BISH, Thomas (1751-1815). Painted silhouette 1784

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BISH, Thomas (1751-1815). Painted silhouette of a gentleman on flat glass, over a plaster backing (chip to mid left side) in its contemporary ebonised frame measuring 8 x 10 inches (2 cracks through the wood and several chips to the moulding). On the reverse an old ink inscription reads 'T.Bish ae 22 - 1784' and more recent inscriptions read ' Born 1751 Died 1815 Dec 3d. ............. Father of Thomas Bish M.P. for Leominster Born May 5 1779. Died Dec 27 1842'.

Relatively little seems to be known about Thomas Bish, but his marriage to Elizabeth Markes (died 1823) is recorded in London in 1795, and he appears to have fathered at least three children, Thomas, Susanna and Elizabeth. He is undoubtedly best known as the father of his namesake Thomas Bish (1778-1842) MP for Leominster and, famously, the lottery-office entrepreneur immortalised in Thomas Hood's comic verse Ode to Thomas Bish, Esq

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