Saturday 23 December 2023

John Hinchcliff of Long Acre near St Martin's Lane - Mid/Late 18th Century.


John Hinchcliff, Stone Mason / Builder/ Chimneypiece Carver.

Long Acre near St Martin's Lane.

See Biographical Dictionary Sculptors in Britain pub. Yale 2009.

Son of William Hinchcliff a barber of St Georges Parish, Bloomsbury.

Apprenticed Lewis Cockram citizen and mason in 1745. turned over to Richard Buddle in 1751 gained his freedom in 26 June 1755.

Exhibited at the Society of Artists 1768 & 1772 - inlaid tables.

The stonemason and sculptor John Hinchcliffe (d.1796) was apprenticed to the mason Lewis Cockram in 1748. He was turned over to Richard Buddle in 1751, and gained his freedom in 1755. 

In 1768, he promoted at the Society of Artists ‘a specimen of a new manner of ornamenting chimneypieces, tables, etc., with scagliola inlaid with marble’. He utilised this decorative technique when collaborating with partners Bartoli and Richter, experts in scagliola production. 

The trade card of 1774 advertises ‘Monuments, Chimney-pieces and Masonry in general by John Hinchcliffe in Long Acre near St Martin’s Lane London’. 

Hinchcliffe also worked as a contractor, building houses in Tottenham Court Road in 1777 with his son. He built further houses in Gower Street and Devonshire Place in 1785 and 1793. 

In 1790, Hinchcliffe senior became upper warden of the Masons’ Company, and a master in 1791. He died at King’s Place Farm near Epping Forest in 1796. 

Some confusion has arisen from the number of Johns in the family with a background in stonemasonry; John Hinchcliffe II was apprenticed to his father in 1774, and his son John Hinchcliffe III was apprenticed to him in 1791. The sculptor John Ely Hinchcliffe, who worked as an assistant to John Flaxman, was probably a family member.


Adam commissions: Hinchcliffe executed chimneypieces for No. 20 St James’s Square at a cost of £360 10s. One chimneypiece featured ‘basalt’ tablets supplied by Josiah Wedgwood

Trade Card of John Hinchcliff. c 1770's.

engraved by W. Darling of Great Newport Street.

The Hinchcliff(e) Family.

John Hinchliffe Junior (the name also occurs without the final -e) belonged to a large family of statuaries and masons. He was apprenticed to his father in 1774 (suggesting he was born around 1759/60) and the last certain record of him is around 1804, though one ‘John Hinchcliff’ was responsible for a monument at Great Holland, Essex which is dated 1821.  

That would be chronologically possible, though it could equally be the work of J E Hinchcliffe (see immediately below).

Memorial: Tillington


J E Hinchcliffe.

John Ely Hinchliffe (also found without the final -e) (1777-1867) probably belonged to the large family of masons of that name (see John Hinchliffe, immediately above for another known member) and was the assistant of J Flaxman from 1805 until Flaxman’s death in 1826.  He completed the works Flaxman left unfinished, by which time he was already known for works in the style of his master.  On his own account, he produced little work after the early 1840s.

Memorials: Udimore; Washington

Monday 18 December 2023

Dukes Court, St Martin's Lane and its inhabitants.

 Short history Duke's Court, St Martin's Lane and its occupants in the 18th/19th Centuries.

post under construction.


The Mordern and Lea Map of 1685.

If this map is to be trusted entirely it shows buildings on the North side of Dukes Court backing onto the new St Martin's Church yard.

It also shows no 76 as Dukes Yard - it would appear that these buildings were demolished and replaced by two relatively regular terraces facing each other prior to 1747.

Peters Court doglegging between Hemmings Row and St Martin's Lane has not yet been built, neither have Cecil Court or St Martins Court running between Castle Street and St Martins Lane.

No 77 is Castle Yard.

78 is Ellis Court.

79, off the East side of Castle Street is the yard of Red Lion Inne.

137, off Long Acre.

140 is Blackamore Alley.

141 is Angel Court.

142 is Garter Alley.,0.167,0.123,0.074,0


Duke's Court was originally built some time prior to 1684.

At this stage of posting it is difficult to pinpoint the actual date of building of Duke's Court.

From  Catalogue of Books etc Thomas Thorpe 1830.

Available online.


A New View of London: Or, An Ample Account of that City, in ... Edward Hatton · 1708 · ‎London 

This reference suggests that in 1708 Duke's Court had not yet been rebuilt.


From Strype's Survey of London of 1720.

 "Castle street lyeth on the Backside of Leicester Fields and St. Martin's Lane, and runneth down unto the Back Gate of the Mewse; near unto which is Duke's Court, which leadeth into St. Martin's Lane, against the Church; a large well built Court, with a Free-stone Pavement, inhabited by several French Families".


Crop from John Roque's map of London.

Engraved by John Pine 1747.

This crop from the full map downloaded from.



The house signs in Duke's Court were taken down and affixed to the front of the houses in November 1761 according to a Daily News report.

Locating Duke's Court, off St Martins Lane, from Horwood's Map of London. 1799.


1830. Plan prepared for the improvements at Charing Cross.

This excellent hi res and finely detailed plan used with permission from London Picture Archive.

The buildings accessed from the Little Mews south of Duke's Court and between 134 and 137 St Martin's Lane have already been cleared for the development of the National Gallery.


Duke's Court and the Royal Mews.

The North Eastern area of the Royal Mews, south of Duke's Court was known as the Little Mews in the mid 18th century.

From a detailed Plan by Thomas Chawner, 62 Guilford St, dated June 15 1796, in the British library.

The properties backing onto the west side of St Martin's Lane between nos 134 and 136 are designated either Crown or King's servants and could only be accessed from the Mews.

Note the St Martin's Lane Watch House (or Round House) at the far Eastern end of the Little Mews.

Accessed from covered Alleyways to the West from Castle Street and St Martin's Lane from the East.

Showing the North Gateway to the Kings Mews from the South end of Castle Street.

St Martin's Parish Workhouse backing on to the houses on the North side.

The old building on the East side of the King's Mews have been demolished and the land on the West side of St Martin's Lane has opened up the view to St Martin in the Fields.


The entrance to Duke's Court underneath 17th century houses (132 and 134 St Martin's Lane) viewed from St Martin's Church Yard.

Image above Cropped From Thomas Malton's view of 1795.


Drawing of the West side of the lower part of St Martin's Lane by George Scharf, dated 1825 with a man entering the entryway Duke's Court.

No. 6 is the Old St Martins Watch or Round House, with a man and child peering through the window


Crop from a drawing by George Scharf 1827, view from the steps of St Martin in the Fields.

With a glimpse of 134 St Martin's Lane on the right.

Showing the rear elevations of the houses in Duke's Court shortly before demolition.

Image from  British Museum.


Some of the Inhabitants of Duke's Court.

Francis Pitsala, Plaster Figure Maker and Decorator.

at the Golden Head, Dukes Court, St Martin's Lane c. 1757.

He doesn't appear in the Biographical Dictionary .. Sculptors pub Yale 2009.

Francis Pitsala.

At The Golden Head, Lisle St, Leicester Fields, London 1749-1751, 

At The Golden Head, Duke’s Court, St Martin's Lane 1751-1765, 

At Wardour St 1766-1769. Figure maker and painter.


Francis Pitsala (d.1769) married Sarah Wall at St Anne's Church, Soho on 28 January 1747. He can be found in Westminster rate books, 1749-69, at the addresses above. He was a member of an Old Bailey jury in 1760.


In 1751, he advertised in a leading Edinburgh newspaper, describing himself as a figure maker willing to pack figures carefully and send them by sea or by land, and explaining that he had removed from the Golden Head in Lisle Street, Leicester Fields, to the Golden Head in Duke’s Court, St Martin’s Lane, opposite the church (Caledonian Mercury 13 June 1751, information from Helen Smailes). He took out insurance in partnership with John Lee, as painters and figure makers, from nearly opposite Chapel St in Wardour St on 14 April 1766 (London Metropolitan Archives, Sun Fire Office policy registers, 168/232825).


Francis Pitsala, figure maker in Duke's Court advertised in 1758 that he had opened a subscription for 'the Busto of his Prussian Majesty, taken from an original Painting' (Public Advertiser 2 March 1758). The bust was 22 ins high and available to subscribers at one guinea in plaster of Paris and 27 shillings in a 'much whiter' composition.

info above from -

Horace Walpole reports - described as an Italian Limner Pitsala died in Wardour St 10 November1769.

For the Pitsala Will of the parish of St James, Westminster dated 24 October 1769  where he leaves his estate to his wife Sarah see -

In May 1770 Sarah Pitsala widow and executrix of Francis Pitsala was paid a balance of the not inconsiderable sum of  £260 for painting done at Shelburne house, Berkley Square under the direction of Messrs Adams for the Earl of Sherburne. Pearl, picked out with dead white (four or five coats).

Trade Card of c. 1740 / 60 of Francis Pitsala in the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale.

Note the similarity with the profile of Alexander Pope with the Richardson etching of Alexander Pope on the Trade Card of Francis Pitsala, Figure Maker of Dukes Court, St Martin's Lane, Opposite the Church.

Etching of a profile of Alexander Pope by Jonathan Richardson c. 1737.

Lewis Walpole Library. Yale.


Horace Walpole.... in Anecdotes... – Francis Pitsala - d. 10 Nov. 1769. Described as Italian Limner.


In 1749 the peripatetic engraver and publisher Matthias Darly (c.1721 -1780) - was briefly in Duke's Court, St Martin's Lane (Worms and Baynton-Williams). Darly worked with Chippendale on his director. More on Darly to come...


The Sign of the Cricket Bat.

JT Smith in Nollekens and his Times pub. 1828 mentions Boydell selling prints at the Sign of the Cricket Bat in Duke's Court.


William Forster's Music Shop.

c. 1783. Forster's Music Shop was on the North corner of Dukes Court and St Martin's Lane. 133 St Martin's Lane (see Horwoods Map above).

William Forster, (1713 - 1801) "old Forster", Noted Violin Maker. Came to London from Brampton, Cumberland in about 1759. 

His son William (1739 - 1807) was also a noted violin maker.

They published Haydns works with sole publishing rights purchased from Haydn between 1781 - 88.

see also -

He is described in papers at Burghley as Violin and Violincello maker to his Royal Highness The Duke of Cumberland.

Forster worked initially for Beck's Music shop on Tower Hill.

In 1762 he was at 33 St Martin's Lane.

......It appears that Forster Snr was labelling violins made in St Martin's Lane in 1762

For interesting notes on the Forster family properties which were insured with Sun Insurance see

May, 1767. William Forster his apartments at Spinster Rogers in St Martin's Lane, nr New Street. £100.

September 1768. St Martin's Lane, Remov’d to his Dwelling \ House Brick in Dukes Court, St Martins Lane.

May 1773, St Martins Lane,  Remov’d to his Dwelling \ House Brick in Dukes Court St Martins Lane On his household Goods in his now \ dwelling house only Brick situate as aforesaid \ not exceeding Ninety Eight Pounds \Printed Books therein only not exceeding Two pound \Utensils Stock & Goods in trust therein only not \ exceeding Three hundred & fifty Pounds \[Wearing] Apparel therein only not exceeding Fifty Pounds \ ............... £500.

20 July 1776, William Forster of the Corner \ of Dukes Court in St Martins Lane Musical Instrument Maker \ On his household Goods in his now dwelling house only brick \ & timber situate as aforesaid not exceeding Fifty pounds \Printed Books therein only not exceeding Five pounds \Utensils Stock & Goods in trust therein only not exceeding \ Four hundred & Sixty two pounds \

Wearing Apparel therein only not exceeding Sixty pounds \Plate therein only not exceeding Three pounds \Glass & China therein only not exceeding Twenty pounds \……………… £600.

In 1784 his address is given as 348, Strand. near Exeter Change. 

Available on line - The History of the Violin and Other Instruments Played on with the Bow from ...By William Sandys, Simon Andrew Forster. pub 1864.


Print Seller A. Davy, Duke's Court

In 1777 an en engraving of Garrick as Abel Drugger after Zoffany etc...... was sold by A Davy.


Dury, Andrew. Andrew Dury, from Mr. Rocque's, geographer, in the Strand, gives notice to the subscribers to his small atlas, that he has open'd shop in Duke's Court, near St. Martin's Church ... (Daily Advertiser 19 Dec 1760)

 James Watt at Kenneth Macullock's House in Duke's Court.

James Watt (1736 - 1819) wrote to Matthew Boulton in Birmingham –  London  7th March 1775.

"I have decamped from the Hotel and taken Lodgings in Duke's Court, St Martin’s lane at a Mr Macullocks - at 14/6 week, two rooms & a Closet".

For Kenneth Macullock (otherwise McCullock), Instrument Maker of Duke's Court see -

Macullock "to remove from his former lodgings to a fine airy house in Duke’s Court, opposite St. Martin’s Church, for which he had engaged, he said, to pay a rent of forty-two pounds per annum, a very considerable sum nearly sixty years ago. Further, he had entered into an advantageous contract with Catherine of Russia, for furnishing all the philosophical instruments of a new college then erecting in Petersburgh – a contract which promised to secure about two years’ profitable employment to himself and seven workmen. In the ten years which intervened between the dates of his two letters, Kenneth M’Culloch had become one of the most skilful and inventive mechanicians of London"

In 1777 he was in partnership with William Fraser.

He had moved to the Minories in the City by 1789.


Andrew Dury (d.1777, fl. circa 1760-1777). at The Indian Queen, Dukes Court.

A prolific British map and print seller and publisher who lived and worked from Duke's Court, West side of St. Martin's Lane in London. He was a very accomplished mapmaker but not perhaps as successful as contemporaries such as Thomas Jefferys or Jefferys' successor William Faden (1711 - 83) who had premises on the corner of St Martin's Lane and Charing Cross.

Amongst many maps Dury's name is associated with Rennell's large Indian maps. Dury was also responsible for Revolutionary War era plans of Boston and Philadelphia, as well as a series of maps related to the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-74.

He produced large scale maps of county maps of Hertfordshire in 1766 (with J. Andrews and W. Faden (snr), and Middlesex (Twenty Five miles around London on 20 sheets in 1777). 

We will meet Thomas Jefferys and the son of William Faden also William(1749 - 1836) again.

He published a pocket atlas of the World circa 1761 - The New General and Universal Atlas.

Pub and printed a small map of London by John Roque in 1769.

There are several engravings pub by Dury in the BM.

Frontispiece -The New General and Universal Atlas.
with maps by Thomas Kitchen and others.


John Francis Estienne, Toyman at the Sign of Star and Pearl, Dukes Court, St Martin's Lane.
Trade Card. c. 1752 - 55.

Bankrupt in 1757 (Gentleman's Mag.)

Clipping ref. Estienne from 11 July 1752, Reads Weekly Journal.


Erasmus King's Experimental Room for Natural Philosophy, Duke's Court.

Erasmus King d.1760.

The Experimental Room and Philosophical Museum was on the first floor at Duke's Court - his wife had her chamber and lace warehouse below.

Angerstein started to attend the physical lectures of Erasmus King. King was the most prolific public lecturer in 1750s London, and he held lectures in experimental philosophy in his house at Duke’s Court near the Mews.28 He held both private lectures for “Gentlemen or Ladies” in his “Experimental Room in Duke’s Court” as well as public lectures “where all Persons are admitted” for a fee of 6 pence per lecture. Angerstein’s diary from the early 1750s corresponds remarkably well with King’s catalogue of experiments form the early 40s, which described similar experiments with magnetism and air pumps. us, Angerstein seems to have followed a fairly standardised series of lectures that King had been giving for a long time.29 After a couple of weeks of attending the lectures, Angerstein moved to King’s household at Duke’s Court. For the Swedish mining  ocial, attending public lectures seems  to have been a way to learn whether Mr King’s house was a space where useful knowledge could be gained. After he had been convinced by King’s display, the next step was to lodge with the lecturer in order to acquire knowledge that was not communicated through lectures alone. Angerstein continued to attend the lectures, but also made experiments of his own in King’s house.




For much more on Erasmus King and his contemporary Natural Philosophers see -

BJHS, 1990, 23, 411-434 - Lectures on natural philosophy in London, 1750-1765: S. C. T. Demainbray (1710-1782) and the 'Inattention' of his countrymen



Roger Payne, bookbinder, Duke's Court, 1739 - 1797.

During the latter part of his life, Roger Payne was the victim of poverty and disease. He closed his earthly career at his residence in Duke’s Court on Nov. 20, 1787, and was interred in the burial-ground of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, at the expense of his worthy patron, Mr. Thomas Payne.



Patrick Begbie, Engraver, fl. 1770 - 80..

8 Duke's Court, St Martin's Lane.

 Engraved for the Adam Brothers amongst others.

Copper plate engraver, 1773-4 in Edinburgh, from 1776 onwards in London.


James Ferguson FRS (1710 - 76) at Duke's Court.

see - 'The Light of His Own Mind': The Story of James Ferguson, Astronomer by Patricia Rothman

Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 54, No. 1 (Jan., 2000), pp. 33-45.

Went from Scotland to London in May 1743. In 1756 he resided in the Strand.

1757, he sold his globe-making business to the scientific instrument-maker, Benjamin Martin.


Smith Engraver at 17 and later at 13 Dukes Court - 1790's.

Image from the British Museum.


John Manson, Book Seller, at 5 Dukes Court. 1788 - 91.

Formerly King St. Westminster 1786.

2 Maiden Lane.

The Mall in 1799.

Later 10, Gerard St, Soho.

John Manson d. 1812 was in Maiden Lane in 1762 where he issued a catalogue.


In 1774 The Mews Coffee House, Duke's Court is mentioned briefly in The Newspaper Wedding, Page 153

The Manson Catalogue for 1791 see - Wellcome Library -


12 Feb 1816. 16 Dukes Court - Richard Wood, Shoemaker. Sun Fire Office.

2 Feb 1827.   16 Dukes Court - Richard Wood, Shoemaker.

24 June 1799. 5 Dukes Court - Solomon Sanders, Salesman. Sun Fire Office.


The Dukes Court South Front of St Martin's Workhouse, 1871.

Drawing of the back side of the St Martins Lane Workhouse, JP Emslie 1886. looking North from what was once Dukes Court.


Ordinance Survey Map of 1871.


Some news cuttings

Friday 28 April 1738. Daily Post.


Friday 26 December 1766.

Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser.


The Coffee House in Dukes Court.


Friday 17 July 1767.

Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser.


Friday 12 January 1777.

Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser.

With an interesting reference to the Coach way in Castle Street at the West end of Dukes Court. 



SCHNEBBELIE, Jacob, engraver, 25, Park Street 1786-88; 7, Poland Street 1790-91. B. 30 Aug. 1760, Duke's Court, St. Martin's Lane; d. 21 Feb. 1792, Poland Street. Pupil of Paul Sandby or self-taught. At first continued in father's trade as confectioner. Later drawing master. Illustrated many topographical and archaeological works. Mastered art of aquatint 1791. Began Antiquities museum, four numbers a year. Died after completing third number. He had been ill six weeks with fever and left a young wife and family. The work was continued to 13 numbers by Gough and Nichols for the benefit of the family, being terminated in 1800. Exhibited Royal Academy 1786-91. Draughtsman to Society of Antiquaries. Son Robert Blemmell also draughtsman and engraver. Imprint(s): Abbey: 1791: AS1. DNB; Thieme and Becker; Nichols vi, 321-22, 636; Graves; Musgrave.

STANFIELD, W., stationer and bookbinder, 4, Duke's Court, St. Martin's Lane 1798? See also Sandford, William. Ramsden.


R A T LEY Ratlev is recorded as a ‘curiosity- dealer’ trading from Duke’s Court, St Martin’s Lane, London, during the 1820s and 1 830s. ‘The stock of the late M r Ratley, curiosity' dealer’, including ‘a Neyv Zealanders Head, tattooed’, yvas sold at auction by Messrs Thomas & Stevens, King St


Thomas Ewart - East side of St Martin's Lane.

(Post under construction).

More on the inhabitants of St Martin's Lane in the time of Roubiliac.

Thomas Ewart at the sign of The Beehive.

fl 1745 - 1781.

Thomas Ewart, was a publisher and seller of engravings, his premises faced Old Slaughters' Coffee House, were on the East side at the top of St Martin's Lane, near Long Acre, London (1746).

The following addresses for Thomas Ewart probably all refer to the same premises, Hartshorn Lane was renamed Northumberland Street in 1760:

At the Bee-hive near St. Martin's Lane in the Strand (1757).

At the Bee-hive, opposite Hartshorn Lane in the Strand (1759).

At the Bee-Hive opposite Northumberland-Street, Strand (1762-66).

The corner of Hudsons Court near St Martin's Lane, Strand, London (print sold in 1781).

Image from the British Museum.

Dated twice - 1746  in the central cartouche but appears to have been reprinted in 1757.

Friday 15 December 2023

The Hardings - 18th Century Booksellers on St Martin's Lane.

The Hardings - 18th Century Booksellers on the Pavement, St Martins Lane.

John Harding, and his son Samuel Harding (-1755).

At the Post House, Bible & Anchor on the Pavement, St Martin's Lane, London from 1678.

John Harding was a General Post Receiver 1708 - 22.

Samuel Harding ditto 1723 - 54.

Samuel Harding succeeded his father in 1734.

Will published 1777, died and buried in Enfield Middlesex.


John Harding bookseller in London, at (i) Bible and Anchor, St. Paul's Churchyard; (2) Bible and Anchor, Newport Street, near Leicester Fields; (3) St. Martin's Lane. 1678–1712? 

Entered in the Term Catalogue of Mich. 1678. Christopher Nesse's Christian's walk and work on earth ... Second edition. [T.C. i. 336.] 

Dunton became acquainted with John Harding at Sturbridge Fair and dealt with him for several years, finding him [p. 223] "a very honest man, an understanding bookseller and a zealous Church of England man, yet no bigot". 

In 1684 he moved to Leicester Fields, and among his apprentices was Bernard Lintot, who had been turned over to him from Tho. Linyard. 

In 1709, among those who received subscriptions for the Corpus omn. vet. Poetarum Latinorum was—Harding, in St. Martin's Lane, who is probably identical with John Harding. [T.C. ill. 657.] 

In 1713 he subscribed to the fund for the relief of William Bowyer the elder.


First Work printed for Samuel Harding 1722.

The History of the Life & Reign of Queen Anne.

Illustrated with all the medals struck in this reign, with their Explanations; and other useful and Ornamental cuts. To which is added, an appendix, Containing several Authentick and Remarkable Papers; And annnual List of the most Eminent Persons who dy'd in this Reign, with characters of the most Conspicuous. By Mr. A. Boyer....

London :

printed by J. Roberts; and sold by William Taylor, in Pater-Noster-Row; William and John Innys, at the West End of St. Paul's Church-Yard; John Osborne, in Lombard street; Samuel Harding, and Abel Rocayrol, in St. Martin's-Lane, 1722.

Illustrated with engravings by van der Gucht


First Publication 1723.


Printed for Samuel Harding, at the Post-House in St. Martin's-Lane, and sold by J. Peele, at the Lock's-Head in Pater-Noster-Row, 1723.



Trade Card for Samuel Harding.

c. 1742.

British Museum.



Ref, Sam Harding General Post Receiver - Post Office 1732.


of Samuel Harding.

Tuesday 31 October 2023

Joseph Browne of Bowlish, Shepton Mallet - the Bust of Pope by Roubiliac - Yale Centre

Post in preparation.

The Yale Centre for British Art Bust of Alexander Pope. 

by Louis Francois Roubiliac.


Formerly in the Collection of Joseph Browne, of Bowlish, Shepton Mallet, Somerset and sold in by Auctioneer  John Gerard of Litchfield Street London in 1791.


Signed and dated by chisel under sitter's shoulder, proper right: "Anno Dom. | MDCCXLI. | L.F. Roubiliac | Scit. Ad vivum"


Inscribed, chiseled on front of socle: 'POPE'; on proper left under sitter's shoulder: 'ALEX. POPE. Nats. LONDINI, | die 8o. junii anno MDCLXXXVIII. | Obiit in vico Twickenham prope | Urbem, die 8o. maii MDCCXLIV"

Eyes cut.

 Yale Centre for the Study of British Art. 

Although signed and dated on the left side underneath rthe drapery  - Anno Dom MDCCXLI  Sc. L.F. Roubiliac ad vivum (1741), there is an inscription in the same manner underneath the right side of the drapery, recording the death of Pope at Twickenham on 8th May 1744, suggesting that this bust was carved and completed posthumously but based perhaps on Popes sitting for the terra cotta in 1741. 

Pope visited the studio of Roubiliac in July of 1741, and reported to Ralph Allen in Bath on the progress of busts for his library.

See Popes Correspondence.

We know that this bust was in the collection of Joseph Browne of Bowlish, Shepton Mallett and sold in


A catalogue of the intire and valuable museum of that well-known collector, the late Joseph Browne, Esq. of Shepton-Mallet, ... Part I. : Consisting of fine Greek, Roman, Saxon, English, and Anglo-Gallic, coins; proofs, pattern pieces, and curious medals of royal and illustrious personages, by Briot, Blandeau, Ramage, Simon, Rotier, Bower,&c. Also his books and coins and medals, a capital miniature, by Cooper, of the Earl of Southampton, set in gold ; a gold repeating watch, by Mudge and Dutton; rins, &c. Which, ... will be sold by auction, by Mr. Gerard, ... on Wednesday, March 16, 1791, and the three following days, at half after eleven o'clock precisely.

see "Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society" 1907. Available on line at -

Joseph Browne of Bowlish and the Marble bust of Alexander Pope, by Louis Francois Roubiliac.

The sale of the Joseph Browne Collections in 1791 in two tranches by Auctioneer John Gerard of Litchfield Street, London.

Gerard died July 1793.

Joseph Browne ….. This occurs in the catalogue of the sale by auction in 1791 of the museum of curios, paintings, etc., etc., of Joseph Browne, of Shepton Mallet, clearly a great, important, and interesting sale of a wealthy man. The museum, etc., occupied March 16th and three following days; the china 15th April and following day; paintings, coins, etc., 23rd May and five following days; and 5th June came ancient and modern coins, manuscripts, etc.

The catalogue describes the prints and paintings as — consisting of a remarkably fine and curious collection of prints of the Italian, German, Flemish, Dutch, English, and French schools, comprehending the best works by or after Albert Durer, Goltzius, Elsheimer, Hollar, Rubens, Vandyck, Jordaens, Teniers, Rembrandt, Bergheim, Ostade, Visscher, Walker, Faithorne, Loggan, Vertue, Le Brun, Edelinck, Masson, Balechon, etc., etc.

Together with a few capital pictures and drawings by Rubens, Berghem, W ouvermans, Brughell, Potter, Knyp, Both, Ostade, Ferg, etc.,

 and a beautiful marble bust of Alex Pope by Roubiliac.

The catalogue available at Kings College Library - Foyle Special Collections: [Rare books Coll.]          Z999 B81


Dominic Winter Auctioneers, 10 Nov 2021.

Lot 393 - part lots -

14. A catalogue of the entire and valuable museum of that well-known collector, the late Joseph Browne, Esq. of Shepton Mallet, Somerset ... Part I. ... will be sold by auction, by Mr. Gerard ... on Wednesday, March 16, 1791,

15. A catalogue of the entire and valuable museum of that well known collector, the late Joseph Browne, Esq. of Shepton Mallet, Somerset ... Part V. ... will be sold by auction, by Mr. Gerard … on Thursday 2d of June 1791.


1762 -  Auctioneers Prestage and Hobbs.  A Catalogue of a ... Collection of Greek, Roman, Irish and English Coins and Medals [chiefly Belonging to Joseph Browne] ... which Will be Sold by Auction, by Messrs. Prestage and Hobbs ... the 5th of April, 1762. MS. Notes of Prices

Benjamin Rackstrow

 Post under Construction

Benjamin Rackstrow (d.1772). 

Some notes.

From The Walpole Society Journal Vol. 27 - Notes by Horace Walpole...on the Exhibitions of the Society of Artists.... 1760 -.1791.

Transcribed and edited by Hugh Gatty.

Page 86. Additional Notes by Walpole ...

Society of Artists.

1763 (2). Title: April. P. 16: In this exhibition a whole figure of an elderly man sitting, cast in (lead erased) plaister of Paris and coloured, & so very near to life that every body mistook it for real. 

It was removed, on having frightened an apothecary. It was the performance of Rackstrow, Statuary. [This is probably no. 172, in Algernon Graves, p. 207.].



The Busts of Alexander Pope belonging to Lady Luxborough and William Shenstone and Rackstrow.

See - Letters written by the late Rt Honourable Lady Luxborough: to William Shenstone published in 1775

 In a letter From Barrells Hall dated 28th April 1748, she mentions a head of Pope over a chimneypiece (page 22) and having Mr Outing sending Shenstone a bust of Pope made to look like marble, and mentions 4 more busts treated in the same way by Rackstrow for her brother Saint John.

 2 August 1750 she mentions Mr Moore of Warwick (plaisterer) “also to desire him to see your white bust of Pope, for I have a mind to have Lord Bolingbrokes painted the same”

 On Easter Sunday 1748, she wrote -The chimney in my study was not exactly in the middle of the room: which has occasioned my moving it 12” and consequently moving Popes bust to be in the centre. The lines wrote above it are put up again (which, you know, are out of Virgil).

 In another letter from Barrells of 13 August 1750, she mentions Mr Williams (of New Street, Birmingham) who was visiting Shenstone “I desired him not to forget to look at your bust of Pope; hoping he may be able to paint mine of my brother Bolinbroke after the same manner”. (page 215).


Henrietta St John Knight, Lady Luxborough was the half sister of Henry St John, Lord Bolingbroke, a close friend of Alexander Pope and executor of his will.

 She and a group of Poetic friends were known as the Warwickshire Coterie.

 Barrells Hall, Wooten Wawen, near Henley in Arden, Warwickshire. She had been banished there in 1736 by her husband Robert Knight (created Baron Luxborough in 1745), for an indiscretion (probably with poet and clergyman John Dalton. Horace Walpole said they Rhymed till they chimed and never saw her husband again.

Here we have two busts of Alexander Pope mentioned in letters of 1748 and 1750. From these letters there is no doubt that William Shenstone owned a plaster bust of Pope. Lady Luxborough also owned a bust of Pope but she does not make clear what material it was made from -

This bust could be one of the marble busts by Roubiliac. Given the lack of headroom at Barrells Hall, this could have been the small bust or head now at Temple Newsam signed L.F.Roubiliac, ad vivum 1738. 

Currently there is no record of this bust prior to about 1922 when a Mr ARA Hobson suggests that his father GD Hobson (of Sotheby's) acquired it..

 Illustrated in a wall niche at I Bedford Square and illustrated in Country Life in February 1932, sold at Sotheby's 17 Nov 1933 - see Wimsatt -


Roubiliac and John Mealing, Waterman


A Miniature of John Mealing, waterman 

by Ozias Humphrey. 1766.

Exhibited at the society of Artists 1766.

From Notes by Horace Walpole..... on the Exhibitions of the Society of Artists and the free Society of Artists 1760 - 1791

From the Walpole Society Journal. 71. A portrait in miniature, good, head of old John, porter of the Academy, this picture was purchased by the King, he had been a waterman, was chosen by Roubiliac for a Model, having been rowed by him to Vauxhall, when he went thither to place his figure of Handel.

[Graves, p. 125, says 'John Mealing, dressed in scarlet lined with fur'. Whitley, p. 370, quotes Walpole 'Good head of Old John, porter of the Academy', and refers to his vol. i, p. 184, where he says that the King bought this picture