MORE CONNECTIONS

10 September, 2020

We have another set of connections from two of our committee.

Vernon Burgess (who is also the Historian for All Saints Church Fulham) has found another connection between Zoffany and Fulham and Hammersmith with this painting………

Colonel Mordaunt’s Cock Match although a gruesome subject and possibly full of double entendres and other dubious images this was painted by Zoffany c.1784.  Do look at the picture here and the extensive discussion of the subject matter.  In brief it shows:

Asaf-ud-Daula, the Nawab Wazir (governor) of Awadh and Colonel John Mordaunt, an employee of Britain’s East India Company, on the left in white and also has Zoffany with his arm over the white armchair.

Wikipedia states that “Mordaunt was the illegitimate and nearly illiterate son of the 4th Earl of Peterborough by Robiniana Brown. (See “ Peterborough House” by Sue Pierson FHHS publications for more details).

The colonel had managed to be assigned to Warren Hastings and through him he was appointed head of security. His real role however included organising entertainments. Mordaunt and his employer were said to have shown the same low tastes in entertainment. Even at that time, cockfighting was not well regarded in British society. Mordaunt had arranged for British birds to be brought to India, where he used them to take on local cockerels.”

The Zoffany painting was commissioned for Warren Hastings by his private secretary a certain John Belli.

Now a certain Colonel John Cockerell who also had had a successful career with the East India company enters the story, he had a sister Elizabeth Cockerell who married for a second time the private secretary John Belli, and of course Colonel John’s brother was none other than Samuel Pepys Cockerell, who did some architectural work for Hastings.

Samuel himself would of course be working on restoring Fulham Palace for the Howleys many years later .

Samuel Pepys Cockerell was the great great nephew of Samual Pepys the diarist who himself in the past had visited Fulham Palace and commented on the fine botanical specimens there of Bishop  Compton. Samuel Pepys was a former pupil of St Paul’s school, when it was near the cathedral.

Why was he working for the Howleys?, well John and Elizabeth Belli’s 1st daughter was Mary Frances and she married on 29 Aug 1805, to certain a William Howley , a private tutor in Somerset who in 1809 was appointed regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University and then he became Bishop of London in 1813. Mary was the “Howley heiress” refered to by Fulham Palace tour guides, inherited from her fathers successful East India company career that helped fund the alterations to Fulham Palace and the loss of the crenellations of Terricks improvements c. 1777.

Furthermore the builder employed by Cockerell was a certain Henry Holland . Henry Holland Snr, (20 July 1745– 17 June 1806) was an architect to the English nobility and was born in Fulham, where his son , also Henry, helped run the building firm constructing several garden designs for a well known gardener architect. Henry senior ,along with other members of the family are buried in All Saints Church yard and Henry’s son married Bridget, the daughter of Lancelot Brown known as “Capability Brown “ , who was of course the famous landscape architect we have just referred to. He lived sometime on Hammersmith Mall , and left in 1764 to live at Hampton Court. He was responsible for developing over 200 landscapes, many of them now National Trust, and has a recent statue up by Distillery Wharf near to Hammersmith bridge.

Bridget was also interred in the Holland tomb.  There is a separate memorial in All Saints church to her.

Incidentally Lancelot Brown was born only about five years after Henry Compton’s famous Gardener – George London died. London was responsible for many of the shortlived baroque Gardens in English country houses’, and hewas buried along with his wife in All Saints church, in 1712.

Jane Bowden-Dan also commented on the Zoffany of the Sharp family saying it would be good as part of a forthcoming Temporary Exhibition at Fulham Palace celebrating Bishop Beilby Porteus and his circle, which included the Sharps.

She found the mention of Kensington Gravel Pits timely having just returned from Caroline MacMillan’s guided ‘Notting Dale’ walk where the gravel pits, pigeries and brick kilns were mentioned.  Apparently one kiln remains standing.

Jane returned via the childhood home of Sir Paul Gordon Fildes OBE FRS at Woodland House, Melbury Road, Holland Park W14, now owned by Robbie Williams! It was built for his father Sir Luke Fildes, a portrait artist, by Richard Norman Shaw. Jane’s connection is that she has been investigating a photo album rescued from a skip at her block of flats on the Thames that she has discovered belonged to Sir Paul who was a Pathologist and Microbiologist at the Royal Naval Hospital Haslar during WWl and at Porton Down in WWll working on Anthrax.
Phew!! I hope you survived that monumental feat of name dropping, I have never added so many tags to a post.

ART AGAIN CONNECTING TO HISTORY

29 August, 2020

Again venturing forth a visit to the Tate Britain Gallery (Buses 211 or 14/414 then 360) produced two more surprising connections.  We walked through the 1540 to 1890 Collection Route where we found many Turners and Hogarths amongst the Constables, Stubbs and others when we noticed an oil by John Linnell in 1811-12 entitled Kensington Gravel Pits! This reminds us all just how different our area was only 200 years ago.  Investigation reveals that there was a hamlet of this name roughly where Notting Hill Gate is now this map from British Vision may help.  Of  course much of our area was market gardens and nurseries at this time.

Labourers in gravel pits

Further into the gallery we strayed into British Art 1930 to the present and again were amazed to see Hanging Gardens of Hammersmith No 1.  Having never connected Hammersmith with Babylon this deserved further investigation. Victor Pasmore was a conscientious objector during WWII and this was produced 1944-7 at 16 Hammersmith Terrace and is the view down his garden to the Thames.

As a result of last week’s post we have been notified of a talk on William Morris by Maxine Morgan 1:30 to 4:00PM on 12 September at William Morris Meeting Rooms, 267 The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19.  Face Masks are required and social distancing measures will be in place.

 

 

 


SOUTH PARK FULHAM

25 August, 2020

Any follower of this website can hardly avoid mention of Charlotte Sulivan.  This article from the Fulham Society archives sets out one of her major projects to benefit the people of Fulham.  I need hardly mention that Sue Pierson’s splendid book is still available.  This subject is also current as work is underway on a new Arts and Community Centre due to open later this year.  No doubt many have found fresh air and space here during the lockdown.

Charlotte Sulivan (1824-1911) lived at Broom House in Broomhouse Lane, opposite the Elizabethan Schools, which were built by Charlotte’s father, Laurence Sulivan, in 1855.

Charlotte was obviously deeply concerned with the welfare of the people of Fulham and was indeed the greatest benefactor of the area. Among her many benefactions were the encouragement, building of and endowment of St Dionis Church, St Matthew’s Church, St Michael’s Mission Church on Townmead Road, and Christ Church. On Parsons Green she started the Ray of Hope Coffee Club as an alternative to the local pubs and the Parsons Green Working Men’s Club, in Peterborough Road, among many others.

In 1894 she started negotiations with the Fulham Vestry (the precursor of the Borough Council) with regard to some 10 acres of land in the neighbourhood of Wandsworth Bridge Road to form a park – these fell through as the Vestry did not have the money to take up her offer. However in 1903 the Council (established in 1900) bought 21 acres of Southfields Farm from Charlotte for ‘a public recreation ground’. . The land had been part of the Sulivan private lands though it had been leased to Messrs Veitch & Sons of Chelsea as a nursery for fruit trees. They paid £40.000, a “staggering figure’, according to the Fulham Chronicle. This became South Park. She imposed various conditions on the sale, one of which is that the Council should erect no dwelling houses or buildings except as necessary or appropriate for use as a Recreation Ground or Park.

When Miss Sulivan sold the land, she stipulated that the Peterborough Road side should be enclosed by a solid brick wall to ensure that the park was kept separate from the grounds of her house.

The Park was laid out for cricket, tennis and other field games’. There was a bandstand with dressing rooms underneath. There was a gymnasium with separate departments for boys and girls, plus swings, a see-saw and a giant stride (a pole with a rope hanging on it on which you could swing – allowing the user to make giant strides). The greenhouse, which was part of the earlier garden was demolished in the 1980s.

South Park’s first park-keeper was John Eckett who lived in the gardener’s lodge whilst Miss Gertrude Eckett is noted as being at the refreshment room. This was in an extension to the North Lodge at the corner of Clancarty Road and Peterborough Road. The lodge is currently derelict, as is the refreshment room although this, with a conservatory extension, was used as a nursery school for a number of years. Until the 1980s James Veitch’s greenhouses remained a feature in this corner of the park. They were used partly to grow plants for use in borough parks but also included a traditional conservatory with hothouse plants and a water feature. Now demolished, all that remains is a brick wall parallel to Clancarty Road at the end of the rose garden, now the community garden, in which only a few roses remain..

World War I saw military occupation of the park and allotments and in 1915 South Park became the training ground for three Fulham Brigades of the Royal Field Artillery. In World War II, 11000 cu. yards of sand was dug from South Park and surrounds to fill sandbags needed to protect key buildings and areas. Air raid shelters were created near the present cricket pavilion. In 2004 South Park celebrated its centenary.

After the war there were a series of ad hoc and generally unsympathetic alterations and in more recent years the park steadily deteriorated due to vandalism and inadequate maintenance, overall control or vision for the park. Many of the attractive features including the greenhouses, the terra- cotta terrace walls, and the public lavatories have either gone or greatly deteriorated. Extensive campaigning by local residents eventually produced an improvement to maintenance standards and eventually some physical improvements, chiefly the restoration of the perimeter wall and the main approach through the Clancarty Road double gates, and the complete refurbishment of four of the tennis courts. South Park is now an important sports park and contains the only public cricket pitch in the borough, which is much used in the summer. In 2008 funds were finally made available by Hammersmith & Fulham Council to pay for the development of a Master Plan which is currently under way. A users’ Group was set up and this has now expanded into the Friends of South Park which formally came into being in January 2009. www.friendsofsouthpark.co.uk

Thanks to Sue Pierson for help from her book Charlotte Sulivan (1824-1911), H&F Historical Society, revised 2011. Copies available from Sue Pierson- sue@lancepierson.org

This first appeared for the Fulham Society October 2016