Sir George Sowley Holroyd served as one of the three puisne (inferior in rank) judges of the King's Bench from 1816, initially under Chief Justice of King's Bench Edward Law, first Baron Ellenborough (1750-1818).
This mezzotint print was engraved by Samuel William Reynolds, after his own portrait of Holroyd. It was advertised for sale by publisher and printseller Edward Puckle of Cockspur Street, Charing Cross, on 17 May 1845, in the 'Manchester Times', when it was priced at 7s. 6d. or 10s. 6d. for a proof print. Today, copies of Reynolds’ print are also held in the British Museum and the National Portrait Gallery.
Samuel William Reynolds was a painter and engraver. Despite publishing his first prints in the mid-1790s, he found himself in debt by 1800 and came to rely upon the financial help of Samuel Whitbread MP. It was under Whitbread’s patronage that Reynolds was able to broaden his interests to include painting, architecture and landscape design. He exhibited paintings at the Royal Academy and British Institution and was also a collector; owning a group of drawings by Thomas Girtin. In 1809 he visited France for the first time and he went on to exhibit engravings at the Paris Salon in 1810 and 1812. Reynolds also worked in Paris on occasion, where he found a market for his paintings of landscapes and cottage scenes.
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