from Benjamin Robert Haydon:
Lord Egremont is dead ; a great loss to all, especially artists. He was an extraordinary man, —manly, straight-forward, tender-hearted, a noble patron, an attached friend and an affectionate and indulgent parent. His great pleasure was in sharing with the highest and humblest the advantages and luxuries of his vast income. The very animals at Petworth seemed happier than in any other spot on earth, — better fed,
and their dumbness and helpless dependence on man more humanely felt for. He was one of those left of the old school who considered a great artist as fit society for any man, however high his rank, and at his table, as at Sir George Beaumont’s, Lord Mulgrave’s, or Sir Robert Peel’s, painter and sculptor, poet and minister and soldier, all were as equals. Read More:http://www.archive.org/stream/lifeofbenjaminro03hayd/lifeofbenjaminro03hayd_djvu.txt
…At dinner he meets everybody, and then are recounted the feats of the day. All principal dishes he helps, never minding the trouble of carving ; he eats heartily and helps liberally. There is plenty, but not absurd profusion ; good wines, but not extravagant waste. Everything solid, liberal, rich and English. At seventy-four he still shoots daily, comes home wet through and is as active and looks as well as many men of fifty.
” The meanest insect at Petworth feels a ray of his Lordship’s fire in the justice of its distribution. ( ibid.)
Charles Greville:Petworth, December 20th.
Came here yesterday. It is a very grand place; house magnificent and full of fine objects, both ancient and modern; the Sir Joshuas and Vandykes particularly interesting, and a great deal of all sorts that is worth seeing. Lord Egremont was eighty-one the day before yesterday, and is still healthy, with faculties and memory apparently unimpaired. He has reigned here for sixty years with great authority and influence. He is shrewd, eccentric, and benevolent, and has always been munificent and charitable in his own way; he patronises the arts and fosters rising genius. Painters and sculptors find employment and welcome in his house; he has built a gallery which is full of pictures and statues, some of which are very fine, and the pictures scattered through the house are interesting and curious. Lord Egremont hates ceremony, and can’t bear to be personally meddled with; he likes people to come and go as it suits them, and say nothing about it, never to take leave of him. The party here consists of the Cowpers, his own family, a Lady E. Romney, two nieces, Mrs. Tredcroft a neighbour, Ridsdale a parson, Wynne, Turner, the great landscape painter, and a young artist of the name of Lucas, whom Lord Egremont is bringing into notice, and who will owe his fortune (if he makes it) to him. Lord Egremont is enormously rich, and lives with an abundant though not very refined hospitality. The house wants modern comforts, and the servants are rustic and uncouth; but everything is good, and it all bears an air of solid and aristocratic grandeur. The stud groom told me there are 300 horses of different sorts here. His course, however, is nearly run, and he has the mortification of feeling that, though surrounded with children and grandchildren, he is almost the last of his race, and that his family is about to be extinct. Two old brothers and one childless nephew are all that are left of the Wyndhams, and the latter has been many years married. All his own children are illegitimate, but he has everything in his power, though nobody has any notion of the manner in which he will dispose of his property. It is impossible not to reflect upon the prodigious wealth of the Earls of Northumberland, and of the proud Duke of Somerset who married the last heiress of that house, the betrothed of three husbands. All that Lord Egremont has, all the Duke of Northumberland’s property, and the Duke of Rutland’s Cambridgeshire estate belonged to them, which together is probably equivalent to between £200,000 and £300,000 a year. Banks told me that the Northumberland property, when settled on Sir H. Smithson, was not above £12,000 a year.  Read More:http://www.historyhome.co.uk/greville/19.htm