John and William Dade

The brothers John and William Dade were strong Kirby supporters. The Dade family of Tannington Hall in Suffolk had been prominent for a long time.

1: Autumnal view of drive to Tannington Hall

John Dade (1726—1811) and William (1727—1755) were, according to the standard Dade genealogy, sons of Dr. John Dade (1651—1732). This renowned John Dade, of Tannington and Ipswich, had gone up to Gonville and Caius Cambridge in 1665/6, graduating in 1669 and gaining an M.A. in 1673. He was then a Fellow of Caius for twenty years, although he did at one point gain a licence to absent himself for three years’ foreign travel. He gained his M.D. in 1683 and practiced in Ipswich. Je was also a Justice of the Peace. In 1694 he married Jane Kemp, daughter of Sir Robert Kemp, Bart. of Ubbeston. Jane Kemp’s sister married Sir Charles Blois. Jane and John Dade had four children, two of whom died young (although according to the published registers, they died before they were baptized), and one of whom had children. Jane Dade died in 1724, and Dr. John remarried to Elizabeth Wingfield. The Wingfields were a large and prominent family, and John Dade’s grandmother was a Wingfield. Elizabeth was some 47 years John Dade’s junior, and by the time she had John and William, he would have been about 75. He died in 1732.

John Dade attended St. John’s Cambridge (with William Lynch), although, like Lynch, he does not seem to have graduated. His brother William was the academic success story. William went to Pembroke College, a year behind his brother, graduating with his B.A. in 1747/8, and obtaining M.A. in 1751. He was elected Fellow of the College in 1749, alongside such other Fellows as Christopher Smart, under the leadership of the illustrious Dr. Roger Long (another Kirby subscriber). Sadly, he died in 1755, although not before subscribing to both Kirby’s Twelve Prints and Historical Account, and the first edition of his Method of Perspective, in the subscriber list for the second being noted as “Fellow of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge”.

John Dade meanwhile took up the life of a country gentleman. Like his classmate, William Lynch, he joined the Suffolk Militia, although in Dade’s case as a Major, rather than a Captain. Also like Lynch, John Dade was painted by Gainsborough in the mid-1750s. The painting is now at Yale.

Unlike the straightforward Lynch portrait, Gainsborough’s Dade portrait had more landscape background and narrative structure.

Both John and William Dade became Freemen of Ipswich in 1753, and John was chosen Bailiff, along with John Gravenor, in 1757. In that year he was also a Steward of the Beccles races, along with Sir John Rous.

John Dade married Sarah Pullyn of Halesworth in 1749. She was the daughter of Peter Pullyn, agent of the Persons of Quality desirous of protecting their game.

A consistent Kirby supporter, John Dade subscribed to the Historical Account, the Method of Perspective, and the 1764 edition of the Suffolk Traveller.

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