Samuel Rogers (1763–1855), a well-known poet and wealthy supporter of the arts, was apparently the first owner of A Distant View of Bolton Abbey (TG1614), which was removed from the book of Girtin’s sketches that Girtin himself probably partly assembled – the Whitworth Book of Drawings (not sketchbook) (TG1323, TG1324 and TG1600–TG1625). An inscription opposite the missing page in the book (page five) reads ‘Bolton Abbey – Color’d on the spot sold to Mr. Rogers £8’, making it a very expensive early example of the growing appreciation of the artist’s on-the-spot sketches. At the posthumous sale of Dr Thomas Monro (1759–1833), a ‘Rogers’ is recorded as buying five lots of drawings, the work of Girtin and Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851) in collaboration (Exhibitions: Christie’s, 1 July 1833; Christie's, 2 July 1833). Given that these reappeared in the posthumous sale of Rogers’ great-nephew, Henry Rogers (c.1823–78), who is known to have inherited much from the poet’s collection, it is highly likely that it was Samuel Rogers who was active at Monro’s sale in 1833 (Exhibitions: Christie’s, 21 May 1878).
A Distant View of Bolton Abbey