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Major exhibition features Record Office documents

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Unique documents held by West Sussex Record Office are on loan to the National Trust’s Petworth House for a major new exhibition on poet and artist William Blake.

Taking place from January 13 to March 25, the exhibition which is called William Blake in Sussex: Visions of Albion, also includes a rare book of poetry from the County Library Service.

The Record Office documents describe an argument with a local soldier and details of his subsequent trial for sedition against the King, and acquittal, at Chichester in 1804.

This is the first time that so many of Blake’s Sussex-related items have been displayed together, with other loans coming from the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery and Tate.

Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Safer Stronger Communities, said: “These loans emphasise just how important the collections are at our county’s Record Office and Library Service.

“We are very proud to be contributing to this major exhibition and I would encourage everyone living in West Sussex to come along and have a look at these wonderful pieces.”

William Blake is one of many artists and writers to be inspired by the West Sussex landscape.

He lived in Felpham from 1800 to 1803 and one of his most famous works, the poem ‘Jerusalem’, is said to have been inspired by his rides between Felpham and Lavant.

For more information about West Sussex Record Office, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/ro

Please book tickets in advance on 0344 249 1895. £12 for National Trust members, National Art Pass holders or Arts Society members. £16 for non-members.