Edward Henry Corbould

Westminster Abbey, The Wedding

Edward Henry Corbould

Westminster Abbey, The Wedding

This mid-19th-century watercolour by British artist Edward Henry Corbould (1815-1905) illustrates the impressive wedding of his good friend Henry Weigall (1829-1925) and Lady Rose Fane (1834-1921). It was presented to Weigall and remained with the family for generations.

On the 15th of August 1866, Westminster Abbey was brimming with anticipation ahead of this notable event. Weigall, a portrait artist, was respected within elite circles having produced numerous portraits for the Royal Family. While his bride, Rose, was the daughter of John Fane, 11th Earl of Westmorland, and Priscilla Anne Wellesley-Pole, the niece of the Duke of Wellington.

A reporter described the proceedings:

“The marriage of Lady Rose Fane, only sister of the Earl of Westmorland, to Mr Henry Weigall, the eminent portrait painter, took place at St Peter’s, Westminster, on Wednesday in the presence of a large and fashionable congregation. Lady Rose left the residence of her mother, the Dowager Countess, accompanied by her noble brother, and passed into the Abbey attended by the following young ladies as bridesmaids, wearing white dresses trimmed with green - Lord Westmorland’s colours on the turf - Lady Grace Fane, Miss Thomson, Miss Alice Weigall, Miss Lowther, Miss Ada Ibbetson, and Miss Alice Bagot.

The bride’s dress was of white satin, trimmed with Brussels lace, with a wreath of orange flowers. Mr Frederic Cockerell was the bride’s best man, and the bride was given away by her brother.

After the ceremony the Dowager Countess of Westmorland gave a grand breakfast at her town residence, and at 2.30 Mr and Lady Rose Weigall left London for the Earl of Westmorland’s seat, Apethorpe Hall, Northamptonshire.”

When he produced this exquisite piece, Corbould was employed as drawing master to the Royal Family, which involved teaching Queen Victoria’s children. The Queen herself was a keen watercolourist and probably sat with Corbould often. It’s unclear whether he was commissioned by Weigall to sketch the wedding or whether it was simply a surprise gift. Either way, it’s very likely that it hung in the family home for many decades.

A remarkable memento from a special day captured by one of the finest illustrators of his generation.

Signed, inscribed and framed.

Medium: Watercolour heightened with white on paper
Overall size: 30” x 23½” / 76cm x 60cm
Year of creation: 1866
Labels & Inscriptions: A Sketch In Westminster Abbey August 15 1866.
Condition: Artwork presents well. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction maximum: £17,000

Edward Henry Corbould

Edward Henry Corbould

British artist Edward Henry Corbould RI (1815-1905) is predominantly known for his historical illustrations in watercolour. He was trained by Henry Sass (1788-1844) and later studied at Royal Academy Schools. He worked for the Royal Family as a drawing instructor and his works are held in numerous public collections.

Learn more about Edward Henry Corbould in our directory.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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