James Wales

Charles Leslie ('Mussel Mou'd Charlie'), 1676 / 77- 1782. Jacobite ballad-singer

About this artwork

Known as ‘Mussel Mou'd Charlie’ from a mussel-shaped extension of his lip, Leslie was an Aberdeenshire ballad-singer who died in 1792, aged 105. A fervent Jacobite, he not only sang songs supporting the cause, but was supposed to have fought in the 1715 and 1745 uprisings. An account by a contemporary of Leslie’s accurately describes how the singer is portrayed in this painting: “He was a remarkable thin made man, about five feet ten inches high, small and fiery eyes, a long chin, reddish hair and since I ever knew him carried a long pike staff a good deal longer than himself, with a large harden bag slung over his shoulders before him, to hold his ballads, and a small pocket covered Bible with a long string at it.”

  • title:
    Charles Leslie ('Mussel Mou'd Charlie'), 1676 / 77- 1782. Jacobite ballad-singer
  • accession number:
    PG 2624
  • artist:
  • depicted:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • date created:
    1780
  • measurements:
    55.30 x 43.60 cm (framed: 60.30 x 48.20 x 2.30 cm)
  • credit line:
    Transferred to the permanent collection 1984
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve

James Wales

James Wales