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Sir Edwin Lutyens, architect (1869 - 1944)

Extract from biography "Edwin Lutyens" by his daughter, Mary Lutyens (Publ. by John Murray, 1980?), p16:

"A Thursley neighbour, Randolph Caldecott, whose illustrations for children's books, with their farms, cottages and country ruins, were still extremely popular throughout my childhood, is said to have inspired Ned to turn his creative gift to architecture.  I believe it is far more likely that he had to become an architect - one cannot think of any other art at which he would have excelled.  It was the natural outcome of his talents for mathematics, drawing and observation, combined with his extraordinary visual memory."

Lutyens' father, Captain Charles Lutyens (b. 1829), left the Army to become a painter.  He exhibited at the Royal Academy for 41 years but was never elected R.A.  He helped Landseer (see below) on the design of the lions in Trafalgar Square, London.  He specialised in painting horses, including 12 or more Derby winners.

Edwin Landseer was Edwin Lutyens' godfather.  He loved Georgiana, Duchess of Bedford, and therefore did not marry.  Mother* would not allow Landseer to adopt Edwin.  By 1869 Landseer was an alcoholic, and he died 4 years later.

In 1876, Charles Lutyens bought "The Cottage" on the Common at Thursley in West Surrey, England.  (By the 1980's, this had been renamed "Street House".)  This was near Randolph Caldecott's last home, Broomfield, Frensham, Farnham, Surrey, which is in a nearby village.


*: Whose mother? Lutyens's, or Landseer's?  Presumably the former.  But why was adoption even considered?  Our late researcher's notes don't explain.  [KA, June 2002.]

Source of this research: our late President, John Victor Caldecott Anthony (died 2001), circa 1985.

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