The Tudor-Jacobean house at Temple Newsam, near Leeds, West Yorkshire, is a small feature to the right of this bird’s-eye view of the estate. King Henry VIII gave Temple Newsam to his niece Margaret, Countess of Lennox and her husband Matthew Stuart, Earl of Lennox in 1544. The following year their son, Henry, Lord Darnley (who later became the husband of Mary Queen of Scots), was born there. Temple Newsam was again seized by the Crown in 1565. In 1603 King James I granted it to his relative Ludovic, Duke of Lennox. In 1622 the estate was bought by Sir Arthur Ingram for £12,000. During the next 20 years the mansion was rebuilt, incorporating some of the previous house in the west wing.
In 1661 Sir Arthur's grandson Henry Ingram was created Viscount of Irvine. At the time Leonard Knyff drew the design for this engraving, the estate was owned by MP and peer Arthur Ingram, third Viscount of Irvine (1666-1702). The house passed by descent, being inherited by Edward Wood, first Earl of Halifax in 1904. He sold the park and house to Leeds Corporation for a nominal sum in 1922, insisting on covenants to ensure the preservation of the estate. The house and estate are now owned by Leeds City Council and open to the public.
Leendert Knijff, better known as Leonard Knyff, was born in Haarlem in 1650 and followed his brother Jacob (also an artist) to London at some point after 1676. In 1694, Knyff was made a British citizen. He began his career painting still lifes but became better-known in Britain for his views of gardens and country houses. The birds-eye view format, which was popularised in the UK by Knyff, is thought to have first been introduced to the British landscape tradition by his brother, Jacob.
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