The mystery of the second Lady East

Neil Jeffares

Gardner Sir William East fam 1774We are told (often enough to believe it) that what you read on the internet cannot be relied upon, while what is printed in books can. We should know better; and sometimes we get to find out which printed authors are unreliable. Thus the standard book on Daniel Gardner (1921) by G. C. Williamson (who wrote so many monographs that suspicions of his thoroughness must have occurred to the most gullible) tells us that Gardner’s marriage took place in 1776 when in fact it was two years earlier; and that he bought his colours mostly from Roberson and Miller (a firm only recorded from 1828 in the NPG database of British artists’ suppliers). Perhaps these minor instances prepare us for the fact that although he prints “Dr” before his name on the title pages of this, and many other of his books, Williamson held no such degree.

But we assume…

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