Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Yule Night! by Rev R. L. Gales

Merry Christmas!

This is an intriguing poem by Rev. R. L. Gales who seems to have been a significant supporter of the Peasant Arts movement.  His reference to "Sisters three with shuttle and shears work ceaselessly" and "The Sisters weaving still their thread" seems to be a direct reference to Maude Egerton King, and her sister Ethel Blount.  They had many sisters, but perhaps Marion Hine, who lived in Haslemere and was a typewriter for The Vineyard Press, was the third sister.

from The Vineyard
(No. 39, Vol 27)

At the Yule-tide the mummers go
Thro' woods of holly and mistletoe.

The deep midnight is all aflame
With the horns' din and torches' glare.

They pass a hut where Sisters three
With shuttle and shears work ceaselessly.

Like blood and tears the berries show
Of all the holly and mistletoe.

Deep in the wood a house they see
Half hidden in a mistletoe tree.

They enter in that Holy House
All overhung with the mistletoe boughs.

The blessed place within is bright
With soft kind light like glow-worm light.

A Mother and Babe they see in bliss,
Of Heaven and Earth they see the kiss.

The mummers sing for a broken spell
Thro' all the wood "Nowell, Nowell!"

The Sisters weaving still their thread
Find gold amid their black and red.

Like rubies and pearls the berries glow
Of all the holly and mistletoe."

Sing Hey the Gift! Translated from Gaelic

Godfrey Blount's good friend James A. Campbell (who I wrote about here) translated this old Highland carol from Gaelic for the 1910 Double Christmas Number of The Vineyard (No. 3).  I have found only one reference to this carol elsewhere on the internet, which references the same copy of The Vineyard and states "Even in dour Scotland, with its hatred of religious festivals, some kind of carolling survived here and there among Highland folk, and a remarkable and very “Celtic” Christmas song has been translated from the Gaelic by Mr. J. A. Campbell" (

from The Vineyard,
1910, No. 3

"Sing hey the Gift, sing ho the Gift,
Sing hey the Gift of the Living,
Son of the Dawn, Son of the Star,
Son of the Planet, Son of the Far.  (Twice)
Sing hey the Gift, sing ho the Gift.

"Sing hey the Gift, sing ho the Gift,
Sing hey the Gift of the Living,
Son of Rain, Son of the Dew,
Son of the Cloud-drift, Son of the Blue. (Twice)
Sing hey, etc.

Sing hey the Gift, etc.
Son of the Flame, Son of the Light,
Son of the high Spheres, Son of our Night. (Twice)
Sing hey, etc.

Sing hey the Gift, etc.
Son of Nature, Son of the One,
Son of the New-Moon, Son of the Sun. (Twice)
Sing hey, etc.

Sing hey the Gift, etc.
Son of Mary, Child of her breast,
Son of the kind God, first news and best. (Twice)
Sing hey, etc."

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Little Clothes on the Grass

The 1913 Christmas Number of The Vineyard  (No. 39, Vol 27) includes this short folk song from Calabria (Italy), translated by Grace Warrack:

from The Vineyard (No. 39, Vol 27)

"When the Madonna went down to the brook,
To wash the little clothes of her sweet Son
She did not need to soak and let them soap,
Soil from the linen coming there was none.
And in the grass whereon she stretched them - look!
Flowers of every colour fair have grown!
So, soon again the little clothes she took,
Then folded them, and went and dressed her Son."

Friday, 12 December 2014

Peasant Shopping - Part 5 - mending nerves and digestions

Looking through the Haslemere Educational Museum's press cuttings book I found some interesting clippings about the Haslemere Peasant Arts movement.  It's not easy to see the origin of some of the clippings.  I found an article describing the opening of the Peasant Arts' Society's first shop in Haslemere. I think this is from the West Sussex Gazette 1907:

"Later in the day the Peasant Arts' Society opened their new shop in Haslemere - one of the towns in the Empire which is profiting hugely by the presence within its precincts of cultivated and educated people.  Where such exist - how great the gain!  Where they are lacking - how much poorer in every way is life to every other class of the community.  It is quite probable that in Haslemere, to-day, more happy human lives are being moulded, in all ranks too, in proportion to its extent, than in almost any other town in our area.  This, too, because work is being actually done, things said and lived, ideas urged and ideals promulgated, which do concretely improve the minds, bodies, and hearts of men and women, which do veritably help them to see more of good and joy in life, and to take a deeper and more consistent joy in the living.  You can see the process going on; it is possible to discern the fruit.  On Saturday we were, naturally, most concerned with the work exhibited by the Society just mentioned.

Peasant Arts Society Shop,
No. 1, The Pavement, High Street, Haslemere

"Their London depot has done much to popularise the peasant tapestries and other appliqué work, rugs, and carpets, the output of Haslemere looms: but it was thought well to open this local shop in a community fitted to value the aims of the founders, and likely to aid in their practical success…The members of the Peasant Arts Society take the opportunity of the opening of their first Country Shop to explain the nature of their work and hope.  Their desire is to restore the true country life, its faith, and its crafts, which they believe to be absolutely essential to the saner life of this and every country.  And their work is directed to this end.

"To increase the knowledge and love of Traditional Design, to encourage beautiful useful Hand-work, done under happy conditions in the country, and to sell the products to those who can appreciate them, is their immediate purpose.  The Society is purely philanthropic in this respect, that no private profits will be taken from its own Industries and Shops, all such profits going to further the work and increase its scope.  On the other hand, care is taken to price work at its proper commercial value, so as to maintain a right standard, and in no way to undersell individual craftsmen.

"Hand-work alone is compatible with the truest Country Life: and the larger aim of the Society is to make a Country Movement, whence vital action can proceed to effect the real re-population of England, and the restoration to our people of their hands, their faith, and their country-side.  In so far as the public will appreciate its ideals and help its efforts, its work will go forward; having done its best, with the public will lie its failure of success.

"Many are helping; but on Saturday the burden of reception fell chiefly on Mr. and Mrs. Godfrey Blount and Mrs. Joseph King.  The rooms were delightful, as the happy visiting throng attested.  We welcomed especially the dainty and daring peasant work in metal, ware, and wood imported from German, Austrian, and Norwegian valleys, where artistic handicrafts (unconsciously artistic in many cases) still flourish.  Mr. Godfrey Blount is an untiring apostle in this new type of international entente; and its is sweeter than cannon and less disruptive.

"As yet, the promoters have to depend on the purchases of those likely to value beauty in the home furniture and accoutrements.  And their name is not yet legion.  Still, they are growing more numerous.  Everyone who is taught the joy of artistic and direct handicraft, all who are led to watch and appreciate it, each induced to make it one with his or her daily surroundings, will aid in the creation of a market where all the producers will be competent and all the buyers sane.  We believe in modern machinery, for by it many handy things are done; and we hold that the modern world is fitted in all respects to the folk who make it up.  But we welcome the note here struck for happy human handiwork.  What nerves and digestions it will mend; what leisure it will enrich into how many country homes in England may it not one day bring health, reward, and joy."

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Peasant Shopping - Part 4 - Sew Your Own Peasant Tapestry

In the Surrey Times (2 September 1899) they reported on the Haslemere Weaving Industry.  At this point we can see that there was no Peasant Shop in business in Haslemere.  In addition it appears that 'sew-your-own-kits' are not a new concept.  

The Tapestry Studio, Kings Road, Haslemere from
Art Journal, 1906

"The work is sold at the depot in London of the Peasant Arts Society, and is exhibited at the Arts and Crafts, Homes Arts, and other handcart exhibitions….Specimens of Peasant Tapestry will be on view at the Tapestry House daily where also orders can be received for finished work, or work prepared for those who desire to sew it themselves."

Monday, 1 December 2014

Peasant Shopping - Part 3 - Arthur Hughes drawings

Three drawings that formed the basis of the Arthur Hughes 1910 Christmas cards (in my previous post) are below.  These were advertised in the December 1910 The Vineyard for sale at 4p each.  It says that the cards were printed in red and black.

Bethlehem by Arthur Hughes
from The Vineyard, 1910

Noel by Arthur Hughes
from The Vineyard, 1910
The Bright Midnight by Arthur Hughes
from The Vineyard, 1910

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Peasant Shopping - Part 2 - Christmas Cards

In Peasant Shopping - Part 1 we saw the Haslemere Peasants advertising their works as "beautiful and unusual Christmas gifts".  An interesting piece of promotion given the Peasant Arts movement opposition to commercialism.  The Vineyard in 1910 (No. 3) continued to promote some further Christmas purchasing choices for their readers.

The cards at 4p each translate to £4 each today.  A high end price for a card:

"Four of the illustrated Carols appearing in this Christmas number of THE VINEYARD are also published separately as Christmas Cards.

They are translations from old German and French sources by the Rev. R. L. Gales, and the illustrations are by the veteran artist Arthur Hughes.

Printed in red and black.
Price Fourpence each, with envelope.  Postage 1/2d each.

No. 1 
The Shepherds' Gifts,
A Noel from the German.

No. 2
An old Rhineland Volkslied.

No. 3
An old French Chanson

No. 4
The Bright Midnight,
A Gascon Noel.

The Cards may be had at the depots of The Peasant Arts Society: High Street, Haslemere, and 83 New Cavendish Street, London, W., or from the Publisher, Mr. A.C. Fifield, 13 Clifford's Inn, London, E.C."

from The Vineyard, 1910
No. 3

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Peasant Shopping - Part 1 - Advertizing

The Peasant Arts movement ran a number of shops : one in London and another in Haslemere. The location of the shops seems to have varied over the years.  In the 'Double Christmas Number' of The Vineyard in 1910 (No. 3), their first Christmas publication, there was a degree of advertising of the Peasant Arts Society's wares:
Advert from The Vineyard, No. 3, 1910

"Beautiful and unusual Christmas gifts

May be bought at the two depots of
The Peasant Arts Society, 83 New Cavendish Street, W.
& High Street, Haslemere.

On the opposite page will be seen the lists of the many things made in the Haslemere and other hand-industries.  At this season it may be practical to call attention to such of them as are noticeably inexpensive:

  1. Quaint English and foreign pottery. From One Shilling.
  2. Russian peasant silver brooches, clasps, and hatpins.  From One Shilling.
  3. English mother-of-pearl and silver jewellery, brooches, pendants, etc.,  From Five Shillings.
  4. Haslemere shot-silk scarves in beautiful colourings.  From Six Shillings.
Bead necklaces, embroidered work-bags, leather card-cases, etc., books, pamphlets, and Christmas cards."

The Vineyard, No. 3, 1910

On the opposite page, which is referred to above, says:
For the Restoration of Country Life and Craft

83 New Cavendish Street, Portland Place, W.
& High Street, Haslemere, Surrey.

Many objects of Handicraft are on view and sale at these depots, including hand-woven materials, leadless-glazed ware and peasant pottery, Bohemian glass, Baskets, Lace, Leatherwork, Embroideries, Woodwork, Jewellery, Copper and Brass, Carving, etc.

In connection with the above:
produces on simple Hand-looms many and various materials in linen, silk, cotton and wool, suitable for Bedspreads, Curtains, Table Cloths, Towels, Dress Materials, Children's Frocks, etc. etc.

Lessons in spinning and weaving are given, and visitors are welcome every day from 10-4, Saturdays 10-12.  Apply, The Secretary, Weaving House, Foundry Meadow, Haslemere.

for Pile, Tapestry and Peasant-woven Rugs and Carpets; and for linen appliqué suitable for Coverlets, Altar-Hangings, Banners, Table Cloths, etc. etc.

Pupils are taken for training in any of the above crafts.
Apply, Mrs. Godfrey Blount, St. Cross, Haslemere, Surrey.

for encouraging the making of Homespuns in the home.  Lessons are given in the various processes of dyeing, carding, spinning and weaving.  The movement is entirely disinterested and patriotic.  For terms and particulars, apply to the Hon. Sec. Miss Margaret Leith, Hall of St. George, Haslemere, Surrey.

contains over one thousand objects of unique interest.  Open on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, 2.30-5.30.  Admission 6d."

extract from The Vineyard, No.3, 1910

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Peasants at The Albert Hall, 1896

Reviews on the work of the Haslemere weaving movement began to appear in the press in 1896.  Following on from the report of Godfrey Blount's election to the parish council in Kirtlington in 1894 in my previous post, the next reference to Godfrey Blount in the popular press is at the Home Arts and Industries Exhibition at Albert Hall.  Here Blount and the work of Mrs Joseph King appears together for the first time.

Royal Albert Hall c. 1896
The Lichfield Mercury (10 July 1896) reported in their ‘Our Ladies’ Column’:

“I paid a most interesting visit a week or two since to the Exhibition of Home Arts and Industries at the Albert Hall…Some extremely beautiful work, bold and simple in design and refreshing in colour, was exhibited by Mr and Mrs Godfrey Blount, and of that also I hope to write to you more in detail some other time.

“I was much interested to find that the carving done by the Altrincham clubs had been taught by Mr Philips, once a foreman under Mr Faulkner Armitage.  But, all this time, I was trying to make my way to the hand-looms on which Mrs Joseph King has been teaching her village friends to do such good and artistic weaving; and even my friend, Miss Clive Bayley, with her Lapland loom and her kind offer of a cup of tea, failed to give me pause for more than a very few minutes, so bent was I on reaching Mrs King’s stall.  So much of Mrs King’s work, however, had already been sold, including the shelf bought by HRH the Princess of Wales, that I look forward to visiting her in her own country home near Haslemere and seeing for myself the weaving which is being done there under her guidance.  The designs are mainly the work of Mr Godfrey Blount and I am told that it is wonderful what new life and colour has been put into the lives of the women who have learned to weave them.  Mrs King told me some time ago that it was merely the work itself which seemed to be a new interest for them, but it was as if, through the educating power of the work, the whole field of the lives became brighter and more intelligent.  

“I know how long Mrs King has had this desire at heart, and how quietly and patiently she has achieved it, and I could not see and handle the durable promising textures, woven on her looms in such simple grace of pattern and of colour, without some sense of the sacredness of outward things when at the heart of them, beauty and helpfulness are at one.  Mrs King is a daughter of Mr Hine, the former vice-president of the Royal Institute of Water Colours, whose pictures only need to be known in order to be loved.”

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Godfrey Blount, Kirtlington Parish Council 1894

Godfrey Blount's second appearance in the national press seems to be in the reporting of the Kirtlington Parish Council election of 1894.  Blount's first appearance in the national press was in his 1891 letter to The Pall Mall Gazette on the Salvation Army riots posted on here.

The Oxford Journal (22nd December, 1894) reported for Kirtlington, Oxfordshire:

"Parish Council Election - At the poll on Monday the seven Progessives selected by the Working Men's Committee, and adopted by a majority at the Parish Meeting, were elected…A good deal of interest was taken in the proceedings, and the result was received with acclamation."  It appears that Godfrey Blount achieved the third highest vote and therefore was one of the seven Progressives elected.

Oxford Journal, 22nd December 1894

Friday, 24 October 2014

Hill Farm, the Kings family home c.1923-1930

Joseph King and Maude Egerton King moved from Sandhouse, Witley around 1923 to a new home, Hill Farm, Camelsdale.  Hill Farm is less than a mile away from the Weaving House on Kings Road, Haslemere where the Kings ran the Haslemere Weaving Industry.  

Hill Farm, Camelsdale from
Country Life, 15 April 1982

I wonder why the Kings left Sandhouse to move to Hill Farm?  Hill Farm seemed to signal a change in architect but not architecture for the Kings.  Having commissioned F.W. Troup to build the workshops and houses on Kings Road, and also their country house in Witley, King must have commissioned Matthews and Ridley to build Hill Farm around 1923.  It was built by G. H. Coles.

Trotter (The Hilltop Writers, The Book Guild, 1996) reports that in 1930 George Bernard Shaw addressed a gathering at Joseph King's home, Hill Farm to celebrate the elevation of two locals to the peerage.

Tucked away on the edge of Marley Woods it is hard to see Hill Farm from the road, the only pictures I had seen of it were from Trotter (ibid) and in Country Life (15 April 1982) "Rustic Renaissance: Arts and Crafts in Haslemere by T. D. L. Thomas".  However Hill Farm is now for sale and this provides a few more views of the building which seems equally as substantial as their former home, Sandhouse.

Hill Farm, Camelsdale from
The Hilltop Writers, The Book Guild, 1996

I understand that the two beams in the dining room have lovely carving with the initials of Joseph and Maude Egerton King, and a heart in the middle.  Looking at the photograph online of the dining room very closely you can just make out what appears to be a twisted cable pattern on the furthest beam, and clear initials "MEK".

The property is for sale through Savills for offers in excess of £3,000,000.  The black wooden building that is pictured amongst the 20.5 acres is reminiscent of some of the weaving houses built for the Peasant Arts movement.

Hill Farm, Camelsdale

Hill Farm, Camelsdale

Hill Farm, Camelsdale

Hill Farm, Camelsdale

Detail on carved wooden beam, with M.E.K. initials towards the right,
Hill Farm, Camelsdale

Friday, 10 October 2014

Ernest Powell King - a life through newspapers

Joseph King's younger brother Ernest Powell King, or E. P. King, has intrigued me as he died at a relatively young age, lived in a seemingly large house (referred to in this post) in Lymington, had Edwin Lutyens visiting him at the time of the 1901 census and had F. W. Troup build an early draft of his award winning 'cheap house' at Downton, near Lymington.

By reviewing the British Newspaper Archive I've managed to piece together a few more details about him, below.  Like his brother, Joseph King, Ernest was also a Liberal Party supporter.  He had some unmuzzled dogs, was a County magistrate, was nominated as sheriff in 1896, was a respected local figure and upon his death in 1905 had an estate worth over £106K.

Hampshire Advertiser, Weds 16th April 1890 reported: on the "Guardian's Election - The attempt made by Mr. Ernest Powell King (brother of the Liberal candidate), of Wainsford, to oust one of the sitting Guardians for the parish of Milford has not proved successful.  The election created but little interest.  The counting of the votes took place on Saturday at the boardroom of the Workhouse.  The result being as follows: Mr. E. Neal, 152, Mr. J. Oram, 119 elected; Mr E. P. King, 114.  A number of voting papers were returned without having been marked."

Hampshire Advertiser, 16th April 1890

Hampshire Advertiser, Weds 14th May 1890 reported under "unmuzzled dogs":
"Ernest Powell King, of Wainsford, Lymington, and the Rev. Frederick Jeffery of Claywood, Sway, were fined 1s and 5s costs each for allowing unmuzzled dogs to be at large."

Hampshire Advertiser, Weds 14th May 1890

Hampshire Advertiser, Weds 30th December 1891 reported the marriage of Ernest Powell King:
"King- Johnston - On the 22nd December, at Sway, Hants, Ernest Powell King, of Wainsford, Lymington, second son of Joseph King of Hampstead, to Charlotte Lilias, only daughter of Colonel C. Johnson, late Royal Artillery."

Hampshire Advertiser, Weds 30th December 1891

Hampshire Advertiser, Weds 24th February 1892 reports on the "County Council Election. - There will be a contest for the representation of the Western (Rural) Divison of the Lymington Union, which comprises the parishes of Milford, Milton, and Hordle, as Col. Cornwallis West, M.P., has come forward as a candidate in opposition to Mr. Ernest Powell King, of Wainsford (a brother of the Liberal candidate).  The election will take place on Tuesday March 8th."

Hampshire Advertiser, 24 February 1892

Hampshire Advertiser, Weds 29th June 1892 reports on what appears to be a second court appearance for having unmuzzled dogs:

"The Muzzling Order - Ernest Powell King, of Wainsford (a brother of the Liberal candidate) was summoned by the police for allowing two of his dogs to be at large unmuzzled, without having their owner's name and address engraven on their collars.  Mr King did not appear.  The Magistrates' Clerk (Mr. J. Davis Rawlins) said Mr. King had spoken to him about the charge, and had admitted it had occurred through inadvertence.  Superintendent Foster said these proceedings were taken, as people were now under the impression that the Muzzling Order had passed away.  He should be satisfied to withdraw from the prosecution on payment of the costs.  The Chairman said he did not think this should be done, as Mr. King knew all about this matter.  Fine 1s and 5s costs.  Mr. King attended the court just at the end of the case, and, in apologising for being late, assured the magistrates he had no intention of being discourteous."  

Hampshire Advertiser, 29th June 1892

Portsmouth Evening News, Thursday 10th March 1892 reported the outcome of the election:
Col. Cornwallis West, M.P., winning the election by 27 votes "Both gentlemen came before the constituency for the first time.  It is also the first time the division has has been represented on the Council, it having been created since the former Election."

Portsmouth Evening News, 10th March 1892

Hampshire Advertiser, Wednesday 5th June 1895 it was reported in Winchester "New County Magistrates - At an adjourned Quarter Sessions, at the Grand Jury Chamber, on Saturday, Mr Henry Herbert Wilford, of Arle Bury, Arlesford, and Mr. Ernest Powell King, of Winsford House, Milton, Bournemouth, qualified as magistrates for the county."

Hampshire Advertiser, 5th June 1895
Portsmouth Evening News, Saturday 16th November 1895 reports the "Hants Assizes"  "These assizes opened yesterday before Mr. Justice Wills.  The Grand Jury.  The following were sworn on the Grand Jury : …Mr. Ernest Powell."  Under "The Judge's Charge" the newspaper reports "The calendar they now had before them was a long and serious one, nearly one-third of the cases being of a disgusting kind.  There seemed to be a sort of Epidemic of Indecency passing all through the country and infesting it, and he had never been on a circuit with such an outbreak, except at the first "inquest" after the passing of the Criminal Law Amendment Act.  He thought it might be due to what had happened recently in London, and he hoped it might pass away as it had done before.  If it were to continue one's duties would be almost intolerable owing to such an admixture of filth.  There were, too, no fewer than five cases of manslaughter."

The Western Gazette, Friday 20th November 1896, the Nomination of Sheriffs is reported: "The ancient ceremony of nominating the sheriffs for the forthcoming year was held on Thursday afternoon in the Lord Chief Justice's Court.  Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, presided. This year the number of excuses and applications for exemption was far larger than usual, failing health, insufficient means, agricultural depression, outstanding succession duty, and other familiar pleas being urged.  There was great difficulty in finding three names for Somerset, no less than three nominees objecting to being placed on the list, alleging either ill-health or insufficient means. …County of Southampton…(3) Ernest Powell King, Wainsford House, Lymington."

Western Gazette, 20th November 1896

E. P. King is referred to in numerous subsequent articles in his justice of the peace or councillor role, as one of many names.  The next specific mention of E. P. King is his obituary in 1905.  Western Gazette, Friday 2nd June 1905 reported:
Death of Mr. E. Powell King.
Very general and sincere regret was expressed throughout the neighbourhood on Wednesday morning when it became known that Mr. Ernest Powell King, J.P., C.C., of Wainsford, had passed away during the night.  Last year, when on a motoring tour of Cornwall, Mr. King and a party met with a serious accident, and he never seemed to have quite recovered from its effects.  He, however, had been attending to his many public duties of late, and on Monday week was present at the County Council meeting at Winchester.  On the following day, however, he was struck down with a very serious illness, and his condition became so grave his medical adviser (Dr. Pithie, of Lymington) and specialist deemed a serious operation necessary, and this was successfully performed on Sunday afternoon, but despite all that medical science could do, the unfortunate gentleman gradually sank, and passed away as stated.

Western Gazette, 2nd June 1905
"Mr. King who was about 46 years of age, came to reside at Wainsford about 20 years ago, and ever since has been actively identified with all kinds of public work.  It was his brother, Mr Joseph King, who contested the New Forest Division in the Liberal interest in 1892, and the deceased gentleman himself was a very strenuous and ardent Liberal.  He was a vice-president and the hon. secretary of the New Forest Liberal Association, which has to deplore the loss of one of its most enthusiastic and hardest workers.  Mr. King was also deeply interested in the temperance movement, and as president of the Lymington and District Band of Hope Union, he was a generous supporter of the cause in every way.  The deceased gentleman devoted his life to public work, having been for some years past actively and usefully engaged in many offices.  He was a justice of the peace for the Lymington division, a County Councillor, a Poor-law Guardian and District Councillor, chairman of the British School Managers, a director of the Lymington Sea Baths Company, hon. treasurer of the Milford Flower Show, and in many other capacities he served his day and generation, being most attentive to his duties.  Mr. King was a man of strong convictions, and although he was regarded by many as holding extreme views on the temperance and other questions, his public usefulness and sincerity was generally admitted.

"At his charming home at Wainsford the deceased gentleman was known as a kindly and generous host, and many in Pennington and the neighbourhood will miss his benevolence.  He was a liberal supporter of all philanthropic and charitable organisations, and it is safe to say that no-one appealed to him in vain on behalf of the sick and needy.  The various associations and societies with which he was so closely connected have sustained an irreparable loss, while the poor have cause to lament the death of a true friend.

"Mr King married the only daughter of Colonel Johnston who survives him.  There is no issue of the marriage."

This report is followed by the Western Gazette, Friday 16th June 1905:

"The Late Mr. E. P. King.  On Friday evening a meeting was held in the school-room in connection with the New Forest Liberal Association….The attendance was not large…A resolution of deep regret at the death of Mr. E. Powell King and appreciation of his service: to the cause of Liberalism in the New Forest was passed.  In Opening the evening meeting Mr. Pember paid a tribute to the memory of their esteemed and lamented friend, Mr. King.  He said they might think and speak of their departed friend in two capacities.  First in that of a true and energetic Liberal, and secondly in that of a generous and benevolent gentleman.  With regard to his claim to the latter title, he would be much missed by many who had been the recipients both of his bounty and good counsel.  However they thought of him that night more particularly in his capacity as a earnest and consistent Liberal.  (Hear, hear.)  In regard to this aspect of his character a resolution had already been passed by the Committee of their Association and this would in due course be endorsed by the Liberal Association, and sent to the deceased gentleman’s relatives.  He did not think it would be out of place for him to read this resolution to them.  It was as follows: “That this meeting of members of the New Forest Liberal Association, held at Brockenhurst on Friday, June 9th, hereby expresses its deep and respectful sympathy with the relatives of the late Mr. Ernest Powell King, and desires also to record its grateful remembrance of the devoted services rendered by him to the Association and to the cause of Liberalism in the New Forest division.”  (Applause.)  Their departed friend was one of those men who were doubly valuable, for he belonged to the class who not only had principles and convictions, but also had the leisure, no less than the will, to give effect to them.  (Applause.)  They ought to be thankful for such men and to such men, and especially he thought they ought to rejoice that they seemed to be perpetuated for them as it were by a sort of apostolic succession.  He used the word in all seriousness and without a tinge of irreverence.  Apostles they were – apostles of truth and missionaries to spread it.  (Applause.)  ….Beside his irreparable loss to his wife and family, for whom they all had the deepest sympathy, his loss to the New Forest and their Liberal party was a very heavy one.  Mr King was such an ardent Liberal that he allowed nothing to stand in his way, and notwithstanding all the sorrow in their hearts he was sure their lamented friend would have wished them to press on the Liberal cause by holding that meeting.  (Applause)."

Western Gazette, 16th June 1905
Western Gazette, Friday 7th July 1905 reported on "Hampshire J. P.'s Bequests.  The late Mr Ernest Powell King, of Wainsford, near Lymington has left £100 to the Royal South Hants and Southampton Hospital.  The following institutions will benefit to a like amount: The London Temperance Hospital, Hospital for Paralytic and Epileptic, Dr Barnardo's Homes, Boscombe Home, and Miss Sharman's Orphanage.  Deceased's estate amounts to £106,726."

Western Gazette, 7th July 1905

Monday, 6 October 2014

A month of Peasantry

Thank you to everyone who got involved in the Haslemere Arts and Crafts month events.  It was quite time consuming, but it was very rewarding to publicise the important history of Haslemere, meet other interested people and to pick up some useful information.

Peasant Arts article
The Haslemere Herald, 5th September 2014

Some information that came to light included:

  • Joseph King owned the land on Bell Road down from Hill Farm, Camelsdale where he lived c.1920s.  Various houses were built there including Flora Synge's bungalow.  (Flora is the lady photographed spinning wool outside in Kings Road c.1910)
  • Flora Synge's god daughter lives in Haslemere 
  • she has very kindly given me a table runner made by Flora
  • another Haslemere resident has Haslemere weaving work in her airing cupboard, left to her from her mother
  • the residents of the house called 'Blounts' now know why it was called that
  • it is very probable that Gandhi visited Haslemere before he wrote the Hind Swaraj in 1909, as I posted on here because Gandhi visited Midhurst(? I think that is what was said) around that time
  • the Peasant Arts shop interior photographed by the museum could be inside a building in Weydown Road
  • Barclay Day who built Haslemere Hall in 1913, was the brother of Lewis F. Day who was one of the Fifteen that began the Arts and Crafts movement that I wrote about here
  • various ideas about where the silk for the Haslemere Silk Weaving industry could have come from

Peasant Arts talk at Haslemere Education Museum,
September 2014

The Peasant Arts talk at Haslemere Educational Museum had a record attendance for any lecture apparently, I think it was 47 people, so more chairs had to be put out.  There were about 20 people on the Peasant Arts walk the following weekend.  As well as having a spread in The Haslemere Herald, I had a one minute slot on BBC Radio Surrey to publicise Arts and Crafts Month!  A busy month.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Peasant Arts Walk, 13th September 2014

I've been wanting to do a sketch of the area of the walk that is taking place in conjunction with Arts and Crafts Month in Haslemere on the 13th September.   However I haven't drawn any pictures for a few decades.  I have done the below as a rough sketch of the buildings and their positions, which isn't true to scale or likeness in many respects (in line with the teachings of Godfrey Blount!)

Details and how to book is here at the Haslemere Visitor Information Centre webpage.

Haslemere's Peasant Arts Buildings

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Peasants at War: Part 7 - Joseph King on the eve of WW1

Whilst Maude Egerton King in her editorial for The Vineyard (September 1914) stated that they did not express political views, it is interesting to see what her husband, Joseph King, MP said on the subject of the forthcoming outbreak of war in Parliament, as recorded in Hansard (3rd August 1914).  

Newspaper headline, 5th August 1914

These speeches took place after 9pm on the 3rd August.  The next day Britain declared war on Germany.  After some preceding exchanges where King was accused by other honourable members of making “a wicked suggestion!” and another exclaiming “it is scandalous!”. King makes a significant speech (see here for the full exchange).  It is worth bearing in mind that The Congregationalist (March 23, 1911) records King as spending the summer term of 1885 “at Geissen University, where ….he translated some of his (Dr Harnack’s) works into English.  From Geissen he proceeded to Berlin, but his stay there was cut short through the death of his mother”:

Mr King “I say without any hesitation that the House and the country has not sufficiently realised that if we are going into this war, it is a war against German civilisation, and the German people who are our friends, and the German Government is not.  The bureaucracy and the military caste that mismanaged, and I believe grossly mismanaged, the affairs of Germany, are the enemies of the peace of Europe, and it is that caste and those men that we have to stand out against.  Old man as I am, if I were asked to take up arms and fight myself against those men, I would be glad to do it.  But the misery and tragedy of the position is this: We cannot fight against those masters of tyranny, and against those men who misgovern, without fighting at the same time against the German people. That is what puts many of us in the gravest difficulty.  That is what makes this matter to me personally a question of intense pain and trial, I have many dear personal friends in Germany whom I value and respect and love as much as any men on earth, and to think that from this time forward, not only for a few years but perhaps for the rest of my life, I am to be estranged from the influence of those men by a tragedy of this sort is something which I cannot contemplate in silence or light-heartedly say that it must come, and it is not something I can allow to come to pass without uttering one more warning, and if it be not too late a plea for reconsideration of this question.  When we are going into a war like this, we cannot say we are fighting for the small independent State of Belgium.  I admit that is a noble object on which to shed blood and money.  We cannot even say that we are fighting for the integrity and independence of a great Power like France.  We must look upon this question as a whole, and remember that we are fighting for Russia when we fighting against Germany, and that if Germany stands for tyrannical Government, Russia stands for atrocious tyrannical Government. "

Sir J. D. Rees “Is the hon. Member in order in accusing a friendly Power of atrocious tyrannical government?  I believe it has been ruled that an hon. Member is not in order in using such language in regard to this particular Power.”

Mr. Deputy-Speaker “I do not think the hon.Member was going quite so far as the hon. Baronet has indicated.  I may perhaps again suggest that it does not add to the strength of the hon. Member’s case to use language of that kind.”

Joseph King, MP
reproduced courtesy of Haslemere Educational Museum

Mr. King “I shall be glad to withdraw anything I have said which is inappropriate or objectionable, but I cannot put aside this plain fact, that in Russia at the present moment you have 100,00 people in prison without a trial.  You have three executions a day, or over 1,000 a year, of men who are executed under martial law without even a semblance of a trial at all.  You have, moreover, this fact, that a few weeks ago, just before the time of mobilisation on Russia, you had uprisings, strikes, and threats of civil war, such as have not been known there for half a dozen years.  As one who has tried to understand the affairs of Russia, I believe that this diabolical mobilisation of the forces of Russia was largely occasioned by her own internal difficulties.  In order to save the position, the emoluments and the prerogatives of men in power in that land, they have mobilised their Army, and thrown the whole of Europe into a conflagration of war.  They have done that not from any patriotic motives, not because they really want to preserve any great ideal, but because their own position, power, and place are in ganger.  Remember – I remember it and I cannot forget it, and  as far as it is in my power I will make others remember it – that if we are fighting against Germany we are fighting for Russia, and if we are fighting for Russia at the present time we are fighting for an amount of tyranny and injustice and cruelty which it is quite impossible to think of without the deepest indignation.  We must not ook merely at the question of the neutrality of Belgium, and the freedom of attack of the Northern ports of France – after all, these ports are only small spots in the great field of war.  Let us least least carefully consider the whole question, and let us realise something more of the great issues involved. 

“I shall only touch upon one more aspect which seems to me not without deep significance.  Only five weeks ago we heard of the assassination of the Crown Prince of Austria-Hungary, and we all know that is was the assassination that has led by a strange, swift series of events to the present terrible state of affairs.  When, on Tuesday the 30th June, the Prime Minister came down to the House and proposed a Resolution which was accepted in solemn silence, and with the deepest feeling and approval, I believe that by the whole House, absolutely irrespective of parties or personalities, he moved an address of sympathy not only with His Imperial and Royal Majesty the Emperor of Austria and the King of Hungary on the part of this House, but their sympathy also with the peoples of the Dual Monarchy.  He spoke in words which impressed the House deeply at the time, and said we felt “a tender respect for the great family of nations of which the Austrian Emperor is the head, and our hearts go out to them in affectionate sympathy.”  It is affectionate sympathy five weeks ago for the men and the peoples of the nations that we are going to wage war against perhaps to-morrow!   That seems to me a tragic, and I would go further and say a bitter and cynical fact.  Is our foreign policy so shifting and changing, so liable to sudden emotions and rapid evolutions, that the people to whom we express with absolute unanimity one day our affectionate sympathy we declare to be our foes the next?  Whatever this House decides to do, whatever may be the line taken by the Government, I may add perhaps, and add seriously, that whatever mistakes of taste or language I have made here to-night, I am not afraid and I am not ashamed to have stood up here and said that this is not a simple question of the neutrality of Belgium, nor a simple question of whether the Northern ports of France shall be shelled and bombarded.  It is a question we must consider in all its bearings, and I believe, from all I have heard and all I can think and judge of this question, that the policy of the Government has been too precipitate and that they have not sufficiently realised that though they may fight for the right, honour and just cause in one part of Europe, they on this occasion will be fighting for tyranny, injustice, and reaction in others parts of Europe.”
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