Benjamin Charles Incledon, singing "The Storm"
Watercolour on ivory; oval
Mathews 325 (artist unknown)
RW 427B (by R.Cosway)
CKA 427B ("Singing ‘The Storm’ in ‘Ella Rosenberg’ by James Kenney")
1833 London, Queen's Bazaar, Oxford Street, "Mr Mathews's Gallery of Theatrical Portraits" (325)
Original exh: 1804 R. A. (737)
John Vendramini pub. James Dunford 1812, stipple 11.5 x 9.2, with quotation "Alas! to them there's no return"
Henry Meyer after his own drawing pub. T. & I. Elvey 1 November 1824, stipple 7.3 x 5 (storm behind, rocks on l.)
G. Adcock pub. Gifford & Co. n.d., stipple 6.7 x 5, with quotation "Cease, rude Boreas"
Page for Oxberry's “Dramatic Biography” pub. Duncombe, stipple 9.5 x 7
Reading pub. T. Williams, stipple (vignette. bust only)
J. Ayton pub. August 1826, lithograph 30.5 x 26.7 (full-length with stormy background)
Incledon wears a striped blue and white shirt; round his shoulders is a red neckerchief edged in blue and patterned in gold.
CKA confused Incledon's song with the part of Storm in Kenney's melodrama “Ella Rosenberg”, which was first performed at Drury Lane on 19 November 1807, with John Bannister as Storm (see G0035). Incledon had nothing to do with it. He was singing a song called "The Storm," by Steevens, in the 1790s, and by the time he sang it at a benefit for Sedgwick at Drury Lane on 6 June 1797 it was already "famous." He usually reserved performances of this thrilling number for his own benefits, but also sang it for O'Keeffe's benefit at Covent Garden on 12 June 1800.
When the original picture was shown at the R. A. in 1804, the catalogue entry included lines from the song:
“While oer the ship wild waves are beating, / We our wives and children mourn. / Alas! from thence there's no retreating; / Alas! to them there's no return.”
(see also P0308 [formerly catalogued as No. 947 in Ashton, 1997. Now known to be a print])