All England is watching

Here’s another photo from the April 11 1927 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, this time of a British peer who apparently had eloped with another man’s wife:

Wikipedia and a site called The Peerage provided details on the people mentioned in this photo:

  • Harold James Selbourne Woodhouse, the 2nd Baron Terrington (1877-1940), married his first wife, Vera Bousher, in 1918. They were apparently divorced in 1926, so he was unmarried when he eloped with Mrs. Humphrey. The two were married in 1927. He was a solicitor and a company director, and was imprisoned for “fraudulent conversion” between 1928 and 1931.
  • Rena De Vere Humphrey Shapland Swiny (1898-1965) had been married twice before eloping with Lord Terrington. She married again in 1938; presumably, she and His Lordship had divorced before then, though this isn’t listed on the website. This page has photographs of her, though it seems to have her year of death wrong.
  • Vera Woodhouse (1889-1973) lost in her first attempt at becoming a member of Parliament in 1922, won in 1923, and then lost again in 1924. The Liberal Party nominated her again in 1925 but she withdrew due to “problems in her personal life”, which I assume were marriage-related. In 1949, she married again and moved to South Africa, returning to Britain the year that she passed away.

An episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus includes a character named Humphrey De Vere; presumably, one of the Pythons found Mrs. De Vere Humphrey’s name and switched it around.


A London beauty

Here’s another picture from the photo page of the April 11 1927 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

Strictly speaking, it would probably have been more accurate to refer to the former Viola Bankes as a Dorset beauty, as her family were landed gentry from that area. The family estate was known as Kingston Lacy, and Ms. Bankes (who used her maiden name when writing) wrote a collection of reminiscences about growing up there.

A comment on the page for the collection of reminiscences claims that when Ms. Bankes’ father became terminally ill, she was told that he was going to Africa; she and her siblings were not told about his death. The comment also claims that her mother never spoke to her again when she married a “middle-class doctor” (who, presumably, was Mr. Hall).

A search turned up this portrait of the couple on their wedding day and revealed that she passed away in 1989.



The photo page of the April 11 1927 edition of the Toronto Daily Star included this photo of a former governor of Wyoming who was about to have a statue made of her:

Nellie Tayloe Ross (1876-1977) was married to William B. Ross, who was elected the Governor of Wyoming in 1923. He passed away in 1924 due to complications from an appendectomy. She ran for the office of Governor herself in 1925 and won, becoming the first – and, to this date, only – female governor of that state. She ran for re-election in 1926 and lost, partly because she supported Prohibition and partly because she refused to campaign for herself.

She was appointed the director of the United States Mint in 1933, and held that position until 1953. She lived for half a century after this photo was taken of her, passing away in 1977 at the age of 101.


Claimed to be a copy

The April 4 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star has continued to be a useful source of blog material. Here’s one more picture, of a painting that was deemed to be a copy:

I couldn’t find any record of whether the portrait of Elizabeth, Duchess of Sutherland, was copied, but I did look up all of the people mentioned in the photo caption.

  • Elizabeth Leveson-Gower (1765-1839) and her husband once owned 63% of the county of Sutherland in England. She participated in the Highland Clearances, which was the eviction of mixed-farming tenants to enable more modern farming methods. She was an accomplished painter in her own right.
  • George Granville Sutherland-Leveson-Gower (1888-1963) was the Duke of Sutherland at the time of this article. He was a minister in various Conservative governments in the 1920s and was the first chairman of the British Film Institute.
  • George Romney (1734-1802) was the most fashionable English portrait painter of his time. He is distantly related to American politicians George and Mitt Romney.
  • Lawrence P. Fisher was one of seven Fisher brothers who founded Fisher Body, the leading builder of automobile bodies in Detroit and eventually part of General Motors.

If you want a copy of the portrait of the Duchess of Sutherland for yourself, you can now buy it here. You can now also buy a face mask with her portrait on it.


New leader

Here is yet another photo from the picture page of the April 4 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star:

Margery Corbett Ashby (1882-1981) was involved in the women’s suffrage movement starting in 1901, when she and her sister Cicely founded the Younger Suffragists. While I could find no reference to the World League for Women’s Suffrage, Ms. Ashby became secretary of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies in 1907 and was President of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance from 1923 to 1946.

She also was a candidate for Parliament for the Liberal Party, running for office in 1918, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1929, 1935, 1937, and 1944 (the last as an Independent Liberal candidate). She never won, but she polled respectably enough that her campaigns served as a platform for the suffragist cause.


Champion rider

The April 4 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star continues to be a useful source of material! Here’s a photograph of a 12-year-old British girl who had been successful at show jumping:

Searches didn’t reveal much about Olive Ricks. I found a photograph of her with, presumably, all of her prizes, and a photograph of her having her competitor’s number adjusted. I also found out that she eventually became Olive Evans. But I don’t know what happened to her; I guess she stopped competing when she got older. I suppose that 204 prizes is enough, really.


Will write

The April 4 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photograph of an heir to the Mellon banking fortune, who was apparently about to embark on a career as a writer.

As it turned out, the life work of Paul Mellon (1907-1999) was horse racing. After serving with distinction as a cavalry officer and a member of the Morale Operations Branch of the Office of Strategic Services in the Second World War, Mr. Mellon founded Rokeby Stables, which won over 1000 stakes-level races and accumulated over $30 million in earnings. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame designated him an “Exemplar of Racing”; he is one of only five people to have been given this honour.

Mr. Mellon also devoted himself to art collecting and philanthropy. He eventually did write his autobiography, Reflections in a Silver Spoon, in 1992, so he didn’t avoid writing entirely.


Receive on golden wedding day

The April 4 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photo of a couple that was about to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary.

I was startled to notice that the Murphys had 13 children, 10 of whom were still alive. At the time, this wasn’t all that unusual.

When I see one of these notices, I often indulge my morbid curiosity and look in the Toronto city directories to find out how long the couple remained together. In this case, the answer was six more years: William P. Murphy is listed in the 1935 directory but not in 1936. When I looked up 145 Bellwoods in the Streets section of the 1936 directory, the owner was listed as Mrs. W. P. Murphy, so she outlived him.

145 Bellwoods is a semi-detached house located a little northeast of Trinity Bellwoods Park. It looks like it’s gotten new windows since 1929, but it appears to be the same house.


To make first appearance

Here’s a photo from the April 4 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a woman who had just become a Member of Parliament in Britain.

Jennie Lee (1904-1988) won her seat in a by-election in 1929 and then retained it in a general election the same year. At the time that she was elected, women under the age of 30 were not allowed to vote in Britain.

She was defeated in the 1931 election, but returned to the British Parliament in 1945 and served until 1970. She was the Minister for the Arts in Harold Wilson’s government from 1964 to 1970. After she left Parliament, she became Baroness Lee of Ashbridge. She was married to Welsh politician and fellow Labour party member Aneurin Bevan.


Toronto man disappeared

Here’s a photo from the April 4 1929 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a man who had mysteriously disappeared, along with a photo of the house that he lived in.

A Google search turned up this book about Mr. Hendry’s family, which revealed sad news: he was found drowned in Grenadier Pond in High Park on April 8th. Apparently, he died after would nowadays be called an epileptic fit, but was then referred to as “automatism”.

I looked up Mr. Hendry’s address, 104 Kilbarry Road, in Google Street View. It looks vaguely similar to the 1929 version, but seems to have been remodelled.