Sir Watkins Williams Wynn

He was the first of the baronets of Wynnstay to be born an aristocrat and was, in his short life, the most splendid of them all. Throughout his adult life he was well known for his exquisite taste and discerning patronage of the arts. He was a member of the Society of Dilettanti, a patron of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Nathaniel Dance, Paul Sandby, Richard Wilson, William Parry and many other artists. He bought widely and wisely the works of Rembrandt, Poussin, Clerisseau, Reni etc. Architects were encouraged to submit designs for his grand schemes for Wynnstay and his London house, 20 St James’ Square – Pritchard, James Wyatt and Capability Brown worked for him at Wynnstay: Robert Adam created a masterpiece at 20 St James’ Square with the music room its centre. No mean musician himself as a cellist, Sir Watkin was the Treasurer of the Concert of Ancient Music and the Handel Commemoration Concert 1784. Leading instrumentalists were regularly engaged to play both in London and Ruabon and the blind harpist, John Parry, faithfully served the third and fourth baronets. In many ways what the fourth baronet added by way of furnishings to Ruabon Church in the twenty years 1769-89 is an inventory of exquisite taste and fine workmanship which is a microcosm of the comprehensive taste of a supreme connoisseur. 

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