Francis Towne (1739 - 1816)
  • Plymouth
  • Houses near Plymouth
Pencil, pen and grey ink, watercolour
  • image width 168mm,
  • image length 251mm
medium, slightly textured, cream wove paper
Part of
  • 1810 Sketchbook
Object Type

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Museum records (image)


Bequeathed by Francis Towne 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 697 to 714, which by 1963 was owned by Mr and Mrs Sutton of New Zealand. On 19 June 1963 they sold seventeen drawings from the book, including this one, to the Fine Art Society (no.7772) for £3,750. This drawing (no.7772/1) was sold in July 1964 for £450 to Paul Mellon (1907–1999), who gave it to the current owner, the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (B1986.29.488; gift to Yale, 1986).

Associated People & Organisations

Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1986, B1986.29.488
Mr Paul Mellon (1907 - 1999), July 1964, GBP 450
The Fine Art Society, London, London, 19 June 1963, GBP 3750, no.7772/1
Mr & Mrs Sutton, New Zealand, June 1963
Judith Ann Merivale (1860 - 1945), Oxford, May 1915
The drawing was inherited within a sketchbook containing FT689 to FT714.
Maria Sophia Merivale (1853 - 1928), Oxford, May 1915
The drawing was inherited within a sketchbook containing FT689 to FT714.
John Herman Merivale (1779 - 1844), 1825
James White (1744 - 1825), Exeter, 1816
Exhibition History
Early English Water-colours and Drawings, Fine Art Society, 1964, no. 87 as 'Houses near Plymouth'


The museum records no inscription on this drawing or on FT711 but both are no doubt Plymouth subjects as they were identified when the sketchbook was still intact. The drawing is stuck to a twentieth-century mount so the verso cannot be examined.

by Richard Stephens

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