Sunday, March 30, 2008

10 Shouldham St 1967 - 1991






















My parents bought 10 Shouldham St as a London flat in 1967, when I began work at Millers and Piers was starting his doctors' training at The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. The flat was bought from Anthony and Jane Whinney - Jane being the daughter of James Wright, then one of the senior partners of Millers, who my father had got to know through shooting. Anthony was with Linklaters, but had decided to give up soliciting and become a farmer in the West Country. The flat cost £7500 - quite a large sum in the days when a managing director's annual salary was £5000 and mine was £1005!

The street was a quiet Georgian terrace just off Bryanston Square with the Seymour Baths, a public laundry and some police married quarters on one side. The location was ideal for commuting into the City and Whitechapel (from Edgeware Road tube station) and it had some interesting residents, a few of whom became friends - like Tony Daniels (the actor who played C3PIO in Star Wars who was our immediate neighbour) and a gay senior civil servant who had a Columbian boyfriend - and others.

The flat was quite small, on two floors and with a useful roof terrace, and Piers and I lived there together for about three years, before he finished his London training and moved to Christchurch. He had a piano in his room, having become an accomplished pianist and organist while at Stowe.

I joined the Territorial Army in 1969 and spent Tuesday evenings at the Duke of York's Barracks in the King's Road and many weekends on the Brecon Beacons and the moors above Newcastle. See here for a note of my TA activities.

After Prue and I married in 1971 and moved into Harvestgate, the flat was used less and was never let. My parents used it from time to time when visiting friends in London, and my friends such as Nick Duke and Charlie Skipwith were regulars. Charlie had his Lotus Cortina stolen from the street when he stayed there once and Nick Duke and I used to use it as a base from which to seek out London's best breakfasts after his dinners at the Farmers' Club.

I lived in it again full time with Ayako in the 1980's and we did it up a bit, making a garden on the roof. When Kei was born in 1989 it was a little small and was finally sold in 1991.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Ruth Stevens Howard 1910 - 2010


Ruth (on the right) and Annette aged about 10, with Annette's brother Ivor. Click on the heading for more photos from Ruth's family album

Ruth Howard (nee Pugh, later Stevens and finally Howard), was born in London in 1910. He father was Lewis Pugh Evans Pugh KC (1865 - 1940) who was born in Calcutta, educated at Winchester and Corpus, Oxford and was a Puisne Judge between 1910-1914. Ruth's mother was Emily Ada Sophia Chaplin ('Loll') (1867-1953). Ruth was brought up in Wales with her brother Griffith and four sisters, Veronica, Gwladys, Phyllis and Roasmunde, and was very close to my mother Annette (born in Darjeeling in 1911), her first cousin. Click here for some early reminicences about Ruth and also my mother Annette

She married Capt Barry Stevens DSO, DSC, RN and lived at the Manor House Warnford, close to Stocks Farm. Barry Stevens had been married before and had two daughters, Sarah and Biddy. Together they had Auriol. Later, they moved to Little Green, Bishops' Waltham and Ruth became was a part-time marriage guidance counsellor. She was always a wise and wonderful woman.


Ruth and Barry Stevens's house at Warnford

Herry went his first 'proper' dance there when he was about twelve. In 1960, Ruth drove Herry to stay the summer with Tante Lily in Aurillac.


John Howard and Ruth at the Manor House, Meonstoke

Barry died and Ruth married again, to John Howard, who's family had a large timber business outside Southampton. They lived at the Manor House, Meonstoke, which was once part of the same estate as Stocks.

The Manor House, Meonstoke

A few years before John died, when the house and garden  had become too much for them, they moved into Winchester. When John died, she moved to her house in Chelsea, at No 8 Hasker St (off Walton St).

After Annette died in 1998, my father Patrick and Ruth became close companions and often visited each other and travelled together.


In her last years, Ruth lived in a home near her daughter Auriol at Wivenhoe and died there in October 2010, two months short of her 100th birthday.




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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Herry's Trinity House Retirement Speech

This is an extract from Herry's speech at his retirement party at Trinity House on 13th April 2006 dealing with his partners and colleagues. The full speech is available on his Journal here.

Amongst those who have flattered my career are of course a number of my colleagues, several of them who have already passed into that amazing post-Miller state in which they look 20 years younger than they did before they retired.  I can't avoid mentioning two or three key people, although many more than that qualify.  First Bill Birch Reynardson, whose unwise invitation while shooting with my father to send young Herry up to Millers instead of to the bar was the luckiest break in my life, as well as his wonderful tutelage, both in matters of business and also in how to travel in style in places like Yugoslavia and India – not to mention Bahgdad, I have never forgotten.  The late Frank Ledwith, of course, who taught all of us who joined Miller's in the '60s, indoctrinating us in his year-long programme entitled ‘The Complete Mutual Insurance Man’ - I wish we still used it today. And Terence Coghlin, who I sat with when I first came up to Miller's from university. My attempts  to learn from him what he knew of P&I and Defence and about marvellous places like Japan, left his brain practically untouched.  David Martin-Clark too, was an immense help to me in many ways, particularly in the early days of the running of ITIC.  He was also my predecessor in Asia and left that ground well-tilled.  

Finally, I must mention my former secretary of over 20 years, Jo Johns, who I am glad to say has made it up here tonight from playing Widow Twankey in the panto at Cowes - although I am still well served by my current secretary, Pam Costello, who has organised this evening so excellently.  There is no denying that an exceptional secretary plays a key part in one's career.  Just to give you a flavour of Jo’s work ethic, (while keeping very quiet about her still more remarkable life and loves), she used to reach the office at 6 am every morning, and didn't leave until late in the evening.  The early mornings, she knew, were when I must reply to faxes from Japan, because the Japanese would expect to have an answer to the questions they sent the same day, before they themselves went home.  Nowadays, I suppose it's more efficient to bash out an e-mail oneself, but something is lost in the harmonious flow of work from the time when your secretary knew exactly what work you were doing.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Early Encounters with France


Pleaux in the 1960s

Herry spent two summers in France - first in 1961 when he was 16 - and again in 1964. His first stay was with a distant Pugh cousin Mlle Manileve - known as Tante Lily - who lived in a large house ('Les Treize Vents') at Pleaux in the Massif Central and had friends' and relatives' children to stay to improve their French, rather in the manner of the Hupthals of Haldengutli for German and skiing. Herry was driven down by 'Aunt' Ruth (then Stevens, later Howard) and her daughter Auriol, and spent five weeks supposedly learning French but mainly swimming and brushing up his table tennis.

In 1964 he went to stay with his former nanny, Marie-Therese Carpita and her husband Lucien at their flat in Cap d'Ail. Marie-Therese then worked at Narmino, the flower shop in Monte Carlo which supplied all the flowers for the Palace, and Marie-Therese herself went there weekly to arrange them. Lucien had an equally enviable job, being the maitre at  'Le Beach' - the private beach club at Monte Carlo.

Herry was left to himself all day, and although he occasionally visited the Beach, he preferred the beach at Cap d'Ail where he made his first Swedish friends and became an early fan of Leonard Cohen. Leonard was also staying nearby and used to come to the beach each day and play his guitar and sing, mainly for the benefit of a beautiful Swedish girl called Lena.

In 1967, he again visited France on his European Tour, staying at campsites on his way through to Germany and Italy, and again on his return when he stayed with Marie-Therese at Cap d'Ail and then with Charlie Skipwith in Bordeaux.

He also visited his parents several times in Ramatuelle and he and Prue sometimes borrowed Pol and Poppet's house at Bastide Les Fanaux, once  with Sally Wilson-Young. Many holidays were also taken in the vicinity.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Herry's European Tour 1967

In the summer of 1967 after leaving university and before starting work at Millers, Herry travelled through Europe with the original intention of visiting Roger Allen, an old friend of his parents' who was then ambassador to Turkey. Taking only £25, which was the maximum one was allowed to take out of the country in those days, he drove from Calais through France, Germany and Italy to Corfu. In Florence he stayed for three weeks while his car was repaired after an accident, and where his mother's goddaughter Madelaine Rampling lent him her flat (she had been helping clear up after the great flood of 1966). There he was joined by Charlie Skipwith who was then working in Bordeaux, and his new girlfriend Lucie. Johnny Cooke also drove out from England with Annabelle Coldstream and Tim Boycott joined them with Lu Handcock. Herry actually met Lucie for the first time in Charlie's tent in a wood outside Livorno. It was the shooting season and we spend all day keeping our heads down. Charlie and Lucie were married in Droxford in 1969.

Herry and Charlie in Florence
Therafter Herry drove on to Brindisi and crossed to Corfu, where he stayed at a youth hostel for a month, donating several Rolling Stones 45s to the local disco. Meeting Ed Domanskis there, they dove up via Thessaloniki through Yugoslavia to Trieste where Ed took off for Lithuania, his parents' original home. Herry stayed with his old nanny Marie Therese and her husband Lucien at Cap d'Ail before reaching Bordeaux and staying with Charlie (where his car was broken into and his by now rather smelly old clothes, stolen). He returned to England in September, to begin work at Millers on 2nd October 1967


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Monday, March 10, 2008

Harvestgate Farm 1971 - 1982

Harvestgate Farm
My parents bought Harvestgate Farm in 1970 from the Biles's when they retired, as it was good land and closely adjoined Stocks. The Biles's stayed on in their cottage nearby, but Harvestgate famhouse, which had lain empty for several years, was given to Herry on his marriage to Prue in December 1971.

The house consisted of two small flint and brick cottages with a milking shed with a fine beamed roof at one end. The upper floor of one of the cottages was a hay store, with a hatch from which one could throw hay down into the milking shed. The house stood on one side of a courtyard. The second side was a stable and the third, a large flint barn. An old flint wall closed the courtyard off on the fourth side and there was a a large pond outside the courtyard at the end of the barn. The buildings were roofed in Welsh slate but were simply constructed without damp proofing; the ceilings in the cottages too low for modern useage.

To begin with we had to clear the buildings out and take down a massive concrete wall dividing the courtyard. In this Herry was helped by Nick Duke, and they did it by lighting bonfires beside the wall and then battering the now friable concrete with sledgehammers. The broken concrete and remnants from the cottages were used to fill in a deep well which lay just outside one of the cottage doors. Later, huge quantities of fresh soil were brought in to fill the courtyard and create the garden, which was designed by Georgie Wolton.

The buildings were done up up with the help of Adrian Gale, an architect who was a friend who Herry's parents had met in the South of France. The milking shed became a large drawing room with a high beamed ceiling and French windows down one side looking out into the courtyard garden, with a full length tiled slab the other side incorporating a fireplace. The whole of the ground floor was tiled, but to soften the effect we had two large rugs designed for the drawing room and the family room, one echoing the ploughed fields surrounding the house in autumn and the other, a soft green, the land in spring.

The stables were turned into guest rooms and a bathroom. The passageway between held a generator, to produce electricity should the mains fail - this being the time of the Arab-Israeli war and the 'oil shock'. Next was a laundry room containing an enormous red oil-fired boiler which could have heated a castle.

Upstairs there were four bedrooms and two bathrooms - the main bedroom being at the end overlooking the drawing room. All had views of the garden and over the barn to Old Winchester Hill, and some of the woods and fields above Stocks.

We moved in in December 1973 shortly before Radha was born on 29th December. Edward arrived in April 1976 and Charles in April 1979. Radha had a proper 'nanny' - Nanny Reid - for the early weeks and Norland nannies were taken for Edward and Charles. Local nannies then helped with the three children. One of them was Gill, who later married Stephen Horn who managed Stocks and Harvestgate in Patrick's later years. Ernie - who worked on the farm - and Sylvia Stiles lived in the cottage at the end of Harvestgate with their children. Syliva too was very helpful with the children.

See here for a note about our friends and social life and the children's friends and early schooling.

Herry and Prue rarely stayed at Shouldham St in those years and instead, Herry commuted to the City and his job at Thomas Miller from Winchester (and later Alton or Petersfield), taking about two hours each way. For one year, he commuted with Tim Cocks, who, with his wife Libby, rented one of the cottage on the down from Patrick, while working with Herry at Millers.

Click on the heading for some photos of Harvestgate Farm from those days and here for photos of the family at Stocks

Click here for more recent photos
and photos inside taken in January 2009.

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Harvestgate Farm - Social Life



Martin's summer lunch, held more or less continuously since 1974. Left to right, standing: Di Gibb, Geoff Spawton, Chris Gibb, Annie May (Spawton), Will Martin, Anthony Provest, Julian Pearson , Sandra Wake, Nick Duke, Herry, Mike Lawford, Peter Cartwright, Pauline Provest, Sheila Proffit, Jane Lovell, Ian Hay, Richard Lovell, Erica hay, Val Pile.
Front row: Anna-Maria Pearson, Charlie Madge, Terry Porter, Wendy Cartwright, Ayako, Penny Lawford, Sally Wilson-Young, Prue, Belinda Martin.


Our Friends
Childrens' friends

L

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Childrens' Friends 1971-1982

For a recent list of friends and godparents at the Hampshire Gathering on 4th January 2009,
see here

Toby Bowhill
Oliver Bowhill
Sophie Bowhill
Felicity Duke
Cordelia Duke
Iona Duke
Christien Hay
Jolyon Hay
Simeon Hay
Samantha Lawford
Rory McCormick
Liza McCormick
Rebecca Martin
Nichola Martin
James Martin
Charlie McEwan
Adam Pile
Oliver Pile
Naomi Skipwith
Alissa skipwith
Georgie Skipwith
Ian Wilson-Young
Olivia Wilson-Young

Harvestgate Farm - Childrens' Schools


Radha at Miss Apps's, Meonstoke in March 1978


Edward and Ian Wilson-Young in the front row at Rookesbury 1981


The childrens' schools were:

Miss Apps's Meonstoke - Radha, Edward and Charles
Hambledon School - Edward
Rookesbury Park School Radha and Edward

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Kathleen Ferrier


My mother Annette loved opera. There was usually someone singing on the hi-fi equipment in the drawing room and Kobbe was always to be found on a table near her chair. One of her best loved pieces was this unaccompanied song by Kathleen Ferrier - 'Blow The Wind Southerly'. Although she loved to listen to Victoria de Los Angeles, Joan Sutherland, Callas and Kiri Te Kanawa, I think Ferrier remained her favourite. She used to accompany her friend Kitty Bulman, who had a beautiful voice, on the piano and they often performed this piece. My father Patrick, whose taste was more Don Giovanni, may have particularly appreciated Ferrier because she looked a lot like his first wife, Catherine Stephenson - although he was too discreet ever to say so.....

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Friends 1990s onwards


Martin's summer lunch 1994. This lunch was held more or less continuously since 1974. Left to right, standing: Di Gibb, Geoff Spawton, Chris Gibb, Annie May (Spawton), Will Martin, Anthony Provest, Julian Pearson , Sandra Wake, Nick Duke, Herry, Mike Lawford, Peter Cartwright, Pauline Provest, Sheila Proffit, Jane Lovell, Ian Hay, Richard Lovell, Erica Hay, Val Pile.
Front row: Anna-Maria Pearson, Charlie Madge, Terry Porter, Wendy Cartwright, Ayako, Penny Lawford, Sally Wilson-Young, Prue, Belinda Martin
Click the heading for more photos of friends at that lunch

Anne-Marie and Iain Attwell
Julian and Quenelda Avery
Alex Adnams
Sam and Claudia Bartosik (Sam died 2008)
Tony and Susan Bird
Patrick Bateman
Prof Yvonne Baatz
Nigel and Susannah Bateman
Cmdr Tim and Sally Boycott
Charles and Katsuko Buckeridge (Charles died 1996)
Bill and Nik Birch Reynardson (Nik died 1997)
Tom and Imogen Birch Reynardson
Carol Bowhill
Indira and Jagdish Baveja
Rita Bettancourt
Suzanne Bettley
Radhika and Gopika Baveja
Iain and Gopika Fraser (Gopika died 2009)
Susie Barnes
Anne Boitard
Suzie Bartel
Caro Brewster
Patrick and Angela Bruce-Gardyne
Jagdish Bhavarni
Mike and Cordelia Burgess
Janie Christmas
Peter Crittle
Penny Crittle (died 2004)
John Collard
Richard Courtauld
Nicky and Tom Carter (Nicky died 1994)
Hugh and Rosie Carless
Tim and Libby Cocks
Peter and Wendy Cartwright
Richard and Lilli Cartwright
Penny Cenci di Bello
Sarah and Martin Couzens
Nigel Carden
Terence and Claire Coghlin
Robin Colenso
Chantal Cornet
Helen Cooke
Paul and Lulu Cooke
Cdre Johnny and Henrietta Cooke
Peter and Penny Crittle
Tony Daniels and Christine Savage
Roger and Joanna Davenport
Ed and Keisha Domanskis
Tessa de Mestre
Shae Dixon
Nick Duke
Frances Duke
Felicity Duke
Iona Duke
Susie Evetts
Patrick and Rosie Findlater
Johnny and Victoria Findlater
Francis and Lies Frost
Sue Flegg
Bay Jervis
Chris and Di Gibb
Christopher and Nancy Gault
Adrian and Audrey Gale
Patrick Kelburn (Earl of Glasgow)
Glen Oxton
Elizabeth and Edgar Granville (Lord and Lady Granville)
Julia Grassik
Carrie Greenaway
Denise Hay
Ian and Erica Hay
John and Kathy Hatgis (John died 1999)
Nick and Jess Holmes
Ruth Howard (Stevens) (died 2010)
Rev David Henley
Hilary Heilbron
Nick and Naomi Hewitt
Margaret Hilliard
Bruce Harris
Simon and Georgina Hornby
Patrick and Gabbie Hungerford
Laura Indovina
Steve and Anne James
Richard and Rosie Jenks (died 2005 and 2006)
Arthur Johnson
Jo Johns
Bay Jervis
Dorothea, Viscountess Kelburn (died 2004)
Harry and Jenny Kacic (Jenny died 1999)
Kuang Shilin
Jan Kronstrom
Fredrik Kronstrom
Jeremy and Paula Lawford
Vincent and Margaret Lawford
Mike and Penny Lawford
Vijaya Laxmi
David and Caroline Lentaigne
Adam and Rebecca Longworth
John and Caroline Lushington (John died 1994)
Maggie Lawrance (now John)
Frank and Constance Ledwith (died)
Dr Maggie Li
Sandii Lloyd
Marilyn Luther
Jill Levine
Richard and Jane Lovell
Sally and Rory Macpherson (Sally died 2012)
Bibi de Malmanche
Yumiko Matsui
Reina-Maria van Pallant (May)
Patricia Mayne (died 2009)
Will and B'lin Martin
Tommy and Pushie Mann
Peter and Judy Mason
Andrew and Susie Main
David Mallett
Nick and Mel Meredith-Hardy
Lady Judy Goring (died 1995)
Nichola Martin
Nikki Masters
Yumiko Matsui
Jane and Jim Munro
Simon Martyn
Ian and Jane McCormick
Jane and Geraldine Onslow
Prosper and Collette Othon
Kate O'Brien
Geoffrey and Georgina Phillips
Val Pile
Pattrichard Promprovat
Anthony and Pauline Provest
Michael and Shiela Profitt
Mary and Anthony Pugh
Jock and Sue Russell
Wayne and Radhika Robertson
Jan Ritchie
Lisbet Reininger
Adm Sir Patrick and Lady Za Rowe
Geoffrey Roome
Theo Ramos
Arthur and Sonia Sparks (Arthur died 2007)
Annie May Spawton 
Geoff Spawton
Richard and Avril Shaw
Anna Stahlberg
Alexandra Stahlberg
Charlie and Lucie Skipwith
Ricky and Annie Skipwith (Ricky died 2014)
Moto and Nagako Sugiura
Ernie and Sylvia Stiles (Ernie died 2014)
Tom and Marney-Jane Swan
Lincoln and Tish Seligman
Richard Smith
Andrew and Lucy Smith
Steven and Elizabeth Smith
Kumar and Hema Subramanian
Anand and Ranjini Subramanian
Henry Togna
Julian and Tessa Tregonning
John and Diana Trew
Terry and Sandra Porter
Charles Tilbury
Cmdr Nicholas and Michelle Waldemar Brown
Andrew and Caroline Ward
Mel and Patience Watson (Mel died 2002)
Andrew Watson
Philip and Roswitha Wetton
Renate Wintersteiger
Reinhard and Jutta Wintersteiger
Heinz Wintersteiger
Edward Woodham-Smith
Pip Wiggins (died 2009)
Giles Wingate-Saul
Rossi White
Wilson Wong
Jan Wein
'Venky' and Lakshmi Venkitesewaran (Venky died 2013)
Ling Zhou


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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

24 Edna St 1993 - 1998

Edna St
Click on the heading for more photos of Edna St

We bought 24 Edna St in Battersea through John D Wood in 1993. It was a perfect location for the time having a delightful garden with a south-west aspect and kind neighbours, not far from the local Montessori and the favoured local prep school, Thomas's in Battersea High St.

Edna St was one of the 'sister' streets built by a Mr Orbel in the 1840s with each street named after one of his daughters - Edna, Ursula etc. Recent developments have been helpful, creating an enclave by means of a one-way system which ensured that there was no through traffic.

The house had three bedrooms, one of which became my study. That and the kitchen overlooking the well-planted garden and the pond, and a 'Frisia' flourished at the end giving perfect shade when we sat out or barbecued. We had the front door painted many coats of the the classic Parisian 'Amersterdam' green so that it glowed, and put in a wrought-iron gate and fence as well as a fine Prunus 'subhirtilla' to complement the existing yew hedge and the scrambling wisteria.

Neighbours included Lord Donaldson, a charming retired Labour peer and Viola Pemperton-Piggott, the restorer of the Queen's pictures, a selection of smart women (most of whom seemed to work for estate agents), two MPs and several solicitors. Our immediate neighbours were a family of mathematicians - one of who's sons came in to coach Kei in French - and there were many original locals who added greatly to the friendliness of the area.

We generally took our holidays in Swanage during this time, staying first at the flat of an old City friend, Richard Shaw, and then renting Old Harry's Cottage in Worth Matravers.

We stayed at Edna St until May 1998, while Kei attended the two nearby schools. When she completed her time at Thomas's and settled on James Allen's (JAGS) as her public school, we looked for a house closer to Dulwich and found The Orangery.

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Fairfax Luxmoore

Luxmoore's Garden
Fairfax - or Fuff as he is universally known - was born on 17th July 1940 to Annette Luxmoore (nee Pugh, later Lawford) and Wing-Commander Arthur Luxmoore. Arthur was killed over Belgium in 1941. Annette married Patrick Lawford in 1944 and Herry (1945) and Piers (1947) became his half-brothers.

Fuff went to St Ronan's, where he was an fine athlete, then to Charterhouse where he excelled at hockey, and therafter to Cirencester, where he was extremely popular.

In 1961, Fuff and two friends drove a Jaguar from England all the way to India via Iran and Afghanistan. They sold it in India and Fuff continued on to Australia by ship, arriving in Perth. From there he rode a motorbike all the way across the Nullaboor Plain to the east coast, finally ending up in New Zealand.

In 1963 Fuff married Belinda Roberts from Thirsk, Yorkshire and they lived at Castell Howell, an arable and sheep farm near Newquay in Wales. They had two children, Jessica (1965) and Justin (1967).

Belinda ('Bin') was a superb cook as well as an accomplished swimmer and skiier and used to take parties of skiiers on Ski Club of Great Britain outings. Fuff skiied too, and they often visited Engleberg with Bin's cousin Dominic Thompson.

Castell Howell was built up into a holiday centre with a riding school, squash courts and a swimming pool. The farm was sold following their divorce. Bin went on to run a fine hotel at Minmore, Glenlivet, but sadly died in 1995.

Fuff married Dilys Von Tromp in 1986 and together they ran an inn in the village of Kelmscott.

Coryndon was born in 1989 - and in 2008 married Charmaine. They have a daughter Sinead, born in August 2008.

Fuff remarried in July 2008 - Lucy Allen, a music teacher in London - and they live in Plymouth. Lucy has three children - Camilla, Hugh and Ralph.

Click the heading for more photos of Fuff

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Edward Lawford 1787 - 1864

Edward Lawford as Clerk to the Drapers' Livery Company by Pickersgill


Edward Lawford at Eden Park c1842 - possibly by Udon Upton Eddis






Edward Lawford (1787 - 1864) was Clerk to the Drapers' Company as well as Solicitor to the East India Company. He amassed a large fortune and rented a fine house, Eden Park, which stood in 300 acres at Beckenham in Kent. The house was commented on appreciately by Pevsner in his 'Houses of England'.


Edward moved to Switzerland in 1854 and died there, being buried at Vevey.

Edward had four sons; Henry became Solicitor to the Drapers' Company and practiced as 'Lawford, Waterhouse and Lawford' in Austin Friars. Charles became a clergyman, Melville a cavary officer and diarist• and Henry Baring, who became a High Court judge in Bengal. Amy Lawford married the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Coleridge. Photos of the family can be seen here

* see here for an example of Melville's Diary report on his visit to Wales as a schoolboy at Eton

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The Drapers' Livery Company


Drapers' Hall set for the Election Dinner

The Livery Companies of the City of London are the descendents of the ancient guilds which controlled England’s trades in the middle ages, and which now administer large charitable funds, as well as supporting schools, universities and almshouses. Their wealth is based mainly on bequests and gifts of land and buildings acquired over the centuries. Few of them have any links with their original trades, though some, like the Goldsmiths, still do.

Of the 108 livery companies, the oldest make up ‘the Great Twelve’, and the Drapers - which once controlled the woollen cloth trade - ranks at No 3 in an order of precedence settled as long ago as 1515 (the Mercers - the general merchants - and the Grocers are No 1 and 2). The Queen is a Freeman of the Drapers' Company, as is Prince Charles. The Companies are run by the Clerk, usually a distinguished retired serviceman or businessman, while a senior Liveryman is elected Master for a year.

Many of the companies have splendid halls with wonderful collections of paintings and silver, and hold magnificent dinners for their members (called Liveryman) and for worthies such as the Lord Mayor, the heads of the armed forces and visiting dignitaries. But their principal purpose is donating to and supporting charitable causes - in particular education and the relief of poverty. The Drapers' Company looks after almost 200 almshouse residents in three peaceful locations and supports several schools and a university (e.g. Bancroft's School and Queen's Mary's, University of London) and in 2012 set up the Drapers' Academy in Harold Hill.

Lawfords have been liverymen of the Drapers' Company since the 1700s, when Valentine Lawford (1709-1783) became the first Lawford Master in 1775. Neither my father Patrick nor his father Capt VA Lawford were liverymen and it was not until I was looking through Uncle Valentine's papers in the 1980s that I noticed the connection, and was admitted to the Livery in 1988. By then, no less than six Lawfords had become Master, as well as others who were married to Lawford women. My great - great-great grandfather Samuel Lawford (1749-1835) and great-great grandfather, also Samuel Lawford (1777-1864), were Masters in 1809 and 1850 respectively.  In addition, John Lawford (of Downhills, Tottenham) became Junior Warden in 1871 but died before he could become Master. The full list is:-

Valentine Lawford 1775
Samuel Lawford 1809
Samuel Lawford 1850
Robert Wrench 1882
George Lawford 1885
Herbert Lawford 1925
Evelyn Lawford 1957
John Stitt 1990



A portrait of Edward Lawford (1787 - 1864) by Pickersgill
In addition, Edward Lawford (1787 - 1864) was appointed Clerk and Solicitor to the Company in 1813, at the same time as being solicitor to the East India Company. His son Henry was also Solicitor to the Company. Edward's son-in-law Robert Wrench became Master in 1882, while John Lawford's (Edward's brother's) son George became Master in 1885. His son Godfey took over as Clerk to the Company in about 1900 while his son Evelyn became Master in 1958. Evelyn's daughter Angela married John Stitt, who was Master in 1990. My cousin Nigel Lawford has prepared a note on the Lawford links with the Company from 1725 to the 1950s which can be seen here

The Lawford connection with the Drapers' Company is illustrated by the family's coat of arms appearing on the ceiling of the Court Dining Room at Drapers' Hall, which is widely regarded as one of the finest livery halls in the City.


The Court Dining Room at Drapers' Hall. The Lawford crest is third from the left, immediately over the middle window.

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