The Petre family are an aristocratic Catholic family originally from Essex. They acquired Dunkenhalgh Hall, Accrington, in 1711 after the marriage of Catherine Walmesley to Robert, 7th Lord Petre. Dunkenhalgh Hall was sold by the family in 1947 and it now an hotel.
There are no close links between the Petre and Towneley families but in 1982 Captain R. Petre of Little Bignor, West Sussex loaned two paintings of the children of Henry William Petre of Dunkenhalgh to Towneley. Since that date they have been on display in the Red Regency Room.
The two paintings were painted by John Partidge (1790-1872) and are dated 1836. Although on loan they are included in the oil paintings collection and can also be seen at ART UK together with more information about the artist. One painting shows Henry Petre (1821-1900) and Edward Petre (1831-1902) and the other shows George Glyn Petre (1822-1905) and Oswald Petre (1832-1855).