Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Robert Polhill Bevan

Silvanus and Ann's family ancestry can be traced back to Jenkins Bevan and his wife Elizabeth After who married at St Mary's Church, Rhossili c1620. And so can founding member of the Camden Town Group of artists Robert Polhill Bevan.

Silvanus and Ann descend from Jenkins' son Francis Bevan who remained in Gower farming, albeit prosperously. Robert's ancestor was Francis' brother William Bevan who moved to Swansea where he refused to pay church rates and tithes and was imprisoned for two years for his Quaker beliefs.

From this line comes the descent of some very entrepreneurial Bevan family members including Silvanus, founder of the Plough Court Pharmacy. Robert Polhill Bevan's great great grandfather Timothy was partner and brother of Silvanus and it is Timothy who connects the Bevan family to new business opportunities with his two influential marriages. The first one was to Elizabeth, daughter of linendraper and banker David Barclay by whom he had three surviving children, Silvanus, Timothy and Priscilla. His second marriage was to Hannah Gurney, daughter of the philanthropic Gurney Quaker family from Norwich of whom the prison reformer Elizabeth Fry nee Gurney was a descendant.

Born in Hove on August 5, 1865 Robert Polhill Bevan was the son of Richard Alexander Bevan and Laura Maria Polhill. He studied art at the Westminster School of Art, later moving to the Academie Julian in Paris.

Described as a modest man, many of his works were unsold at the time of his death in 1925 and remained in the possession of his family. In 1961 his son and daughter presented a number of his paintings, drawings and lithographs and 27 of his sketchbooks to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

Patrick Baty, British historical paint consultant, is Robert's great grandson.

A Small Southdown Farm

A Sale at Tattersalls

Back of the Granary, Poland.

Patrick Baty

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