John Grenfell MOYLE

Dr John Grenfell MOYLE

Born in 1817 at Penzance and baptised there on 6th April, the son of Richard and Eliza Moyle. He appears to have started sketching at an early age. According to the 1841 census he was listed as a surgeon, living with his parents and siblings ai Market Jew Street, Penzance. By 1851 he was already in the Scilly Isles, described as a surgeon and general practioner, at The Parade, Hugh Town, St Marys. He married Eliza James Nance of St Martin's in 1858 and they were still living at The Parade in 1881.

Two paintings by this artist, The Royal Visit of Queen Victoria in 1846 and Quay Fayre (c1850), owned by Penlee House, were exhibited in the 1993 Exhibition: An Artistic Tradition, Two Centuries of Painting and Craft in West Cornwall 1750-1950.

Dr Moyle, who practised medicine on the Isles of Scilly, was one of several amateur but accomplished painters who made their homes in the Islands.  Five of his oil paintings are in the collection of the Isles of Scilly Museum.

A small group of early pencil drawings by him with dates ranging from 1829 to 1837 were sold by Bridger's Bookshop in Market Jew Street, Penzance in the early 1960s. The subjects ranged from studies of rock formations around the Penwith coast to local landscapes.

In retirement and as a widower he moved to Reigate, Surrey, where his oldest daughter, Emma, was a schoolmistress. He died in Reigate in 1893 at the age of 76.



works and access

Works include:  The Royal Visit of Queen Victoria (1846); Quay Fayre (c1850); Alverton Temporary church c1832-5; Regatta at St Michael's Mount;

Access: Penlee House, Penzance (4)

Isles of Scilly Museum:  Holy Vale (1849); Old Town Bay (1890) oil on board; Tooth Rock, Penninis Head (1892); Hauling in the Cable; Porthmellon Bay; all oil on canvas unless specified otherwise.


1993: Penlee House, 'An Artistic Tradition, Two Centuries of Painting and Craft in West Cornwall 1750-1950'

2008-9: Penlee House Nov 2008-Mar 2009, 'A Village in Focus: Mousehole', 'A Village in Focus: Newlyn'

2011: Penlee House, 'The Marvellous Everyday'


Holmes (1993) Artistic Tradition;

Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly: Oil Paintings in Public Ownership

J Rice (2011) Curator's selection:  'The Marvellous Everyday' Exh Cat