Astley, John

, an artist, more indebted to fortune than genius, for the distinction he obtained, was born at Wemm in Shropshire, where his father practised physic. When of an age to assume a profession, he was sent to London, and placed as a pupil under Mr. Hudson. He afterwards visited Rome, and was there about the same time with sir Joshua Reynolds. After returning to England, he resided some months at a friend’s house in London, and went thence to Dublin, where he practised as a painter for three years, and with such success as to acquire 3000l. On his return, he accidentally bemame acquainted with the opulent widow of sir William Daniel, whom he married, and eventually got possession of the Duckenfield estate, valued at 5000l. per annum. He then bought Schomberg house in Pall-mall, which he divided into three houses, inhabiting the centre house himself, now | Mr. Payne’s. Towards his latter days, he began to repent of having passed much of his life in dissipation and by a transition not very uncommon, dreaded being reduced to want. He died at his house, Duckenfield-lodge, Cheshire, Nov. 14, 1787, and was buried at the church of that village. As an artist, his talents were by no means of an inferior class, particularly in portrait painting but he had not much delight in his profession, and when he obtained a fortune, practised no longer. 1


Edwards’s Anecdotes of Painters, 4to, 1808.