Sir John Requests the Pleasure | Knutsford Times

Sir John Requests the Pleasure

By on September 30, 2013

Did you know that one of the first (and some might say finest!) collections of 18th and 19th Century British art was made by a local man? 

Hill Street Gallery 2

Sir John Leicester (1st Lord de Tabley) was a “most amiable, distinguished and munificent patron of the Arts”.   Sir John was also keen to share his passion with the public, all be it an exclusive and select one.  His London town house and Tabley House in Knutsford were often opened for public viewings.

Sadly, so generous was his patronage, his estate was in debt by his death in 1827.   The London house was sold along with some of the artworks.  However, the Friends of Tabley are offering a unique opportunity to take a step back in time and become one of Sir John’s special guests on a virtual tour of Hill St. to see his new acquisitions by Turner and others.

On Wednesday 23rd October, at 2.30 pm in the Gallery at Tabley House, Sarah Webb will give guests a rare opportunity to enjoy a taste of Regency London.
Using plans, engravings and contemporary accounts Sarah will show the dazzling pictures on the walls, share press opinion and the thoughts of Sir John’s illustrious and fashionable visitors.

This is will be Sarah’s second virtual tour, following a sell out talk last year taking visitors on a virtual tour of Old Tabley Hall.   In time honoured tradition the tour will be followed by tea and cake in the Portico Room, overlooking the park land that featured in so many of the paintings commissioned by Sir John.

Tickets for the talk cost £14 or £12 for Friends and Volunteers.  Contact Anna Smyth 01565 651979 or

Money raised at the events will go towards large and small conservation projects for The Tabley House Collection.  In recent months donations from the Friends have restored an old hour glass, previously used to keep sermons to a precise 32 minutes in St. Peter’s Chapel, and a library table.  Both restored objects are on display within the Tabley House Collection open until the end of October.

Written and submitted by Lindsey Harrison

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