Alison was able to check the artist’s sitters book, which is now kept in the National Portrait Gallery in London. She duly found a mention of the double portrait shown above listed under October 1807. It was probably begun in 1806, before William IV Blathwayt’s death.
The portraits of the next generation to own Dyrham, William Crane Blathwayt (1795-1839) and his wife Frances Margaret, were also painted by Phillips, and were listed in the sitters book under July 1832. It is interesting that even after more than twenty-five years the family still went back to Phillips for their portraits.
William Crane Blathwayt was the son of William IV’s sister Penelope. She had eloped with a Jeremiah Pierce Crane and married him in Gretna Green. The childless William IV and Frances raised William Crane as their son and heir, and he took the name Blathwayt in 1817.
These paintings record how, after the explosion of Baroque exuberance at Dyrham under the first William Blathwayt (as shown in previous posts) the later generations of Blathwayts settled down to mostly quiet – and occasionally scandalous – lives as members of the country gentry.