All Ramsgate Society members should receive the next edition of our Ramsgate Matters bi-annual magazine over the next month.
The mix of articles include reviews of the Society’s recent activities, a celebration of our open spaces and revelations about the town’s heritage. Included in the latter is a ‘rediscovering’ of a long-forgotten portrait painter, William Fowler, who’s work included portraits of Victoria as both a young girl and as Queen after her accession to the throne.
In November 1836, Princess Victoria had stayed with the Warre family at West Cliff House. On 29 November 1836, her diary recorded that as she left the Warre family home:
“At the gate were standing several gentlemen among whom were Mr Sicklemore & Mr Mayhieu & also good Mr Fowler the painter of Ramsgate”
His status as a painter of royal portraits was confirmed in an article from The Kentish Gazette in January 1838:
“The Countess of Ashburnham, Sir Robert and Lady McFarlane, Sir Moses Montefiore, Sheriff of London, are amongst the numerous fashionable visitors of Ramsgate that have recently called at Mr Fowler’s rooms, to inspect two Royal Portraits he has just finished for Lord Barnham, destined in a few days for his lordship’s magnificent seat near Maidstone”.