Issue Date: 15/7/2007
Additional data at end.
Jillian Hanbury Poole's paternal ancestry
The historical information in the ensuing pages has been taken from a handsomely printed and illustrated two-volume history of "The Hanbury Family" compiled by A. Audrey Locke, Oxford Honours School of Modern History, (author of "The Seymour Family"), and published in 1916 by Arthur Humphries, 187 Piccadilly West, London, a set of which is in the possession of Jillian's mother.
The many branches of the Hanbury Family in England are all descended from:
Roger de Hanbury and Guy de Hanbury of Worcestershire, circa 1182.
Roger had a son Philip, while Guy had one named Geoffrey, circa 1198, and the latter's son was another Guy, circa 1255. It is uncertain whether Philip or Guy was the father of the next in line,
who held one-fourth of a Knight's fee in
1299 and was bailiff and executor of Bishop Gifford of Worcester in 1300/1305.
The Manor of Hanbury lies 3 miles East of Droitwich and at the time of the Doomsday survey belonged to the Bishopric of Worcester, and so remained until the time of Queen Elizabeth when the Manor and Advowson passed to the Crown in 1562, in exchange for certain tithes. The Queen then granted then to Sir Francis Knollys who gave them to his son-in-law Sir Thomas Leighton, who sold then in 1630 to Edward Vernon, son of the Rector of Hanbury. In this family they still continue. The original Hanbury's held their lands in fief from the Bishop of Worcester.
Knight of the Shire and Justice of the
was alive in 1343 and married Elizabeth,
daughter of John de Wyncheley. Their son was another:-
of whom there are no particulars. His son
was likewise a:-
whose eldest son William continued the
line of Hanburys of Hanbury Hall. John's third son was:-
who moved six miles North-west to
Elmley-Lovett. His only child:-
married Catherine Smythe, who bore him a
son, Richard (III). (His second wife, Margery Tyntes, bore him 3 sons, Henry,
John and Thomas, who moved away and founded the Hanburys of Hampshire and
of Elmley-Lovett, married the daughter of
Philip Bassett. In 1524 Henry VIII granted him "the farm of the site of
the Manor of Elmley Lovett previously owned by John Bassett, with which were
included many other parcels of land within the Royal Manor of Elmley Lovette.
His first son John follows next. His second son Thomas Hanbury (died 1557)
married Joan Poole of Elmley Lovett who died a widow in 1591 and, like her
husband, is buried in Elmley Lovett churchyard. (It is odd to reflect that 400
years after this first Hanbury-Poole marriage history repeated itself when a
descendant of the same family Jillian Hanbury married Richard Poole in far off
Virginia, U.S.A. in 1957. The first son of Richard (III) was:-
and buried at Elmley Lovett. He married Elizabeth
Bionde and their son Richard the Elder, died 1608, founded the Hanburys of
London and Datchet, Bucks. John next married Elisabeth BradLey whose first two
sons died young. Their third, Richard the Younger follows next. Her fourth
son, Robert, founded the Hanburys of Wolverhampton.
lived and died in Elmley Lovett. He
married Margery Bradley and their first son, John, moved two miles away to the
Northwest and founded the Hanburys of Purshull Green. Their second son:-
followed the example of a kinsman and in
1698, left Elmley Lovett for Pontypool, Monmouthshire, where he became
interested in a foundry. He gradually acquired property in Llanvihangel,
Pontymoil and Panteg, finally settling at Panteg and founding the Hanburys of
Panteg and Pontymoil. He married Alice Cole (died 1630) and had four children,
Richard, John, Edward and Rose.
chose to dwell In Pontymoil and was one of
the earliest members of the Society of Friends in England. George Fox, who
founded the Society about 1649, visited him twice - 1651 and 1657. In Fox's
diary for 1657 appears the entry:- "Rode to Pontamile to Richard Hanbury
where there was a great meetinge and there came another Justice of Peace and
several geoat people to it; and there understandings were opened by ye Lord's
spirit and power."
Richard's garden became the Quaker graveyard; and the next four or five generations of Hanbury's continued to be Quakers. Richard had married in 1630 Cecilia, born 1606, and had five children, - Charles, Richard, Katherine, Mary and Margaret. Charles died unmarried.
had no children by his first wife, Katherine
Ford. His second wife, Mary, who is buried beside him in the Quaker cemetery
in Pontymoil, gave his four sons, -
Charles, Capel, Joseph and Basil. Capel's line became the Hanburys of London and La Mortola and it was his descendant Sir Thomas Hanbury, a successful Shanghai merchant, who in the 1860's acquired "La Mortola" on a small headland of the Italian Riviera, making it a famous garden spot visited by many of Europe's Royalty. Ultimately it was bequeathed to the Italian Government. Richard 11-s first son:-
at Pontymoil, died 1735 and is buried beside
the Friends' Meeting House there. In 1699 he married Grace Beadles (died 1710)
and they had two sons John and Richard (1702-1745). His second wife, Candia,
bore him two daughters, - Ruth and Elisabeth. Charles' first son:-
at Llanvihangel, and died June 22/1758 at
Holfield Grange, Coggeshall, Essex, "of Llanvihangel and Tower Street,
London". As a young man, he left Monmouthshire for London, established
himself in Tower Street and in partnership with his cousin Capel Hanbury of
Mark Lane, built up a business in Virginia tobacco, becoming known ere long
throughout Europe as the greatest tobacco merchant of his day. About 1730, when
30 years of age, he married Anna Osgood, a Quaker like himself, daughter of
Henry Osgood of Plough Court, London, and of Holfield Grange, Coggeshall,
Essex, through whom the beautiful estate of Holfield Grange came into the Hanbury
family. They had one son, Osgood Hanbury, born 1731, and two daughters,
Elisabeth and Anna.
Besides his large operations in Virginia tobacco, John Hanbury played an important part in the development of that young colony, being instrumental in planning and undertaking "the extension of British trade beyond the mountains and settlement of the countries upon the Ohio. He obtained for himself and fellow petitioners a grant of 500,000 acres of land "between Romanettos and Buffalo Creek on the South side of the River Alligam" on which to settle 100 families who were also to build a fort for their protection. Many, possibly all, of these settlers appear to have been Quakers. A few years later, in the final struggle between England and France for the mastery of America this settlement became the scene of severe fighting. In April, 1754, a small force of Virginia militia under Major George Washington, while constructing a defensive fortress, was compelled to withdraw by a superior French force from Fort Leboeuf on Lake Erie which demolished the unfinished works and erected Fort Duquesne on the same site. To oust them the British dispatched fresh troops from England early in 1755. Two of John Hanbury's ships, the "Osgood" and the "Fishburn", were commandeered as transports and arrived at the mouth of the James River on March 2, 1755, "after a most agreeable passage of six weeks and four days". They were met by the Hanburys agent, John Hunter, who escorted the Officers to Williamsburg, where Lieutenant Colonel Burton and Captain Ross where guests at his house. General Braddock arrived in Virginia April 14/1755, and at the head of 1400 British regulars with 450 Colonials under Lt. Col. George Washington, marched to the Ohio to attack Fort Duquesne. On the Monongahela, 5 miles below the fort he was met by a mixed force of 900 French and Indians and, by holding his soldiers massed in close formation, fell an easy prey to the enemy who surrounded and defeated them at the battle of The Wilderness, July 9. With Braddock mortally wounded, Washington led the remnant back to Fort Cumberland, the body of General Braddock having to be hastily buried in an unmarked grave beside the trail. This was the end of John Hanbury's settlement until the French were finally defeated in 1760.
John's wife Anna Osgood had died March 26/1754 before these military disasters; and John himself died June 22/1758 at Holfield Grange. Their only son:-
inherited Holfield Grange and continued
his father's prosperous tobacco business. Like both his parents he was a
Quaker. He married Mary (Molly) Lloyd of Birmingham (died 1770) and had five
John, Osgood (2), Charles Richard and Sampson.
Rachael, Mary and Anna. John died at 16 making Osgood (2) the heir to Holfield Grange. Charles founded the Hanburys of Halstead.
Sampson (1769-1835) married Agatha, daughter of Richard Guerney of Keswick Hall, Norfolk, and about the year 1800 bought "Poles", a large estate with an imposing mansion and beautiful deer-park near Thundridge, Hertfordshire. From 1799 to 1830 he was Master of the Puckeridge Hounds. Having no children, he left "Poles" to his widow who outlived him 12 years, and thereafter to his nephew Robert Hanbury, as appears later.
inherited Holfield Grange in 1784; and in 1789
married Susannah Willett Barclay, daughter of John Barclay the London banker
who was a descendant of King James 2 of Scotland. Osgood was himself a London
banker, a partner in Barnett, Hoare, Hanbury & Lloyd. He and Susannah had
six sons, Osgood (3) 1794-1873, Robert 1798-1884, Henry, Sampson, Philip and
Arthur. Also 4 daughters:- Mary, Rachael, Anna and Susan.
Osgood (3) inherited Holfield Grange, as did his son and grandson, both named Osgood, the last of whom died 6 days after his marriage in 1889 to his cousin Flora Tower; and Holfield Grange passed out of the Hanbury family to her second husband, Reginald Duke Hill. Of his brothers, Robert follows next; Philip founded the Hanburys of Woodlands, Redhill, and Arthur became the Vicar of Bury St. Mary, Suffolk.
became the senior partner in Truman, Hanbury,
Buxton & Co., London the well-known brewers. On the death of his Aunt
Agatha in 1847, he inherited his Uncle Sampson's beautiful estate
"Poles", where he died in 1884. He was a J.P. of Hertfordshire and a
Deputy Lieutenant; also High Sheriff of the County. Together with Anthony
Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftsbury, Lord Ebury and others, Robert assisted
in founding the Church of England Scripture Reading Association. He also built
and endowed two churches. From all of which it seems that Robert had abandoned
the Quaker beliefs of his forbears. He married in 1819 his cousin Emily Willett
Hall (died 1847) and they had 5 sons: -
1. Robert (2) 1823-1667, who follows next.
2. Charles, who founded the Hanburys of Belmont, Herts, and Strathgarve, Dingwall, Ross-shire. He had 4 sons, Harold, John Mackensie, Basil and David. Through Harold's early death, John became heir and had a beautiful place called Rylands at Chelmsford, Essex, the house containing a hundred rooms. John died in l922 but his widow continued to live there with her son "Jock" who in World War II joined the R.A.F. and was killed in a flying accident. (In their early married life Jillian's parents Anthony and Una Hanbury, often stayed at this lovely place "Rylands".)
3. George, who founded the Hanburys of Blythewood, Maidenhead, Bucks He had 3 sons, Reginald, Lionel and Robert.
4. Edgar, who founded the Hanburys of Eastrop Grange, Highwith. He had 3 sons - Bernard, Caryl and Evelyn.
5. Guerney, a Captain in the 8th Hussars who founded the Hanburys of Holmwood Lodge, Ascot. 1 son, Everard, of the Scots Greys. There was also 1 daughter, Madeleine, who married Daniel Chapman.
later known as Robert Culling Hanbury,.
Though heir to "Poles" he never inherited it as his father outlived
him, the estate passing direct to his eldest son, Edmund. Robert became a
partner in his father's firm, Truman, Hanbury, Burton & Co. and lived at 10
Upper Grosvenor Street, London, where he died. He was from 1857 to 1865 Member
of Parliament for Middlesex. In 1849, when his father inherited
"Poles", he married Caroline Smith, daughter of Abel Smith of
Woodell, Hertfordshire. After giving him 5 sons and 3 daughters, Caroline died
in 1863. In 1865 Robert married again, Frances Selina Eardley, eldest daughter
of Sir Culling E. Eardley, Bart, of Bedwell Park, Hertfordshire and thereupon assumed
the additional name of Culling. Their two children died in infancy. Robert's
children by his first wife, Caroline, were:-
1/1. Edmund Smith Hanbury, born 1850, died 1913 at "Poles". Was educated at Eton and Christchurch, Oxford. He, too was a partner in Truman, Hanbury, Burton & Co., but retiring in 1886 after inheriting "Poles" in 1884. He became a J.P. and Deputy Lieutenant for Hertfordshire. In later life, he was for two years, 1906-1909, Prime Warden of one of the famous old London Guilds, the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers. When 26, he had married in 1876, Jane Amy Matilda Leslie, of Warthill, Aberdeenshire, and they had one son, Robert Francis Hanbury, born 1883 at Bedwell Park, and two daughters, Muriel Leslie and Caroline Agatha. In 1890 Edmund and his wife rebuilt "Poles" imposingly in the Jacobean manner, as it still is. On his death in 1913, "Poles" descended to his only son Robert Francis, who had been educated at Eton and Christchurch, Oxford, and called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1910. He saw active service in World War I as Captain in the 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regt. A year after inheriting "Poles", he sold it out of the family to a Mr. H.J. King, and later on it became a convent. Captain Robert Francis Hanbury survived the War and in 1939 was living in Scotland.
1/2. Evan Hanbury, born 1854 at "Poles" and educated at Eton and Cambridge. He took over his father's brewery shares (when his father got the idea that breweries were immoral) and did very well out of them. As a young man, he moved to Braunston Manor House, Oakham, Rutlandshire, where he was a J.P. and for 26 years Master of the Cottesmore Foxhounds. He married in 1886 Mrs. Finch (Gwendolin Smith) of Burley-on-the-hill and had one son and one daughter. The former, Robert Evan Hanbury, born 1887, was killed in World War I. His son James is now living at Burley-on-the-hill, Manton, Oakham, one of the stately homes of Britain.
Hester, married Robert E.N. Heathcote and they live at Manton Hall, Oakham, Rutland.
1/3. Anthony Ashley Hanbury, 1861-1914, who follows next.
1/4. Francis William Hanbury, No details. May have died young.
1/5. Herbert Hanbury. Died in infancy.
he three daughters of Robert Hanbury (2) were:
1/1. Emily, Married in 1887 Rev. W. Hay Chapman.
1/2. Mabel married in 1879 Hon. Hamilton James Tollemanche, son of Lord Tollemanche of Helmingham.
1/3. Caroline, married in 1884 Mathew George Farrer.
third son of Robert Hanbury (2), usually called
Ashley, was born January 4/1861 at "Poles" and died January 3/1914 at
Stoke Green, Bucks. He was educated at Cheam, Eton and Oxford and in his
bachelor days travelled around the world and did a lot of big game hunting. He
married April 11/1889 Amy Georgina Handcock, born in Ireland and died in London
April 1920. She was the daughter of Hon. R.F. Handcock of the Royal Artillery. Handcock
is the family of the Irish Stannus peerage and Amy's grandfather was Lord Stannus.
When Ashley married, he moved to "Sunnyside", Farnham Common, Buckinghamshire,
where all his children were born. About 1910 he built the "White
House", Stoke Green, Bucks, four miles from Farnham Common, a large house
and lived there until his death in 1914. The place was sold a year later.
Anthony Ashley, as a young man, was given the choice of going into the family
brewery business, - Truman, Hanbury & Buxton, or starting on his own.
Unfortunately he chose the latter, going into partnership with Vesey Strong and
putting up the capital for a Company, Strong & Hanbury, Paper merchants, of
Upper Thames Street, London. After a bit, Strong began to play the stock
market, with such success that he became Sir Vesey Strong, Lord Mayor of
London, in 1910.
After that, however, he lost all his money and Anthony Ashley's as well, with the result that when Ashley died in 1914 there was little left, "White House" had to be sold and Amy, who lived on till 1920, pulled things together by starting an antique business in Chelsea. Anthony Ashley and Amy had 3 sons, Claude, Anthony and Michael; and three daughters, Vera, Madeleine and Joan.
2/1. Claude Everard Robert Hanbury born 1893. In World War I he held a commission in the Irish Guards and was killed in action at Ypres, October 18/1917.
2/2. Anthony Henry Robert Culling Hanbury, born July 23/1902, who follows next.
2/3. Michael Hanbury, born September 30/1906. was educated at Bradfield, a Public School near Reading, Berks. On leaving school, he went out to South Africa about 1924 and on September 1/1934, married Elaine Knill born June 17/1905 in Hove, Sussex whose great-uncle, Sir John Stewart Knill, was Lord Mayor of London at the end of the 19th century. The family was originally de Knill, of Knill Court, Knill Herefordshire. In 1935, Michael bought "Kildonan", a 7000 acre estate 25 miles North of Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, where he successfully grew tobacco and raised cattle. As time passed however the 5000 ft. altitude did not suit Elaine, and in 1950 the sold "Kildonan" and bought a smaller estate of 1400 acres, "Ashley Grange", 25 miles from Pietermaritzburg, the capital of Natal, where they now raise poultry for the Durban market 75 miles away. Michael and Elaine have two children:-
3/1. Yvonne Elaine Hanbury, as yet unmarried and nursing in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia.
3/2. Ashley Michael Hanbury, born May 3/1939, educated at Rusawe, Southern Rhodesia and Michaelhouse, Natal. Married August 24/196l, Alexis McKechnie, born at Strome, Argyllshire and later lived at Manton, Oakham, Rutlandshire. She was Secretary to Harold Macmillan during his campaign for election as Prime Minister. Ashley is at present engaged with his father in farming Ashley Orange. He and Alexis have one son:
4/1. David Ashley Alexander Hanbury, born February 21/1963 at Pietermaritzburg, Natal.
The three daughters of Anthony Ashley Hanbury were -
2/1. Vera, born 1890, died 1950, married Brian Henry Stock and had 2 sons and 2 daughters.
2/2. Elsie Madeleine Amy, (called Madeleine), born 1896. She never married and died in 1957 in Oxford.
2/3. Joan Agatha Mary Gordon, born 1899, married 1934 Nicholas Kemmie. She has two daughters, Sheila and Penny. They live in Southern Rhodesia.
was born July 23/l902 at "Sunnyside",
Farnham Common, Bucks (He prefers now to drop the name Culling, since he is not
lineally a Culling.) He was educated at the Royal Naval Colleges of Osborne and
Dartmouth and was due to go to sea in a month's time when World War I came to
an end in November, 1918. He left the Navy a month later and served 2 years
apprenticeship in an electrical engineering factory intending to make
engineering his career; but on completing his apprenticeship, he had to
relinquish this goal in order to be with his now ailing mother in London. He
then entered the Head Office of the Royal Exchange Assurance Co. and a fortnight
after doing so, his mother died, in April, 1920. However, he remained on with
the Royal Exchange for the next five years. By then, 1925, Anthony was 23 and
stood 6 ft. 4 inches. Like his Uncle Edmund, he was admitted to the livery of
the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers, a privilege he still retains.
In 1926, Anthony married, in St. Ethelburga's Church, London, Una Rawnsley, daughter of Noel and Violet Cutbill Rawnsley, of "Weald Height", near Knowle Park, Seven Oaks, Kent. For a few years they lived in London and had two daughters, -
Hanbury, August 11/1930.
At the time of his marriage, Anthony left the Royal Exchange Assc.Co. and went onto the London Stock Exchange, becoming a member and later a partner in Quilter & Co. In these early years of their marriage, Una recalls often visiting at Anthony's cousin John Hanbury's lovely estate "Rylands" in Chelmsford, Essex, with John's widow and son "Jock" and being much impressed by its 100 bedrooms. Ere long, Anthony and Una moved out to the country, living at Derbyfields, North Warnborough, Hampshire, some five miles East of Basingstoke, where they and the two little girls had their own horses and enjoyed riding to hounds.
On the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Anthony, then 37, joined up in the Royal Artillery, but his heart gave out, and in 1941 he was discharged as unfit, with the rank of Captain. Meanwhile Una had, in 1940, taken the girls across the Atlantic, placing Diana in school in Canada and going on with Jillian then 10, to Bermuda. There Anthony joined her early in 1941, securing a censorship post for the next three months. Unfortunately their wartime separation had become an estrangement and he went back alone to England in the Autumn of 1941, a divorce being granted in 1945.
On his return to London, he had joined up with an old friend in the City, Denys Lowson, (later Sir Denys Lowson, Lord Mayor of London in 1950) and became a Director in 28 Companies controlling 35 million pounds sterling of capital.
In l945 he married Clair Tunnell, born June 7/1916 at Telford Park, London, S.W. and they lived at Hallam St., London.
Gradually, he was beginning to find life in a metropolis less and less tolerable, and in 1947 decided to break away and start afresh with Clair in Southern Rhodesia where his younger brother Michael was already established and growing tobacco. Anthony first bought an 80 acre farm near Umtali, about 100 miles from Salisbury, growing fruit and vegetables, but abandoned this when other business interests in Salisbury required urgent attention. Instead, he bought a 100 acre farm near Salisbury and again went into production, as well as establishing a large native store. Things did not go well for him, however, and he lost much of his capital. Moreover, Clair had never been fit in the Rhodesian climate so in 1950 they moved to Natal where he is new managing the well-known Royal Hotel in Ladysmith. He and Clair have no children.
Anthony's children by his first marriage were:-
1. Diana Hanbury, born September 2/1927, in London. She went to English, Canadian and Bermudian schools and in 1945 returned to England to complete her education in London University. She then went out to Rhodesia in 1948 to visit first her father and Clair and then her Uncle Michael and Aunt Elaine, where she obtained a post as teacher at Rusawe boys school. This experience persuaded her to adopt teaching as a career. On rejoining her mother and Jillian in Washington, she took her M.A. in Germanic languages at George Washington University and taught at the Sidwell Friends' School. She is now teaching at the Potomac School in Washington. Diana also owns and operates a Summer Study Camp for Children which she calls "Dunnabeck" (after her great grandfather's cottage by Rydal Water in the English Lake District) located high up in the Alleghennies near Uniontown, Pennsylvania, only a few miles from where roadbuilders recently uncovered the long-lost grave of the British General Braddock mortally wounded in the battle of The Wilderness against the French at Monongahela in 1755, an event which figures in the history of her Hanbury ancestors.
In 1952 Diana married, in the National Cathedral in Washington, James Cecil King, born in Uniontown, Pa., in 1924 who was then a teacher in St. Alban's School. They did not hit it off and were divorced in 1957 Diana retaining their two children. She now lives with them in McLean, Virginia, on the fringe of Washington. Her children are.-
Christopher Hanbury King, born June 26/1954 in Washington.
Sheila Ann King, February 19/1956
2. Jillian Hanbury, born August 11/1930, in London, whose history has already been recorded. While travelling in Europe in 1951, she greatly enjoyed three weeks in London with her father. Anthony then on a visit from South Africa with his wife Clair.
On November 2/1957, Jillian married, in Ivy, Virginia, Richard Armstrong Poole, born April 29/1919 in Yokohama, Japan,. a Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Department of State, whose history has also
been previously recorded. They have one son, -
Anthony Hanbury Poole, born February 6/1961 in Washington, D.C. and christened June 3/1961 in the National Cathedral.
A second son:
Colin Rawnsley Poole, was born January 14/1964 in Washington, D.C., and christened April 18/1964, in the National Cathedral.
Jillian Hanbury Poole's Maternal ancestry.
left Yorkshire and settled in Bourne, Lincolnshire,
where he married Deborah Hardwicke and became a man of weight in County
affairs. His house, with coats of arms on its walls, may still be seen in
Bourne. His fourth son:-
went to Eton as a King's Scholar, where he
was noted for his prowess as a puglist and swimmer. He was elected a Reynolds
Scholar Exeter College, Oxford and eventually became the Rector of Halton
Holgate, near Spilsby, Lincolnshire, where he died in 1861. He was an intimate
friend of Dr. Tennyson, Rector of the neighboring parishes of Somersby and Bag
Enderly, who subsequently entrusted to him the guardianship of his four sons,
the future Poet Laureate and his brothers. Thomas had two sons, Edward and
Drummond, both of whom took orders. The younger,
(called "Drummond") was born in
1817 and educated first, at Laleham, afterwards at Rugby under Dr. Arnold. He
went to Brasenose College Oxford, later becoming a fellow of Magdalen. He
married in 1843 Catherine Ann Franklin, a daughter of Sir William Franklin,
Judge of the Supreme Court of Madras, who died of cholera in 1824. The Judge's
wife survived him only a few months and Catherine was left under the
guardianship of her father's brother, Sir John Franklin the Arctic Explorer,
and spent some years with his sister, Mrs Selwood.
After working in Hertfordshire and Hampshire, Drummond became Vicar of Shiplake-on Thames; and from this Vicarage, Alfred Tennyson was married in 1850 by his lifelong friend, Drummond. The poet's bride, Emily Selwood, was a cousin of Catherine's.
Drummond and Catherine had five sons and four daughters. On his father's death in 1861, Drummond succeeded him as Rector of Halton Halgate and moved into the vicarage with his large family in 1862. This was their home for the next twenty years until his death in 1882. Though Catherine's parental home had been at Spilsby, she continued to live in Halton Holgate where she died in 1892. Their first son William was born the year after their marriage. During the next seven years they had one daughter and then came:-
born at Shiplake on-Thames September 25/1851,
With him was born a twin sister, Frances who lived to a great age, dying in the
early years of World War II. When eleven years old, Hardwicke entered Uppingham
School in Rutlandshire of which his Godfather, Edward Thring, was Headmaster;
and in 1870 went on to Balliol, Oxford taking his degree in Natural Science in
1874. He then entered Holy Orders and vas ordained Deacon in Gloucester
Cathedral in 1875. After serving two years in Bristol, he was offered by his
cousin of Wray Castle on Lake Windermere, Westmorland, the living at the village
of Wray, which he accepted and was ordained Priest at Carlisle Cathedral on
On January 29/1878 he married at Brathay, Edith Fletcher of a well-to-do coal owning family who lived at The Croft Ambleside, Lake Windermere, with whom he had sometimes stayed. She was a gifted artist, very shy but vigorous. An album of her water-colour sketches dated from 1860 to 1910, now in her grand-daughter Una's possession, show a perfection of detail combined with overall effect that is now rarely met with.
In 1879 they set out with four friends on a six months trip to Egypt, Sinai and Palestine, travelling over the desert by camel and elsewhere on horseback, returning to England via Cyprus, Greece and Constantinople. It proved an illuminating adventure and Hardwicke later lectured on their experiences.
On December 14/1880 their son Noel was born in Wray Vicarage. He was their only child.
In 1883 the Bishop of Carlisle bestowed on Hardwick the living of Crosthwaite at Keswick on Derwentwater, Cumberland, the vicarage becoming his home for the next 34 years. In 1893, he was made honorary Canon of Carlisle.
Canon Rawnsley was a remarkable man, enterprisingly public-spirited not only in his own parish but over the countryside. His wife shared his enthusiasm and founded the Keswick School of Industrial Arts, originally to keep young working men out of the pubs, but ultimately it became a permanent institution and still exists. Edith herself supervised the teaching of metal-working. What soon brought Hardyicke into prominence were the many battles he fought to prevent the beauties of the Lake District from desecration by railroads and the ruthless destruction of old bridges and other picturesque landmarks. In this struggle he grew to be a national figure and it was he who inspired and was a co-founder of the National Trust in 1893, remaining its Honorary Secretary for the rest of his life. In gratitude, the people of the Lake District by public subscription acquired a large tract of land on Derwentwater embracing Friar's Crag, Lord's Island and a part of Great Wood which they presented to the National Trust "In honour of Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley."
He was a man of cheerful disposition and ready wit, given to sprinkling his personal correspondence with amusing verses. He travelled widely and was the author of many books, notably about the historic and scenic interest of the Lake District, including one volume of serious poems.
In 1896 he was asked by one of the London newspapers to attend the coronation of Csar Nicholas II in Moscow; and he and his wife Edith were honoured guests at the ceremonies. Two years later they spent five weeks in U.S.A., visiting various Eastern colleges.
Feeling the need in 1907 of a quiet refuge, they bought the little holding of "Dunnabeck" in Grasmere, a cottage and a few fields lying high up on the Eastern Fell with a beautiful outlook over Rydal Water. They made the house and garden as perfect as possible and for the next nine years "Dunnabeck" brought a feeling of peace and restfulness into their hurried lives. There, too, their grand-children frequently came to visit them and romped with them over the fells.
In 1909 Hardwicke was made Second Canon of Carlisle, and in 1912 Chaplain to the King in recognition of his lifework. From 1909 until his death he spent three months of each year in residence at the Abbey and the remaining nine months at Crosthwaite. He was now past sixty and felt the time near for giving up his work at Crosthwaite. However the outbreak of World War I in 1914 made him reluctant. Then in 1915 came on opportunity to purchase "Allan Bank" at Grasmere, a house standing high on an out-jutting spur between the lake and Easdale, with fields running down to the water and woods rising to the fells. It was just such a home as they had long dreamed of. Wordsworth had lived there in 1808-11; Coleridge. de Quincy and other famous men had foregathered in its studio. By the end of Summer, they owned it and in the following year made it ready to be their home. Sadly, however Edith contracted influenza and died in Carlisle December 31/1916. Without her, he felt he could not carry on at Crosthwaite and preached his last sermon there at Easter, retiring in May to Allan Bank. He continued, however, his Autumn term at Carlisle Cathedral.
On June 1/l918, he married a long-time friend Eleanor Simpson whose parental home and fields, "The Wray", lay next to "Allan Bank". She and her two sisters had known the Rawnsleys since girlhood and had travelled with them in Europe. In the months after their quiet wedding they journeyed around England; and in the Spring of 1920 visited Provence and the battlefields of Northern France. On their return to England, his health began to flag and he died at Allan Bank on May 29/1920. Eleanor, who survived him many years, proved a devoted biographer and her interesting book "Canon Rawnsley" was published in 1923. Most of these notes on his life are taken from it. After her death in the late 1950's at Allan Bank, the house was presented to the National trust. It contains a beautiful Della Robbia "Annunciation" about 5' x 3'. which Hardwicke brought back from Italy before the Italian Government stopped the export of art treasures.
only child of Canon Hardwicke Drummond
Rawnsley and Edith Fletcher was born at the Wray Vicarage, Grasmere, December 14/1880.
His father hoped that he, too, would enter the Church, but he had other ideas.
After his schooling at Rugby, instead of going on to Oxford he joined on an archaeological
expedition to Egypt under the leadership of W.M. Flinders Petrie, the famous
Egyptologist who in 1903-5 discovered the earthwork city of the Hyksos on the
On his return to England, he married Violet Hilton Cutbill, one of a family of eight who lived at Ruxley, Foots Cray, Kent. The Cutbills were originally a French Huguenot family of the name de Quetteville. Violet's father Arthur Cutbill worked in the City of London in a tea importing or brokerage firm. Noel's daughter Una recalls that "Arthur commuted daily from Sidcup station with a "nosegay" in his button-hole and a jaunty whistle on his lips. Violet's mother was a Hilton and her mother a Key, rather a beauty it was said. Somewhere there was a relationship with General Gordon of Khartoum ("Chinese Gordon") whose aged brother I addressed as "Uncle" when - during my early childhood I visited him, seated in his bath-chair, at Bexhill-on-sea. "Ruxley" was a pleasant home where the sun always shone in ones memory; horses and fierce little ponies in the stables, Jersey cows in the meadows below the house who licked ones hands with rough tongues and breathed deliciously scented warm breath into ones face; a place where bees were kept along one perilous vegetable-garden path, (a good place to close ones eyes and race past); an orchard with roaming sheep that one could chase and where rather frightening pigs rooted about. Adjoining the back garden was a wood where silver birch and ferns spread a delicious shade and a child could wander along mossy paths and come by surprise upon a rabbit. Now all this is buried beneath a huge highway and busy intersection with traffic lights and endless streams of trucks going in and out of London. Arthur Cutbill, the presiding spirit over the place with all the tall Uncles and Aunts of various degrees of popularity in a child's mind, had disposition of immeasurable sweetness and never in anyone's memory had been heard to utter a discourteous or unkind word."
For a while after their marriage, Noel and Violet lived at Staines, Middlesex, where their daughter Una was born; then moved to Seven Oaks, Kent, where three sons were born, - Conrad Franklin, David Willingham and Derek Lincoln. Meanwhile Noel had built himself a new house "Weald Height" - a gift from his father the Canon, - near lovely Knowle Park at Seven 0aks, - which stood on the downs with a magnificent view over the whole Weald of Kent. His youngest son Derek was the only one born at "Weald Height", in 1911, but it was also the well-remembered home of his brothers and sister from early childhood. On marrying, Noel had settled down to the creation of a machine printing-press which was to print just as beautiful as the hand presses. It was a revolt against the Ruskin School in which he had been raised. The type he designed himself; he ground his own ink to be sure of its quality; and he had rag paper specially made by Portals.
The Beaver Press, as it was called, was considered to it out the best printing done at that tine in England. Just when it started to pay its way, World War I broke out and Noel immediately joined up in the first expeditionary force to France as an assistant to Sir Alfred Kerr's Red Cross Service. In his absence, the Beaver Press had to be sold to pay off debts.
While in France, Noel succeeded in getting into active service by joining the Royal Engineers Signal Corps as a dispatch rider. Presently, however, he was invalided out having contracted pleurisy in the terrible conditions of the 1916 Winter. After recovering, he went to work as an overseer for Swan Hunter, Wigham & Richardson, ship-builders on Tyneside, who were turning out destroyers. That was where Noel's daughter Una saw her first ship-launching.
Shortly after the war was over, Noel came into quite an inheritance from his father. He had always had a passion for horseback riding and for sailing; and the latter he was now able to indulge by buying a beautiful 40-ton cutter called the "Sorceress" in which he spent many summers cruising around England and the West Coast of France. Probably his enthusiasm engendered the spark of love for sailing and the sea which burns so brightly in his grand-daughters Diana and Jillian.
Noel had always been the despair of his parents in his handling of money, and little by little his inheritance was depleted by ill-advised investments. In the late twenties, having run through his money, Noel retired with Violet to the Isle of Capri, where they built themselves a lovely little villa in which to spend their remaining days. He occupied himself experimenting with tree-growing, and later on in trying to promote World Peace, in a sense carrying on his son Derek's ideals after his death. Early in the 1950's, Noel died in their Anacapri villa, where Violet is still living in 1962.
Though Una was Noel's first child, it will be simpler to write first of her three brother:
was born at Seven Oaks, Kent, and educated
at Osborne and Dartmouth Naval Academies. By making the Navy his career, he was
fulfilling a frustrated ambition of his father's. After his second tour of
duty on the Yangtze, he married an English girl named Elsin whom he had met
while in China. During the early days of World War II, he was invalided out of
the service with the rank of Commander. He then started a successful visual
education service but was squeezed out by a designing partner who had obtained
financial control. To recoup this disaster, Elsin started making dolls'
clothing and, inspired by her success, Conrad developed a dolls' clothing
factory with headquarters in Sussex which has done well. Like his father, Conrad
is a keen sailing man and has taken part in many regattas.
They have two daughters.
born at Seven Oaks, was educated at Westminster
and Architectural College. As soon as qualified, he defied his parents and
became a scenic designer and painter for the movies. During World War II, he
served in the merchant service, was sunk in Winter weather and became
tubercular. On recovery, he went back to the movie industry and became Art
Director for Elstree Studios; then free-lanced until he was appointed Head of
Technological Research for Arthur Rank. Eventually he became disgusted, threw
his career overboard and turned to making Chelsea pottery, establishing an
Atelier Libre whose distinctive work has became well-known for its originality
and excellence. At the invitation of prominent Bahamians, and with the Governor's
blessing, David later set up in Nassau the counterpart of his Chelsea
enterprise to develop the native originality in pottery. He calls it
"Chelsea Pottery, Bahamas" and now lives in Nassau, where he is
well-known as a painter and sculptor.
David married three times and has four sons by his present wife. These boys are the only bearers of the name Rawnsley, and now live in London, England, with their mother.
Noel's third son was born at Weald Height, Seven
Oaks, Kent, on November 24/1911, and died in February 1943 while on active
service in World War II. His obituary in the London Times of March 12/1943,
recounts his history:
"Flight Lieutenant Derek L. Rawnsley who was killed on active service in February, was born at Seven Oaks and went to Summerfields Preparatory School from which he gained a King's Scholarship for Eton, and from there went on to University College, Oxford. At Eton he was Vice Captain of the Field Game and Keeper of The Wall, besides winning his place in the Eight and the Rugby XV. He was co-founder of the Public Schools magazine, "The Gate". At Oxford he had the rare distinction of being given trials for both the University Eight and the Rugby XV. He joined the University Air Squadron and passed his "A" Certificate shortly before he left. On a visit to Norway, he learned to ski, and while on a solitary ski journey to the North Cape experienced the first of the of the amazing escapes from death which characterised his career, - he broke his leg and was found by a chance traveller as dark was falling, being thus saved from death from exposure. On recovering, he escorted emigrant children to the Kingsley Fairbridge Farm, Western Australia, and in 1932 bought in Australia an old "Moth" which had formerly belonged to Kingsford-Smith and with little knowledge of air navigation set out upon a solo flight back to England which ended, after many hairbreadth escapes and adventures, at Abingdon Airport near Oxford. His explanation was that, having put off his departure too long, this was the only way of arriving back at Oxford in time for term.
"In 1935, he embarked upon his first independent commercial venture with the opening by Sir Philip Sassoon of a gallery for the hire of pictures by contemporary artists. In 1938, Rawnsley founded the Federal Union movement with an advisory council at the head of which stood the late Lord Lothian with Sir William Beveridge, Master of University College, Oxford. The latter writes:- "My personal contacts with him dated from the time he came to see me as one of the three young men who, by founding Federal Union in this country even before the appearance of the book by Clarence Street (who also was a member of this College) set out to stop this World War and thereafter to ensure, if possible. that it was the last of its kind. Derek Rawnsley was one of the type essential to salvation which sets out to do things because they have never been done before and because they seem impossible. Unless, after this War we have sufficient men of his type, ripened by experience and judgement, the was may prove to have been fought in vain."
"Until the fall of France, when he joined the R.A.F., Rawnsley devoted his attention to an idea for civil infiltration and the organised passive and active resistance of European countries which was to have been called "Three Arrows". In his 31 years, Rawnsley had experienced more of life than many much older men. He had taken part in the toughest games at school: had ski-ed, sailed his own ship, competed in Ocean races, learned to glide in Germany and England, jackerooed on the "out-back" sheep and cattle stations in Australia, and had piloted his own aeroplane half around the world."
In 1941 he married Miss Brenda Hugh-Jones and a photograph taken on their wedding day shows them both in uniform, he a typical flyer and she an exceptionally lovely girl of about 20. He left immediately after the wedding for the Mediterranean Sphere of Operations and lost his life in North Africa in February 1943 while en route to meet his bride for a period of leave together. (See below for her obituary, July 2007)
daughter of Noel and Violet Rawnsley, was
born at Staines, Middlesex, but grew up with her younger brothers at Weald Height,
Seven Oaks, Kent, where she recalls riding their ponies around Knowle Castle
and galloping over the long rides between ancient beech and oak trees. Riding
was a Rawnsley tradition. As she put it "I never remember learning to
ride; I always rode." One of Canon Rawnsley's brothers at the age of
seventy, rode a horse that he bred himself in the local hunt
"Point-to-Point" and won the race. At the time he was still Master of
Una was christened by her grandfather, Canon Rawnsley, at Crosthwaite Church in Keswick, and throughout her childhood made frequent visits to him and his wife at Carlisle and their cottage "Dunnabeck". Amongst the Canon's poems as an affectionate one to her as a child. He delighted in the companionship of his grand-children and with them climbed the fells, rowed on the lake and bathed in the becks; while his wife Edith fostered their love of art. Una was especially gifted and when she grew up attended Polytechnic Art School and the Royal Academy School of Art. She also studied marble carving in Venice. Among her instructors were Jacob Epstein and Frank Calderon the famous animal artist. She exhibited frequently at the Royal Academy and Salon d'Autonne.
With particular affection, she remembers the Canon's twin sister Frances who never had a day's illness and lived to 90. She was a great character, somewhat awe-inspiring to the young undergraduates who were invited to take tea on Sundays at her house in Oxford where she lived for many years with her sister Ethel. She was always most kind and financially generous to Una and her daughters in later years.
In January 1926 Una married in St. Ethelburga's Church in the City of London, Anthony Henry Robert Culling Hanbury, of White Rouse, Stoke Green, Buckinghamshire, whose history is recorded elsewhere. He was then in his twenty-fourth year and a Member of the London Stock Exchange. For a while they lived in Kensington, London, where their two daughters were born, Diana on Sept.2/1927 and Jillian on August 11/1930, both being christened at St. Etherlburga's Church. In October, 1930, they moved into the country at "Derbyfield", North Warnborough, Hampshire, about 6 miles East of Basingstoke, where they enjoyed the possession of a large garden and stables for their own horses. Here, the girls became expert horsewomen, rode to hounds with their parents, and in the Summertime showed their horses.
On the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Anthony joined up, becoming a Captain in the Royal Artillery; and early in 1940, Una decided to take the girls, then 13 and 10, out of England, going first to Canada where Diana was left in the Trafalgar School, Montreal (later transferring to the Riverbend School in Winnipeg) while Jillian continued on with her mother to Bermuda. There Diana joined them in 1941. Meanwhile Anthony, whose Army service had ended with the development of heart trouble, also joined the family in Bermuda early in 1941; but the separation had brought about an estrangement and after a few months he returned alone to London a divorce ensuing in 1945.
In the Autumn of 1943, Diana, just turned 16, went back to school in Canada, at Branksome Hall, Toronto, Una and Jillian remaining in Bermuda until 1944 when they moved to Washington, D.C., living first with Robert Frost's daughter and then in Georgetown. For the next twelve years, Una made her home in Washington engaging in real-estate business in her own name and starting the movement to remodel the slums around Capitol Hill. As will be told presently, Diana went on from Canada to London University, while Jillian attended American schools and George Washington University. During these years, Una kept up an active interest in the Arts and in 1947, while the girls were away at school, spent several months among the Pueblo Indians of New Nexico, living in the Pueblo of San Ildefonso and studying their arts and mode of life.
Realising that Washington was becoming her permanent home, she bought her own place, "The Trees", 5035 Eskridge Terrace, N.W., which is still her home. At about the same time, Una became an American citizen, Jillian later following her example in 1954; whereas Diana, whose schooling was almost entirely British, has remained a British subject.
Since Una's life was closely linked with her two daughters, a brief outline of their progress will be helpful. For further details, see also the Hanbury Section.
On finishing school in Canada in 1945,
when approaching 18, spent a Summer in a Sailing Camp in Maine and made a brief
visit to Washington before going to England to complete her education at London
University, where she put in three years, l945-8. While there she spent six
weeks in Italy to improve her knowledge of Italian. On graduation, she spent a
year in Southern Rhodesia with her father and his brother Michael, returning
permanently to Washington in 1950 where, in evening classes at George
Washington University, she took an M.A. in Germanic languages.
In 1952, she married James Cecil King in Washington, and had two children
Christopher Hanbury King, born June 26/1954 in Washington
Sheila Ann King, February 19/1956,
The marriage, however, did not work well and they were divorced in 1957. Diana and the children live in McClean and she teaches in the Potomac School. She also owns and operates a Summer Study Camp for children high in the Allegheny Mountains which she calls "Dunnabeck" in memory of her great-grandfather's cottage at Rydal Water in the English Lake District. Una had eventually inherited the original "Dunnabeck" but sold it with a heavy heart when it became evident that she would never live in England again.
personal history has been separately
recounted. She finished her education at George Washington University, made two
trips to Europe travelling through various countries, became an American citizen
in 1954, and on November 2/1957 married in Ivy, Virginia, Richard Armstrong
Poole of the Department of State Foreign Service. They have one son, Anthony
Hanbury Poole, born February 6/1961, in Washington. A second son, Colin
Rawnsley Poole as born Jan 14/1964, in Washington, D.C.
Una's narrative is now resumed.
In 1956, Una married again, a long-time family friend and recent widower, Group Captain Alan Coatsworth Brown, D.S.O., O.B.E., D.F.C. Born in Winnipeg August 9/1914, he was educated at the University of Manitoba, Fort Gary, Winnipeg and became a flyer at Digby, Lincolnshire. He joined the Royal Air Force and served with distinction through World War II. Remaining in the RAF after the War, he was sent to various posts in Europe, latterly as Adviser to the NATO defence College in Paris, where Una and he spent two years. In 1960 he was posted to Washington where he is at present Chief Intelligence Officer, R.A.F., at the British Embassy.
His first wife, Ena Storey, died in England in 1956, leaving him with two daughters:-
Anna Coatsworth Brown, born August 7/1944 in Gerrards Cross, Middlesex
Josephine Charlotte Coatsworth Brown. Born October 25/1949 at Istanbul, Turkey.
Both girls travelled widely with their parents all over Europe, spending some time in England, Scotland, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Jugo-Slavia, Austria, Switzerland Germany, Holland, Belgium; and consequently had a cosmopolitan upbringing, acquiring familiarity with several foreign languages.
On returning to Washington in 1960 after two years in Paris, Una, Alan and the girls re-occupied Una's home "The Trees" where they now reside. Anna is a student at Hollins College, Roanoke, Virginia, while Josephine attends the Cathedral School at Washington.
On retiring from the R.A.F. in 1962 Alan formally dropped his surname Brown, simultaneously assuming a favorite Christian name John. He is therefore now John Alan Coatsworth, the latter being his mother's family name. His daughters and Una also embraced the change and are now all Coatsworths, Una calling herself Una Hanbury Coatsworth.
All the family love "Missing Acres" and are often welcome visitors.
Conrad Franklin Rawnsley
Married Elsin Little,
Daughters Dr Rosalind & Jane.
Rosalind at Worfield, Salop until abt 5/2002.
4/2002: Elsin at "Redwires", The Green, Burnham Market, Norfolk, PE31 8HF, 01328 738280.
David Rawnsley was a man of many parts. He was born in Sevenoaks, Kent in 1909 and on leaving school trained as an architect and engineer. In his early twenties he became involved in the film industry, and worked on many films during the thirties and forties as an art director. There are some very well-known films in his CV including 49th Parallel, One of Our Aircraft is Missing, They Flew Alone and In Which We Serve.
After the war he moved to Paris and opened a pottery there. It was in Paris that he first met Joyce Morgan, who was working in the city as a fabric designer. This was the beginning of a business relationship that was to last for many years.
Back in London in 1952 David and his wife Mary started up the Chelsea Pottery in Radnor Walk, SW3. It was styled an 'open studio' - a place where any potter could come to work and learn. The pottery was run on a 'club' basis, as had been the Paris pottery. Members paid five guineas (£5.25) as an annual subscription and sixpence (2½p) an hour plus the same amount for a pound of clay. Lessons were held in the evenings for amateurs with Joyce Morgan as the main instructor.
In 1959 the Rawnsleys left for the Bahamas in search of a place to start up a new pottery in the sun. They found a large 18th century town house in Nassau. Joyce Morgan joined them there, sailing from England with five huge packing cases, the contents of which included, among other things, an electric kiln. There was no suitable clay in the Bahamas, and plans were made to import it from Jamaica, but there were serious problems with transportation; the clay had to come in rickety old banana boats that were not really up to carrying the extra weight. When the first batch arrived it proved to be of inferior quality with a very high sand content, so arrangements were made to import clay from Ireland. This was good clay with very plastic qualities, but a little too white, so iron was added locally to redden it up a little.
Joyce was not very happy in Nassau. She disliked the very closed community where gossip was the main interest, the climate, and particularly the termites that were eating the building. She stayed there for only five months before returning to England.
After a couple of years David moved on to open yet another pottery, this time in Mexico. Mary and the children came back to London and took up residence in Radnor Walk. David re-married; his new wife was a American doctor and they lived in California with frequent trips to the Isle of Capri where his wife's mother lived. It was on a solo trip to Capri in the early seventies when David died of a heart attack California with frequent trips to the Isle of Capri where his wife's mother lived. It was on a solo trip to Capri in the early seventies when David died of a heart attack.
Meanwhile, back in London, SW3, the pottery had been left in the hands of Brian Hubbard who went on to run Chelsea for nearly forty years with the help of Joyce Morgan, modeller Frank Spindler, Barbara Ross, Daphne Corke and a large number of decorators, trained in-house, who lasted for various lengths of time.
The pottery is best known for its highly decorated earthenware, the colour of the pieces being achieved by the use of painting and coloured glazes - a technique that has been referred to as 'inlay and overlay'. Joyce Morgan made all her designs in a book, and would open it at an appropriate page for each piece she decorated so that she did not have to do all the thinking again. For smaller pieces she sometimes made templates from paper or card and would engrave around them.
Chelsea Pottery became very popular with the rich and famous. Many leading actors would commission pieces to be given as presents to the other members of the cast at first-night parties. In the early sixties Brian met the Beatles in a television studio where they were both being interviewed. It was the day, he remembers, that they bought their famous high-collar jackets at Cecil Gee in Charing Cross Road. They stayed in contact and later Chelsea were to supply Christmas mugs for Paul McCartney for about twenty years.
Trade was good, and orders were rolling in from American department stores - Lord and Taylor and Neiman Marcus amongst others. A division was set up to produce slipcast wares; Ceramic Design, Chelsea. Frank Spindler produced models from which Brian Hubbard made moulds. As well as the slipcast products, Chelsea also found a good market for hand-made models. Most were made by Frank Spindler, but other people, notably Joy Hindmarsh, took their turn to help supply the ever increasing demand. Brian Hubbard and Damon, David Rawnsley's fourth child are known to have made some of the models. Judges, barristers, surgeons and dentists were made in the largest numbers, but fishermen, golfers, mermaids and other subjects are to be found.
The pottery had to move from its Radnor Walk premises in 1994 when the lease expired. Brian and Joyce desperately sought new affordable premises but had no luck. An offer was made by Moorcroft's to buy the company, but that would have meant a move to the north of England; something that neither Brian nor Joyce wanted. At the last minute a gentleman arrived out of the blue to save them. Richard Dennison bought the company and found new premises for them at nearby Ebury Mews. They occupied three stable units, installing the kilns downstairs and doing the throwing, modelling and decorating upstairs. There was haircord carpet on the floors and they laid sheets of hardboard to protect it.
At this time they were as busy as they had ever been, but the market was against them. The dollar/sterling exchange rate killed all their American trade, and they found they were working harder and harder for smaller and smaller returns. The lease on the Ebury Mews premises was for only three years, and it was non-renewable. Rents and rates were rocketing, so when the time came in 1997 they called it a day and the pottery closed.
From The Times, July 4, 2007
Art lover who cajoled many important
contemporary artists into producing affordable works for display in schools
Brenda Rawnsley persuaded some of the 20th century’s greatest artists – including Picasso, Matisse and Braque – to create original prints to be distributed to Britain’s schools. Her bold project for affordable modern art aimed to shape the tastes of a whole generation of postwar children who would otherwise have had little contact with fine art.
Rawnsley had little knowledge of art when she began the scheme in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War. But her husband Derek, who was killed in 1943, had before the war founded a small company, School Prints Ltd, which hired out Old Masters to schools with the aim of improving aesthetic standards.
The young widow took over the business and set about revitalising it by focusing on original works by contemporary artists which would be sold at low cost, rather than rented. Within a year, despite scarcities and paper rationing, she had persuaded artists including L. S. Lowry, John Nash, Julian Trevelyan, Hans Feibusch and Feliks Topolski to contribute works which she then set out to sell to schools.
She reached the artists with the help of Herbert Read, the noted art critic, who suggested artists for Rawnsley to approach. Although he was an anarchist and she had been a society debutante, they formed a successful partnership, united by an interest in education through art. Rawnsley contacted artists with letters like this one to Barnett Freedman: “We are producing a series of lithographs, four each term, for use in schools as a means of giving children an understanding of contemporary art. By keeping the price as low as possible, we are able to bring this scheme within the reach of all education authorities . . . I wonder whether you are interested in this scheme and if so whether you could send us a small rough for consideration.” The fee was £85, with a royalty of £5 per 1,000 prints sold.
The first two series, with print runs of 4,000 to 7,000 for each of the 24 prints, proved successful and were much appreciated by teachers. One director of education wrote that they had helped to “foster a love of beauty in the children” – though some schools thought the art too contemporary, and were perturbed by some of the images. “Maybe I haven’t grasped the ‘inner meanings’ or maybe ought to be more childlike,” a Birmingham teacher complained.
Emboldened, Rawnsley decided that the third series of prints would expose children to art from beyond Britain, and borrowed £10,000 with which to entice some of the great names of French painting. In June 1947 she hired a plane and set off for France with Raglan Squire (obituary, June 9, 2004 ), a friend of her husband who had become chairman of School Prints.
Arriving in Paris, she tracked down Braque in Montparnasse and offered him £100 up front and the same again on receipt, but he said he would only be associated with the scheme if other reputable artists were involved. Léger, however, immediately agreed. After meeting Picasso’s financial adviser, Rawnsley and Squire decided to fly to the South of France to try to speak to the artist himself.
Loitering on the beach at Golfe-Juan, they succeeded in “bumping into” Picasso, who invited them to lunch. “It’s all very simple when you know what you’re aiming at,” Rawnsley recorded at the time. Persuaded that the scheme was for the benefit of “les enfants du monde”, Picasso agreed, although he turned down an invitation to fly with them as he felt that his life and works were too precious to be put at risk.
After stopping in Perpignan, where an arthritis-stricken Dufy said he would try to do something with his left hand, they revisited Braque. He now relented, and a very frail Matisse agreed to do a papier déchiré. Rawnsley returned to England only a week after setting off.
After the delicate process of getting the artists to deliver, and much negotiation over production and transport, the “European series” of six prints was launched in 1949, also including a work by Henry Moore. The timing was fortuitous, as Sir Alfred Munnings, president of the Royal Academy, had just launched a vituperative attack on modern art, denouncing Picasso and Matisse by name.
The series won widespread press attention in the resulting furore, which continued in 1951 when Rawnsley set off on a sales trip to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America.
Artists were able to shrug off the criticism. Braque stated: “Children are the more useful and sharpest critics. They understand us because they live in a world of fantasy similar to artists.” Children do seem to have liked the prints – one 14-year-old was quoted as saying: “Picasso does not paint too badly. I should like to try, too!” But not enough educationists were convinced, and commercially the scheme failed – Rawnsley was left with a large debt and stacks of unsold prints.
Brenda Mary Hugh-Jones was born in Cowley, Oxford, in 1916. Her father was part of the British administration in Egypt and her mother was a cousin of Anthony Eden. Her parents divorced when she was young, and Rawnsley spent holidays from her boarding school variously hunting with the Edens in Wiltshire or visiting her father in Cairo.
Although she did well academically, Rawnsley chose the debutante circle over Oxford and spent several years enjoying a leisured life in England and Egypt. But at the outbreak of war she was eager to enlist, becoming a clerk at the Ministry of Economic Warfare after walking out on latrine duty at an ATS officer cadet unit.
She met Derek Rawnsley in 1939 and they married in February 1941.
The young pilot was immediately sent to Cairo and, determined to join him, Rawnsley wangled her way into the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and hurried through the officers course. She arrived in Cairo in January 1942 and it was during their time here that the couple formed plans to make prints for schoolchildren after the war. Derek Rawnsley was killed in an accident in February 1943.
Brenda Rawnsley spent the rest of the war working in Alexandria, Algiers and London, first for General “Jumbo” Wilson, Commander-in-Chief of the Middle East, then for Duncan Sandys. When the war ended, she devoted her drive and energy to realising the project she had concocted with her husband.
She carried on the original business of hiring out reproductions of well-known paintings to schools, and in the 1950s she expanded this to industry and then to hospitals. In 1953 she attempted, unsuccessfully, to sell sculpture to schools. She had joined the Fine Art Trade Guild in 1946, and became Master in 1961.
By the late 1960s Rawnsley began looking for buyers for the business. The Observer was running a scheme similar to school prints, whereby a new generation of artists such as Richard Hamilton, Elizabeth Frink, Joe Tilson and David Hockney were commissioned to produce original prints to sell to readers. In 1971 the paper agreed to sell the remaining stock of the European series. By this time the merits of the pieces were more widely recognised, and they sold well. The rest of the business was sold to the paper’s Middle East correspondent, Patrick Seale.
The remaining prints have now become highly collectible, and this year all 30 of the lithographs were exhibited at Pallant House gallery in Chichester. The School Prints, by Ruth Artmonsky, was published at the same time.
With the business sold, Rawnsley moved to Bury St Edmunds, where she became a librarian. On retirement she settled in Milford-on-Sea, Hampshire. She remained convinced of the importance of her scheme and in 1994 she commented that the situation in schools “is as desperate as it was after the war. I am utterly dedicated to the idea that the younger the child the better, because they do form ideas about shapes and colour at an early age.”
She was married for a second time to Geoffrey (Pete) Keighley, who predeceased her. She is survived by a son.
Brenda Rawnsley, managing director of School Prints Ltd, was born on July 31, 1916. She died on June 25, 2007, aged 90
Initial Issue Date: 11 July 2000
15/6/2001: resaved HTML from Word
23/10/2002: Additional data.
7/1/07: Chelsea Pottery
15/7/07: Brenda Rawnsley Obit.