After 1780. St Bartholemew's Church Tong. The Durant Monument to George Durant of Tong Castle 1734-1780 and others. The monument has been attributed to John Bacon 1740-1799, Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 and Richard Westmacott 1775-1856.
Before 07 Apr 1781 [his father] Francis Chantrey 1748-1793 and Sarah Leggatt 1745-1826 were married
On 07 Apr 1781 Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 was born to [his father] Francis Chantrey 1748-1793 (33) and Sarah Leggatt 1745-1826 (36) in Jordanthorpe Hall Farm Norton.
In 1793 [his father] Francis Chantrey 1748-1793 (45) died.
On 23 Nov 1808 Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (27) and [his wife] Mary Ann Wale 1787-1875 (21) were married at St Mary's Church Twickenham. She is described as his cousin although it isn't clear how they related. There is a reference to Chantrey staying with his uncle Wale in 1802 which suggests they may have been first cousins through a sister of his father who married Wale or his mother may have been a Sarah Wale. She brought £10,000; this money enabled him to pay off some debts he had contracted, to purchase a house and ground, on which he built two houses, a studio and offices, also to buy marble to proceed in the career he had begun, with a reasonable chance of success.
Memorials of Francis Chantrey RA Sculptor in Hallamshire and Elsewhere Part V London Life and Works. In 1812, Chantrey (30) exhibited busts of Johnes of Hafod, of Curran, of Stothard, and of Northcote. In 1813, a bust of Cline, for the Royal College of Surgeons, and six others, including Granville Sharp. In 1814, busts of the King, of Professor Playfair, and a colossal head of the Duke of Wellington. In 1815, a bust of James Watt. In 1816, busts of the Marquis of Anglesey, Sir Everard Home, and Sir Joseph Banks. In 1817, (then newly made an associate of the Royal Academy,) "The Sleeping Children, "(the monument now in Lichfield Cathedral,) and busts of Nollekens (74), Sir James Clarke, Bone the enamelist, Bird the painter, and Hookham Frere.
In 1816 Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (34) was elected Associate of the Royal Academy.
On 05 Jan 1816 Lieutenant General Sir George Prévost 1st Baronet 1767-1816 (48) died. Memorial in Winchester Cathedral sculpted by Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (34).
After 29 Jul 1816. Church of the Holy Cross Ilam. Monument to David Pike Watts 1754-1816. Sculpted by Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841.
Memorials of Francis Chantrey RA Sculptor in Hallamshire and Elsewhere Part V London Life and Works. This was too much; and a reclamation of credit for the original mistake, was made by Mr. Peter Cunningham, who, while denying the claim of, or on behalf of the late Mr. F. A. Legé to anything more than having carved the monument, a workman, adds— "The sketch from which Chantrey (35) wrought was given to me by my father a few months before his death, and is now suspended on the wall of the room in which I write. It is a pencil sketch, shaded with Indian ink, and is very Stothard-like and beautiful. It wants, however, a certain sculp tural grace, which Chantrey gave with a master feeling; and it wants the snow-drops in the hand of the younger sister -- a touch of poetic beauty suggested by my father." Had the matter rested here, the full and fair claims of the Sculptor to the merit of one of his most celebrated works would have been rendered apocryphal; but, happily, the very same page of the periodical1 which contains Mr. Peter Cunningham's statement, presents one also from Mr. Edward Hawkins, which so explicitly and satisfactorily establishes Chantrey's credit as the original designer of the "Sleeping Children," that it may be hoped the question can never be revived again. At all events, Mr. Hawkins states the case as I ever understood it; and as this far famed monument, which is so intimately, and it may be said, universally identified with the name and fame of Chantrey, has been so repeatedly made the theme of flagrant misrepresentation-not in all cases, it is to be feared, solely on the ground of honest "historic doubt," — I should have felt my self guilty of something very like injustice to the memory of the Sculptor, if I had neglected this opportunity of rescuing it from unmerited reproach. To return. The Royal Academy at length admitted him of their number; and, in 1818, Chantrey was an Esquire and an R. A.
Memorials of Francis Chantrey RA Sculptor in Hallamshire and Elsewhere Part V London Life and Works. "Envy doth merit as its shade pursue," says the poet; and that the brilliant career of Chantrey (35) should form no exception to the bearing of this trite and truthful axiom, his claim to the merit of the "Sleeping Children," in Lichfield Cathedral, has been repeatedly attacked. Before the death of the Sculptor, a report ( on what ground originat ing will presently be shown ) was circulated, attributing the design of the monument to Stothard. This notion was so expressly repudiated by Mr. Rhodes, who was present with Chantrey at Ashbourne, when he made the first rude pencil sketch of the figures, that I had thought the question had been finally set at rest. While, however, this work is passing through the press, an individual named in a preceding page comes forward in print, and says:-"The Italian artist died some few years since, who told me, as he had told numbers of other persons, that the composition, the model, and the work in marble, were all three his doing. The manner in which Sir F. Chantrey behaved to him, his want of liberality in not confessing whence he had the design, and the daring to call the work his own, affected this poor helping sculptor deeply."
1817. Lichfield Cathedral. Monument known as Sleeping Children. Sculpted by Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (35). The sculpture represents two sisters Ellen-Jane and Marianne Robinson. The elder daughter Ellen-Jane died from burns after her nightdress caught fire. The younger Marianne died from illness the following year.
Memorials of Francis Chantrey RA Sculptor in Hallamshire and Elsewhere Part V London Life and Works. Montgomery, whose opinions I quote the more freely, not merely because he has himself looked upon sculpture with a poet's eye, but also because he oft endeavoured to excite a similar taste in his gifted friend-says, "Nothing in sculpture is truly excellent but that which is pre-eminently so, because nothing less than the most successful strokes of the happiest chisel can powerfully affect the spectator, fix him in dumb astonishment, touch his heart strings with tender emotion, stir thought from its depths into ardent and earnest exercise. I appeal to all who hear me, whether, among a hundred of the monuments in our cathedrals, and the statues in our public places, they ever met with more than one or two that laid hold of their imagination, so as to haunt it both in retirement and in society? ""Such are the Apollo Belvidere, the Venus de Medici, and other inestimable relics of antiquity; such the Moses and David of Michael Angelo; and such— ( to give an English example worthy to be named with these, judging solely by the power which it exercises over the purest and most universal of human sympathies, -- sympathies which can no more be bribed by artifice than they can help yield ing to the impulse of nature ) -such, I say, is the simple memorial by our own Chantrey (35), in Lichfield Cathedral, of two children that were ‘lovely in their lives, and in death are undivided. Of these specimens, it may be affirmed, that they have shown how the narrow bonds of vulgar precedent may be left as far behind as a star in the heavens leaves a meteor in the air."1 There is not, indeed, a more exquisite group in the whole range of modern sculpture than Chantrey's "Two Children" in marble. The sisters lie asleep in each others arms in the most unconstrained and graceful repose. The snowdrops which the youngest had plucked are undropped from her hand, and both are images of artless beauty, and innocent and unaffected race. Such was the press to see these children in the London Exhibition, that there was no getting near them: mothers, with tears in their eyes, lingered, and went away, and returned; while Canova’s (59) now far-famed figures of Hebe and Terpsichore stood almost unnoticed by their side. Chantrey modelled two other figures of this class, viz., a "Sleeping Child," the daughter of Sir Thos. Dyke Acland; and a "Reposing Infant," for Mr. Boswell, of Auchinleck.
Note 1. "Lectures on Poetry," p. 20.
1818. Thomas Phillips 1770-1845 (47). Portrait of Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (36). Half-length aged 37, holding a modelling tool, his left arm on a marble head; bald head with dark hair at sides, hazel eyes, dark complexion; voluminous grey coat, white filled shirt open at neck and fastened with brooch; statuette of Lady Louisa Russell (5) in left background.
From 1818 Joseph Theakston Sculptor 1772-1842 (46) was employed by Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (36) to carve the draperies and other accessories of that artist's statues and groups.
Memorials of Francis Chantrey RA Sculptor in Hallamshire and Elsewhere Part V London Life and Works. Although Chantrey (37) can hardly be said ever to have touched the poetic in marble, he not only cherished an early, and probably a life-long love of poetry, but at one time or other, in some way came into friendly contact with every one of the cele brated men in "Britain's living choir." In the month of September, 1818, Mr. and Mrs. Chantrey, along with Collins the landscape painter, were paying a pleasant visit to Southey, at Keswick, on their way to Scotland. Whether or not the head of the worthy Poet Laureate was less adapted for representation by the modeller than by the painter, I do not take upon me to say; but it appears that the portrait by Lawrence was considered more successful than the bust by Chantrey. Alluding to this matter, the son and biographer of Southey says that, on visits to Sir Francis, "their mutual friend, Mr. Bedford, always accompanied him: and there, too, was Allan Cunningham; so that the moulding went on merrily, for Chantrey loved a good story, and the reader need not be told that Mr. Bedford would both give and take a joke1. The Sculptor, however, was not so successful as the painter, [ Sir T. Lawrence, ] and, though he made several attempts to improve the likeness by after-touches, he never regarded his task as satis factorily accomplished, though many persons were well satisfied with it; indeed, although he promised my father a marble copy of it, he would never fulfil is promise, always purposing to amend his work. After his death, I believe it was purchased by Sir R. Peel."2
Note 1. As an illustration of Chautrey's fondness for a joke, and of the "free and easy" manner in which he could avail himself of his friend's hospitality, it may be mentioned that, on one occasion, when Mr. Read, after being out most of the day, returned home to Norton House, he was startled by the appari tion of two uninvited gentlemen, evidently enjoying dinner at the table to which he was looking with a similar object. His surprise was very brief — the self-bidden guests turned out to be Chantrey and his companion, Grosvenor Bedford, Esq. ( to whom so many of Southey's letters were addressed, ) who being on their way northward, and not finding Mr. Read within, nor being sure of his early return, were thus availing themselves of a welcome way-side meal.
Note 2. Life and Correspondence of Southey, "v. 327.
Memorials of Francis Chantrey RA Sculptor in Hallamshire and Elsewhere Part V London Life and Works. To this period belongs the execution of the celebrated monument-one of the largest of its class in England — of David Pike Watts (64), Esq., now in a chapel erected for its reception in the church adjoining Ilam Hall, near Dovedale. In this fine work of art, the venerable man is represented "on his bed of death, from which he has raised himself by a final effort of expiring nature, to perform the last solemn act of a long and virtuous life: his only daughter- [ Mrs. Watts Russell (27) ] —and her children, all that were dearest to him in life, surround his couch, and bend at his side, as they receive from his lips the benedictions of a dying parent, when the last half-uttered farewell falters upon them."
How did that sculptured group command Our wonder, which hath ravish'd thousand eyes: The kneeling mother, and the soft surprise Of the three little ones that near her stand: ' Than this — thy genius, Chantrey (37)! scarce could rise Higher, with trophies fresh from Nature won; Art, how transcendent, when such power is given, To fix expression in the Parian stone, Which turns rapt thought towards holiness and heaven! "
Memorials of Francis Chantrey RA Sculptor in Hallamshire and Elsewhere Part V London Life and Works. In 1819, Chantrey (37) exhibited the sitting figure of Dr. Anderson, for Madras, which has been pronounced "the very best of his statues, "1 and a bust of Mr. Canning for Mr. Bolton, of Liverpool. The same year, as already mentioned, he visited Italy. Rome, Venice, and Florence were the chief points of attraction: some of his letters and journals, relative to the works of art in these and other places, have been published.
Note 1. I have seen a large lithographic print of this fine work of art, on which the Sculptor, who presented it to a lady, has written— "Statue of Francis Chantrey, aged seventy. "
In 1819 Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (37) and John Jackson 1778-1831 (40) travelled together to Italy. In Rome Chantrey met Antonio Canova Sculptor 1757-1822 (61).
Memorials of Francis Chantrey RA Sculptor in Hallamshire and Elsewhere Part V London Life and Works. On his return from the continent he modelled four of his finest busts, viz., those of Lord Castlereagh, Mr. Phillips the painter, Mr. Wordsworth, and Sir Walter Scott; the Wordsworth for Sir George Beaumont, the Sir Walter Scott for his own gratification, and from sincere respect for the worth and genius of Sir Walter. Chantrey (37) never excelled this bust — it is his very best. The history of this admirable head ( which has been thought superior to anything in ancient or modern art ) is contained in the following letter, which, although it has been repeatedly printed, is too interesting to be omitted in this place:
TO THE RIGHT HON. SIR ROBERT PEEL, BART. Belgrave Place, Jan. 26, 1838.
DEAR SIR ROBERT, —I have much pleasure in complying with your request to note down such facts as remain on my memory concerning the bust of Sir Walter Scott, which you have done me the honour to place in your collection at Drayton Manor.
My admiration of Scott, as a poet and a man, induced me, in the year 1820, to ask him to sit to me for his bust, the only time I ever recollect having asked a similar favour from any one. He agreed, and I stipulated that he should breakfast with me always before his sittings, and never come alone, nor bring more than three friends at once, and that they should all be good talkers. That he fulfilled the latter condition you may guess, when I tell you that on one occasion he came with Mr. Croker, Mr. Heber, and the late Lord Lyttelton. The marble bust produced from these sittings was moulded, and about forty-five casts were disposed of among the poet's most ardent admirers. This was all I had to do with the plaster casts. The bust was pirated by Italians; and England and Scotland, and even the colonies, were supplied with unpermitted and bad casts to the extent of thousands, in spite of the terror of an act of parliament.
I made a copy in marble from this bust for the Duke of Wellington; it was sent to Apsley House in 1827, and it is the only duplicate of my bust of Sir Walter Scott that I ever executed in marble.
I now come to your bust of Scott. In the year 1828 I proposed to the poet to present the original marble as an heirloom to Abbotsford, on condition that he would allow me sittings sufficient to finish another marble from the life for studio. To this proposal he acceeded, and the bust was sent to Abbotsford accordingly, with the follow ing words inscribed on the back:-This bust of Sir Walter Scott was made in 1820 by Francis Chantrey (37), and presented by the Sculptor to the Poet, as a token of esteem, in 1828. '
In the months of May and June in the same year (1828) Sir Walter fulfilled his promise, and I finished from his face, the marble bust now at Drayton Manor — a better sanctuary than my studio, else I had not parted with it. The expression is more serious than in the two former busts, and the marks of age more than eight years deeper. ' I have now, I think, stated all that is worthy of remembering about the bust, except that there need be no fear of piracy, for it has never been moulded. "I have the honour to be, Dear Sir, "Your very sincere and faithful servant, "F. CHANTREY."1
Note 1. Alas! in the brief interval between the transcription of the above letter and the placing of it here in type, a sudden and fatal accident has deprived the country of a most accomplished, non factious, and noble-minded senator, and the fine arts of an equally intelligent and munificent patron. Sir Robert Peel died July 3, 1850, in consequence of injuries received when thrown from his horse two or three days before; and the intelligence of his death was probably received through the country with a more general and spontaneous expression of sorrow, than was ever caused by any similar event.
Memorials of Francis Chantrey RA Sculptor in Hallamshire and Elsewhere Part V London Life and Works. The interest of my visit to the mausoleum containing this affecting piece of sculpture, was considerably enhanced by the appearance of a most exquisite stone cross, which had just been erected in the adjacent village, by the benevolent proprietor (33) of Ilam, in memory of his wife (27), the lady above mentioned, one or two of whose children, with their father, the clergyman of the place, and Mr. Derrick, of Oxford, the architect, were at the moment inspecting the newly-finished work. This out door incident formed a touching commentary on the monument in the church! I have always understood that the elegant residence of Jesse Watts Russell (33), Esq., owes something of its architectural beauty to the taste of Chantrey (37), who certainly designed the Parsonage House adjacent.
After 1819. Memorial to Hannah Roberts, wife of Rector Robert Roberts, who died in childbirth, and their child Elizabeth who died six weeks. Sculpted by Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841. Marble plaque in half-relief. Church of St Rumbold Stoke Doyle.
1820. Monument to Charlotte Finch nee Fermor 1725-1813 (95) sculpted by Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (38). Holy Cross Church Burley-on-the-Hill.
Memorials of Francis Chantrey RA Sculptor in Hallamshire and Elsewhere Part IV The Sculptor in Sheffield. "Those who wish to trace the return of English Sculpture from the foreign artificial and allegorical style, to its natural and original character — from cold and conceited fiction to tender and elevated truth-will find it chiefly in the history of Francis Chantrey (38)."- Blackwood's Magazine, April, 1820.
Memorials of Francis Chantrey RA Sculptor in Hallamshire and Elsewhere Part V London Life and Works. In 1822, Chantrey (40) exhibited his admirable bust of George IV., now in the Royal College of Physicians; and in the following year — 1823 — the impressive cumbent figure of John, the first Earl of Malmsbury (75), deeply thoughtful, with a book in his hand, now in Salisbury Cathedral. Dr. Carus, who accompanied the King of Saxony on his visit to this country, in 1844, says— "The image of a noble, intelligent man, who, in the midst of bodily sufferings, still continues to apply himself to the higher objects of mental developement, is here so admirably delineated, that I must pronounce this work, which is also beautifully treated in marble, in a statuary point of view, one of the most peculiar and remarkable of modern times. "1
Note 1. King of Saxony's Journey, p. 193.
1825. St Peter's Church Shelford. Monument to Georgiana Stanhope -1824. Sculpted by Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (43).
1826. Church of St John the Baptist Ashley. Monument to Thomas Kinnersley of Clough Hall in Staffordshire 1751-1819 (74). Sculpted by Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (44).
In 1826 [his mother] Sarah Leggatt 1745-1826 (81) died.
1828. Church of St Nicholas Alcester. Monument to Francis Ingram Seymour-Conway 2nd Marquess Hertford 1743-1822 (84) sculpted by Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (46). Signed and dated 1828. Half reclining figure on high base.
On 01 May 1830 Isabella Elizabeth Byng Marchioness Bath 1773-1830 (56) died. Monument in Church of Saints Peter and Paul Longbridge Deverill Warminster. Probably sculpted by Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (49).
On 30 Dec 1830 Elizabeth Mary Browne 1767-1830 (63) died. Monument sculpted by Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (49) in St Mary's Church Easebourne Midhurst.
1831. Henry Pierce Bone Painter 1779-1855 (51) after John Jackson 1778-1831 (52). Portrait of Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (49) in black morning suit, blue waistcoat with gold fob-seal, standing beside the bust of William Hyde Wollaston, F.R.S. (1766-1828) on a plinth signed, dated and inscribed on the counter-enamel 'Francis Chantrey Sculptor. R.A. London 1831. Painted in Enamel
Around 1834. Martin Archer Shee Painter 1769-1850 (64). Portrait of Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (52).
In 1834 William Calder Marshall Sculptor 1813-1894 (20) enrolled in the Royal Academy where he studied under Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (52).
Around 1834. Martin Archer Shee Painter 1769-1850 (64). Portrait of Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (52).
1834. Monument to Mary Ann Atkinson -1830 by Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (52) at St Andrew's Church Hartburn.
1834. St Michael & All Angels Church Great Tew. Monument to Mary Anne Wilkinson 1795-1829 (38) sculpted by Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (52) in 1834 commissioned by her husband Matthew Robinson Boulton 1770-1842 (63).
In 1835 Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (53) was knighted by King William IV of the United Kingdom 1765-1837 (69).
On 27 Mar 1837 Thomas Thynne 2nd Marquess Bath 1765-1837 (72) died. His son Henry Frederick Thynne 3rd Marquess Bath 1797-1837 (39) succeeded 3rd Marquess Bath, 5th Viscount Weymouth. Harriet Baring Marchioness Bath 1804-1892 (32) by marriage Marchioness Bath. Monument in Church of Saints Peter and Paul Longbridge Deverill Warminster sculpted by Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (55).
Before 1841. Lichfield Cathedral. General monuments the middle of which sculpted by Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841.
In 1841 Henry Weekes Sculptor 1807-1877 (33) took over the studio of Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (59).
1841. Tablet with portrait medallion to Sir Francis Chantrey (59), 1841, by James Heffernan. Church of St James the Great Norton.
In 1841. Lichfield Cathedral. Sculpted by Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (59).
On 25 Nov 1841 Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841 (60) died at his home 13 Eccleston Street Pimlico.
After 25 Nov 1841. Church of St James the Great Norton. Monument to Francis Leggatt Chantrey 1781-1841.
In 1875 [his wife] Mary Ann Wale 1787-1875 (88) died.
Memorials of Francis Chantrey RA Sculptor in Hallamshire and Elsewhere Part IV The Sculptor in Sheffield. To Norton, as the birth-place of Chantrey, I have already adverted at length, and to that village, as his selected burial-place, I shall return hereafter; meanwhile, it has been shown that Hallamshire had a parental claim on the Painter — as the facts of this chapter will prove it had on the Sculptor also.
Memorials of Francis Chantrey RA Sculptor in Hallamshire and Elsewhere Part IV The Sculptor in Sheffield. When, and wherefore then, did Chantrey absolutely determine to abandon painting for sculpture? These are questions which have repeatedly been asked and answered. But most of the printed notices on this subject are more ingenious than satisfactory-accident having apparently had as much to do with the matter as abstract reasoning. Undoubtedly his tastes for the sister arts may be said to have been twin-born, and for a time, mutu ally cherished. We have already seen how long and largely, and with what measure of success and promise, he exercised the brush-even in Sheffield perhaps, it may be said, because this was the only immediate source of income.
Memorials of Francis Chantrey RA Sculptor in Hallamshire and Elsewhere Part IV The Sculptor in Sheffield. Mr. Rhodes — who knew Chantrey well-has a graphic passage descriptive of the perplexity and the embarrasment of the young enthusiast soon after he became an attendant at the Royal Academy. Leaving the students ' room, which was then at Somerset House, in a state of bewildering indecision as to the branch of profession finally to be adopted, he returned to his own apartments— "spread his canvass before him, prepared his pallet, took up his pencils, began to paint; landscape, portrait, and history by turns attracted his notice, and mingled with his contemplations; but the sculpture of the academy was continually before him, and the images it presented became associated with his thoughts, "& c. Mr. Rhodes adds that, during this critical crisis, the young student visited and re-visited the Elgin marbles:-"this influenced his choice, and determined him to become a sculptor." This is all, no doubt, very true, in a general sense; but if we apply the test of dates, it will be found that what at first sight seems only like the record of an after noon's struggle between the rival fascinations of Phidian and Apellean art, is really by the context shown to comprehend between three and four years!
Memorials of Francis Chantrey RA Sculptor in Hallamshire and Elsewhere Part IV The Sculptor in Sheffield. Of the nature and progress of his early studies in London, it is not my purpose to speak; I have seen nothing that he produced at that time beyond a spread eagle, about four inches high, in wax, and a small hand and arm, formerly belonging to his mother at Norton, in clay; also a spirited study of an ancient head, in the possession of Richard Bayley, Esq., of Castle Dyke; and a child's head, in the possession of Thomas Stirling, Esq., at Shef field. This early work happened, when I last saw it, to be placed beside some fine specimens of the most ancient sculptures in the world — a couple of slabs from the mounds of Ninevah! But there is evidence in what follows, coincidently with the earliest date of any existing life-model from his hand, that he was consolidating the success of the student into the confidence of the artist; for in the Sheffield Iris of October 18, 1804, appeared the following advertisement:
SCULPTURE AND PORTRAIT PAINTING. "F. Chantrey respectfully solicits the patronage of the ladies and gentlemen of Sheffield and its environs, in the above arts during the recess of the Royal Academy, which he hopes to merit from the specimens he has to offer to their attention at his apartments, No. 14, Norfolk-street. As models from life are not generally attempted in the country, F. C. hopes to meet the liberal sentiments of an impartial public."
St Mary's Church Easton Neston. Jasper Hollemans. St Mary’s Church is all that remains of the Medieval village of Easton Neston when, following the enclosure of the land, the village was transferred to Hulcote. The church stands adjacent imposing Easton Neston House, designed by Nicholas Hawksmore for the Fermor- later Hesketh – family. The building is a beautiful early mediaeval church The most outstanding feature is the 16th century chancel memorial to Sir George Femor and his wife. There are a number of other monuments to the Fermor- Hesketh family around the church. The re building of the house circa 1700 affected the church with a new pulpit and box pews. The church is full of memorials to the Fermor family (The Earls of Promfret) and later to the Fermor Heskeths (The Lords Hesketh). The earliest are to be found in the chancel. Here you find a panelled tomb chest to Richard Fermor (died 1552) who bought the estate from the Crown after the attainder of Henry VII’s minister Richard Empson. Fermor had made a fortune out of wool which will be a recurring theme on this tour. The brasses on top of the chest are a palimpsest of earlier brasses reassembled here. Opposite is the flamboyant tomb to his grandson, Sir George Fermor and his wife Mary Curson. This is attributed to Jasper Hollemans, the son of Garret Hollemans who had come to England circa 1580 and established the family at the alabaster quarries at Burton on Trent. Jasper’s few surviving works are best seen in Northamptonshire, here and at Great Brington (he was also responsible for the Spenser tomb at Yarnton near Oxford and the Bassett tomb at Blore in Staffordshire). Here, working in fine soft alabaster, partly painted and gilded, he created a spectacular funerary show topped by a huge peacock’s tail of ornamental panels separated by pennons. Elsewhere are columns, obelisks, allegorical figures and heraldic achievements, whilst around the base the Fermor children kneel in relief. Note Mary Curson’s fine head dress and Sir George’s helmet, topped with the Fermor family crest of a cockerel. On the opposite wall is the memorial of Sir Hatton Fermor and his wife Anne Cockayne, daughter and heiress of the Lord Mayor of London who owned Rushton Hall in the north part of the County. The memorial also includes their eldest son who died the year before it was erected and three of his sisters who appear as half length sculptures along the top, as if sitting in an opera box. This monument because it eventually had to commemorate not two but six people, is somewhat odd in design, but the execution is rather good. Note the swaggering boots of Sir Hatton, who stands to one side, his wife on the other. It is attributed to Pierre Besnier (c. 1630-1693) probably a Huguenot refugee who worked with his brothers under Hubert Le Soeur for Charles I. The civil war clearly affected his career but by the late 1650s he had re-established himself, creating the Shuckbrugh monument in Warwickshire, very like this tomb, and was carving the armorials on the façade of Lamport Hall. Besnier’s busts of the sitters that were formerly at Easton Neston are now owned by Northampton Art Gallery. Lastly in the chancel, to the left of the altar, is E H Baily’s large wall monument to the 3rd Earl of Pomfret (d. 1830) showing his lordship beside a huge funerary urn. Baily was presumably also engaged at the same time on his large figure of Minerva who, resplendent in gold leaf, sits aloft the entrance to the Athenaeum. Later, he was to provide Nelson for his column in Trafalgar Square. Note also the accomplished gothic wall plaque to Thomas Hatton Fermor (d. 1864) a noted early photographer. Off the chancel is the memorial chapel to more recent members of the Fermor Hesketh family approached through wrought iron gates that formerly stood in the entrance hall of the house. The walls are covered with a variety of tablets: the Anglo-American ancestry of the family revealed in their inscriptions. Particularly notable is the great neo-georgian aedicule to the 1st Lord Hesketh who died in 1944. An unusually large and imposing tomb for the period. An equally impressive alabaster tomb to his son the 2nd Lord Hesketh, an unusual arrangement of geometric shapes, stands at the rear of the north aisle. As you leave the church there are two further wall tombs of particular beauty. The first has been attributed to Sir Francis Chantrey, but there is no evidence to support this and it may be another by Baily to the 2nd Earl and Countess of Pomfret with their children weeping at their loss. This is rather odd when you consider that it seems to have taken those children 30 years to put up the memorial. The Earl died in 1785, his wife two years later, and yet the tomb dates from 1816. Another conundrum, is who is the other man conspicuous here? Nearby, another work by Baily, this time to the 2nd Earl’s daughter Lady Charlotte with her husband, Peter Denys and their daughter, also called Charlotte. Rather touchingly the memorial is initialled so you know who is commemorated where: LCD (Lady Charlotte Denys), CD (Charlotte Denys), PD (Peter Denys) – not I think a common practice.
All Saints Worlingham. Chantrey monument..
Memorials of Francis Chantrey RA Sculptor in Hallamshire and Elsewhere Part IV The Sculptor in Sheffield. A lover of the arts, and having a head admirably adapted for the modeller's purpose, William Younge, Esq., M.D., of Sheffield, sat to Chantrey for a bust; for this work, which, when finished, was deservedly admired, as presenting something more than the mere promise of excellence, the artist received twenty guineas. It is at present in the possession of John Jeeves, Esq., of Sharrow Grange.
Memorials of Francis Chantrey RA Sculptor in Hallamshire and Elsewhere Part IV The Sculptor in Sheffield. It was during Chantrey's professional visit to Sheffield at this time, that an opportunity occurred for the exercise of his skill, upon which his destiny as a sculptor may be said at that moment to have depended. The Rev. James Wilkinson, the venerated vicar of Sheffield, occasionally spent some time at his family mansion at Boroughbridge, and here he died on Friday, the 18th January, 1805, in the 75th year of his age. The late Hall Overend, surgeon, a zealous friend of Chantrey's, being in the neighbourhood at the time, went directly to Boroughbridge, sought and obtained permission for the young artist to take a cast of the face of the deceased. On reaching Sheffield, and communi cating this intelligence to Chantrey, he immedi ately borrowed a horse, and early on the Sunday morning was on his way northward, notwithstand ing the heavy snow that was falling at the time. He happily accomplished his object, at the expense of a ninety miles ' ride, at the worst season of the year -- a feat of horsemanship which few of the gentle devotees of the pencil or the chisel would be very willing to imitate, either on speculation or "commission."