Simeon Family miniature portraits

It may seem sentimental, but it does seem a pity when family groups are split up by a vendor to increase their own profits.

Two groups of portraits of the Simeon family are a case in point. The first image depicts five members of the family, all of whom were identified.

From the same family was a larger group of nine portraits and several medals. I know they all came from the same family as I found the original auction records showing where the eBay vendor had purchased the miniatures.
The Country House Sale inc. Fine Silver & Objects of Vertu by Dreweatts & Bloomsbury 492 lots 07 December 2011, Donnington Priory, Donnington, Newbury, RG14 2JE United Kingdom

There were then all sold individually on eBay. As it happened several of the miniatures were then purchased for this collection without realising how many there had been in the two original groups.

The two group images are copied and posted here in case anyone is ever researching the family and comes across the other miniatures and looks for more information about them.

Of the total four miniatures are now in this collection. The first is a larger than the other three and is a portrait of Reverend Geoffrey Barrington Simeon by Florence Blaine who is a little known artist.

Geoffrey Barrington Simeon was born on 9 March 1848 at Newton Abbott, Devon. He was the son of Charles Simeon and Sarah Jane. He married Janetta Nina Sutton, daughter of Reverend Robert Sutton, on 10 February 1886. He died on 2 March 1906 at age 57 at Upton-on-Severn. He graduated Oxon 1874 with a Master of Arts (M.A.). He was the Vicar at Dunster, Somerset, then Rector at  Littleham, Devon.

The children of Geoffrey Barrington Simeon and Janetta Nina Sutton were
Geoffrey Nelthorpe Simeon b. 20 Apr 1888, d. 27 Dec 1923
Joan Barrington Simeon b. 26 Jul 1890, d. 4 May 1954
Eleanor Blachford Simeon b. 21 Apr 1892

As will be self-evident the miniatures of Janetta Nina Simeon nee Sutton and Joan Barrington Sutton from the family group of five are now in this collection, but the other two children were purchased by other people.

The miniature of Janetta is signed with initials, either GBS or SBS, 1904. On balance it seems more likely the initials are GBS for a miniature portrait painted by her husband, Reverend  Geoffrey Barrington Simeon. Thus he appears to have been an amateur artist who likely also painted the miniature portrait here of his daughter.

The other miniature of a young lady with her hand supporting her head is unidentified, apart from appearing at top left in the large group of miniatures.

In 1901 Geoffrey, as a clerk in holy orders, his wife and two daughters, aged 10 and 8, lived comfortably in Oxford, with a German governess, a cook-domestic, a parlour-maid, and a housemaid. Presumably his son was then away at boarding school.

The father of GBS was Captain Charles Simeon (9 December 1816 – 29 May 1867), one of the members of the Canterbury Association who emigrated to Canterbury in New Zealand in 1851. Charles and his family spent four years in the colony and during this time, Charles held various important posts and positions.

He returned to England in 1855. He was devoted to the Anglican church and three of his sons became priests, while two of his daughters married priests. Thus GBS spent several years in New Zealand as a child. The grandfather of GBS was Sir Richard Godin Simeon (1785-1855) Sir Richard Simeon, 2nd Baronet

The Churches that GBS served at were The Priory Church of St George in Dunster, Somerset, England, which is predominantly from the 15th century with evidence of 12th and 13th century work. It has been designated as a Grade I listed building. He then went to Saint Swithun’s Church, Littleham, North Devon and the church history is discussed at History of St Swithuns - Littleham & Landcross

Joan never married and died as a spinster on 4 May 1954 at Danehurst Nursing Home, Woodhill Spa. She left an estate of £8807-1-2 appointing as executors Aelwyn Howard Williams, stage director and Edmund John Roslin Hett, solicitor. One wonders more about Aelwyn Williams and what was his connection with Joan? Those with time to do so, and a wish to follow up, may find an initial clue at Chrystmasse in ye Olden Tyme.

No's. 1469, 1470, 1471, 1472

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