We use cookies to improve your experience online. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our cookies policy.

The Royal Academy is temporarily closed. For more information and ticket refunds, please contact us.

Chantrey Ledger

RA Collection: Archive

Archive context

Showing item 7 of 72 in this group

Reference code



Chantrey Ledger





Extent & medium

1 volume

Historical Background

Francis Chantrey was born into a Derbyshire farming family in 1781. In later life Chantrey was vocally proud of his humble rural roots, almost to the point of ridicule. His rise to the heights of society and professional life was both impelled and sustained by a level of energy frequently displayed by the auto-didact or self-made man.

Chantrey's career coincided with British imperial expansion and military success. It was a time in which memorial sculpture was in high demand and he was in the front rank of those sculptors capable and ready to supply. His production of both portrait busts and commemorative monumental sculpture was prodigious and can still be found worldwide.

Chantrey was elected an Associate of the Academy in 1816 and a member only two years later. Although he never occupied any official positions within the Academy his bequest to it if his residuary estate has left a permanent legacy in the form of the Chantrey bequest. He was knighted by William IV in 1835.

Content Description

The ledger is orderly, meticulous and comprehensive. It begins with a commission for Greenwich Hospital in 1809 and covers the whole of Chantrey's professional career, concluding with the accounts of his executors.


Workshop of Sir Francis Chantrey. The volume was handed to T. Hughes by Charles Stokes, an executor of the deceased.

Acquisition Details

The ledger was presented to the Royal Academy by Charles Fairfax Murray in 1907.

Physical Characteristics

A large reverse calf volume, boards worn. Modern repair of spine in brown morrocco. One brass fixing missing.

Associated Material

Another ledger is in the British Library, dating 1809-1827 - Eg MS 1911. Also, Derby Local Studies Library holds a day book and ledger, dating 1809-17 - MSS 3535 6644.