Sir John Heathcoat Amory (1829–1914), 1st Bt, grandson of the pioneering lace and textile manufacturer, John Heathcoat (1783–1861), commissioned William Burges (1827–1917), between 1869 and 1874, to build Knightshayes Court. Originally intended to have been one of the most thorough-going High Victorian houses in the country, it was moderated by John Dibble Crace in 1883. The house bequeathed to the National Trust by Sir John Heathcoat Amory (1894–1972), 3rd Bt, who collected Old Master paintings, after the Second World War, mostly from the dealers, Agnew’s. The bequest of pictures from his widow, Joyce Newton Wethered, Lady Amory (1901–1997), the former champion golfer, include Sebastiano Ricci’s 'Christ Healing the Lame Man at the Pool of Bethesda', Richard Parkes Bonington’s 'River Scene in Picardy', 1824, he said painted in the ‘happiest year of my life’; a pair of Caspar Netschers, from the collection of Watteau’s greatest collector and promoter, Jean de Jullienne (1686–1766); and Arthur Devis’s Mary Cawthorne, Mrs Morley Unwin (1724–1796), the great love of the poet William Cowper’s later life.
National Trust, Knightshayes Court
Bolham, Tiverton, Devon EX16 7RQ England
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