Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • A Rushing Stream, probably Stock Ghyll
  • Trees and Rushing Stream
ca. 1786/08
Pencil (?), pen and brown ink, watercolour
  • image width 269mm,
  • image length 379mm
  • sheet, verso
  • “Light from the Right Hand”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Museum records; 1989 Ulster catalogue (image)


This drawing was bought (in 1936 according to the museum’s records) at the Fine Art Society by the current owner, Ulster Museum (no.864). Probably this drawing or FT523 is BP156, sold by Judith Merivale (1860–1945) to Squire Gallery in February 1935 for £14. BP156 was drawn on Italian paper of the same size as this drawing and had no date or title inscribed. The back of the drawing is inscribed “Louisa”, presumably indicating it was owned by Judith Merivale’s aunt, Louisa Ann Merivale (1819–85), who lived at Barton Place, or Louisa Buckingham (b.1850), sister of Emily Buckingham.

Associated People & Organisations

National Museums Northern Ireland, Collection Ulster Museum, Belfast, 1936, BELUM.U864
The Fine Art Society, London, London, 1936
Squire Gallery, London, February 1935, GBP 14
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP156
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP156
[?] Louisa Buckingham (1850)
The back of the drawing is inscribed “Louisa”
[?] Louisa Ann Merivale (1819 - 1885)
The back of the drawing is inscribed “Louisa”
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
An Exhibition of Early English Water-Colour Drawings, Fine Art Society, 1935, no. 58 as 'Trees and Rushing Stream'
An Exhibition of Early English Water-Colour Drawings, Fine Art Society, 1935, no. 19 as 'Trees and Rushing Stream'
Portraits and Prospects: British and Irish Drawings and Watercolours from the Collection of The Ulster Museum, Ulster Museum, 1989, no. 16
Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, Tate Publishing: London, 1997, p. 109


Two drawings of Ambleside, one dated 14 August, are similar in type to this one (FT479, FT518). If this is indeed of Stock Ghyll in Ambleside, Towne may have been aiming—with this view wholly comprised of natural elements—consciously to contrast it with his other views, which feature the inn and industrial buildings. Evidently this is, like those views, an evening view looking west. Alternatively, as the stream is quite wide, perhaps it is a view of the Rivers Brathay or Rothay on their approaches to Windermere lake.

by Richard Stephens

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