Item 001/58 - Dr. Richard Busby after Henry Tilson

Original Digital object not accessible

Identity area

Reference code

GB 2014 WS-03-PIC-001/58


Dr. Richard Busby after Henry Tilson


  • [18th Century] (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 item, Oil on canvas

Context area

Name of creator

Archival history

After Busby

Extract from The Elizabethan (1966):
"Despite the number of portraits of him in the possession of the School, none is original: they are all taken from an engraving of a lost drawing by Henry Tilson, who committed suicide soon after drawing Busby's corpse. Much of Busby's reputation for severity seems to have permeated his even these copies, for the small head which hangs in Busby's and the half-length portrait in No. 17 show him with almost unbelievably harsh and unsympathetic features, surmounted inevitably by the scull-cap, which certainly does nothing to alleviate the impression of total austerity. In the large version, however, a moderately distinguished painting illustrated in Sargeaunt's "Annals of Westminster School", the artist seems to have felt less animosity towards him, and the famous Head Master looks down almost leniently from his frame. Only two busts of Busby are prominently displayed in the school; and these, a copy by Lee in the Busby Library and a plaster cast in the Art Room, naturally enough give a somewhat hard impression of him."

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Three-quarter length portrait of Busby standing, wearing academic robes and a scull cap; his body and head are inclined to the left of the painting; to the bottom-left is a table covered with a cloth, upon which is an open book; Busby has almost turned a page with his right hand.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access to collection items is granted to bona-fide researchers, by prior appointment, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including Data Protection.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the item. Copies are supplied in accordance with Westminster School

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

50" x 40"

Finding aids

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Existence and location of copies

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Description identifier


Institution identifier

Westminster School Archive

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail



  • English


  • Latin


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