Research - The likeness of Lucinda Sarah Bicknell (née Browne)

Written by Marcus Bicknell on .

lucinda bicknell 1838 npgIn the National Portrait Gallery in London there is a portrait called “Probably Lucinda Sarah Bicknell (née Browne)” engraved by James R. Mackrell in 1838 after a drawing by Stephen Poyntz Denning in 1833 (image, right). It is their reference NPG D31758 and you can find it online at
https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw125645/probably-Lucinda-Sarah-Bicknell-ne-Browne

However, having compared this image with another of Lucinda and contemporary written desciptions, I do not believe this portrait is Lucinda. It looks neither like the other image we have of her nor does it match the descriptions given of her.

The sitter is Sabrina Bicknell, no relation. There is another portrait of Sabrina which is identical. It is even in the National Portrait Gallery and by the same artist, so I wonder why the NPG experts had never noticed the error. Sabrina Bicknell (1757-1843), better known as Sabrina Sidney, was a British woman abandoned at the Foundling Hospital in London as a baby, and taken in at the age of 12 by author Thomas Day, who tried to mould her into his perfect wife. She grew up to marry one of Day's friends, instead, and eventually became a school manager.

You can read my research and arguments here: click for pdf

My thanks to Amy Adams who alerted me to the protrait of Sabrina.

by Marcus Bicknell, November 2019
great great grandson of Lucinda Bicknell née Browne

 

Sitter
• Lucinda Sarah Bicknell (née Browne) (1801-1850), Third wife of Elhanan Bicknell. Sitter associated with 1 portrait.
Artists
• Stephen Poyntz Denning (1795-1864), Artist. Artist associated with 8 portraits.
• James R. Mackrell (circa 1814-1866). Artist associated with 1 portrait.

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