Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait miniature of the Hon. Henrietta Mary Crewe (1808-1879) dressed in white, turned slightly to right, wearing a coral necklace 

Anthony Stewart (1773-1846)

Portrait miniature of the Hon. Henrietta Mary Crewe (1808-1879) dressed in white, turned slightly to right, wearing a coral necklace, Anthony Stewart
Watercolour on ivory
2 7/8 x 2 3/8in., 7.2 x 5.9cm
By family descent.
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Henrietta Mary Crewe was the eldest child of John Crewe, later 2nd Baron Crewe and Henrietta Maria Ann Hungerford. After her father was largely disinherited by John Crewe, 1st Baron Crewe in 1829, he went to live near Liège in Belgium. Henrietta Mary joined her father, converted to Catholicism and became a benefactress of several Catholic Missions; she never married.

Her mother, Henrietta Maria Ann Hungerford was born in 1772, the only daughter of George Walker Hungerford of Calne and his wife Henrietta Maria Hungerford Keate, and was the heiress to a large fortune originally from sugar plantations in Barbados. Henrietta Maria Ann married John Crewe on 5th May 1807 and, although the couple were not happy in their marriage, they did have four children together, three daughters and a son. Interestingly, it is thought that the couple were betrothed in their late teens but did not marry until the age of 35, presumably due to Crewe’s entry into the army during the 1790s and his travels abroad. John Crewe was the only son of John Crewe of Crewe Hall in Cheshire, a well-known Whig politician who was first made baron in 1806.

Little is known about the early life of Anthony Stewart other than that he was born in Perthshire and worked under the Scottish portrait and landscape painter Alexander Nasmyth. In 1793 Stewart married the daughter of Alexander Weir, Janet Weir of Tron, in Edinburgh and the couple relocated to London after Stewart became an established painter, exhibiting at the Royal Academy between 1807 and 1820. The couple had two daughters, Grace and Margaret, both of whom went on to become successful miniaturists.

Stewart became acquainted with the royal family and painted miniatures of both Queen Victoria as a child and Princess Charlotte. As can be seen here, Stewart excelled in painting children, with miniatures of the Dalrymple and Fanshawe families in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and examples of his work in the Royal Collection. He died on 20th November 1846 in Norwood in Surrey.
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