Thomas Lawrence, Sarah Hussey Delaval, Mrs Sarah Gunman

Photo courtesy of Dave Penman (All rights reserved)


Country House
Doddington Hall
Sarah Hussey Delaval, Mrs Sarah Gunman
Upper Staircase From Ground Floor
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Overall height: 75 cm, Overall width: 62 cm
Thomas Lawrence (1760-1839)
Catalogue Number


Sarah Hussey Delaval (d. 1825) was daughter of Edward Hussey Delaval (1729–1814) and Sarah Scott (1751–1829), and heiress to Doddington Hall. Sarah married James Gunman (1747–1824), 13 April 1805 at St Margaret’s, Westminster.1 Gunman was a member of a prominent Dover family, a collector of customs, and mayor of Dover in 1776, 1784 and 1789. Following their marriage Sarah Delaval went to live with Gunman at his family home, at Biggin Street, Dover. James and Sarah Gunman are buried at St Mary’s Church, Dover.

Sarah Hussey Delaval’s exact date of birth is unknown, but she was alive by July 1789, when Edward Delaval bequeathed in his will the interest he had acquired in Doddington to both his wife and his daughter. In 1964 Kenneth Garlick dated the portrait to around 1820, although in 1989, when he posited Sarah Delaval’s birth as around 1785, he dated the portrait to c.1805–10, presumably on her estimated age at the time of the portrait, which appears to be around twenty-five. It is suggested here that it dates from around 1815, which coincides approximately with the time Sarah Delaval inherited Doddington Hall from her father.

The portrait was sold by Major Charles Francis Cracroft Jarvis at Sotheby's, London, 14 May 1930 (100), to an American buyer for £3,400. It was repurchased in the late 1940s for around £1,500.

by Martin Postle



  1. Lincolnshire Archives, JARVIS IX/5/5/8.


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