Unknown Artist, Edward Hussey Delaval

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
Doddington Hall
Edward Hussey Delaval
? c.1755
Long Gallery
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 70 cm, Overall width: 60 cm
Unknown Artist
Catalogue Number


Portrait of Edward Hussey Delaval (1729–1814), third son of Captain Francis Blake Delaval and Rhoda Apreece, Edward Delaval graduated Bachelor of Arts at Pembroke College, Oxford in 1750, and Master of Arts in 1754. Here he is depicted wearing his fellow commoner’s cap, awarded in 1755.

Among Edward’s friends at Pembroke was the poet Thomas Gray, who nicknamed him variously ‘Mr Delly’ and ‘Delaval the loud’, owing to his resounding voice, which was apparently a family trait. Edward Delaval, as well as being a capable scientist, was a gifted musician. Among his accomplishments were his performances on a set of musical glasses of his own construction which, according to Gray, produced sounds comparable to ‘a Cherubim in a box’.1 Edward Delaval’s elder brother, John, matriculated at Pembroke in 1746 (3 July), and his eldest brother, Francis, had been a fellow-commoner at Pembroke but was sent down for smuggling a woman into college disguised as a friend in the army.2

by Martin Postle


  1. R. W. Ketton-Cremer, Thomas Gray: A Biography, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1955, pp. 142–3.

  2. See Chris Mouncey, Christopher Smart, Clown of God, London: Associated University Presses, 2001, pp. 54–5.


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