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Meeting Report - March 2019

There were 48 members present at the meeting of the Romsley and Hunnington History Society held on Tuesday 26th March. The speaker for the evening was Richard Simpson who gave a talk on, The Life and Works of Edward Burne-Jones.

Edward was born in Birmingham in 1833. His father was a mirror maker but sadly his mother died a few days after his birth. He went to King Edward's School, Birmingham. He loved reading and art but generally hated the rest of his school life. He went to Exeter College Oxford where he met William Morris and became involved with the Arts and Crafts movement known as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, another member, had a great influence on Burne-Jones, who became an artist whose romantic pictures were full of imaginative detail.

He married Georgiana MacDonald in 1860 but he also had a mistress, his model, Marcia Zambaco. He became an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1855. He designed tapestry and became well known as a designer of stained glass windows, many of which can be seen in St. Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham. There is also a window in St. Kenelm's Church, said to be of the style of Burne–Jones.

He was one of the most well-known artists of the 19th century and many of his works are proudly displayed in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. He was made a Baronet in 1894, due to the influence of William Gladstone. He died in 1898. Richard Simpson illustrated his interesting talk with slides.

The Society's Annual Dinner will be held at Blakedown Golf Club on Friday June 7th. The next meeting of the History Society will be on Tuesday 23rd April at 7.30pm, in the Church Hall, when Mary Bodfish will give a talk on, "The Early Years of Soho." Everyone is welcome.

Pat Evans

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