Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Salcombe Cliffs near Sidmouth
Pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour
  • image height 140mm,
  • image width 229mm
  • sheet, verso
  • “Sidmouth Devonshire” in pen, and “Salcombe Cliffs near Sidmouth” and numbered “23”, both in pencil
Part of
  • 1815 Sketchbook
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Christie's records; Witt Library (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 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 15 October 1938 Agnew’s (no.2709) sold this drawing to William Theophilus Wiggins Davies of Birmingham (d. ca. 1960), and Sir L. Haley sold it at Christie’s on 7 June 1946, lot 119 (a pair with FT778), to Agnew’s (no.4643), who sold it on 17 June 1946 to Sir John Heathcoat Amory, Bt (1894–1972), who sold it back to Agnew’s (no.7428) on 8 March 1954 for £130 with 778. On 10 December 1954 Agnew’s sold it for £90 to J. Hawkesley Elliott of Sheffield (d. ca. 1978), whose daughter sold it at Christie’s on 14 March 1978, lot 95, for £2,000 to Leger Galleries, whereafter it is untraced.

Associated People & Organisations

Leger Galleries, London, 14 March 1978, GBP 2000
Christie's, London, 14 March 1978, GBP 2000, lot 95
J Hawkesley Elliott's daughter sold it at Christie's on 14 March 1978 to Leger Galleries.
Joseph Hawksley Elliot (1884 - 1978), Sheffield, 10 December 1954, GBP 90
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 8 March 1954, GBP 130, no.7428
Sir John Heathcoat Amory (1894 - 1972), 17 June 1946
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 7 June 1946, no.4643
Christie's, London, London, 7 June 1946, lot 119
Sir L. Haley, June 1946
William Theophilus Wiggins Davis ( - ca. 1960), Birmingham, 15 October 1938
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 17 May 1938, GBP 60, no.2709
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
Exhibition History
66th Annual Exhibition of Water Colour and Pencil Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1939, no. 103
81st Annual Exhibition of Water-Colour Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1955, no. 30
English Watercolours, Leger Galleries, 1978, no. 11


The village of Salcombe Regis is just outside Sidmouth,1 and Salcombe Cliffs were at the opposite end of Sidmouth beach to Peak Hill. Both are visible in Hubert Cornish’s panorama of 1815.

The 1978 Leger Galleries catalogue gives this drawing’s number as 32, but Christie’s gives 23. It would make more sense if it were 23, as there were twenty-three images in the sketchbook, this being the last.

circa 1815

Figure 1.
Havell, after Hubert Cornish, [The Bathing Machines and sea front at Sidmouth in Devon], circa 1815

circa 1815

Figure 2.
Havell, after Hubert Cornish, [View taken from the Beach opposite the Marine Library] Sidmouth, circa 1815

circa 1815

Figure 3.
Havell, after Hubert Cornish, [Marine Place and the Shore in] Sidmouth, circa 1815

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Donn 1965, pl.8b.

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