Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Werrington Park
  • Werrington Park, Devonshire
  • Outline of a Wood
No date
Pencil, pen and black and brown inks, grey/brown, blue/grey, and green washes
  • image width 244mm,
  • image length 337mm
paper with irregular edges and watermarked with a fleur-de-lis design and “VD L”
  • sheet, verso
  • “Werrington Park 81” in brown ink over pencil, in an eighteenth-century hand but not certainly Towne’s; bottom left, “25 ½ 38”; bottom centre, “1[. . .]”; and bottom right, “2”, all in brown ink
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Museum 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 Maria Sophia Merivale (1860–1945), both of Oxford, inherited the drawing in May 1915 (BP227). In 1945 Judith Merivale sold it to Agnew’s for £10, but by 23 July 1945 it was owned by Bernard Milling of Squire Gallery, who sold it then to Colnaghi (no.A13183). On 26 September 1945 Colnaghi sold it for £40 to David, Viscount Eccles (1904–1999), and in June 1972 it was sold by John Baskett for £1,400 to Paul Mellon (1907–1999), who gave it to the current owner, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (B1977.14.4284; gift to Yale, December 1977).

Associated People & Organisations

Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, December 1977, B1977.14.4284
Mr Paul Mellon (1907 - 1999), June 1972, GBP 1400
John Baskett (1907), 1972
Viscount David Eccles (1904 - 1999), London, 26 September 1945, GBP 40
P&D Colnaghi & Co, London, London, 23 July 1945, no.A13183
Horace Bernard Milling (1898 - 1954)
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 1945, GBP 10
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, BP227
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, BP227
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
Loan Exhibition of Works by Early Devon Painters Born Before the Year 1800, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, 1932, no. 73 as 'In Wellington Park (sepia), measuring 9.5 x 12.75 in.'


On the verso of this sheet is a pen and brown ink sketched outline of a wood, and several numbers, “1”, “2”, and “25 ½ 38”, evidently in Towne’s hand.

by Richard Stephens

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