Summary of The Halifax Mail Coach
Oil on canvas painting of the Halifax Mail Coach painted by John Frederick Herring I (1785-1865).
A team of two bays and two greys move at speed pulling the Halifax Mail Coach. The coach has four paying passengers and the guard stands on the back blowing the post horn, his overcoat is laid over his seat.
John Frederick Herring was born in London in 1795. Herring spent the first eighteen years of his life in London, where his greatest interest was drawing and horses. In 1814, at the age of 18, he moved to Doncaster in the north of England. He married Ann Harris and had three sons who all became artists, John Frederick Herring Jnr, Charles Herring, and Benjamin. His two daughters, Ann and Emma, both married painters.
In Doncaster, Herring was employed as a painter of inn signs and coach insignia on the sides of coaches, and his later contact with a firm owned by a Mr. Wood led to Herring's subsequent employment as a night coach driver. Herring spent his spare time painting portraits of horses for inn parlours, and he became known as the "artist coachman". His talent was recognised by wealthy customers, and he began painting hunters and racehorses for the gentry .
In 1830 Herring left Doncaster for Newmarket where he spent three years before moving to London. In the city he experienced financial difficulties and was given financial assistance by W Copland , who commissioned many paintings, including some designs used for the Copeland Spode bone china.
This painting is in the care of Doncaster Museum Service.
Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery