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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner List of Subscribers (Inscriptions by Turner) c.1806-7

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Verso:
List of Subscribers (Inscriptions by Turner) circa 1806–7
Turner Bequest LXXXVII 2
Inscribed by Turner in ink and pencil on cream laid paper, 185 x 118 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘2’ top left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘LXXXVII 2’ bottom left, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Here, and on folios 2 verso and 5 verso of the sketchbook (D05379, D05399; Turner Bequest LXXXVII 4, 24), Turner lists subscribers to Charles Turner’s mezzotint after his picture The Shipwreck (Tate N00476).1 See Introduction to the sketchbook for the picture and the subject. Accounts which must relate to production or sales of the print are on folios 2, 3 and 30 verso (D05378, D05380, D05425; Turner Bequest LXXXVII 3, 5, 50). Charles Turner (1773–1857), who had studied with his namesake (no relation) at the Royal Academy Schools, proposed to issue a mezzotint of the picture at his own expense shortly after it was exhibited at Turner’s Gallery in 1805. He published a prospectus inviting subscriptions for standard impressions at two guineas and proofs at four, to be available by the end of the year. In fact, although the first engraver’s proof was ready by the summer of 1806, the plate was only published on 1 January 1807.
The project was a turning point for both painter and engraver. It was the first time a Turner painting was engraved and attracted widespread interest among leading collectors – including Sir John Leicester, the original purchaser of the picture – and fellow artists, as these lists show. It seems also to have encouraged Turner to proceed with his project for the Liber Studiorum, plates of characteristic varieties of landscape, for which Charles Turner was chosen as the mezzotint engraver and for which a sketch for a proposed title page is on folio 14 verso of the sketchbook (D05385; Turner Bequest LXXXVII 10). William Frederick Wells, the artist who is said to have first suggested the Liber, is named here along with his family and colleagues in the Society of Painters in Water-Colours (founded in 1804) on whose behalf he had evidently obtained impressions of The Shipwreck. The subscribers’ names are as follows, with their identities where known. All are written in ink except ‘Col Fisher’ who is named in pencil. Presumably when subscriptions were received or prints delivered, many names (given here with a cross) were struck through in pencil and a few (identified by an asterisk) in ink. Quantities or types of plates (for example proofs) are indicated in some cases.
x ‘Wells Family’: William Frederick Wells (1762–1836), watercolourist and drawing master; his wife Mary (died 1807) and daughters Clar[iss]a (1787–1883) and Emma (1793–1871)
x ‘Miss Wells’: probably Clara [see above]
x ‘Sir Wm. Beechey’: William Beechey (1753–1839), portrait painter
‘Mr. Swinburne’: probably Edward (1765–1847), amateur artist and collector rather than his brother Sir John (1762–1860), collector and landowner of Capheaton, Northumberland or the latter’s eldest son Edward (1788–1855)
x ‘Henderson’: John Henderson (1764–1843) amateur artist and collector
x ‘Fawkes’: Walter Ramsden Fawkes (1769–1825), collector and landowner of Farnley Hall, Yorkshire
x ‘Lowden’: perhaps Newbey Lowson (1773–1853), amateur artist and landowner of Witton-le-Wear, County Durham; Turner’s travelling companion during his first Continental tour, 1802
* ‘Sir John, L.’: ? Sir John Fleming Leicester, for whom see main catalogue entry
‘Monro’: Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833), physician, collector, amateur artist
x ‘Knight. Proof’: Richard Payne Knight (1751–1824), collector, connoisseur, classical scholar
x ‘Holworthy. 19, Charlotte P. Place.’: presumably a relation of James Holworthy, for whom see main catalogue entry
x ‘Champernowne’ : (dates unknown) collector
‘Sir John Leicester: Sir John Fleming Leicester, later Lord de Tabley (1762–1827), collector and landowner of Tabley Hall, Cheshire; see also above
x ‘4. Spilsbury. Proofs’: Maria Spilsbury (1777–1823), artist
x ‘Mr. Stuart Wortley, 61, Grosvenor P.’: ?James Stuart-Wortley, 1st Lord Wharncliffe (1776–1845), soldier and politician
x ‘Lord Essex’: George Capel-Coningsby, 5th Earl of Essex (1757–1839), collector and landowner of Cassiobury Park, Hertfordshire and Hampton Court, Herefordshire
x ‘Col. Dillon’: John Dillon (dates unknown), collector
‘Col Fisher, Barrack, Woolwich’
‘Liston Parker’: Thomas Lister Parker (1779–1858), collector, antiquary and landowner of Browsholme Hall, Yorkshire
x ‘Honble. Mr. Pelham. Proof’: Charles Pelham (1781–1846), son and heir of the 1st Lord Yarborough who is listed on folio 4; created 1st Earl of Yarborough, 1837
x ‘Spiller’
x ‘Wells’: ?William Frederick Wells, for whom see above
‘Barrett’: ?George Barret the younger (1767–1842), artist
* ‘Hills’: Robert Hills (1769–1844), artist
‘Pyne’: William Henry Pyne (1769–1830), artist
‘Nicholson’: Francis Nicholson (1753–1844), artist
‘J. Varley, Broad Street’: John Varley (1778–1842), artist
[The preceding six names, beginning with Wells, are bracketed with a further note, ‘5 sent to Wells’; all were involved with the Society of Painters in Water-Colours founded in 1804 and Wells, a founding member, had evidently collected subscriptions or plates on their behalf]
‘Green’: [?John Green (dates unknown), collector, of Blackheath
x ‘Dobree’: Samuel Dobree (1759–1827), City merchant, banker and collector
x ‘Sir Hy. Englefield’: Henry Englefield (1772–1822), antiquary, scientific writer, collector
‘De la Motte’: William Delamotte (1775–1863), artist and drawing master; Delamotte’s Shipwreck print, a ‘fine proof’, was in Sotheby’s sale, 23 May 1863, lot 378
x ‘Mrs. Williams. 25’: ?wife (dates unknown) of John Williams, printseller and framer of Oxford
x ‘Egremont’: George O’Brien Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont (1751–1837), collector and landowner of Petworth, Sussex
x ‘Miss Parr. 2 Copies’
x ‘Mr. G. Hibbert. 1 Proof’: ?George Hibbert (1757–1837), plantation and slave owner
‘Do [ditto] 1 Proof’
x ‘Mr. Miller. 25 Copies’
x ‘Ed. Orme, Bond St.’: Edward Orme (1775–1848), engraver and property developer
x ‘Booker, do [ditto; Bond Street]’
‘Holworthy, Junr.’: James Holworthy (1781–1841), artist, teacher and collector
x ‘Elliott’
‘Barret.’: ?George Barrett, artist; but see also above
x ‘Seward, Verulam Build.’
x ‘1 D. Lambert’: Daniel Lambert (1770–1809), celebrated fat man of Leicester, whose portrait was engraved by Charles Turner
x ‘1 Bennett. C. Turner’: ?Julia Bennett (1775–1867), pupil of Turner, who married Colonel James Willoughby Gordon, 1805; Charles Turner (1774–1857), engraver of The Shipwreck
x ‘Grace of Argyle, Proof’: [John, 5th Duke of Argyll (1723–1806), soldier, collector and landowner of Inveraray Castle
x ‘Mr. Cope of Leeds’
x ‘Mr. Havell’: William Havell (1782–1857), artist
x ‘Mr. Cranmer, Junr.’: possibly also listed on folio 24
x ‘M. Herberts, Cooks Court’: also listed twice on folio 24
x ‘Mr. Mile, Oxford’
x ‘Mr. Leader’: William Leader (dates unknown), collector
x ‘Tomkinson’

David Blayney Brown
December 2005

Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984 , p.43 no.54 (pl. 64).

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘List of Subscribers (Inscriptions by Turner) c.1806–7 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2005, 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-list-of-subscribers-inscriptions-by-turner-r1139155, accessed 15 October 2019.