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.
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