Margaret Ramshaw, Lady Armstrong (1807-1893)
John Callcott Horsley, RA (London 1817 – Cranbrook 1903)
Margaret Ramshaw of Bishop Auckland was the wife of William George, 1st Lord Armstrong (1810–1900). She played an important role in the design of the gardens at Jesmond Dene, the couple’s house in Newcastle, and later at Cragside. This portrait was painted by John Callcott Horsley, who was the brother-in-law of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It was probably through Horsley that Lord and Lady Armstrong were introduced to the architect Richard Norman Shaw, who had remodelled Horsley’s house at Cranbrook and was to work at Cragside.
Oil painting on canvas (oval), Margaret Ramshaw, Lady Armstrong (1807-1893), by John Callcott Horsley, RA (London 1817 – Cranbrook 1903), monogrammed and dated, bottom right 1868. A half-length portrait of Lady Armstrong, turned to the right in near profile, wearing a black-and-white dress with black shawl, and a gold, enamelled locket around her neck.
Painted for Sir William George Armstrong, 1st Baron Armstrong of Cragside (1810-1900), in 1868; thence by descent; transferred by the Treasury to The National Trust in 1977 via the National Land Fund, aided by 3rd Baron Armstrong of Bamburgh and Cragside (1919-1987).
Cragside, The Armstrong Collection (acquired through the National Land Fund and transferred to the National Trust in 1977)
Marks and inscriptions
Lower right background: monogrammed ICH (the letters overlaid on top of one another) 1868
Makers and roles
John Callcott Horsley, RA (London 1817 – Cranbrook 1903), artist