. He married Mary in 1881 following Isabella’s death the previous year.
This letter was written between the completion of Frith’s monumental painting The Railway Station (exhibited 1862) and before his completion of the painting The Marriage of Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra of Denmark.