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Doncaster Features: Famous Doncastrian: John Frederick Herring

John Frederick Herring (1795-1865), was a painter, sign maker, and coachman from Doncaster. He was born in London, as the son of a London merchant of Dutch parentage, who had been born in America. In the year 1814, at the age of 18, he moved to Doncaster, arriving in time to witness the Duke of Hamilton's William win the St. Leger Stakes horse race. By 1815, Herring had married Ann Harris; his sons John Frederick Herring Junior, Charles Herring, and Benjamin Herring were all to become artists, while his two daughters, Ann and Emma, both married painters.

In Doncaster, he was employed as a painter of pub signs and insignia on the sides of coaches, and his later contact with a firm owned by a Mr. Wood led to Herring's subsequent employment as a night coach driver.

He spent his spare time painting portraits of horses for inn parlors, and he became known at the time as the artist coachman.

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