Turner, Twickenham and the Thames

1775 Joseph Mallord William Turner born in Covent Garden and baptised at St Paul’s Church

1783 Turner stays in Brentford with his uncle, a butcher

1789 Admitted to the Royal Academy schools, associate Academician 1800, full RA l802, Professor of Perspective 1807

1807 Buys two plots of land in Twickenham

1808 Exhibits Pope’s Villa at Twickenham during its Dilapidation and View of Richmond Hill and Bridge

1809 Exhibits Thomson’s Aeolian Harp – a tribute to the poet James Thomson, depicting the matchless view from Richmond Hill

1810-12 Many drawings in Turner’s sketchbooks for a house on the larger Twickenham plot

1812/13 Builds Sandycombe Lodge on his Twickenham land, to his own design. His father installed as housekeeper and gardener.

1814 William Havell makes a drawing of Sandycombe Lodge, to be included in W.B. Cooke’s engraved series Thames Scenery

1819 Turner exhibits England: Richmond Hill on the Prince Regent’s birthday at the Summer Exhibition

1825-1838 Turner produces watercolours from which engravings are made for Picturesque Views in England and Wales. These include Hampton Court Palace and Richmond Terrace

1826 Turner sells Sandycombe Lodge to Joseph Todd, a wealthy haberdasher who owns nearby Twickenham Park, taking his father back to live at his Queen Ann Street house and gallery.


1760-1811 George lll reigns. Joshua Reynolds President of Royal Academy to 1792

1789 French Revolution, followed by the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars

1802 Brief truce in wars; Turner goes to France, Switzerland and the Alps

1805 Battle of Trafalgar

1811 George, Prince of Wales, becomes Regent

1812 The first part of Byron’s Childe Harold is published

1813 Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is published

1812/13 John Soane constructing his London house at Lincoln’s Inn Fields

1815 Battle of Waterloo. End of Napoleonic Wars

1817 Turner travels in Belgium, Germany and Holland

1819 Turner’s first visit to Italy

1820 The Regent becomes George lV on the death of his father, George lll

1830 Death of George lV. Accession of William lV

1838 The National Gallery, of which Turner was a keen supporter, is opened

1838 Turner’s Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last Berth to be Broken Up exhibited

1844 Turner’s Rain, Steam, Speed exhibited

1851 Turner dies at Chelsea, bequeathing to the nation all the paintings listed here, and many others