Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Plymouth
Pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour
  • image height 140mm,
  • image width 235mm
  • sheet, verso
  • “No.16 Plymouth / Sept 5. 1815 from 10 minutes after 1 till 20 minutes after 2 o clock / Francis Towne”
  • in dark brown ink
Part of
  • 1815 Sketchbook
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination (image); Sotheby's records


Bequeathed by the artist in 1816 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), both of Oxford, inherited the drawing in May 1915 as part of a sketchbook containing FT765 to FT786, which they gave to their cousin Mary Ann Loveband (b.1865, alive in 1951), who sold the book to Agnew’s on 17 May 1938 for £60. On 11 October 1938 Agnew’s (no.2701) sold this drawing for £10 10s. to Professor John Malins (1915–1992), who offered it for sale at Sotheby’s on 30 March 1983, lot 126, where it did not sell.

Associated People & Organisations

Sotheby's, London, London, 30 March 1983, lot 126
Professor John Malins (1915 - 1992), 11 October 1938, GBP 10.10s
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 17 May 1938, GBP 60, no.2701
Mary Ann Loveband (1865 - alive in 1951)
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915
Inherited as part of a sketchbook containing FT765 to FT786.
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915
Inherited as part of a sketchbook containing FT765 to FT786.
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Adrian Bury, Francis Towne - Lone Star of Water-Colour Painting, Charles Skilton: London, 1962, p. 150


This is a general view of the city with the spire of Charles Church in the centre. The left edge of the drawing has not been fully coloured, indicating that it was once near the spine of a sketchbook (also FT781).


by Richard Stephens

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