Unloading Cargo by Richard Weatherill (1844 – 1923)

Unloading Cargo by Richard Weatherill (1844 – 1923)

Richard was the youngest of George and Sarah Weatherill’s four children.  If he had been in better health Richard would probably have pursued a career at sea, but instead he served a brief apprenticeship with a ‘Druggist’ in Whitby.  He had little interest in this career and soon gave it up to become a full time artist.  As with all his sisters Richard was taught by his father and painted in a similar style.  Unlike his father Richard preferred to paint in oils and is better known for these works which were mainly of marine subjects and often set in Whitby Harbour.  Richard was also very talented and from an early age he had a number of pupils of his own. 

Richard exhibited one work in Birmingham in 1885 but like the rest of his family he mainly exhibited and sold work locally. He signed his paintings R. Weatherill often in either red or white paint.

In 1908 Richard published ‘The Ancient Port of Whitby and its Shipping’ an account of the towns shipping and maritime history complete with a comprehensive lists of ships that were owned or built by Whitby firms from 1717 – 1900, including articles on local shipyards and the whaling industry.  This book contains illustrations by Richard, Mary and George Weatherill.

Richard went on several sailing voyages to improve his knowledge of sailing and so produce more accurate paintings.  This fascinating painting shows a busy Whitby harbour, with plenty of activity.  There is such a lot of detail to be enjoyed, with men up in the rigging and seaweed dripping off the ropes.

If you have any further information, stories or anecdotes about the artist, or any of the members of the Staithes Art Group, we would love to hear from you. Please contact us by email: