soldportrait of dr william bell c1812 scottish school

SOLD....Portrait of Dr. William Bell c.1812; Scottish School.


Price

POA

Item Ref

8710

Description

Oil on canvas laid on board in gilt frame.
This superb portrait is of Dr. WILLIAM BELL, almost certainly painted on his graduation in 1812.
Bell was born on 15 March 1792 in Bedrule, Roxburghshire. He was the son of William Bell and Markie Minto. William Bell was baptised on 25 March 1792 at Bedrule, Roxburghshire.
He graduated in 1812 from Edinburgh M.D. He entered military service as a Hospital Mate for General Service 24 August 1812, promoted Assistant Surgeon 56th (or the West Essex) Regiment of Foot, 4 Mar 1813; 40th (or the 2nd Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot 20 Sept. 1827; Surgeon 26th (or the Cameronian) Regiment of Foot 15 Mar 1831: Staff Surgeon 1st Class 7 June 1844; Deputy Inspector General of Hospitals 12 Mar 1852; Inspector General 7 Dec 1858. Granted local rank of Inspector General 18 Sept. 1857 to 6 Dec. 1858.
"Dr. Bell's services extended over a period of 47 years. He served in Holland during the campaign of 1814; and was at both attacks of Merxem and at the bombardment of Antwerp; he was surgeon of the 26th. (or the Cameronian) Regiment of Foot throughout the war in China in 1840 to 1842, and was present on every occasion on which the Regiment was engaged. (Medal and clasp.){ see Image 5}. He served also during many years in Mauritius, India, Canada and Nova Scotia, and died leaving a widow and five children dependent chiefly on their Pensions."
The first Opium War took place 4th July 1840 - 17th August 1842. Three battalions of British infantry (18th, 26th and 49th Foot) were sent from India and Ceylon and were supported by a detachment of Artillery.
The force arrived off Macao on the 21st June and, a week later, entered Chusan harbour and began a blockade of which the Chinese took little notice. Sickness developed in the British force on an appalling scale. The 26th Foot which had arrived 900 strong had no more than 140 fit men by the end of 1840, and of a force originally numbering 3,000, 450 had died and 500 were in hospital.
In January 1840 an amphibious attack was made up river towards Canton. The forts defending that city were taken but protracted negotiations for an armistice delayed operations. The Chinese then counter attacked in April, as a result of which the British force staged a full scale attack on Canton itself. Canton was defended by 45,000 Chinese troops, but the 3,500 soldiers, marines, and seamen under General Gough routed the Chinese and captured the city.
William Bell married Zbe Stewart Gordon, daughter of Maj. Gen. Alexander Gordon R.E. and Zbe Anne Rose Touzi, on 22 October 1850 in St. George's Church, Montreal, Canada, the service was conducted by the Rev. William Bond.
Dr. Bell retired on half pay on 31 December 1858; he wrote a number of published articles.
In 1860, his address was Jedburgh, Scotland. He died on 4 November 1862 suddenly at Boundary Bank, Jedburgh, at the age of 70; at half past four in the afternoon, and was buried on 8 November 1862 in the Old Churchyard, Ancrum. (see Images 7 & 8).
William and Zebedee had five children:-
Zbe Minto Bell b. 17 Jul 1851, d. 21 Jun 1928
Amy Gordon Bell b. 10 May 1855, d. 25 Dec 1931
Helen Symonds Dobree Bell b. 6 Sep 1856, d. 27 May 1947
William George Gordon Bell b. 28 Feb 1860, d. 4 Jul 1888
Rose Annie Stewart Bell b. 29 May 1862, d. 23 Apr 1942
Image 6 shows Menslaw House, owned by the Bells until 1860.
The above information on Dr. Bell came from the website 'Sewall or Sewell of Coventry' by John Rees.
SIZE:30 x 26 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE:* by family descent.
*Deceased estate in Exeter.
IMPORTANT NOTE...IMAGE 5 SHOWS DR. BELL'S 1842 CHINA WAR MEDAL WITH CLASP AND A MINIATURE OF SAME, NOW MOUNTED IN A GLAZED FRAME. THESE RARE ITEMS ARE NOT INCLUDED WITH THE PAINTING BUT ARE SHOWN FOR INTEREST ONLY.
Internal Ref: 8710



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