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Reverend William Heathcote (1772-1802)

OWEN, William (1769 - 1825)

Reverend William Heathcote (1772-1802)

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 128.0 x 103.0 cm

Acquired: 1938; Purchase

Accession Number: NMW A 490

Although William Heathcote was a clergyman, he is portrayed as a sportsman, with a gun and a game-bag on his shoulder, accompanied by two spaniels. He was the son of a Hampshire landowner and a Prebend of Winchester Cathedral. Owen, who came from Shropshire, painted a dozen members of the Heathcote family.


David Key
7 November 2016, 01:03

Just come across the page and comment and, somewhat belatedly, thought I might be able to add a little extra detail.

The reference in the text to the Rev. Heathcote's son as "Sir William Heathcote 5th Baronet" dates it to 1825 at the earliest as this was when William inherited the family seat of Hursley Park on the death of his uncle. Similar text appears on other paintings owned by Sir William Heathcote, 5th Bt. in the C19th including portraits by Kneller as well as Owen and others.

A catalogue of the works of art hanging in Hursley Park House in 1843 shows the painting above the door to the dining room alongside ten other works by Owen including Captain Gilbert Heathcote RN ( and a portrait of the Grandchildren of Sir William Heathcote, 3rd Bt. ( where the others are now ... is not entirely clear.

Graham Davies Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales Staff
26 June 2012, 09:17
Dear Joan, thank you for your enquiry. The text in the upper right-hand corner reads: 'William, 2nd Son of Sir Wm. Heathcoat, 3rd Bar.t & Father of Sir William, 5th Bar.t Born 1772. Died 1802. by Owen.'

We do not have a firm date for the picture. It seems likely that it was created towards the end of the decade between Owen first exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1792 and Heathcote's death in 1802. While the inscription records the date of Heathcote's death this could have been added posthumously to a painting completed during his lifetime.

Thank you for your interest in Amgueddfa Cymru, Rachel Flynn, Assistant Curator Historic Art
Joan Lovemore-Hope
22 June 2012, 08:48
It is interesting to note that the subject died in a hunting accident in 1802. When was the picture painted? I can't read the text in top right corner. Any transcripts available?

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