Thursday, September 13, 2012

1851 Portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Boyd of Londonderry

Robert Boyd

This is the second time I’ve blogged about the Boyd family and paintings!  I live on the land that was once the Boyd Family dairy farm in Londonderry.  The road behind my house, on the other side of a small pond, is Boyd Road.  The first time I blogged about a painting related to the Boyd family, it was this post about a landscape of this land    This time I"m not writing about a landscape, but two portraits.

Mary Lund Towne
The portraits of Robert Wilson and his wife, Mary Lund Towne, were painted in 1851 by the itinerant Vermont artist Horace Bundy.  They hang in the Londonderry Leach Library, which gave me permission to photograph them for this blog and for the Towne Family Association newsletter, "About Towne".  

Robert Boyd died only one month after his portrait was painted.  He is buried in the Valley Cemetery on Pillsbury Road in Londonderry.  He was born 31 July 1789, the son of Thomas Boyd and Margaret “Peggy” Darrah.  He was a descendant of some of the original Ulster Scots settlers of Londonderry.  He married Mary Towne on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1812 in Londonderry.

Mary Lund Towne’s family is buried right on Boyd Road in the small Towne Family Burial Plot on the corner of John Street.  Mary isn’t buried here, but at the Valley Cemetery with her husband.  She is a descendant of the Townes from Topsfield, Massachusetts, and is a distant cousin of mine since I descend from the Townes, too.  She was born about 1791 and died on 10 May 1887 in Londonderry.   For her complete Towne lineage please see

Horace Bundy was born in Hardwick, Vermont on 22 July 1814.  He was self-taught and itinerant. His style of painting is not called “primitive” but has been labeled “American Naïve” in art history books.  His first paintings were sleigh decorations.  The Smithsonian Institution Research Information System lists 109 of his paintings, which hang in many museum including the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC;  The Shelburne Museum, VT;  and at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.  Interestingly, he became an Adventist preacher in 1842 and traveled throughout New England preaching.  The 1860 Federal census of Springfield, VT lists him as a painter, but in 1863 he was called to be the pastor of the Second Advent Church in Lakeport, New Hampshire.  He died in 1883 after returning from a trip to Jamaica where he contracted typhus.    You can Google his name and pull up many images of his portraits.

See also an article at “Townefolk” on the Towne Family Association website, with information on the Boyd and Towne families from my blog


Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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