Framed mezzotint of "William Crouch" engraved by Peter Pelham (1697-1751), an English mezzotint engraver, which was based on a portrait of Crouch painted by N. Tucker done in 1725. Crouch (1628-1710), son of an English yeoman, was an upholsterer by trade in London. He was a noted member of the Society of Friends (Quakers), who became known for his refusal to pay tithes for the support of the Church of England and his general opposition to conforming to the established church. Crouch was the author of "the Enormous Sin of Covetenous Detected" (London, 1708); his autobiography, "Posthuma Christiana or a Collection of Some Papers of William Crouch" was edited posthumously by Richard Claridge and published in 1712. Peter Pelham emigrated from England to Boston in 1727, where he continued his profession as an engraver and painter; and in 1737, established a school for "Education of Children in Reading, Writing, Needlework, Dancing, and the Art of Painting on Glass." In 1748, Pelham married his third wife, Mary Copley, the widowed mother of John Singleton Copley (1738-1815), when John was 10 yrs. The 3 1/2 yrs. before Pelham's death in 1751 represented an early, significant influence on John Copley with instructions in artistic techniques and theory, business, European traditions and designs, and manners. It has also been suggested that having John Copley as an apprentice helper enabled Pelham to produce his last seven portraits, done between 1750-1751.
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