NBHT Chairman Harry White and Molson Coors Jonty Fair with the newly restored portrait of William Worthington

NBHT Chairman Harry White and Molson Coors Jonty Fair with the newly restored portrait of William Worthington

After much hard work and a couple of setbacks two historic paintings with links to the early days of brewing in Burton will go on display at the National Brewery Centre (NBC) early next year.

Earlier this year NBHT began the task of raising the money to restore the portraits of William and Martha Worthington, members of the famous Burton brewing family.

The 19th century portraits were bought for £500 including fees at an auction in Clevedon near Bristol.

The William in one of the pictures is the eldest son of William Worthington, who founded the Worthington brewery in 1760.

He took over the firm when his father died in 1800, and ran it with his wife Martha, who appears in the other portrait. He was also the grandfather of William H Worthington, the first Mayor of Burton.

Martha was the daughter of Henry Evans who started brewing in Burton in the 1750’s and rose to prominence as one of the town’s important commercial figures.

When William married Martha, in 1791, they acquired the brewery of John Walker Wilson from Henry Evans, and in 1819, after the death of Henry Evans, they also acquired his brewery, and adopted it as their main brewery.

The Worthington and Evans families played an important role in the development of Burton’s brewing industry

NBHT Chairman Harry White said: “The Evans and the Worthington families were key players not only at the time of Burton’s Baltic trade (the late 18th century) but also during the development of the town as the brewing capital of the world in Victorian times and it is only fitting that the portraits will now have a permanent home in Burton.”

The oil canvas works are attributed to painter Richard Jones, a painter of some repute of sporting subjects, and are thought to have been produced around 1820.

And if William hadn’t invited the artist to his house to paint a picture of his greyhounds they might never have been painted. Apparently, on meeting Jones the couple were moved to sit for their portraits. It appears the portraits were lost for many years before being rediscovered at a house in Bristol.

Both the portraits are 75cm by 62cm in size.