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A sketch of Josias Dupre Porcher (1761-1820) an English Politician


Artist: John Smart

inscribed on the reverse indistinctly ... and the chrystal sent to Mr. ...Porcher 20 Abchurch Lane. Pencil and watercolour on card, in silver frame.

Josias followed his uncle Josias Du Pre, an East India merchant, into the service of the British East India Company, became wealthy and returned to England. His wealth and his friendship with Lord Caledon enabled him to sit in Parliament for various boroughs until 1818.

Porcher moved to England in 1768 under the patronage of his uncle Josias, who was President of Madras from 1770 to 1773. He not unnaturally took up a career in India as well and became a writer of the British East India Company in Madras in 1778. From 1783 to 1786 he was deputy to the deputy paymaster in Madras and in 1785 was made a senior merchant. He was mayor of Madras from 1791 to 1792 and appointed military storekeeper at Madras. In 1796 he returned home, bearing a diamond sword presented by the nawab of Arcot to the Prince of Wales.

He married Charlotte, nee Burnaby, 1 Nov 1787 at Fort George, Madras. Charlotte had her portrait taken by John Smart twice, in 1788 and one year earlier in 1787 at the same time as her husband . Both of the miniatures were signed and dated 1787, the year of their marriage, and I for India. This sketch is likely to be a preliminary work for the finished miniature.
More Information
Literature                 Daphne Foskett, John Smart, The Man and his Miniatures, London, 1964, p. 19 & 72
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