BENNETT, William Mineard

1778 - 1858

William Mineard Bennett

Baptised at St Thomas’s, Exeter, Devon on 2 November 1778, son of William Bennett and his first wife Mary. Pupil and imitator of Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830) and attained a considerable reputation as a painter of portraits and miniatures, living in the society of many of the most distinguished literary men of that day, among whom his brilliant wit and versatile talents made him a great favourite. An Exeter portrait painter and miniaturist who worked in London, Paris and seems to have come to Ipswich where he painted Capt. Richard Hall Gower (1768-1833) of Ipswich and William Batley (born 1758), Town Recorder of Ipswich. Many years of his life were spent in Paris, where his talents gained him the patronage and friendship of the Duke de Berri; but in 1844 he returned to Exeter, where, practising his art only as an amusement. Several of his works were exhibited at the Royal Academy between the years 1812 and 1816, and again in 1834 and 1835. Also a talented musician composing several masses for the Roman Catholic church and a linguist who wrote many novels in French including 'Si j’étais Petit Papier. Chansonette' (c.1835). In 1851 a 72 year old ‘gentleman’ living at Ide, Exeter, Devon the home of his 45 year old brother Thomas, a banker’s clerk. He died at Exeter on 17 October 1858, he was unmaried.

Works by This Painter