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It was bought by Leeds City Council from Thomas Coulborn & Sons of Sutton Coldfield who had acquired the desk from Earl Grey's descendants.

The BADA furniture specialists alerted Temple Newsam House to their latest acquisition back in January. Grateful for the patience of the Midlands dealers, curator James Lomax was able to initiate a fundraising campaign, that with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Art Fund, the Leeds Art Collections Fund, and the V&A/MLA Purchase Grant Fund recently matched the asking price of £65,000.

Earl Grey, whose four years as Prime Minister included the passing of the Great Reform Bill in 1832, was a frequent visitor to Temple Newsam House before his death in 1845 as he was the maternal grandfather of the Victorian owner of the house, Emily Meynell Ingram. The writing table is believed to have been made by Morel and Hughes (predecessors of Morel and Seddon) in 1825 and was bought by the earl from his predecessor, Earl Bathurst, when he moved into 10 Downing Street in 1830.

The writing table joins a growing number of Regency pieces on display at Temple Newsam, which is best known for its 18th century furniture and Thomas Chippendale in particular. The table and its significance will form part of a free Study Day on The Regency Style to be held at Temple Newsam on Friday, October 13 from 10.30am-4pm. The day will contain a series of lectures and presentations from the curators concerning the period, with the writing table being one of the topics for discussion.

To apply for a place contact Denise Lawson on 0113 264 7321.