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James Pollard, 1792–1867

The Last of the Mail Coaches at Newcastle upon Tyne

Former Title(s):

`The Last of the Mail Coaches': the Edinburgh-London Royal Mail at Newcastle upon Tyne, 5 July 1847

Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
18 x 27 inches (45.7 x 68.6 cm)

Signed and dated in brown paint, lower left: "J. Pollard | 1848"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
bridle | carriage | coach | costume | flag | harness | historical subject | horses (animals) | industry | quirt | reins | reins | smoke | street lights | transport | Victorian
Associated Places:
England | Europe | Newcastle | Newcastle upon Tyne | United Kingdom
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

Pollard shows the arrival of the Edinburgh-London Royal Mail coach in Newcastle for the last time on 5 July 1847, having been superseded by the railroad. To mark the sad occasion the coachman and guard wore black mourning bands in their hats and flew the Union flag at half mast, surmounted by a banner of black crêpe. "It was impossible to record the death of the mail coach without regret," reported the Newcastle Journal, "for it really was a noble establishment, and not many years ago was looked upon as one of the glories of the country, of which the public had just cause to be proud. But, it is gone, after a reign of not more than sixty-one years . . . The horses of the various contractors of the line are announced for sale by auction." Pollard painted the scene for his friend and patron Edward Macnamara, who at this time was the sole contractor for the distribution of the mail - by horse and cart - within London.

Malcolm Warner

Warner, Malcolm and John Baskett. The Paul Mellon Bequest: Treasures of a Lifetime. New Haven : Yale Center for British Art, 2001, p. 113

The Paul Mellon Bequest : Treasures of a Lifetime (Yale Center for British Art, 2001-02-17 - 2001-04-29) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

Roads to Rails - Revolution in British Transport (Yale Center for British Art, 1992-04-15 - 1992-06-28) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Judy Egerton, British Sporting and Animal Paintings 1655-1867 : A Catalogue : The Paul Mellon Collection, , Tate Publishing, London, 1978, p. 280, no. 306, pl. 100, ND1383 G7 B75 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Elisabeth Fairman, Roads to rails : revolution in British transport, , New Haven, CT, 1992, p. 13, no. 110, HE243 .F25 1992 (YCBA) [YCBA]

General Post Office (Great Britain), Account of the celebration of the jubilee of uniform inland penny postage at the Venetian Chamber, Holborn Restaurant; at the Guildhall; at the Museum of Science and Art, South Kensington; and at various towns and villages throughout the United Kingdom 1840-1890, illustrated with portraits and sketches, London, 1891, pp. 106, 175, Yale online book [ORBIS]

Jeremy Maas, Victorian painters., Barrie & Rockliff, The Cresset P., London, 1969, p. 74, ND467 M26+ (YCBA) [YCBA]

Painting in England 1700-1850 : collection of Mr. & Mrs. Paul Mellon : Exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, , 1,2, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, 1963, p. 191 (v.1), no. 365, pl. 152, ND466 V57 v.1-2 (YCBA) [YCBA]

N. C. Selway, Golden age of coaching and sport, as depicted by James Pollard , F. Lewis, Publishers, Limited, Leigh-on-sea, 1972, no. 139, NJ18 P7425 +S45 (YCBA) [YCBA]

N. C. Selway, James Pollard 1792-1867, painter of the age of coaching , F. Lewis, Publishers, Limited, Leigh-on-sea, 1965, no.121, NJ18 P7425 +S452 1965 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Sotheby's sale catalogue : Fine paintings and drawings of the English school :19 April 1961, Sotheby's, London, April 19, 1961, p. 43, lot 172, Auction Catalogue (YCBA) [YCBA]

Stella A. Walker, Sporting art : England 1700-1900, Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., New York, 1972, no. 83, N8250 W35 (YCBA) + [YCBA]

Malcolm Warner, The Paul Mellon Bequest : treasures of a lifetime, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2001, p. 113, N5247 M385 P28 2001 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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