Charles Allen Du Val

His life and works


Researching the life and works of Charles Allen Du Val has only been made possible by the kind and generous assistance of many people.

First, acknowledgment must be made of the invaluable research done and encouragement given by descendants of the artist, especially Nicky Clark and Alan Duval, his great-great-grandchildren, and of the generosity of Anthony Wheal, Julian Tenby, Tom Askey and other family members in making available personal information and documents from their archives.

Although little has been previously published about the Du Val family, special mention must be made of the delightful and scholarly book Du Val Tonight! The Story of a Showman (1990) by Vivien Allen; and the typically high-spirited account of his travels by her subject himself Charles Henry Du Val entitled With a Show through Southern Africa and Personal Reminiscences of the Transvaal War (1884). For the earlier history of the family the matchless scholarship of the late Hubert Gallwey in his book The Wall Family in Ireland 1170-1970 (1970, 2010) is essential. Manchester's Victorian Art Scene and Its Unrecognised Artists (2006) by Susan W. Thomson has a pioneering chapter on the work of the artist. The Holland Sisters (2001) by E.G. Rochow and E. Krahe provides useful genealogy and photographs of the remarkable family of the artist's daughter Florence Du Val. The genealogy of the Danish ancestors of Charles Allen Du Val has been thoroughly researched by Louis Melnick and published in his masterly Eskildsen/Eskildson family of Denmark, Ireland, and the United States of America (1968). Additional information kindly supplied by Michael A. Melnick has also been gratefully received.

Grateful thanks are also due to Peter Ogilvie (Salford Museum & Art Gallery) and Sue Webber (Elmbridge Museum, Weybridge) for patiently answering questions about Du Val paintings in their collections; to the librarians and archivists of Manchester Central Library for information on the the artist and his world; to Joy Whaite for valuable material from her extensive researches into the Whaite family; to Jim Wall for republishing the book on the Wall Family in Ireland; to Peggy McClard for sharing her expert knowledge on miniature painting; to Denise Eccles for local colour on the Holland family of Bridgwater; to Ethel June Pearson for sharing her comprehensive knowledge of the maternal ancestors of the artist's wife; to Trevor Byrnes for enthusiastically tracking family members who went or were sent to Australia; and last (but certainly not least) to the private owners of treasured paintings by Charles Allen Du Val for their unfailing kindness and interest.

Valuable personal reminiscenes of Charles Allen Du Val are included in Sam Bough, RSA, the Rivers in Bohemia (1998) by Gil and Pat Hitchon. Dating of paintings has been greatly facilitated by the record in The Liverpool Academy and Other Exhibitions of Contemporary Art in Liverpool 1774-1867- A History and Index of Artists and Works Exhibited (1998) by Edward Morris and Emma Roberts. An excellent background history of the Anti-Corn Law movement is provided by Anthony Howe and Simon Morgan (editors) and their contributors in Rethinking Nineteenth Century Liberalism – Richard Cobden Bicentenary Essays(2006). Diego Tellez Alarcia has detailed an account of the life of a fascinating early Wall Du Val in Richard Wall, the Irish-Spanish Minister, Irish Migration Studies in Latin America, Society for Irish Latin American Studies. The entry by Albert Nicholson in the Dictionary of National Biography volume 16 pages 270-271 (1888) gives a concise account of the artist's life by someone who knew Charles Allen Du Val personally. Information on the Wall family of Wallscourt is contained in the Killavullen and Annakissa Community Council Parish Directory, Mallow. Co. Cork, Ireland . The account of the Du Val family of Kilmallock appears in the very informative and comprehensive article on Ricardo Wall by Diego Tellez Alarcia summarising his thesis presented in the University of Las Rioja, Spain Information on Edward Du Val and his descendants is in Private Sources at the National Archives of Ireland : Small Private Accessions 1972–1997: 999/1–999/850 : 999/3 copied from documents in the Archivio del Ministerio de Estado, Spain : Documents relating to the Wall family in Spain relating particularly to Santiago Wall, Conde de Armildez de Toledo (died circa 1860), the son of General Santiago Wall (died 1835), the son of Edward Wall who left Carlow in Ireland in 1793 and died in 1795.

Other acknowledments are given as footnotes to text on the web pages.