My Life – Page 39

1965. The Saga of the Middlesex Guildhall and its collections.

 The important Middlesex Guildhall Collection was inherited by the Greater London Council. All the paintings, etc., set out below are the property of Harrow Borough Council and all are on loan to the government body (The Supreme Court) responsible for them

In 1965 Middlesex County Council was abolished. The MCC’s Guildhall in Parliament Square, built in 1906-1913 was transferred to the LCC together with its contents. Thus into the possession of the GLC came the MCC’s collection of paintings, prints and a tapestry which hung in various rooms throughout the building, in particular the Court Rooms and the Justice’s Dining Room together with various badges of office and items of civic silver. The MCC Guildhall was subsequently compulsorily acquired from the  GLC by the Lord Chancellor’s Department for use as a courthouse. The paintings, etc., continued to remain the property of the GLC.  After protracted argument it was agreed that as the GLC had nowhere appropriate to display the paintings they would be loaned to the Lord Chancellor’s Department and would remain on the walls of the Guildhall.

The paintings. The following are the former MCC’s paintings,  which passed to the GLC when the MCC was abolished and passed to Harrow Borough Council when the GLC was abolished and are now on loan to the Lord Chancellor’s Department for display in the Supreme Court which is situated in the former MCC Guildhall.

Sir Baptist Hicks

Sir Baptist Hicks, 1st Viscount Campden (c.1551-1629) attributed to Paul van Somer (1557/8-1621/2). [No.250] The portrait of Sir Baptist, looking very elegant, was hung in Court One.   Hicks was a wealthy mercer, a dealer in textile fabrics, especially silks, velvets, and other fine materials which he imported from Italy and other foreign countries and ran a flourishing business supplying silks and mercery to the court. He had matriculated at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1568 and was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1573.  He was knighted in 1603 shortly after James I succeeded to the throne and was one of the first citizens of London to keep a shop after receiving his knighthood. He purchased the manor of Campden c.1608 and built himself a large mansion near the church. It was burnt to the ground by the Royalists during the Civil War.  He served as a Middlesex Justice during the reigns of James and Charles I and became a Deputy Lieutenant of Middlesex in 1625. Charles I raised him to the peerage as Baron Hicks of Ilmington and Viscount Campden of Campden in 1620.  In 1613 Sir Baptist had built a hall for the Middlesex Justices at Clerkenwell which became known as Hicks Hall, and was the first Middlesex Sessions House.   The site of the Hall had been given to the Magistrates by James I in 1610. The Hall was closed in 1782. Hicks was a Member of Parliament for Tavistock in 1621 and MP for Tewkesbury, 1624, 1625, 1626 and 1628.  Hicks effigy lies in great marble state with is wife’s under a vast canopied tomb in Chipping Campden Church. I understand that the painting is now displayed outside Court Room 3 of The Supreme Court building once the MCC Guildhall.


Charles I (1600-1649) by John Lewis Reilly (c.1825-1922) after Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641). [No.687].  This curiosity dated 1919 was framed in wood taken from the old timbers of Westminster Hall.  The original is in the collection of the Duke of Norfolk, Arundel Castle and is presumed to have been painted in about 1635-1636. The king wears armour and the Garter badge on its gold chain.  The original, shows the king holding a baton in his right hand and his left resting on a helmet.  This work formerly hung for 23 years in the Whitehall Banqueting Hall at the side of the window from which it was thought Charles I had stepped to his execution. In 1895 Queen Victoria had granted the Banqueting Hall to the Royal United Services Institution to use as a museum. How it found its way into the Middlesex County Council’s possession is a mystery. I can find absolutely no information about the artist.



Hugh Percy (1712–1786), Earl of Northumberland, Later 1st Duke of NorthumberlandHugh Percy, later 1st Duke of Northumberland (1712-1788) by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) with its Thomas Chippendale frame. [No.747]. This painting was originally hung in Court 2 in the Middlesex Guildhall. The lower left-hand corner of the portrait contains the following inscription ‘Renowned for Loyalty/ The Friend of Liberty/ Unbounded in Generosity / Patron of the Arts / and Founder of this Hall’.  The Hall referred to was the first Westminster Guildhall which had been given by the Duke to the Justices of the Liberty of Westminster. The building was on the west of King Street which is now no more but which used to run parallel to Parliament Street direct to the Sanctuary. There is a copy of the painting in Alnwick Castle and a replica in the Mansion House, Dublin.  006Northumberland began as a mere Yorkshire baronet, Sir Hugh Smithson.  He married in 1740, Elizabeth Seymour (1716-1776) the daughter of Algernon Seymour, 7th Duke of Somerset and 1st Earl of Northumberland who presented them with Syon House. The Earl having managed to get the Earldom revived, Sir Hugh inherited the Earldom on his death and became 2nd Earl of Northumberland and assumed the name and arms of Percy.  Painted c.1756,  he is seen here wearing peer’s robes with the collar and badge of the Order of the Garter. Northumberland was Member of Parliament (Tory) for Middlesex from 1740-1750, served as a Trustee of the British Museum from 1753-1786, as Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland from 1753-1786, Middlesex from 1762-1786 and Ireland 1763-1765.  Made Lord of the Bedchamber 1753-1763 and Master of the Horse 1778-1780.   Created Vice-Admiral of Northumberland 1755-1786 and North America 1764. After a lifetime of public service George III in 1766 created him 1st Duke of Northumberland. He and his wife set about transforming their three magnificent homes, Northumberland House, London (now demolished), Syon House and Alnwick Castle, employing James Paine, Robert Adam and Capability Brown.

Hugh Percy (1712–1786), 1st Duke of Northumberland

Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland (1712-1788) by Thomas Gainsborough (c.1727-1788) (no.746). This portrait was hung in the Dining Room in the MCC Guildhall. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1783. It is now displayed in the law library of The Supreme Court formerly the Middlesex Guildhall.

Hugh Percy (1742–1817), Lord Warkworth, Later 2nd Duke of Northumberland

Lord Hugh Percy, Lord Warkworth, later 2nd Duke of Northumberland (1742-1817 by Andreas Van Rymsdyk (1754-1786) after the portrait by Pompeo Batoni (1708-1787) in the collection at Alnwick Castle [No.749]. The portrait differs considerably in detail from the Batoni original (Alnwick Castle), the uniform is different and his right arm is on a cannon instead of a plinth. There is also another copy by Rymsdyk at Alnwick Castle.  Eldest son of the 1st Duke of Northumberland, he took the name of Percy in lieu of that of Smithson 12 Apr 1750 by Act of Parliament and entered the Army in 1759. In 1764 he was a Colonel and ADC to the King, became a Major in 1764, a Major-General in 1775, Lieutenant-General in 1777 and General in 1793. Finally he was Colonel of the Royal Horse Guards from 1806-1812.  He was a   Member of Parliament (Tory) for Westminster from 1763 to 1776 and succeeded his mother in 1776 as 3rd Baron Percy.   He was created Lord Lieutenant and Vice Admiral of Northumberland from 1786-1799 and 1802-17. He became 2nd Duke of Northumberland on the death of his father in 1786 and was made a Knight of the Garter in 1788. He was also elected member of the Society of Dilettanti in 1764, became a Fellow of the Society of Arts in 1787 and Fellow of the Royal Society n 1788.   Follow that !

Sir John Fielding

Sir John Fielding (1721-1780) by Nathaniel Hone (1718-1784) [No.751]. The portrait was originally hung in Court 2 of the Middlesex Guildhall. It depicts the blind Sir John in classical robes holding a book inscribed The Law which is crushing a serpent. Fielding was a notable magistrate and social reformer, the younger half-brother of novelist, playwright and chief magistrate Henry Fielding (1707-1754). Sir John was blinded in a navy accident at the age of 19, and in his spare time, studied law with Henry.  He and his brother formed the first professional police force, the Bow Street Runners. Through the regular circulation of a ‘police gazette’ containing descriptions of known criminals, Fielding also established the basis for the first police criminal records department. Allegedly he could recognize three thousand criminals by the sounds of their voices. He helped to found the Asylum for Orphan Girls in Lambeth in 1758 and was knighted in 1761.


Sir John Fielding (1721-1780) by William Dickinson (1747-1823) after William Peters RA (1741/2-1814 [No.684]. A mezzotint (1778) curiously incorporates in the frame, what purports to be Sir John’s original Magistrates’ badge which he is shown holding. This special badge was worn by the Westminster Justices and was originally authorised by King George III in 1765. The Annual Register for that year  states ‘His Most Gracious Majesty George III, gave to the magistrates of the City and Liberty of Westminster permission to distinguish themselves by wearing the arms of Westminster, with the emblems of magistracy on a gold shield fastened to a ribbon handing down the breast’. Fielding is shown as Chairman of the Quarter Sessions for the City of Westminster.   The mezzotint was gifted by J. Marshall Miles who hoped that it would ‘find a permanent home’ on the walls of the Guildhall. Let’s hope it has.

William Manwaring

William Mainwaring MP (1735-1821)  by Gainsborough Dupont (1754-1797) [No.748] The painting originally hung in the Dining Room of the Middlesex Guildhall, it is now displayed in Court Room 3 of The Supreme Court building.   It was exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1793. Mainwaring was MP for Middlesex from 1784-1800, and served as Chairman of the Middlesex and Westminster Quarter Sessions.  He was educated at Merchant Taylors’ School (1744–1752). and entered Lincoln’s Inn in 1754 to study law and was called to the bar in 1759. Gainsborough Dupont was the son of Thomas Gainsborough’s eldest sister Sarah. He was apprenticed to his uncle in Bath in 1772, and moved with him to London. He studied at the Royal Academy Schools, and became Gainsborough’s studio assistant, He exhibited portraits and landscapes at the Royal Academy. This portrait was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1793.

Herbrand Arthur Russell (1858–1940), 11th Duke of Bedford

Herbrand Arthur Russell, 11th Duke of Bedford (1858-1940) by John Collier (1850-1934) [No.696]. The Duke presented in resplendent ducal robes. As Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex, Bedford laid the foundation stone of the Middlesex County Council Guildhall in Parliament Square on 23 May 1912. The maul he used is preserved at Woburn Abbey the home of the Dukes of Bedford. Bedford was the son of the 9th Duke.  He joined the Grenadier Guards in 1879 and served in the Egyptian Campaign of 1882 and in the First World War and was mentioned in despatches. He succeeded to the title in 1893.  One of his great passions was animals and he became president of the Zoological Society in 1899 and indeed held the office for 37 years. He formed a collection of animals at Woburn and saved, for his collection, 021in the year following the Boxer riots, the only surviving specimens of Pere David’s deer, a species unknown to the world but which had formerly been the exclusive property of the Emperor of China.   He was also pre-eminent in the foundation of Whipsnade Zoo and helped to save the last survivors of the European bison which had been about to be exterminated in their natural lands in Lithuania and the Caucasus.  In 1888 he had married at Barrackpore, India, the youngest daughter of the arch-deacon of Lahore, Mary du Caurroy Tribe who was lost at sea in her aeroplane off the East Coast in 1937. He was invested as a Knight of Grace of the Order of St John (KGStJ), as a Fellow of the Society of Arts (FSA) on 14 March 1901, as Knight of the Order of the Garter (KG) on 30 May 1902, as Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 1919, and as a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1908. He was made an honorary Freeman of Holborn in 1931. His grandson, the 13th Duke of Bedford describes his grandfather as “A selfish, forbidding man, with a highly developed sense of public duty and ducal responsibility, he lived a cold, aloof existence, isolated from the outside world by a mass of servants, sycophants and an eleven-mile wall”. There is also a framed print of this painting signed by Collier and Bedford in the Collection [No.696].

Francis Const

Francis Const (1751-1839) by Henry William  Pickersgill RA (1782-1875) [No.698]. Const was a barrister and legal writer. He wrote some dramatic epilogues and prologues and had numerous theatrical acquaintances, including John Kemble, Charles Burney, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan. He also possessed, as a life interest, an eighth share in the Covent Garden Theatre. Const studied law and was called to the bar at the Middle Temple on 7 February 1783. He was chairman of the Middlesex Magistrates and the Westminster Sessions.  He held the latter office  till his death. ‘By extreme parsimony and skilful speculation’ he amassed fortune of £150,000. Pickersgill painted most of the notable persons in society and was the pre-eminent portrait painter of his day. For many years he served at the librarian of the Royal Academy.   In 1885 Mrs Pickersgill had the distinction of being the first person to be legally cremated in the the UK at Working Crematorium.


Francis Const (1751-1839) by Henry William  Pickersgill RA (1782-1875) [No.678].

Arthur Richard Wellesley, 2nd Duke of Wellington, Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex

Arthur Wellesley, 2nd Duke of Wellington (1807-1884) by Ethel Mortlock (c.1878-1928) [No.700]. Wellington was a soldier and politician, the eldest son of the 1st Duke of Wellington. He married Lady Elizabeth Hay, daughter of Field Marshall George Hay, 8th Marquess of Tweedale in 1839. They had no children. As Lord Douro he became an ensign in the 81st Regiment of Foot in 1823 and in the 71st (Highland) Regiment of Foot in 1825, a cornet in the Royal Horse Guards in 1825, a lieutenant in the Royal Horse Guards in 1827, a captain in the Royal Horse Guards in 1828 and in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps the same year, a major in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in 1830 and in the Rifle Brigade in 1831, a lieutenant-colonel on the unattached list in 1834, a brevet colonel in 1846, a lieutenant-colonel in the Victoria (Middlesex) Rifle Volunteer Corps in 1853 and a major-general in 1854.As He was MP for Aldenburgh from 1829-1832, and Norwich 1837. Succeeded his father in 1852 and entered the House of Lords. From 1868 to 1884 he was Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex.  He held the minor political office as Master of the Horse from 1853 to 1858. In 1858 he was made a Knight of the Garter. On succeeding his illustrious father he was said to have remarked: “Imagine what it will be when the Duke of Wellington is announced, and only I walk in the room.” Wellington died at Brighton Railway Station, Sussex, aged 77.  Ethel Mortlock was born in Cambridge and studied under Orchardson. She exhibited at the RA from 1878-1904.   She established herself as a high society portrait painter.

Henry Pownall

John George Henry Pownall (1792-1880) by Eden Upton Eddis (1812-1901) [No…] Pownall was a newspaper proprietor; magistrate and slave abolitionist. In 1828 he founded a national newspaper called The Record. He was strongly anti-Roman Catholic and financially supported Wilberforce in the campaign against slavery. It was Pownall who moved the resolution passed at a public meeting at Freemasons Hall in July 1829, under the presidency of William Wilberforce, demanding that a day should be fixed after which all children born of slaves in the British Dominions should be free.  By 1851 he was Chairman of the Middlesex Quarter Sessions. He took an active part in the management of the Middlesex County lunatic asylum at Hanwell and was an active promoter of improvements in the metropolitan prisons. In 1846 he presented a report from a committee appointed by the county magistrates to enquire into the state of juvenile crime, which led to an act of parliament being obtained in 1854 for the erection of the Middlesex industrial schools at Feltham. He was also instrumental in the formation of the Royal Horticultural Society, South Kensington. At the time of his death he was the senior treasurer of the Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy, having been for upwards of 40 years one of the governors. Eden Upton Eddis, born in London and learnt to draw at a school run by Henry Sass in Bloomsbury he then studied at the Royal Academy Schools in 1828 where he won a silver medal. He toured Europe and then exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1834-1883 having established a successful society practice. In 1883 as he became deaf he moved from London to Guildford in Surrey.

James Brownlow William Cecil, 2nd Marquess of Salisbury

James Brownlow William Cecil, 2nd Marquess of Salisbury (1791-1868) by Eden Upton Eddis (1812-1901) [No.699]. Salisbury is depicted in his uniform as Colonel of the local militia. The painting is dated 1854.  Salisbury was a Conservative politician. In 1852 he was Lord Privy Seal under the Earl of Derby and Lord President of the Council between 1858 and 1859. He was the father of Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury who was three times Prime Minister.  He was made a Knight of the Garter in 1842. Salisbury was short and stocky, autocratic, domineering and a quarrelsome High Tory who believed in rank and privilege.  He gloried in the nickname of The Matador.  He wanted to be a soldier but, as the only son and heir to Hatfield House and its estates, he was sent to the House of Commons instead and on succeeding to the title in 1823 went to the House of Lords and became a Privy Councillor. His energies were mainly expended in the Hatfield district and he laid on regal, lavish entertainments for the local nobility and gentry.  Formal dinners took place in the old Elizabethan Hall to the music of the band of the local militia of which he was the Colonel.  ‘Each lady as she passes into the Dining Room is presented with a handsome bouquet’ stated one visitor to Hatfield.  He married an heiress, the granddaughter of a former Lord Mayor of London, Sir Crisp Gascoyne. She presented him with six children and died. Nine years later at the age of 56 he married the 26 year old daughter of the 5th Earl de la Warr, Lady  Mary Catherine Sackville-West who presented him with five more children. The reason for his portrait being in the Middlesex Guildhall is that he served as Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex between 1841 and 1868.

George Henry Charles Byng, 3rd Earl of Strafford

George Henry Charles Byng, 3rd Earl of Strafford (1830-1898) by Percy Bigland (1858-1926) [No.690]. Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex 1884-1888. From 1852-1857 Byng became MP for Tavistock.  In 1857 he became MP for Middlesex.  He served under Lord Russell as Parliamentary Secretary to the Poor Law Board between 1856 and 1866.  and under Gladstone as Under-Secreatry of State for Foreign Affairs from 1871 to 1874. 1874 he went to the House of Lords and under Gladstone became Lord-in-Waiting in 1880 and Under-Secretary of State for India from 1880-1883. He was also First Civil Service Commissioner from 1880-1888. Throughout his political career, he served with the Middlesex Militia. He was the first President of MCC Cricket Club serving twice between 1866 and 1876 and 1877 and 1898. In 1886 he succeeded his father in the earldom of Strafford. He married the eldest daughter the 1st Earl of Ellesmore in 1854 but they had no children.  Bigland specialised in portraits and was educated at Sidcot in Somerset.  He spent a number of years studying art in Munich and finally settled in Beaconsfield, Berkshire.


Sir Montague Sharpe KC, DL, JP  (1857-1942)  by George Spencer Watson, [No.677].  Deputy Lieutenant for Middesex.  Vice-Chairman and Council Member for Hanwell on the first Middlesex County Council. Sharpe was a Middlesex historian, and wrote Middlesex in Roman and Saxon times, Bygone Hanwell, The Great Ford of the Lower Thames; and Middlesex and the Domesday Book. He was called to the Bar Grays Inn 1889, JP from 1896, Chairman of Middlesex Quarter Sessions from 1909 to 1936 – took silk in 1920. Knighted in 1922. Vice Chairman and Chairman of Middlesex County Council. Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex.  He was also the founder and president of Hanwell Cottage Hospital. Chairman of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Home Office advisor on wild bird protection. Honorary Colonel of the 4th Batallion The Middlesex Regiment. President of London and Middlesex Archaeological Society. As a Freemason, his rank was Past Grand Deacon of the United Grand Lodge of England and was the founder of many Lodges including the Haven Lodge, Horsa Dun Lodge and the Hanwell Lodge. He is buried in Hanwell Cemetery, Ealing.


William Regester, JP (1848-1929) by John Collier [No.693]. Chairman of the Middlesex County Council from 1909-1919 and  Member for Isleworth of the first Middlesex County Council 1889. Regester was born in Hampton, Wick and was educated at  Kingston Grammar School and University College. His recreations in Who’s Who are noted as golf and motoring.


Sir Ralph Daniel Makinson Littler, JP (1835-198) by Beatrice Offer [No.686]. Chairman and Council Member for Wood Green East on the first Middlesex County Council.  He was educated at University College School and University College, London, where he graduated B.A. in 1854. Admitted to the Inner Temple on 14 Nov. 1854, he was called to the bar on 6 June 1857. He was created C.B. in 1890 and was knighted in 1902. From 1889 till his death Littler was chairman of the Middlesex sessions. While anxious to assist the young offender to reform, he gave long sentences even for small offences to the habitual criminal, and his judicial action was often adversely criticised in the press. As a freemason he attained the rank of past deputy grand registrar and past provincial grand senior warden for Middlesex.  His publications include, Practice and Evidence in Divorce Cases, Digest of Cases before Referees in Parliament and The Rights and Duties of Justices.

Ralph Daniel Mackinson Littler, CB, QC, DL

Sir Ralph Daniel Makinson Littler (1835-1908) by Hubert von Herkomer [No.691]. Chairman of the Middlesex Quarter Sessions, Middlesex County Council and the Alexandra Park Trustees. Lieutenant of the City of London.  The portrait was presented to Littler at a banquet held in the Marble Salon of the Charing Cross Hotel on Tuesday evening, November 30th 1897.  It had been subscribed for by ‘Justices of Middlesex and Aldermen and Councillors of the County as a mark of their appreciation of his services during nine years of office as Chairman of the Court of Quarter Sessions’.

Sir James Nicoll McAdam

Sir James Nicoll McAdam  (1786-1852) by unknown artist English School. [No.680]. McAdam was the third son of John Loudon McAdam (1756-1836) of road surface fame and was the General Surveyor of the Metropolitan Turnpike roads in Middlesex. and was appointed a deputy-Lieutenant of Middlesex in 1848. He died at Moffat on 26 November 1836 aged 80.

Portrait of a Town Clerk

Unknown Town Clerk by Herbert William Piper (1846-1921) [No.714]

Sir William Bodkin

Sir William Henry Bodkin (1791-1874) by John Prescott Knight (1803-1881). Bodkin was a barrister and Conservative Party politician who was an MP from 1841 to 1847, before becoming a judge. He was educated at the Islington Academy and was called to the bar in1826 at Gray’s Inn. He took mostly criminal cases at the Middlesex, Westminser and Kent Sessions and in the Old Bailey.   He became MP for Rochester in 1841 but was defeated in 1847. Knighted in 1867.  He became a Justice of the Peace in Middlesex and a Deputy Lieutenant of Middlesex and judge of he Court of Sessions in Middlesex. He became vice-president of the Society of Arts and sadly died of a long and painful illness.

Sir Gilfred Craig, DL, JP, Chairman of Middlesex County Council (1940–1943)

Sir Gilfred Gordon Craig, DL, JP (1871-1953) by Harold Knight (1874-1961) [No.681].  Sheriff of Middlesex, 1940; Chairman of Middlesex County Council, 1940-1943. A solicitor by profession. Educated at Bedford School. Lived at The Grange, Hillingdon, Uxbridge.

Portrait of a Cleric, Aged 87

Unknown Cleric aged 87 (1741) by English School (no.679)

Sir Thomas Forster, KG, Chairman of Middlesex Court of Quarter Sessions (1934–1936)

Sir Thomas Forster KG (1859-1939) by Thomas Cantrell Dugdale (1880-1954) [No.692]. Chairman of the Middlesex Court of Quarter Sessions from 1934-1936. Chairman of Chiswick Conservative Association for nineteen years; took much interest in social and philanthrophic work, and is President of Chiswick Scouts Association, Philanthropic Society, Allotment Holders Association, Social Games Tournament, and Chairman of War Memorial Homes Trustees; also President of Bedford Park Club, Amateur Dramatic Club and Lawn Tennis Club. Rendered much political and public services in Middlesex.

Sir Howard Button, Chairman of Middlesex County Council (1933–1936)

Sir Howard Stransom Button (1873-1943) by Margaret Lindsay Williams (d.1960) [No.753]. He was Chairman of the Middlesex County Council from 1933-1936 and High Sheriff of Middlesex in 1937. As a solicitor he was a specialist in the field of insolvency. Alderman of the City of London for Ward of Tower; one of HM’s Lieutenants and Commissioner of Assize, City of London; DL, JP County Middlesex; Alderman Middlesex County Council; Chairman Central Valuation Committee; Member Cinematograph Advisory Committee; Honorary Colonel of the  61st (Middlesex) AA Regt, RA; Military Member Middlesex Territorial Army and Air Force Association and Chairman Buildings Committee; General Commissioner Income Tax; Freeman of City of London; Member Court of Assistants, Guild of Freemen, Renter Warden Worshipful Company of Gardeners; Member of Court Worshipful Companies of Bakers, Broderers and Paviors; Vice-President, United Wards Club and President, City Livery Club; President, National Fire Brigades Association (South Midland District); Member Governing Body, University College School; Chairman Alfred Button & Sons, Ltd; Warden for Middlesex King George’s Jubilee Trust; Member King George’s National Memorial Fund Committee and King George’s Fields Foundation; Member, London Court of Arbitration; Officer of Order of St John of Jerusalem; Life Member, Royal Society of St George. Margaret Williams was born in Cardiff and studied at th Pelham Street School of Painting in Kensington and the Royal Academy Schools.   She specialised in presentation portraits, lived for many years in Glamorganshire and finally settled in London.

Colonel Sir Francis Brockman Morley, KCB, Chairman of the Middlesex County Sessions

Colonel Sir Francis Brockman Morley by John Collier (1850-1934) [No.697]. Chairman of the Middlesex Quarter Sessions.  He was also an Exon of the Yeoman of the Guard 1869 and is shown above wearing the uniform and holding his baton of office. He was formerly a Captain in the 40th Regiment of Foot and Colonel of the 3rd Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment . Sir Francis served under Sir Charles Napier during the operations in Scinde/Sindh in 1842. Served with the   40th Regt. in the Gwalior campaign, and was present at the battle of Maharajpore, 29th Dec. 1843 (Bronze Star). The Sindh campaign took place in India between 1842-1843. Napier was sent to Sindh for the purpose of quelling the Muslim rulers of the region, who had made various hostile demonstrations against the British government after the termination of the First Anglo-Afgan War, conducting frequent raids on British convoys travelling between India and Afghanistan. His campaign against these chieftains resulted, after the victories of Miani and Hyderabad, in the complete subjugation of the province of Sindh, and its annexation to eastern dominions. The Gwalior Campaign was fought between British and Marathan forces in Gwalior in India, December 1843. The result of the battle of Maharajpore on 29 December 1843 was the defeat by the British of the Marathans with 797 men killed, wounded or missing. The Marathans were estimated to have lost 3000 to 4000 men.After the defeat of the Marathan forces the British disbanded their army and established a force in the state that the government of Gwalior maintained. A British governor was appointed at Gwalior fort and the British soldiers, like Sir Francis, who participated in the campaign were awarded a medal.

Image result for george III tapestry supreme court London

Tapestry of the Coat of Arms of George III by T. Corsham [No.752]. This tapestry hung in Court 2 of the Guildhall. Date c.1760, it is now in the Librarian’s Office, of the Supreme Court.  The tapestry shows the Coat-of-arms and Cypher of George III, with Roman symbols and badges of the United Kingdom. Apparently this particular version of the coat-of-arms was in use by George III from 1714-1801.


George III mahogany bracket clock by Charles Gabrier, London. [No.754]. This clock turned up in one of the rooms and I was asked to add it to the Heritage Collection.


Bust of King Edward VII (1841-1910) by Percy Bryant Baker (1881–1970) better known as Bryant Baker, was a British-born American sculptor. He sculpted a number of busts of famous Americans (including five presidents). In 1910, Queen Alexandra commissioned him to create a bust of Edward VII. In 1910, approximately £4,500 was collected by public subscription to provide a memorial in the county of Middlesex to King Edward VII. A general committee of subscribers resolved that a bust of the late king should be erected in a suitable place (formerly in the entrance hall of Middlesex Guildhall,  and that the remaining funds should be used to provide seaside or country holidays for needy Middlesex children.  I understand that the bust had now been moved to another position in the Supreme Court/Guildhall.

Chairman and Conveners of the County Councils at Buckingham Palace, June 23, 1897. This painting is reproduced on p.82 of Middlesex, the Jubilee of the County Council 1889-1939 by S.W.Radcliffe.  It is stated as being From the original at Middlesex Guildhall.  I could not find it in the Guildhall and no one could remember seeing it. I suspect it is extremely large. Not the sort of painting to lose very easily. But where is it?

Middlesex County Council Badges of Office.  In 1965 the three badges of office of the MCC were handed over to the Chairman of the GLC to keep with his badge of office.


Badge of Office of the Chairman of the Middlesex County Council, Mappin & Webb [No.300). The badge was made of gold and enamel and embellished with two garnets (?). The badge is inscribed on the reverse ‘Presented to the County Council by the Aldermen and Councillors for use by the Chairman.  February 1933’.


Badge of Office of the Middlesex County Council Chairman’s wife [No.301]. Inscribed on the reverse ‘Forrester Clayton Chairman 1937-1938. Silver mark W&M.


Badge of Office of the Middlesex County Council Chairman’s Wife by Toye and Co. [No.302]. Inscribed on the back ‘Chairman’s Lady’s Badge of Office presented by County Alderman T.H.Joyce, 29th April 1959.

The Middlesex Magistrates Strong Box. Apart from the paintings, there also existed a black strongbox which was kept by the Magistrates containing various pieces of silver and gilt which they displayed at banquets in the Middlesex Guildhall. A behind-the-scenes dispute as to the ownership of these pieces raged for a number of years first between the Magistrates and the Greater London Council and then between the Magistrates and the London Residuary Body. They remained in the box out of reach of both the GLC and the LRB apart from one excursion when I was allowed to catalogue and photograph them for the Heritage Collection.


Gilt Middlesex Justices Badge [No.663]


Framed Middlesex Justices Badge [No.688]


Framed Badge of the High Sheriffs of the County of Middlesex [No.689]. Label in frame inscribed ‘The Badge of the High Sheriffs / of the County of Middlesex / Last worn by Mr F. J. C. Ingram JP (1864) / And Presented by the Shrievalty To / The Justice of the Court of /  Quarter Sessions for the / Middlesex Area of Greater London / 3rd January 1868’



A Pair of Silver Chalices and Lids.1907 [No.665].   Engraved as having been presented by Sir Montagu Sharpe in 1927. Silver mark SH, London 1907.



Two Silver Rose Bowls with Fluted Designs [Nos 666 and 667]. Presented by Sir Montagu Sharp in 1927. Silver mark, Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company, London 1908 and Silver mark JBC 1892. Inscribed ‘1927  / Presented to the Justices of Middlesex by the survivors of the Middlesex Justices’ Dining Club / Sir Montagu Sharpe KG Chairman’.


A Silver Cigar Box [No.668]. Inscribed ‘1928 / Presented to the Juctices of Middlesex / by the Survivors of the  / Middlesex Justices’ Dining Club / Sir Montagu Sharpe KG Chairman’. Silver mark JH 1919.


A Snuff Horn with silver mounts [No.669]. Presented in 1897 by R. Loveland, Deputy Chairman of the Middlesex Magistrates (1880-1896) Silver mark MS London 1867.

A Silver Matchbox [No.673]. Presented in 1907 by Sir Francis Cory-Wright. Silver mark Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company, London 1906.

017     017

The Middlesex Guildhall Silver Mace. [No.675].  Engraved with the Middlesex Triple Swords and Crown.


Coronation Silver-gilt Loving Cup and Cover.[No.664] Purchased by the Magistrates to commemorate the Coronation of George IV by those ‘Magistrates assembled at the Sessions House to witness the Procession on the 19th July 1821’. Silver mark IH, London 1805.





Three Framed Maritime Court Documents. [No.694]. I removed to safety three framed illuminated documents which hung in the hallway of the Guildhall.  These were in a vulnerable position and in a sorry state, having slightly slipped from the backs of their frames  and been hastily stuck back with sellotape.  These large handsome historic documents, designed and prepared by A.S.Bartholomew commemorated the authorisation by the Allied and Associated Foreign Powers during the Second World War, to set up foreign courts, with foreign judges, to deal with maritime and military offences committed by foreign nationals. These unique courts were held in the Guildhall during the period 1941-1945. The three large parchments have magnificently painted coats-of-arms, entwined roses and other heraldic devices.  The also contain the signatures of King George VI, Winston Churchill, the Prime Ministers of the Netherlands, Poland, Norway and Belgium, King George II of Greece and the Greek Ambassador.  These three documents were unveiled at the Guildhall by Lord Chancellor Jowitt. They were hung again in the entrance hall of the Middlesex Guildhall.

1982. Part of the Collection is moved to Kenwood.  In December 1982 the Greater London Council was informed that the Guildhall was to be refurbished and major works carried out to the interior.  No responsibility was to be accepted by the Government for the more important paintings and the tapestry during the works to the building which were to commence in January, and the Council had no alternative but to arrange for their hasty removal to a place of safety.  I happened to be one of the people dealing with the problem of the future housing of the collection and was assigned the task of arranging for its removal as soon as possible.  I turned to John Jacob the curator of Kenwood House (which was then owned by the GLC), to ask whether he could give refuge to the cream of the collection.  Jacobs eventually agreed and thus on a cold sunny 4th of January 1983, the Gainsborough, Van Somer, Gainsborough Dupont, Van Rymsdyk and the Gabrier clock were removed without incident into storage at Kenwood together with a portrait of Sir Howard Button by Margaret Lindsay Williams [No.753] which had been found abandoned in a storeroom.   The Reynolds and the tapestry had to be removed with special equipment a few days later on 25 and 27 January in view of their great size and fragility, particularly the Reynolds portrait frame, which was falling to pieces with every breath. Both items were stored at Kenwood.  I think the Reynolds was displayed for some time in the Kenwood Orangery but like the tapestry spent most of its time in the old stable block.

1983. Remainder of the Collection is moved to Clerkenwell. The Government Department responsible for the Guildhall refurbishment then said that the remainder of the Collection was to be removed in haste. I arranged for the removal of the remainder of the Collection on a cold misty 8th February 1983 from a now deserted Guildhall.  I had previously made frantic calls to various departments of the Council to find suitable, dry and secure accommodation and, having been unsuccessful, had turned to the GLC’s chief archivist, Joan Coburn, very strange lady, who, together with her staff had, a short time previously,  transferred with incredible speed and efficiency, the Council’s vast library and records to the new premises of the Greater London Record Office in Clerkenwell. Coburn came to the rescue by offering a store space under a staircase in the basement at Clerkenwell and so to the basement went the remainder of the Collection including the three framed Maritime illuminated documents [No.694]. The paintings having been banished to the depths of the Clerkenwell cellars where they occupied a humble space under a staircase appeared to have found a sad home and who was to say what was to become of them. Certainly the Government department responsible for the refurbishment of the Middlesex Guildhall had no plans for their return. However their adventures were not over. Little did I or my weighty charges realise we would meet again and that they had a great deal more travelling in store.

1985. The Middlesex Guildhall Collection is taken to County Hall. On the 28 October 1985 I was sent to Clerkenwell to collect the Middlesex paintings from storage. And so the 2nd Duke of Wellington and his companions set off for County Hall.  On arrival all were either carried up the side stairs or went by goods lift to the first floor and their destination, the rooms in which I was working cataloguing the Heritage Collection. I say all but there was one exception, the 11th Duke of Bedford, whose size and no doubt stature, prohibited such back-door goings-on. The only way he could enter County Hall was by the front door and up the great staircase.   So a path through the crowded County Hall courtyard was cleared for the removal van and up the Duke came in a flurry of crimson robes and gilded wood to join the rest of his companions from the Guildhall and meet up with a large assemblage of Chairman of the LCC and GLC who were now stacked in rows around the walls of the offices in which I now worked cataloguing the collection.

The GLC is abolished on 31 March 1986.   The Middlesex Guildhall Collection was now vested in the London Residuary Body whose personnel were none to happy to take on the responsibility for the GLC Heritage Collection and the Middlesex Guildhall Collection. It was made quite clear to me that responsibility for the future of the Collection was now out of my hands and frankly as far as the LRB was concerned the sooner the Collection could be disposed of the better and they then pondered on how this was to be achieved.   The full story as to the fate of the GLC’s pictures, etc., can be found in the GLC story on other pages

1987.  The future of the Guildhall Collection. 1. The Lord Chancellor’s Department, now responsible for the Middlesex Guildhall, having carried out their works to the building suddenly realised that the walls were bare and hastily wrote on 17 March 1987 that they would like the Middlesex Guildhall Collection returned and though they could not, for legal reasons, accept ownership of the Collection they would like them to be loaned by the LRB pending a final decision as to future ownership.  On 29 June 1987 the Board agreed to loan the Middlesex Guildhall Collection to the Lord Chancellor’s Department pending a future decision on eventual legal transfer.    Before returning the collection to the walls of the Guildhall, the LRB considered that the paintings needed cleaning.  Also the Herkomer required to be repaired (the canvas had been torn prior to removal from the Guildhall).   A study of the condition of the paintings was carried out by Area Museums Service for South Eastern England in July 1988 and an extensive programme of professional cleaning, repair and treatment was undertaken.  The Reynolds’ frame was found to be falling apart and would be dangerous to hang.  All the paintings and the tapestry  from the Middlesex Collection which had been kept at Kenwood were collected, including the Reynolds and its frame and taken to County Hall. The Reynolds frame was too big for the room allocated to it as a temporary workshop and was hauled off to an empty GLC bus garage now owned by the LRB and there it lay in solitary splendour, in the centre of this vast sordid space while the conservators strengthened it and make it safe for hanging. The perfect opportunity to restore it to its original glory was lost as the cost of so doing would have been prohibitive and not within the remit of the powers of the LRB.

The future of the Guildhall Collection. 2. As the Middlesex Guildhall Collection was held on trust, considerable difficulty was encountered in looking for an appropriate body to administer it.  The City of London who had by now accepted the transfer of all the GLC paintings and sculptures, said they would take it on then reconsidered when they realised the expensive responsibilities that would come with the collection plus the fact that the paintings had to remain on the walls of the Middlesex Guildhall and would not form part of the City’s permanent collection. The Lord Chancellor’s Department was unable for various legal and other reasons to take on the trust.  And then, for some reason which no one fully explained other than that the borough, which was an ex-Middlesex borough with a keen interest in Middlesex memorabilia, the trust was offered by the LRB to Harrow Borough Council who accepted it on the understanding that any necessary conservation work would be carried out and paid for by the LRB.   As this was already in train, there seemed to be no problem to Harrow having trusteeship of the MCC Collection.

The future of the Guildhall Collection. 3. The Tapestry. Before the trapestry could be rehung the LRB commissioned a report on its condition from the Textile Conservation Centre, Hampton Court.  The report indicated that extensive cleaning and restoration work would be necessary to make the tapestry safe.  In view of its great historic worth and value (£60,000 in 1989) the LRB decided that it would arrange for its restoration as it was clear that if it was hung in its present condition, it would tear under its own weight.   So off the tapestry set for Castle Howard, in Yorkshire, to be restored.

The future of the Guildhall Collection. 4. The newly refurbished Middlesex Guildhall was officially opened as a Courthouse on 5 April 1989, by which time all the paintings, minus the years of grime, were back in their positions on the walls.

The future of the Guildhall Collection. 5. Under the London Residuary Body (Transfer of Property etc.) Order 1990, Article 10(1-4), Chris Patten, the Secretary of State for the Environment, transferred, as from 30 March 1990, to Harrow Borough Council, the whole of the Middlesex Guildhall Collection, including the Magistrates’ silver. Under the terms of the Order, £34,000 was to be paid to Harrow by the LRB to be applied by them for defraying expenditure in connection with the display, security, repair and maintenance of the collection. The cost of conservation of the tapestry by the Castle Howard Conservation Centre was,  however, to be deducted from the sum. Why Harrow was prepared to accept such a paltry sum beggars belief. They would have been left with small change after picking up the tapestry conservation bill.   It was understood that Harrow would allow the collection to remain on the walls of the Middlesex Guildhall and that public access to view the collection would be allowed.

PS. The whole of the interior of the Guildhall appears to have been scraped clean in its new guise as the Supreme Court. All the magnificent carvings designed and executed by Henry Percy Fehr (1867-1940) which includes portraits of Kings and Queens of England on bench ends and a great variety of delightfully carved beasts and birds in the Council Chamber seemed to have been preserved in one way or another, so I am assured.     However, it is good to see all the paintings on the walls again augmented with items from the Government Art Collection and clearly full public access is allowed to them.


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