Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Lidford
ca. 1780 - 1790
Pen and grey ink, watercolour
  • image width 257mm,
  • image length 178mm
  • sheet, verso
  • “Lydford, Devonshire”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Christie's records (image)


Bequeathed by the artist to James White of Exeter (1744–1825), on whose death it passed 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) inherited the drawing in May 1915 (probably BP277, Woodland Scene with man & pack horse, which before 1945 was in the possession of either their nephew William Trevelyan Turner (b.1892) or nephew Charles Herman Merivale (b.1879, d. before 1962). By 1957 the drawing was the property of Francis Temple-West, the second husband of Blanche Liddell whose first husband, John William Merivale (1887–1916), was another Merivale nephew and the brother of Charles Herman Merivale. On 27 February 1956 Temple-West sold it to Agnew’s (no.8338) with FT096, FT603, FT631, FT803, and on 10 December 1956 it was bought there for £120 by J. Hawkesley Elliott of Sheffield (d. ca. 1978). He or his daughter sold it at Christie’s on 1 March 1977, lot 118, for £1,300, whereafter it is untraced.

Associated People & Organisations

Private Collection, 1 March 1977, GBP 1300
Christie's, London, 1 March 1977, lot 118
Joseph Hawksley Elliot (1884 - 1978), Sheffield, 10 December 1956, GBP 120
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 27 February 1956, no.8338
Francis Temple West, 1956
[?] Blanche Liddell
[?] John William Merivale (1887 - 1916)
[?] Charles Herman Merivale, 1944
[?] William Trevelyan Turner, 1944
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, probably BP277, 'Woodland Scene with man & pack horse'
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, probably BP277, 'Woodland Scene with man & pack horse'
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816


Given the prominence of the stream of water, this is perhaps a view of the River Lyd near one of its well-known waterfalls (FT163, FT567). The date of this drawing is not at all clear, but it is here suggested, along with another undated Lidford drawing (FT567), as a drawing from the late 1780s or 1790s. The trees at the left are somewhat similar to those in an Oakhampton Castle view dated 1794 (FT580).

by Richard Stephens

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