image © Guy Peppiatt Fine Art | Licence: All Rights Reserved
image © Guy Peppiatt Fine Art | Licence: All Rights Reserved

Winchester Cathedral from the South East




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From the Collection


Captain Grose was an antiquary, lexicographer, draughtsman and officer in the militia. Renowned for his easy company and self-effacing wit, he was regarded by his friends, amongst whom numbered Robert Burns and Horace Walpole, as the ‘greatest porter drinker of his age’ (Martyn Gregory, The Vulgar Tongue, exhibition catalogue, 2019). In 1772, he began work on his ambitious ten volume Antiquities of England and Wales. Despite being (by his own admission) ‘too fat to ride a horse and too poor to keep a carriage’, he travelled extensively throughout Britain and Ireland in search for material for his publications. In the late 1780s he compiled his Antiquities of Scotland, whilst his Antiquities of Ireland was published posthumously in 1796. Together they contain over 1000 plates and were the most extensive series of illustrations of ancient monuments.

The present drawing ‘which shews the south-east aspect of the cathedral was drawn from Dr Lowth’s garden, in the year 1781. The building seen on the south side is his prebendal house’. (Grose, op. cit., 1783 p.88). Between 1885 and 1921, the house was the home of Mary Sumner (1828-1921), the founder of the Mother’s Union. William Lowth (1661-1732) was prebendary of Winchester Cathedral. His son Dr Robert Lowth (1710-1781) was a gifted poet, who was elected professor of Poetry at Oxford in 1741, the same year he was ordained in the Church of England. He served as archdeacon of Winchester in 1750, before becoming Bishop of London in 1777. He turned down an offer to become Archbishop of Canterbury.

For Francis Grose’s Supplement to the Antiquities of England & Wales, 1783

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image © Guy Peppiatt Fine Art

From the Watercolour World


Winchester Cathedral, Winchester, Hampshire, England