Joseph Mallord William Turner

Address, Accounts &c (Inscriptions by Turner)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 110 × 88 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXI

Catalogue entry

Turner’s inscriptions consist of an address, ‘1 John Mews, Little James St. Bedford Road [or Row]’, written in ink, and some accounts in pencil:
Money received of Phillips            210 
Pd Platt                               17      10 
Mrs W                                   6       6 
Mrs D                                   4       4 
The first item is Sir George Phillips’s payment for his commissioned picture Linlithgow Palace, Scotland (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool),1 which was shown at Turner’s Gallery in 1810. Butlin and Joll give its likely price as 200 guineas, which equates to £210. See folio 59 of the sketchbook for a further mention (D07686).
Anthony Bailey suggests that Platt might be a doctor and Mrs. W a midwife, hired to assist at the birth in 1811 of Georgiana, the second of Sarah Danby’s two daughters supposedly by Turner.2 Georgiana’s older sister, Evelina, was baptised at Guestling in 1801, and this East Sussex hamlet is mentioned on folio 99 (D07751). Georgiana later claimed to have been born in Surrey but this might have been a mistake for Sussex. The final item in this list may represent a balance of the monthly sum of £4 14 6 paid to Sarah Danby by the Royal Society of Musicians, as observed by Jean Golt who illustrates the relevant page of its Claimants’ Receipt Book for the year July 1810–June 1811;3 the accounts suggest that Turner sometimes claimed the allowance on Sarah’s behalf.

David Blayney Brown
May 2011

Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.74–5 no.104 (pl.111).
Jean Golt, ‘Danby, Sarah, née Goose (1760/66–1861)’, in Evelyn Joll, Martin Butlin and Luke Herrmann eds., The Oxford Companion to J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 2001, pp.71–2.
Golt 1989, p.7 fig.2.

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