Arthur Joseph Meadows was born in Mile End in the East End of London in 1843. The youngest child, he lived with his parents until his father's death in 1863. He then continued to live in the neighbouring streets off Bow Road in close proximity to his mother and his sister Ann and her family, until 1868.
One interesting vignette of the young Arthur that has survived was as a member of a Mile End amateur dramatic society, 'The Pickwick Histrionic Club', which appeared at the Beaumont Institution in Beaumont Square (where the Meadows family lived at the time). Arthur appeared in a drama called, 'All that glitters is not gold', and the critic of 'The Players' Magazine noted in his review of the evening that, "Mr A.J.Meadows as Lady Leatherbridge was also exceedingly good" , perhaps showing some of his father's and grandfather's dramatic talent.
Image: Self-portrait of Arthur Joseph Meadows
Above: Self-portrait of Arthur Joseph Meadows.
(Reproduced by kind permission of Arthur Meadows).
Below: Laura Harrison Meadows
(Reproduced by kind permission of Claire Darlington).
Image: Laura Harrison Meadows
Arthur Meadows married Laura Louise Harrison (born c.1844) at Islington Parish Church in 1864. Arthur and Laura had ten children, of whom three were born in Bow. The seven younger children were all born in Dover, where the family lived from 1869 until the 1880s, firstly at Charlton House, and later in Eastbrook Terrace. James Meadows trained his son Arthur as an artist, and Arthur was apparently determined to pass on the family tradition and talent: in the 1881 census, the entry for each of his three eldest children, including Gordon Arthur Meadows, was "scholar and art pupil". By 1891, the family had returned to London, and was living in Summerhill Road in Tottenham. At the time of the 1901 census, the family had moved once again, to Portland Road in Notting Hill. Arthur Meadows died here in 1907. After Arthur's death, Laura is recorded in the 1911 census living with her daughters in Addison Road, Notting Hill, "letting appartments". In 1916 Laura lived in St John's Road in Golders Green.
Image: Rough weather off the French coast, 1891
(Above) 'Rough weather off the French coast', 1891, by Arthur J.Meadows (Below) 'Off the Dutch coast, evening', 1894, by Arthur J.Meadows.
(Reproduced from a private collection by kind permission of the owners).
Image: Off the Dutch coast, evening, 1894
Whilst Arthur Meadows very firmly followed the family tradition as an artist, he differed from his elder brothers by concentrating almost exclusively on marine painting. Unlike his brothers James Edward and Edwin, he does not appear to have drawn inspiration from the Essex countryside, but from the south coast of England where he lived for many years, the Dutch ports, and from the coasts and rivers of France and Italy, including the canals of Venice. The choice of continetal subjects resulted in bright, sunny, colourful paintings which earned him great success in his own lifetime, and have ensured an enduring reputation after his death as the most successful Meadows artists. Arthur Meadows exhibited at the Royal Academy in London for the first time in 1863, and subsequently his works were exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts in Dublin, and at the British Institute and the Suffolk Street gallery of the Society of British Artists in London. An example of his work is in the collections of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
Image: Continental harbour scene
A continental harbour scene, by Arthur J.Meadows.
(Reproduced from a private collection by kind permission of the owners).
Maud Margaret Meadows was born in in July 1865 in Merchant St, Bow and baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Mile End. Maud married Edward Vere William Holloway, and they had two children: Reginald Arthur (born 1896) and Doris Elizabeth (born 1900).
Gordon Arthur Meadows was born on the 24th December 1866 at his parents' home at 43, Merchant Street in Bow. He was christened the following year at the Meadows family church, Holy Trinity, Mile End, on the 24th October 1867. He later lived in Hornsey and Tottenham in London. Gordon also became a successul artist, in his father's tradition. In 1895 he married Lucy Laverick, and they had six children: Gordon Frederick Meadows, born 1896; Elma Meadows born 1897; Beryl Laura Meadows born 1898; Cecil Percy Meadows born 1899; Mabel born c.1905; and Eliza (?) born c.1908. In 1911 the family lived in Enfield, and Gordon died in 1937.
Ada Laura Meadows, was born on the 12th March 1868 at 43, Merchant Street in Bow. She was christened at Holy Trinity, Mile End, on the 7th June 1868. In July 1891, Ada married Charles Lane at Tottenham Parish Church. Charles Lane was a journalist and author, the son of an editor, and the brother of another journalist. In 1901, Ada and Charles were living at 227, Philip Lane in Tottenham, with their two children: Cyril, born c.1893, and Irene, born c.1894. Both children were born in Forest Gate. Charles Lane died before the 1911 census, and Ada, Cyril and Irene went to live with Laura Meadows in Notting Hill.
Nellie Ann Meadows, born 1869 in Dover. In August 1902, Nellie married William Judd at St John's Church, Notting Hill. At the time of the marriage, William was a Private Secretary, but he had previously worked as a clerk at the County Fire Office. His father, Arthur Judd, a retired Army Captain, was the Parliamentary Registration Agent for the Chelsea Conservative Committee.
Millie Meadows, born 1870 in Dover. Millie appears to have died in childhood, before 1881.
Viola Jessie Meadows, born 1871 in Dover.
Lawrence Percy Meadows, born 1874 in Dover. In the 1891 census, Lawrence's occupation was recorded as "magnetic doctor's assistant"! However he later became a purser on the Elder Dempster shipping line, and moved to Liverpool. In 1901, Lawrence married Edith Anne Jones. Lawrence and Edith had five children.
Image: Lawrence Percy Meadows
(Above): Lawrence Percy Meadows as a young man, probably painted by his father.(Reproduced by kind permission of Arthur Meadows)
(Below): Lawrence & Edith Meadows on their wedding day. (Reproduced by kind permission of Claire Darlington and Arthur Meadows).
Image: Wedding of Lawrence Meadows & Edith Jones
Reginald Cross Meadows, born 1876 in Dover. In 1901, Reginald was a railway clerk living in Hitchin, where he married Frances Mary Shays in the following year. In 1911, the couple lived in Willesden.
Hebe Mabel Meadows, born 1877 in Dover. On the 7th October 1916, Hebe was recorded on the passenger list of the SS "St Paul", sailing from Liverpool to New York. At the time she was unmarried and living in Golders Green with her widowed mother.
Valerie Irene Meadows, born 1878 in Dover. Valerie was not christened until 1896 in Wood Green in London, but it was a double family celebration with the christening of her nephew Reginald Holloway. In 1911, Valerie and her sister Hebe lived with their mother, and their widowed sister Ada, in Notting Hill.
The following links are just a few of the sites which currently display works by Arthur Joseph Meadows.
Arthur Meadows on Artnet
Arthur Meadows on vallejogallery.com
Arthur Meadows on burlington.co.uk
Arthur Meadows on bonhams.com
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