This drawing served as the basis for the watercolour Pevensey Bay, from Crowhurst Park made circa 1813 for John Fuller (private collection)1 and engraved by William Bernard Cooke in 1816 for Views in Sussex. The view is towards Bexhill and around Pevensey Bay to Beachy Head. Martello towers are visible along the distant shore. Crowhurst Park, which stands on the left, as the seat of Henry Pelham, Crown Commissioner for Customs. His kinsman the Hon. Charles Pelham bought Turner’s Wreck of a Transport Ship (Fundaçao Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon)2 in 1810 and succeeded his father, another patron, as Lord Yarborough in 1823. Turner was also familiar with the family’s Lincolnshire estate at Brocklesby Park.
Ramsay Richard Reinagle, in his letterpress for this subject in Views in Sussex, observed:
The spot affords nothing of a bustling nature, but on the contrary, is rather solitary; nevertheless the Artist has contrived to give it a twofold expression: first by a strict observation of the local character, and, in the second place, by a mid-day repose of men and animals; the former at their repast, as we conclude by the deserted implements of toil and labour; and the latter resting during noon-day heat. The sky admirably assists the effect: clouds are forming by the sultry heat, through which the sun throws its piercing rays.
The drawing gives no hint of these refinements and as always it is interesting to see how far Turner brought his memory or imagination to bear on the resulting watercolour.
A left-hand page from the sketchbook, this joins up with D10328; Turner Bequest CXXXVIII 9 which continues the drawing to the right..