The Guild of Craftsmen – gentlemen and players

Some members of the Guild of Handicrafts were gentlemen, and some players. This is the conclusion which seems to emerge from the Gloucestershire records of the 1909 Lloyd George survey of land values. Volunteers transcribing the records have recently finished Broad Campden and Chipping Campden, and the information below is drawn from this source – Gloucestershire Archives D2428/2/43.

C R Ashbee himself had the resources of a wealthy family behind him when he embarked on the craft experiment. His and his wife’s property in Campden was valued at £3150, and the Guild’s property at another £2660. The house and Craftsmen’s Club was rented from E P Jones Esq. Another gentleman craftsman was Paul Woodroffe, who was living in Westington in 1909. He has been described as a beaky, austere Roman Catholic, and was a glass artist. He owned his valuable house with ½ acre of garden, worth £700, a large amount for a single house at this period, and when also there were few owner occupiers.

Frederick Griggs, illustrator, was less well founded. He was commissioned by Macmillan to illustrate Highways and Byways in Hertfordshire. He fell in love with Campden when he visited in 1903 to prepare drawings for Highways and Byways in Oxford and the Cotswolds (published in 1905). The following year he lodged at the guild hostel, before renting Dover’s House in High Street, where he was in 1909 and indeed until 1930, when he impoverished himself building Dover’s Court. Dover’s House was owned by Henry J Hands. Hands also owned the house in Back Lane occupied in 1909 by Alec Miller, carver and sculptor.

The romantic-sounding Wentworth Huyshe lived at Box Hedge Cottage in Westington, one of the Earl of Gainsborough’s many properties in Campden. So too did Bill Thornton, in a cottage in High Street. Huyshe was a journalist, collector of arms and armour, heraldic artist, and medievalist generally; Thornton was an ornamental iron worker; his business partner, Charley Downer, is not named in 1909, but he purchased a modest house in Park Road, Campden, in 1912, as information added to form 37 after the date of the survey records.

Of course there were other Guildsmen, and supporters of the Campden Guild of Handicraft Trust will be able to add much more.

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About Anthea

At present mainly engaged with Gloucestershire Archives in leading the transcription of the material compiled for the Lloyd George survey of land values for 1909. Many volunteers involved, more welcome! Previously writer of some local history books: Tewkesbury, the Cotswolds, A thousand years of the Engiish Parish, Cheltenham A new history.

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