About this image
Reynolds painted Lady Melbourne with her eldest son in his well-known picture 'Maternal Affection'. Her second son, William, afterwards Viscount Melbourne and Prime Minister, used to say,
"Ah! my mother was a most remarkable woman; not merely clever and engaging, but the most sagacious woman I ever knew".
Lord Byron spoke of her as:
"the best, the kindest, and ablest female I have ever known, old or young."
The text reads:
"By degrees The human blossom blows; and every day, Soft as it rolls along, shows some new charm, The Father's lustre; and the Mother's bloom".
This image is one of a collection by the famous local antiquarian, Thomas Bateman, of Middleton by Youlgreave. (1821-1861). Bateman organized his collection by inserting them into a 4 volume copy of Lysons Magna Britannia, Derbyshire, creating a fascinating and unique illustrated record of the county. The purchase of the collection for Derbyshire Libraries was made possible by the generous bequest of Miss Frances Webb of Whaley Bridge, well known local historian, who died in December 2006.