I recently received an email in response to the previous Blogg. Michael Brandon-Jones a grandson of Agatha Hall has written a short account which I include here unedited.
On the far left the picture over the fireplace is a portrait of George Webb Hall (1765-1824) .
3 x 2½ inches copper-plate etching ‘Hanham Hall’ written in pencil.
My grandmother Agatha Catherine Shore (1878-1950) was a student at the Slade School of Art from 1898 to 1901. She exhibited at the New English Art Club and the Society of Women Artists. Her painting of a scene from Romeo and Juliet was included in the exhibition of British Art at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1914. A few of her portrait paintings are now at St John’s College, Cambridge where her husband Lewis Erle Shore (1863-1944) was a lecturer in physiology. She was the secretary of the Cambridge Drawing Society from 1922 to 1946. Agatha and Lewis were married on 5th December 1908. They had one son, Thomas Leonard Hall Shore (1909-1980), and one daughter, my mother Anna Juliet Shore (1912-2003). Agatha died on 20th April 1950 while on a drawing and painting holiday in Paris.
I would be very interested to see a large photograph of the painting of Hanham Hall that you think is possibly by Agatha Shore. If she has signed the painting or written anything on the back of the frame I may be able to identify her hand-writing.
Robert Gresley Hall was the third son of John Robert Hall and Lucy Tilden. He was a Commercial Trader in the City of London, and Deputy Lieutenant for Tower Hamlets. He had his own business, R. G. Hall & Co., wharfingers, at St John’s Wharf, Wapping, where he traded in a variety of commodities, including tea and coffee. He rented a bonded warehouse at King Henry’s Wharf and another at Anchor Mills. In 1883 he was presented with the Freedom of the City of London, and from 1884-1922 he represented Tower Ward on the Court of Common Council. He served on several committees: Law and City Courts Committee; Library Committee; Port of London Sanitary Committee. In 1898 he was elected chairman of the Streets Committee of the Commissioners of Sewers of the City of London.
In 1889 Catherine Victoria Hall and her two friends Eliza Phillips and Margaretta Smith founded a society, now almost completely forgotten, called the ‘Fur, Fin and Feather Folk’. This animal and bird welfare group joined a growing national campaign in England against the use of feathers to adorn ladies hats and dresses. At the same time, in 1889, the Manchester based ‘Plumage League’ founded by Emily Williamson changed their name to the Society for the Protection of Birds (SPB) and launched a campaign to persuade ‘women of all ranks to unite in discouraging the enormous destruction of bird life for purely decorous purposes’. In 1891 the ‘Fur and Feather’ society merged with the SPB, now known as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). In the pages of the RSPB journal ‘Bird Notes and News’ there is a record of Catherine Hall’s valuable contribution to the society.
‘Well known to a large circle of animal-lovers for her interest and sympathy on behalf of the animal creation, Miss Catherine Victoria Hall was closely identified for many years with the work of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds; and her death at Highfield, Hythe on September 14th 1924, removes a gentle and kindly personality held in affectionate regard by all her fellow workers. Though she had reached the age of 86 she remained youthful in spirit to the last. In the first Report issued by the Society, Miss Hall, then of Lancaster Gate, appears as Treasurer, an office she undertook when the first officers were elected in 1891 and held until 1895’.
There is very little that I can add to your excellent piece about the Halls at Hanham Hall. If you have any questions about the family do let me know. Apart from the information shown in the Census Returns I am not sure of the precise date when Robert Gresley Hall first went to live at Hanham or when he left Hanham Hall and took up residence at Upton House, Bitton.
Do you recognise anything in this photograph? It could be a room at Hanham Hall.
Michael Brandon-Jones November 2020
Thank you Michael for this information that I'm sure our members and the general public will find to be of great interest.