Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Hereford
  • sheet, verso
  • “Hereford”(?) and dated “23rd March 1813”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Agnew's records


Bequeathed by the artist in 1816 to James White of Exeter (1744–1825), on whose death it reverted to Towne’s residuary legatee John Herman Merivale (1779–1844) and his successors. Merivale’s granddaughters Maria Sophia Merivale (1853–1928) and Judith Ann Merivale (1860–1945), both of Oxford, inherited the drawing in May 1915 (BP248), after which it is untraced.

Associated People & Organisations

Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP248
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP248
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816


According to Joseph Farington, Towne set off from London to Hereford on 19 March 1813 to give evidence with John “Warwick” Smith in a court case on behalf of Captain Dale, who was the son-in-law of their old friend Thomas Jones and against whom a claim was being made by a younger son of Jones for rights to Penkerrig, Jones’s estate. Towne travelled back to London with Mrs Flowerdew, one of Dale’s acquaintances who wrote to him: 

Mr Town and I finished our journey with many compliments on each side, but lest you should think that a woman never outlives her vanity I shall not repeat the fine speeches he made. I adopted your advice of sometimes adverting to the Thursday evening scene when tried with his incessant talk. He certainly talks well but never did I hear anyone speak for such a length of time on a subject. I have forgotten all the rules in drawing he pointed out to me.1

This conversation led Bury to assert that both Flowerdew and Dale were pupils of Towne, but that conclusion does not seem justified by the evidence.2

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Quoted in Bury 1962, p.55, when the letter was owned by Canon J. H. Adams, a descendant of Jones; Farington 1978, pp.4310–12, 4316, 4317.
  2. 2 Bury 1962, p.112.

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