George Berkeley, bishop of Cloyne, was born March 12th, 1684, at Kilerin, in the county of Kilkenny, Ireland. . . . This painting was executed by Smybert, while the Dean resided in Newport. There is a tradition, that the outline was sketched on the passage from Europe. The principal figure is the Dean, in his clerical habit. The lady with the child is his wife; the other lady has been said to be her sister, but more probably is the Miss Handcock who accompanied her to America. The gentleman writing at the table, is Sir James Dalton. The gentleman standing behind the ladies, has been thought by some to be a Mr. WainWright: but is undoubtedly Mr. James. The other gentleman in brown, is a Mr. John Moffat, a friend of the artist. The remaining figure is the artist, Smybert. The Dean is resting his hand on a copy of Plato, his favorite author; and appears to be dictating to Sir James, who is acting as amanueusis. This painting was presented to the College in the year 1808, by Isaac Lothrop, Esq., of Plymouth, Mass. It had been preserved in Boston, in a room occupied by the Smyberts; . . . It was purchased and transmitted to the college by Mr. Lathrop, through the agency of the Hon. John Davis, Col. Joseph May, and Isaac P. Davis, Esq. of Boston. . . . [Pp. 7-10; excerpted from a detailed biography of the sitter, which includes his epitaph in Latin.]
Catalogue of Paintings, belonging to Yale College; deposited in the South Room of the Trumbull Gallery. New Haven: Printed by B.L. Hamlen, Printer to Yale College. 1852.