Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • A View in Werrington Park, looking from the Terrace
Pencil, pen and brown ink, watercolour
  • image width 240mm,
  • image length 305mm
Van der Ley laid paper
mounted by the artist on Whatman paper with a Strasburg Lily design dated “1801”
  • sheet, verso, lower right
  • “Francis Towne delt.”
  • sheet, recto
  • “82” or (according to Mellors & Kirk) “92”
  • artist's mount, verso
  • “In Devonshire / A View taken in Werington Park / looking from the Terrass / Drawn on the Spot by Francis Towne”
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Christie’s records; Mellors and Kirk (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 (perhaps BP229). According to the Barton Place catalogue, in September 1934 Judith Merivale sold BP229 for 10s. to Squire Gallery, and in October 1934 the gallery exhibited a drawing called Werrington Park from the Terrace, Devon. However, Agnew’s (no.4195) records its purchase on 3 August 1945 of “Werrington Park Launceston, from the Terrace” from Judith Merivale for £30 with FT226, FT604, FT612. It seems unlikely that two works of this title existed; perhaps Squire failed to sell the drawing and it returned to Judith Merivale—the item’s subsequent trading history make this all the more likely. On 28 November 1945 it was bought from Agnew’s for £36 15s. by Joseph Hawksley Elliot of Sheffield (died ca. 1978) and sold by his daughter at Christie’s on 1 March 1977, lot 117, for £950. It was offered for sale at Christie’s on 16 November 1982, lot 107, and at Sotheby’s on 30 March 1983, lot 92, but, failing to attract a buyer, was offered again at Sotheby’s, New York, on 11 April 1984, lot 38, where it sold for $1,600, possibly to Colnaghi. It was sold at Christie’s on 8 July 1986, lot 112, and offered for sale at Sotheby’s on 16 July 1992, lot 102, where it once again failed to find a buyer. It was sold by Mellors and Kirk, Nottingham, on 20 September 2012, lot 705, for £2,500 excluding fees (est. £600–1,000).

Associated People & Organisations

Private Collection, 20 September 2012, GBP 2500
Mellors & Kirk, Nottingham, 20 September 2012, lot 705
Sotheby's, London, London, 16 July 1992, lot 102
Christie's, London, London, 8 July 1986, lot 112
[?] P&D Colnaghi & Co, London, London, 11 April 1984, GBP 1600
Sotheby's, London, New York, 11 April 1984, lot 38
Sotheby's, London, London, 30 March 1983
Christie's, London, London, 16 November 1982, lot 107
Christie's, London, London, 1 March 1977, GBP 950, lot 117
Joseph Hawksley Elliot (1884 - 1978), Sheffield, GBP 36.15s
[?] Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 3 August 1945, GBP 30, no.4195
Acquired with FT226, FT604, FT612
[?] Squire Gallery, London, September 1934, 10s
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915, [?] BP229
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915, [?] BP229
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
[?] The Squire Gallery Autumn Exhibition English Watercolours & Drawings, Squire Gallery, 1934, no. 9 as 'Werrington Park from the Terrace, Devon'
English Drawings and Watercolours, Colnaghi, 1985, no. 46


This is a view of the park from the south-west, looking over the canal to St Martin’s church and, to its right, the Warren House. Werrington House itself is somewhat to the right of this scene. Towne’s viewpoint is very similar to William Borlase’s drawing made in 1757.1

by Richard Stephens


  1. 1 Gray 1995, p.232.

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