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Henry Blackburn was Randolph Caldecott's publisher and a close friend.

Gwen Reichert, of the Randolph Caldecott Soc USA, received a response from a query submitted to the Buckinghamshire County Council by Mr. G. S. Caldecott of Newbury, Berkshire, dated 31 May 2002, concerning Henry Blackburn's Cottage in Farnham Royal, Surrey, England.

"Dear Mr. Caldecott,

Thank you for your letter of 24th May relating to Henry Blackburn's cottage in Farnham Royal.

I have checked out indexes of personal names and found that we hold several letters relating to Randolph Caldecott and his works (Ref: D 162/1/3/1). These letters are part of the collection of a local historian, Mr. E. Basden of Farnham Royal. One of the letters, written by Basden to the Oxford University Press in 1957, refers to Caldecott's stay at
'Henry Blackburn's house (now called "The Rest") during the summer of 1872-4'.

The letter goes on to say that

'The Rest was later occupied by the Hills, of whom a daughter Cecilia Hill (Mrs. Picton) was a writer & playwright. Just round the corner from The Rest lived Barry Pain for a few years.'

The 1957 electoral register lists the following at The Rest, Farnham Royal:

Nellie Bolton

Edna F. Fox

Laurie F. Fox

No further information on its location is given although it is clear that it is in Farnham Royal proper and not at Farnham Common. There were also properties called Rest Cottage and Rest Lodge. The house is listed again in 1958 but by 1959 there is no reference to The Rest nor to Rest Cottage, although The Rest Lodge is still listed. By 1965, this too has disappeared from the list. I also checked the electoral register for 1999, but found no property listed as The Rest. Unfortunately, it is not possible to say whether the house was renamed or demolished.

I also checked (but did not find any entry for the names Blackburn or Caldecott):

1871 census for Farnham Royal

1871-1873 electoral registers (although it should be remembered that not everyone had the vote in those days)

1871 List of Landowners (includes major landowners only)

Kelly's Directory, 1869

 I hope this information will be of some assistance. I regret that we are unable to offer a research service but I enclose a list of independent record searchers should you wish to try to pursue this matter further.

Yours sincerely,
Mrs. S. M. Baxter
Assistant Archivist"


Gerry stated in his enclosed letter that he had contacted a Mrs. Tippings of Farnham, who is an authority on the area, who told him: 
"The cottage was pulled down in 1958 to make way for a new road." (Sad.)

He stated that Mrs. Tippings was interested to know that R. C. had made a drawing of the cottage.

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