William Byrd IV (1749-1771)

Date: ca. 1755-1756

William Byrd IV was the son of William Byrd III and Elizabeth Hill Carter. William was sent to England in 1756 with his two brothers, Thomas Taylor Byrd and John Carter Byrd All three were painted in matching outfits before they left. After William Byrd IV died in 1771, Mary Willing Byrd and William Byrd III had a son that they named William.

In Mary Willing Byrd’s will, this portrait was left to Abby Nelson (daughter of Abigail Byrd Nelson (Mrs. William Nelson)) as “the picture of her uncle William Byrd, the elder.”

Dimensions: 30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm.)

The portrait represents a boy turned three-quarters to his right. He stands with his right hand tucked into his waistcoat. A fur trimmed hat is tucked under his left arm. He wears a gray jacket and a white waistcoat with black spots. A ribbon is behind his neck.

See: “The Will of Mrs. Mary Willing Byrd, of Westover, 1813, with a List of the Westover Portraits.” The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 6, no. 4 (April 1899): 345–58; FARL

Family: Byrd
Decade: 1750s
Credits: Private collection. Photograph by Ira W. Martin, courtesy of the Frick Art Reference Library.