Elizabeth Weddell (née Ramsden) (1749–1831), the widow of William Weddell (1736–92) of Newby Hall in Yorkshire, was a keen patron of the arts – a woman ‘who loves and understands pictures’, as a contemporary noted (quoted in Morris, 2002a, p.257). Girtin’s representative, Samuel William Reynolds (1773–1835), records that he sold five watercolours to Weddell in December 1801 (whilst the artist himself was in Paris) for £50 (Reynolds, Letter, 1803). The letter detailing the sales of Girtin’s works by Reynolds is transcribed in full in the Documents section of the Archive (1803 – Item 3). These included two views of Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders (TG1724 and TG1725); a Welsh view, Pont Seiont, Looking towards Mynydd Mawr (TG1328); and two West Country scenes (TG1734 and TG1736). None of the views Weddell selected from Reynolds’ stock are known to have had any personal significance and it looks as though she bought the works out of an appreciation of the artist’s ‘radical new landscape vision’, as Susan Morris put it (Morris, 2002a, p.257). Weddell also subscribed to a proof set of Girtin’s Paris prints, one of seven named women amongst the fifty-eight individuals listed by John Girtin (1773–1821) in 1803 (Chancery, Income and Expenses, 1804). A list of subscribers is included in John Girtin’s account of the income he received from the Picturesque Views in Paris, together with the expenses incurred in completing the project. They are transcribed in the Documents section of the Archive (1804 – Item 1). Weddell left her watercolours to her nephew, John Charles Ramsden (1758–1836), and until the discovery of new papers relating to Reynolds’ activities as a dealer it was assumed that Girtin’s works had originally been acquired by him or another male member of the Ramsden family (Smith, 2002a, p.14).
1800 - 1801
Jedburgh Abbey, from the South East
The Village of Jedburgh
Pont Seiont, Looking towards Mynydd Mawr (Big Mountain)
Lydford Castle, from the River Lyd
On the River Taw, North Devon, Looking from Braunton Marsh towards Instow and Appledore