© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London | Licence: CC BY-NC-ND
© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London | Licence: CC BY-NC-ND

The Leader valley at Cowdenknowes House, Berwickshire, 1843 [Scotland]


Edward Gennys Fanshawe

From the collection


The Leader valley at Cowdenknowes House, Berwickshire, 1843 [Scotland]




From an album of watercolours of the Baltic, Mediterranean, Scotland, Switzerland and Burma. This album covers Edward Gennys Fanshawe's Baltic service in command of HMS 'Cossack' during the Crimean War, August 1854 - August 1855, and his brief transfer to the 'Hastings' in the Baltic and latterly at Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, 1855-56, though on her return to England in late 1855 he was invalided ashore until rejoining the ship at Queenstown in January 1856. It also covers his command of the 'Centurion' in the Mediterranean from May 1856 to June 1858, when he was again invalided home. Also included are holiday drawings made in Scotland in 1843 and 1883, Switzerland in 1877 and 1880, and a single drawing of Moulmein, Burma, made in 1846 during his Eastern posting as Commander in the 'Cruizer', 1844-46. No. 28 in Fanshawe's Baltic and later album, 1843 - 83. Captioned by the artist on the album page below the image, 'Cowdenknowes, James Gilfillan, Esqr, 1843'. According to the website (March 2010) of the Edinburgh architects, Simpson & Brown, who had then recently renovated it as a private residence, 'Cowdenknowes House is a category-A listed mansion situated on the east bank of the Leader water south of Earlston in Berwickshire. The present house stands on the site of a Douglas stronghold and has been substantially added to and remodelled in the late 18th century, and again in 1820 and the 1880s.' In Fanshawe's drawing it appears in the distance amid the trees of the Leader valley. The Edenton-Eaglesfield section (pp. 349-61) of Samuel Lewis's 'Topographical Dictionary of Scotland' (1846) briefly mentions 'Cowdenknows' as ' now the property of James Gilfillan, Esq.,' noting that it 'stands on the Leader, amid scenery which has for hundreds of years been celebrated for its beauty'. It is not known what personal connection (if any) Fanshawe may have had with Gilfillan, of whom nothing else is known. Fanshawe however married Jane Cardwell on 11 May 1843, when he was a young Commander RN, and this drawing is one of a group (PAI4700-PAI4706) recording their first summer holiday together that summer, though his biography (1904) does not give the exact dates.
Credit Line: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London


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Earlston, Berwickshire, Scotland



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© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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