Sir Thomas Lawrence PRA (1769-1830)
Following his father’s bankruptcy in 1780, the Lawrence family moved to
This recently discovered pastel portrait of a young Letitia Wodehouse is an early work by Sir Thomas Lawrence, undertaken sometime between 1783 and 1787 when he was working in Bath.
Thomas Lawrence was a prodigious portraitist from the age of just eight, when he began to draw his first portraits in pencil. His father, a mildly reprobate innkeeper also called Thomas, exploited his son’s self-taught talent for capturing likenesses, and much of
It was amongst the large network of
Letitia Wodehouse was born in 1779 and was the daughter of Rev. Philip Wodehouse (b.1745) and his wife Apollonia, daughter and co-heir of John Nourse of Woodeaton, Oxfordshire. On the 9th June 1804 Letitia married George Boulton Mainwaring (b.c.1773), the son of a wealthy banker and treasurer of Middlesex, and although details on Letitia’s life are scarce, we can presume, judging by her husband’s well-recorded exploits, that it was at times challenging. Throughout his life Mainwaring rarely avoided controversy and in 1814, when the family bank failed, a debt to the county of Middlesex of £9,177 was exposed, and he was forced to rely on Letitia’s brother Edmund Wodehouse for assistance. The situation escalated in 1821 when an investigation into the misappropriation of county funds exposed a further debt of £18,000, prompting his resignation soon after. It is thought Mainwaring and Letitia then moved to the Continent, and in 1840 their daughter was married at the British embassy in Berne.