Sir William Beechey, R.A. (1753-1839)
Sir William Beechey, R.A. (1753-1839)

Portrait of Richard Thompson, full-length, in a dark coat with a yellow waistcoat, seated on a fence holding a gun and powder flask, a retriever at his feet

Details
Sir William Beechey, R.A. (1753-1839)
Portrait of Richard Thompson, full-length, in a dark coat with a yellow waistcoat, seated on a fence holding a gun and powder flask, a retriever at his feet
oil on canvas
94½ x 58½ in. (240 x 148.5 cm.)
in a contemporary carved and gilded frame
Provenance
Presumably by descent through the sitter's sister Jane, who married Sir Robert Lawley, 5th Bt., to the Hon. Irene Constance Lawley, daughter of Sir Beilby Lawley, 3rd Baron Wenlock, who married Colin Gurdon Forbes-Adam, 3rd son of Sir Frank Forbes Adam, 1st Bt., in 1920.
George Gibbs, 2nd Baron Wraxall, of Tyntesfield by 1954.
Literature
W. Roberts, Sir William Beechey, R.A., London, 1907, p. 236.
Exhibited
York, Yorkshire Fine Art Exhibition, May 1879, lent by the Rt. Hon Lord Wenlock, as by Hoppner

Lot Essay

Richard Thompson (1745-1820), of Escrick Hall, Yorkshire, was the second son of Beilby Thompson, of Escrick, and his wife Elizabeth Dawes, daughter of Sir Darcy Dawes, and grandaughter of Archbishop Dawes. He inherited Escrick on the death, without issue, of his elder brother Beilby Thompson, M.P. (1742-1799). He is probably the 'Thompson' who is recorded in Rome in December 1774 together with the 3rd Baron Monson, Henry Peirse and 'many others' (J. Ingamells, A Dictionary of British and Irish Travelllers in Italy 1701-1800, compiled from the Brinsley Ford Archive, New Haven and London, 1997). He was elected a member of the Dilettanti Society in 1776, in the same year as his Roman travelling companions Lord Monson and Henry Peirse, and he is included, as a young man, in one of the pair of celebrated life-size group portraits which Sir Joshua Reynolds painted of members of the society in 1777-8 - in the centre of the composition, standing, his right arm raised holding a glass of wine, wearing the robes of Arch Master of the Society (Fig 1; see D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, New Haven and London, 2000, I, p. 166, no. 510, II, fig. 1235). On Richard Thompson's death, Escrick descended through his sister Jane, who had married Sir Robert Lawley 5th Bt., M.P. for Warwickshire. The latter's third son Paul, who was to inherit the house following the deaths of his two elder brothers, without issue, obtained by Royal Licence permission to take the name and arms of Thompson in 1820, and again to take the name of Lawley before that of Thompson and the arms of Thompson and Lawley quarterly, and his issue to take the arms of Lawley in 1839.

The 2nd Baron Wraxall's mother, the Hon. Ursula Mary Lawley, and the Hon. Mrs Forbes-Adams were first cousins.
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