About 18 months ago, I was contacted by one Prunella, a lady from Canada, advising me she had seen a painting of Wallace the Lion at a museum in Warwick, England.
This was her explanation at the time:
‘My mother’s maiden name was Ethel GRACE Wombwell – my 3X great grandfather John (1774 – 1845) was a son of John Wombwell and Sarah Rogers.
In reference to the lion fights…. There is a very small museum in Warwick that has a painting of a lion (either Nero or Wallace) and a poster about the fight… If this is your correct email, I will attempt to send the pictures of these that I took last year. My brother lives near Warwick and I have asked him to send me the name of the museum.’
Prunella recently replied to an email from me with the following information:
‘The place in Warwick is St John’s House Museum, CV34 4NF’.
Since it has been two years since I was first alerted to its existence, I checked out the current details, for anyone wishing to visit the museum.
The Museum is currently closed for a re-location within Warwick, but are still open to deal with shop sales and family history research enquiries.
Exciting developments are afoot to re-locate the museum in 2022 to Pageant House, Jury Street, Warwick.
However, on further research I was informed that the painting is no longer at the museum, irrespective of which building, but in their Hawkes Point storage facility.
Luckily, further detective work revealed that the painting, attributed to Rolf, is documented on splendid ArtUK website.
Unfortunately, due to copyright it is not possible to show it here. However, our intrepid Canadian contact, did the honours and produced these two fine photographs.
It is though, an accomplished portrait of a fictional lion, face on. Looks quite sweet! Not the ideal representation a a ‘killer’ lion. Maybe that is poetic justice given the 200 year old lie that Wallace…well, read my Volume One for the real story of the lion fight!