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The Tryptich's Provenance

The ownership of the Tryptych is unknown for a period of 150 years from 1829 to 1957:

In 1826 the central miniature, at least, was owned by Lady Barrington, the last survivor of the immediate family of the three subjects, Sir Samuel, Lady Elizabeth and their son Samuel Marshall. Samuel Jr was Lady Barrington's brother. Lady Barrington's only other sibling, Elizabeth, had died in 1798. The source for this certain ownership is an inscription on a watercolour of Samuel E Marshall that is held by the National Maritime Museum:

"Original Miniature given to Lady Barrington in 1826"
The next documented holder is Mary Eleanor Gambell who left it to her first cousin, Isobel Marks, née Powys.

Mary Gambell herself was the daughter of Eleanor Constance Gambell, née Powys, who died in 1957, and my confident conjecture is that, after lady Barrington, it has been in the hands of various Powyses ever since. Lady Barrington's third daughter Julia had married Henry Powys the heir to the Powyses then of Hardwick, near Whitchurch on Thames, Oxon. But Julia Barrington had died in 1821, so how did the family of her husband get hold of it?

Lady Barrington did not leave a will that I have found, so her surviving husband would have administered her possessions and my next conjecture is that Sir Fitzwilliam Barrington gave the tryptich to his son-in-law Henry Powys, perhaps soon after lady Barrington's death in 1929.

But by 1829 Henry Powys had remarried and he and his new wife had already had 3 or four children and they went on to have a total of eleven children. The tryptych would probably have joined all his other possessions at Broomfield House, Southgate, Middlesex where he was then living and then moved with them when his father died in 1838 to join all the family possessions at Hardwick.

Eleanor Constance Gambell née Powys, whose eldest child and daughter Mary Gambell owned the tryptych, was herself the granddaughter of Henry Powys. I know of one other item of furniture in Hardwick that was given by some of Henry Powys's children to one who got married and surmise that this was how the tryptych got to William Cunliffe Powys, the youngest son of Henry Powys and the father of Eleanor Constance.

I have put all this on this chart and there is also a high definition PDF file for you to print out.

I have assumed that the three miniatures were originally owned by Sir Samuel Marshall and on his death they went to his daughter, then Mrs Fitzwilliam Barrington. I do not know at whose hands the tryptych was constructed.

Of course I would imagine that the tryptych was intended for Lady Barrington's only Powys grandchild, Philip Lybbe Powys (later Lybbe). But by the time his father died in 1858, young Philip was a family man, a barrister and about to become an MP and probably took no interest in the many possessions at his father's and now his home at Hardwick. The evidence is that Philip never lived at Hardwick after his father's death, living either in London or at a house he had inherited from the Barringtons in the Isle of Wight. I am now delighted to have restored the tryptych to the hands of descendants of these Marshalls.

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