Arts & Crafts, Architects & Artists

Charles Robert Ashbee (1863 – 1942) designer and entrepreneur, he set up his Guild and School of Handicraft in 1888 in East London while a resident at Toynbee Hall. His school operated until 1895, when it closed for economic reasons and he moved to Chipping Camden.  Hugh worked with Ashbee initially, but he and his house-mates left working with Ashbee and set up their own school, the Whitechapel School of Handicrafts, in Globe Road.

Detmar Jellings Blow (1867 – 1939)  Architect;  his mentors were Ruskin, William Holman Hunt and Philip Webb. He was one of the last disciples of John Ruskin, as a young man he had accompanied him on his last journey abroad. The ideals of his early career led him to take up the role of the wandering architect, travelling artisan-like with his own band of masons from project to project. It was at this stage that he worked for HCFC at Brandsby, did his earliest work there and designed his first house, Mill Hill.

He continued to design mainly in the arts and crafts style, but he attracted aristocratic clients, the Wyndham family for whom he designed Clouds, in Wiltshire.  He later became estates manager to the Duke of Westminster.

Alfred Hoare Powell (1865–1960) was an Arts and Crafts architect, and designer and painter of pottery. He was the architectural pupil of John Dando Sedding and was inspired by John Ruskin.   Powell designed a number of additional features of Mill Hill, the house originally designed by Blow, the kitchen garden, the grounds, entrance gate and drive and two iterations of extensions to the original house.  He was recommended to HCFC by Blow.  He continued to design many features of buildings and artefacts for HCFC and two other houses, Dale End in Brandsby and Swathgill in nearby Coulton.  Powell with Ernest Gimson and Ernest and Sidney Barnsley designed all the furniture for Mill Hill, Brandsby.

Alfred and his wife Louise Powell became celebrated as pottery designers and trainers for Wedgwoods. They collaborated on the revitalisation of arts and crafts, becoming important members of the South Cotswolds community.

Ernest and Sidney Barnsley were Arts and Crafts movement master builders, furniture designers and makers associated with Ernest Gimson. In the early 20th century they had workshops at Sapperton, Gloucestershire.  They designed furniture for HCFC at Mill Hill.

Ernest William Gimson (1864 – 1919) was an English furniture designer and architect. Gimson was described by the art critic Nikolaus Pevsner as “the greatest of the English architect-designers”.[1] Today his reputation is securely established as one of the most influential designers of the English Arts and Crafts movement in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Together with the Barnsley and Alfred Powell, he designed furniture for HCFC for Mill Hill, Brandsby.

William Richard Lethaby (1857-1931) trained and practiced as an architect, but he was also more importantly, a designer, an educator, and an architectural theorist and historian. He took his ideas from A.W.N. Pugin, John Ruskin and William Morris.

Henry Marriott Paget, RBA (1856-1936), artist, painted over a wide oeuvre, including, portraits, landscapes, historic and literary events.  He also created many prints on diverse subjects but in particular on current affairs.  He is most famous for his portrait of W.B. Yeats.  He did a print of the first match of the British ladies football team.

He painting a portrait of Alice, Hugh’s wife, as a wedding present.  He also painted at least one other small painting for Hugh of himself outside his famous Arts & Crafts ‘cottage’ Mill Hill, in Brandsby.  Both paintings remain with family members.

George Percy Bankart (1866 – 1917), architect, plaster modeller, lead worker, he was associated with other of the Arts & Crafts movement, Ernest Gimson, William Morris, Sydney Barnsley and W.R. Lethaby. Though best know for his ornamental plasterwork, on which he wrote a number of books, Bankart worked for Hugh Fairfax-Cholmeley as an architect, designing alterations and improvements to Stearsby Grange and later a granary and cartshed at Warren House, Brandsby, plus most probably other buildings at that site.

Joseph Crawhall (1861 – 1913), painter of mainly birds and animals. It is not know how Hugh became friendly with him, but he had a house built for Crawhall and his mother in the village of Brandsby (Dale End), as he thought they would add to the social life of the village. Whilst there Crawhall painted the Brandsby Duck.


Thinkers and political movers

In roughly chronological order to Hugh’s life.

Rev. Dr. William Francis Barry (1849–1930) influential Catholic priest, theologian, educator and writer. He was Professor of Divinity at Oscott, whilst Hugh was there as a student.  He was Hugh’s first mentor and it was at his suggestion that Hugh went to Toynbee Hall.

Canon Samuel Augustus Barnett (1844 – 1913) an Anglican cleric and social reformer who with his wife Henrietta, established the first university settlement, Toynbee Hall, in east London in 1884. Hugh was a resident at Toynbee and Barnett can be considered as his first mentor in social reform.

Edward Carpenter (1844 – 1929) Hugh read his book England’s Ideal during 1888-89 and was very taken by his ideas on simplicity of lifestyle and truth to nature. He was a social philosopher and later one of the earliest activists for the rights of homosexuals. He was prime mover in the founding of the Sheffield Socialist Party and wanted to live a life close to working people. He built a house for himself at Millthorpe, near Sheffield, which became a centre for admirers and followers. Hugh visited him there and his later involvement with Ruskin’s Guild of St George, at Sheffield, stems from his association with Carpenter.

John James (J.J.) Dent (1856-1936) was one of the founders of the Co-Operative Wholesale Society.  He was also involved in the development of working mens’ clubs and became the first working class secretary of the WMC & IU.  Hugh got to know Dent whilst at Toynbee and remained friends with him.  Dent later visited Hugh at Brandsby and advised him on the establishment of the Reading Room Club.

Thomas Hancock Nunn (1859-1937) social reformer and one of the founders of Toynbee Hall.  It was largely due to his work on the Royal Commission investigating laws for administering relief to the poor that the efforts of voluntary and statutory bodies were coordinated.

Hubert Llewellyn Smith (1864 – 1945) Assistant secretary of the Technical Education Association, then appointed to the Board of Trade in 1893, in charge of a newly established labour department, he helped to draft the 1896 Conciliation (Trade Disputes) Act which established a voluntary framework for government conciliation and arbitration in strikes and lock-outs.  In 1907 he became permanent secretary of the Board of Trade, playing a large role in laying the foundations for twentieth-century state intervention in British industrial relations. Later he became an important figure in government economic strategy.  He was primarily responsible for the economic preparations for war, and in 1918–19 he headed the British economic section at the Paris Peace Conference drafting many of the economic provisions of the treaty.

Hugh remained close friends with Smith all his life, visiting him and receiving visits. Smith wife, Edith was godmother to his daughter, Rosamond.

Arthur Pillans (A.P.)Laurie (1861 – 1949) was a Scottish chemist who pioneered the scientific analysis of paintings. He pioneered the chemical analysis of paintings to establish their composition, age and origins.  Among his other posts he eventually became Professor of Chemistry to the Royal Academy of Arts.  He wrote prolifically on chemistry and teaching, but in 1939 he famously wrote The Case for Germany, a book praising Hitler and Nazism and criticizing the Jews.

One of Hugh’s co-workers in their establishment at 49 Beaumont Square, and continuing friend.

Arthur G Rogers (1864- ) Wrote a comprehensive work in two volumes on the history of agriculture and prices in Britain from 1259 to 1792.  Volume 3 was The Business side of Agriculture, published in 1904.  He lectured at Oxford and was employed by government in the Department of Agriculture.  He was one of Hugh’s house mates in Beaumont Square and he visited Hugh at Brandsby, continuing to take an interest in Hugh’s social ventures.

Vaughan Nash  (1861–1932) Nash started his journalistic career covering the 1889 Dock Strike, went on to write on a number of social issues, including the causes of the Irish and Indian famines.  He was friends with Florence Nightingale and later became private secretary to two liberal prime ministers and vice-chairman of the Development Commission. Nash introduced Hugh to union work and contacts.  Later in 1905 he invited Hugh to participate in a group in compiling Liberal Social policy.  Hugh was the agricultural representative in this group.  Its findings were published in the Liberal publication Towards a Social Policy, published by The Speaker.  He became a resident of Toynbee after Hugh and his group had left.

Arthur Sidgwick (1840–1920) an Oxford classics scholar, he used ancient Greek to demarcate the boundaries of an elite male social, emotional, and educational sphere, and how that sphere became more porous at the turn of the twentieth century through university coeducation. Sidgwick believed strongly in the value of the an intellectually rigorous single sex environment, but he believed in the education of women and worked on behalf of the Oxford Association for the education of women. He was a visitor to Beaumont Square and also later lent support to Hugh and Harry Nicholls, during their work promoting an agricultural labourers union in Oxforshire, Berkshire and the home counties.

Tom Mann (1856–1941) a noted British trade unionist.
Harry Nicholls an activist in the Agricultural Labourers Union, introduced to Hugh by Tom Mann of the Dockers Union.  Hugh and Harry Nicholls worked together  around villages in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and the home counties, promoting membership of the Union.

Lord Ripon (1827-1909), a member of the Liberal Government for most of his life, was also brought to Beaumont Square by Laurie.  He was Viceroy of India from 1880 to 1884, during which time he instituted a number of reforms to do with education, freedom of the press and local government.  His reforms were very popular with the Indian population, but detested by the Anglo-Indians. Hugh was able to rely on his early acquaintance with Ripon.

Cyril Jackson (1863-1924) a leading British educationist, born in Kentish Town, London.  He became a resident at Toynbee in 1885 and stayed for 10 years.  He decided to abandon law and to dedicate his life to improve educational opportunities for the socially disadvantaged in the deprived industrial community of East London. He became a member of the London School Board from 1891 to 1896 and ran a boys’ club at Northey Street School which aimed to help and support Limehouse street boys.

He was appointed inspector-general of schools in Western Australia in 1896 and implemented major reforms to their educational system.

In 1903, he was elected a member of the London County Council, Limehouse Division, and became chairman of the Education Committee from 1908.  The Cyril Jackson Primary School stands as an ongoing memorial to his efforts in education. For services during World War I, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1917.

Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse (1864 – 1929) British liberal political theorist and sociologist, who has been considered one of the leading and earliest proponents of social liberalism. His works, culminating in his famous book Liberalism (1911), occupy a seminal position within the canon of New Liberalism. He worked both as an academic and a journalist, and played a key role in the establishment of sociology as an academic discipline; in 1907 he shared, with Edward Westermarck, the distinction of being the first professor of sociology to be appointed in the United Kingdom, at the University of London. He was also the founder and first editor of The Sociological Review.  (Wikipedia)

He supported Hugh and Nicolls when they visited Oxford drumming up support for the Agricultural Labourers Union.

Frederick York Powell (1850 – 1904), was an English historian and scholar. He became a law-lecturer and tutor of Christ Church, fellow of Oriel College, delegate of the Clarendon Press, and in 1894 he was made Regius Professor of Modern History. (Wikipedia).

He supported Hugh and Nicolls at Oxford and also supported Hugh on many other occasions later in life.

Arthur Gavin Stevenson (1863 – 1927) – social reformer, supporter of the YMCA movement, land agent and friend of HCFC.

Henry William Massingham (1860 – 1924) journalist, editor of The Nation from 1907 to 1923. In his time it was considered the leading British Radical weekly. A visitor to the Beaumont Square community.

Arthur Leslie Collie (circa 1834-1905)sculptor, dealer and publisher of reduced copies of bronzes. Friend of Hugh, visited him at Brandsby.

Arthur Dyke Acland, Sir, 13th Baronet, (1847–1926) Liberal politician and political author.  Though son of one of England’s wealthiest landowners, he was elected Member of Parliament for Rotherham in 1885 and remained so until the end of his political career in 1899. Vice-President of the Council of Education under Gladstone and the Earl of Rosebery between 1892 and 1895.   In 1893 he was responsible for The Elementary Education (Blind and Deaf Children) Act, and the Elementary Education (School Attendance) Act (which made education compulsory up to the age of eleven). The same year, he promulgated the Evening Continuation School Code, which laid the foundation for adult education.

He was keen on parish councils.  He later also worked with Hugh in the Agricultural Organisation Society.

Perhaps his most influential work was as chairman of the Forestry Sub-committee of the Reconstruction Committee during World War One whose 1918 report was responsible for the setting up of the Forestry Commission in 1919.

Herbert Louis Samuel, 1st Viscount, (1870 – 1963), a Liberal politician.  He visited Hugh at Mill Hill to experience Hugh’s ‘simple life’, which he had set up for himself and his friends.  He became Postmaster General and as such was instrumental in allowing Hugh to pilot a telephone party line scheme in Brandsby as a means of improving rural communication.  The scheme was taken up as an example by the AOS and promoted widely.

He was later appointed as Home Secretary and was the party leader from 1931-35. He was a supporter of the New Liberalism and helped draft several pieces of legislation for social reform, whilst a cabinet member. Samuel had a Jewish upbringing, but gave up all religious belief in 1892 whilst at Oxford.  As home secretary, he put forward the idea of a Jewish State in Palestine and in 1915 strongly influenced the Balfour declaration.

Robert Armstrong Yerburgh (1853 – 1916), a British Conservative Party politician, served as a MP 1886-1906 and again 1910-1916.  He was intended to be elevated to the peerage, but died before this could be completed.  He became president of the Agricultural Organisation Society and in this capacity worked a lot with Hugh and also visited Brandsby for the opening of the NER railway transport link opening.

Charles Bathurst, 1st Viscount Bledisloe (1867 –1958), a British conservative politician and colonial governor. He had founded the Central Land Association, to watch agricultural interests independently of party politics.  Hugh corresponded with and discussed land and agricultural matters and policy with Bathurst.  They worked together and Bathurst eventually amalgamated his association with the Agricultural Organisation Society.

Thomas Brassey, 1st Earl Brassey (1836 – 1918) British Liberal Party politician, later Governor of Victoria and founder of The Naval Annual. A heavyweight committee member and supported of the AOS.

J. H Diggle, wrote on the development of smallholdings and allotments in Lincolnshire.
Sir Richard Winfrey (1858 – 1944) was a British Liberal politician, newspaper publisher and campaigner for agricultural rights. He served as Member of Parliament for South West Norfolk, 1906–1923, and for Gainsborough, 1923–1924.

Visited the cooperative at Brandsby on the occasion of the opening of the rail motor service.

Stanley Coetmore Jones (1872-1916) Thoresby Estate, the property of Lord Manvers. Appointed as a sub-agent to Lord Scarbrough’s estates and in 1902 took responsibility for the Lincolnshire Estates.  Killed in action 1916 at the age of 44. He came to Brandsby by himself and later with 20 farmers to see the co-operative ventures at Brandsby.

Noel Edward Noel-Buxton, 1st Baron Noel-Buxton PC (1869 – 1948) British Liberal and later Labour politician. He served as Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and between 1929 and 1930. Interested in co-operation and agricultural reform; a member of the committee of the AOS.

Fitzherbert-Brockholes, this could be William (1851-1924).  The Fitzherbert-Brockholes were an old Catholic family based in Claughton on Brock, in the Borough of Wyre in Lancashire.  He also worked in the AOS and Hugh counted on him a lot for support.

Joseph Hiam Levy (1838–1913) an English author and economist; educated at the City of London School and joined the Civil Service. He later became a lecturer in economics at Birkbeck College and an important figure in the Personal Rights Association.  Among other books he wrote Individualism and the Land Question: a discussion, Sir R. K. Wilson, Bart., J. H. Levy, 1912.

George Macaulay Trevelyan (1876 – 1962), British historian and academic. Part of the group which worked with Hugh on the Liberal social reform policy.  The results of the committee’s discussion were published in book form, Towards a Social Policy,  by the Speaker.

Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, GCB (1836 – 1908) was a British Liberal Party politician, Prime Minister 1905 to 1908 and Leader of the Liberal Party from 1899 to 1908. He also served as Secretary of State for War twice.

Charles Frederick Gurney Masterman (1873 – 1927) was a radical Liberal Party politician, intellectual and man of letters, He worked closely with such Liberal leaders as David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill in designing social welfare projects, including the National Insurance Act of 1911. During the First World War, he played a central role in the main government propaganda agency. Prolific author, he wrote The Condition of England in 1909, a work of acute social analysis. He was one of the committee which produced Towards a Social Policy, for the Liberal Government.

John Lawrence Le Breton Hammond (1872 – 1949) was a British journalist and writer on social history and politics. Worked on Towards a Social Policy.

Lord St Aldwyn: Michael Edward Hicks Beach, 1st Earl St Aldwyn (1837 – 1916), known as Sir Michael Hicks Beach, Bt, from 1854 to 1906 and subsequently as The Viscount St Aldwyn to 1915. He was a British conservative politician and actively contributed to government from 1864 to 1902.  He became the 1st Earl St Aldwyn in 1915.

Charles Robert Wynn-Carrington (1843 – 1928), known as the Lord Carrington from 1868 to 1895, and as the Earl Carrington from 1895 to 1912,  a British Liberal politician.  After the Liberals returned to power in 1905 he served as President of the Board of Agriculture between 1905 and 1911 and later served in the cabinet of Campbell-Bannerman.. He was a noted land reformer, and a supporter of Lloyd George’s redistributive “People’s Budget”.

Charles Roden Buxton (1875 – 1942) an English philanthropist and radical British Liberal Party politician. He later joined the Labour Party.  He was a younger brother of Noel Buxton.

William Hillier Onslow, 4th Earl of Onslow (1853 –  1911), a British conservative politician who held several governmental positions between 1880 and 1905. After serving as governor of New Zealand, he became president of the Board of Agriculture in 1903.  The Earls of Onslow are a long line of conservative politicians.

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