Sarah Biffin, a limbless artist. Lithograph by H. Grévedon after S. Biffin.
- Biffin, Sarah, 1784-1850.
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About this work
Sarah Biffin was born in 1784 in East Quantoxhead, Somerset. The baptismal register records that she was 'born without arms or legs'. She grew to be 37 inches tall. Between 1797 and 1813 she was exhibited at fairs by Emmanuel Dukes, a travelling showman, demonstrating her abilities in writing, miniature painting, needlework etc. Supported by the Earl of Morton she received lessons in painting from William Marshall Craig, and became an independent miniature painter in London, Brighton, Cheltenham and elsewhere. She received commissions from royal patrons in Brussels and England, and exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, in 1831 and 1832. In 1847 the Liverpool philanthropist Richard Rathbone raised funds for an annuity for her. She died in Liverpool aged 65 on 2 October 1850. Her surname is also spelled as Beffin,her forename is given as Elizabeth, and she was also known under her married name as Mrs Wright (Oxford dictionary of national biography)
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