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Richard Arthur (Dicky Nine Lives), Edwyn Vincent (1858-1919)
Oil on canvas, English School, 1887. Primitive style full length portrait of man in mining clothes with Pednandrea Mine in the background of the painting. Richard Arthur was known as Dicky Nine Lives, after falling down the inside of Pednandrea mine stack and surviving. He died in Penzance in June 1893, at the age of around 70. A report from Redruth in the Royal Cornwall Gazette on Thursday 15th June 1893 states: News has reached here from Penzance of the death of the well known character, Richard Arthur, generally known as "Dickey Nine Lives" by reason of numerous hairbreadth escapes, chief among which was a fall down the inside of Pednandrea stack. This wonderful man was well known to almost every person within a radius of 15 miles, and his marvellous exploits have formed the topic of many a Cornish yarn. With no settled residence or means of sustenance, he managed to exist with the occasional comfort of a "bit of bacca." When sometime ago it was rumoured that Dicky had suddenly inherited a large fortune, he was immediately addressed as Mr. Arthur, and for some reason consented to have his "picture taken" by a local photographer. This photo when exhibited caused considerable amusement, Dickey being taken in his usual attire. The fortune eventually turned out to be a hoax. It would hardly be possible to find in Cornwall a person whose life has to abounded in comical incidents, and a sharp literary aspirant would win immediate popularity by publishing a life of Dickey Nine Lives. Edwyn Vincent was publisher and printer of The Eagle at the Printing Works Redruth. This painting may have been intended to illustrate an article in The Eagle