Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • The Mouth of the Exe
ca. 1813
Pencil, pen and ink, (?) grey wash
  • image height 114mm,
  • image width 178mm
  • sheet, verso
  • “mouth of the Exe”
Part of
  • 1812-1815 Sketchbook
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Leger Galleries records (image)


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 within a sketchbook containing FT733 to FT751. Probably the book was among the “two small sketchbooks and five small drawings late in date” that Judith Merivale sold to Squire Gallery in 1945 for £50. In 1946 the drawing was on sale at the Fine Art Society, where on 28 January 1946 it was purchased by Mrs M. H. Amory for £26 5s. By 1980 it was the property of Viscount Amory (1899–1981) and was acquired by Leger Galleries in 1980 or 1981, whereafter it is untraced.

Associated People & Organisations

Leger Galleries, London, 1980
Viscount Amory (1899 - 1981), 1980
Mrs H. H. Amory, 28 January 1946, GBP 26.5s
The Fine Art Society, London, London, 28 January 1946
[?] Squire Gallery, London, GBP 50
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915
Inherited within a sketchbook containing FT733 to FT751.
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915
Inherited within a sketchbook containing FT733 to FT751.
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
Winter Exhibition of Early English Watercolours and Drawings, Fine Art Society, 1946, no. 118 as 'Mouth of the Exe'
Three Exeter Artists of the Eighteenth Century: Francis Hayman RA, Francis Towne, John White Abbott, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, 1951, no. 35
Exhibition of English Watercolours, Leger Galleries, 1981, no. 8


This is a view on the east bank of the Exe looking up the river. Given this, perhaps it was drawn around the same time as the nearby subject of the Topsham road, dated 1813 (FT738), which, however, shows the estuary in the opposite direction.

by Richard Stephens

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