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Mary Ashley (née Wickstead), formerly Mrs Worlidge

(circa 1720-circa 1790), Pastellist, needlework artist and publisher; second wife of Thomas Worlidge

Sitter in 2 portraits
Artist associated with 1 portrait

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J E Ashley

10 July 2016, 21:51

'Mrs Ashley' is most likely the '‘widow of Worlidge the Painter, and remarried to [James] Ashley [junior] who kept the London Punchhouse.’

Mary Wicksteed, Pastellist c1720-c1790
Mary was born [c1720] in Widcombe, Bath, daughter of John Wicksead (or Wicksteed) a seal engraver, toy-man and china-dealer [1737-67]. John and wife Sarah kept a stylish shop with bow fronted window, in Wades Passage, Orange Grove, Bath. Stone seal engravings (including some by Thomas Worlidge) were crafted on Brazilian pebble-stone at his water powered jewelling-Mill in Lyncombe using ‘Wicksteeds Machine.’ Mary Wickstead married widower Thomas Worlidge in Bath, 12 June 1743.
Mary produced pastels and drawings and her work appeared to be particularly acclaimed after her second marriage to James Ashley junior with works that included a likeness in crayons of Christian VII, King of Denmark, 1771. Mary appeared as an honorary exhibitor at The Society of Artists and the Free Society from 1765-1772 under the name of Mrs. Ashley. These works included portraits, landscapes, still life in oil, crayon and needlework. One drawing was annotated in 1768 by Walpole ‘widow of Worlidge the Painter, and remarried to Ashley who kept the London Punchhouse.’ She was widowed in 1771 when James Ashley died, and may have married for the third time a Mr. Robinson in 1773 but this has not been confirmed.

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