ERLESTOKE MANSION SALE CATALOGUE
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Catalogue of the magnificent assemblage of property at Erlestoke Mansion near Devizes, in Wilts : accumulated, within this far-famed abode of taste and vertu, during the last twenty years, at an enormous expense, the whole selected by George Watson Taylor, Esq. M.P. ... / which will be sold by auction, by Mr. George Robins, on the premises, on Monday, the 9th day of July, 1832, and twenty succeeding days, at twelve o’clock, (Sundays excepted). [London]: [George Henry Robins], 1832. Quarto. pp. [1 (Frontispiece)], 220 pages. Contemporary half red morocco on marbled boards. Prices realised in ink. Spine professionally rebacked. A near fine copy.
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Estate sale held on the premises. Splendid furniture; valuable and celebrated pictures; gallery of portraits of distinguished characters; marble busts & statues; magnificent cabinets and tables; Buhl cabinets, commodes, tables and terms; a mosaic dejeune service in sumptuous casket; superbe assemblage of old Sevres, Dresden, Berlin, Cracklin and Oriental porcelaine; articles of taste and vertu; noble large glasses; library of books; service of useful plate; wardrobe of table and bed linen; cellar of choice wines; 5000 rare exotic plants and 500 pines; magnificent chimney piece.
George Watson-Taylor (1771-1841), of Saul’s River, Jamaica, was the fourth son of George Watson. From 1810 he was the husband of Anna Susana Taylor, the daughter of Jamaican planter Sir John Taylor, 1st Baronet, and heiress of her brother Sir Simon Richard Brissett Taylor, 2nd baronet. Suffixing his name with that of his wife’s family, he would become the richest planter on Jamaica. After education in England he became a playwright (his play ‘England Preserv’d’ of 1795 was praised by George III for its anti-French sentiments), and also a poet and political journalist. On the strength of this, he became Lord Castlereagh’s private secretary, and worked with him in Ireland and later at the India Office. In 1809 he married Anna Susana Taylor, it was her wealth that enabled the couple to buy Erlestoke (for £200,000). Watson-Taylor also claimed to have spent £180,000 improving conditions for the slaves on his Jamaican plantations, but he was a convinced opponent of the abolition of slavery.
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