Captain Richard Bayly (d.1764), who sailed from Cork and disembarked at Hampton, Virginia, in January 1755, served with the 44th Regiment during the famed ‘Braddock’s Defeat,’ fought outside today’s Pittsburgh on July 9, 1755. Bayly and George Washington were among the few Anglo-American officers who escaped unwounded.
He sat for this portrait after his return to the British Isles in late 1760, choosing to wear his silver-laced ‘red coat’ uniform.
The portrait – the first picture by Wright of Derby to enter the collection – was owned by the subject’s sister and is inscribed as such on the reverse of the stretcher: B. Bayly Jan.r Picture of her/ Brother Richard Bayly Oct.r 1764. It is thought to be the picture mentioned in the artist’s account books as Capt. Bailey [sic] £6 6s.
It is the second picture of an Anglo-American officer recently purchased by the museum. Last year’s acquisition of a portrait of Major Patrick Campbell, a Scottish officer who served in the British lines at the siege of Yorktown, was also funded by The Friends of Colonial Williamsburg Collection.