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22 May 1859, Edinburgh M.D., Kt, KStJ, D.L., LL.D., Sportsman, Writer, Poet, Politician, Justicer, Spiritualist Crowborough, 7 July 1930

Death of Mr. Henry Doyle

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Death of Mr. Henry Doyle is an article published in The Evening Chronicle (Newcastle) on 12 may 1885.

Obituary of Henry Doyle, uncle of Arthur Conan Doyle.

Death of Mr. Henry Doyle

The sudden death is announced of Mr. Henry Doyle, C.B., R.H.A., in London, from disease of the heart. He was the third son of the late Mr. John Doyle ("H.B."), and was born in 1827. On the recommendation of Cardinal Wiseman, he was made Commissioner for Rome at the London Exhibition of 1862, and was created a Knight of the Order of Pius IX. He became art superintendent of the Dublin Exhibition of 1865, director-general of the National Gallery of Ireland in 1869, and honorary secretary of the National Portrait Gallery in connexion with the Dublin Exhibition of 1872. In the second office he succeeded Mr. George Mulvany, R.H.A., its first holder. He was also a member of the committee of advice for the three special exhibitions of national portraits from 1866 to 1868. He was nominated a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1880, and appointed a magistrate for county Wicklow in 1884. Mr. Henry Doyle was not only a man of considerable artistic powers and great taste, but he had by years at study, and by his experience as director of the National Gallery of Ireland. become a consummate judge of the art of the past. His knowledge of Italian and Dutch masters was very considerable, and he showed in his catalogue of the Dublin Gallery that he had mastered the latest authorities as to the painters, their lives, and their styles. Moreover his knowledge was extremely practical, and no better or more dexterous buyer was known in Christie's rooms. His annual grant for the support of the gallery never exceeded £1,000; and yet it is not too much to say that with this small endowment he succeeded in making the gallery rank with any of the smaller galleries of the Continent. He bought for small prices capital pictures of the less known Dutch painters; now and then, as at the Cavendish Bentinck sale, he picked up some work of a really great Italian described under a false name; and at times, when his store had remained fairly intact, he was able to swoop down upon a fine work of one of the greatest men, such as the beautiful Rembrandt which he bought two years ago, in the nick of time, from a Brussels family — an acquisition that was described in these columns. In this way the Dublin Gallery has become a very fairly complete historical collection. Moreover, to him the collection of Irish national portraits owes, if not its origin, at least its present perfection. He was ubiquitous; wherever there was a good portrait of an Irish celebrity for sale, he saw, considered, and if it was desirable bought it. Personally, Mr. Doyle was greatly beloved for the transparent simplicity of his nature and for his charming manners. He was popular in Dublin, though his politics were strongly Unionist; and in London he was extremely well known and universally liked. He was married to a daughter of the Right Hon. Nicholas Ball, one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas in Ireland, and was in religion a Roman Catholic.