Portrait_of_the_family_of_Charles_and_Elizabeth_Allen-1.jpg

Portrait of the family of Charles and Elizabeth Allen

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: About 1838 [unknown]
Location: Gumley House, Isleworth, London, England, United Kingdommap
Surname/tag: Allen, Harris, Sturge
Profile manager: Nick Eades private message [send private message]
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Copy of a portrait

The original portrait was painted in the grounds of Gumley House, Isleworth by R. R. Reinagle (R.A.) and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1838 [1]. It was described as "A Family Group with a Portrait of Their Grounds & House", although the house did not belong to the family shown but to Sarah (Belch) Angell (1745-1835), the bedridden elderly aunt of Elizabeth (Harris) Allen (abt.1788-1862) who they were taking care of towards the end of her life[2]. The house was acquired by her husband Benjamin Angell (abt.1745-) when he retired from his business as a chintz printer and dyer with a considerable fortune[3].

The original painting was in the possession of Percy Stafford Allen M.A. of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, to whom Leaves from the Past by Clement Young Sturge (abt.1860-abt.1911) was dedicated, and which contains a black and white reproduction of the painting annotated with the names of the persons represented. It seems likely that the copy of the painting was commissioned by Clement Young Sturge (abt.1860-abt.1911) and left to his sisters on his death.

The house itself is described in Family Records:

Their large house with its long range of rooms, was kept in perfect order, and its old-fashioned furniture was in fine condition. The hall was paved in squares of black and white marble, with a wide, oaken, parquet staircase, and ceilings highly painted by (it was said) Sir Godfrey Kneller, representing scenes from the heathen mythology. Indeed the house had, in its former days, been the abode of some of our noble families. Built by a wealthy man named John Gumley, in the early part of the eighteenth century, his daughter inherited it from him, and through her marriage with a Marquis of Bath, it had passed into his hands. But of its history after that time till my great Uncle bought it we know nothing. The neighbourhood had changed, and the aristocratic families who resided there had moved to more courtly precincts, and Gumley House, as well as many others, lost its ancient prestige. Pleasure grounds of six acres surrounded it, laid out in one part as a shrubbery and plantation of trees, while in another were the vegetable gardens, and in the centre a considerable piece of water and green paddock.[4]

Sources

  1. frontispiece to Leaves from the Past
  2. Family Records pp28, 50
  3. Family Records p49
  4. Family Records p49




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