College Benefactor Mrs Rebecca Frances Robinson remembered
Hepworth Gallery portrait is installed in the college Dining Hall
We are delighted to announce that the college has negotiated the loan of a portrait of one of our founding benefactors from The Hepworth Wakefield Gallery.
The portrait by Francis Calcraft Turner is of Mrs Frances Rebecca Robinson, who made a significant donation towards the original building work of the college in memory of her husband, the Revd Disney Robinson. We have been working with the Hepworth Wakefield to arrange the loan for the past eighteen months, and the portrait has now been installed above the door to the dining hall.
The Revd Dr Michael Volland, Principal of Ridley Hall, said, “I’m delighted that we have been able to borrow this portrait, and I am grateful to the Hepworth Wakefield for lending it to us. Having the image of one of our female benefactors in the dining room alongside existing portraits of former Principals will serve to remind the current Ridley Hall community of the many Christian women who have glorified God by contributing to the College in myriad ways over 140 years.”
Ridley Hall’s Director of Development, Andrew Chamberlain, said, “I'm delighted that we have been able to secure this loan. I want to thank Eleanor Dobson and Abi Shapiro at the Hepworth Wakefield for their assistance, and James and Matthew from JPA Art Services for their excellent work in installing the portrait."
Mrs Robinson's contribution to the college
The entrance archway and tower were paid for by Mrs Frances Rebecca Robinson in memory of her husband, the Revd Disney Robinson, formerly of St John’s College and Vicar of Woolley in Yorkshire. The tower and what is now known as ‘A’ staircase originally had five sets of students’ rooms.
Mrs Robinson gave £1,000 for the building, in addition to a further £1,766 in railway stocks to the College’s general funds. A plaque commemorating the Revd Disney Robinson is visible on the road side of the tower, surmounted by five coats of arms. Ridley did not possess its own coat of arms art this time, and the ones engraved on the tower are, left to right, St John’s College (Disney Robinson’s college); the Hodgson family (Mrs Robinson’s family); Cambridge University; The Robinson family; Bishop Nicholas Ridley.