These chairs - originally from a larger suite of both side chairs and stools - are first recorded in a family photograph album at Doddington Hall circa 1900, where they appear in the Long Gallery beneath the frame of Reynold's celebrated portrait of the Earl and Countess of Mexborough. Perhaps Sir Robert Smythson's architectural masterpiece, Doddington's historic furnishings include the 'Cumberland' bed from Seaton Delaval, Northumberland. It dates from the beginning of King George II's reign and was occupied in 1745 by his son the Duke of Cumberland (d. 1765), the hero of Culloden. Following its inheritance by Edward Hussey Delaval, F.R.S. (d. 1814), the bed was transferred to Doddington. It is possible that these chairs also originated from the Seaton Delaval state apartments and were transferred to Doddington, having been commissioned by Admiral George Delaval in the early 1720s. They relate to the contemporary chairs provided for Chicksands Priory, Bedfordshire, which accompanied Mary of Modena's bed and tapestries (D. Watkin, The Royal Interiors of Regency England, London, 1984, p. 54). A related suite of chairs at Knole in Kent is illustrated in J. Fowler and J. Cornforth, English Decoration in the 18th Century, London, 1974, p. 120.
We are extremely grateful to Mrs. James Birch of Doddington Hall for her help in preparing this footnote.