The Full Wiki

John Julius Angerstein: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Julius Angerstein, painted by Thomas Lawrence ca. 1790.

John Julius Angerstein (1732 – 22 January 1823),[1] London merchant, Lloyd's under-writer, and patron of the fine arts, was born in St Petersburg, Russia and settled in London in about 1749. It has wrongly been suggested that he was an illegitimate son of Catherine the Great or of Elizabeth, Empress of Russia, herself the illegitimate daughter of Peter the Great. Family tradition holds that his true parents were Anna of Russia and the London merchant Andrew Poulett Thompson; his first position after arriving in London at the age of fifteen was in Thompson's counting house.[1]


Life and art collection

In his role as a merchant he was said to own a third share in slave estates in Grenada, using profits from the slave trade to build up his art collection (and also benefiting from Lloyd's underwriting of the slave trade). Angerstein was chairman of Lloyd's from 1790 to 1796 and counted King George III, British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger and artist Sir Thomas Lawrence among his friends. Although a slave owner, he was also on the Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor an organisation with strong abolitionist connections.

John Julius Angerstein, 1765, by Joshua Reynolds

After a number of knife attacks on women by the so-called "London Monster", Angerstein promised a reward of £100 for capture of the perpetrator.

Among his earliest art purchases was The Rape of the Sabines by Rubens; later acquisitions included works by Rembrandt, Velázquez, Titian, Raphael, Correggio and Hogarth, plus early drawings by J.M.W. Turner. From the break-up in London of the Orleans Collection he bought The Raising of Lazarus by Sebastiano del Piombo and several other works. His collection of paintings, consisting of about forty of the most exquisite specimens of the art, purchased by the British government, after his death, formed the nucleus of the National Gallery. Until the National Gallery was built in Trafalgar Square, the works were displayed in Angerstein's town house in Pall Mall.

He lived for some years in Greenwich in south-east London, leasing a 54-acre (220,000 m2) estate from Sir Gregory Page in 1774 and over the next two years building a house, Woodlands (designed by local architect George Gibson).[2] This area is now known as Westcombe Park, part of a wide area on the north-eastern fringes of Blackheath that he sought to enclose in 1801. The house fell empty in 1870 when John's grandson William Angerstein relinquished the lease.[3]

In 1806, Angerstein served as Vice-president of the newly formed London Institution. As an active churchgoer, he worshipped in Greenwich town centre at St Alfege's Church - where he was also churchwarden.

Connections today

This posthumous portrait was commissioned from Thomas Lawrence in 1824 and delivered in 1828[4]

His family's connections with the borough are still remembered. Angerstein Lane, near the heath at Blackheath, bears the family name. A public house, The Angerstein Hotel, is on Woolwich Road, Greenwich, close to the Woolwich Road flyover (Blackwall Tunnel A102 southern approach) - on the opposite side of which lies the Angerstein Business Park (owned by Greenwich Enterprise Board). Just behind this, is the 'Angerstein Railway Line' (in 2003 believed to be only used for commercial freight, mainly sea-dredged aggregate landed at Angerstein Wharf) linking the peninsula at north Greenwich with the main railway network; as a result, an area of largely industrial land in between the lines to the east of the A102 road is sometimes referred to as the 'Angerstein Triangle'.

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b Palmer, Sarah (2004). "John Julius Angerstein (c.1732–1823)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. 
  2. ^ Rhind, N. (1983) Blackheath Village & Environs, 1790-1970, Vol 2 (Bookshop Blackheath, London), p. 274.
  3. ^ Conservation team staff (October 2007). "Character appraisal Westcombe Park Conservation Area". London Borough of Greenwich. pp. 10–12. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  4. ^ "John Julius Angerstein, aged over 80". Paintings. London: The National Gallery. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 

External links

Wikisource-logo.svg "Angerstein, John Julius". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911. 


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

JOHN JULIUS ANGERSTEIN (1735-1822), London merchant, and patron of the fine arts, was born at St Petersburg and settled in London about 1749. His collection of paintings, consisting of about forty of the most exquisite specimens of the art, purchased by the British government, on his death, formed the nucleus of the National Gallery.

<< Angers

Angilbert >>


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address