The Portrait Collection

A collection of about two hundred dissenting portraits, some paintings are oil on canvas, others prints, drawings and also a small collection of silhouettes. The collection is at present being listed and evaluated by Dana Josephson (Bodleian Library, Oxford) and the conservator of Dr Williams’s Library.  This is a long term project which has been included in the adopt scheme due to a number of requests from readers and trustees. 


Nicholas Byfield, 1578/9 - 1622

Given to Dr Williams’s Library by John Simco, bookseller 1815

400cm x 200cm x 2cm oil on wooden panel

Nicholas Byfield, Church of England clergyman and religious writer.

Unkown Artist,

A small portrait in oil on a wooden panel,

Dated 1620.

Presented to Dr Williams’ Library by Mr John Simco, Bookseller, 1815. The artist remains anonymous.   John Simco 1757-1821 had engravings made from this portrait which were published in 1790.

Condition: The panel is cracked and the painting sits loosely in its frame.

Treatment required: The painting needs to be cleaned and refitted into the original frame.

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Isaac Watts 1674 - 1748

Artist unknown

76.2cm x 63.4cm Oil on canvas

Isaac Watts - Congregational minister, poet, hymn writer and author of educational manuals, including Logic 1725.  Portrait: oil painting. 

Unknown artist.  

Painted C. 1720-1735  Description: grey eyebrows; dark grey eyes, grey wig parted in the centre; white bands and a green silk gown with russet lining; brown background; dark brown painted oval, strongly lit to the left. The National Portrait Gallery seems to have a copy of this portrait.  The painting was given to the library by the executors of Mrs Abney s will.  

Corporate Adoption: £4,240

We have raised £400.00. December 2017

We have a target and are trying to raise £1,000 through the Congregational and URC churches.

Condition: The surface is damaged with two deep scratches and the painting needs to be cleaned repaired and reglazed.

Treatment required: See Dr Williams’s Library website

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