Ref NoMS/608
TitleArtocarpus incisus - John Tyley
AdminHistoryJohn Tyley (born c. 1773) was a botanical artist of mixed heritage from Antigua.

Born in Antigua, a free man of colour, Tyley was a a talented, self-taught artist. When he was around 20 years old, he came to the attention of Dr Alexander Anderson, superintendent of the Botanic Gardens of St. Vincent. Tyley was invited to live with Anderson and his family in the superintendent's house and was employed as Anderson's assistant to draw and paint plant species growing in the botanical garden. He was paid 5 shillings per day, the standard wage for a skilled tradesman. Tyley signed some of his artwork, which was unusal for the time and especially for a man of colour, but it is likely that he was responsible for producing more artwork which did not bear his signature.

In 1800 Tyley was exiled from St. Vincent for corresponding with people of colour about the unequal status of non-White people in the Caribbean. He attempted to gain a similar position at the Trinidad Botanic Gardens but it was blocked by Governor Thomas Picton who did not want Tyley to settle on the island. The last record that can be found of Tyley is in 1823 in the form of his signature which appears on a petition to Antigua which aimed to improve the situation of people of colour.
DescriptionWatercolour drawing by John Tyley of an enslaved man in a blue loin-cloth sitting beneath 'Artocarpus incisus', a breadfruit tree. The drawing is signed "J Tyley del" and has a C&S (Curteis family, Carshalton Mill) watermark.
Related MaterialMore John Tyley artworks can be found at: MS/609/34 - MS/609/44

Manuscripts relating to Anderson can be found at MS/605; MS/606; MS/607; MS/610; MS/611; MS/612; MS/613; MS/614; MS/615; MS/616; MS/617; MS/618
NotesDisplayed in the library 2021
AcquisitionBought by The Linnean Society in 2020 from Roseberys auction house.
Creator NameTyley, John
Object_Display_StatusOn loan at the Fitzwilliam Museum exhibition, "Black Atlantic: Power, People, Resistance", 8 September 2023 - 7 January 2024
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