fl 1884-1903; birthdate varies by one year, i.e. 1863-1864

James Henry Millar was born St John’s Wood, London, an artist who specialised in waterscapes in oils. One of his works is reputedly owned by the Queen and hangs in Osborne House, Isle of Wight.  He married Mabel Key, of Trevone in Padstow, Cornwall (b1873), and the couple had at least one son, James Henry Bright Millar (1898-1917) who was born at Trevone, and died in the course of the Battle of Arras Bridge (WWI). Their son, known as Bright Millar was named for his great-grandfather, the well-known watercolourist, Henry Bright, artist of the Norwich School, after whom he took his name. Fanny Bright, the daughter of Henry (and Bright's grandmother) lived at Trevone with the Millar family.  [Please note] This information was researched by Peter Smith, who is currently writing a book about Padstow’s part in the Great War. Anyone wishing to correct errors or supply additional information can write to him at 24 Mallard Drive, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 5PW. Also phone 01825 762226 or email smithpeter24@gmail.com  Further information has come from Ipswich, and correspondent Tony Copsey (2013) about Millar and is added in its entirety for genealogical interest:Another member of the Ipswich Fine Art Club James H C Millar: born at Marylebone, London in 1863, son of James Lawrence Millar (1840-1881) and his wife Fanny Susanna Ellen nee Bright, who was born at Saxmundham, Suffolk, and married at Marylebone in 1862. His mother was a niece of artist Henry Bright [q.v.]. In 1871 he and his 32 year old mother were living at 41 Clifton Road, Marylebone, the home of her aunt, 62 year old widow Margaret Todd, a stationer. His father died in 1881, aged 41, when Fanny was a 40-year old [sic] boarding house proprietor living at 11 Harrington Road, Kensington with 17 year old James, a student.  By 1891 James, now a 27 year old landscape painter was living at The Bryn, Padstow, Cornwall with his 52 year old mother and an indoor servant. He married in the Liskeard district of Cornwall in 1895, Mabel Josephine Key, but in 1901 was a 37 year old married artist boarding at 27 New Cavendish Street, Cornwall. In 1911 a 47 year old artist living at Trevone, Padstow, Cornwall with his 75 year old mother, 36 year old wife and their five children, all born in Cornwall, a tutor and an indoor servant. He died in the Truro district in 1929, aged 65.




Painter of coastal scenes and figures

works and access

Works incl: Cornish Coastal Scene at RCM, Truro

'Condiment', 'A Coming Storm', 'Steamers Coaling, Sunset', 'Port Mizzen-Sand Carts', 'Sunlight in Water' and 'Gossip on the Beach' (all exhibited at Ipswich)


RA (5)

Ipswich Arts Club: exhibited from 22 Anglesea Road, Ipswich in 1888. 


 A member of the Ipswich Fine Art Club 1886-1890. 

misc further info



1901 Census

Hardie (2010) Artists in Newlyn & West Cornwall p336

Public Catalogue Foundation (2007) Cornwall & Isles of Scilly: Oil Paintings in Public Ownership illus p200

Wood Victorian Painters

Year's Art 1894-6

Research correspondents (2013): Peter Smith via Geoff Hassell, Tony Copsey