Skip to main content

Acquisition of the Peel Collection



Acquisition of the Peel Collection



Archive reference number



Seven letters relating to the acquisition of the Peel Collection. Three letters are from Eliza Stonor, Sir Robert Peel's daughter, to Juliana Hume Campbell and four from William Gladstone or his secretary Algernon West to Sir Hugh Hume Campbell.

Record type


Alternative reference numbers


Administrative history

Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850) was Prime Minister, 1834-1835 and 1841-1846. He was also a Trustee of the National Gallery from 1827 until his death.

From about 1820, Peel began to collect pictures. By the time of his death, his collection included nearly seventy 17th century Dutch and Flemish works, about 60 British pictures and drawings by Rubens and Van Dyck which had previously belonged to Thomas Lawrence.

His son, Sir Robert Peel (1822-1895), acquired further works however financial problems forced him into a decision to sell the collection at Christies in 1871. After negotiations, the Gallery managed to purchase most of the Peel collection for £75,000. The purchase included 68 Dutch and Flemish works, 10 British pictures and 16 drawings.

Some pictures from the collection have subsequently been transferred to other institutions: drawings were transferred to the British Museum, British pictures to the Tate, and portraits to the National Portrait Gallery.

Custodial history

The letters were given to the Gallery in 1931 by Mrs Eleanor Warrender, the granddaughter of Sir Hugh Hume Campbell.

Related material

NG14/128 Boxall's [Director] correspondence re negotiations for acquisition of Peel Collection, Feb-Jun 1871 NG5/439 & 440 Correspondence re grant for acquisition of Peel Collection, Mar 1871 NG5/467 Financial statement for purchase of Peel Collection, Jun 1873 NG1 Trustees minutes 1871 NG17 Annual Report 1871

Your list will only be saved temporarily. Inactivity of more than 20 minutes could result in the loss of your list. If you would like to keep a record of your list, we suggest you print it out or email it to yourself.

Your list of records will be sent to us if you request an appointment, and a summary will be included in your appointment email notification.