J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Itinerary and Verses (Inscriptions by Turner) 1809

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Recto:
Itinerary and Verses (Inscriptions by Turner) 1809
Turner Bequest CX 1
Pencil on white laid paper, 116 x 185 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil (see main catalogue entry)
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘1’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CX 1’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
At the top of the leaf, to left of centre, Turner notes an itinerary: ‘Tuesday E[gremont] Ulv[erston] | Wednesday Whitewell | Thursday Manchester’. This plots a route south after his visit to the Whitehaven area, mapped out on the inside front cover of the book (D07537). See Introduction to the sketchbook for more on Turner’s route via Millom across the Dudddon Sands to the Barrow Peninsular and thence across Lancaster Sands in Morecambe Bay. From Lancaster he passed through the Trough of Bowland to Whitewell where he may have stayed overnight at the inn which he drew in his Petworth sketchbook while on the same tour (Tate D07520, D07521, D07522; Turner Bequest 8a, 9,10). He could also have visited Browsholme Hall, the home of his patron Thomas Lister Parker, which lies nearby.
At left, running vertically beside the gutter, Turner has added verse on some impending financial crisis:
Adverse frowns my wayward fate
Fast telling on my poor Estate
O Heaven avert the impending care
O make my future prospects fair
Bailey sees evidence of ‘gloomy doubts’ of Turner’s own, perhaps prompted by patrons owing him money. However, it should be noted that Parker was notoriously over-spent and was soon to run into difficulties, having to sell pictures including Turner’s which he had bought in 1807, and eventually to leave Browsholme in 1820.

David Blayney Brown
August 2009

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Itinerary and Verses (Inscriptions by Turner) 1809 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2009, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-itinerary-and-verses-inscriptions-by-turner-r1135653, accessed 09 December 2019.