W H Nash
Walter Hilton Nash (1850-1927) was articled to H Currey and afterwards joined the office of Edward I’Anson (1812-88). He won the Soane Medallion of the RIBA in 1875 (Proc RIBA) and in 1877 became partner of his father, Edwin Nash (1814-84), who had designed several churches, mostly in West Kent close to London. However, apart from the one church he designed in Crawley and a few restorations, the son designed mainly commercial buildings and also worked on the former Merchant Taylors’ School in London.
Obit: The Builder 133 p1004
Designed: Crawley, – St Peter (1892-93)
Penelope Neave is a glass maker and designer, who was active during the 1980s, when she designed a number of windows for churches. Among the glass by her at Loxwood is a memorial to her cousin Airey Neave MP, who was assassinated by terrorists in 1979. She also designed a memorial window to him in Fryerning church, Essex.
M Nethercoat Bryant
Margaret Nethercoat Bryant (d2007) was an artist who lived in Upper Beeding and whose family donated one of her works to the church there.
Painting: Upper Beeding
Ralph Nevill (1845-1917) was a pupil and later assistant of Sir George G Scott. He started to practise in Godalming and subsequently also in London, where he shared offices in Chancery Lane with his fellow former pupils J Medland and C E Powell, though none of their obituaries mentions a partnership and Nevill on his own worked as far afield as Saxby church, Lincolnshire in his earlier years. Nevill remained living in Surrey and died at Guildford. Both Medland and Powell worked with him at Rotherfield. In addition to restoring and designing churches in the country quite widely, he designed houses, which were mostly in Surrey.
Lit: BAL Biog file; Obit: RIBAJ 25 p252
Restored: Patcham (1883); Rotherfield (1873-74)
Keith New (1926-2012) initially studied graphic design at Sutton and Cheam Art School and then moved to the Royal College of Art (RCA). There he switched to stained glass, which he studied under L Lee, as did his associate A Hollaway. New had barely completed his studies when in 1953 he was invited along with Lee to design the glass for Sir Basil Spence’s (1907-1976) new cathedral at Coventry. This brought him widespread attention and he also commenced teaching at the stained glass department of the RCA. Subsequently he became a lecturer at Kingston Polytechnic as it then was. During this time he designed glass extensively, both for churches and public buildings more generally. Among the latter were windows for several schools, including one at Tunbridge Wells, Kent. He produced work for established makers, including at least one design for Shrigley and Hunt, and also worked at the Glass House (see under Lowndes and Drury) in the 1960s. There are windows by him in Bristol and Norwich cathedrals as well as Coventry. He was a member of the Art Workers Guild and in 1991 decided to devote himself to landscape painting, though he remained a member of the Society of Master Glass Painters.
Obit: The Times 24 March 2012; School Colours, C20 2018 part 2 pp26-30
Glass: Eastbourne, – St John, Meads
R J Newbery
Robert J Newbery (1861-1940) seems to have worked independently from an early age, for in 1881 he already had a glass studio in his name in Fitzroy Square, London, though the circumstances of his training are unknown. He appears at this address down to at least 1931, though only in 1887 he is listed in KD/L at 20 Mortimer Street, otherwise unrecorded. He lived in Hammersmith and his work was particularly popular in Wales. His latest known glass at St James, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex is dated 1932.
A S Newman
Arthur Shean Newman (1828-73) was the son of an architect and antiquary of London and lived in Lewisham. His partner was A Billing and they had an office in Tooley Street (Proc RIBA) from 1858. They designed several churches in south London, though Newman’s principal occupation in his later years was Surveyor of Guy’s Hospital.
Lit: BAL Biog file
Restored/extended: Sedlescombe (1866-67)
W S Newman
William Stobart Newman (1906-80) was an architect of Lewes, who was for many years Diocesan Surveyor (concerned mainly with clergy housing) though he also designed and repaired a number of churches. His brief obituary is silent about his training.
Obit: RIBAJ 87 (June 1980) p17
Designed: Haywards Heath, – Ascension (1965-66 – altered); – Good Shepherd (1964-65 – demolished 2016); Heathfield, – St George, Broad Oak (1959)
Repaired: Newick (1979)
John Newton (born 1834) was a pupil of Sir George G Scott in 1861 and then worked briefly in his office. He shared an office in Salisbury Street, Strand (KD/L) with a fellow-pupil, T G Jackson from 1862-64 and after Jackson departed continued there on his own. He is known to have designed two railway stations at Herne Bay and Broadstairs in 1865 and appears in various lists of architects down to 1877, when his office had moved to 27 Great George Street. Soon after this he seems to have given up architecture, at least for a while, for in the 1881 census he was living in lodgings in Fulham and called himself simply an artist. Furthermore, in the 1880 and 1881 RIBA members’ lists he omits any address before disappearing completely from later editions,again suggesting he was no longer in active practice. It would be tempting to ascribe this change to the death of his mother in 1876, with whom he had lived as he had never married, but there can be no certainty. However, in 1891, though still in lodgings (now in Lambeth) he once more describes himself as an architect before vanishing from the records.
Lit: BAL Biog file
My thanks to Martin Jones who drew my attention to several of the points above and gave me heart to track down more of this previously elusive architect’s life.
Designed: Hastings, – St Paul (1868 – dem 1964)
Thomas Nicholls (1825/26-1896) was born in St Pancras, the son of a bricklayer and by 1841 was an apprentice stonemason, though there is no further information about his training. He became best known for his architectural carving and in this capacity he was closely linked to W Burges, for whom he worked on St Finn Barre’s cathedral, Cork, Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch. Nicholls also produced fittings for him, though he also worked for others. Burges’s usual method was to provide an outline of what he needed, allowing Nicholls considerable freedom in interpretation. In 1851 he was still living at home but was already describing himself as a carver and if the attribution of the work at St Peter-the-Great, Chichester (1848-52) to him is accepted, it must be among his earliest work. This is not unlikely in view of his documented work at St Olave a little later. However, his activities during the rest of the 1850s are poorly documented and the earliest reference to a professional address is in 1861 at Hercules Buildings, Lambeth (KD/L), where he was to remain for the rest of his active life. In 1891 his private residence was at Vauxhall nearby and he was to die in the same area. An isolated reference in KD/L 1900 to a sculptor of the name in Kennington, is presumably to his son Thomas Osborne Nicholls (1863-1901) who followed his father’s line of business. Thomas Nicholls senior did produce original sculpture and is probably the sculptor of that name who exhibited at the RA in 1864 (Graves).
Fittings etc: Brighton and Hove, – St Mary, font; – St Michael, architectural and wood carving; Chichester, – St Peter the Great, architectural carving (attr); – St Olave; , architectural carving; Crawley, – Lowfield Heath, carving (attr)
A K Nicholson
Archibald Keightley Nicholson (1872-1937) was the younger brother of Sir C Nicholson (see immediately below) and after serving in the Army was articled to H Wilson, then still active as an architect, but increasingly interested in other crafts. He was thus from the beginning trained in crafts such as metalwork and painting. However, as a glass maker he was largely self-taught, though he felt himself competent to produce and sell glass by 1894 at the age of barely 22. His success was considerable and his company is said to have produced over 700 windows. However, he does not appear to have opened his own premises at New Court, Carey Street until around 1907 (KD/L). He continued there until he moved to Tufton Street, Westminster in 1916 and in 1921 to 105 Gower Street (KD/L), which remained his address until 1935. The business then moved to 35 Circus Road, NW8, but it is not found in KD/L after 1941, though it continued posthumously in his name until at least the late 1950s under G E R Smith (GERS) and H L Pawle.
Glass: East Blatchington; Rudgwick; Rusper (GERS); Tangmere; West Wittering; Wivelsfield
Sir C Nicholson
Sir Charles Archibald Nicholson, Bart (1867-1949) derived his title from his father (the first baronet, also Sir Charles (1809-1903)). He had been Speaker of the New South Wales Assembly, but returned to Britain where his eldest son was born in London. The latter went to Rugby and Oxford, but showed an early interest in architecture. This seems to have been shared by his father who acquiesced in his son becoming a pupil of J D Sedding. He then worked with H Wilson, Sedding’s successor, until he set up in independent practice in 1893. From 1895 until at least 1916 his partner was H C Corlette and from 1927 T J Rushton held the same position (though Edward Bundock cites a note by Nicholson to the effect that Rushton only became a partner in 1940, at any rate formally) and took over the practice after Nicholson died. Nicholson was a successful and prolific architect of churches, and was responsible for 46 new designs, as well as restoring others. He generally worked in the gothic style on the pragmatic grounds that that was the style in which most people expected churches to be built and after his early work, evolved a simplified version of C16 and even C17 gothic. This version of the style appealed to the Art Workers Guild to which he belonged. He became one of the most influential church architects of his generation and worked on seven cathedrals. In particular, he made plans for the adaptation and extension of the existing parish churches at Portsmouth and Sheffield when they were elevated to that status, though neither scheme was completed. However, despite the extent of his practice as a church-architect, he also designed houses, including parsonages, particularly while Corlette was his partner. The practice continued long after after both Nicholson and Rushton were dead and as Sir Charles Nicholson, Rushton and Smith produced work, largely secular in nature, as late as 1980. The identity of Smith cannot easily be ascertained.
Lit: BAL Biog file; DNB; E Bundock: Sir Charles Nicholson – Architect of Noble Simplicity, 2012
Fittings: Burwash, reredos; Colgate, pulpit and lectern (not carried out?); Ferring, unspecified fittings; Fittleworth, stalls; Tillington, sanctuary; Worthing, – St Andrew, unidentified altar
Julius Nimptsch (1897-1977), who was always known as Uli, was born in Berlin, where he studied as a sculptor, mainly in bronze, before moving to Rome and then Paris in the 1930s, as his wife was Jewish. He came to London in 1939 and became a full Royal Academician in 1967. He concentrated on the human figure, creating mainly female nudes, usually on a small scale, which show the influence of early C20 French artists such as Pierre Renoir (1841-1919) and Aristide Mailliol (1861-1944), as well as looking back further to the Renaissance. He also produced portrait busts.
Lit: Royal Academy of Arts: Uli Nimptsch RA, 1973; DNB
Sculpture: Bognor Regis, – St Wilfrid, statue
N C H Nisbett
Norman Clayton Hadlow Nisbett (1860-1918) was articled to George Ambrose Wallis (1840-95), a surveyor of Eastbourne, who became a prominent local figure, with whom was associated A W M Mowbray, (WWA 1914). Nisbett was elected ARIBA in 1885, when his address was in Euston Square (Proc RIBA). In the previous year he had become a partner of F R Farrow there and from 1889 the practice was also in Winchester. From 1897 J B Colson joined them in Winchester only and took the lead at this office, including the firm’s work at Bosham. In 1907 Farrow left the practice and after Colson died the next year, Nisbett replaced him as Surveyor to Winchester cathedral.
Restored: Bosham (1903)
Samuel Nixon (1803-54) was born in London, though the details of his training are obscure. According to the DNB his brother, identified only as ‘Mr Nixon’, was a glass painter. The closeness in dates of birth suggests this was J H Nixon (see under Ward and Nixon). Samuel exhibited regularly at the RA from 1823 and in addition to architectural carving, busts and monuments, aspired to producing allegorical and heroic sculptures. His best known work was the gigantic granite statue of King William IV, erected in the City in 1844 and now at Greenwich. The technical problems he encountered with this caused Nixon some financial difficulties. As a designer of monuments, that at Pett suggests he was perhaps too reluctant to dissuade his patrons from their less happy ideas.
Michael Noble helped with the design of a stained glass window with J Hayward at Balcombe in 1995. He has not so far been identified more fully and though there are several persons of the name known as artists and musicians, there is no reason to think they are the same.
Joseph Nollekens (1737-1823) was born in London, the son of a painter from Antwerp, and was apprenticed as a sculptor to P Scheemakers from 1750, before going to Rome in 1762. There he was patronised by British clients and was able use the links he had made to advance his career further after his return to London in 1770 – he was elected ARA within a year and an RA in 1772. He was much praised for his portrait-busts, of which he made many, though he produced almost every type of sculpture, including monuments. The latter became increasingly formulaic (Roscoe p898) and Edmund Gosse’s criticism, that they were ‘broken with trivial eccentricities’, seem strange today for they seem quite conventional for their era. Much information about him derives from J T Smith’s book, which is at times highly scurrilous, since Smith’s father had not received an anticipated legacy in Nollekens’s will. According to Smith, both he and his wife were notorious for their parsimony and he left a fortune of £200,000.
Lit: DNB; J T Smith: Nollekens and his Times (with an essay by Edmund Gosse), 1895 (first published 1828)
Memorials: Catsfield; Westbourne (2); Withyham, – St Michael
S H Norman Norman and Burt
The name of Simeon Henry Norman (1864-1934) is inextricably linked with the family building business founded by his father, Simeon Norman (1833-90) who was born at Clayton and provided much of the impetus for the development of the town of Burgess Hill. The father was known also as an artist and photographer and continued to live mostly in Clayton, though in D 1868 and KD/S 1882 he is listed under Burgess Hill and he appears to have been living in Hurstpierpoint in 1867 (KD). Simeon initially followed earlier generations of his family who had worked in the brick and tile business that was well established in the district, before he founded his own building business in 1862. After his death, Simeon Henry took over the firm. He was described as an architect of Burgess Hill when he restored East Chiltington church to posthumous designs by R C Carpenter, though in 1891 he also held the rather obscure position of ‘Secretary to Burgess Hill’. According to KD 1899 he was secretary of the local gas and water companies, as his father had also been, which may explain this. Simeon Norman had employed his brother in law Henry Burt (1850-1922) as an assistant as early as 1864 and he continued in this position after Simeon Henry took over on his father’s death. In 1894 the firm was reconstituted as Norman and Burt (N and B). In this form it continued to play a major part in the expansion of Burgess Hill, as well as undertaking work elsewhere in Sussex and well beyond, The firm quickly acquired a reputation for high quality work, employing among others both P Court and W Court as woodcarvers, and undertaking work for C E Kempe as far afield as Temple Newsam House, Leeds, as well as working on Chichester cathedral and many churches. After World War II it was involved in several major reconstruction projects, notably St Bride Fleet Street, However, the demand for such skilled work diminished and the firm closed in 1974.
Lit: F M Avery: Norman and Burt: Local Builders of Renown (Burgess Hill Local History Society Occasional Paper no 2), 2007
Restored: East Chiltington (1889-90)
Fittings: Burgess Hill, – St John (N and B, numerous, some designed by C E Kempe)
John Norton (1823-1904) was a pupil of B Ferrey and attended the classes of Professor Thomas Leverton Donaldson (1795-1885) at University College, London. His earliest work starting in the early 1850s was in the West Country, designing houses, public buildings and churches in some quantity. After he opened a second office in London around 1854 (the earliest documentary reference (Graves)) he did less such work, but it did not end and his latest church restoration in the West Country dates from c1875. Meanwhile, the restoration of Arlesey church, Bedfordshire as early as 1855 demonstrates that Norton’s move to London led quickly to an expansion of his activities. At various times his address in London was 8 St James’s Street (Proc RIBA) and later 24 Old Bond Street. His partner at least in London was Philip Edward Masey (also found as Massey – 1824/5-1897) and together they designed a college building in polychrome brick at Isleworth, Middlesex in 1866-67; Masey is not known to have worked in Sussex. Norton worked in the Rajput style for the Maharajah Duleep Singh at Elveden Hall, Suffolk (1869-71), but his best known domestic work is Tyntesfield near Bristol, an older house which he transformed in the gothic style between 1863 and 1865. Like many of his later works these were both highly opulent and his surviving building in Throgmorton Avenue in the City shows the same was true of his commercial buildings, which he had designed since his earlier years, Even when working on a less opulent scale, Norton was not a cheap architect, as his liking for stone vaults and marble shafting in his gothic works indicates.
Lit: DNB; BAL Biog file. Obits: RIBAJ 12 (1904) p63; The Builder 87 (1904) p526
Designed: Brighton and Hove, – St Matthew (1881-83 – dem)
Robin Nugent leads a practice of architects based in Horsham. This specialises in the conservation, repair and re-use of historic buildings, both churches and secular ones, and their work is widely spread, particularly in the south of England.
Extension: West Hoathly (2018); Worthing, – Christ Church (2014)
J A Nuttgens
Joseph Ambrose Nuttgens (b1941) was the son of J E Nuttgens (see immediately below) and after training at the Central School of Art and the Royal College of Art, worked as a sculptor in metals and plastics. He then returned to the field of stained glass and spent a four-year period working for P Reyntiens ending in 1982. In that year he took over his recently deceased father’s glass-making studio near Blandford Forum, Dorset, where he remains active.
J E Nuttgens
Joseph Edward Nuttgens (1892-1982) was born in Aachen, Germany. His mother was British and he lived in Britain from the age of four, which did not stop him from being interned during World War I. In 1911 he started his training at the Central School of Arts and Crafts under Karl Parsons (1884-1934), after which he became a draughtsman for A A Orr (see this section below). Subsequently he became Parsons’s assistant at the Glass House (see under Lowndes and Drury) and then chief assistant of M Travers, who was a powerful influence, as at an earlier stage, was C Whall. Nuttgens also produced designs for J Powell and Sons and was associated with the Warham Guild. He spent the later part of his life near High Wycombe, where he became a friend of E Gill, and later lived at Blandford Forum, Dorset. Among those for whom he produced glass was H Hendrie. He had twelve children, one of whom, another Joseph (see immediately above), became an artist, who took over from his father at the same address and is still a glass-maker.
Glass: Dallington; Staplefield; West Itchenor
David Evelyn Nye (1906-86) was from his earliest years as an architect involved with SPAB, repairing and conserving ancient buildings. Paradoxically, he also designed some 40 cinemas, the most obviously modern type of building in the 1930s. He started to practice in Essex, but later lived in Surrey where he became architect to Guildford cathedral. His name lives on in the practice of Nye Saunders of Godalming and he is said to have designed 25 new churches, at least six of them during the post-war period in London.
Lit: BAL Biog file
Restored: Ewhurst Green (1950-51); Milland (old) (1969 – not carried out for the most part)
Contractors named Stephen Nye and Son signed the plans in first place for a new south aisle at Rusper. It is probable that the father was Stephen Nye (1788-1855), a bricklayer who was a local man and appears in the Poll Book for 1841 by virtue of being the owner of a freehold cottage in the village. The other person to sign the plans, Thomas Redford, is likely also to have been local, particularly if it is assumed that he is identical with a man of the name who appears in the Poll Book for 1837 for the village. However, this does not give any other particulars and there is no likely further information about him.
Extended: Rusper (1825 onwards – probably not built)
Henry Ockenden (1793-1868) is variously listed in contemporary directories – as a carpenter (PD 1828), a builder in 1855 and between 1862 and 1867 as Henry Ockenden and Son of West Green in the parish of Crawley; in fact the premises were in the adjacent one of Ifield. In 1844 he was also a surveyor and in 1861 (B 19 p360) is described as an architect. In the latter capacity he was responsible for the Capuchin friary (now demolished) that stood on the site of the present Catholic church of St Francis and St Anthony and was founded in 1860. He was born at Wiston and his son, also Henry (1826/27-83), described as a painter and later plumber (in 1881), doubtless worked with his father. Another son, John is recorded down to 1891 as a builder in Crawley.
Renovated: Crawley, – St John (1844)
M O’Connor O’Connor and Taylor W G Taylor
Michael O’Connor (1801-67) was born in Dublin and was a heraldic artist before learning glassmaking in London with T Willement. He was back in Dublin by 1833, but in 1842 he went to Bristol, where his glass is well represented in the surrounding area. Subsequently he moved to London where his address was 4 Berners Street and he was to become one of the leading early to mid- Victorian producers of glass; in the mid-1840s he was closely associated with Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800-82) in the design of the glass at St Saviour, Leeds, which Pusey had paid for, and by 1851 his reputation was high enough for his work to be included in the Great Exhibition. He worked for A W Pugin and W Butterfield, who may have produced some designs for him, and Jim Cheshire (p46) has found evidence that he worked with W Warrington. He was assisted by his son, Arthur (1826-73), who was responsible jointly with his father for a window of 1851 at Ashwell, Rutland and is given as his partner the following year (KD/L) and subsequently. The father’s eyesight was deteriorating during this time and increasingly Arthur took over with his brother William Henry (1838/39-77(?)). As early as 1858 Arthur produced four windows at Silkstone, South Yorkshire which are given to him alone, but on other occasions the father’s name was retained, as a window at Taverham, Norfolk dating from as late as 1873 shows. The style of the firm’s work changes as Arthur took the lead; during this period it also undertook paintings, including that of 1868 for the reredos at Mortimer, Berkshire. Arthur apparently withdrew on grounds of ill health and in 1873 William George Taylor (b1822) joined William Henry as a partner and took over after his death. There is a window at Thorncombe, Dorset given to O’Connor and Taylor which is dated 1867, but there are grounds for doubting this dating. It is likely that Taylor was primarily active on the business rather than the artistic side for in 1851 and 1861 he had described himself as an outfitter (with eight employees in the later year) and in 1871 as a juvenile hosier. However, in 1881 he described himself as an artist in stained glass. The company lasted until 1915, frequently using Taylor’s name though others are found; a window said to be by O’Connor and Taylor at All Saints, Telford, Shropshire is dated from as late as 1899. Further names used, as well as O’Connor and Taylor (by 1873 (KD/L)), are W G Taylor (KD/L 1878) and finally Taylor and Clifton (from 1902).
[NB. For glass stated to by Taylor alone see under W G Taylor]
Glass: Boxgrove; Brede; Brighton and Hove, – St Anne, Burlington Street (formerly); – St Peter, Preston; Eastbourne, – St Mary, Church Street; Ewhurst Green; Horsham, – St Mary; Laughton; Lewes, – St Anne; Lower Beeding; Mountfield; New Shoreham; Patcham; Selmeston; Stopham; Wilmington (attr); Worthing, – St Botolph, Heene
E and C O’Neill
Edward Frederick Hetton O’Neill (1850-1935) was born in Oldbury, Worcestershire, the son of an Irish-born senior clerk and in 1861, though only 11, he was stated to be learning stained glass painting. His brother Charles (1853/54-1930) was also a glass painter. By 1881 both Charles and Edward were living in Hornsey and Charles was still living there in 1911. Edward in 1901 and 1911 was living in Tottenham. It seems likely that both were in business as O’Neill Brothers of 343 Kentish Town Road, a firm which is listed in KD/L in 1891-92 only as glass makers, but the first certain reference to a joint business is in 1897 when they were at 165 Gray’s Inn Road, London (KD/L), This address was for a time shared with Charles Edward Tute (1858-1927), a glass designer for whom they made at least one window. Tute was a former pupil of C E Kempe, but there is nothing to suggest the O’Neills trained under Kempe as well and the circumstances of their training are unknown. In 1914 they were at a new address, 4 Heathcote Street, Mecklenburgh Square (ibid), where the firm is listed under both names until 1930. In the following year only Charles is listed in KD/L at the same address although he was already dead and the firm then disappears. W B Reynolds designed the firm’s glass in St Patrick, Hove, one of their few commissions in the South as most of their windows are said to be found in the Midlands and North, though if that is correct, much of their glass has yet to be identified.
Glass: Brighton and Hove, – St Patrick
Sanders Oliver was born around 1719 and by 1741 had a workshop in Cannon Street, which he retained until 1786 – it was occupied by someone else the following year. As well as producing memorials, he was a mason and most of his known work of both kinds is to be found in the City.
Evelyn Ormerod designed the font cover of All Saints, Hove in 1928, but his or her identity is not known for sure. If a woman, she may be identical with Rose Evelyn (or more usually Eveline) Ormerod (1873-1959), who was born in Brighton and spent her whole life in Hove. In 1901 she was living with her widowed mother and two sisters in Brunswick Place, Hove and like both the latter she never married. No occupation is given and her mother was living off her own means, but is possible that Rose Eveline was artistic, if not a professional artist.
Fitting: Brighton and Hove, – All Saints, Hove, font cover
A A Orr
Arthur Anselm Orr (1868-1949) was born at Chiswick, the son of an art metal worker, but trained and worked first in Dublin and then with J Hardman and Co. He was living in Hammersmith in 1891 as a ’stained glass and ecclesiastical designer’, but in 1898 when signing his window at Pyecombe, he gave Harrow on the Hill as his address. In 1901 he was living at Wealdstone nearby, but still had a studio in Harrow. Peter Cormack (Arts and Crafts Stained Glass p124) suggests that Orr mostly produced designs for other makers, who included the major Manchester glass maker Walter J Pearce (1857-1942) and J Powell and Sons. However, as the glass at Pyecombe shows, he also produced some windows on his own account and this was still the case at least as late as 1923-27, the date of some glass at Cley-next-the-Sea, Norfolk. Other designers with whom he was associated included his former pupil A J Dix and R Anning Bell.
Glass: Coleman’s Hatch (for Powell’s); Pyecombe; Scaynes Hill
Giovanni Battista Benvenuti (1487 (or earlier)-c1525), who was nicknamed L’Ortolano, meaning ‘Market Gardener’, came from Ferrara in Emilia and spent some time in Bologna before returning to his native city, where his works are to be found in both the gallery and several churches. His nickname is said to stem from his father’s occupation. Few further details of his life are known.
Painting: Hastings, – St John, Upper Maze Hill
George William Ostrehan (1865/66-1903) was born in the Madras Presidency, India but was in England by 1881. He came of a military family that is said to have been related to Cardinal Newman and was both a designer of stained glass and a painter. In 1890 he married a fellow-artist, Eva Mary Jane (1866/67-1933), in Westminster, though they then moved to Newlyn, Cornwall, then a centre for artists, before returning to London in 1893. During this time he repainted the figures on the rood-screen at Woolpit, Suffolk in a style that is instantly recognisable as Victorian but is derived from late mediaeval work (see www.suffolkchurches.co.uk under Woolpit for pictures). This shows his work in churches began quite early in his career and he was probably already designing glass as well, since two windows in Newlyn church are dated to c1890. Otherwise, not much is known about his presence there. Ostrehan was also responsible for at least two decorative schemes in churches. Nothing survives of that at St Barnabas, Tunbridge Wells, consisting of paintings of angels in a conventional late Pre-Raphaelite style,which are known today only from some less than ideal black and white photographs. The second scheme, at Kirk Hammerton, West Riding of Yorkshire (1895-98) is more extensive, with substantial single figures, though the designs are fairly conventional for the period. Painting was important to Ostrehan and he is said to have exhibited in London during the 1890s. After his return there, his interest in stained glass developed further – he designed extensively for Clewer church, Berkshire, where one of his brothers was curate. His attested glass is notably two-dimensional, based on early C15 Italian painting. In 1901 the couple were living at 26 Montpelier Street, Knightsbridge, describing themselves as artists but his early death occurred at Sunbury, Middlesex. He had had earlier links to Sunbury as there is some glass by him in the parish church, dating from c1899. The date of his death is well documented, though there is a posthumous window of 1904 at Himbleton, Worcestershire and, on doubtful authority, further glass to his design is said to have been installed at Beckley as late as 1908. This is in a rather different idiom and might in fact be by his widow, who is known to have designed a window at Sunbury around 1905, though Ostrehan’s own glass at Clewer continued to be installed at least until 1906. In 1911 his wife was living in Hastings which is not far from Beckley and might support the possibility of her designing the later glass there, though she gave her occupation in the census of that year exclusively as nurse.
My thanks are due to Geoff Copus of Tunbridge Wells who provided much of the above information, some of which comes from Penlee House, Cornwall, the centre of studies on the Newlyn artists, and stimulated me to find out more. I am also grateful to James Bettley for providing information about Ostrehan’s activities in Suffolk and Sunbury.
This tombmaker came from Petersfield, Hampshire, as the signature on at least one monument testifies, and can be identified between 1777, the date of that at Tillington, and 1783, the latest date of one of his monuments in Hampshire. His full first name is nowhere given, but there are roughly contemporary references to two persons called Alexander Outridge in Petersfield. On a pair of cottages in Dragon Street is an undated inscription recording their rebuilding by Alexander Outridge, mason and the name appears as a stonemason in the list of those paying duty on apprentice’s indentures at intervals beteen 1770 and 1798. The registers of Petersfield parish church record the burial of Alexander Outridge, mason, in 1799 (no age stated) and of someone of the same name in 1824, aged 56, who was perhaps a son since the dates would fit. No occupation is given in the latter case and he would in any case have been too young to have made any of the monuments, so it is likely that the older man was indeed the mason of Petersfield who was responsible at least for them.
Elizabeth Outridge signed a single modest monument at Greatham, dated to around 1823, and otherwise nothing certain is known, but given that successive generations of Outridges in Petersfield were stonemasons (see Alexander immediately above), she can be identified with some confidence as the Elizabeth Outridge (1778/79-1854) who was the mother of Owen Outridge (1810-61), stonemason of 111 College Street in 1841 and 1851; in 1830 (PD for Hampshire) she is listed on her own as a stonemason of College Street . Her occupation elsewhere is given as bonnet maker and since very few women were then active in this field, it is likely that she was standing in for a deceased husband until her son was of age – it was often then the case that women became active in trades if the men of their generation died prematurely. It is likely that she was in fact the widow of Alexander junior (who died in 1824, always assuming he was a mason) since there is a record in July 1816 of the baptism at Petersfield of Alexander Thomas Outridge, son of Alexander and Elizabeth Outridge. Alexander Thomas, who died in 1862, did not join the family profession but was in 1851 a porter at the Petersfield workhouse and in 1861 a cordwainer (i e shoemaker).
E W Owen
(Henry) Egerton Winter Owen (1903-74) was the responsible member of C R B Godman and Kay in 1949, when they designed alterations to St James, Littlehampton. Directories show that at the latest, he was living in that town by 1952, though his death was registered in Worthing.
Altered: Littlehampton, – St James (1949)