A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy, 1701-1800:
Compiled from the Brinsley Ford Archive

John Ingamells, Brinsley Ford

Publicaton Date
May 1997
Standard Number
Yale University Press
1200 pages

This remarkable dictionary identifies more than six thousand British and Irish travellers who toured in Italy in the eighteenth century. Compiled from the celebrated archive accumulated by Sir Brinsley Ford, this volume provides brief formal biographies of these travellers, their Italian itineraries, and selective accounts of their experiences as described in contemporary sources.While the majority of travellers were young persons making the grand tour-discovering antiquity, the temptations of a brisk and irregular art market, the squalor and the riches of Italian life and travel-there were also many older visitors intent on some professional purpose, including prison reformer John Howard, agronomist Arthur Young, and musicologist Charles Burney. More than three hundred artists, sculptors, and architects made the trip. The dictionary includes British antiquaries who became guides or art dealers in Rome or Naples, among them Mark Parker, Thomas Jenkins, and Colin Morison. And, there were those who sought a warmer climate for their health, disconsolate Jacobites who gathered round the exiled Stuart court in Rome, and unsettled eccentrics, bankrupts, and misfits.Some figures in the dictionary may be familiar, such as diplomats Horace Mann and William Hamilton or restless spirits Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and the Fourth Earl of Bristol (Bishop of Derry), but much of the information is less well known, drawn from archival material in Great Britain, Ireland, and Italy. Such sources include the meticulous travel journal of antiquary Richard Rawlinson, letters of Father John Thorpe over twenty-five years, and lively correspondence from Rev. Thomas Brand during three Italian tours.

About the authors

  • Black and white photograph of John Ingamells working at a desk in front of computer

    John Anderson Stuart Ingamells was a British art historian and writer, and former director of the Wallace Collection and York Art Gallery.