Richard Scaddan was born at Penzance in 1719, the son of John Scaddan and his wife Margaret (nee Hoskin),and baptised at Madron on 10th February 1719/20. In 1736 he was apprenticed to Thomas Frye, a ceramicist and artist. In 1742 he painted a copy of Frye's Portrait of Frederick, Prince of Wales, the father of George lll. In 1743 he engraved another of Frye's portraits. He returned to Cornwall from London at the end of his apprenticeship in 1746. On 9th September 1748 he married Mary Newton at Madron. He then worked on a seemingly casual basis for Rev William BORLASE at Ludgvan vicarage as well as for Penzance Borough. In February 1747/8 Rev Borlase paid him for a portrait of his son Christopher (Kitt). In 1758 he painted a watercolour of The North East Prospect of St Michael's Mount in Cornwall which is now in the R I C at Truro.
There is a burial record at Ludgvan for a Richard Scaddan in 1766 but it seems unlikely that this refers to the artist unless later references refer to his son, Richard, born 1749. Rev Borlase recognised his talent as an artist in his correpondence. In 1781 The Universal Magazine published an engraving of Dorothy (Dolly) Pentreath credited R Scaddan delin. In 1791 The Universal British Directory records Richard Scadden, Painter in Penzance. In 1802 a Richard Scaddan was buried at Bodmin. Whether this is the artist or why he should have been in Bodmin is unknown. Cyrus Redding, some forty years later states that Scaddan had died at the turn of the century.
Very little work by Richard Scaddan is known but it seems probable that some of the work now ascribed to his employer at Ludgvan, Rev William Borlase, could well be the work of Richard Scaddan. Certainly a pen and ink sketch of St Michael's Mount ascribed to William Borlase bears a marked similarity to the work by Scaddan at R I C.