Henry Marriott Paget and Henrietta Paget as artists; though Henrietta did very little art work



Some indication of how little art Henrietta ever showed in public can be gained from standard reference works: she is not mentioned, or is mentioned inaccurately, in the main dictionaries of artists. As part of preparing this file to go up on our web pages, in December 2018 I did a second search of the web, hoping to find illustrations and more information on Henrietta’s few works. I fared a bit better than with the first search I tried, in February 2017: I found a small, black and white illustration and a short description of one of Henrietta’s paintings; though nothing at all on any of the others.


Not mentioned:

Bénézit in English: Dictionary of Artists a vast work. Published Editions Gründ Paris 2006.

Volume 10 Mül-Pin p780 has entries for Henry his brothers but nothing for Henrietta.


Mentioned but in my view inaccurately:

English Art in 1884 edited by Henry Blackburn. Published New York: D Appleton and Co 1895. On p139 Henrietta is grouped together with four other women artists including Louise Jopling and Anna Lea Merritt. All are described as portrait painters and as regular exhibitors at the Grosvenor Gallery, neither of which is quite true of Henrietta, in my view. It’s all the more depressing that Blackburn is wrong about Henrietta’s paintings, in that this is a contemporary source. He did say, on p160 which refers to 1884, that Henrietta “paints in the same studio with her husband” in the “so-called aesthetic village” of Bedford Park. I suppose she could not justify the expense of a studio of her own.


Dictionary of British Art. Volume IV: Victorian Painters I: The Text. By Christopher Wood. Antique Collectors’ Club 1995: p391 Henrietta described as fl 1880s.



National Art Collections Fund Review 2004 issue p14.

Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940 p387 p387: Mrs H M Paget described as a “figure painter” which I think is more accurate than describing her as a portrait painter. Exhibiting 1882-1907. Here’s the Dictionary’s list of her exhibited works with my comments from when I tried to find them in individual exhibition catalogues:

1 Royal Society of Artists Birmingham Correct

2 Grosvenor Gallery Correct

4 Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts I only found 3: I expect I missed one

2 Walker Art Gallery Liverpool Correct

3 Royal Academy Correct; just noting that they are all post 1903




I could find nothing about her early training. The earliest mentions of her that I found were of her buying time and studio space at Heatherley’s School of Fine Art, which was set up for artists who had more or less finished their training and were just starting out on their careers. For more on Heatherley’s, see below in the section on Henry’s career.


Henrietta did one set of book illustrations: for Maria Alice Hoyer’s Little Margit and Other Stories published 1887 Griffith, Farran, Okeden and Welsh. This was a book of newly-written children’s fairy tales. The illustrations are all in black and white and most are small and set within the text.


It’s possible that Maria Alice Hoyer was a friend of the Paget family. I found her on the 1851 census at 31 St Mary’s Road Finsbury, a few streets from Pentonville Road where Henry Paget was born in 1857. Her mother Sarah was already a widow. Maria Alice was the youngest in Sarah’s family of five sons and three daughters. At www.authorandbookinfo.com I found some dates for Maria Alice – 1846-1937 – and a list of 18 published works. Little Margit was the first of them; the others looked from their titles to be in similar vein – new and adapted children’s stories. The last was published in 1908. Maria Alice never married. She died in Bromley in October 1937.



Two begin with, two points and they apply to Henry Paget’s works as well:

1) not all the catalogues or listings of catalogues publish details of the price of the exhibit, whether it was for sale and if it was, who bought it.

2) there are not so many catalogues or catalogue listings available at the V&A and Tate libraries for exhibitions after 1900.


LAYOUT. The exhibition galleries are in alphabetical order. Each art work exhibited is laid out thus:

year catalogue number title of work + any details

with the source of the information at the end.



1883 81 The Queen of Toys

1884 112 Brunetta e Biondina


Grosvenor Gallery [etc] exhibitors. Compiled by Algernon Graves. The V&A catalogue says it covers exhibitions to 1894. It’s a set of handwritten entries, leather-bound in 3 volumes; no real page numbering system. V&A Special Collections. No details of the prices of the works; or whether they were sold. Volume 2 G-P: Mrs H Paget of 1 The Orchard Bedford Park.

Henrietta’s Brunetta and Biondina got some coverage in Blackburn’s English Art in 1884 in his section on the Grosvenor Gallery show of 1884. At top left of p160 there’s an illustration – black and white of course - of Henrietta’s Brunetta e Biondina, who are two little girls “in red and blue frocks”. Blackburn describes the work as “painted...boldly and at the same time decoratively treated in brilliant colours”. Blackburn’s book can be seen on the web. I’ll just add that the two figures fill the space of the painting, without a background; and that, like the Queen of Toys – which I’ve never seen – Henrietta is painting children, and for children – perhaps her own Gladys and Dorothy.

English Art in 1884 edited by Henry Blackurn. Published New York: Appleton and Co 1885 p160. See it via archive.org



There’s no entry for Henrietta in the RA Exhibitors lists to 1904.

1904 1292 Etta

1906 1177 Mrs Hugh Fairfax Cholmeley and her Son Francis

1907 1274 Mrs N F Dryhurst


For the 1904 exhibit: Exhibitions of the Royal Academy volumes 136-137, RA exhibition 1904 p45.

In general: Royal Academy Exhibitors 1905-70 E P Publishing 1977. Volume 5 Lawr-Sher p267 as Henrietta Paget of 76 Parkhill Road NW.

Belatedly, Henrietta was making Blackburn’s 1885 assessment of her correct: all three of the works she showed at the RA were portraits. Etta is Henrietta’s family nick-name so that one was a self-portrait; I’d love to know where that is now. The two later paintings are of family friends. Henry’s wedding portrait of Alice Jane Moverley, who married Hugh Fairfax-Cholmeley in 1903, was also shown at the RA in 1906. Henrietta’s portrait of Alice and her son was meant to be a companion piece. Mrs N F Dryhurst was the journalist and artist Nannie Dryhurst.


You can read more about the Fairfax-Cholmeleys and the Dryhursts in my file on the Pagets’ friends.



1879 213 Young Julian. A price! - £10/10.


RAH of Arts and Sciences Catalogue of the Exhibition of Works of Modern Artists 1879 price 6d. This is the only work that Henrietta showed under her original surname, Farr: p18. Henry Paget showed one oil painting and two watercolours in the exhibition.



A comment here on Henrietta’s work ‘child of the south’; shown in three different exhibitions; always for sale but at half the price in the latest of the three. Was the last one a sketch for the finished work? Or was Henrietta just having trouble selling it?



1884 317 Queen of Toys. £20

1885 178 Child of the South. £5

449 The Princess and the Blue Bird. £17


Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1989 compiled by Roger Billcliffe. The Woodend Press 1992. Volume 3 L-P on p332 as Mrs H M Paget, The Orchard Bedford Park.




1882 351 Child of the South. £10/10


RSA Birmingham Autumn Exhibition 1882: p69: Henrietta Paget of 1 The Orchard Bedford Park.



1883 324 Queen of Toys. £20

416 Child of the South. £10


13th Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures 1883: p128 Mrs H M Paget of 1 The Orchard, Bedford Park. Henry showed three works in the exhibition.


And that’s it! Mostly trawling for works by Isabel de Steiger, I went through the catalogues or catalogue listings of a number of other galleries: 19th Century Art Society; Royal Hibernian Academy; Manchester City Art Gallery; Society of Lady (later Women) Artists. Henrietta didn’t exhibit any works at any of those venues, at least until 1900 and probably not at all.




The Pagets’ close friend John Butler Yeats, father of William, did two sketches of Henrietta though as far as I know he didn’t do a full, finished painting of her. A sketch dated 23 September 1894 and signed by John is called ‘Etta’. It was sold in 2007 and there are pictures of it on the web.


One John did of Henrietta doing some knitting is undated but possibly from around 1895. At least as late as 2001 it was still in the Yeats family, owned by W B Yeats’ son Michael.



Prodigal Father: the Life of John Butler Yeats William Michael Murphy 2001: the 1895 sketch of Henrietta is reproduced on p189.

At www.artnet.com there’s a reproduction of John Butler Yeats’ drawing of Etta from 1894: pencil, 17cm x 11cm, signed by J B Yeats and dated by him 23 September 1894. “Etta” is written towards the bottom left. At artsalesindex.artinfo - the Blouin Art Sales Index there are a few more details about it: it was lot 119 in a sale called Important Irish Art, held at Whyte’s of Dublin in November 2007.





There’s much more information on him than there is on his wife.


The basic reference works:

Bénézit in English: Dictionary of Artists a vast work published Editions Gründ Paris 2006.

Volume 10 Mül-Pin p780 has entries for Henry Marriott Paget; and for his brothers Sidney and Walter. At the end of Henry, one painting was listed as having been sold in 1983: Portrait of the artist’s wife and two daughters; 71 x 91.5cm. No date; sold in London for £4000. Where is it? Where is it? I want to know!


As with Henrietta, listings of Henry in the basic source-books are not always accurate, in my view:

Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940 p387:

2 Royal Society of Artists Birmingham I found 5, one of which was shown twice

1 Fine Art Society Correct; not a finished work

1 Grosvenor Gallery Correct

9 Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts Correct

6 Walker Art Gallery Liverpool I found 9

4 Manchester City Art Gall Correct

24 Royal Academy I only found 20

1 Royal Society of British Artists I found 2

1 Royal Institute of Oil Painters Haven’t been able to check

His brothers Sidney 1861-1908 and Walter 1863-1935 also have entries.


Dictionary of British Art. Volume IV: Victorian Painters I: The Text. By Christopher Wood. Antique Collectors’ Club 1995 p391: Henry as painter of portraits, mythical/ literary subjects and p392 as illustrator of the works of Dickens. Sidney and Walter both have entries.

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: pp620-621.


The Scoop! Database at the British Library is mostly about 19th and 20th century journalists and doesn’t give sources for its information. All three brothers are listed in it though as far as I know they never wrote any articles for magazines, just supplied illustrations.


Popular 19th Century Painting: A Dictionary of European Genre Painters. By Philip Hook and Mark Poltimore. Antique Collectors’ Club 1986. The chapters are divided into subject specialisms. Henry is listed only on p175 in the chapter on Painters of Children; a description more appropriate to Henrietta’s paintings though there’s no listing for Henrietta in the book.


And specifically about artists who had lived at one time in Bedford Park:

Mainly About Bedford Park published Lawrence Dutton 1994: p40 there’s an entry for Henry but not Henrietta. Henry is described as a painter of fairy subjects and as an illustrator for

The Graphic, The Quiver, Illustrated London News and The Windsor Magazine. Illustrator of books by Henty and Scott.



He was a student at the Royal Academy 1874-79. He won a prize for composition and design in 1877 and – after he’d left – in 1882.

Source for the prizes:

Times 11 December 1877 p6 a report on the RA schools’ prize-giving. The prize-winning entries were on display in the galleries. Henry had won 2nd prize in the section for composition and design of a figure. His prize-winning contribution was in watercolours.


The Artist volume 3 p10 issue of 1 January 1882. A long list of prizes awarded for historical painting included one awarded to Henry for an allegory of ‘painting’ designed to decorate a public building. His prize was £40.




I haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly when Henry Paget and Henrietta Farr were at Heatherley’s but it’s most likely to have been around 1877-79.


Heatherley’s offers studio space and further chances for training to those starting out as professional artists. It has always focused on portraiture, figure painting and sculpture. As well as meeting each other at Heatherley’s, Henrietta Farr and Henry Paget got to know other artist/students who remained friends for many years. There’s a lot more about them in my file on the Pagets’ friends.

Sources for Henry and Henrietta at Heatherley’s:

Heatherley’s was founded in 1845 and still exists: see its website at www.heatherleys.org. It’s now based at 75 Lots Road SW10. Ex pupils of Heatherley’s as listed on the website are an impressive bunch: Byrne Jones; Rossetti; Millais; Leighton; Kate Greenaway; Sickert; Edmund Poynter first principal of Slade School; and more recently Michael Ayrton and Walter Crane. Neither Henry nor Henrietta is on the list.

See also Heatherley’s Wikipedia page.

The Collected Letters of George Gissing 1892-1895 by Gissing and Paul F Matthieson, Arthur C Young and Pierre Coustillas. Ohio University Press 1994 p272 footnote 8 which is actually about Walter Paget 1863-1935, but says that all three Paget brothers studied at Heatherley’s School of Art.



HENRY PAGET – WORKS EXHIBITED with the galleries in alphabetical order. If you need to see the exhibits in date order and for more on the works listed below, with some that were never exhibited, see my file on Henry’s paintings.


BERLIN ACADEMY OF ARTS Jubilee exhibition 1886

Robert Kirkpatrick’s blog at //bearalley.blogspot.com says that Henry was one of 50 British artists whose works were selected for this prestigious exhibition. I can’t find out which of his paintings were chosen, though, I can only find general references to the exhibition and mentions of some British artists – not included Henry – being given awards at it. The wikipedia page on the Pergamon Altar says that the exhibition took place in May and June 1886.



1886 56 Circe, which was not for sale. I think this is the finished painting.

158 Odysseus. £100


Irish Art Societies and Sketching Clubs compiled by Ann M Stewart. Volume M-Z published Four Courts Press 1997: p576.

See www.irishtimes.com for a posting 17 December 1996 on the life of the Irish artist Sarah Purser: she and John Butler Yeats were amongst the founders of the Club.



1884 Circe; study for finished work


Times 21 April 1884 p7: that it was not the finished work was said specifically in the review of the Fine Art Society exhibition opening “to-day” at its rooms in New Bond St. The “elaborate” finished work would be on exhibition at the Royal Academy.



1882 26 Odysseus

181 Varese Lago Maggiore

1883 8?4 St Valentine’s Morn



Grosvenor Gallery [etc] exhibitors compiled by Algernon Graves, which the V&A catalogue says covers exhibitions at the Grosvenor to 1894. It’s a set of handwritten entries, leather-bound in 3 volumes; no real page numbering system. V&A Special Collections. Volume 2 G-P: H M Paget at 1 The Orchard Bedford Park.

Grosvenor Gallery summer exhibition catalogue 1882: 84 H M Paget of 1 The Orchard Bedford Park: p9 West Gallery (26); p34 East Gallery catalogue (181).

I couldn’t find a catalogue for the exhibition of 1883 so I had to rely on Graves’ listing; which I found difficult to read.


MANCHESTER CITY ART GALLERY, the more familiar name of the gallery that began as CORPORATION OF MANCHESTER ART GALLERY, ROYAL INSTITUTION whose autumn exhibitions began in 1883.

1883 207 Enid and Geraint. Oil. £150.

905 Buondelmonti’s Bride with long explanation. Oil. £200

1884 901 “Odyssus” (sic). Oil. £100

1886 29 Portrait. Oil. It was not for sale.


Corporation of Manchester Art Gallery Royal Institution 1st Autumn Exhibition 1883. Manchester: Henry Blacklock and Co, Albert Square: p85 H M Paget of 1 The Orchard Bedford Park.

Corporation of Manchester Art Gallery Royal Institution 2nd Autumn Exhibition 1884. Manchester: Blacklock and Co p58, p91: H M Paget at 1 The Orchard.

Manchester City Art Gallery Royal Institution 4th Autumn Exhibition 1886. 4TH edition; 6d. Manchester: Henry Blacklock and Co of Albert Square 1886 p29 Gallery 1; p94.



1889 120 Professor Gudbrand Vigfusson. Final painting.

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: p414 Henry Marriott Paget at 1 The Orchard Bedford Park.



1879 396 Enid and Geraint.

1881 52 H W Rickatson Esq

1881 207 Buondelmonte’s Bride. With a long explanation

1884 313 Circe; the finished work

1885 499 Rev J Franck Bright. Master of University College Oxford

1885 937 Orlando’s Adventure with the Fairy Morgana.

1886 85 Rev Canon Liddon

1886 119 Mrs York Powell

1886 317 Portrait of a Lady

1886 457 Mrs Poole King

1887 968 Portrait Group

1888 435 Mrs Godsell

1888 1216 A Scene from Dr Todhunter’s Play ‘Helena in Troas’. As produced in June 1886 at Hangler’s Circus

1889 553 Mrs Winifred Emery

1890 731 Gudbrand Vigfusson Ph D

And then some exhibits that were book illustrations rather than full-sized finished paintings:

1892 1523, 1524, 1525 Set of 3 Illustrations to Phra the Phoenician

1894 1418 Set of 6 Illustrations to Quentin Durward

Not sure whether this was a finished painting or a book illustration:

1894 1456 A Boxing Contest

Then there’s a gap of over a decade, until

1905 1297 Dick Swiveller and the Marchioness. A book illustration.

Lastly, a series of portraits:

1906 304 Mrs Hugh Fairfax Cholmeley. Exhibited with Henrietta’s painting of Mrs Fairfax-Cholmeley with her son Francis.

1908 499 Mrs Briault

1908 843 Miss Dorothy Paget

1914 285 Geoffrey W Paget Esq

1915 689 Mrs F V McConnell



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. BL’s edition is SR Publishers Ltd; Kingsmead Reprints 1970. Volume 3 LAWRE-R p40.

RA Exhibitors 1905-70 E P Publishing 1977. Volume 5 Lawr-Sher p267.

The illustrations to Phra the Phoenician originally appeared in the Illustrated London News when Edwin Arnold’s “retold” book, The Wonderful Adventures of Phra the Phoenician was serialised; beginning with issue 2672 Sat 5 July 1890.




1879 119 Jeannette. A Study. £8/8.

481 £5/5 Pluto and Proserpine. Watercolour. £5/5

684 Macbeth and the Murderers. £5/5


RAH of Arts and Sciences Catalogue of the Exhibition of Works of Modern Artists 1879 price 6d: p12, p34, p46.




1882 260 Buondelmonti’s Bride. £315

462 Morning Greetings. £20

1884 636 St Valentine’s Morn. £50

893 A sketch design for mural decorations. £15

1885 213 Enid and Geraint. £63

558 Circe. £60.

1888 483 Orlando’s Adventure with the Fairy Morgana. £45

485 Portrait Group. Not for sale.

1890 236 Miss Winifred Emery. Not for sale.



Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1989 list of exhibits and exhibitors, compiled by Roger Billcliffe. The Woodend Press 1992. Volume 3 L-P p332.




1882 315 Buondelmonti’s Bride. £315

1885 203 Circe. The price was only £12 so perhaps this was a sketch.

529 The Passion Flower. Oil. £21

1887 209 Circe. The finished oil painting. Not for sale.

Then a set of Henry’s book illustrations:

1888 347 group of drawings lent by Cassell and Co: Richard I

1890 460 Miss Winifred Emery. Oil. £150.


RSA Birmingham Autumn Exhibition 1882: p23, p69.

In list of exhrs p69: Henry Marriott Paget of 1 The Orchard Bedford Park

RSA Birmingham Spring Exhibition 1885: p29, p45, p68.

Royal Birmingham Society of Arts 22nd Spring Exhibition 1887: p29.

Royal Birmingham Society of Arts 23rd Spring Exhibition 1888: p38.

Royal Birmingham Society of Arts 64th Autumn Exhibition 1890: p42, p82.




1874 462 Market Day. £10

1888 144 Gúdbrand Vigfússon. The sketch. Not for sale.


RBA Exhibitors 1824-1892 and 1893-1910. Both published limited edition of 600 copies. Compiler Maurice Bradshaw, secretary general of the Federation of British Artists. Published 1973 F Lewis Publishers Ltd of The Tithe House, Leigh-on-Sea. Volume 1 p74; Henry was no longer a member of the RBA by 1892.

The Royal Society of British Artists 1824-1893 and The New English Art Club 1888-1917 compiled by Jane Johnson. Antique Collectors’ Club Research Project. First printed 1975; V&A’s copy is the reprint of 1993: p351 which notes that Henry was elected a member in 1888.



1879 537 Geraint and Enid. Oil. £200

651 Sintram. A Sketch. Watercolour. £12/12

1881 353 Buondelmonti’s Bride. Oil. £315.

1883 123 Odysseus. Oil. £100

252 St Valentine’s Morn. Oil. £50

294 Far Away Thoughts. Oil. £15/0

1884 41 Circe. Oil. Is this the finished work? £70

1888 360 Miss Winifred Emery. £150.

778 Scene from Dr Todhunter’s Greek Play ‘Helena in Troas’, as produced at Hengler’s Circus June 1886. Not for sale.



9th Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures 1879: p39, p45, p113.

11th Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures 1881: p28, p114.

13th Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures 1883: p15, p23, p25, p128.

14th Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures 1884: p8, p171.

Liverpool Autumn Exhibition of Modern Pictures 1888: p6, p22, p36.

I haven’t been able to find copies of the catalogues for 1889, 1895, 1897-99; and the exhibitors’ listing for surnames beginning w ‘p’ had fallen out of the one at the V&A for 1891; I don’t think Henry exhibited that year bu I may have missed him, going through page by page. I haven’t been able to gain access to the catalogues from exhibitions after 1900.


Helena of Troas:

About the circumstances around the Helena in Troas picture: Times 18 May 1886 p9: A Greek Theatre in London, a report on E W Godwin’s conversion of Hengler’s Circus in Argyll St to as like a Greek theatre as possible, for a production of Todhunter’s Helena of Troas, which was a modern play on the last days of Troy. The Times’ reporter noted that the production could have been more classically-Greek than it was: the actors didn’t wear masks, and instead of the Greek flute, there was a small ensemble of winds and violins. H Beerbohm Tree was Paris, his wife played Oenone. There was a chorus of 15 women (which of course would not have been allowed in classical Athens). I think there was some scenery: “On the stage, after the manner of the Greeks...simple but majestic”. The Times thought the play and the production were an interesting experiment but didn’t expect them to start any trends.


I haven’t found any suggestion that Henry Paget was involved in any way in the setting-up of the production; so he was probably just illustrating the theatre’s transformation. The Times’ writer noted that the production had been “much-talked-of” and a “large and fashionable house” had been at the first performance, though the presence of the Prince of Wales at that premiere might also have influenced the number of people who went to see it and the five other performances. Information on the Prince of Wales’ involvement and the number of performances: Times Fri 14 May 1886 p12 in the small ads, Times 5 May 1886 p13.



HENRY’S BOOK AND MAGAZINE ILLUSTRATION WORK was the main source of income for Henry and Henrietta from 1879 until the first World War. I was going to do a file on it but I’ve now (December 2018) found this blog, by Robert J Kirkpatrick, a historian of illustrated magazines and comics:




On 18 August 2018 Kirkpatrick posted an article on Henry Paget. I’m going to make one or two comments here, but in general I don’t think I can do better than to refer interested readers to Kirkpatrick’s blog. It has some illustrations including a portrait of Henry; and there’s a list of all the books he illustrated.


I also thank Kirkpatrick for his references to Henry exhibiting in Dublin and Berlin – I didn’t know he’d exhibited in those two cities.


My additional comments:


Firstly, what seems to be a royal commission: see it at www.rct.uk – the Royal Collection Trust. RCIN 920890 is The Diamond Jubilee: the Queen Reviewing the Yeomen of the Guard 23 June 1897. Drawing, 1897. Signed by Henry.


Secondly, you can see a lot of Henry’s work by going to the main poster websites. Try

- www.allposters.co.uk

- www.art.co.uk

- www.gettyimages.co.uk



The third comment is an art-historical one about Henry’s illustration work, as exemplified by his Lady of Shalott, drawn for an edition of Tennyson’s poems issued by Kegan Paul and Co in 1881. It was shown in an exhibition built around Holman Hunt’s version of the Lady at Brown University in 1985; and seems to have been chosen to act as an example of everything that the Holman Hunt painting was not. The exhibition catalogue described Henry’s Lady as being comprised of “Inelegant and carelessly drawn lines and shading that remains surface pattern”; and said that it wilfully ignored what the poem actually said at the climactic moment when the Lady’s doom comes upon her; the cataloguer thinking this was “carelessness” on Henry’s part, rather than an iconoclastic reading of the poem. The cataloguer did admit that in 1881, Henry was only two years into his life as an illustrator. He noted that when illustrating Edward Arnold’s Phra the Phoenician in 1890, Henry stuck more closely to the text and showed “a more careful, if mechanical, use of line”. However, in general, he damned Henry’s later work with faint praise as “though never brilliant, [he or perhaps it] attained competence”. He thought that Henry had developed a “repertoire of poses and types” for his illustration work, which he varied slightly or added to to fit the context - doing different hair styles and costumes, for example, and making slight variations in “compositional arrangements”. And this brings me on to the fourth of the comments I’d like to make: Henry didn’t really do his illustration work for the love of it; in his reminiscences, W B Yeats recalled how much it bored him.


Source of the harsh comments:

Ladies of Shalott: A Victorian Masterpiece in its Contexts. Exhibition Catalogue 1985 Departmen of Art, Brown University. Published Brown University, Providence RI. Preface by George P Landow. The exhibition ran from 23 February to 23 March 1985 and was built around Holman Hunt’s 1905 version of this most popular choice of subject for artists working in the pre-Raphaelite style. On p136, notes on catalogue number 135: Henry Paget’s Lady of Shalott, published in Charles Kegan Paul and Co’s 1881 edition of The Works of Alfred Tennyson. And for the Henry Blackburn comments below, p136 footnote 2, referring to Blackburn’s The Art of Illustration published in London by W H Allen in 1894 pp219-20.


To be fair to George P Landow, he wrote that even at the time, British book illustration came in for a lot of criticism, for example by Henry Blackburn who accused it of slipshod technique, poor-quality drawing and a lack of individuality and originality.


Henry bored by the work: it depends on Henry being the person mentioned, but not named, in The Autobiography of W B Yeats. I looked at the edition published in New York by Doubleday Anchor Books in 1958. Yeats made the mention in The Trembling of the Veil, written in 1922 – when Henry was still alive; pp78-79 in the 1958 publication. Other details about the life of the anonymous bored illustrator make me fairly comfortable that Yeats meant Henry Paget.



I suppose it was his work as an illustrator that led to Henry being elected a member of the AWG in 1886: the AWG had been founded two years before, in an attempt to break down the barriers between art and the craft. His artist/illustrator brothers also became members – Walter in 1892, Sidney in 1904. The AWG held monthly meetings organised in a way typical for this kind of organisation: someone would give a talk, and then take questions from the audience. In 1895, Henry took John Butler Yeats to a talk at the AWG on the limitations of realism in art. Information from 1913-33 shows Henry taking part in discussions following talks on a range of topics from horse-trappings (in 1915) to ‘the law and the artist’ (1928); though during those years he did not give any talks himself. At a talk on wall decoration in 1927, he described a piece of tapestry work that he had either done himself, or bought for his home.


Sources Art Workers’ Guild:

The Art Workers’ Guild 1884-1934 by Henri Jean Louis Joseph Massé. Published by the AWG 1935. In the list of members p189.

The AWG’s wikipedia page says that the AWG’s founders were all architects who had worked in the architecture practice of Richard Norman Shaw, designer of many of the houses in Bedford Park. I imagine the Pagets knew several of them, and that’s why Henry Paget was able to become a member of AWG so soon. The AWG was a men-only club until the 1960s so Henrietta was never a member. The wikipedia page lists the masters of AWG: Henry was not one of them.

See the list of talks Henry went to at //sculpture.gla.ac.uk: Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951; using the AWG’s Annual Reports but only from 1913.

Prodigal Father Revisited: Artists and Writers in the World of JBY edited by Janis Londraville. In the Locust Hill Literary Studies Series; 34. Published West Cornwall CT: p352, apparently quoting a letter in Letters from Bedford Park: A Selection from the Correspondence (1890-1901) of John Butler Yeats edited by William M Murphy. Published Dublin: Cuala.




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!




22 January 2019



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: