GROSE, Francis

c.1731 - 1791

Francis Grose

Francis Grose was born at his father's house in Broad Street, St-Peter-le-Poer, London around 1731 and baptised in the parish of St Peter-le-Poer on 11 June 1731, eldest of the seven children of Francis Jacob Grose or Grosse, a Swiss immigrant and jeweller, and his wife Ann Bennett, daughter of Thomas Bennett of Kingston, Oxfordshire. Francis was living at Wandsworth, London when he studied art at William Shipley’s (1715-1803) drawing school near Fountain Court in The Strand. Francis was Richmond Herald 1755-1763 and in 1769 a member and exhibitor at the Society of Artists 1767-1768 and as an honorary member exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1769 'Riding Gate, Canterbury' and 'Croydon Church', in 1770 'A View of Christ Church, Canterbury' and 'A View of Newark Priory, near Ripley', in 1771 'A View in Holy Well, in North Wales' and 'A Snow-piece from fancy', in 1772 'Two Views of Ely House in Holborn', in 1773 'Gate of the Ecclesiastical Court, Canterbury' and 'The Walls of Canterbury', in 1774 'Strollers in the Character of Anthony and Cleopatra' and 'A View of Durham', in 1775 'Warkworth Castle in Northumberland' and 'Kirkstall Abbey, Yorkshire' in 1776 'Caistor Castle, Norfolk, the house of Sir John Fastolf' and ' Keep and Leaning Tower of Caerphilly Castle, Glamorganshire' and in 1777 'Alnwick Castle, the seat of his grace the Duke of Northumberland', 'Christ-church Priory in Hampshire' and 'View of the Castle and part of the Town of Tangier'. Paymaster in the Hampshire militia, captain of the Surrey militia and held a similar position at Landguard Fort at Felixstowe, Suffolk, spending a lot of his time travelling the Suffolk County, sketching views. He married in 1750, Catherine, daughter of Mr Jordan of Canterbury, by whom he had several children, their eldest son being Francis Grose (c.1758-1814), Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales, Australia and one of his daughters Catherine Anne Maria, married Capt Anketell Singleton (died 1804), Lieutenant Governor of Landguard Fort at Felixstowe, where Francis lived on many occasions. Francis made frequent sketching tours, often with other amateur artists such a John Nixon (1755-1818), Thomas Pennant (1726-1798) and Moses Griffiths (1747-1819) with whom he toured the Isle of Man in 1774. Francis Grose died of an apoplectic fit whilst on a tour of Ireland, at the house of Horace Hone's in Dublin, on 12 May and buried at Drumcondra cemetery on 18 May 1791. The author of several books including 'The Antiquities of England and Wales' (1773-87), 'A Dictionary of Buckish Slang' (1785), 'A Glossary of Provincial and Local Words used in England (1787)', 'The Antiquities of Scotland' (1789-91); 'The Antiquities of Ireland' (1791-1795); The Antiquarian Repertory' (1775) and several others on military matters.

Works by This Artist