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Paintings: G0064


John Bernard


Oil on canvas



Jack Meggot : The Suspicious Husband



Height: 36.2cm
Width: 26.7cm
height (frame): 46cm
width (frame): 37.5cm


John Bell; Charles Mathews

Other number

Mathews 386
RW/CKA 235

Exhibition history

1833 London, Queen's Bazaar, Oxford Street, "Mr Mathews's Gallery of Theatrical Portraits" (386)

Engraving history

John Corner for Bell's British Library 12 November 1791, line 11.5x8, pub. Bell's "British Theatre" (1797), vol 4, with quotation:" Bel. 'Dead, pray who was the gentleman?' J. Meg. 'This gentleman was my monkey Sir.'" Maguire for Jones's "British Theatre" pub. Wm. Jones, Dublin, 1794, line 11.1x7.6 Anon. Printed for C. Cooke 20 January 1808, pl. to "British Drama" (1817), line 12x7.5

The scene is set in St James's Park, Act I, scene 3. In the left distance are the west towers of Westminster Abbey. Frankly and Bellamy, in amorous pursuit of Clarinda and Jacintha, meet Frankly's friend Jack Meggot, a dilettante who has just returned from Rome. One of his Roman prizes was the monkey Otho, who has died after breaking a great deal of china and gnawing Meggot's Spanish leather shoes. Meggot wears black shoes, white hose, pink breeches, a green coat lined in pink, a pink waistcoat, and a white stock with frills.
Benjamin Hoadley's comedy was first performed at Covent Garden on 12 February 1747, with Garrick (in his only season at that theatre) as Ranger and Mrs Pritchard as Clorinda. Bernard's first performance as Jack Meggot was at Covent Garden on 2 January 1788, and he had played the role ten times by 8 June 1791. But at the performance, closest to the date of the engraving after De Wilde's painting, at Covent Garden on 16 September 1791, the part of Jack Meggot was taken by Thomas Marshall.
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