Linley Wood was the home of the Caldwell family from approximately 1790 when James Caldwell purchased the estate through to 1949 when Constance Mary Helsham Heath-Caldwell moved out and the majority of the contents were sold.
The following is an attempt to list some of the contents of the mansion house itself, in particular the paintings. When I initially started to wonder what family treasures had existed at Linley Wood, the only item known to have come from the mansion house was a silver salver with an inscription to "James Caldwell of Linley Wood". In this case there could be no doubt regarding the provenance.
In 2003, by a remarkable stroke of luck, an extensive catalogue came to light listing the entire contents of the house including the paintings, furniture, books and also many other odd items. Also recorded in many cases is the associated provenance. This catalogue appears to have been mainly written out by Maj Gen Frederick Crofton Heath-Caldwell in 1925. It is difficult to know why he went to such trouble to write out such a detailed list as there was no reason to split up the estate at this time, there only being one potential heir (his only surviving child Capt Cuthbert Helsham Heath-Caldwell).
A possible explanation is given by James Stamford Caldwell's will, proved 16 April 1860. This is a very lengthy document and not an easy one to digest. In fact, keeping in mind that James died 17 November 1858 we can see that the court also did not find the will very easy to interpret, as it took 17 months until they were able to make a final decision. By James's will the Linley Wood estate was left in trust to the second son of his niece Lady Mary Emma Heath, after which the will stated that the estate must be passed down to the eldest son. Lady Mary's second son was Maj Gen Frederick Crofton Heath-Caldwell and his eldest (and only surviving) son was Capt Cuthbert Helsham Heath-Caldwell. From 1860, during the initial period of the trust, the Linley Wood mansion house was lived in by James's sister Anne Marsh-Caldwell and then by her three unmarried daughters Rosamund, Georgina and Louisa. By 1913 they had all died and Frederick finally took ownership.
The will itself laid down numerous conditions one of which was that a record must be kept up of the library of Linley Wood and the contents of the house. In addition the will stated that the contents of the mansion house were not to be split up as they passed down through following generations of the family.
Frederick may have had this in mind as he carefully wrote out his list of the contents. For each item he has recorded it as "Caldwell" or "Heath-Caldwell". At the top of the page he has noted "All Caldwell things go under Caldwell will" and "All Marsh things were left to me". This would have meant that future generations of the family would have then know which items had to be left to the future owners of Linley Wood under the conditions of the will of James Stamford Caldwell, and which items were not covered by the will.
For Frederick, writing out this list may actually have been a legal requirement under the will. It should be noted that although there may have been a moral obligation on the future owners of Linley Wood to continue to honour the wishes of James Stamford Caldwell, I understand that there was no legal requirement to do so. As it turned out Linley Wood and the majority of the contents were all sold in 1949.
For whatever reason, Frederick recorded a detailed list of the contents of Linley Wood in 1925 and the following record of the paintings is largely based on his list:
1. A painting on wood of a room scene from the time of King Charles I.
2. Portrait of Henrietta Maria, Queen to Charles I. Face painted by Van Dyck. Frame pronounced as very good of the time of Charles I. Purchased Duke of Buckingham sale Stowe. This portrait is noted as Lot 14, Tuesday Sept 19, 1848, in the Stowe Catalogue. It is noted as being bough by the Countess of Jersey and James Caldwell is noted as buying the following lot but this is incorrect as he bought the portrait of Henrietta Maria.
3. Portrait of Princess Mary eldest daughter of James II, by Wissing "I never saw a better specimen". Frame of that period.
4. Portrait of a Lady unknown. It is signed Rembrant 1684 who may have been a member of the great painters family who worked in the studio of Lely and Wissing.
5. Portrait of a lady unknown. Most charming work but not a Van Dyck. I should be more inclined to give it to a painter name of Bousseber.
6. Portrait of Sarah Jennings Duchess of Marlborough, wife to the great Duke. A friend of Queen Ann. The picture was painted by Godfrey Kneller by desire of the Duchess for presentation to Mr Sec Craggs. Purchased at Stowe.
7. Portrait. Though marked as a Countess of Chesterfield, on removing the old lining in 1886 the following was found written on the back ""My Lady Wharton Aug 10 1681". Purchased at Stowe. Artist some follower of Van Dyke.
This portrait was sold in the Sotheby auction of 2 November 1949 as lot 90 described as follows: School of Van Dyck. Three-quarter length Portrait of Mary Lady Wharton, in white dress, picking roses (both originally from the Stowe Park sale).
8. Portrait of Elizabeth Caldwell (1755-1831). Daughter of Thomas Stamford. Wife of James Caldwell
9. Portrait of Hannah Stamford. Daughter of Thomas Stamford.
10. Portrait of James Caldwell (1759-1838). Husband of Elizabeth Caldwell.
11. Portrait of Abraham Crompton of Chorley Hall, father of Mrs Stamford, grandfather of Mrs Caldwell.
1. Portrait of Robert Crow. Great grandfather of Constance Mary Helsham Heath-Caldwell.
2. Portrait of Queen Mary wife of William III by Lely.
This was probably the portrait sold in the Sotheby auction of 2 November 1949 as lot 83 described as follows: By Sir Peter Lely. Princess Mary: three-quarter length portrait, seated in a landscape; she wears a mauve dress, with a scarlet and ermine cloak. 49 inch by 39 inch (originally from the Stowe Park sale).
3. Portrait of Thomas Bentley (1730-1780). Friend and for a short time partner of Josiah Wedgwood and helped him with his antiquarian and artistic tastes.
4. Portrait of James Caldwell (1759-1838). JP and Deputy Lieut for the county of Stafford. Many years chairman of the Grand Junction Canal Company.
5. Portrait of Elizabeth Caldwell (1755-1831) wife of James Caldwell. Daughter of Thomas Stamford (the younger) of Derby.
6. Portrait of Mrs Crowe great grandmother of Constance Mary Helsham Heath-Caldwell. This Mrs Crowe presumably was Alice Crowe (nee Alp) wife of Robert Crowe.
7. Portrait of Mr Hacker (son of Col Francis Hacker who commanded the guard at the execution of King Charles I and was later executed at Tyburn in 1660). Samuel Hacker (?-1724) was the second husband of Elizabeth Hacker (nee Crompton, 1671?-1757) who was the daughter of Abraham Crompton.
8. Portrait of Mrs Hacker, daughter of Mr Crompton of Chorley Hall Lancs. Great Aunt to Elizabeth Caldwell (nee Stamford, 1755-1831). Elizabeth Hacker (nee Crompton, 1671?-1757) was the daughter of Abraham Crompton (?-1724). Elizabeth's first husband was Henry Coape (?-1707). Elizabeth had three children; Henry Coape (1703-1778), Abraham Coape and Hannah Hacker. Elizabeth Caldwell (nee Stamford) received an inheritance from her mother's cousin Henry Coape of Duffield. Presumably the portraits of Mr & Mrs Hacker were part of this inheritance.
9. Portrait of James Stamford Caldwell. Only son of James Caldwell.
10. Portrait of Queen Anne by Kneller.
This portrait was sold in the Sotheby auction of 2 November 1949 as lot 82 described as follows: By Kneller. Queen Anne: three-quarter length portrait, seated to the right, wearing a brown dress: in her left hand she holds an orange, in her right a sceptre, in a period frame, dated 1703. 48 ½ inch by 38 inch (originally from the Stowe Park sale).
11. Portrait of Constance Mary Helsham Heath-Caldwell by Sidney White.
12. Portrait of Elizabeth Jones (nee Helsham) (1801-1866) grandmother of Constance Mary Helsham Heath-Caldwell.
1. Painting unkown.
2. Portrait of a lady in green velvet. Elizabeth Duchess of Somerset, wife of proud Duke of Somerset born 1665. Presumably purchased by James Stamford Caldwell at the Stowe sale (Lot 187, listed as by Kneller, purchased by Caldwell for £6.16.6). In 1924 this was on the staircase of Linley Wood leading to the top story.
3. Portrait of Mary 4th daughter of the great Duke of Marlborough, married second Duke of Montague, born 1689, died 1751 by G Jervis. From the Caldwell family. Probably originally from the Stowe sale, Lot 16 Portrait Duchess of Montague.
4. Painting of a boy offering a pigeon, Dutch by Hondicoutes? From the Caldwell family.
5. Painting of the Virgin Mary and child. From the Caldwell family.
6. Portrait of Aphra Behn by Mary Beale. Purchased at the Stowe sale in 1848 by James Stamford Caldwell (Lot 57 from the State Closet, 21st day's sale, page 169. Purchased, together with a portrait of William Earl of Glencairn, by James Stamford Caldwell for £6.6.0). I understand that this portrait was given away by Capt CH Heath-Caldwell to M.V. Wakefield-Richmond who was a biographer of Aphra Behn. This portrait now hangs in the library of St Hilda's College, Oxford University.
7. RJ AL 1653. I am not sure what this is but it appears to be record of a painting.
8. Painting of a still life, very old. Quantity 2. From the Caldwell family.
9. Temptation of Hercules. From the Caldwell family.
10. Roman wedding. This picture came from the Jones family at Woodbridge.
11. Painting of Cherubs playing. This picture belonged to Thomas Bentley (1730-1780) and was much prized by him. Artist unknown. The picture itself was part of a larger canvas which had been cut down at some stage.
12. Painting of Cape Town Harbour. This painting belonged to Mr Marsh and was left at Linley Wood for safe keeping. This painting was sold in the Sotheby auction of 2 November 1949 as lot 88 described as follows: By T Whitcombe. British Men-o'-War off the Cape of Good Hope, signed "T. Whitcomb" and dated 1817. 27 ½ inch by 42 inch. T Witcombe was presumably Thomas Whitcombe.
13. Painting of the Battle of Tel-el-kebir in Egypt 1882. Painted by Maj Gen Frederick Crofton Heath-Caldwell who was at the battle. The 17th Company Royal Engineers are shown working their way up the canal.
14. Portrait of Miss Louisa Marsh-Caldwell.
15. Portrait of Miss Georgina Marsh-Caldwell.
16. Portrait of Miss Rosamund Marsh-Caldwell.
17. Painting of a Madonna by Jansen? From the Caldwell family.
There is a note stating that two water colours and one oil were from Redlands which was the home of Col Henry Helsham Helsham-Jones.
1. Both [Jan Both? Dutch, 1618-1682] Landscape painting with a horse. Previously owned by Dr Jones.
2. Painting with cows by Teniers. Previously owned by Dr Jones.
3. Painting of a snow scene by Teniers. Previously owned by Dr Jones.
4. Portrait of Henry Helsham who died 1806. Previously owned by Dr Jones.
5. Watercolour by Heafy. Previously owned by Dr Jones.
6. Painting of a Dutch fair by Teniers. Previously owned by Dr Jones.
7. Portrait of Dr Jones, grandfather of Constance Mary Helsham Heath-Caldwell.
8. There was a note to say that there were other paintings in the morning room that had belonged to Adm Sir Leopold George Heath.
Smoking Room (The Library)
1. Watercolour painting of Stirling Castle. From the Caldwell family.
2. There were other water colour paintings identified as not from the Caldwell family but no details.
3. There were of course lots of books.
1. Engraving of a Boar Hunt.
2. There were other engravings.
3. Picture of Christ on a Cross.
4. There were other pictures from the Caldwell family.
Passage from the White Bedroom
1. Various pictures.
1. Various pictures.
Not Recorded by FC Heath-Caldwell
In addition to the above list we also know of a number of other pictures that were or had been at Linley Wood at various times. These would include the following:
1. A landscape believed to have been painted by Goyen.
2. Portrait of a Lady. School of Van Dyck. Three-quarter length Portrait of a Lady, in white dress and blue scarf, seated in a pensive mood. This painting was sold in the Sotheby auction of 2 November 1949 as one of two pictures in lot 81.
3. Portrait of a Lady. Italian School, 16th Century. Portrait of a Lady (said to be Lucrezia D'Este), three-quarter length, in a jewelled and embroidered white dress. This painting was sold in the Sotheby auction of 2 November 1949 as one of two pictures in lot 81.
4. Portrait of Lord Glencairn. English School, 1653. Bust Portrait of Man (Lord Glencairne?), in a black dress with white collar, panel painted oval. 9 ¼ inch by 7 ¼ inch. From the collection of the Earl of Shrewsbury, Alton Towers. This painting was sold in the Sotheby auction of 2 November 1949 as lot 85.
5. Two Decorative Panels, by Stella. Two decorative panels with putti playing, a pair, on panel. 7 ¾ inch by 6 ½ inch (2 items). These paintings were sold in the Sotheby auction of 2 November 1949 as lot 86.
6. A Portait Group, by G B Moroni. Portrait of a gentlemen and a lady in black dresses, and a little girl in a brown dress wearing a coral necklace, holding a pair of doves with both hands. 28 ¼ inch by 34 inch (originally from the collection of the Earl of Shrewsbury, Alton Towers). This painting was sold in the Sotheby auction of 2 November 1949 as lot 87.
7. Portrait of Duchess of Queensbury. Purchased by Caldwell at the Stowe House sale, lot No 10, 19th (or 12th) September 1848.
8. Picture of Birds and Insects by Barlow. Purchased by Caldwell at the Stowe House sale, lot No 94, 19th (or 12th) September 1848.
9. Miniature Portrait of Mary Queen of Scots. A copy from Holbein, by Bernard Lens. Purchased by Caldwell at the Stowe House sale, lot No 29, 15 March 1849.
10. Miniature Portrait of the Princess Stolberg, Duchess of Albany, wife of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, commonly called the "Young Pretender". This miniture was given by herself to George Marquess of Buckingham, at Rome, in 1774. It is set in gold. Purchased by Caldwell at the Stowe House sale, lot No 29, 15 March 1849.
11. Etching of the interior of a poor mans cottage. Etched by RH Crofton 1848.