Readers will remember that in previous Nostalgia pages we have been studying the characters depicted in the painting by William Hannan of the High St, High Wycombe as it was in 1772, and the associated commentary.

We resume that study this week with the following part of the commentary:

“Tom Walker, the butcher, at his door, and his daughter Patty at the parlour window.

Mr Smithson conversing with Squire Scotter of Chesham, and Captain Osborne of Fawley.

Mr Hutchinson, of the Antelope speaking to a post-boy. The maid servant at the window with her broom.

Mr Smithson, the Presbyterian Minister. Mr Scotter and Captain Osborne in the Militia.”

“Tom Walker the butcher” was the Thomas Walker, butcher, who was buried at All Saints parish church aged 63 on July 27, 1778.

He had several daughters, although none were baptised Patricia or Patty.

In his will made on July 21, 1778 he left his entire estate to his wife Mary and after her death it was to be shared between his two surviving daughters.

The property he owned was in Wycombe, Hughenden and Medmenham.
“Mr Smithson the Presbyterian Minister” was indeed a non-conformist minister.

He was buried at All Saints on January 8, 1789, and in the burial entry in the parish register it was stated that he “preached the Gospel to the Dissenting congregation in this town upwards of 40 years and died on January 1, 1764 aged 64”.

Smithson did not marry and in his will made on June 6 1788 he left all his worldly estate to Sarah Carter, a spinster, who was also the sole Executrix.

It has not been possible to identify Squire Scotter of Chesham or Captain Osborne of Fawley, and there are several possible identities for Mr Hutchinson of the Antelope.

I am grateful to local history enthusiast Willie Reid for his assistance with this research work.

Willie and I would be very pleased to hear from anybody who is descended from any of the people shown in the Hannan painting.

Please contact Mike Dewey by email or telephone 01494 755070.

Where is the original oil painting of this High Street scene made by William Hannan?

We are appealing for information regarding the present whereabouts of this painting.

It has been possible to establish that in 1905 it was owned by the well-known Wycombe architect Thomas Thurlow.

In July of that year he loaned it to an Archeological Exhibition held in the Town Hall in Aylesbury.

A press report of the exhibition stated that “Mr T.Thurlow of High Wycombe sent on loan a water-colour by William Hannan of High Street, High Wycombe, 1970, an engraving of the above (S.T.Sparrow, sculp), Nov 30 1772;a description of figure portraits, depicted as above ....”

It appears therefore that Thurlow not only owned the painting, but also one of the engravings made from it and the Commentary.

If any reader is descended, or knows of someone who is descended, from Thomas Thurlow, call 01494 755070.