Skip to main content

Reverend William Holwell Carr

The Reverend Holwell Carr (1758–1830) started to collect art in the 1780s and continued to add to his collection throughout his life.

Born William Holwell in Exeter, in 1792 he became vicar of Menheniot in Cornwall, although he never visited his parish, preferring to stay in London as an absentee-cleric.

In 1797 he married Lady Charlotte Hay who inherited property from her mother’s father, Sir William Carr. As a consequence Holwell adopted the Carr family name. Six months after his death on 24 December 1830, his bequest of 35 paintings entered the National Gallery’s collection.