Clayton-Jones, Marion A - portrait of Winston Churchill

Photographic portraits of Sir Winston Spencer Churchill are very common, oil portraits less so, and even less so are miniature portraits, especially those painted while he was alive. There is so much about him it does not seem to need recording here. Research reveals this miniature was first auctioned by Grand Auctions of Folkestone on 28 November 2012 as Lot 365, under the auction description; "Clayton Jones, Marion Alexandra 1872-?, British AR Sir Winston Churchill, Miniature together with its original leather case, which doubles as a picture stand, Dated 1949, together with the 'Illustrated London News' and 'Life' memento issues featuring Sir Winston Churchill's life. Estimate: £200 - £300". The purchaser then offered the miniature three times on eBay as a Buy-It-Now, although without the memento issues, starting at £1250, but then at £750, and finally at £250 or best offer, when it was purchased for this collection.

The miniature portrait is signed inside; "Original painting of Mr Winston Churchill by Marion A Clayton-Jones 1949".  Thus it was painted before he was knighted. At 4.00 o'clock on the front it is also initialed MCJ. Sometimes the name seems to be hyphenated and sometimes not, which makes it tricky to search for her, but in the 1901 census she is recorded as married, aged 28, and born in Middlesex. Her birth was 26 Dec 1871 St Johns,Tottenham, England. Some records suggest she died in 1940, but that does not fit with the signature on the miniature which records a date of 1949. It seems more probable that she was the Marion Alexandra Jones who died on 13 June 1957 at Tonbridge, Kent. That also makes some sense as Churchill lived at Chartwell, Mapleton Road, Westerham, TN16 1PS, Kent only ten miles away. Thus the miniature does seem very likely to be an original portrait painted from life in 1949, unless a similar photographic pose emerges. Further confirmation is in her probate record which shows her name as Marion Alexandra Clayton-Jones, living at 29 Hadlow Road Tonbridge, likely with her son, and leaving an estate of £578-5-11, with her son Edward as executor. Edward married Mary Shelmerdine in 1932. Thus Marion lived from 1871-1957 and was 86 when she died. Indeed she was in her late 70's when she painted the miniature, with the quality of it commendable given her age. 

Marion becomes clearer in the 1911 census, As Marion Alexandra (nee Clarke), living at Silverton, Devon, with her husband Owen Clayton-Jones born at Pitminster in Somerset, a medical practitioner, who was aged 54, compared to her 39, and they had a son Edward Clayton Jones aged 6, born in Devon, as well as two servants. As the census records two living children, there must have been another child, perhaps then at boarding school. It appears Edward Clayton-Jones became assistant editor of The Lancet. What happened to the other child is unknown.

The Grave of Dr Owen Astall Clayton Jones (1857-1927) is recorded at Dr Owen Clayton-Jones (1857 - 1927) - Find A Grave In 1884 he gave evidence as a witness in a murder case;
On 24th December I was acting as house surgeon at the London Hospital—the deceased was brought there—he had three wounds on his head; they looked like cuts, but they were beginning to heal—one was on his head, one on his hand, one on his ear, and one half an inch above it, that was a very slight wound, and one on the middle line about two inches behind the roots of his hair—there was a scab on his nose as if he had had a wound there—I attended him till the following Saturday, when he died from hemorrhage of the brain, as part of his skull was driven in—he was never sensible—I made a post-mortem examination—bleeding into the cavity of the brain was the cause of death, but there was no direct connection between the wounds and the bleeding.

Engleheart, John Cox Dillman - portraits of Honora and Charles Drake Garrard

This pair of miniature portraits give an indication of how condition can affect collector interest. The previous owner was gifted them by a descendant of the Drake-Garrard family and offered them for sale via Bonhams on November 19, 2008, as Lot 154A. ENGLEHEART John Cox Dillman, 1782-1862 (United Kingdom) Title : A Lady, wearing white dress, pink shawl over her left shoulder, pink rose at her corsage, pearl necklace, drop pearl earring, her hair in ringlets; and a Gentleman, wearing black coat, waistcoat, white chemise and black cravat (cracked) Estimate : 700 GBP - 900 GBP  Bonhams : (n/a) John Cox Dillman Engleheart (British, 1782-1862) A ... However they did not sell and in late 2013 were offered on Ebay at a much lower price and thence acquired for this collection.

The miniature of the man is signed inside "J Dillman Engleheart Pinxit 1827 London" and inscribed on the reverse in a more recent hand "Charles Benet Drake Garrard I Billman Engleheart Pinxit 1827 London ". The lady is unsigned inside, but inscribed on the reverse "Charlotte Drake-Garrard I Billman Engleheart Pinxit 1827 London". As the previous owner was gifted the portraits by a member of the family there seems no reason to doubt the Drake-Garrard connection, although some more explanation and detective work seemed necessary. They appear to have been reframed c1960-1970, presumably as the earlier cases were damaged beyond repair, with the names added at that time from family knowledge and an assumption made there were both painted in 1827. As Bonhams offered the pair as by JCD Engleheart, that attribution seems unquestioned. Bonhams probably did not mention the sitter's names in their description, as they were added by a later hand. Apart from being cracked, it appears an unsuccessful attempt was made to remove a spot on the left of the man. The lady is in good condition.

Charles Benet Drake Garrard was born in 1806 and died on 13 June 1884 ‎(Age 78)‎. His parents were Charles Garrard ‎[formerly Drake]‎ (23 December 1755-17 July 1817)‎ and Anne Barne. Charles Drake changed his surname when he inherited part of the property of the Garrard family at Lamer Park, near Wheathamstead. CBDG married Honora Henrietta Pauncefort-Duncombe ‎(1814-1 August 1892) on 1 December 1835 and they had no children. Charles did have a sister named Charlotte and another named Emily Charlotte. However, they both married and had families. It is likely the miniature was believed to be one of these sisters, in the expectation the lady was also painted in 1827, whereas he was not married until 1835. However, it seems more likely the miniature is of his wife Honora, and was painted around the time of their engagement or subsequent marriage.

In 1851 CBDG lived as a landed proprietor at Lamar Park with Honora, no children, but with many servants; eight female and five male. In 1871 there were ten female servants and five male servants, but also living with them was a widowed sister-in-law, Sophia Wingfield (sister of Honora) 44 and two unmarried nieces Honora and Mary Wingfield 18 and 15.

Another CBDG sister, Anne, was the archtypical maiden aunt to several generations of her family, and commonplace book she left includes contributions from many cousins and more distant relatives, including genealogical nuggets for her relatives. Among these was a four generation family tree from Montague Drake (1698-1728) to Thomas D Tyrwhitt Drake (1749-1810). CBDG is believed to have had a number of other sisters. One of them, Charlotte married George Henry Cherry.  

CBDG died without issue and left his wife Honora an estate valued at £130,750 which devolved on George Henry Cherry, with the proviso he kept the Garrard name and arms. He therefore dropped the Drake and by Royal Assent on 30 September the name Cheery-Garrard was adopted. This in turn leads to the author of a famous book and a biography of his life; Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Gerrard by Sara Wheeler which contains much Drake Garrard history. The famous book is The Worst Journey in the World The Worst Journey in the World is a memoir of the 1910–1913 British Antarctic Expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott. It was written and published in 1922 by Apsley Cherry-Garrard who went on the Scott Expedition.

To give an idea of how fashion, framing, and condition can affect the value of a miniature, another JCD Engleheart miniature, as showing here, was sold a year later in 2009 by Bonhams and described as John Cox Dillman Engleheart (British, 1782-1862) A Lady, wearing buff-coloured dress trimmed with white lace, a rose-pink shawl around her shoulders, her brown hair braided, curled and upswept. Signed on the obverse and dated J. D. Engleheart/ Pinx/ 88 Newman Street/ London/ 1813, gold frame, the reverse glazed to reveal plaited hair. Oval, 72mm (2 13/16in) high. It had an estimate of £1,800-2,200 and sold for £2,880 inc. premium. The different auction value reflects a number of factors. November 2008 was at the depths of the Global Financial Crisis, whereas in August 2009 there were signs of stability. The 2009 miniature was fully signed, in an original case, and unaccompanied by a cracked male miniature! Thus was more attractive to wealthy collectors, even though to this collector, the 2008 miniature is more appealing, especially with her likely identity known.1484A and 1484B.

Sackville West, Elizabeth - portrait of Viscount Cantilupe

Sometimes a low cost miniature portrait can be just as interesting to research as a more valuable one. In this instance bringing faces to historical events which might otherwise never have come to attention. This miniature cost £55 including shipping and is inscribed on the reverse "Copied by Hon'ble Mrs Mortimer Sackville West from drawing by E Smith" and then "Viscount Cantilupe 1848"

The title, sometimes spelled Cantelupe, is nearly 1000 years old. According to M. Rouault (the author of the Life of Sir Thomas de Cantelon), the first of this family who came to England was William de Cantelou, at the time of the Conquest: and he likewise mentions a Seigneur de Cantelou among those who went with Robert Courtheuse to the crusade of 1096. The fief of Chanteloup, forfeited by William de Cantilupe under Philip Augustus, passed to a French branch that held it till towards the end of the thirteenth century, when their heiress conveyed it to Fulk Paisnel. The William de Cantilupe from whom the English house derives was of great account in the reign of King John. "He was steward of the household, and one of the chief counsellors, who in the fourteenth year of that unquiet reign, when the King his master was excommunicated by the Pope, adhered faithfully to him."

This Viscount Cantilupe was the eldest brother of Mortimer Sackville West who married Elizabeth Faber in 1873. Thus it can be deduced the miniature was painted by Elizabeth after 1873 from a portrait of her late brother-in-law drawn in 1848. In 1848 there is recorded only one miniature painter active with the initial E Smith. That was Edwin Dalton Smith (1800->1866) who lived in London and was noted for painting miniatures on ivory, as well as portraits and flowers in watercolour. Thus it seems likely his 1866 death precluded asking him for painting a miniature in 1873.

George John Frederick West, Viscount Cantelupe (26 April 1814 – 25 June 1850), was a British politician. Styled Viscount Cantelupe from birth, he was the eldest son of George Sackville-West, 5th Earl De La Warr, by Lady Elizabeth Sackville, daughter of John Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset. He was the elder brother of Major-General Charles Sackville-West, 6th Earl De La Warr, Mortimer Sackville-West, 1st Baron Sackville, Lionel Sackville-West, 2nd Baron Sackville and Elizabeth Russell, Duchess of Bedford. He was educated at Christ Church, Oxford.[1] Lord Cantelupe served in the Grenadier Guards, reaching the rank of lieutenant.[1] In 1837 he was returned to Parliament for Helston, a seat he held until 1840,[1][2] and then represented Lewes until 1841.[1][3] He died unmarried in June 1850, aged 36, predeceasing his father. His younger brother Charles eventually succeeded in the earldom. His death was reported as;
A young man who promised to be an ornament to the Peerage has been cut off—Viscount Cantilupe, the eldest son and heir of the Earl and Countess De la Warr. He was attacked by rheumatic fever after at- tending Ascot races and died almost suddenly, when the disease at last involved the brain. Viscount Cantilupe was Member for llelstone from 1837 to 1840; represented Lewes in 1841; and was once a Conservative candidate for Sussex. Refined, accomplished, and benevolent, his loss will cause deep grief to a large circle of Mende.

Elizabeth's husband, Mortimer Sackville-West, 1st Baron Sackville (22 September 1820 – 1 October 1888), was a British peer and court official. Sackville-West was fourth son of George Sackville-West, 5th Earl De La Warr, and Elizabeth Sackville, 1st Baroness Buckhurst, younger daughter and co-heir of John Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset. On the death of his kinsman Charles Sackville-Germain, 5th Duke of Dorset, in 1843, the dukedom and its subsidiary titles became extinct. Large parts of the Sackville estates passed to the West family through Elizabeth. The Sackville-Wests inherited parts of the estates by arrangement, notably the estate of Knole Park in Kent. During his career Sackville-West held several high appointments within the Royal household. In 1876 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Sackville, of Knole in the County of Kent. The peerage was created with special remainder, failing heirs male of his body, to his younger brothers Lionel and William Edward. He died in 1888, aged 68, and was succeeded by his younger brother Lionel.

In turn, Lionel Sackville-West, 2nd Baron Sackville GCMG (19 July 1827 – 3 September 1908), was a British diplomat. Lionel Sackville-West was Minister Plenipotentiary to Argentina from 1872 to 1878 and Ambassador to Spain from 1878 to 1881. The latter year he was appointed Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the United States, a post he held until 1888. His retirement was due to his writing of the Murchison letter. The Murchison letter was a political scandal during the United States presidential election of 1888 when Sir Lionel Sackville-West was entrapped by a political operative posing as a British expatriate.  Murchison letter and  Dirty Campaign Trick: The Phony Charles Murchison Letter ... which was described as - "The filthiest dirty campaign trick ever pulled because it literally destroyed a presidency." That sitting president was Grover Cleveland, a Democrat who had risked the support of big business by backing a lower tariff and earned a reputation for doing what he thought was right despite the political consequences. Challenging Cleveland was Republican Benjamin Harrison, grandson of ninth president William Henry Harrison. (The situation in 1888 sounds very little different to current US political wars!!)

In 1888 Lionel also succeeded his elder brother Mortimer in the barony of Sackville. Lionel had several children by a Spanish dancer, Josefa de la Oliva (née Durán y Ortega, known as Pepita). Soon after his death one of these, calling himself Ernest Henri Jean Baptiste Sackville-West, claimed to be a lawful son and his father's heir. He asserted that between 1863 and 1867 Sackville-West had married his mother. The case came before the English courts of law in 1909–1910, and it was decided that the children of this union were all illegitimate, as Pepita's husband, Jean Antonio Gabriel de Oliva, was alive during the whole period of his wife's connection with Sackville-West. Lord Sackville died in September 1908, aged 81, and was succeeded by his nephew, Lionel, who married Lord Sackville's daughter Victoria. They were the parents of the author Vita Sackville-West, here seen at Ascot in 1912. Vita Sackville-West

Elizabeth Faber herself was born in Yorkshire in 1840, daughter of Charles Wilson Faber and Mary Beckett Denison. Charles Wilson Faber, (1813-1878) was an inventor and industrialist, including the manufacture of elastic webbing, well-known cellular india-rubber mats, and the application of the same substance to the coating of metals. But several of his inventions were more pretentious : he contrived a new sheathing ships, he had an idea that construction of large rafts, worked by steam power, would be advantageous for marine purposes, he wished to revolutionize railway construction by substituting sledge motion for the rolling wheels and axles; and he had an ingenious plan for laying down a tunnel across the Straits of Dover. Elizabeth's elder brother, Edmund Beckett Faber (1847-1920), was ennobled as 1st and last Baron Faber. He died on 17 September 1920 at age 73, when the title lapsed. Her younger brother George Denison Faber, was ennobled as 1st and last Baron Wittenham was born on 14 December 1851. He married Hilda Georgiana Graham, daughter of Sir Frederick Ulric Graham, 3rd Bt. and Lady Jane Hermione St. Maur Seymour, on 7 October 1895 and died on 1 February 1931 at age 79, again without issue. It also appears a third brother Walter Vavasour Faber, a brewer, also died unmarried. Thus Elizabeth, nor three of her brothers, despite joining the aristocracy, endowed their father and mother with any grandchildren.

Yet another brother was brewer, John David Beverley Faber, known in association with Strong's as David Faber. See  The History of Strong's of Romsey  In 1886, the small Horsefair Brewery in Romsey was acquired by David Faber, to whom it was clear that technical developments and changing circumstances would make success for a small business ever more difficult. Population was, at that time growing rapidly, and industry developing throughout the country. The time for expansion was opportune, and in the same year that he acquired the Horsefair Brewery, David Faber bought out two of his Romsey competitors, George's Brewery in Bell Street, and Cressey's Brewery in the Hundred. David Faber was born in 1854 and came of a distinguished family, so that to his innate ability were added valuable family connections which must have assisted him greatly in the early development of his Company. Two of his brothers, Walter Vavasour Faber (1857-1928) sometime M.P. for Andover, and Charles Louis Faber (1862-1897) were for a time associated with him in the acquisition and running of different breweries, whilst two other brothers, Edmund Beckett Faber (1847-1920) afterwards Lord Faber of Butterwick, and George Denison Faber (1851-1931) afterwards Lord Wittenham, were partners in the banking company of Beckett and Company of Leeds. Another distinguished member of the Faber family, Sir Geoffrey Faber, founder and Chairman of the well known publishing company, and a Fellow of All Souls, a distant cousin of David Faber, was for a short time a Director of Strong's. Because of the zeal and business acumen of David Faber the small Horsefair Brewery in Romsey grew into a large company of high repute, whose trade covered much of the South of England. 1474


Townsend, Louisa - portrait of Christobel Florence Arthur Startin

This engaging miniature portrait of a small girl has an engraved inscription around the border of the reverse of the case reading "Christobel Florence Arthur Startin aged two years and four months May 1897".

Although the miniature was sold as unsigned,  inside it is signed "Painted by Mrs Frank Townsend, January 1898". Louisa Townsend was born as Louisa Barber in Chepstow, Monmouthshire in 1847 and active as an artist in North Devon and London between 1896 and 1920. She was the wife of the boarding school teacher and amateur cricket player, Frank Townsend (1847-1920) Frank Townsend and Louisa was an inaugural member of The Society of Miniature Painters, now the Royal Miniature Society, exhibiting five works in the Society’s opening exhibition in 1896. She exhibited further works with the Society and six works at the Royal Academy between 1896 and 1920 including a portrait of W. G. Grace (18 July 1848 – 23 October 1915), in the year of his death, which later acted as the frontispiece plate to ‘The Memorial Biography of W. G. Grace’, edited by Lord Hawke, Lord Harris and Home Gordon and published in 1919.

The portrait, although not a miniature was offered for sale at Knight's Sporting Auctions as lot 173 in March 2012. It had an estimate of £12,000-£15000 and was described as;
William Gilbert Grace. Gloucestershire & England 1865-1908. Louisa Townsend c1910/15. Large watercolour portrait painting of Grace, head and shoulders, wearing a striped dark suit. Signed to lower border by Townsend. Cameo oval gilt mount and framed in ornate gilt frame. Image 12”x16”, overall 16”x19”. An excellent image. VG. . The image very similar to the portrait featured in Grace’s Memorial Biography.

The price realised is not currently known. Although Grace was definitely the best known face of cricket in his day, he is still probably the most recognisable of cricketers to this day and was portrayed many times in photographs, the major media of the day, and cartoons and caricatures.

Christobel was the daughter of Rev Henry Startin (1852-1895), the vicar at Horrbridge, Devon, and Effie Maude Bickersteth, daughter of the Bishop of Exeter. At his death Henry was recorded as of Horrabrldge Vicarage, and of Chateau de l'Air, Orleans and in 1895 he left an estate of £9513.14.0. Henry's appointment to Horrabridge was not without controversy, as indicated in this account from The Tablet;
That lay patrons should regard a living as a providential provision for the stupid son of the family is under all the circumstances hardly surprising, but that nepotism should flourish even among the Bishops is surely unnecessary. Perhaps some explanation of the following facts may be forthcoming : "The vicarage of Horrabridge lately became vacant, and, as will be seen from the particulars given below, the Bishop of Exeter is the patron. The annual income is not very large, but Horrabridge is a pleasant village, and if the Bishop had cared to look for them he would have found many deserving curates in his diocese glad to accept such an incumbency. This, however, would have hampered his lordship in fulfilling the Apostolic injunction which bids him provide for those of his own household. He has appointed his son-in-law, the Rev. Henry Startin, and an evidently 'inspired' paragraph in the local papers carefully mentions that this gentleman is 42 years of age. The statement conveys the impression that Mr. Startin is an experienced clergyman who may fairly be promoted to a living, whereas the fact is he has only been in orders two years. Who can wonder that such an appointment has elicited throughout the diocese comments which are anything but flattering to the Lord Bishop ?"

The miniature of Christobel reveals a sad story from World War II. She was born in Devon in 1895 and in 1926 married Montague Wriothesley Noel (1892-1941). He was commander of HMS Torrent when it was mined and sunk off Falmouth on 6 April 1941. HMS was originally the armed yacht HMS Anna Marie
Displacement: 337 tons.
Completed in June 1930.
Requisitioned by the Admiralty September 1939.
Served in an anti-submarine role.

Commander Noel is commemorated by a plaque in the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Exton, Rutland, England
 'In thankful memory of  MONTAGUE WRIOTHESLEY NOEL  Commander Royal Navy. Son of Admiral Charles Noe, Born November 12th 1892. During the First World War he was twice decorated with the Royal Humane Society's Bronze Medal for life-saving at sea. Having retired in 1935 he was appointed Financial Secretary to the Diocese of Lichfield and lay reader therein but on the renewed outbreak of war he volunteered forthwith for active service again and on April 6th 1941 while on Convoy duty in the English Channel gave his life for his men. Joyful, courageous and loving of heart, fervent in spirit serving the Lord, he brought men to CHRIST. GOD is love and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in GOD and GOD in him' 
Memorial Details: Description: At top, coat of arms with motto: 'TOUT BIEN OU RIEN'.
Type: Wall tablet Materials: Marble
Vessel: HMS Torrent Event Date: 6/4/1941

Although not confirmed, this is believed to be a picture of Anna Marie, prior to being renamed HMS Torrent
 Christobel's father had died on 27 March 1895, when she was only two months old, so she can have had no memory of him, and on her husband's death in 1941 she was left as a widow with three sons and a daughter to raise. She died on 29 September 1965. 1480


Fairfield, Agnes - portrait of Thomas Cook holding a Bradshaw's Guide

This miniature portrait appeared to be by a very capable, but seemingly unrecorded artist. It was described only as;
This auction is for a framed miniature painting of a victorian gentleman holding a copy of BRADSHAWS GUIDE,maybe the great man himself,it measures 14.5" by 13",it is in really nice condition,the frame and mount are tired as per the photos.

However, on arrival it was a nice surprise to find that it is signed on the reverse, "Painted by Agnes Fairfield, March 1886". As noted further below, I have since concluded the sitter is Thomas Cook (1808-92), the famous businessman.

A little detective work has revealed Agnes Fairfield (c1836-1906) as the daughter of another very capable, but little known artist, Anne Fairfield (c1806-1883) who has four works depicted on page 172 of the Cincinnati catalogue and also one miniature in this collection,  Fairfield, Anne - portrait of Arthur Player

Anne Fairfield left an estate of £1,406-11s-7d with the probate record for 1883 reading;
22 November. The will of Anne Fairfield late of 13 James-street Birkenhead in the County of Chester (sic) Widow who died 31 July 1883 at 13 James-street was proved at Chester by Agnes Fairfield of 13 James-street the Daughter of one of the Executors.

The 1861 census records the family living at Woodchurch Road, Heath Terrace. The family comprised;
James Fairfield Head Mar. 56 Cornbroker - born Gloucestershire, Wick
Ann Fairfield Wife Mar 58 Artist (Miniature) - born Lancashire, Liverpool
Elizabeth A Fairfield Dau   Un   25 do.-    born do.
Agnes Fairfield Dau    Un   24 do. -    born do.
Thomas H Fairfield  Son Un 21 Bookkeeper - born Lancashire West Derby
Lawrencina Fairfield Dau 16 Scholar - born Cheshire, Tranmere
Robert J Fairfield Son 14 Scholar - born do.
Hugh Fairfield Son 12 Scholar - born Cheshire, Oxton

Thus, the family had moved about in a reasonably close area, as their fortunes changes and there were three miniature painters in the family, Anne, Elizabeth, and Agnes. Anne also described herself as an artist in 1851. In 1871 Both Anne and Agnes described themselves as artists, as did Lawrencina now aged 26. In 1881, Anne, 75 and Agnes, 42 both described themselves as artists, but Lawrencina, 36 gave no occupation.

There is also a record of Agnes as a sculptor, with 13 James Street, as her address,  Miss Agnes Fairfield - Mapping Sculpture - University of Glasgow However, one is more inclined to perhaps wonder if that was also a portrait, as it was titled 'The Corsair's Bride'. This portrait may even be the same one, although it may instead be by her mother. It was signed 'A Fairfield' and described as 'ORIENTALIST PORTRAIT MINIATURE OF A YOUNG BEAUTY 5"x 3 3/4" watercolor on ivory signed "A. Fairfield" probably Agnes Fairfield late 19th century'; and was sold in 2010 in America for $550.

Agnes has not been located in the 1891 census, but in 1901 Agnes still described herself as a miniature artist, aged 63, however, sadly she was recorded as an inmate, along with a very large number of others, at the Cheshire District County Pauper and Lunatic Asylum where she died in 1906 aged 68. One wonders what had happened to her siblings and that none of them seem to have taken her in her old age.

For Anne to have painted miniatures for over 30 years, Agnes for a similar period, also Elizabeth and Lawrencina for a period, there must have been a large number of miniatures painted. Presumably many must still exist in the Liverpool area.
Bradshaw's Guide

The wording is not very clear in this image, but is clearer when in greater definition. Bradshaw's Guide was very famous for its timetables and travel information and the sitter must have had an important connection with the Guide. 

In late 2021, I have since come to the conclusion that the sitter is Thomas Cook (1808-1892) near the end of his life.  He was an English businessman, and best known for founding the travel agency Thomas Cook & Son.

His hairstyle, neck-wear,  and clothes are very similar, and he has a similar watch on the fob chain on his waistcoat. Even the way he holds his hands looks similar. Bradshaw's Guide was an essential ingredient in the success of his package holiday business.

He acquired an office on Fleet Street, London, in 1865, and with his son, John Cook. They offered trips under family ownership until 1926, and after a brief period under the British Transport Commission, became Thomas Cook Group in 1974. The company was acquired once more in 2001, then becoming the modern form of the business - Thomas Cook Group - in 2007. It enjoyed 178 years as the world’s oldest travel company before it collapsed in 2019.

Thomas Cook (1808-1892)

Thomas Cook - Wikipedia


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


Rosher, Grace - portrait of Edward VIII

Although there are many photographic portraits of Edward VIII, especially as Prince of Wales, painted miniature portraits of him are believed to be very uncommon. He succeeded his father George V and abdicated in favour of his brother George VI.

It is coincidental that the miniature was acquired for this collection just at the time Madonna released a new movie W.E (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia based upon the romance between Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson.

The film features Andrea Riseborough as Wallis Simpson and James D’Arcy as Edward. Bafta winner James Fox plays King George V, Natalie Dormer is the young Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon while Laurence Fox plays Bertie, Edward’s younger brother and the future King George VI.

This miniature was painted by Grace Rosher (?-1980) and is signed "GR 1919". The vendor commented;
This is a miniature painted by my great aunt Grace Rosher, who exhibited some of her work at the Royal Academy, London possibly from early 1920's-1960s. [showing here is Mrs Edward Compton, née Virginia Frances Bateman (1853–1940) by Grace Rosher, Victoria and Albert Museum, painted in 1935.] She wrote two books, 'Beyond the Horizon' and 'The Travellers Return' both were published in the 1960s. You can also see a larger painting by my great aunt Grace in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The miniature is dated 1919, and signed GR. I believe it is painted on parchment, I don't think it is ivory, and from what I can see it is painted in oils. This was my great aunts usual medium, and there is a slight sheen to the painting. Measures 2 1/2 inches x 2 inches.

She was a great royalist, and whilst Prince Edward VIII was making a public appearance, she approached him to show the Prince this miniature she had been working on. He was apparently impressed, and with my great aunt being rather bold asked if he would sign the back, which he was happy to do for her.

The address of Blomfield Road is where my great aunt resided at that time. The miniature is in excellent condition.

The vendor was a little mistaken, as the miniature is on ivory and is painted in watercolour, not oil.

Apart from being an interesting addition to the collection, I had a personal reason for seeking to acquire the portrait.

Three generations of my ancestors worked at HM Stationery Office over a period of 100 years. I understand that a Grampy Green was the first and was the caretaker at HMSO for many years. My great-grandfather lived in a poorhouse, (about the time of Oliver Twist!) as his parents died when he was very young. I also understand he attended the Blue Coat charity school whose students wore blue coats and yellow stockings as showing here. Grampy Green then arranged employment for him at HMSO and over his career he rose to be Chief Inspector of Waste (the auditor of paper and ink waste!).

His son was my grandfather who also worked for HMSO and, in 1936, was required to go secretly from HMSO to Buckingham Palace on a bicycle, to collect two copies of the signature of King Edward VIII on the day of his abdication, to be used in preparing the formal printed document of the abdication, as depicted here.

One signature was for use, and one as a spare.The spare was not needed and was kept by my grandfather for many years, but after he died, my grandmother destroyed it as she was afraid she would get into trouble!

Hence, the opportunity to acquire a miniature portrait and the signature of Edward VIII, even though as Prince of Wales, and not as King Edward VIII, was impossible to pass up.

It has been a little difficult to trace the birth record of Grace Rosher, but it seems likely she was born Isobel Grace Rosher on 14 October 1889 at Brackley, Northamptonshire. To date it has not been possible to trace her in the census records.

Grace Rosher was also a noted British exponent of automatic writing. She was an artist who exhibited miniature paintings in the Royal Academy, London. Her psychic talent became manifest after the loss of her fiancé Gordon E. Burdick, whom she had known for many years. In June 1956, he was serving in the Canadian Navy, stationed at Vancouver, and intended to come to London to marry Rosher. A week before sailing, he died.

Fifteen months later, Grace Rosher had written a letter concerning an aunt and was wondering if she had time to write another letter before tea-time when she had a strong urge to keep her hand on the writing pad. The pen began to move without her conscious volition, and she discovered to her astonishment that it had written a letter in the handwriting of her dead fiancé.

In the course of time, many other such automatic letters followed, stating that this phenomenon would be the means of bringing other people to realize that life continues after death.

Grace Rosher was not a Spiritualist, and sought guidance from the Rev. G. Maurice Elliot, then secretary of the Churches' Fellowshipof Psychic and Spiritual Studies. Elliot enlisted the aid of handwriting expert F. T. Hilliger who studied the automatic scripts and compared them to the handwriting of Burdick when alive.

Although initially skeptical, Hilliger reported that the automatic scripts bore a close resemblance to the genuine writing of Burdick in a large number of different ways, and were so consistent that "the writing reproduced by Grace Rosher was, if it were humanly possible, genuinely inspired by the personality of Gordon E. Burdick."

Rosher subsequently produced many other scripts, including messages from her mother, father, and three sisters, and a relative who had died in 1752.

On one occasion, she produced a communication claimed to be from the famous scientist Sir William Crookes, in handwriting remarkably similar to that of Crookes in his lifetime. For more see:

The miniature of Edward dates to about the time of his August to November 1919 visit to Canada, as depicted in this cigarette card, where the number of medal ribbons he is wearing appears to be similar.

As this collection of miniature portraits grows, in terms of the range of identified sitters, there are increasing numbers of cross links.

For example appearing here are miniature portraits of some of the Prince of Wales distant cousins from the German and Russian royal families, who were on opposing sides during World War I, despite knowing each other very well.

Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany (View) and Grand Duchesses Olga and Tatiana of Russia (View).

All four cousins were descended from Queen Victoria and it is to be regretted that what was effectively a falling out between the various branches of the families descended from Queen Victoria led to millions of deaths during World War I.

A lot more could be written about the lives of both Edward VIII and Grace Rosher, and may be added here later. 1442

Later - a kind visitor has emailed me another Rosher painting for anyone who is interested to see further examples of her style. It is a watercolour and is signed and dated 1921. It reminds me of some porcelain paintings and book illustrations of the 1920's period. The photo was taken from an angle, so the shape appears a little odd.

Later - 2015 - A kind visitor has advised the following helpful correction and also some additional information:

I have been reading your material regarding Grace Rosher on the webpage where you state "It has been a little difficult to trace the birth record of Grace Rosher, but it seems likely she was born Isobel Grace Rosher on 14 October 1889 at Brackley, Northamptonshire. To date it has not been possible to trace her in the census records." I think you may have misread her entry in the General Register Office's Death Index. The Brackley district in Northamptonshire is where she died in 1980. Her birth in 1889 actually took place in London's Hendon district, specifically in Willesden. The GRO reference to her birth certificate is Hendon 3a 178, 1889 (4th Qtr.). I have found her straightforwardly in the 1891 census, and her parents and siblings (but not her) in 1901, but not in 1911. I had the privilege of knowing Grace (and her sister Freda) well in the 1960s and many times marvelled at the huge number of her paintings spread over the walls of their home at 10, Ladbroke Square. She was particularly proud of a miniature she had painted of the ballerina Anna Pavlova, which I saw several times. I wonder where that is now? 


Later - 2021 - A visitor from Canada, Walter Meyer zu Erpen, has very kindly provided the following extra detailed information;

[[I am interested in Grace Rosher and looking for an authoritative page to link to in an essay I am writing.  Discovered your page:

19C & 20C British Miniature Portraits: Rosher, Grace - portrait of Edward VIII (

From General Register Office birth index, Isabel Grace Rosher’s birth was registered 4th Q 1889 at Hendon:

From FreeBMD, her birthdate confirmed as 14 Oct 1889 and 3rd Quarter 1980 is when her death was registered at Brackley, which “district BRACKLEY spans the boundaries of the counties of Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire”

Here is Isobel G. Rosher in the 1939 UK Register with her sister Stella.  This confirms Grace’s 14 Oct. 1889 date of birth.  The manuscript copy contains a note for Isobel at far right (not transcribed):  auxiliary nurse

In case you are interested, there are 168 references to “Grace Rosher” in the Psychic News digital archive (1932-2010), but Rosher content spanning 1960-2010:

Search results |

Many will be sales advertisements for her books and others a virtual identical retelling of her story over the years.  Her passing is reported on 1980-07-26, pp. 1 & 8.

Walter Meyer zu Erpen

Archives & Records Consultant

Meyer zu Erpen & Associates, Inc.

PO Box 8697

Victoria, BC  V8W 3S3  ]]