Hornby Family Photograph Album

[HORNBY, Charles St John] / [ASHENDENE PRESS]

[ASHENDENE PRESS] Hornby Family Photograph Album

1888.

Original photograph album. 4to (265x205mm). Bound in contemporary half leather over black cloth boards. 117 photographs in all. Albumen prints, mostly 105x155mm, but some smaller. The photographs are captioned by Geraldine Mary Stuart Hornby, who took thirty of the photographs, with occasional notes added later by Catherine Gwendoline Hornby. The remaining photographs were mainly taken by Helen Monica Prescot, godmother to Catherine Gwendoline Hornby; seventy-five photographs are credited to her. A lengthy newspaper cutting reporting the marriage of St John Hornby to Cecilia Barclay is loosely laid in, detailing the events of the day and the gifts given. The binding of the album a little worn, with the front hinge cracked, but holding. The condition of the photographs themselves is generally very good, with the albumen prints producing a good level of clarity. A couple of the earlier photographs more faded.

An intimate family record of Hornby family life immediately before and after their move to Ashendene, Bayford, where St John Hornby would later establish the Ashendene Press.
The album begins with photographs of Ebrington, where the patriarch, Charles Edward Hornby, was vicar between 1967 and 1892. There are pictures of the town, church and vicarage, but the majority of the photographs are family portraits, either as individual or in groups of varying sizes. This includes a portrait of St John Hornby, with the family dogs Scamp and Scratch, that was taken in 1889.
These early pictures also include still taken of the amateur theatrical performances the family would host, and that the Ashendene Press would later print cast lists for. There is, for example, a pair of tableaus featuring Catherine Gwendoline Hornby acting "Despair", and William Meysey Hornby acting "Remorse" from the ballad 'On The Banks Of Allan Water'. The interest in the theatre is also represented by a photographic record of an 1891 visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, with images taken of The Globe Theatre, Ely Street and four separate shots of Lord Gower's recently completed Shakespeare Memorial Monument, that was unveiled in 1883. The photographs show the statues in their original location of the gardens south of the theatre; they were later moved to their current position in Bancroft Gardens in 1933, with their composition altered.
The family interest is sports is well-represented also. A group photograph taken apparently outside the Ebrington Vicarage shows St John Hornby and an array of family members preparing for a game of cricket. Tennis and hockey are also represented at both Ebrington and Ashendene. In 1895, St John Hornby would print a small tribute to the Bayford Hockey Club for whom his sisters, cousins and close family friends played.
The Hornby family moved to Ashendene in Bayford in late 1892, when Charles Edward Hornby became Vicar of Hertfordshire parish. Several photographs taken at Ebrington in October 1892 mark their departure from the Cotswolds, and there are a couple of photographs later in the album that can definitely be said to have been taken outside and inside Ashendene.

PROVENANCE: Catherine Gwendoline Hornby (1871-1956), sister of Charles St. John Hornby, founder of the Ashendene Press; thence by descent.

Stock ID: 41542

£950.00

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