The Hon. Louisa Hay

Market Lavington Museum curator was contacted by The Neale auction house in New Orleans about an oil painting they had for sale. The picture was of Louisa Hay, as a child, at her grandfather’s home near Salisbury. For the help given to them, the auction house gave the museum a photographic copy of the oil painting.

Louisa Pleydell Bouverie as a child

The oil painting has a later caption added on it.

Caption on oil painting of Louisa Pleydell Bouverie

Louisa was born a Pleydell Bouverie and her family held the lordship of  Market Lavington during the nineteenth century. Her Grandfather was Lord Radnor.

Louisa married Samuel Hay in 1832. The marriage lasted but fifteen years for Samuel died in 1847.

By 1851 Louisa was living at Clyffe Hall in Market Lavington. This was a Pleydell Bouverie property at the time. Louisa lived there, as a widow, until she died in 1898, aged 87 years.

The painting had a clue to its identity on it, and the auction house was kind enough to copy this for the museum. It was this data that led them to the museum in their quest for information.

Message written by Louisa Hay, attached to back of frame

The entry in the Neale House Auction Brochure is shown below.

435. Attributed to Sir William Beechey (British, 1753-1839), “An Important Grand Manner’ Portrait of Louisa Pleydell-Bouverie as a Young Gardener, in the Park of Longford Castle, Wiltshire,” c. 1820, oil on canvas, possibly signed with initial “B” at bottom right edge, and bearing late 19th c. inscription at lower left, “Louisa Pleydell-Bouverie married. Hon. Samuel Hay, R.N.  b. 1811, d. 1898”, 50 in. x 40 in., in a modern frame. $5000/7000

Provenance: A handwritten note by the sitter was attached to the reverse of the frame and read: “Cliffe Hall, Market Lavington Wiltshire Dec. 18, 1893, I wish my cousin Henry H. Pleydell-Bouverie of “Brymore House, Bridgwater Somerset to have this picture at my death-Louisa Hay.”

Note: This captivating and very noble sitter was the granddaughter of Jacob, Baron Pleydell-Bouverie, 2nd Earl of Radnor (1750-1828), as well as daughter of the latter’s younger son Admiral Duncombe Pleydell-Bouverie, and his wife Louisa May; her cousin Jane became one of Queen Victoria’s bridesmaids. A dozen years after this splendid portrait was painted, the sitter married the equally eminent Hon. Samuel Carr Hay, son of William Carr Hay, 17th Earl of Errol (1772-1819), and the latter’s second wife Alicia, daughter of Samuel Elliot, Esq., of Antigua. Young Samuel (at about the time of this portrait) had entered the Naval profession of his uncle, the Hon. James Carr Hay, R.N., who had drowned while on active duty in 1792 (Samuel’s own eldest brother James, Lord Hay, having himself been killed at the Battle of Waterloo, in 1815). In 1820 Samuel’s second brother, William George (by then 18th Earl of Errol) married one of the natural daughters of King William IV, Elizabeth Fitzclarence. It might possibly have been through such exalted connections with the royal family (since the sitter’s father, the admiral, would probably have known his future son-in law from Samuel’s first days in the Navy) which may have inspired this metropolitan portrait, a work very likely to have been commissioned by Louisa’s grandparents, the Earl and Countess of Radnor, as witnessed by the beautiful landscape view of their ancient seat, Longford Castle, appearing in this portrait’s background, as an understated reminder of the antiquity and illustriousness of Louisa’s lineage.

Even without the faint “B” partially visible on the bottom right edge of the image, or the “B, W” inscribed on the reverse of the lower stretcher bar, this painting is clearly a characteristic and representative work by the court painter to King George IV, Sir William Beechey (who appears rarely, as a rule, to have signed even his most important canvases). Its nearly exact counterpart, and earlier prototype, is Beechey’s very similar portrait of “Master William Gosling Playing A Drum”, that the artist presented as no. 536 in the Royal Academy exhibition of 1800 (and which was held until recently in the collection of the artist Carl Marr at the West Bend Art Museum, West Bend, WI).

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12 Responses to “The Hon. Louisa Hay”

  1. James Lye « Market Lavington Museum Says:

    […] Lavington in times past. He earned renown as a gardener at Clyffe Hall where he worked for the Hon Louisa Hay. No doubt at some time we’ll return to the source of his fame, which was fuchsia […]

  2. A Christmas present in 1881 – ‘The Garden’ « Market Lavington Museum Says:

    […] Mrs Hay, or to give her full name, The Hon. Louisa Hay was a Pleydell Bouverie by birth – granddaughter of Lord Radnor. She has featured before on this blog and you can read about her by clicking here. […]

  3. 2010 in review « Market Lavington Museum Says:

    […] The Hon. Louisa Hay February 2010 2 comments 51.286513 -1.980577 […]

  4. Laura Raybould (nee Oliver) Says:

    I was delighted to see the reproduction of the beautiful painting of Louisa Hay (nee Pleydell Bouverie) as she is a distant relative. I descend through Ann Coppendale my 6xgt grandmother who married Thomas Oliver in 1670. Ann’s brother Samuel was Louisa’s gt gt grandfather. His granddaughter was Mary Coppendale, (later May) Louisa’s grandmother. The Coppendales were a well-known East and West Yorkshire family all connected together and descending from the first Coppendale, John Thornton who took the name Coppendale in the 14th century. They were originally wool merchants in Beverley East Yorkshire.

    • marketlavingtonmuseum Says:

      Lovely to hear from you. I’m sorry we don’t have the original, of course.

      Best wishes

      Rog (Curator)

    • John Coppendale Says:

      I’m also a Coppendale and very interested in your claim that Mary May (nee Coppendale) was the great granddaughter of Samuel Coppendale. I have so far only traced her father and grandfather (both John) but if her great grandfather was Samuel, could this be the same Samuel Coppendale who married Elizabeth Moore in 1665 and was at the top of a branch of the family who were influential in Wakefield in the early 18th century, including their son William who was a tobacconist and a Governor of Wakefield School? I’d be interested in any more information you have.

      • Ann Larkins Says:

        Hi John
        I think you may have sent you questions to me by accident. I cannot help I’m afraid as I am related to the 17th Earl of Erroll who was my 4xgreat grandfather and the father of Samuel Hay who was my 3xggms half brother . I do know that Louisa had a Gardener called James Lye who built up a Fuschia collection which has now become a National Collection as the Message from the James Lye website says
        AnnL

  5. Raymond Doran. Says:

    A few years ago I purchased a drawing/watercolour of a victorian gentleman, name on reverse is The Right Honourable Samuel Hay. curious to know if itis the same
    person mentioned in this item. regards.

  6. Ann Larkins Says:

    Hi I hope you dont mind my pointing out a couple of mistakes in identifying one or two people in this very good article. My name is Ann and I am the 4 times Great grandaughter of William Carr 17th Earl of Errol who was the father of Samuel Hay . You have him in your article as the 15th Earl and this is a frequent mistake as the 15th Earl had two sons George and William. George would have been the 16th Earl but sadly committed suicide at the age of 30 due to accidentilly betraying a secret given to him by Pitt the Younger.His younger brother William suceeded to the Earldom and became the 17th Earl. The names Hay, Boyd and Carr were all family names and used at various times Hay being the most commonly used name. It is true that Samuels older brother James was killed on the first day of the battle of Waterloo and is featured in the film W’aterloo’ The William George who married Elizabeth Fitclarence daughter of William of Hanover and Dorothea Bland was William George 18th Earl of Errol and brother of Samuel
    Hope this helps clarify who was who!!!

    • marketlavingtonmuseum Says:

      Thanks Ann

      We are always delighted if errors of fact are pointed out. One of the objects of a blog like this is to get contact from people who really know. We rely mostly on what we can find on the internet. We have been guilty of that common error of believing what we find on it.

      Thanks again

      Rog (Hon Curator)

  7. James Lye (1830-1906) | James Lye Fuchsia Collection Says:

    […] James Lye was born in Market Lavington, Wiltshire, in 1830 and began his horticultural career at the age of 12 as an apprentice groundsman at the nearby Clyffe Hall.  He continued working at Clyffe Hall and became the Head Gardener, 11 years later to the then occupier the Hon. Mrs Louisa Hay. […]

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