Joseph Mallord William Turner

Inscriptions by Turner: Notes on Property and the Battle of Waterloo


Not on display
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 x 89 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLIV a 77 a

Catalogue entry

Almost the whole page, turned vertically, is taken up with the following pencil notes:
Land upon Twikham Lane | King Head Twik Feby 25 Wednesday | Mr James New Boswell Ct. and Mr Peyton | 21 Golden Lane. Feby 23 Monday
2 Brig of Guards 2 Bat of | the Coldstream 2 B of 3 Rt of F Gds | 1 Bat of German Horse Artillery | 3 Comp of 2 Coldstream Col [?Mackdonald] | [the ...] | 1 Bat of Brunswicks Bulow | breaking up long line of 7 Bonapartes | C[...] Riv[...] 4 div of Infantry 1 of Cav |
3 div of the Netherlands Col Detmers
With the page turned horizontally, there are figures, some of which have been corrected rather unclearly, at the outer top left corner:
[?4061] – 12 
The King’s Head previously stood in King Street, Twickenham, west of London.1 New Boswell Court was described by Turner’s biographer Walter Thornbury in another context as formerly off Carey Street, Lincoln’s Inn2 in London’s legal district; Golden Lane is probably the street still running between Old Street and the Barbican Centre in the City of London, though no buildings survive from Turner’s time.
The artist had built his own house at Twickenham, Sandycombe Lodge, a few years previously, and in August 1818 he bought three small pieces of land nearby, having been awarded a small plot when the area was enclosed (see the Introduction to the present author’s ‘Sandycombe Lodge c.1808–12’ section of this catalogue);3 the day and date combinations noted here correspond with those in 1818, so these February appointments were perhaps connected with connected legal issues. Calculations on the inside of the back cover (D40853) immediately opposite may be related. There are views made at Richmond, across the Thames from Twickenham, elsewhere in the sketchbook (see the Introduction).
The other notes relate to the order of battle at Waterloo,4 the decisive encounter of the British and their Continental allies with Napoleon’s French forces in June 1815. The immediate source, presumably a detailed published account, has not been identified. For other Waterloo material in this book, relating to finished works of 1817–18, see under folio 1 recto (D12124).
‘Kings Head, 2 Kings Street, Twickenham’, Pub History of London, Essex, Kent, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Middlesex, Suffolk, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Sussex, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Devon, Somerset & Dorset, accessed 28 January 2013,
‘Old and New London: Volume 3 (1878): St Clement Danes: The Law Courts’, British History Online, accessed 4 September 2013,
See also Alexander J. Finberg, The Life of J.M.W. Turner, R.A. Second Edition, Revised, with a Supplement, by Hilda F. Finberg, revised ed., Oxford 1961, p.253.
See ‘The Battle of Waterloo: Allied Order of Battle’, British Battles, accessed 4 September 2013,

Matthew Imms
September 2013

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