2 June 2008

John James Britton (1832–1913) at Halford, 1912, and a Back View of the House by Elizabeth Hilda Dorothy Britton (1889–1966)

The photo above is a rare picture of the poet, journalist and solicitor John James Britton, the father of Richard Britton and the paternal grandfather of the working-class writer Lionel Britton. In various posts below, I have mentioned more things about John James Britton and his family, so I leave a comment on the above from a recent email I received from Robert Hughes, a great-nephew of Lionel's:

'I don't know whether this shot was actually taken by Cyril [Britton, Lionel's brother], although it was in his collection. I could hardly make out the figure of J[ohn] J[ames] at all in the original, but scanned by Jane [Matthews, Dorothy Goodbun's daughter] it has come up extremely well [...]. [T]he house is clearly the same house as in the postcard from the Stratford records office, showing the front elevation rather than the rear elevation. The chimneys and roof line are distinctive, and the beads in the windows are clearly the same, as is the shape of the windows themselves.'

Many thanks to those mentioned above for making possible the publication of this photo.

The above sketch is a representation of the back garden of The Yews (or Maryland), Halford, Warwickshire, drawn in 1913 by Elizabeth Hilda Dorothy Britton, the year of John James Britton's death. The Longfellow poem is form 'The Open Window'.

Many thanks to Paul Eyres Britton and Robert Hughes for making possible the publication of this image.

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