TitlePortrait of Mary ANNING
Extent1 item
DescriptionFramed, full length pastel portrait of Mary ANNING by Benjamin John Merifield Donne, 1850. From a painting by unknown artist [possibly William Gray], 1842. 23.5" x 20".

Also copy letter from Cyril Wanklyn, Esq, of Overton, Lyme Regis, to Leo Louis Belinfante regarding information he had managed to ascertain on Donne, 21 October 1922, and a newscutting of a short obituary on Donne again written by Wanklyn from the 'Dorset County Chronicle and Somersetshire Gazette', 26 April 1928.


Administrative HistoryBenjamin Merifield Donne was born on 18 July 1831. Thought to have originated in Crewkerne, he moved to Lyme Regis in 1841 as a pupil with George Roberts at his school in Monmouth House, Broad Street. The school was apparently close to Mary Anning's shop so he knew her well. The portrait, which is a copy of the 1842 painting by an unknown artist [possibly William Gray (1818-fl 1883)], was drawn when Donne was 19 years of age, around two or three years after Anning's death. Donne died at the age of 97 on 18 April 1928.
ProvenancePresented to the Society by the Earl of Enniskillen, 1875.
ArrangementA black and white photograph of the Anning portrait along with the Wanklyn material was given a separate reference, all items have therefore been brought together to avoid confusion.
Access ConditionsAccess is by appointment only. Please contact the Archivist for further information.
Related MaterialLetter from J Marder, 9 June 1875, relating to the delivery of the portrait to the Society, see: GSL/L/R/19/151.

The portrait on which it is based is held by the Natural History Museum.
Publication NotePublished in: Lang, W D. "Portraits of Mary Anning", 'Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History Society', vol 81, (1960), pp89-91; Martin, K. 'Who's Who in Women's Historical Fiction', Pen and Sword Books, c.May 2012.
ArchNoteDescription by John Thackray, revised by Caroline Lam.
CreatorNameDonne | Benjamin John Merifield | 1831-1928 | artist
DS/UK/4ANNING; Mary (1799-1847); fossil collector and dealer1799-1847
DS/UK/2016DONNE; Benjamin John Merifield (1831-1928); artist1831-1928
DS/UK/112COLE; William Willoughby (1807-1886); 3rd Earl of ENNISKILLEN; palaeontologist and politician1807-1886
NA522Lyme Regis
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