LXXI.—TURNER'S HOUSE, Nos. 118 and 119,
The western part of this house (No. 119) dates from the latter part
of the 18th century. Its interest, however, lies in its having been the last
home of J. M. W. Turner, the great artist, who died here on 19th December,
1851. The exact time of his coming here is apparently unknown, but it
was in the forties. The story of his arrival, the care taken of him by his
landlady, Mrs. Booth, his adoption of her name to conceal his identity, and
of his death, is told by Thornbury in his Life of Turner. The balustrade on
the parapet of the house is commonly said to have been placed there by
Turner, as he used the roof as a place of vantage for his work. If this is
so, it was probably purchased second-hand, for its character is somewhat
earlier than mid–19th century.
The two houses were offered for sale in 1895, and some efforts were
made to secure No. 119 as a permanent memorial of Turner. The project
fell through. The house has recently been restored by Mr. C. R. Ashbee.
In the Council's ms. collection is:—
(fn. 1) Photograph of Nos. 118 and 119.