Fair Rosamond

Fair Rosamond

Watercolour on manufactured board

Painted 1866 for F.P. Delmé Radcliffe of Hitchin Priory, who was related to the Delmé family, Lords of the Manor of Titchfield. Delmé Radcliffe had been a Captain in the Grenadier Guards, was a Master of the Hertfordshire Hounds, hunted with the Hambledon pack, and was author of ‘The Noble Science: a few general ideas on Fox Hunting’. He was a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron 1839-75. His yacht between 1865 and 1875 was the schooner ‘Fair Rosamond’. Fair Rosamond was a favourite subject of the Pre-Raphelite painters based on the Ballad by Thomas Delone published in 1612. Fair Rosamond was the mistress of Henry II caught in adultery by Henry’s Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. According to the Ballad, Eleanor gave her the choice of dying by the knife or poison.

(Chris Brindle Collection)