Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Near Rydal Hall
Pencil, pen and brown ink, grey wash
  • image width 235mm,
  • image length 156mm
  • sheet, verso
  • “No.21 Near Rydal Hall light from the left hand / August 16th. 1786 F.Towne”
  • in ink (over pencil?), except “Near” and “light from the left hand” in pencil only
Part of
  • Partially-disbound sketchbook sold by Judith Merivale to H. B. Milling of Squire Gallery
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Christie's records (image); Paul Opp


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 partially disbound sketchbook containing FT455, FT462, FT470, FT471, FT472, FT475, FT476, FT477, FT478, FT480, FT494, FT495, FT496. In February 1945 Judith Merivale sold the book to H. B. Milling of Squire Gallery for £25. This is presumably where John Boynton Priestley (1894–1984) bought it, as his ownership of “Cascade at Rydall Hall” was confirmed in an insurance document dated 23 August 1949, valued at £120. On 5 November 1974 Colnaghi’s sold this drawing to Agnew’s (no.3693), who sold it on 28 January 1975. It was sold at Christie’s on 12 November 1991, lot 88, for £4,000 to Leger Galleries, where it was on sale in 1992, whereafter it is untraced.

Associated People & Organisations

Leger Galleries, London, 12 November 1991, GBP 4000
Christie's, London, London, 12 November 1991
lot 88
Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 5 November 1974, no.3693
P&D Colnaghi & Co, London, London, 5 November 1974
John Boynton Priestley (1894 - 1984)
Ownership of 'Cascade at Rydall Hall' was confirmed in an insurance document dated 23 August 1949, valued at £120
Horace Bernard Milling (1898 - 1954), London, February 1945, GBP 25
Sold within a partially-disbound sketchbook containing FT455, FT462, FT470, FT471, FT472, FT475, FT476, FT477, FT480, FT494, FT495, FT496
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
[?] 102nd Annual Exhibition of Watercolours and Drawings, Thomas Agnew & Sons, 1975
British Landscape Painting, Leger Galleries, 1992, no. 26
Timothy Wilcox, Francis Towne, Tate Publishing: London, 1997, p. 122


This is a small cascade near Rydal Hall (see FT463, FT474) but not the “upper falls”. Judging by the description in Christie’s 1991 catalogue, the pencil inscriptions on this drawing may have been erased. In the sketchbook this drawing was placed after an outline of tree trunks and a cottage (FT476) and before another outline of rocks and trees (FT477).

by Richard Stephens

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