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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Yorkshire 3 sketchbook 1816

Turner Bequest CXLVI
Notebook, bound in boards covered in a felty green paper with a black leather spine
52 pages of white wove paper with gilt fore-edge
Approximate page size 125 x 200 mm
Watermarked ‘PINE SMITH & ALLNUTT 1813’ and ‘H SALMON 1809’
Inscribed by Turner in ink ‘Yorkshire | 3’ on back cover (D40838) and ‘[?]79 Yorkshire’ on a paper label glued to the spine
Inscribed by an unknown hand in pencil ‘2/6’ inside front cover
Endorsed by the Executors of the Turner Bequest in ink ‘No.330 Contains 29 leaves in Pencil’ and signed by Charles Turner ‘C Turner’ and initialled by Charles Lock Eastlake ‘C.L.E.’ and John Prescott Knight ‘JPK’
Stamped in black ‘CXLVI’ on front cover, top left
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This landscape-format sketchbook was used in conjunction with the Yorkshire 1 sketchbook (Tate D10868–D11041; D40846–D40848; Turner Bequest CXLIV) on a tour of the central dales of Yorkshire in late August or early September 1816. Turner was collecting material for illustrations to Thomas Dunham Whitaker’s projected seven-volume General History of the County of York,1 and in the few weeks previously had made the tour of the upland dales of Yorkshire and north Lancashire recorded in three other sketchbooks, Yorkshire 2 (D11042–D11371; D40844–D40845; D41443; Turner Bequest CXLV), Yorkshire 4 (D11442–D11479; D11481–D11517; D40839–D40843; D41497; Turner Bequest CXLVII) and Yorkshire 5 (D11518–D11595; D40860–D40862; Turner Bequest CXLVIII).
The sketches here begin at York, and the itinerary continues to Newby Hall, Ripon, Fountains Abbey, Hackfall, West Tanfield, Masham, Jervaulx Abbey, Coverdale, Middleham, Richmond, and Hornby Castle, finishing at Knaresborough. Most of the sketches are careful and highly detailed, and Turner was obviously developing material for finished compositions, but in the event only the part of the Whitaker project relating to the area of ‘Richmondshire’ covered in the earlier tour was published, so no finished compositions were developed from the present sketchbook.
The sketchbook was dated to 1816 by Finberg, and this has been generally followed except for a previous attempt by this writer and others to assign it to 1815.2 The evidence for the later date can be inferred from the fact that the book was used in conjunction with the Yorkshire 1 sketchbook, which can be dated by a note (Tate D11039, Turner Bequest CXLIV 105) of a £5 banknote, numbered 16135 and dated 11 May 1816,3 cashed at Richmond, Yorkshire. The tour represented by the Yorkshire 2, Yorkshire 4 and Yorkshire 5 sketchbooks is dateable to mid July/mid August 1816, and this writer has surmised that the present itinerary must have followed in late August/early September.
The story of the commission is fully told in Hill 1984.
Hill, Warburton and Tussey 1980, pp.26, 30.
The date is that of the issue of the banknote rather than of its encashment.

David Hill
January 2009

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How to cite

David Hill, ‘Yorkshire 3 sketchbook 1816’, sketchbook, January 2009, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2013, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/yorkshire-3-sketchbook-r1143498, accessed 19 August 2022.