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Richard Whitford (1821 – 1890)

Richard Whitford was born in Evesham, Worcestershire in about 1821. In 1841 at the age of 19, he took instruction to become an excise officer becoming ‘Qualified for surveying Common Brewers, Victuallers, Malsters, Soapers, Brickmakers, Papermakers, Postmasters, Spirit dealers and Retailers’.

After being accused of embezzlement, he was dismissed from his job as an excise officer in 1848.

It was at this point that Richard took up animal portraiture, specialising in painting prize cattle, sheep and pigs, horses and dogs. Richard Whitford’s animal paintings were highly sought after with Queen Victoria having several of his pieces in her collection at Shaw Farm in Windsor – many of which were inscribed “Animal Painter to the Queen”.