DUNTHORNE, James (c1758-1794)

c.1758 - 1794

James Dunthorne was born Colchester, Essex about 1758, son of James Dunthorne and his wife Elizabeth née Hubbard (died 1812), who married at Colchester on 3 October 1752. Young James married at All Saints' Church, Colchester on 7 December 1779, Elizabeth Shillitoe, and they had three children, Edward (born 1782), Charlotte (born 1784) and Louisa (born 1789). Dunthorne had musical and artistic ability but was unable to convert this into a remunerative career. Known as 'The Colchester Hogarth', he was unable to establish himself in London, although several his designs were engraved by Thomas Rowlandson and as 'John' Dunthorne, jun.' he exhibited at the Royal Academy from Colchester, Essex in 1783 'Private Card Party', 'Death Preaching', in 1784 'A Smithfield Bargain', 'Morning Concert' and 'Skating', in 1787 'The Auction', 'The Hypocondriac' and 'The Lunatic from the village of Matindale', in 1790 'A Farmer and his Family', in 1791 'A Morning Lounge', 'Grog' and 'Confession' and in 1792 'Rustic Dinner' and 'A Bath Shop. He made his living keeping a print-shop in Colchester High Street and his forte at this period were pictures of fashionable Colchester social events, including 'Private Card Party'. His wife Elizabeth was the sister of Charles Shillito, author of 'A Country Book Club' (1788), for which Dunthorne designed the frontispiece. Dunthorne health was ailing in the 1790s, and his Drawings, Prints, Music &c. were sold at auction on 16 August 1794, so the family's financial difficulties seem to have been acute. He succumbed to a 'long affliction' soon after and was buried at St Nicholas Colchester on 11 October 1794. His widow carried on in business as a perfumer in the High Street and she died on 10 March 1807.

Not a Suffolk Artist, this father and son are often confused with another father and son, John Dunthorne and his namesake son John Dunthorne. This James noted at John, sen. was an exhibitor at the Royal Academy from Colchester 1783-1792 and, incorrectly of London 1827-1832.

Works by This Artist