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Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No. 1846, Sunday, August 21, 1831.

Painting Extraordinary

On Thursday a journeyman painter, who gave the high-sounding name of John George Barrett Gill, was charged before Sir C.S. Hunter with painting the face, bonnet, and dress, of Mrs. Elizabeth Cox; on Saturday last.

Mrs. Cox produced her bonnet and dress, which exhibited the skill of the prisoner in a very conspicuous degree. Her face had been washed in the interim; but the worthy alderman considered the bonnet and gown sufficient evidence, without putting her to the trouble of stating the particulars, and at once called upon Mr. John George Barrett Gill to explain why he treated the lady in so picturesque a manner.

The prisoner replied, "Please your Worship, I was working at Mr. Ryder's yard, Queen-street Cheapside, when this ere lady comes out and says I was painting her door. I replied that I'd paint her also; and she says, 'Ay, do, Mr. Gill." So I painted her face first, and then asked her if she had enough, to which she answered "Go on Sir," and accordingly I went on till my whole pot was out, when I demanded three shillings, the value of the stuff; but, instead of paying me, your Worship, she said she would go to the Alderman. I told her so she may, and bring him with her, and I'd paint him also; and so I should, please your Worship, be very happy to lay out a pot upon any of them.''

Several witnesses spoke to the extraordinary behaviour of the young man for some time past, and expressed great doubts of his being sane. A few evenings ago, he invited a fellow-workman to supper; but when he came he found the supper laid out in the Street, opposite the prisoner's door.

Sir Claudius ordered him to find bail; and also directed the surgeon at the Compter to examine him.