BALDREY, Joshua Kirby (1754-1828) — London & Cambridge
Artist, drawing-master, etcher, engraver, satirist, miniature painter, print-seller, publisher and printer. Produced the engraving Maps! Anything wanted today sir? 1791; “Proposals for publishing by subscription, a coloured print, (now newly engraved) from an accurate drawing taken from the east window of King’s College Chapel, Cambridge” 1805; “A dissertation on the windows of King’s College Chapel, Cambridge” 1818, etc. Also provided designs for the Cambridge University Almanac between 1803 and 1810.
His name given as John rather than Joshua in some of the older works of reference, Baldrey was the eldest son of Andrew Rankin Baldrey, of Ipswich, and his wife Mary Semmons. He was baptised 23 Mar 1756 at St. Margaret, Ipswich. His father was apprentice, partner, and successor in the general painting business of Joshua’s godfather, Joshua Kirby. He was advertising his services as a drawing-master at Ipswich as early as 1777. He worked on occasion with his younger brother John Baldrey, with whom he later fell out over some subscription money. He worked in both London and Cambridge, never settling permanently. He exhibited three portraits at the Royal Academy in 1793 and 1794. He was already a widower when a marriage allegation and bond relating to his forthcoming marriage to Elizabeth Parsons were signed 14 Feb 1795. The marriage took place at St. Andrew Holborn 17 Feb 1795. Elizabeth Baldrey was buried at St. Mary the Great, Cambridge, at the age of forty-two on 14 Sep 1806. He then married Mary Jane Copsey 20 Jun 1808 at the same church, with whom he had eleven children. Exhibited some drawings in Oxford 1805. He died from a “paralytic attack” at Hatfield Woodside, Hertfordshire, 6 Dec 1828 leaving “a wife and eleven children, totally unprovided for” (Cambridge and Hertford Independent Press, 20 Dec 1828). Probate papers are in Hertfordshire Probate Records.
37 Green Street, Grosvenor Square, London — 1781
20 Sherrard Street, London — 1784
Trumpington Street, Cambridge — 1785
19 High Holborn, London — 1787-1788
279 High Holborn, London — 1789-1790
3 Featherstone Buildings, Holborn — 1793-1794
Parish of St Andrew Holborn, London — 1795
Cambridge — 1798
Trinity Street, Cambridge — 1800
Trumpington Street, Cambridge — 1809-1811
London — 1815
Apprentice: Robert Clamp 1785.
BM. BNA. COPAC. Exeter. Fincham. Grant. Graves (1901) (1905). Hake. Maxted (1977). ODNB. Ottley.