Richard Paton, marine painter, was born in London and is said to have been discovered on Tower Hill as a poor boy by Admiral Sir Charles Knowles. Knowles took him to sea, after which he found employment in the Excise Office, where he was still working at the time of his death. The earliest evidence of Paton painting is the exhibition of two works by him at the Society of Artists in 1762. He continued to exhibit with the Society for several years, before resigning in 1771. Five years later, Paton began to exhibit at the Royal Academy, where he showed his work until 1780. In 1776, he was granted permission by King George III to paint the Royal Dockyards at Chatham and Deptford and the resulting paintings are now in the Royal Collection.
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