Sunday, 28 November 2010

Biographies: Joseph King

Joseph King’s role in the Peasant Arts movement was as financier, provider of buildings and promoter of the cause through the Peasant Arts museum and the support of his wife, Maude Egerton King’s, role in the movement.

King was born in Liverpool in 1860, the eldest son of Joseph King and his wife Phoebe (nee Powell).  Phoebe’s younger sister Louisa married George MacDonald, making Greville MacDonald and Joseph King cousins.  His father was a surgeon and his grandfather was a co-founder of the Liverpool Stock Exchange.   The family are described as ‘non-conformist stock’, Joseph went to Trinity College Oxford were he was active in founding the non-conformist union that aimed to bring free churchmen together.   After graduating he entered into the Temple with the intention of studying for the Bar.   However he continued his theological studies studying at Geissen University in Germany in the summer of 1885.   For family reasons Joseph returned to the UK and completed his legal training (The Congregationalist March 23rd 1911).  Interestingly both King and Blount had considered becoming non-conformist ministers, but instead had decided upon more orthodox career paths.
Joseph King from Swanton, E, W A Country Museum Haslemere Educational Museum, 1947

In 1881 King was living in Welford House, Hampstead as the head of the household with his sister.  By 1885 King was engaged to Maude Egerton Hine who was also living in Hampstead at the time.  Greville MacDonald first met Maude that year when he sat beside her at a dinner party and discovered that she was engaged to his cousin, Joseph King, who was at the time a young barrister (MacDonald, Reminiscenes of a Specialist, Allen & Unwin, 1932).  In 1887 Joseph and Maude married.  On the 1891 census they were living together at Wedderburn Road, Hampstead.  The Kings moved to Lower Birtley, Witley in 1894.  In 1895 Maude’s brother, William Egerton Hine painted a pencil and watercolour picture ‘A House at Lower Bertly, Witley’ (Christie’s, Watercolours by Henry George Hine and other artists of the Hine family, 1988, London) which doubtless was painted whilst visiting the Kings.   The Kings must have then moved to Upper Birtley where they are recorded as living on the census in 1901. 

By 1892 King was drawn into politics, unsuccessfully standing as a Liberal candidate for the New Forest constituency.   In 1894, shortly after moving to Haslemere, King served on Surrey County Council, eventually losing his seat six years later.  His Parliamentary career continued unsuccessfully losing two elections in 1904 and 1906 until in 1910 he was finally elected MP for North Somerset in the landslide Liberal victory that year holding the seat until 1918.  In common with his friend, Arthur Ponsonby (1st Baron Ponsonby of Shulbrede), of nearby Shulbrede Priory, King defected to Labour.
Joseph King, from Haslemere Educational Museum

MacDonald described King as “Keenly appreciating genius, though his inclinations embraced rather politics and non conforming orthodoxies, gave her (Maude Egerton King) every opportunity for her hopes in spinning-wheel and loom” (Reminiscences of a Specialist Greville MacDonald p375).  King owned the land on Kings Road that was then called Foundry Meadow, and it was here that the Peasant Arts buildings were erected, with Francis Troup designing them.  Around 1902 Sandhouse was completed, designed by Francis Troup, where the Kings lived until 1922 when they moved to Hill Farm, Camelsdale until Maude’s death in 1927.

King donated Foundry Meadow to the Peasant Art Guild in 1914.  This was the land where the weaving houses and workshops were. 
Peasant Arts Museum room at Haslemere Museum c.1927 from The Lost Arts of Europe, Haslemere Educational Museum, 2000

It also housed the Peasant Arts museum from 1912.  On several afternoons Joseph took groups of children in the Peasant Art Galleries, in order to stimulate their interest in folk history and the appreciation of art and handicraft.  During the development of the Haslemere Educational Museum Joseph King spoke to the Museum committee on the peasant arts collections and supervised the move from the King’s road site to the museum in 1926.  The Guild offered the collection to the Museum committee as a free gift together with a building fund of £500 which King matched using his own private funds.  The Guild furnished, fitted and decorated two rooms to house the collection and King authored a handbook describing the collection.  He was appointed Honorary Curator of the collection until his death in 1943 (Swanton, E, W. 1947 A Country Museum Ch. 10 Educational Museum Haslemere, Haslemere).
Arnold Dolmetsch in 1916

In 1928 King re-married, a year after Maude’s death, Helena Gertrude Martins and went to live in Brownholme, Tilford.   Helena appears to have been musical, being the Honorary Secretary and Treasurer of the The Dolmetsch Foundation.  The Musical Times in May 1951 advertizes a Dolmetsch early music concert and reception, where tickets are ‘obtainable only from Mrs Joseph King, Brownholm, Tilford’.  The Dolmetsch link here is interesting seeing as according to Trotter King's "greatest contribution may well have been his influence in persuading Arnold Dolmetsch to settle in the Grayswood Road in 1917, and introduce the community to the delights of early music" (Trotter, The Hilltop Writers, The Book Guild, 2003).

Monday, 22 November 2010

Suffragette connections Part 4 - The Corset

Yes there's some more.

Ethel Blount is reported to have been a prominent member of the Healthy and Artistic Dress Union, along with C.R. Ashbee's wife Janet (Cumming and Kaplan, The Arts and Crafts Movement, Thames and Hudson, 1991).
Mrs G.F. Watts (Mary Seton Fraser Tytler) by George Frederick Watts, 1887

 In the source documentation so far viewed, I cannot find a reference to the Blounts or Ashbee within the Union, but then not many documents are widely available.  I have not been able to locate any copies of Aglaia, the journal produced by the movement.  It is interesting to note that Henry Holiday, the President of the union and editor of this journal, who also organized promotions for the Union, was an illustrator, his most notable illustrations being in Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark in 1876 (Carroll being acquainted with Greville MacDonald as discussed in an earlier post).   What appears to have been the Union's subsequent journal, The Dress Review, is held at the Women's Library, London for the dates 1903-1906.

The Healthy and Artistic Union pamphlet below clearly demonstrates that Mrs G.F.Watts of nearby Watts Chapel in Compton, near Godalming, was one of the Vice-Presidents of the Union.  If the link of Ethel to the Union were further confirmed, then this would provide evidence that the artistic community in Compton had links with Haslemere, and there are certainly similarities between the two artistic communities.  At Compton Mrs Watts (otherwise known as Mary Fraser-Tytler) was encouraging the teaching of handicrafts to the lower classes, by designing a chapel that she trained locals to help build and decorate.  The chapel was built between 1896-1898 with reportedly all of the 74 members of the village taking part (wikipedia).  G.F.Watts, her husband was one of the most notable Victorian painters of the time.

Pamphlet written by E.M.D.Wheeler, illustrated by Walter Crane.  Note: last Vice President in the list is Mrs G.F.Watts
For more on Walter Crane and the Healthy and Artistic Dress Union, read my later post.  The members of the Healthy and Artistic Union appeared to be active in the suffrage movement.  For example Laura Elizabeth Morgan-Browne was a member of the committee in 1892 and in 1896 was an  executive in the Central National Society for Women's Suffrage (Crawford, Women's Suffrage Movement, UCL Press, 1999).  The above pamphlet sets to persuade ladies 'to dress without the corset', and wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.  The New York Times reported on the 13th May 1894 of the movement "the members of the union will have to do battle with the great Juggernaut fashion, and if they can escape being crushed out of sight...they may hope eventually to educate their sisters up to a right appreciation of what is best for them to wear - but I do not envy their task".
Interior of Watts Chapel, Compton, Surrey by Mrs G.F.Watts 

The Sanitary Record reported in 1890 of a conference taking place in July with the intention of reforming female dress (i.e. to establish the Healthy and Artistic Dress Union) as to "make it thoroughly healthy, comfortable, and graceful".  The conference set out that "1. the compression of the waist...effected by the use of corsets is inconsistent with the maximum health and strength.  The use of the corset, therefore, should be regarded as strictly exceptional, and for growing girls more especially should be altogether discontinued...2. limbs, both arms should have the freest securing well-cut sleeves for the arms and not encumbering the legs with multiplicity of skirts.  3. Clothing should, by it's lightness, and convenient mode of support, make the smallest possible demand on the muscular strength, and thus leave the individual free to employ her physical forces in work more interesting and useful than in simply carrying her clothes".  These three issues were further summarised as 'stiffness, tightness and weight'.  It was reported that many of the attendees spoke out against the wearing of the corset, The Sanitary Record  commented that "it will, however, be a very long time before this article of apparel disappears from human sight".

In an article that may have been written by Ethel Blount, entitled 'To Dress Well - An Apology for the Dress-making Branch of the Peasant Arts Society' it is stated that to dress well "it is essential that the shape be simple, the stuff good, and the maker happy....A fashionable gown is generally complex, and absolutely lawless, and it vulgarises the poor girl who stitches it, the rich one who wears, and the poorer one who longs for it".  They set out that the dress should leave "full play to each limb, throwing all weight on the shoulders, and none on the waist.  The construction should be obvious, and we should do no more try and hide buttons and laces than we do our front-doors and chimney-stacks.  The shape should be achieved with the minimum of shaping..." Whilst the Peasant Arts clothes may have embraced this vision, it was not in line with the current mode of dress, and it is interesting to read a memory of a local girl at the time that she "and her sisters had hand woven frocks and skirts which were hard wearing and pretty but they hated having to wear them as they were different from the other childrens clothes." (Pooley, The Changing Face of Shottermill, Acorn Press, 1987).

Further information on the Watts Gallery and Chapel

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Suffragette connections Part 3 - The Fabians

George Bernard Shaw appears to be another suffragette link.  With Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Shaw was one of the founder members of the Fabian Society.  Harriot Blatch is known to have been a member of the Fabian Society also, and counted Shaw and the Webbs as her friends.
Pitfold House, Haslemere, location of George Bernard Shaw's honeymoon (now my daughter's nursery!)

Shaw came to Haslemere on honeymoon in June 1898.  Shaw and his wife Charlotte stayed at Pitfold House, lent to them by the parents of Lord Beveridge.  At the time it was described as a comfortable small house on the edge of the moor overlooking Critchmere (Rolston, Haslemere 1850-1950, Phillimore, 1964).    Shaw was still recovering from an accident where he had injured his foot in April that year.  Trotter (The Hilltop Writers, The Book Guild, 1996) speculates that the location of the honeymoon in Hindhead may have  been made by Charlotte due to the 'health-giving properties of its air'.  Here Shaw had further accidents fracturing his bones, one of which he recounted in a letter to Beatrice Webb.  His medical advisors attributed the lack of meat in his diet to these bone fractures.  Shaw is reported to have retorted in one of these discussions ""death would be better than cannibalism" (Rolston, ibid).  It is not clear whether all the main Peasant Arts members were vegetarians, but Maude Egerton King certainly was, as her poem 'Vegetarianism' (King, My Book of Songs and Sonnets, 1893) explains.  
Hill Farm, Camelsdale, Joseph and Maude Egerton King's home from 1922, where George Bernard Shaw  addressed an audience in 1930

Shaw delivered his lecture 'Why I Am a Socialist' in the same year to the Microscope Society in Haslemere (Rolston, ibid).  It seems that Shaw was living in Haslemere between 1898 to 1900.  It would be reasonable to assume that Shaw was acquainted with Joseph King during this time, then if not before.  Later on in 1930 Shaw would address a gathering at Hill Farm, Camelsdale, Joseph King's home, to celebrate the elevation of two people to peerage (Rolston, ibid).  Therefore perhaps Harriot Blatch was introduced to the Peasant Arts movement, and Joseph King through the George Bernard Shaw.

The Webbs are said to have spent some of their summer holidays walking the hilltops around Haslemere, and were recorded in the area in 1894 (at Milford), 1896 (at Milford, visiting the Bertrand Russells), 1899 (at Hindhead visiting the Shaws), 1901 (at Friday's Hill, Fernhurst), 1902 (at Milford with the Bertrand Russells).  The Webbs only moved permanently to the area in 1923 when they moved to Passfield Corner, near Liphook.  There are no clear connections between the Webbs and the Peasant Arts movement, but visiting the area at the time, and travelling to Fernhurst for example at that time may have taken them down Kings Road.  It is not clear when Kings Road stopped being a dead-end and became a connecting road to Fernhurst and Midhurst.  However, in November 1903 King Edward VII came to Midhurst to lay the foundation stone of what would become the King Edward VII Hospital, the train brought him to Haslemere station from which he travelled in an open landau with four horses, along what was then called Foundry Road, and was renamed Kings Road in his honour.  Rolston reports that "the type of housing along that road attracted the comment from him that he had always heard of Haslemere as a pretty town, but now was disappointed."

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Suffragette Connections: Part 2 - The Politician

Joseph King, MP

Out of the five key Peasant Arts members, Joseph King, as a Liberal MP is most obviously connected with the suffrage movement.  Liberalism came to deepest Surrey in the late 1890s when George Bernard Shaw gave a lecture in Haslemere in 1898 on ‘Why I am a Socialist’ and the return of a Liberal majority in Guildford in 1905 both encouraged suffragist activity (Myzelev, Craft Revival in Haslemere: she, who weaves…, Women’s History Review, Vol 18, Issue 4, 2009).

King chaired meetings between Liberal politicians and the local suffragists, including a gathering where Randall Cremer MP presented a talk on the Liberal Government’s strategy which set out the ‘women’s question’.  It was here that King declared that ‘personally he was strongly in favour of Women’s Suffrage.’ (Haslemere Sunday Times, 24 November 1906).

In 1908 Joseph King published Electoral Reform: an inquiry into our system of parliamentary representation.   Despite having a forward by Lewis Harcourt, a notoriously anti-suffragist cabinet minister, it is sympathetic to the women’s cause and it offered advice as to how their goal might be attained.  There is a entire chapter devoted to ‘Woman’s Suffrage’.

On page 75 King states: “The writer, always a supporter of the cause of Women’s Suffrage, and believing that the example and experience of New Zealand and Australia are in this matter of great significance, suggests that solution of the question in England to-say might be found if a policy were considered and adopted on the following lines:-
Failing the attempt to get the Government to adopt Woman’s Suffrage as part of their actual programme, time should be obtained from the Government for a debate and division on the subject in each Parliamentary Session, and a pledge should be obtained from the leading Members of both parties that when the electoral problems of redistribution of seats and the franchise come to be settled by new legislation the question of Woman’s Suffrage will be allowed to be placed before the House of Commons  in such a manner that the party pressure will not be invoked to urge either the adoption or rejection of the change.  On undertakings to this effect being given by the Government and the Opposition, the advocates of Woman’s Suffrage would be well advised to cease their methods of resorting to force, and courting imprisonment for creating disturbances at Westminster, of organising confusion at meetings addressed by Cabinet Ministers, and of opposing all Government candidates at elections (even when those candidates are strong supporters of “votes for women”) because the Government has not brought in, and given exclusive preference to, legislation extending the Parliamentary franchise to females. 
If the electorate see that women would use the vote wisely, and especially if the women of Britain are educated in a manner so as to desire and deserve the vote, the franchise will come…”

Joseph King’s brother, John Godwin King, lived in West Hoathly, Sussex, from 1896 with his wife CharlotteThey were both ardent Liberals, John Godwin was Chairman of the local Liberal Party, but he refused all invitations to stand for Parliament himself.  He was also a member of the Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage.

Ursula Ridley (1897-1974), their daughter, has been described as a woman ahead of her time,  an independent thinker and a member of the National Union of Women Suffrage Societies in the East End of London.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Suffragette connections Part 1 - The American

Harriot Blatch c. 1905

The starting point for examining the suffragette connections to the Peasant Arts movement is the 1901 census.  Here we see a notable suffragette visitor at Greenbushes, Foundry Lane.  

Marion Hine was the head of the household, an elder sister of Ethel and Maude, being 16 years old than Ethel and 19 years older than Maude.  Marion was recorded as a type writer, and was involved in the Vineyard Press.  Marion is living with a boarder, Elsie Bridgewater, a manageress of wool weaving.  However what is quite extraordinary is that they have Harriot Staunton Blatch and her husband visiting.  

Harriot Blatch was a famous American suffragette and writer.  She was living in Basingstoke during the 1890s.  Harriot's ancestors the Brewsters were one of the founding fathers of America.  Harriot's parents were social activists.   In 1881, Harriot worked with her mother, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony on the History of Woman Suffrage.  She contributed a major chapter to the second volume, in which she included the history of the American Woman Suffrage Association, a rival of Stanton and Anthony's National Woman Suffrage Association. This action would help to reconcile the two organizations (Wikipedia).

Harriot Blatch (at the wheel) with fellow suffragists Susan Walker Fitzgerald and Emma Bugbee c. 1910, Library of Congress

Harriot's mother, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was an American social activist, abolitionist, and leading figure of the early woman's movement. Her Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the first women's rights convention held in 1848 in Seneca Falls,New York, is often credited with initiating the first organized woman's rights and woman's suffrage movements in the United States (Wikipedia).  

Suffragette HQ, New York City, Blatch on far right(?)

Whilst in Basingstoke (between 1882-1902) Blatch was impressed by the popular basis of the Women’s Franchise League campaigns in the 1890s (the precursor of the Pankhursts Women’s Social and Politiical Union).  She became of member of the Fabian Society, a friend of Beatrice Webb and her husband Sidney (who co-founded the London School of Economics), George Bernard Shaw and Ramsay MacDonald.  
"Stump speaking", Blatch addressing a crowd in Wall Street, Library of Congress 

In 1898 Blatch was a member of the executive committee of the Union of Practical Suffragists.  In February 1902 she was a delegate from the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies at the International Conference on Women’s Suffrage held at Washington.  She was the founder and president of the Equality League of Self-Supporting women (later the Women’s Political Union) which adopted the purple, white and green colours of the Women’s Social and Political Union and supported the militant methods that the suffragettes used in Britain, although not necessarily advocating their use in the US.  In 1907 she organized meetings for Emmeline Pankhurst in New York (Crawford, The Women’s Suffrage Movement: a reference guide, 1866-1928, UCL Press, 1999).   
Suffragette leaders - movement march on Albany, c.1913: Eleanor Irving, Harriot Blatch, Senator Stillwell, Mrs Arthur Townsend and Mrs John Rogers Jnr

What was Harriot Blatch doing in Haslemere?
Perhaps Harriot had made contact with the Kings and Blounts in the 1890s when she was performing some research on rural working conditions, however it would appear that this work took place too early for the Peasant Arts movement.  Whilst in England, Harriot assisted Charles Booth, the statistician.   She collected information which formed part of his book, Village Life in England.  She used the facts collected to form the basis of her thesis, Conditions of Village Life in England, which she presented for her master's degree at Vassar College in 1894 (Uglow, The Northeastern dictionary of women's biography, Macmillan, 1982). 

Perhaps Blatch had met the Hine sisters whilst Blatch was in Germany (1880-1) tutoring young girls.  Certainly Maude and Ethel were both very proficient in German, having translated chapters in Forest Farm (1908) for example.
Leaders of the National Women's Party at conference, September 1920 (Harriot Blatch 3rd from left holding gloves)

There is no indication that the Hine sisters themselves were formally involved in the suffragette movement, Alla Myzelev refers to Ethel and Maude as 'quiet suffragettes' (Craft Revival in Haslemere: she who weaves, Women's History, Vol 18, Issue 4), however there are a number of links to the suffragette movement to the key members of the Peasants Arts movement.  Perhaps Blatch was merely observing the female working environment in the Peasant Arts workshops in Haslemere, seeing as she had an interest in recruiting working women to the suffrage movement.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Architecture: Francis W. Troup

F.W.Troup, RIBA

Troup (1859-1941) was an architect born in Huntly, Grampian.  He is relevant to the Peasant Arts story as he built the main Peasant Arts buildings in Haslemere and the residence of Joseph and Maude Egerton King.  Troup was the second son of Robert Troup and Margaret MacDonald.  In 1877 he was articled to the Glasgow architects practice of Campbell Douglas and Sellers, where noteworthy architects such as J.M.Brydon, W.Flockhart and J.M.MacLaren had worked (Budgen, West Surrey Architecture, 2002).  It was here that in 1860 J.J.Stevenson had worked, who Troup joined in London. 
Sandhouse, Wormley by F.W. Troup 1910.  Built for Joseph King and Maude Egerton King

J.J. Stevenson was a founder member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) in 1877 which was formed by William Morris, Philip Webb and other notable members of the Pre-Raphelite brotherhood.  J.J. Stevenson set out SPAB's ideals in 'Architectural Restoration: its principals and practice', published in that 1877, the publication was controversial and Stevenson was somewhat belatedly admitted to FRIBA in 1879.  With his initial training complete, in 1883 Troup moved to London and joined Stevenson’s office.  This office had a reputation for being the “stepping stone to London” for young Scottish architects.

Leadwork, St John's College, Oxford renovated by F.W.Troup 1889

In 1885 Troup was awarded a Silver Medal by the Royal Academy for a series of measured drawings of the north porch of St Pauls Cathedral, the drawings were printed in The Builder.  In 1889, then as Clerk of Works at Stevenson’s office, Troup was responsible for the renovation of the fabric of St John’s College, Oxford, this followed thirty foot of library parapet falling into the quad.  At a recent conference (The Traditional Paint Forum 2009), St Johns College, Oxford was described as having the finest examples of decorative leadwork in Britain.  
F.W.Troup drawings of St. John's College, Oxford

F.W.Troup drawings of St. John's College, Oxford
Weaver (English Leadwork: Its Art and History, Donhead Publishing, 1909) says that St John’s College, Oxford, has “four (leadwork) features of which are the elaborate painting and gilding of the lead.  The royal arms and the arms of Archibishop Laud are blazoned in their proper colours, and the turreted face of the heads and the funnel outlets are painted black and white in chevron bands and in many other delightful patterns.  We are indebted to the painstaking care of Mr. F.W. Troup for the restoration of this colour work.  Mr Troup’s measured drawings of the heads are reproduced below” - above actually(!).

This book also includes a photograph of a rain-water pipehead designed by Troup and made by a ‘Mr Dodds’.  Later on Weaver states that “the art of modern leadwork owes a great debt to Mr. F. W. Troup and his own designs always strikes the right note.”  From the references to Troup in this literature, it is clear that Troup was giving inspirational lectures on leadwork to students at the London County Council Central School of Arts and Crafts.
designed by F.W.Troup
Sundial designed by F.W.Troup

In 1889 Troup gained RIBA Associateship status.  In 1898 he worked with fellow Scot, Robert Lorimer, know for his arts and crafts buildings who went onto create large Scots Baronial country houses including Ardkinglas Estate on Loch Fyne in 1906.  Troup supervised the construction of Lorimer's Whinfold in Hascombe (currently for sale in 2010 for £8million).  Robert Falconer MacDonald was also working in the Stevenson office at this time, and is reported to have been designing houses in Haslemere and Hambledon.  In 1899 the building of St. George’s Wood, Haslemere began, the last home of George MacDonald, this was designed by Robert Falconer MacDonald, George’s son.  Greville MacDonald said in his letter to his father dated 8th December 1899 “Yesterday I signed the contract for the building of St. George’s Wood.  For that, an’ it please you, will be your English home for all your earthly time.  Bob’s plans were quite perfect, I think; and there you will easily gather together in your arms - you and Mother – all your children.  It should be a lovely home, set amongst huge beech-trees.  The country is still gloriously lovely.  How exquisite in the Winter months may-be brown and purple all a-glitter in cold sunlight.” (MacDonald, Reminiscences of a Specialist, 1932).
Whinfold, Hascombe

Whinfold, Hascombe

Joseph King and his wife Maude Egerton King had moved to Upper Birtley, Grayswood (near Haslemere) in 1894.  In 1897 they were joined by Maude’s sister Ethel Blount and her husband Godfrey Blount who resided in Foundry Lane.   It would appear that Joseph King owned Foundry Cottage (where the Blounts were residing in 1901) on Foundry Lane, at that time one of the only houses on the land and the surrounding land which was called Foundry Meadow, now part of Kings Road.  It was about this time that Joseph King engaged Troup to design what would become Greenbushes and Honey Hill on Foundry Lane and the Weaving House, the Old Studio and the Dye House on Kings Road.  Joseph King became Troup’s most inspired patron, and the one for whom he built his best country house, Sandhouse in Wormley.   King probably made his connection with Troup through his cousin Greville MacDonald, who was the elder brother of Robert Falconer MacDonald who worked in the Stevenson offices with Troup.
Gilbert Bayes, Bust of F.W.Troup, Artworkers Guild, London , 1932

In 1898 Troup’s diary mentions five separate schemes he was working on for King: “Copse Cottages, the new laundry, the Weavers house and the studio and workroom” (Jackson, F.W.Troup: Architect 1859-1941, Building Centre Trust, 1985).   Jackson tried to identify the cottages and laundry in Wormley, and failed to identify the other buildings, however it is evident that these are the buildings on Foundry Lane and Foundry Meadow.  For example, the Surrey Times (2nd September 1899) reports that “The new weaving house in Foundry Meadow, to be opened on Tuesday next, consists of two large work-rooms, etc., and is a picturesque building, designed by Mr. Frank Troup.  Eleven looms can be comfortably worked in it…”  Greenbushes exhibits Troup’s trademark leadwork around the front entrance. 

Workman's Cottage, F.W.Troup, The Studio, 1901
Ground floor plan, Workman's Cottage, F.W.Troup
First floor plan, Workman's Cottage, F..W.Troup
End Elevation of Workman's Cottage, F.W.Troup

The Studio (vol 20-22, 1901) published an article on workman’s cottages and reported that “The interesting single cottage for a workman, designed and carried out under the direction of Mr. W. Troup, shows an arrangement on both ground and first floor which within certain limits it would be difficult to better.  Built on the side of a hill, a portion of the basement is naturally utilized for a tool-house, coal-shed, etc.  The plan of both ground and first floor is very simple.  A living-room entered from a little porch or lobby, that is reached by a flight of external steps, with a parlour on the right and scullery on the left, is followed by an almost similar arrangement of rooms on the first floor, approached by a staircase leading off the living-room; a passage or landing at the head of the stairs connects the three rooms, the bedroom on the left running over the porch and steps.  The rood is covered with brown tiles, the first floor hung with bright red.  The shutters to the windows are required, and not placed there merely for ornament, as the tenant will occasionally lock up and leave the house.  Up to the first floor the walls are of brick.”  The gradient that the cottage is built on, as shown in the lower picture above, could easily be the steep gradient of Kings Road and Foundry Lane.

Entrance hall with Godfrey Blount's frieze
Inside Sandhouse, F.W.Troup

Sandhouse in Sandhills, Wormley was Troup’s showcase house.  Budgen describes it as “quite remarkable…the elevations are built up in polychrome brickwork, the blue headers forming a pronounced diaper pattern which must have been extremely bright when first built” and links this pattern to Ruskin’s ‘structural polychromy’.  Weaver’s “enthusiastic review of the house for Country Life says that ‘in Sandhouse we have a home where the crafts have had full sway, and its architectural atmosphere befits its owners’”.  Whilst this is no doubt his genuine opinion, it is interesting that from reading Weaver’s Leadwork: Its Art and History it is evident that Weaver and Troup were close friends.   Descriptions of the house include “the dining room (where) the ceiling timbers were left rough-sawn and simply white-washed.  Godfrey Blount’s plaster frieze in the hall was a later addition which detracts from the simplicity of the space.  The craftwork evident throughout the building comes to a climax in the leadwork – in the stable clock, the dormer above the porch and ornate rainwater heads and down pipes.  Next to the tall central bay on the garden front is a rainwater head based on those Troup restored at St John’s, Oxford.” (Jackson, ibid).
The Arts Connected with Building (front page), 1909

Troup contributed the chapters ‘External Leadwork’ and ‘The Influence of Material on Design in Woodwork’ to The Arts connected with Building (B.T.Batsford, 1909).  This is a collection of lectures on craftsmanship and design delivered at Carpenters Hall, London Wall to the Worshipful Company of Carpenters.  This book also contained chapters from notable arts and craftsmen of the time, a number of which are linked to the Haslemere area: Romney Green (working in Foundry Meadow in the early 1900s), C. F. A. Voysey (who built houses on the Hogs Back, Guildford and Norney all nearby to Haslemere), M. H. Baille Scott (who lived in Haslemere in 1912, two houses in Grayshott have been identified as being built during his residence), Guy Dawber (who became president of RIBA) and Charles Spooner (who built St Christopher’s Church in Haslemere, and also lectured at the Central School of Arts and Crafts).
Jackson, F.W.Troup, Architect 1859-1941, Building Centre Trust, 1985

Thereafter Troup's practice was reasonably prosperous, punctuated by a small number of really large jobs, Thistlegate House, Charmouth, Dorset in 1911, Blackfriars House, New Bridge Street, London in 1913, Cambridge University Press in 1920 and from 1921 the Bank of England where his scheme was superseded by that of Sir Herbert Baker, and he was a supervising architect to the Bank of England and prepared designs for the rebuilding of the Threadneedle site. In that year he entered into a partnership with Harold Rooksby Steele which lasted until February 1941 when Troup retired.
Wardrobe designed by Francis Troup, made by Edward Barnsley, 1931, Victoria & Albert Museum

Troup was an Arts and Crafts man throughout his life with a particular interest in leadwork and was an excellent craftsman himself.   He designed the walnut and mahogany and cedar lined wardrobe above for his own home.   The V&A state "It is thought that the sliding handles which conceal keyholes on the cupboard doors were probably his idea. However, the form and materials of the wardrobe are characteristic of Barnsley’s work. In particular, the framed-panel construction of the wardrobe doors and sides, the use of light-coloured wood, and the inclusion of graduated drawers (increasing in depth towards the bottom) are all features commonly found in Barnsley's work".   
Troup, Art Workers Guild, 6 Queen Square, London: The Great Hall, 1918

Troup was an active member of the Art Workers Guild, being Chairman in 1905-6, and Honorary Secretary 1907-19.  Troup became Master of the Art Workers Guild in 1923.  He was Honorary Secretary of the SPAB in 1940.  
Cheap cottage, Letchworth, F.W.Troup, 1905
F.W.Troup, 1905
F.W.Troup, 1905

There is a Francis William Troup archive at the RIBA Library (Royal Institute of British Architects) which has pictures of some of Troup’s commissions.  It contains many pictures of Sandhouse, Witley, but also a house similar in style to the Dye House on Kings Road: 124 Wilbury Road, Letchworth.  It is noted that this house ‘This three bedroom timber cottage was the winner of a competition for a timber cottage costing not more than (£)150 entered at the 1905 Cheap Cottage Exhibition at Letchworth. It has since been altered and extended’.   Budgen notes that “from about 1905, Troup designed a series of very small cottages that he felt offered an inexpensive means of obtaining a roof over ones head.  His first design, for E.P.King, was built in Downton, near Lymington Hampshire, and made use of the latest materials to produce a five-roomed two-storey cottage at the amazing price of £148.  The timber framed building was set on a concrete raft and faced with rendered steel laths and roofed with tiles.” (Budgen, ibid).  It seems clear that this building was designed for Ernest Powell King, Joseph's King's younger brother by two years who died in 1905.  Ernest Powell lived at Wainsford House in Lymington, and in the 1901 census Edwin Lutyens is visiting.

The Letchworth house above which was designed later that year included a walk-in larder and earth closet, and came with weather boarded walls.  His design was used as a basis for a series of designs by others to provide the market with a means of inexpensive housing for the working classes.  If the Dye House was built before these houses, which is certainly what Troup’s other buildings on Foundry Meadow in 1899 who suggest, then it would appear that Troup’s Dye House design was amended to create Troup’s new cheap cottage design.

V&A museum-
Dictionary of Scottish Architects-
Francis Troup RIBA archive-

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Some Peasant Arts literature

Some leaflets from Haslemere Educational Museum.   These are scans of photocopies, so are not in perfect condition!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Henry George Hine

H.G. Hine (1811-1895) watercolourist was father to two of the key Peasant Arts members: Ethel Blount (nee Hine) and Maude Egerton King (nee Hine).  Hine "defined himself as a 'country creature' with a deep-seated love of the Sussex landscape" (Towner Art Gallery, Henry George Hine: The South Downs in Watercolour, 2003).  Hine was born in East Street, Brighton, his father ran a coach company in Brighton, operating between Brighton and London.  The tales he told his children about his time there are retold in Maude's 'Round about a Brighton Coach Office' (King, 1896).
H.G.Hine by William Walker Hodgson, 1891 from The National Portrait Gallery

Hine began working in London in the 1830s as an apprentice draughtsman to Henry Meyer the mezzotint and stipple engraver, at the time a prominent exhibitor of engraved portraits.  However he gave up this position and spent two years living in Rouen where apparently he had family connections, and painted some works such as The Interior of the Cloister of Rouen Cathedral which was exhibted at the Royal Academy.  In 1841 he joined Punch, then newly launched, making black and white illustrations, about a year later he transferred to Puck a rival publication.

Punch, Jul-Dec 1843

Punch, Jan-June 1843
It is said that Hine was refused membership of the two main watercolour societies, The Society of Painters in Water-Colours and the New Society, before he was elected in 1863 as an associate of the New Society.  The New Society renamed itself as the Institute of Painters in Water-Colours, in 1887 Hine was appointed Vice President.  At some point the Institute became the 'Royal Institute'.

Dog Cart and Gentleman

In the 1850s Hine specialised on beach scenes with boats.  It was only in 1860s that he began to produce downland landscapes which his built his reputation.  "Clearly he had known the Sussex Downs all his life, but only in his middle age did he begin to explore the artistic possibilities of that most glorious part of England.  Hine's calm contemplation of the 'great trats of upland pasturage, the thin sweet herbage of chalk lands: swelling hills that the light rested on, and that radiant skies passed over' led to what may be regarded as the defining artistic evocation of the Downs." (Towner Art Gallery, 2003).

Fire in Drury Lane by the Cock and Magpie
A particular aspect of Hine's work is the lightness and subtlety of colour, "his watercolours appear more strongly coloured than they really are, because of the way he found to convey the brightness of the landscape." (ibid).

The Fish Market and Leaf Hall, Eastbourne, Sussex

Greville MacDonald was an admirer of Hine's work before he met Maude and Ethel.  Around 1863, when Greville was 7 years old,  he recounts the 'old home of delight' being taken to "the Polytechnic, to see the "dissolving views' of Christmas Fairy Tales" (MacDonald, Reminiscences of a Specialist, 1932) by Lewis Carroll.  He notes that his attraction to these pictures was not surprising "seeing that these lantern slides were painted by that consummate revealer of the South Downs glory, H.G.Hine, V.P.R.I., in his early days".

Near Steyning

In describing Maude Egerton King in Reminiscences of a Specialist, MacDonald says "so illuminating is heredity that the first step, I think,  towards understanding her may well be the realization of her father's genius.  My first intimacy with H.G.Hine, though not personal, was yet deep.  A few years later than my first meeting with Miss Maude Hine, and alreadyoverwhelmed with work, I had to visit frequently a patientwho owned a dozen or more of her father's poetic water-colourdrawings.  

The South Downs Sussex 1881

Although he was vice President of the Royal Institute, I had not till then fully realized his genius.  But the wonder of these few drawings now so gripped me that then and there, I was swept into the South Downs' loveliness which H.G.Hine, like none before, or since has portrayed.  One somehow shared their limners tread over uplands redolent with thyme's sweet pungency; one understood his tender, colloquial handling of sheep and shepherds, inviting all to join in their converse.  Only magic could make these pigment harmoniesdeclare the sheep-bells tinkling, the wheat-ears' timid songs, or, maybe, the ploughman's call to his horses down away, there, in the wide Weald.  more; only such magic could tell us this rare secret: that Beauty waits with open door and greeting for everyone.  
from the 2003 Exhibition

Later, Maude King told me how her father once avowed that no picture was worth much if it failed to point the way out of itself.  And I think this is the secret of his work, whether with South Downs or ruined castles, mossy dells or wastes of desolate ocean.  This it was, rather than his perfect technique or fadeless colouring, that made me, certainly no critic, know how near he stood to Turner, Constable, David Cox - even to Samuel Palmer, that gentle-souled pupil of William Blake."

See also my further post on the Hine family artists.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...