Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Gyles, Henry

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693237Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 23 — Gyles, Henry1890Lionel Henry Cust

GYLES or GILES, HENRY (1640?–1709), glass painter, born about 1640, was fifth child of E[dmund?] Gyles, and resided in Micklegate, York. To him is due the revival of the art of pictorial glass painting, which had become quite extinct in England. His earliest dated window is the large west window of the Guildhall at York, painted in 1682. His best known work is the east window in the chapel of University College, Oxford, presented by Dr. Radcliffe in 1687. Gyles also presented some stained glass for the hall of the same college. He executed works for Wadham College, Oxford, and also for Trinity College and St. Catharine Hall at Cambridge. In 1700 he painted a large window for Lord Fairfax at Denton, Yorkshire. There were some figures painted by Gyles in the grammar school at Leeds, but these were disposed of in 1784 to a local antiquary. Gyles was a friend and correspondent of Ralph Thoresby [q. v.], the antiquary, whose diary and correspondence contain frequent allusions to him. His declining years were marred by ill-health, discontent, and domestic dissensions. In October 1709 he died at his house in York, and was buried in the church of St. Martin-cum-Gregory. Gyles was not particularly successful in colour or design, and little of his work can now be appreciated, owing to the perishable enamels which he employed. Francis Place [q. v.],Gyles's friend and fellow-citizen, engraved his portrait in mezzotint (copied by W. Richardson, and again for Walpole's 'Anecdotes of Painting'), and there is an interesting crayon drawing of him by his own hand in the print room at the British Museum.

[Robert Davies's Walks through the City of York; Thoresby's Diary and Correspondence; Wood's Hist. and Antiq. of Oxford, ed. Gutch; Walpole's Anecd. of Painting; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Granger's Biog. Hist.; Winston's Hints on Glass Painting.]

L. C.