This is the last of my three files on GD member Florence Elizabeth Sherard Kennedy (born 1853) who was initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn at its Isis-Urania temple in London, in May 1891 and chose the Latin motto ‘Volo’.
It might not look like it, but this is one of my short biographies. It covers Florence’s life until the death of her first husband. She lived for another 51 years! With access to Florence Kennedy’s papers, I am sure I could have written a full-length book. However, the papers are in Athens. I’d love to go and work through them, but I can’t afford to stay in Greece long enough to do them justice.
Short it may be, but this biography is still in three pieces. The first two are:
- the Laings, which you can find on my GD Index page under the heading ‘the two Macraes’. It includes coverage of Florence, GD member her sister Cecilia Macrae, and their siblings growing up in a very wealthy family; and also of their first cousin Agnes Cathcart, née Baxter, who was a GD member in Edinburgh.
- Florence in the GD and TS and her early art training.
This third one is:
- Florence and her husband Edward Sherard Kennedy; their work as artists; and the last few years of the marriage.
Florence married the man who was usually called Edward Sherard Kennedy in 1879.
EDWARD SHERARD KENNEDY
In official documents Edward Sherard Kennedy appears as Edward Sherard Calcraft Kennedy. With what names he was baptised, I can’t say, as I haven’t found any records of a baptism and - given his parents’ circumstances - there may not ever have been a baptism.
Edward Sherard Kennedy was the illegitimate son of an earl and a singer: Robert Sherard, 6th Earl of Harborough; and the contralto/actress whose professional name was Emma Sarah Love. Emma Sarah had made a name for herself in oratorio and for her work in opera at Covent Garden and Drury Lane. She married Captain Granby Hales Calcraft in 1828 but eloped with the Earl of Harborough in 1829. Accounts differ as to how long the relationship between Emma Sarah and the Earl lasted. It lasted long enough for three sons to result from it, Edward being the youngest, born either 1836 or 1837; and even after it ended, the Earl saw to it that Emma Sarah and their children were looked after financially. I haven’t been able to find out why Emma Sarah and her children ended up with the surname ‘kennedy’.
Edward’s life would have been very different if his parents had married, but Emma Sarah and Captain Calcraft were never divorced. The Earl finally married Mary Eliza Temple, a woman of his own social class, in 1843, and again, Edward’s life would have been very different if the Earl and his countess had had any children; but they didn’t. When the Earl died, in 1859, there were no legitimate heirs to the family’s land; he could do what he liked with it, and he chose to leave the estates to his two surviving sons. Edward’s elder brother, Bennet Sherard Kennedy, got the Sherard family’s main estate at Stapleford Park in Leicestershire; though it appears that he didn’t get the house and contents, at least, not all of them and not in 1859 - those were left to the earl’s widow. Edward and Emma Sarah jointly, were left the manor of Teigh in Rutland and 1288 acres; plus 700 more acres around the village of Whissendine. I doubt if Edward could have done so well if he had been his father’s legitimate younger son.
I haven’t seen the sources that would prove this definitively (I’m meaning the Wills of the last earl and last countess) but I think that Edward and his brothers were left the Sherard family’s art and antiques by the countess. Edward may even have had a friendly relationship with Mary Eliza: he and Florence Kennedy spent part of 1884 living in Exmouth, where Mary Eliza had settled with her second husband, Major Thomas William Clagett. In 1894, Christie’s dealt with the sale of a wide range of antiques owned by Edward. He might have been an avid collector himself, but I do think that the items sold in 1894 were left to him by Mary Eliza.
The last Countess of Harborough had died in 1886. It took three years for the amount of her estate to be calculated and her Will to be enacted fully by her executors, probably because of the time it took to assess the art and antiques that were in the house at Stapleford Park and her London residence in Manchester Street. In 1889 Mary Eliza’s personal estate was finally valued at £76,643, a sum the measuringworth website calculates at about £7,774,000 in 2017 money. As well as the antiques Edward sold in 1894, he and Florence may have kept others, including a drawing by Sir Thomas Lawrence of Edward’s grandmother Eleanor, the wife of Philip, 5th Earl of Harborough.
The sale at Christie’s took place over several days. It included old mezzotints and engravings; old silver plate; porcelain, majolica, metalwork and faience; and books. Edward’s collection of theatrical costumes was also in the sale. They are more likely to have been items Edward had bought himself, for use as props in his paintings. One report on the sale describes the costumes as Georgian; and there’s actually a portrait of Edward by John Pettie RA in which he’s wearing 17th century fashions - it was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1875. Clearly, Edward had inherited his mother’s taste for dressing up!
Apparently the sales didn’t go well: the sale prices were low. Edward and Florence didn’t need the money, of course. I think the disposal of so many Edward’s antiques was part of a move they were making, out of London. If they were putting their London house out to rent, while they moved to the country, they wouldn’t have had so much room to display them all.
There’s a wikipedia page on the Sherard earls of Harborough. Bennet is a name often used in the Sherard family; though Edward isn’t.
Peerage and Baronetage of Great Britain and Ireland 1839 p501 on Robert Sherard 6th Earl of Harborough: born 30 August 1797; succeeded his father aged 10.
At www.cracroftspeerage.com: more details on the 6th Earl, whose parents had both died by the time he was ten. In 1843 he married Mary Eliza, daughter of Edward Dalby Temple. The 6th Earl died 28 July 1859. Illegitimate sons can’t inherit titles so the earldom went extinct.
None of those sources mention Emma Sarah Love or the 6th Earl’s illegitimate family.
EDWARD SHERARD KENNEDY’S MOTHER EMMA SARAH LOVE
Better men and women than I have failed to find anything certain about Emma Sarah Love’s early life and family!
At //people.stfx.ca/kobrien/ESL%20article%2011.pdf, there’s the full text of an article on Emma Sarah Love by Kevin H F O’Brien and Ann Johnson, originally published in Theatre Notebook volume LIV number 3 2000 pp146-61. My page numbers are from the online version of the article. O’Brien and Johnson p1 gives Emma Sarah’s dates as 1798 to 1881; with a summary of her career, which was ended by her elopement with the Earl of Harborough. On p3 they raise doubts about the accounts of her early life that Emma Sarah herself gave the press. On p9 and p21 they say that Emma Sarah’s husband did begin divorce proceedings but decided he couldn’t afford the expense. Emma Sarah died on 31 March 1881.
O’Brien and Johnson refer to two accounts of Emma Sarah Love’s life in well-known volumes:
- Boase’s Modern English Biography volume 2: for which entry she knocked several years off her age!
- Biographies of the British Stage which names a completely different man as her father from the name Emma Sarah gave contemporary magazines.
They couldn’t find any information about Emma Sarah’s mother at all, not even her name; and they couldn’t confirm the existence of either of the men supposed to be her father.
O’Brien and Johnson used these contemporary accounts, though again they found that the information supplied by Emma Sarah couldn’t be trusted:
La Belle Assemblée court magazine volume XXVIII number 177 issue of July 1823 p1.
Oxberry’s Dramatic Biography volume III 1824 p163.
Death of Emma Sarah Calcraft’s legal husband: Harwicke’s Annual Biography for 1856 p121: he died in January 1856. He was the younger son of John Calcraft, MP for Wareham in Dorset.
EMMA SARAH AND HER CHILDREN on the census.
I couldn’t find Emma Sarah and her 2 sons on the censuses in 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1871; I wasn’t quite sure who I was looking for so I searched under Love, Sherard, Kennedy and Calcraft. Emma Sarah died a few days before the 1881 census.
Edward’s elder brother Bennet Sherard Kennedy:
Trials of Oscar Wilde by Harford Montgomery Hyde 1972 p44 footnote 1.
At www.mytrees.com some dates though without sources: 1832-1886, married 1855 Jane Stanley Wordsworth 1833-1912.
Jane Wordsworth was a grand-daughter of the poet: see wikipedia on William Wordsworth. Wordsworth’s eldest son John Wordsworth (1803-75) was married 4 times. Jane Stanley Wordsworth was the eldest child of the first wife, Isabella Curwen, who died in 1848.
Edward’s nephew Robert Sherard Kennedy, son of Bennet and Jane - wrote as Robert H Sherard.
The Literary World volume 54 1896 some details: born 1861; friend of Oscar Wilde.
Men and Women of the Time: A Dictionary of Contemporaries published G Routledge 1899 says that Bennet Sherard Kennedy went to school at Queen Elizabeth’s College Guernsey when his family were living there.
The Real Oscar Wilde by Robert Harborough Sherard. T Werner Laurie Ltd of 8 Essex St Strand. No date but BL stamp gives 3 APR 17. On p52: Robert H Sherard met Anna Bonus Kingsford at one of Lady Wilde’s famous ‘at homes’ in the mid-1880s. Anna Bonus Kingsford knew many people who in due course joined the GD. Robert Sherard was never a GD member himself though.
The Sherard family estates:
Kelly’s Directory of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Rutland and Derbyshire 1881 entry for the village of Stapleford states that Rev Bennet Sherard Kennedy of Stapleford Park owns the whole village.
Seen at www.british-history.ac.uk, information from the Victoria County Histories series: A History of the County of Rutland volume 2 pp151-53 published 1935: pp151-53 on the parish of Teigh, which had come into the hands of the Sherard family by 1595. The manor of Teigh and its advowson were bequeathed to Edward Sherard Calcraft Kennedy and Emma Sarah Kennedy (sic) in the Will of Robert, 6th Earl of Harborough. The two of them sold the manor and advowson to Richard Thompson of Stamford.
The sale of the manor of Teigh was not immediate:
At www.rutlandhistory.org details from the 1871 census returns p26: Owners and their Holdings. A list of landowners who didn’t live in Rutland included Edward Calcraft Kennedy. P9 of the same list shows Mary Eliza, Countess of Harborough, as the absentee-owner of Stapleford Park.
London Gazette 1875 part 4 issue of 16 November 1875 p5450: list of sheriffs. Edward Sherard Calcraft Kennedy of Whissendine is one of three in Rutland. Same information was published in Law Journal 18 November 1876 pp659-60.
Via genesreunited to Leicester Chronicle 17 November 1877 and several other Leicestershire papers: Edward Sherard Kennedy is still a sheriff of Rutland. And he still is in a list published in
Leicester Chronicle 24 December 1881 and he is also still the lord of the manor of Teigh.
THE LAST COUNTESS OF HARBOROUGH AND EDWARD’S ANTIQUES COLLECTION
Mary Eliza, Countess of Harborough’s second marriage: via genesreunited.co.nz to Northampton Mercury 23 April 1864 marriage announcement; Countess of Harborough to Major Thomas William Clagett, Indian Army.
Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940. Antique Collectors’ Club 1976. Florence Kennedy née Laing’s entry on p287 gives her address in 1884 as Exmouth.
Probate Registry 1887 with the Will and codicil resworn 1889: death of Mary Eliza Countess of Harborough 1 July 1886 at 22 Manchester Street; late of Stanley Lodge Exmouth.
London Gazette 3 May 1887 p2480 two legal notices issued in connection with the deaths of Major T W Clagett of Stanley Lodge Exmouth (he died 16 May 1885) and the Countess of Harborough. The solicitors dealing with both estates were Smith Symes and Smith of Crediton.
The sale of Edward’s collection:
The Athenaeum January-June 1894. London: John C Francis.
- pp98-99, in number 3457 issue of Sat 27 January 1894, in the list of forthcoming auctions at Christie Manson and Wood of King St, St James’s Square
- p129 in number 3458 issue of Sat 3 February 1894 p131
- p229 in number 3461 issue of Sat 24 February 1894 p230
- p261 in number 3462 issue of Sat 3 March 1894 p263 just a change of date for the last sale.
On each occasion, items owned by Edward were part of a bigger sale including other people’s antiques.
British Architect volume 41 1894 p92 calls Edward “the well-known artist”. There were also tapestries in the sales, though the report didn’t say that Edward was their owner.
Sir Thomas Lawrence’s portrait of Eleanor Countess of Harborough; though the sitter’s identity is still disputed, apparently.
Earlier British Paintings in the Lady Lever Art Gallery by Alex Kidson. National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside 1999: p94 refers to the painting as formerly owned by Edward and bequeathed to him by a countess. The only countess that could have bequeathed it to Edward is Mary Eliza.
Journal of the Walpole Society volume 39 1962 pp3-5, pp9-11, pp13-336: Catalogue of the Paintings Drawings and Pastels of Sir Thomas Lawrence; compiled by Kenneth Garlick. On p101 the painting in question is in the list as definitely of Eleanor Countes of Harborough (1772-1809). Garlick describes it as probably executed after 1805. 20inches by 16. It’s of her head only, and not finished; Garlick thought there had been a lot of repainting (not by Edward, I hope!). Now in the Lady Lever Art Gallery.
The Year’s Art... volume 64 1945 compiled by Marcus Bourne Huish, David Croal Thomson and Albert Charles Robinson Carter. Macmillan and Co. On p46 Lawrence’s head of Eleanor Countess of Harborough is in a list of paintings acquired by the Lady Lever Art Gallery since 1939; which leaves open the question of when it left the Kennedys’ possession.
You can see the portrait at //artuk.org/discover/artworks/portrait-of-a-lady-102565 where it’s described as “after Lawrence”; adding to the level of uncertainty about the painting and the sitter.
The portrait of Edward dressed in 17th century clothes:
John Pettie RA by Martin Hardie. A and C Black 1908 p149.
EDWARD’S FIRST MARRIAGE
Edward Sherard Calcraft Kennedy married Emily Paul at St Benet, Paul’s Wharf, city of London in June 1857. I haven’t been able to identify Emily Paul for certain, but perhaps it doesn’t matter as they may have been divorced. The Public Record Office has records of a divorce case brought by Edward against Emily and a co-respondent called Mr Cheetham, in 1861. I haven’t been to the PRO to look at them to see if the divorce was granted. I assume it was, but if it was refused - which some were - Edward would have had to wait until his wife died to remarry, even if they were no longer living together.
As far as I can tell, Edward and Emily Sherard Kennedy had no children.
Familysearch England-ODM GS film numbers 547508, 574439, 845242. At St Benet Paul’s Wharf London on 10 June 1857: Edward Sherard Calcraft Kennedy to Emily Paul.
Familysearch England-ODM GS film number 855942-944, baptisms at St Matthew Bethnal Green: had an Emily Paul daughter of James and Henrietta Paul baptised on 23 January 1835. She was the only emily paul with no other forenames baptised near London in the 1830s; though I saw one at Brighton, 5 July 1835: Emily Paul daughter of Walter and Ann.
At the National Archives, PRO: J77/31/K19 record of proceedings in Divorce Court 1861.
See www.cflp.co.uk, web pages of the Cambridge Family Law Practice for a brief history of divorce through the courts in England, which began with the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857. The only court given power in the 1857 law to try a divorce case was the High Court in London; where proceedings were open to the public.
I couldn’t find any coverage of the case in the Times.
EDWARD SHERARD KENNEDY AND FLORENCE LAING
Florence married Edward Sherard Kennedy in the spring of 1879. I think that on their honeymoon they spent some time in Paris.
My account of Edward’s interesting family background will - I hope - have given you the impression that he wasn’t short of money. Neither was Florence: her father Samuel Laing had made a fortune through his shrewd investments in railways, the telegraph and the iron and steel industry, and on her marriage Florence will have been given an income to match. In 1902 it was £8000 per year (about £800,000 in 2016 terms) but that sum probably included money she had inherited from Edward.
The only year I was able to find Florence and Edward at home on census day was 1881, when they were living at 24 Westbourne Terrace. Florence’s sister-in-law, GD member Louisa Ida Macrae, was living with her father Alexander Charles Macrae at number 119. Given Florence’s probable income - never mind Edward’s - their address and their household were quite modest: a house in a road near Paddington Station, and just two female servants, whose tasks weren’t specified but cook and housemaid was a typical division of labour. They were only living in Westbourne Terrace temporarily though - perhaps while building work was being done on 6 Bedford Gardens, off Kensington Church Street. Art exhibition catalogues give 6 Bedford Gardens as Edward’s address from 1872 - he may or may not have been living there with his wife; and as his and Florence’s address until mid-1884.
In 1881 Florence and Edward may already have been planning and setting money aside for the house they had built between 1882 and 1884 to designs by architect Richard Norman Shaw. Norman Shaw designed the early houses in the hugely influential Bedford Park suburban estate at Turnham Green, west London, where several future members of the GD lived in the late 1880s and 1890s, including three more artists: Isabel de Steiger, and Henry Marriott Paget and his wife Henrietta.
For artists to commission an architect to design them a house wasn’t a new thing. On the contrary, the Sherard Kennedys were the latest in quite a long line of them; Kate Greenaway was another who chose Norman Shaw for such a project. Florence and Edward bought land on a corner site in Chelsea near Pont Street, where Walton Street meets Lennox Gardens Mews. The brief they gave Norman Shaw was for a house with two artists’ studios, with access to the studios separate from the house’s front door. Richard Conder built the house that Richard Norman Shaw designed, with the two studios built one above the other, a staircase with its own door giving access to both of them, but not to the rest of the house. The total cost of the design and build was £173 and the Sherard Kennedys kept Walton House as their London residence until 1894; not as long as they’d expected to live there, I think, but I’ll go into the reasons for that below.
The Kennedys might both be referred to in a modern assessment as “Sunday painters with private incomes”, but having Walton House built for them was a very obvious statement of how Edward and Florence saw themselves and wished to be seen. They also both described themselves as artists to the 1881 census official. Florence as well, I mean: the census official may not have asked her about her sources of income - they often didn’t, with married women, assuming they were dependent on their husbands - but Florence told him anyway.
Sources: freebmd; censuses 1881-1901; measuringworth.com for modern approximations of Florence’s income in 1902.
Their addresses: 1881 census and:
The Royal Academy of Arts Exhibitors 1769-1904 Volume 2 E-LAWRA compiled by Algernon Graves FSA. Orig pubd Henry Graves and Co Ltd and George Bell and Sons London 1905. BL’s ed is SR Pubrs Ltd; Kingsmead Reprints 1970: p315 entries for Edward Sherard Kennedy and Florence Kennedy; paintings shown 1872.
Royal Society of Arts Birmingham Autumn Exhibition 1884 printed Birmingham: Hudson and Son. List of exhibitors p76 E Sherard Kennedy at 6 Bedford Gardens for the last time.
A History of the County of Middlesex: Chelsea Patricia E C Crook. Oxford University Press for the Institute of Historical Research 1911 p103 for the disparaging description of Florence and Edward, and the exact whereabouts of Walton House.
The wikipedia page for Richard Norman Shaw (1831-1912) has a good list of the places he designed. However, it doesn’t include Walton House; perhaps because the building has been so much altered since.
Richard Norman Shaw by Andrew Saint. Revised edition 2010. Published New Haven and London: Yale University Press for The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. Chapter 4: The Pattern of Practice: p173; p447 in which Saint describes Walton House as an “Unpretentious though large brick house at angle to road. Much altered from the first design. Converted to flats”. The plans for Walton House are in the Norman Shaw papers at the Royal Academy.
Metropolitan Board of Works Minutes of Proceedings 26 June 1884 and 15 October 1884.
Familysearch: electoral roll listings - for Edward only of course - London Borough of Chelsea 1890-94.
FLORENCE AS AN ARTIST: PART 2
I think the History of the County of Middlesex’s dismissal of both the Sherard Kennedys as Sunday painters is a harsh judgement on Edward. He seems to have painted consistently and exhibited regularly from the early 1860s to the 1890s; and then may only have been stopped by ill-health. Florence, though....there were so many other calls on a married woman’s time; even if she had no children; and there was always the problem of a woman gaining and maintaining her confidence in her ability, in the face of the assumption that only men could do great art.
As Edward Sherard Kennedy was never a member of the GD, I shall list his exhibited works at the end of this file. Here I shall just say that I think he had an important influence on Florence as a painter. She might actually have worked as a pupil in his studio but what I’m meaning is that with his encouragement, Florence became a ‘professional’ artist, at least to the extent of doing work of a high standard and submitting it to galleries to be seen and bought by the public.
Here is a list I’ve put together of the paintings Florence exhibited; with dates, which exhibitions they were shown at; and one or two suggestions as to what the paintings might be about. All the paintings are in oils unless I say otherwise.
The one mentioned in one of my art dictionary sources:
1866 Up the Carnival Exhibition venue unknown.
The earliest work I’ve found evidence of:
1879/80 A Quiet Corner Grosvenor Gallery, London
A Quiet Corner was described at the time as depicting “rabbits on the borders of a wood; birch trees and ferns”. Perhaps some of Florence’s other works are in similar vein: In the Shade, for example, A Warm Day, and others.
1880 Paysage dans le comté de Sussex Paris Salon
1880 L’Alarme Paris Salon
1882/83 Autumnal Tints Royal Society of British Artists, London
The title may be a reference to the 1862 poem by Henry David Thoreau.
1883 A Corner of Sutherland Society of Lady Artists, London
1883 Spilt Milk Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
1884 In the Shade Royal Society of Artists Birmingham
1884 A Shady Path Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
I wonder if these two were actually the same painting.
1885 Beatrice Esmond Manchester City Art Gallery
Beatrice Esmond is a character in W M Thackeray’s historical novel The History of Henry Esmond published 1852. It’s set in Queen Anne’s time. Beatrice is Henry’s cousin, supposedly the most beautiful woman in England in 1712. Later in the novel she is married, as Madame
1885 A Warm Day RBS Artists
1885 Thinking it Over Royal Academy
1886 A Song of Long Ago Royal Institute of Painters in Oils, London
1887 Bacchante Resting Royal Institue of Painters in Oils
1887 My Mother’s Portrait RBS Artists
1887 A Song of Long Ago RBS Artists
1889 Love me, love my dog Royal Academy
1889 Psyche RBS Artists
1889 Interested RBS Artists
1890 Six O’Clock in the Morning Royal Instititute of Painters in Oils
1890 Rest in Due Season RBS Artists
1890 Ophelia RBS Artists
1891 A Summery Idyll Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
1891 The Morning After RBS Artists
1891 Where the Bee Sucks Royal Institute of Painters in Oils, London
1892 Where the Bee Sucks RBS Artists
1892 Wisdom and Folly RBS Artists
1892 Pleased with a Feather Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
1893 Silentia Royal Academy
As far as I can tell, Silentia was the last painting Florence ever exhibited.
Some other comments on the list:
I have not seen a single one of these paintings; either on a gallery wall, or on the web, or even as mentioned in recent sale catalogues. The ordinariness - the sheer banality - of the titles Florence picked for her paintings made finding them online almost impossible, but I’m not sure that was the only reason why I couldn’t find a painting of her’s to look at. Most were for sale when they were exhibited. Where the Bee Sucks was exhibited more than once, so might not have sold first time round. But in general, either Florence kept her paintings herself; or they were all bought and are probably still in private hands, if they haven’t been thrown away.
Although Florence is not listed in the book on genre painting I mention in the section on Edward Sherard Kennedy, her work is described in some of the main art dictionaries as ‘genre painting’. Genre painters in the 19th century catered for the middle-classes, who had money for such luxuries but no real interest in or understanding of what was thought of as ‘great’ art - large canvases depicting myth and legend, historical and religious subjects. Genre painters could earn very large sums of money from their work and were famous in their day. They have largely been forgotten and despised since, as their style and use of colour was very conservative. Popular ‘genre’ subjects included picturesque peasants, children and pets; scenes of domestic life; and scenes based on novels and poems. Even from Florence’s titles I think you can see that she did paint some ‘genre’ subjects; though there are also titles that sound like portraits and landscapes and even a couple with what might be ‘great’, classical subjects.
Florence had work accepted by the Royal Academy and the Paris Salon. It means I can safely say that her work was not a part of any new trend - Impressionism, Symbolism etc. Both the RA and the Paris Salon were becoming notorious in her day for their rejection of such new ways of painting. The big city art galleries - the Walker, the Manchester City Art Gallery - also tended to stick with what they were familiar with, though the Walker always championed the pre-Raphaelites.
In the early 1890s Florence was taking part in a trend I’d already noticed when checking out the exhibited works of the GD’s other artists: once they had committed themselves to the GD, they exhibited less paintings, presumably (definitely, in Isabel de Steiger’s case) because they were concentrating on their GD study and consequently weren’t painting so many. However, I think that in Florence’s case, there were other reasons for the decline (see the section on Edward, below).
Florence is in the basic art dictionaries, but the entries don’t always square with information I’ve got from elsewhere; and I’m also missing some information.
Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940. Antique Collectors’ Club 1976. Florence isn’t listed at all under Laing; p297 only under Kennedy née Laing p287. As a figure, domestic and landscape painter.
10 at Royal Society of Artists Birmingham
2 at Dudley Art Gallery
1 at Grosvenor Gallery
5 at Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
1 at Manchester City Art Gallery
4 at Royal Academy
1 at Royal Society of British Artists
4 at Royal Institute of Oil Painters
I’ve managed to find more details of most of these. I haven’t found the two Florence showed at Dudley Art Gallery: she isn’t in the index to its exhibitors. The Dictionary doesn’t give which years it refers to and I’m reluctant to work through 20 years’ worth of catalogues; even if I did do, I’d probably miss both entries.
Dictionary of British Art. Volume IV: Victorian Painters I: The Text. By Christopher Wood. Antique Collectors’ Club 1995. And also on p292 Mrs Edward Sherard Kennedy; Florence Laing, fl 1880-93. Genre painter. This volume only lists four of her works.
Victorian Painters: the Text by Wood Newall and Richardson 2008; p292 entry for Mrs Edward Sherard Kennedy mentions one painting - Up the Carnival - exhibited in 1866; though it doesn’t say where. If they are correct, it is the only painting Florence felt brave enough to show in public before she married Edward.
FLORENCE: EXHIBITS BY GALLERY
The information in the Dictionary of British Artists isn’t confirmed by Algernon Graves’ handwritten index of exhibitors at the Dudley Gallery 1865-1882. There’s no entry for Florence either as Laing or as Kennedy, in the index’s Volume I-L. So I am probably missing two paintings by her from the list of works I’ve given above.
Grosvenor Gallery New Bond Street. Summer Exhibition 1880. London. Printed at the Chiswick Press which turned out to be nothing to do w W4: Charles Whittingham and Co of Tooks Court Chancery Lane: p21, p63. This was the first ever exhibition at the Grosvenor Galleries and Florence was in very good company. Works by G F Watts, Spencer Stanhope, Alma-Tadema and his wife, Millais, Louise Jopling and her husband, Leighton and Burne-Jones were also shown.
Confirmed as Florence’s only Grosvenor Gallery exhibit as far as 1894:
Grosvenor Gallery [etc] exhibitors compiled by Algernon Graves; covering the exhibitions to 1894 but not any later. Handwritten entries in three leather-bound volumes and without page numbers. Now in the National Art Collection at the V&A catal says covers exhns at the Grosvenor to 1894. Volume 2 G-P:
1879 catalogue number 104 A Quiet Corner.
I found more references to this painting than to any other work by Florence:
Building News and Engineering Journal volume 38 p535 for its technique.
Grosvenor Notes issue of 1878, edited Henry Blackburn and designed to be a companion guide to the exhibition: p33 for its subject.
MANCHESTER CITY ART GALLERY
Corporation of Manchester Art Gallery, Royal Institution 3rd Autumn Exhibition 1885. Manchester: Blacklock and Co: p90, p39 Florence’s Beatrice Esmond; catalogue 525, price £13/13.
MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS BOSTON
This I spotted on the web but I don’t know what works the Kennedy’s sent to the exhibition.
10th Annual Report of the Trustees of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston Mass; to 31 December 1885. Boston: Alfred Mudge and Sons 1886. On p22 begins a list of Contributions to the Loan Exhibitions of the Year 1885. On pp25-26: Collection of English Water Colors and Drawings in Black and White, lent by the individual artists through Henry Blackburn of London. None of the names of the works on loan are mentioned. Both Kennedys are in the list.
I think that getting work into the Paris Salon was a real coup for Florence. Edward never exhibited anything there!
Les Peintres Britanniques dans les Salons Parisiens des Origines à 1939 by Béatrice Crespon-Halotier. Paris: L’Echelle de Jacob for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. 2002. On p307, entry for “Mistress Edward Sherard ou Florence” Kennedy: two works both shown 1880:
1999 Paysage dans le comté de Sussex
Having work accepted by the RA was difficult too.
The Royal Academy of Arts Exhibitors 1769-1904 Volume 2 E-LAWRA compiled by Algernon Graves FSA. Originally published Henry Graves and Co Ltd and George Bell and Sons London 1905. I went through the British Library’s edition: SR Publishers Ltd; Kingsmead Reprints 1970: p315 entry for Florence Kennedy; on p357 confirming there’s no entry for Florence Laing.
1885 catalogue number 1249 Thinking it Over
1889 510 “Love me Love my Dog”
1891 1068 A Summer Idyll
1893 878 Silentia.
Royal Academy Exhibitors 1905-70 volume 3 p138: there’s no entry for Florence as Gennadius (her surname after 1902). Volume 4 p178: there’s no entry for Florence as Kennedy.
ROYAL INSTITUTE OF OIL PAINTERS which was called the Institute of Painters in Oil Colours when it was founded in 1883.
Index of exhibitors at “Institute of Oil Colours” 1883-1891. Compiled by Algernon Graves and held at the National Art Library in the V&A. Hand-written - very badly, I could barely read it. Volume I-L, the page with ?p2559 written in blue pencil: entry for “Miss Florence S Kennedy” corrected several times to “Mrs”, further down the page. The index has no entry for Florence as Laing.
ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTISTS BIRMINGHAM which changed its name in the spring of 1885 to ROYAL BIRMINGHAM SOCIETY OF ARTISTS. It held exhibitions in the spring and autumn of most years between 1880 and 1900.
RSA Birmingham Autumn Exhibition 1884 printed Birmingham: Hudson and Son. List of exhibitors p76:
P24 100 £15 oil In the Shade
RBS Artists Autumn Exhibition 1885. List of exhibitors p73; catalogue p19.
The set of catalogues I was going through at the V&A was lacking the one for the autumn exhibition of 1886.
RBS Artists 61st Autumn Exhibition 1887. List of exhibitors p80; catalogue p30, p46.
RBS Artists 63rd Autumn Exhibition 1889. List of exhibitors p73; catalogue p21, p58.
RBS Artists 64th Autumn Exhibition 1890. List of exhibitors p78; catalogue p33, p46.
RBS Artists 65th Autumn Exhibition 1891. List of exhibitors p79; catalogue p47.
RBS Artists 66th Autumn Exhibition 1892. List of exhibitors p79; catalogue p32, p50.
ROYAL SOCIETY OF BRITISH ARTISTS
The Royal Society of British Artists 1824-1893 and The New English Art Club 1888-1917 . Joint volume compiled by Jane Johnson. Antique Collectors’ Club Research Project. First printed 1975; the copy I was looking at in the V&A was the reprint of 1993: p267 entry for Mrs Edward Sherard Kennedy:
1882/83 234 £21 Autumnal Tints.
For the painting’s possible reference to the poetry of Henry David Thoreau (1817-62) see his wikipedia page.
SOCIETY OF WOMEN ARTISTS which at the time Florence exhibited there was known as the Society of Lady Artists.
The Society of Women Artists, Exhibitors 1855-1996 editor Charles Baile de Laperrière compiler Joanna Soden. Hilmarton Manor Press 1996. Volume 2 E-K p326 entry for Florence Kennedy.
Volume 3 L-R p3: there was no entry for Florence Laing.
WALKER ART GALLERY
13th Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures 1883. List of exhibitors p120; catalogue p80.
14th Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures 1884. List of exhibitors p161 entry for “Miss F S Kennedy”; catalogue p55.
Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures 21st, 1891. The page number corners had fallen off the copy I saw but Florence was in the list of exhibitors; catalogue number 898.
Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures 22nd 1892: again with no page number corners. Florence was in the list of exhibitors; catalogue njumber 519.
EDWARD SHERARD KENNEDY AS A PAINTER
I haven’t been able to find out where Edward learned his trade as a painter. I think that if he had spent any time as a student at the Royal Academy, I would have come across information on it; so he probably didn’t train there. And he’s too early for the Slade School of Art. My hunches are:
- he trained in the studio of one or more genre painters - something quite tricky to prove;
- his training took place in Europe, perhaps in more than one country. He could certainly afford to spend the necessary length of time abroad.
Unlike Florence, Edward does appear in Popular 19th Century Painting: A Dictionary of European Genre Painters. The book’s contention is that genre painters tended to stick to one sub-section of genre painting once they had established a reputation in it. In Edward’s case, I don’t think I agree: he appears in the book in the chapter on painters of 18th–century subjects, mostly literary, following in the tradition begun by Louis Ernest Meissonier (1815-91); and he certainly did do paintings in that mode. However, the list below shows that he did far more paintings on Shakespearean themes. Twelfth Night and As You Like It were two plays he returned to and I wonder if there was a nod to his mother in that: during her stage career in the 1820s, Emma Sarah Love had been well-known for her ‘breeches’ roles.
Edward also painted some historical subjects - in the arbitrary distinctions of the academies of that time and before, history paintings were classified as ‘great art’ not genre. He exhibited landscapes, which the authors of the book on genre painters didn’t include in their genres; and a couple of portraits.
EDWARD: LIST OF EXHIBITED PAINTINGS
This isn’t a full list: the two works you can find on the web most easily are not on it. In my own searches, the earliest exhibited work I found was 1863; and the latest 1892.
KEY: year/catalogue number/price (if known)/title/gallery
‘?’: couldn’t read it very well
-: information not included in the source I used.
1863 149 - Norah RA
1864 45 - La Tireuse des Cartes. With a quote from Antony and Cleopatra.
1865 453 £26/5 Waiting for the Boats Royal Society of British Artists
1866 520 Louis XI endeavouring to obtain the secret of her lover’s name from Marie de Comines RA
1866 563 - Viola and Olivia; with a quote from Twelfth Night RA
1867 385 £21 Olivia Unveiling to Viola Royal Society of British Artists
1867 398 £10/10 The Forgotten Lesson Royal Society of British Artists
1868 496 - Hubert de Burgh...overhears the rumours of Prince Arthur’s death; with a quote from Shakespeare’s King John RA
1868 126? £22 At bay you naughty varlet! Dudley Gallery
1868 476 £40 Rosalind, Celia and Touchstone. With quote from As You Like It Act 3 Scene 2 ending with Rosalind saying, “Out, fool!”
Royal Society of British Artists
1869 55 ?£124 Strolling Acrobat en route Dudley Gallery
1869 124 £20 Brittany 1869 Dudley Gallery
1870 312 - Louis XI. His one good deed. RA
1870 444 £80 Olivia and Viola. With quote from Twelfth Night Act 1 Scene 5.
Royal Society of British Artists
1870 141 £35 The Eavesdropper Dudley Gallery
1870 213 ?£20 The Beggar (then one word I couldn’t read) Dudley Gallery
1871 1082 - The Wolf in the Fold
1871 307 £40 Love Leads the Way Dudley Gallery
1872 234 £52/10 Love Leads the Way Royal Society of British Artists
1872 391 - An Escape after the Night of St Bartholomew RA
1872 573 - Frederick Flowers Esq RA
1873 230 £75 Love’s Labour (sic) Lost Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
1874 82 - “For Those at Sea” RA
1874 605 - Broken Up RA
1875 892 - Mr Hardcastle tells the Story of “Old Grouse in the Gunroom”. RA
1876 1311 - Angling RA
1876 210 £84 Who Shall be Fairest? Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
1877 210 £10 Near Boulogne Dudley Gallery
1877 302 £50 Sauve qui peut Dudley Gallery
1877 one other work whose details I couldn’t read Dudley Gallery
1877 578 - The Cross Roads. Waiting for the Coach RA
1878 372 - A Quiet Corner in Sussex Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts
Florence exhibited a work with a very similar title. It’s possible this is her painting not his.
1878 478 - The Cross Roads Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts
1878 451 £105 The Cross Roads Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
1879 81 £31/10 Tambour Worker RSA Birmingham
1879 238 £120 The Cross Roads RSA Birmingham
1879 445 £21 Sigh no more Ladies RSA Birmingham
1879 219 - An Outpost Disturbed Grosvenor Gallery
1879 37 £100 A Village (then one word I couldn’t read) Dudley Gallery
1879 48 £105 A Sad Maid Sat Sighing Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
1879 326 £21 A Labour of Love Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
1879 1238 £21 Music Hath Charms Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
1880 1073 - Darby and Joan RA
1880 319 £15 Marking the Situation Dudley Gallery
1880 108 £200 The Cradle of a River Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
1880/81 368 £25 In Glory’s Footprints Royal Society of British Artists
1881 486 £84 Love’s Labours Lost Royal Society of British Artists
1881 44 £105 Darby and Joan RSA Birmingham
1881 820 £31/10 One Touch of Nature RSA Birmingham
1881 209 £31/10 “Returning Thanks” Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
1881 1089 £63 Master of the Situation Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
1882 ?231 £10 Under the Apple Tree Dudley Gallery
1882 one other work whose details I couldn’t read Dudley Gallery
1883 188 £21 A Breezy Day on Moel Garmon RSA Birmingham
1883 222 £21 A Salmon Pool on the Conway RSA Birmingham
1883 523 £73/10 Day Dreams Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
1883 810 £10/10 Near Barmouth; watercolour Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
1883 835 £10/10 A Silent Highway; watercolour Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
1883 1044 £21/10 Dogberry and Vergis; watercolour Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
1883 1383 £84 The Wolf in the Fold Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
1883 1 - Tempora Mutantor RI/Oil Colours
1884 17 £7/7 Near Barmouth; possibly a watercolour RSA Birmingham
1884 337 £7/7 A Silent Highway; possibly a watercolour RSA Birmingham
1884 738 £21 A Silent Pool RSA Birmingham
1884 299 £42 A Village Genius RSA Birmingham
1884 371 £15/15 A Reverie RSA Birmingham
1884 1616 - Sally in our Alley RA
1885 332 - Grandmamma Sits for her Portrait RI/Oil Colours
1885 71 - Rosalind RI/Oil Colours
Edward’s painting Rosalind caught the eye of George Bernard Shaw, who made this baffling comment on it: it “almost makes one feel before the line at the Royal Academy”.
1885 885 £200 Sally in Our Alley Manchester City Art Gallery
1885 - - watercolours and/or drawings Boston Museum of Fine Arts
1885 147 £84 Viola and Malvolio - “ I Left No Ring!” Twelfth Night
19th Century Art Society
1886 164 - The Shadow on the Path RI/Oil Colours
1886 126 £100 “He Loves, But He Rides Away” 19th Century Art Society
1886 75 £25 Puzzled 19th Century Art Society
1887 1086 - How Grandmama sat for her Portrait RA
1887 158 £52/10 Rosalind R Birmingham SA
1887 335 £63 oil Tempora Mutantur R Birmingham SA
1887 707 £52/10 My (sic) Grandmother Sits for her Portrait; a watercolour
R Birmingham SA
1887 421 - Jacob and Esau RI/Oil Colours
Edward’s only venture into a religious subject.
1888 437 £25 All On A Summer’s Day; watercolour
Royal Society of British Artists
1888 1?35 1?56 Return of the Revellers RI/Oil Colours
1888 771 £25 All on a Summer’s Day Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
1890 808 £51/20 Clarissa; a watercolour R Birmingham SA
1891 567 £150 Love’s Young Dream R Birmingham SA
1891 683 £25 The Age of Gallantry; a watercolour R Birmingham SA
1892 637 £58 Times and Men are Changed R Birmingham SA
I found one reference to Edward as an illustrator. However, even this may have been a painting originally, made into a print for publication by someone else. In 1876 Edward was one of eight artists whose works were used to illustrate Samuel Carter Hall’s An Old Story, a Temperance Tale in Verse.
I haven’t found many references to Edward in the papers of other artists that you can access online. Of course, if you’re seeing your artist friends all the time because you all live near each other, you won’t appear in their papers because there won’t be exchanges of letters. However, there is one item in the collection of Whistler’s correspondence now at the University of Glasgow Faculty of Arts; probably from 1874-76.
Popular 19th Century Painting: A Dictionary of European Genre Painters. By Philip Hook and Mark Poltimore. Antique Collectors’ Club 1986. The only other GD member who’s listed in the book is Henry Marriott Paget; he’s described as a specialist in paintings of children, which isn’t correct, I think the authors have confused him with his wife, GD member Henrietta Paget, who did paint children. For Edward Sherard Kennedy: passim and especially p298 in a list of painters doing work in the ‘18th century’ genre; he’s not mentioned in the text.
Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940. Antique Collectors’ Club 1976. P287 Edward Sherard Kennedy exhibiting 1880-95. Please note that when I was looking through individual galleries’ catalogues I actually came up with more paintings by Edward than are in this list, except in the case of Dudley Gallery where I found less.
10 at Royal Society of Artists Birmingham
3 at Dudley Art Gallery
2 at Grosvenor Gallery
9 at Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
1 at Manchester City Art Gallery
3 at Royal Academy
3 at Royal Society of British Artists
4 at Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours
6 at Royal Institute of Oil Painters
I didn’t confirm the paintings at the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, as Florence didn’t exhibit there, and she’s the GD member.
Dictionary of British Art. Volume IV: Victorian Painters I: The Text. By Christopher Wood. Antique Collectors’ Club 1995. On p292 Edward Sherard Kennedy; fl 1863-1890.
This work says Edward exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1880; but that was Florence.
Algernon Graves’ Index of Exhibitors at the Dudley Gallery 1865-1882. Handwritten, very badly - I couldn’t read a lot of the details. All exhibits are in oils.Not published; now in the National Art Library, at the V&A. Volume I-L with page number 2559 added in blue pencil: entry for Edward Sherard Kennedy.
GLASGOW INSTITUTE OF THE FINE ARTS which I fnd w google, the dictionaries above didn’t have listings for it.
17th Exhibition of the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1878 editor George R Halkett: p34; p61.
Grosvenor Gallery [etc] Exhibitors, to 1894. Compiled by Algernon Graves; not published but now in the National Art Library at the V&A. Handwritten; 3 volumes; no real page numbering system; no details of prices. Volume 2 G-P: entry for Edward Sherard Kennedy.
MANCHESTER CITY ART GALLERY
Corp of Manchester Art Gallery, Royal Institution 3rd Autumn Exhibition 1885. Manchester: Blacklock and Co. On the back cover is a list of current members of Manchester Academy of Fine Arts; Edward is not on the list. In the list of exhibitors p90; catalogue p59.
MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS BOSTON
10th Annual Report of the Trustees of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston Mass; to 31 December 1885. Boston: Alfred Mudge and Sons 1886. Beginning p22 Contributions to the Loan Exhibitions of the Year 1885. On pp25-26: Collection of English Water Colors and Drawings in Black and White lent by the individual artists through Henry Blackburn of London.
NINETEENTH CENTURY ART SOCIETY also seen as 19th CENTURY ART SOCIETY; formed 1883. Catalogues extant for exhibitions to 1887. Edward was a member of the Society at least during the period 1885 to 1887, though he only exhibited in 1885 and 1886.
Times 12 December 1883 p2: report on the Society’s inaugural exhibition at the Conduit St galleries.
1885. Nineteenth Century Art Society Exhibition Catalogue Autumn 1885 at the Conduit Street galleries, 9 Conduit Street. In the list of members p47. In the catalogue: p3, p16.
Nineteenth Century Art Society Exhibition Catalogue Summer 1886. In catalogue: p3, p14.
Nineteenth Century Art Society Exhibition Catalogue Autumn 1886. In list of members p47. In the catalogue: p3, p9.
The Royal Academy of Arts Exhibitors 1769-1904, compiled by Algernon Graves FSA. Originally published Henry Graves and Co Ltd and George Bell and Sons London 1905. I used the British Library’s edition: SR Publishers Ltd; Kingsmead Reprints 1970. Volume 2 E-LAWRA: p315 entry for Edward Sherard Kennedy.
ROYAL INSTITUTE OF OIL PAINTERS which when it was founded was called the Institute of Painters in Oil Colours.
Bernard Shaw on the London Art Scene 1885-1950 edited and with introduction by Stanley Weintraub. University Park and London: Pennsylvania State University Press 1989: p55 says that the Institute’s exhibitions were held at Prince’s Hall Piccadilly.
Handwritten index of exhibitors at the “Institute of Oil Colours” 1883-1891 amongst other galleries including the Dudley Gallery. Compiled by Algernon Graves. Volume I-L in which writing was so bad I couldn’t read a lot of the details. That volume’s has page numbers in blue pencil: ?p2559, entry for Edward Sherard Kennedy.
ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTISTS BIRMINGHAM which changes its name spring 1885 to ROYAL BIRMINGHAM SOCIETY OF ARTISTS.
RSA Birmingham Autumn Exhibition 1879. 6d. On a title page, a list of current members; all full members are men, Edward isn’t one of them. In the list of exhibitors p51; and in the catalogue p20, p25, p32.
RSA Birmingham Autumn Exhibition 1881 printed Birmingham: Hudson and Son. List of exhibitors p76; catalogue p23, p63.
RSA Birmingham Autumn Exhibition 1883 printed Birmingham: Hudson and Son of Edmund St. In list of exhibitors p74; catalogue p28, p80.
RSA Birmingham Spring Exhibition 1884 printed Birmingham: Hudson and Son. List of exhibitors p68; catalogue p8; p35; p54.
RSA Birmingham Autumn Exhibition 1884 printed Birmingham: Hudson and Son. List of exhibitos p76; catalogue p34, p37.
Just noting that the change of name to Royal Birmingham Society of Artists came here, 1885. The set of catalogues I worked through at the National Art Library lacked the one for the autumn exhibition of 1886.
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists 61st Autumn Exhibition 1887. List of exhibitors p80; catalogue p29, p39, p58.
Royal Birmingam Society of Artists 64th Autumn Exhibition 1890. List of exhibitors p77; catalogue p59.
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists 65th Autumn Exhibition 1891. List of exhibitors p79; catalogue p47, p53.
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists 66th Autumn Exhibition 1892. List of exhibitors p79; catalogue p51.
ROYAL SOCIETY OF BRITISH ARTISTS
The Royal Society of British Artists 1824-1893 and The New English Art Club 1888-1917, compiler Jane Johnson for the Antique Collectors’ Club Research Project. First published by the Club 1975; I was using the copy at the National Art Library, a reprint from 1993. On p267: entry for Edward Sherard Kennedy.
WALKER ART GALLERY
[3rd] Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures in Oil and Watercolours 1873. In the list of exhibitors p44; catalogue number 12.
6th Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures 1876. List of exhibitors p52; catalogue p11.
8th Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures 1878. I looked at this on microfilm at the Tate Gallery Archive; the list of exhibitors and which pages of the catalogue their exhibits were on was missing, so Edward may have shown more than the one in the catalogue p29.
9th Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures 1879. List of exhibitors p106; catalogue p11, p27, p75.
10th Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures 1880. List of exhibitors p93; catalogue p15.
11th Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures 1881. List of exhibitors p106; catalogue p21, p65.
13th Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures 1883. List of exhibitors p120; catalogue p37, p50, p51, p61, p78.
Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures 1888, which didn’t have a list of exhibitors. Catalogue p5, p36.
For Shaw’s odd comment on Edward’s Rosalind:
Bernard Shaw on the London Art Scene 1885-1950 edited and with introduction by Stanley Weintraub. University Park and London: Pennsylvania State University Press 1989. In the 1880s, Shaw was doing art criticism work for The World and other magazines. About Rosalind: p54, pp56-57. The actual comment was published in The Dramatic Review issue of 5 December 1885.
Whistler: www.whistler.arts.gla.ac.uk the web pages of Glasgow Faculty of Arts’ collection of Whistler’s correspondence.
Edward as an illustrator:
An Old Story, a Temperance Tale in Verse by S C Hall [Samuel Carter Hall]. 2nd edition published 1876; British Library catalogue doesn’t give the publisher’s name.
FLORENCE AND EDWARD’S PAINTINGS - WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
A good question. The short answer in Florence’s case is: I don’t know. In Edward’s case, I don’t know apart from two works, neither of which are in my list of exhibited paintings above.
At //artuk.org/discover/artworks there’s a database of over 200,000 works of art by about 35000 different artists. All are in public collections in Great Britain though not necessarily on display. The website doesn’t have any entries for Florence Kennedy. It has two for Edward Sherard Kennedy: Mr Micawber, now in the Dickens Museum; and Fading Away, which is in the collection of the Wellcome Institute. They are both illustrated; in their subjects and their styles they are fine examples of 19th century genre painting.
British and Irish Paintings in Public Collections compiled by Christopher Wright with Catherine Gordon and Mary Peskett Smith. New Haven and London: Yale University Press 2006 for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art: p477 entry for Edward Sherard Kennedy, but it only lists Fading Away: oil on canvas 112 x 90 cm. In the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine see also catalogue.wellcome.ac.uk/search/o45039i which is the accession number. It’s only ‘attributed’ to Edward Sherard Kennedy. However I can state that he is the “E Kennedy” who painted it because the artist’s address - 3 Upper Phillimore Gardens Kensington - is where Edward was living in the 1870s; it appears in a lot of the catalogues I list above. Fading Away was bought by Henry S Wellcome between 1900 and 1936.
London for Dickens Lovers by William Kent 1972. London: Methuen and Co Ltd. New York: Haskell House Publishers Ltd. In the chapter on Dickens House and other Memorials p115 the House is in Doughty Street and the author is taking a tour through the house room by room. Pp126-127 section on the front room on first floor; paintings in that room include “a capital painting of Wilkins Micawber by E Sherard Kennedy”. The artuk web pages give these details: painted 1873. Oil on canvas 89 x 69 cm. Charles Dickens Museum accession number DH 507. Gift of J W Ellis 1933.
Checklist of Painters c 1200-1994 Represented in the Witt Library Mansell 1995.
Bénézit Dictionary of Artists a vast work, now in English, published Editions Gründ Paris 2006.
Volume 7 Her-Koo p1173 has an entry for Edward but not for Florence. There’s a list of “auction records” up to 2002 which includes some more works not on my list of exhibited paintings:
1907 London Flight after St Bart’s Day
1910 London as Prayer for those at Sea; 1874 oil
1979 London as Prayer for Sailors; 1874 oil
1983 NY Summer Afternoon; no date or medium
1989 London Travelling Comedians on their Way; no date or medium
2002 Detroit Sudden Showers; no date or medium
THE LAST YEARS OF THE MARRIAGE
I’m sure that when his books, silverware and theatrical costumes went under the hammer it was not because Edward and Florence had lost all their money. There must be another reason for them dispensing with so much art paraphernalia and I’m going to suggest one: they were needing to live a quiet life with more time spent out of town, because Edward’s health was failing. Here are some reasons why I think that:
- the Kennedys both stopped sending their paintings to exhibitions and probably stopped painting altogether.
- they bought or leased a house in the country from the early 1890s. After 1894 Edward was not on the Electoral Roll in the London Borough of Chelsea, suggesting that their country house was now their main residence.
Of course, the process may just have been one of retirement, or getting fed up with the air and noise pollution of London and its speed of life. Florence took up residence in London again after Edward died, though, as if it was mainly for his sake that the move to the country had been made. I think Edward was ill, and getting iller.
The house the Kennedys leased or bought was The Cottage, at Edenbridge in Kent. Although in the country, it was within easy distance of London. The GD’s Florence Farr often visited them there and at the end of the 1890s Cecilia and Charles Colin Macrae leased a weekend house a few miles away, in Oxted Surrey. Edward Sherard Kennedy died at The Cottage, on 11 January 1900, aged 63 or 64. He left personal estate worth £32133; which the measuringworth website translates as £3,191,000 in 2016 terms. Florence, Cecilia’s husband Charles Colin Macrae, and Joseph John Morgan were his executors. He and Florence didn’t have any children so I suppose Florence inherited everything.
Sources: census 1891, probate registry 1900.
Electoral roll evidence from London Borough of Chelsea seen at Familysearch.
Familysearch England-EASy GS film number 1851041: burial of Edward Sherard Calcroft (sic) Kennedy at Edenbridge, 15 January 1900.
FLORENCE’S SECOND HUSBAND
Florence married Ioannes or Joannes Gennadius on 27 December 1902. Joannes was born in 1844 in Athens, and moved to London 1862 to work for Ralli Brothers. He was later employed as a diplomat, twice; being sacked once and resigning once, as a result of disputes with his employers. He’s best known now, though, as the man who gave the Greek nation the collection of books that’s now in the Gennadius Library in Athens. The Library was opened in 1926. Joannes Gennadius died on 7 September 1932. Florence lived until she was 98, dying on 14 January 1952.
For more on Joannes Gennadius, see The Book Collector volume 13 number 3 autumn 1964: Portrait of a Bibliophile XII: Joannes Gennadius. By Francis R Walton, who was Librarian at the Gennadius Library at that time.
BASIC SOURCES I USED for all Golden Dawn members.
Membership of the Golden Dawn: The Golden Dawn Companion by R A Gilbert. Northampton: The Aquarian Press 1986. Between pages 125 and 175, Gilbert lists the names, initiation dates and addresses of all those people who became members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn or its many daughter Orders between 1888 and 1914. The list is based on the Golden Dawn’s administrative records and its Members’ Roll - the large piece of parchment on which all new members signed their name at their initiation. All this information had been inherited by Gilbert but it’s now in the Freemasons’ Library at the United Grand Lodge of England building on Great Queen Street Covent Garden. Please note, though, that the records of the Amen-Ra Temple in Edinburgh were destroyed in 1900/01. I have recently (July 2014) discovered that some records of the Horus Temple at Bradford have survived, though most have not; however those that have survived are not yet accessible to the public.
For the history of the GD during the 1890s I usually use Ellic Howe’s The Magicians of the Golden Dawn: A Documentary History of a Magical Order 1887-1923. Published Routledge and Kegan Paul 1972. Foreword by Gerald Yorke. Howe is a historian of printing rather than of magic; he also makes no claims to be a magician himself, or even an occultist. He has no axe to grind.
Family history: freebmd; ancestry.co.uk (census and probate); findmypast.co.uk; familysearch; Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage; Burke’s Landed Gentry; Armorial Families; thepeerage.com; and a wide variety of family trees on the web.
Famous-people sources: mostly about men, of course, but very useful even for the female members of GD. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Who Was Who. Times Digital Archive.
Useful source for business and legal information: London Gazette and its Scottish counterpart Edinburgh Gazette. Now easy to find (with the right search information) on the web.
For the GD members who were freemasons, the membership database of the United Grand Lodge of England is now available via Ancestry: it gives the date of the freemason’s first initiation; and the craft lodges he was a member of.
To take careers in craft freemasonry further, the website of the the Freemasons’ Library is a good resource: //freemasonry.london.museum. Its catalogue has very detailed entries and the website has all sorts of other resources.
You can get from the pages to a database of freemasons’ newspapers and magazines, digitised to 1900. You can also reach that directly at www.masonicperiodicals.org.
Wikipedia; Google; Google Books - my three best resources. I also used other web pages, but with some caution, as - from the historian’s point of view - they vary in quality a great deal.
To put contemporary prices and incomes into perspective, I have used www.measuringworth.com/ukcompare which Roger Wright found for me. To help you interpret the ‘today’ figure, measuringworth gives several options. I pick the ‘historic standard of living’ option which is usually the lowest, often by a considerable margin!
Copyright SALLY DAVIS
3 June 2017
Find the web pages of Roger Wright and Sally Davis, including my list of people initiated into the Order of the Golden Dawn between 1888 and 1901, at: