Joseph Mallord William Turner

An Itinerary &c (Inscriptions by Turner)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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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 99

Catalogue entry

Turner’s inscriptions read:
[In ink]
Salehurst. Hilden[borough] Robertsbridge
Battle. Lawrence and Martin.
Guestling call’d 3 Oaks. Cook
[In pencil]
6 of TG Ch... 16
died . hedge wood ...
2 Justice
1 of G. 48. ...
The places named fit Turner’s movements in Kent and Sussex in 1810. Hildenborough is just north of Tonbridge and he must have passed through it on his way to draw Somer Hill on the eastern edge of the town (see folios 84 verso–85 of this sketchbook, D07725–D07726). Salehurst and Robertsbridge are just north of Battle, where he drew the abbey, and north-west of Brightling where John Fuller lived at Rosehill Park (see folios 61 and 65, D07689, D07695).
Three Oaks is just north-west of Hastings and very close to Guestling, where Turner probably had personal business. In 1811 Sarah Danby gave birth to Georgiana, the second of her two daughters supposedly by Turner.1 Georgiana’s older sister, Evelina, was baptised at Guestling in 1801, and her mother may have chosen the village again for its relative obscurity although Georgiana later claimed to have been born in Surrey. At the very least, Turner’s interest in it at the time of Sarah’s pregnancy is a striking coincidence.

David Blayney Brown
May 2011

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.

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