James Boswell died in 1795 believing he had touched and kissed a cache of Shakespeare's original letters and papers discovered by a Mr. Ireland. His friend, Edmond Malone, publicly exposed the lot as a forgery just a year later.
Hugh BarronBorn 1747
The son of an apothecary in Soho, Barron gained some fame as a painter and amateur musician. He was a student of the renowned Joshua Reynolds until 1766, and in the 1780s had some paintings exhibited at the Royal Academy. He was "considered the best amateur [violin] performer of his time."1
- 1. Scholes, Percy A. (1948). The Great Dr. Burney, His Life, His Travels, His Works, His Family and His Friends, Vol. 1. Oxford University Press. p. 98
Life with Boswell:
Boswell mentions meeting Barron in the company of Lord Eglinton on May 4, 1763. Barron was described as "a boy of great genius both as a painter and a musician, [who] will probably be a man of great eminence. But at present he is a little black trifling being, so that his being in my company is a punishment to me". Although Barron was most likely very talented, he made no name for himself - which apparently was rather usual for students of Reynolds, who despite being a great painter was definitely not a good teacher.1
- 1. Hudson, Derek B. (1958). Sir Joshua Reynolds, a Personal Study. Geoffrey Bles. p. 119