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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Savile Lumley

Robert J. Kirkpatrick

Savile Lumley was a prolific and versatile illustrator whose career spanned some 55 years. He contributed to numerous periodicals, mainly children’s story papers, and he illustrated over 150 children’s books, published for a variety of ages.

He was born on 18 February 1876, and baptized on 3 May 1876 at All Saints Church, St. John’s Wood, London. His father was Henry Robert Lumley (1821-1899), a newspaper proprietor and former editor of The Court Journal, who had married Blanche Day Plum (1839-1913), the daughter of Thomas William Plum, a former clerk to the Poor Law Guardians in Camberwell, on 9 July 1863 at St. Saviour’s Church, South Hampstead. Henry was a widow, and had had at least two children from his first marriage, Henry (born in 1844) and Phoebe (born in 1845). He went on to have five children with Blanche, the first four all born in St. John’s Wood: Ralph Robert (baptized on 17 May 1865; Lyulph (baptized on 8 April 1868; Savile; and Osbert (baptized on 20 March 1878). Throughout this time, the family had been living at Marlborough Place, St. John’s Wood, but by the time of the 1881 census they had moved to Calcot Grange, Tilehurst, Berkshire, where a fifth child, Edgar, was born in 1881. Henry was clearly very wealthy, as he was employing no fewer than six servants – a cook, parlour maid, nurse, housemaid, kitchen maid and footman.

(There may well have been a family link to the Earls of Scarborough – the 9th Earl of Scarborough was Richard George Savile-Lumley (1813-1884), and amongst his children were Lyulph Richard Granby William Lumley (born 1850, died 1868) and Osbert Victor George Athling Lumley (born 1862, died 1923), which might explain Henry’s choice of first names for his children. On the other hand, Henry would have been well aware of the family through his editorship of The Court Journal, and may simply have chosen the names as he liked them. It is also worth noting that Henry wrote novels and plays under the pseudonym “Lyulph.”)

In 1885, the family moved back to London, to 81 Avenue Road, Hampstead (where again Henry was employing six servants). This enabled Savile Lumley to study at the Royal Academy of Arts, which he attended between July 1893 and July 1898 (although he does not appear to have ever exhibited there). For a while he shared a studio in St. John’s Wood with George Loraine Stampa (1875-1951), who went on to become a well-known cartoonist.

Lumley’s career as an illustrator began while he was still a student, with some cartoons published in Sketchy Bits (published by Charles Shurey). Over the following ten years or so he went on to contribute to a small number of periodicals, including The Tatler, The Lady’s Pictorial, The Bystander, Printers’ Pie, The Windsor Magazine and The Boy’s Own Paper.

On 26 January 1905 he married Muriel Margaret Eidwynn Harries (born on 4 June 1883 in Malinslee, Shropshire) at All Saints Church, West Dulwich. At the time he was living at 24 Thurlow Hill, West Dulwich. The couple subsequently moved to The Elms, Dulwich Common, where their first daughter, Averil Jean, was born on 12 December 1905, and baptized on 22 February 1906 at All Saints Church. Four years later, they were living at Picardy House, Halt Robin Road, Belvedere, Erith, Kent, where their second daughter, Margaret Muriel, was born, being baptised on 5 August 1909.

In the 1911 census, Savile and Muriel Lumley were living at The Cedars, Heron Hill, Bevedere, with Lumley described as a poster designer. He had illustrated a handful of children’s books between 1900 and 1910, but he then spent the next few years producing posters, with his best-known (albeit rather notorious) work being the poster “Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?”, showing a father sitting in an armchair with his daughter on his lap, pointing at a book she is holding and looking questioningly up at him. The idea was suggested by the owner of the printing firm of Johnson, Riddle & Co., Arthur Gunn, and produced by the firm for the Parliamentary Recruiting Campaign in around March 1915. Gunn, who apparently felt guilty at not having volunteered himself, subsequently joined the Westminster Volunteers. However, the poster was seen as relying too much on emotional blackmail and became the target of a great deal of resentment, and according to the Imperial War Museum Lumley eventually disowned it.

From 1920 onward Lumley was in great demand as an illustrator. He was used by publishers such as the Pilgrim Press, Aldine Publishing Co., Oxford University Press, George G. Harrap & Co., Jarrolds, the Sheldon Press, the Epworth Press, Thomas Nelson & Sons, Sampson Low, Marston & Co. and P.R. Gawthorn (for whom he illustrated a number of re-issues of classic historical and adventure stories). Amongst the authors whose books he illustrated were Winifred Darch, May Wynne, Bessie Marchant, Christine Chaundler, Eric Wood, Richard Bird, R.A.H. Goodyear, Wingrove Willson, Charles Gilson and Anton Lind.

He also contributed to numerous annuals, published for both very young and older children – these included Nelson’s Jolly Book for Boys, Warne’s Pleasure Book for Girls, Warne’s Pleasure Book for Boys, Warne’s Happy Book for Girls, Partridge’s Children’s Annual, The Jolly Annual for Girls, The Golden Annual for Girls, The Golden Budget for Boys, The Golden Budget for Girls, The Schoolfriend Annual, Schoolgirl’s Own Annual, The Kiddie’s Annual, The Bumper Book for Children, The Best Book for Schoolgirls, The Bumper Book for Children, The Oxford Annual for Scouts, The Boys’ Budget, The Big Book for Boys, Hutchinson’s Girls’ Annual, Collins Schoolboys Annual, The British Girls Annual, Our Boys’ Gift Book, The Modern Boy’s Book of Adventure Stories, The Champion Annual, The Pip & Squeak Annual, The Companion Annual, Selfridge’s Schoolboys' Story Book, The Greyfriars Holiday Annual, The Daily Mail Annual for Boys and Girls and The Modern Book for Boys.

He also contributed illustrations to several children’s story papers, including Chatterbox, Chums, Little Folks, The Nelson Lee Library, The Scout, The Child’s Own Magazine, Young England (from 1903 until 1937), and Modern Wonder. His artwork also appeared in several numbers of Aldine’s Tales for Little People, and on the cover of titles in Aldine’s Boxing Novels and Football Novels series, and some of his cartoons were published in The Humorist.

He worked in colour, halftone, and black and white line drawings. His scope was huge, ranging from colour plates in books for very young children to illustrations of girls’ and boys’ school, historical, travel and adventure stories. In the view of Brigid Peppin and Lucy Micklethwait (in their Dictionary of British Book Illustrators) he was “a competent illustrator ... who knew his market and was well able to adapt his style for reproduction on cheap paper. He worked for both boys’ and girls’ publications, but in later years his subject treatment became increasingly static, and so less suited to action and adventure.”

Lumley remained in Beveldere until around 1920, when he moved to 55 Overstrand Mansions, Prince of Wales Road, Battersea. In the 1940s he moved to 26 The Butts, Brentford, and in 1958 he moved to The Cottage, St. Annes, Sheath Lane, Esher, Surrey. He died at the Rowley Bristow Hospital, Pyrford, Surrey, on 4 May 1960, leaving a very small estate of just £277 (£5,500 in today’s terms). His wife died on 5 October 1977.

Of Savile Lumley’s brothers, Ralph Robert became a barrister and author, and died in 1900; Lyulph became a journalist, and later editor of The Court Journal – he died in 1944; Osbert also became a journalist, and died in 1941; and Edgar became an electrical engineer, and died in 1930.


Books illustrated by Savile Lumley
Aunt Louisa’s Book of Fairy Tales for Little Children, Frederick Warne & Sons, 1900 (with other artists)
Vice Versa, or A Lesson to Fathers by F. Anstey, George Newnes Ltd., 1902 (re-issue) (cover)
The Other Fellow, or The Heir from the Colonies by Robert Leighton, Andrew Melrose, 1904
The Country Cousin by C.A. Mercer, Sunday School Union, 1905
For Triumph or Truth: A Tale of Thrilling Adventure by Sydney C. Grier, John F. Shaw & Co., 1904
Tom Tufton's Loyalty by Eleanora H. Stooke, Sunday School Union, 1906
Joyce and the Rambler by Amy Le Feuvre, Hodder & Stoughton, 1910
Joan Trevithick: A Story of Cornish Life by Amy Key Clarke, Pilgrim Press, 1910
A Disputed Heritage by E. Everett-Green, Pilgrim Press, 1911
Coronation Souvenir, Central London Railway, 1911
The Coming of Carlina by L.E. Tiddeman, Jarrolds, 1912
Five Years on a Training Ship by John Dearden Bush & E. T. Miller, Pilgrim Press, 1913
Agatha’s Trust, and How She Kept It by Julia Chandler, Sunday School Union, 1913 (re-issue)
‘Gainst the Might of Spain: A Story of the Days of the Great Armada by Percy F. Westerman, Pilgrim Press, 1914
The Royal Navy Painting Book. Gale & Polden, 1916
Martin Merrythought’s ABC: Written for Father and Mother and Me, Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., 1917
The Woman of the Hill by Une Circassiene, Greening & Co., 1917
Chris and Some Others by Winifred Darch, Oxford University Press, 1920
The Mystery of Barwood Hall by Olivia Fowell, George G. Harrap & Co., 1920
Roslaeen at School by May Wynne, Cassell & Co., 1920
The Mystery of Maybury Manor by Eric Wood, Cassell & Co., 1920
Chris and Some Others by Winifred Darch, Oxford University Press, 1920
Three Real Bricks: The Adventures of Mel, Ned and Jim by T.E. Grattan-Smith, George G. Harrap, 1920
The Right St. John's by Christine Chaundler, Oxford University Press, 1920
The Young Crofters by Mrs Albert G. Latham, Oxford University Press, 1920
Our Favourite Mother Goose Book, Frederick Warne & Co., 1920(?)
The Mayflower Pioneers: The Story of the Pilgrim Fathers by Jesse Eaton Feasey, Sunday School Union, 1920 (with Algernon Black)
All About Pets: Told in Stories by Lilian Gask, George G. Harrap & Co., 1921 (with Barbara Briggs)
The Mistress of Purity Gap by Bessie Marchant, Cassell & Co., 1921
The Deputy Captain: A Public School Story by Richard Bird, Oxford University Press, 1922
The Story of a Chinese Scout by S. V. Boxer, London Missionary Society, 1922
One Years After by George R. Sims, Henry Heath Ltd., 1922
Angela Goes to School by May Wynne, Jarrold & Sons, 1922
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, Jarrolds, 1922 (re-issue)
Illustrated Easy Stories from English History by Lucy Dale, George G. Harrap & Co., 1922 (with other artists)
Bad Little Hannah by L.T. Meade, Frederick Warne & Co., 1922 (re-issue)
By Canoe to Cannibal-Land by J. H. Holmes, London Missionary Society, 1923
The Captain and the Kings by R. A. H. Goodyear, A. & C. Black, 1923
The Life of the School by R. A. H. Goodyear, Jarrolds, 1923
Betty the Scribe by Lilian Turner, Ward, Lock & Co., 1923
Gilbert the Page by Elisabeth J. Kyle, Oxford University Press, 1923
Stories of Sir Francis Drake by Rowland Walker, Aldine Publishing Co., 1923
Polly of Lady Gay Cottage by Emma C. Dowd, Jarrolds, 1923 (re-issue)
Two Tramps by Amy Le Feuvre, Oxford University Press, 1923 (re-issue)
Battle Royal School by R. A. H. Goodyear, Jarrolds, 1924
The Channel Pirate by Lawrence R. Bourne, Oxford University Press, 1924
Pat of Whitehouse. A Story of Girl Guides by Helen Beatrice Davidson, The Sheldon Press, 1924
The Cotton-wool Girl by Ethel Mary Channon, The Sheldon Press, 1924
Run Away Nursery Tales, Epworth Press, 1924
Big Adventures with Buffalo Bill edited by Wingrove Willson, Aldine Publishing Co., 1924 (with other artists)
The Bairns’ Toy Book, Epworth Press, 1924(?) (with other artists)
The School's Best Man by R. A. H. Goodyear, Jarrolds, 1925
The Raiders of the Pool, and Other Yarns by Alfred Judd, Sheldon Press, 1925
Peggy’s School Pack by H.B. Davidson, Sheldon Press, 1925
Audrey at School by F.O.H. Nash, Sheldon Press, 1925
Billy in Blunderland, The Epworth Press, 1925
Freddy’s Fireworks by various authors, John Leng & Co., 1925
Copperknob Buckland by Lawrence R. Bourne, Oxford University Press, 1925
My Very Own ABC Book, The Epworth Press, 1925
The Nursery ABC Book, Frederick Warne & Co., 1925
Scouts of the Prairie by Wingrove Willson, Aldine Publishing Co., 1925
A Prairie Schoolgirl by Alys Chatwyn, Epworth Press, 1925
See How We Go. Frederick Warne & Co., 1925
Railway Picture Book. Frederick Warne & Co 1925
Chappie and the Others by Constance Heward, Frederick Warne & Co., 1926
The Creaking Bough by Winifred Pares, Sheldon Press, 1926
Just a Tomboy by Alys Chatwyn, Epworth Press, 1926
The Old Oak Chest by Dorothy MacNulty, Frederick Warne & Co., 1926
Punch and Judy in Animal Land, The Epworth Press, 1926
Bringing Back the Frasers and Other Stories by Ethel Talbot, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1926 (with other artists)
Scouts in Buckskin by Wingrove Willson, Aldine Publishing Co., 1926 (with other artists)
The World of Sport and Adventure edited by Wingrove Willson, Aldine Publishing Co., 1926 (with other artists)
Bully, Fag and Hero, or In Playground and Schoolroom by Charles J. Mansford, Jarrolds, 1926(?) (re-issue)
Mystery Island by Percy F. Westerman, Oxford University Press, 1927
Jerry and Joan by H.B. Davidson, Sheldon Press, 1927
Francis Drake, The Sea-King of Devon by George M. Towle, George G. Harrap, 1927
Wonder Tales of Great Explorers by Robert James Finch, Aldine Publishing Co., 1927
Happy Times, Frederick Warne & Co., 1927
The Merry Men of Sherwood by various authors, Aldine Publishing Co., 1927 (with other artists)
Playtime: A Book of Short Stories for Kiddies, Amalgamated Press, 1927 (with other artists)
Winifred Avon by Mabel Marlowe, George G. Harrap & Co., 1928
Wonder Tales of Other Lands by P. Mortimer-Evans, Aldine Publishing Co., 1928
All About a Brownie by Mrs. A.C. Osborne Hann, Religious Tract Society, 1928
The Story of Jessie by Mabel Quiller-Couch, Religious Tract Society, 1928 (re-issue)
In the Clutch of the Green Hand by Frances Cowen, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1929
The Secret Station by Ellersley Hall, Oxford University Press, 1929
Chums of the North Patrol: A Naval Story of the Great War by E.L. McKeag, Aldine Publishing Co., 1929
In Pirate Waters by George Garner, Oxford University Press, 1930
A Term to Remember by May Wynne, Aldine Publishing Co., 1930
In Smugglers’ Grip and Other Stories by various authors, Epworth Press, 1930
The Joyous Adventures of Little Kumalo: A South African Story by Emiline Hale, Religious Tract Society, 1930
Adventure for Boys by various authors, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1930
Sea Slang: A Dictionary of the Old-Timer’s Expressions and Epithets by Frank C. Bowen, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1930 (with Kenneth Shoesmith)
My Travel Book by Land and Sea by G. Gibbard Jackson, Frederick Warne & Co., 1930(?) (with other artists)
Girls Together by Louise Mack, The Pilgrim Press, 1930 (re-issue)
Ernest Fairfield; or, Two Terms at St. Andrew's by A. N. Malan, Frederick Warne & Co., 1930(?) (re-issue)
Peter Lawson, Camper by H.B. Davidson, Religious Tract Society, 1931
Audrey the Sea Ranger by F.O.H. Nash, Sheldon Press, 1931
Our Pets' Picture Book, The Epworth Press, 1931
The New Nature Book for Boys and Girls, Fleetway House, 1931 (with Harry Rountree and others)
The Pendlecliffe Swimmers by Sid G. Hedges, Sheldon Press, 1931
Naval Stories of the Great War edited by Wingrove Willson, Aldine Publishing Co., 1931
The Captain’s Fags: A Story of School Life by W.E. Cule, Pilgrim Press, 1931 (re-issue)
The School’s Honour, and Other Stories by Harold Avery, Pilgrim Press, 1931 (re-issue) (with other artists)
Stolen Feathers by Dora Percy Smith, Sheldon Press, 1932
The Life of the School by R.A.H. Goodyear, Jarrolds, 1932
The Cleverest Chap in the School by Robert Leighton, Jarrolds, 1932 (?) (re-issue)
From a Cottage in Pennycook Lane by Isabel Cameron, The Religious Tract Society, 1933
Jerry Goes to Sea by Capt. K. MacLure, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1933
A Gipsy Brownie by H.B. Davidson, The “Girl’s Own Paper” Office, 1933
The White House Boys by R.A.H. Goodyear, Collins, 1933 (re-issue)
Charley Laurel: A Story of Adventure by Land and Sea by W.H.G. Kingston, National Sunday School Union, 1933 (re-issue)
A School Libel by Richard Bird, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1934
Westward in the Mermaid by Percy Woodcock, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1934
Wong the Patriot: The Adventures of a Chinese Schoolboy by Iris Corbin, Religious Tract Society, 1934
The Magic Submarine by Ernest H. Robinson, Shoe Lane Publishing Co., 1934
The City of the Sorcerer by Major Charles Gilson, Hutchinson & Co., 1934
Yarns for Boys by various authors, McCorquodale & Co., 1934
The Tales of Sir Apolo. Uganda Folklore and Proverbs by Apolo Kagwa; with an introduction by the translator F. Rowling, The Religious Tract Society, 1934
Behind the Mountains by Joseph Wray Angus Hunt, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1935
The Jubilee Book for Children, The Queensway Press, 1935
Wonder Tales of Past History by Robert James Finch, Shoe Lane Publishing Co., 1935
The Brownie Village by H.B. Davidson, The “Girl’s Own Paper” Office, 1935
Tibby of the Orange Funnel Line: The Adventures of a Ship’s Kitten by Kaye Fox, Religious Tract Society, 1935
The First Reading Book, Frederick Warne & Co., 1935
The Second Reading Book by Lorna Adamson, Frederick Warne & Co., 1935
Soldier in the Sun by Capt. E.E.G. Ponder, Stanley Paul, 1935 (with Capt. E. Oldfield)
Miss Greyshott’s Girls by Evelyn Everett-Green, Pilgrim Press, 1935 (re-issue)
Gallant Adventures, John F. Shaw & Co., 1935(?) (with other artists)
Frankie of the Wolf Cubs by Margaret Stuart, The “Boy's Own Paper,” Office, 1936
Holiday at Greystones by Phyllis Logan, George G. Harrap & Co., 1936
Win Through, Altonbury! by Anton Lind, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1936
Sunken Treasure by Percy Woodcock, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1936
Nancy Afloat by Bessie Marchant, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1936
Richenda in the Alps by F.O.H. Nash, Sheldon Press, 1936
Captain Coppernob: The Story of a Sailing Voyage by Lawrence R. Bourne, Oxford University Press, 1936
The Greyvale School Mystery by Peter Manton, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1937
Secret Service at Altonbury by Anton Lind, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1937
Tony Hits Out by Anton Lind, Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1937
Sea Wrack by Percy Woodcock, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1937
The Coral Island by R.M Ballantyne, Juvenile Productions, 1937 (re-issue)
Adventure Down Channel by Percy Woodcok, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1938
Little Pets Story Book, Epworth Press, 1938(?) (with other artists)
The Well of Nonsense, Shoe Lane Publishing Co., 1938(?)
The Impossible Prefect by Hubert J. Robinson, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1939
Roger’s Record Year by N. Wallingford Wells, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1939
Schoolboy Stories, Blackie & Son Ltd., 1939 (with other artists)
A Treasure Box of Stories for Children by various authors, George G. Harrap & Co., 1939
Winged Venturers by Guy Dempster, Lutterworth Press, 1942
Birds in My Garden, Johnson Riddle, 1944
Fog in the Channel by Percy Woodcock, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1947
Mr Bannock: A Nonsense Story by Edgar Primrose Dickie, Hodder & Stoughton, 1947
The Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat, P. R. Gawthorn, 1948 (re-issue)
The Pathfinder by James Fenimore Cooper, P. R. Gawthorn, 1948 (re-issue)
The Young Fur-Traders by R. M. Ballantyne, P. R. Gawthorn, 1948 (re-issue)
The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson, P. R. Gawthorn, 1949 (re-issue)
The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper, P. R. Gawthorn, 1949 (re-issue)
Schoolboy Tales, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1949 (with other artists)
The World of Ice by R. M. Ballantyne, P. R. Gawthorn, 1949 (re-issue)
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, P. R. Gawthorn, 1950 (re-issue)
The Young Fur Traders by R.M. Ballantyne, P.R. Gawthorn, 1950
The Life and Strange Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, P. R. Gawthorn, 1950 (re-issue)
The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, P. R. Gawthorn, 1950 (re-issue)
Brer Rabbit Stories by Joel Chandler Harris, Epworth Press, 1950 (?)

Dates not known:
Other Little Children, C.S.S.M.
Jessica’s Mother by Hesba Stretton, Religious Tract Society (dustwrapper)


  1. A very useful article--thank you!

    One small nitpick: you mention "Henry was _clearly very wealthy_, as he was employing no fewer than six servants – a cook, parlour maid, nurse, housemaid, kitchen maid and footman."
    Would it not be more accurate to say that he was _well-off_, or even _quite well-off_, rather than _very wealthy_? That number of servants, particularly that composition, was not unusual in those days, even for a moderately well-off household. Now, if he had had six _footmen_, that would have been another story.

    Just my two-cents worth--I often come here to do research, and really appreciate the site.

  2. I'd say it depends on who you ask -- to my mind, anyone who lives in a house described as a manor house and valued at £19,500 (worth at least £1.2m today) could very well be described as "clearly very wealthy".