This pencil portrait of Lucy Aikin was done by her brother, Edmund Aikin (1780–1820), an architect who was, plainly, a skilled artist. The portrait is undated, but appears do have been done when Lucy was in her twenties; the portrait had to have been done before the death of her brother in 1820 (when Aikin was 39). Pasted onto the back of the portrait are two newspaper clippings, one from the Hampstead and Highgate Express dated May 7, 1910, when the portrait was presented to the Hampstead Parish Church by Sir Samuel Wilks (1824–1911).


From the description provided, it appears that the portrait came into Wilks’ possession via a Dr. Aikin, who is described as “a member of the family.”

Lucy Aikin is buried in Hampstead Parish Church, and lived, from 1822–1844, no more than a few hundred yards from the Church, on Church Row, at No. 8 (until 1835) and thereafter at No. 18. After a brief period in London, she returned to Hampstead to live with her niece and her husband, Philip Hemery Le Breton. Lucy Aikin is buried near her dear friend, playwright and poet, Joanna Baillie.

The newspaper commentary points out that Edmund Aikin was known to produce “excellent likenesses,” though this portrait appears to be the only one of his to have survived.

This portrait is reproduced with the kind permission of Hampstead Parish Church, and the Rev. Stephen Tucker.

The Lucy Aikin page is maintained by Michelle Levy. To offer feedback for the site, please email