Two large photograph albums containing more than 400 photographs from a prominent sporting family in Edwardian and Interwar Britain. Members of the family played cricket and polo, raised horses, participated in fox hunting and steeplechase events, and visited the estates of similarly inclined members of their class. Major Pascoe William Grenfell Stuart (1868-1954) had a career on the stage as a singer and actor before becoming secretary to the governor of the Windward Islands, and from 1896-1901 aide-de-camp to the governor of Queensland. During World War I, he was a major in the Remounts, a division of the Royal Army Service Corps that procured horses and mules. He added "French" to his surname in 1917, in order to inherit his maternal uncle's estate at Marino. He and his wife Elizabeth had two children: Margaret Granville Wandooline Stuart (1896-1950) (called Wanda, married name Wilson) and Lt. Col. Robert Fitzroy Hamilton Pascoe Stuart-French (1903-1983). The family originally lived in Woolrich, Kent (Westcombe House), later at the French family home in Marino, Cobh, Cork County, Ireland. The first album begins with the return of Stuart, with his wife and daughter, from his post in Australia to England (including stops in Hong Kong; the Philippines; Japan; Esquimault, BC, Canada) and goes on to document the family's life and interests. Pascoe Stuart-French played cricket his entire life, including his years in Australia, in England, and in County Cork, Ireland, for teams including Na Shulers, MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club), I Zangari, Phoenix and Munster, which he captained in 1931 at age 62. Several images show large posed groups of men and women at the Na Shulers matches, in 1902 and 1907. Some of these cricket matches were held at the estates of aristocracy, including Ballywalter (1902) the home of Lord Dunleath, and Carmichael House, the Anstruther family home. Affixed to one of the pages is a photograph of the estate and a set of autographs including those of Sylvia Anstruther; Kathleen Heron-Maxwell; [Major General] Harold A. Tagart, and Reginald (Gervase) Alexander 15th Baron Cobham. The family also apparently bred horses, as there are dozens images of individual, named horses, sometimes with family members, and often with notations regarding pedigree, when sold, and for how much. Some of their horses were polo ponies, while others may have been bred and trained for cross country events, as Stuart-French, his son, and other family and friends participated in steeplechase (point to point). Foxhunting was another pastime, and there are many images of riding to hounds, as well as other hunting or shooting events. Together the albums offer excellent documentation of the social and leisure activities of the landed gentry of the period. Please inquire for a more detailed physical description and additional images.
(Inventory #: 20821)