Arthur Pond, Doddington and the Patronage of the Delavals

Essay by Martin Postle

Arthur Pond, Doddington and the Patronage of the Delavals

From the mid-1720s onwards Captain Francis Blake Delaval and his wife, Rhoda Apreece, assembled at their various properties in town and country a collection of portraits that charted the growth of their family and their ambitions to succeed in fashionable society. The variety of images they commissioned and the questions these portraits pose concerning attribution and patterns of patronage make them a fascinating case study for the development and display of portrait collections. During the mid-1740s, as the lives of their young children increasingly took centre stage, the Delavals became among the most generous patrons of the London-based artist Arthur Pond, who served them as a portrait painter and as tutor in art to their eldest daughter, Rhoda Delaval.

Arthur Pond was born in 1701, the eldest son of a London surgeon. In 1720 he enrolled at the St Martin’s Lane Academy and came under the influence of John Vanderbank, whose pupil he may well have been. Pond’s ambitions were shaped by Jonathan Richardson the Elder, arguably the country’s most influential artist, connoisseur and writer on art theory at the time. His artistic education was further enhanced by a two-year sojourn in Rome from 1725 to 1727, where he formed relations with a range of continental painters, printmakers, collectors, connoisseurs and art dealers. It is not until 1734, however, through the pages of his journal, that a detailed picture of Pond’s day-to-day world emerges.1 Pond was a portraitist of moderate abilities, but he was also an astute collector and dealer in old-master paintings and drawings, which he disseminated through lucrative print publishing ventures. By the time he encountered the Delavals, Pond was firmly established at the centre of an influential coterie of artists and connoisseurs that included Thomas Hudson and Charles Rogers. It was probably this ‘circle of Virtuosi’ to whom Hudson introduced his pupil Joshua Reynolds.2

By the mid-1740s Captain Delaval had accrued a considerable income and property. From his uncle, Admiral George Delaval, he had inherited Seaton Delaval, the family’s magnificent country house on the Northumbrian coast, designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, as well as an estate at nearby Dissington. From his mother he inherited Ford Castle, also in Northumberland, towards the Scottish border, and through his marriage to Rhoda Apreece Doddington Hall, Lincolnshire, was accreted to the family’s impressive property portfolio. While the Delavals divided their time between these country properties, from the late 1730s they occupied a townhouse in the western portion of what is now 10–11 Downing Street, Westminster.3 As the 1758 sale catalogue of the contents of the widowed Mrs Delaval’s townhouse reveals, the family had sophisticated taste. In addition to items of fine furniture, china, pier-glasses, jewels and ‘curious trinkets’, the Delavals had over the years acquired a significant art collection.4

Among the seventy or so lots were paintings by or attributed to a range of Dutch, Flemish, French, German and Italian masters, including Hans Holbein the Younger, Jan Breughel the Elder, Jan van Goyen, Michiel van Mierevelt, Lucas van Leyden, Joos de Momper, Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer, Rubens, Van Dyck, Luca Giordano, Guercino and Federico Zuccaro. Contemporary British art was also represented in the collection, with works by Gainsborough and Hayman. The seller listed in the auction catalogue was Rhoda Astley, the Delavals’ eldest daughter, who had in 1751 married Sir Edward Astley.

Rhoda Delaval, baptized in London at St George’s, Hanover Square on 22 July 1725, was the eldest of twelve children. While her eight brothers all attended Westminster School, Rhoda and her younger sisters were educated at home. It was presumably also at her home in Westminster, or Arthur Pond’s house at Great Queen Street, in the parish of St Giles, that Rhoda Delaval pursued her art lessons. Pond’s earliest recorded mention of Rhoda Delaval was on 1 February 1744 when he entered the sum of four guineas in his journal for ‘Miss Dela Val a months learning’.5 Pond was then in his early forties, and Rhoda in her late teens. From early 1744 until the journal ends in 1750 Pond recorded regular transactions relating to Rhoda’s tuition and associated artistic endeavours. In 1744 Pond provided tuition to Rhoda from February until August at a cost of twenty-six guineas. For the remainder of the year, when no lessons are recorded, Rhoda may not have been in the capital but domiciled either at Doddington Hall or at one of the family’s homes in Northumberland.6 In 1745 Pond recorded only a single month’s tuition for Rhoda, in May, for which he was paid four guineas.7 And in 1746 there were no lessons at all. However, in April and May 1747, normal service was resumed, as Pond received eight guineas in respect of two months’ lessons, while in June he recorded in his journal, ‘Miss Delaval six lessons 3:3:0. Cloaths & colors 1:1:0’.8 The entry shows that Pond was charging half a guinea per lesson, which in turn indicates that the four guineas he charged for a month’s tuition would have involved eight lessons – an average of two lessons per week. Significantly, it also reveals that Rhoda was by now painting in oils on canvas.

In 1748 Rhoda took two months of lessons from Pond, in April and May, at a cost of eight guineas. At the beginning of July Pond was paid four guineas for a further month’s tuition, plus, towards the end of the month, an additional three guineas for three weeks’ tuition, as well as another guinea for more colours.9 In 1749 the pattern of the previous year was repeated, with two months’ lessons in April and May, and a further week in June, as well as the provisions of a ‘cloath & colours’, and five shillings for ‘Pencills’, meaning paint brushes.10 Finally, in June 1750 Pond received six guineas for a month and a half’s worth of lessons for Rhoda, and he paid one Morris three pounds and eight shillings for ‘a Layman for Miss Delaval’ – an indication that Rhoda was now in the business of making independent portraits.11

What, then, did Rhoda Delaval learn during her time with Pond, and what did her education comprise? As the engraver and diarist George Vertue observed, by the 1740s Pond’s reputation rested principally upon his skills as a portraitist in pastels or ‘crayons’:

Crayon painting has met with so much encouragement of late years here. that several Painters those that had been in Italy to study, as Knapton Pond Hoare &c for the practice of painting in Oyl. found at their return that they could not make any extraordinary matter of it, turned to painting in Crayons and several made great advantage of it. It looking pleasant and coverd with a glass large Gold Frames was much commended. for novelty.12

Pastel was also the medium favoured by fashionable young ladies who sought to emulate professional portraitists such as Pond or his colleague George Knapton. Among Pond’s first female pupils was Grace, Countess of Dysart, to whom he gave lessons in 1734. As her cousin Mary Pendarves noted at the time, ‘Lady Dysart goes on extremely well with her drawing; she has got to crayons, and I design to fall into that way. I hope Mr Pond will help me too, for his colouring in crayons I think the best I have seen of an English painter.’13 As well as providing tuition, these lessons also provided Pond with an opportunity to demonstrate his skills, which could in turn open up new avenues for patronage.14

A visual clue as to how Pond perceived his female pupils, and how they wished to project their own image, is provided by a pastel portrait he made of a young lady, quite possibly Lady Helen Perceval, whose pastel portrait he recorded having made in 1737 (fig. 1).15 She is seated with a box of pastels, before an easel, on which rests a sheet of paper mounted on linen containing a pastel drawing of the head of a small child. Pond’s pastel portrait invites comparison with an oil portrait by Pond of Rhoda Delaval of around 1750 (fig. 2). It is possible that the portrait in question may be identified with ‘Miss Delavals portrait with hands’, for which Pond was paid £12 12s on 8 June 1750.16 The poses of the young female sitters are strikingly similar, including the manner in which the pastel box is tilted forward to reveal its contents. The principal difference is the nature of Rhoda’s composition, which appears to be a ‘fancy’ female head in the manner of the fashionable Venetian pastellist Rosalba Carriera, whose works were purchased by the Delaval family and copied by Pond himself.17

A young lady, quite possibly Lady Helen Perceval

Figure 1.
Arthur Pond, A young lady, quite possibly Lady Helen Perceval, Undated. Pastel, 64 × 50.8 cm. Private Collection.

Digital image courtesy of Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd. (All rights reserved)

Rhoda Delaval

Figure 2.
Arthur Pond, Rhoda Delaval, circa 1750. Oil on canvas, 76.8 × 68.6 cm. National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG 5253).

Digital image courtesy of National Portrait Gallery, London. (All rights reserved)

On 23 May 1751 Rhoda Delaval married Sir Edward Astley, whose country estate was at Melton Constable Hall, Norfolk. Following her marriage Rhoda and her husband took up residence in the west portion of 11 Downing Street, adjacent to her family home, which formed the east portion of the premises. Over the next few years much of Rhoda’s life was given over to child bearing: a girl and three boys. Although she presumably had less time to devote to her art, it was also then that James McArdell created a mezzotint after her self-portrait (fig. 3). Here ‘Mrs Astley’, as she is described, is depicted with sheets of paper on her lap, the print having been made evidently in order to promote her status as an artist. At Doddington Hall, of the same period, is a portrait of a woman dressed in a masquerade costume holding a book (DN65). Comparison with ‘Mrs Astley’ confirms that they depict the same sitter. Although the artist has not been identified, it might be a self-portrait by Rhoda Delaval rather than a portrait of her by Pond.


Figure 3.
James McArdell after Rhoda Delaval, Self-portrait, circa 1751. Mezzotint, 33.1 × 22.8 cm. National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG D562).

Digital image courtesy of National Portrait Gallery, London. (All rights reserved)

It was in 1756 that Edward Astley purchased directly from Pond at considerable expense – and presumably on behalf of Rhoda – his celebrated print collection.18 The acquisition not only demonstrated a serious commitment to print culture, and the enduring bond between Rhoda and Pond, but the putative role that the collection had already played in Rhoda’s own art education. Sadly, Rhoda was not to enjoy the benefits of owning and studying Pond’s collection as she died in October 1757 following the birth of her son Francis.19 By this time, it has been affirmed, one of Rhoda’s younger brothers, George, was undergoing art training by Pond, who apparently took him on as an apprentice in 1753 for a period of five years for the sum of £300 – a considerable fee by any standards. There is, however, uncertainty surrounding the apprenticeship, and no firm evidence exists to suggest that George Delaval ever pursued an artistic career.20

As a close study of Arthur Pond’s journal reveals, the tuition he provided to Rhoda Delaval was allied closely to the patronage he received from her parents, who counted among Pond’s most generous and committed patrons. Pond’s core patrons at this time were wealthy members of the gentry class who, while appreciative of the polite and fine arts, were not in the top echelon of society. Like the Delavals, they had money and social aspiration. While Pond himself was not in any way an exceptional artist, his commodities were attractive and affordable, and he was able to turn his hand to a variety of tasks in order to accommodate his clients’ requirements. As we have seen, Rhoda Delaval first came into contact with Pond early in 1744. Within a few months Pond was paid £25 4s for what he describes in his journal as ‘Mrs Delaval pict: of Master and Miss’.21 Although this entry might be interpreted as a reference to a double portrait of two of Rhoda Apreece’s children the only known picture that fits such a description is a double portrait of Rhoda Delaval and her younger brother, Francis Blake Delaval, now at Seaton Delaval.22 However, the ages of the children, around ten and eight years old respectively, suggest that it was made at some time during the mid-1730s. Stylistically, it is more sophisticated than Pond, and has been attributed to Jeremiah Davison and Joseph van Aken. Much closer to Pond is a portrait of Rhoda’s teenage brother, Edward, seated with a greyhound, presently hanging in the Long Gallery at Doddington (DN85). Here, the head-and-shoulders portrait has been sewn into a larger canvas. Could this be related to the picture of ‘Master’ referred to in Pond’s journal, or at least one of his commissions from the Delavals at this time? Certainly by 1745 Pond had established relations with at least one of Rhoda’s male siblings, since he recorded in his journal a loan of two guineas to Rhoda’s brother John, then aged sixteen.23 This year Pond was paid twenty-four guineas for ‘Two heads of Mrs Delaval one of John Delaval’, indicating a commission for three separate head-and-shoulder portraits. It is not possible to connect these commissions securely with known portraits, although a possible identity for the portraits of Mrs Delaval is suggested below.

In 1745 Pond received his most lucrative commission to date from the Delavals, when he was paid fifty guineas by Francis Blake Delaval (Captain Delaval) for two oil paintings of the north and south front of Seaton Delaval (figs. 4 and 5). As there is no evidence that Pond ever visited Seaton Delaval the paintings were probably worked up from existing engravings and drawings, possibly in part from the prints published in Colen Campbell’s Vitruvius Britannicus of 1725.24 The most remarkable feature of these pendant views of Seaton Delaval is their sheer scale: 58 by 80 inches. The paintings were clearly made to impress, not presumably on the walls of Seaton Delaval but at the Delavals’ London townhouse. It may have been Pond’s paintings as much as Vanbrugh’s great structure, that inspired Edward Delaval to paint his own pendant views of Seaton, which today hang at Doddington (DN80 and DN81).

The north front of Seaton Delaval Hall (entrance)

Figure 4.
Arthur Pond, The north front of Seaton Delaval Hall (entrance), 1745. Oil on canvas, 147.3 × 203.2 cm. National Trust, Seaton Delaval Hall (192190).

Digital image courtesy of National Trust Images. (All rights reserved)

The south front of Seaton Delaval Hall

Figure 5.
Arthur Pond, The south front of Seaton Delaval Hall, 1745. Oil on canvas, 147.3 × 203.2 cm. National Trust, Seaton Delaval Hall (192191).

Digital image courtesy of National Trust Images. (All rights reserved)

While Rhoda continued to pursue her studies under Pond during the later 1740s no further payments from the Delaval family for works of art are recorded in his journal until March 1749, when the large sum of £189 2s is recorded for various works and services, including conservation, the provision of frames, packing and transport.25 As well as unspecified ‘Gold frames’ at £23, Pond notes ‘F.B. Delaval Ar: fr. Season’, which may refer to the framing of one of Pond’s routine copies of Rosalba Carriera’s scantily clad female personifications of the Seasons. What can be identified with certainty is the group portrait of ‘Miss Delaval & three Bros.’, purchased for £84, the largest sum recorded by Pond in his journal for a portrait commission.26 The portrait, which now hangs in the Drawing Room at Doddington (DN64), depicts Rhoda Delaval together with three of her younger brothers, probably Francis, John and Edward. Although payment was made in 1749, the picture may well have been started at least year or so earlier. Curiously, given Pond’s experience and competence, the depictions of the heads are somewhat stylised, the faces expressionless and the figures stilted. Such shortcomings may be explained by Pond’s employment of assistants, predicated by his busy schedule and workshop practice.27

Related to the speculation concerning the involvement of Pond’s workshop are several otherwise puzzling payments recorded by Pond in 1749 for ‘Three Whole lengths made out’ for £60 18s, with ‘Piecing out’ below, charged at £9 9s. It is uncertain precisely what is being referred to, although it may relate Pond’s laying in the design of the works in question, before handling them to assistants or colleagues. Another intriguing entry occurs the following year, on 8 June 1750, described as ‘Mrs Delaval whole length Van Dyck’, for which Pond charged £10 10s.28 Although this entry may possibly refer to a full-length portrait of Mrs Delaval in the manner of Van Dyck, no such picture appears to have survived; and in any event the price quoted is too low for a commission of this kind. One possibility is that the reference was to a copy of a full-length portrait by Van Dyck. With this suggestion in mind, it is worth noting that there is at Seaton Delaval a full-length copy of Lady Mary Villiers, from the group portrait of the Duchess of Buckingham and her Children by Van Dyck.29 Significantly, this portrait has been attributed tentatively in the past to Pond, and it is quite possible that he manufactured the copy as well as supplying it. Like the copy of the Countess of Richmond at Doddington (DN3) and other seventeenth-century ‘celebrity’ portraits at Doddington (now displayed principally in the Brown Parlour), the Van Dyck copy may have been purchased to lend an air of enhanced sophistication by association to a family whose growing portrait collection mirrored social ambition and a desire to impress through the visual display of lineage.

In order to understand further the role Pond played in the patronage of the Delavals, we can consider his work in the context of the family’s portrait commissions during the 1740s, notably the pictures that are displayed presently in the Drawing Room. Here, in addition to Pond’s large group portrait mentioned earlier, are two other ambitious group portraits. In one of these portraits (DN55) the heads of the children have been sewn into a larger canvas. The difference in quality between the inserted heads and the bodies and background indicates that more than one artist was involved. According to family tradition the children’s heads were painted by Rhoda Delaval in 1747, depicting her three younger sisters, Anne, Elizabeth Mary and Sarah to the right, and three of her younger brothers to the left, possibly the twins George and Henry, and the youngest brother Ralph. Given that Rhoda’s youngest sister, Sarah, was born in 1742, a date for the picture of 1747 would appear to be about right. On the reverse of the canvas is inscribed the name ‘Van Hawken’, suggesting that either Joseph or Alexander van Aken, well-established metropolitan drapery painters, was responsible for the figures and setting.30 Although Oliver Millar, when he examined the painting in 1952, commented that it was ‘not obviously the work of an amateur’, an attribution of the heads to Rhoda is credible, in the context of her training under Pond, and her age, which was then around twenty.31

Also in the Drawing Room is large group portrait of seven of the Delaval children (DN57). Here all four daughters are represented, with Rhoda, the eldest, standing at the centre. The two boys to the left may be the younger twins, George and Henry, indicated by their similar age and height, and their affectionate body language, notably their clasped hands. The boy to the right would appear to be a slightly older brother, possibly Thomas or Robert.32 In terms of date, the portrait was painted probably a year or two later than the previous picture, as the three seated girls look a little older. Although this portrait has been attributed to Pond, the style and handling are quite distinct from the group portrait of Rhoda and her brothers purchased in 1749, indicating that one or the other was produced by a member of his workshop rather than by Pond himself. Another factor to bear in mind is that there is no record in Pond’s journal of a second group portrait, which would arguably have been even more expensive than the former picture. What is significant, in terms of the present discussion, is the existence of a full-size copy of this portrait at Seaton Delaval (fig. 6). This latter portrait, which has been described as the Seven Eldest Children of Captain Francis Delaval and Rhoda Apreece has also been attributed to Pond, although its rather amateurish handling suggests that it was made by Rhoda Delaval.33

The Seven Eldest Children of Captain Francis Delaval and Rhoda Apreece (copy)

Figure 6.
Rhoda Delaval (?), The Seven Eldest Children of Captain Francis Delaval and Rhoda Apreece (copy), circa 1751. Oil on Canvas, 269.2 × 162.5. National Trust, Seaton Delaval Hall (192187).

Digital image courtesy of National Trust Images. (All rights reserved)

The extent to which Rhoda Delaval contributed to the fabrication of Delaval family portraiture is thrown into relief by the assertion that when the Delavals began to run out of money in the 1750s ‘Rhoda, thanks to her lessons from Pond, could continue to cover yards of canvas with portraits’.34 However, aside from the question of the Delavals’ finances, the attribution to Rhoda of works at Doddington and Seaton Delaval deserves closer scrutiny, not least because of her close association with Pond. At Seaton is an allegorical portrait attributed to Rhoda, where she and her brother Francis feature as Poetry and Painting, ‘after Luini’ (NT 1276899), although the likenesses are not entirely convincing in comparison with other known portraits of the sitters. Of superior quality is a copy, apparently by Rhoda (NT 1276692), of a portrait – also at Seaton – of Sir Jacob Astley, first Baron Astley of Reading (fig. 7), who served as a Royalist commander of infantry during the Civil War. If one accepts that this is by Rhoda it must date from the period leading up to her marriage to Sir Jacob’s descendant, Sir Edward Astley, in 1751, or shortly afterwards, made perhaps to demonstrate Rhoda’s artistic credentials as well as respect for her husband’s distinguished lineage.

Sir Jacob Astley, 1st Baron Astley of Reading

Figure 7.
British School, Sir Jacob Astley, 1st Baron Astley of Reading, 1640. Oil on Panel, 74.9 × 62.2 cm. National Trust, Seaton Delaval Hall (1276843).

Digital image courtesy of National Trust Images. (All rights reserved)

Another incentive for replication of portraits at Seaton and Doddington was provided by the family’s desire to display images across several properties. At Seaton is an oval bust-length portrait of Rhoda Apreece in Van Dyck costume, which has been attributed to Enoch Seeman the Younger (fig. 8). The comparatively crude handling evident in the version at Doddington (DN58) suggests it is a copy, possibly by Rhoda Delaval, of the original at Seaton. A similar instance is the full-length seated portrait of Rhoda Apreece at Seaton Delaval (fig. 9). The portrait, which dates to about 1735, has been attributed to Arthur Pond, although the hard-edged style suggests more probably the hand of Enoch Seeman. It is also worth bearing in mind that Pond does not appear to have been working for the Delavals during this period. However, the copy of this portrait at Doddington Hall (DN53) is much closer in style to Pond. With these examples in mind it is worth considering whether the reference in Pond’s journal of 1745 to ‘Two heads of Mrs Delaval’ may have been copies of existing portraits rather than new commissions.

Portrait of Rhoda Apreece in Van Dyck costume

Figure 8.
Enoch Seeman the Younger, Portrait of Rhoda Apreece in Van Dyck costume, circa 1730. Oil on canvas, 88.9 × 73.7 cm. National Trust, Seaton Delaval Hall (192211).

Digital image courtesy of National Trust Images. (All rights reserved)

Portrait of Rhoda Apreece (copy)

Figure 9.
Portrait of Rhoda Apreece (copy), circa 1735. Oil on canvas, 236.2 × 129.5 cm. National Trust, Seaton Delaval Hall (192245).

Digital image courtesy of National Trust Images. (All rights reserved)

There is a compelling narrative in Arthur Pond’s involvement with two generations of the Delaval family at this crucial stage in their social and cultural ascent. The family’s rise to prominence in the capital and in the country offers a window on the complexities of patronage and contemporary portraiture in the modern marketplace. It also reveals the challenges faced by an upwardly mobile family concerned to promote its self-image across several residences separated by hundreds of miles and in quite different physical environments. Their establishments included a Jacobean mansion in Lincolnshire, a baroque palace and medieval castle in Northumberland and a modern London townhouse. Pond was not the most accomplished artist working in the metropolis, but his portfolio was exceptionally varied. He was a purveyor of old-master paintings and prints, portraits and landscapes, original art works, copies and even personal art tuition.


  • Dr Martin Postle is Deputy Director for Grants and Publications at the Paul Mellon Centre. Between 1998 and 2007 he was Head of British Art to 1900 at Tate. Martin's research and publication interests focus principally on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British art, including portraiture, landscape and the history of art academies. He has curated exhibitions on a wide range of subjects, including the artist’s model, the Fancy Picture and the art of the garden, as well as monographic exhibitions on Joshua Reynolds, Johan Zoffany, Richard Wilson, Stanley Spencer and George Stubbs. Martin is project leader and commissioning editor of ‘Art & the Country House’, to which he has contributed a number of essays and catalogue entries.


  1. Louise Lippincott, Selling Art in Georgian England: The Rise of Arthur Pond, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1983; also Louise Lippincott, ‘Arthur Pond’s Journal of Receipts and Expenses, 1734–1750’, The Walpole Society, vol. 54, 1988, pp. 220–33.

  2. Lippincott, 1983, p. 123.

  3. (accessed 14 October 2017).

  4. Ms Catalogue, King’s College, London, Foyle Special Collections, Z999 D37: A catalogue of the genuine houshold furniture, pictures, fine old china, and japan, of Mrs. Delaval brought from her dwelling house in Downing-Street, Westminster; consisting of silk, damask, mohair, and other beds and window-curtains, noble large pier-glasses, India cabinets, French commodes, large Persia and Turky carpets. Likewise a sideboard of wrought and other plate, jewels and curious trinkets. Which will be sold at auction by Mr. Prestage … on Wednesday next, the 8th of March 1758, and the three following days.

  5. Lippincott, 1988, p. 260.

  6. Family correspondence of the period indicates that some of the Delaval children lived with Captain Delaval’s sister at Dissington: Frank Askham, The Gay Delavals, London, 1955, p. 27.

  7. Lippincott, 1988, p. 269.

  8. Lippincott, 1988, pp. 286–8.

  9. Lippincott, 1988, pp. 296–8.

  10. Lippincott, 1988, pp. 304–7.

  11. Lippincott, 1988, pp. 314–15.

  12. L. Cust and A. Hind, eds, ‘The Notebooks of George Vertue III’, The Walpole Society, vol. 32, 1933–4, p. 109.

  13. Lady Llanover, ed., The Autobiography and Correspondence of Mary Granville, Mary Delany: with interesting reminiscences of King George the Third and Queen Charlotte, 3 vols, London, 1861, vol. 1, p. 485. See also Lippincott, 1983, p. 40.

  14. Lippincott, 1983, pp. 39–40.

  15. I am indebted to Jonathan Yarker of Lowell Libson Limited, who brought the present pastel portrait to my attention, and who compiled the text that accompanied the portrait. See (accessed 14 October 2017).

  16. Lippincott, 1988, p. 314. Alternatively, but less likely, it may refer to a portrait by Pond of Rhoda Delaval in a bonnet reading a book, which is at Seaton Delaval (NT 1276704).

  17. See the two pastels now at Doddington Hall of Apollo and Diana (DN33 and DN34). Although these pastels are not mentioned in Pond’s journal for 1734–50 it is possible that they were acquired at a later date, and the attribution to Pond would appear to be secure.

  18. Astley reportedly paid £1400: Lippincott, 1983, p. 119. See also W. S. Lewis, ed., The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole’s Correspondence, 1937–1983, 48 vols, New Haven: Yale University Press, vol. 41, p. 145 n. 6. Following Rhoda’s death, Astley sold the print collection at auction (Langford’s 20 March – 25 April 1760). Lippincott estimates that it included around 10,000 individual prints: Lippincott, 1983, p. 119 and p. 185 n. 62.

  19. Rhoda Astley was buried alongside her infant children, Edith and Edward, at the church of St Thomas à Becket, Widcombe, Bath, 21 October 1757. Her son Francis survived into adulthood, although he was killed in 1778 when a midshipman, during a naval action against the French. Her eldest son, Jacob, succeeded his father as fifth Baronet and inherited the Delaval estates on the death of his uncle, Edward Delaval, in 1814. See R. E. G. Cole, History of the Manor and Township of Doddington, otherwise Doddington-Pigot, in the County of Lincoln, Lincoln, 1897, pp. 133–4.

  20. Lippincott, 1983, p. 96 and p. 182 n. 48. As Lippincott notes, in 1749 Pond had taken on George James as an apprentice for five years for the sum of £200. George Delaval’s apprenticeship is less straightforward since the record – The Register – of duties paid for apprentices’ indentures, 24 December 1753, describes Pond as an ‘attorney of the parish of St Giles in the Fields’, and George Delaval is described as ‘articled’ rather than ‘indentured’ as would have been the case with an artist’s apprentice. See Neil Jeffares, Dictionary of Pastellists before 1800,

  21. Lippincott, 1988, p. 262. There is a double portrait of Rhoda Delaval and her younger brother, Francis Blake Delaval, now at Seaton Delaval (NT 1276790). The ages of the children, around ten and eight years old respectively, suggest that it was made at some time during the mid-1730s. It has been attributed to Jeremiah Davison and Joseph van Aken.

  22. NT 1276790.

  23. Lippincott, 1988, p. 263.

  24. Colen Campbell, Vitruvius Britannicus, or The British Architect, Containing The Plans, elevations and Sections of the Regular Buildings both Public and Private, in Great Britain, With Variety of New Designs in 200 large Folio Plates, Engraved by the best Hands, and Drawn either from the Buildings themselves, or the Original Designs of the Architects, 3 vols, London, 1717–1725. Volume 3, published in 1725, contains a complete plan for Seaton Delaval as well as elevations for the north, south and west fronts, dated 1723 and 1724.

  25. Lippincott, 1988, p. 304.

  26. The nearest equivalent is the sum of £73 10s expended by George Montgomery on ‘two Misses in one picture, and Design & colour’, recorded on 5 May 1748. See Lippincott, 1988, p. 297.

  27. As Lippincott notes, Pond had a number of assistants at that time, including Thomas King, Enoch Markham, Thomas Black and David Bellis: Lippincott, 1983, p. 94.

  28. Lippincott, 1988, p. 314.

  29. NT 1276833.

  30. The attribution to Rhoda Delaval and Van Aken has also been supported by Louise Lippincott, 1983, p. 178 n. 38.

  31. See Oliver Millar Notebook VIII, 193, Paul Mellon Centre Collection.

  32. Frank Askham, who described the painting in detail (although it is not certain which version), mistakenly identified it as a portrait of Rhoda Apreece Delaval, with her three elder sons, Francis, John and Edward, and her three daughters, Rhoda, Sarah and Anne: Askham, 1955, pp. 27–8. Askham attributes the painting incorrectly to Joseph Highmore.

  33. The National Trust website of images attributes the painting to the circle of Joseph Highmore, and dates it to c.1742–3, although since the youngest daughter, Sarah, was born in 1742, the original, as we have established, cannot have been painted earlier than c.1745–6. See (accessed 14 October 2017).

  34. Lippincott, 1983, p. 65.



by Martin Postle
20 November 2020
House Essay
CC BY-NC International 4.0
Cite as
Martin Postle, "Arthur Pond, Doddington and the Patronage of the Delavals", Art and the Country House,