Mr. Folliott Stokes (Artist) came to stay

On this day in 1912 James Stevens wrote in his Diary…

Mr. Foilette Stokes (Artist) is staying here for a while. (Monday 26th August 1912)

Allen Gardiner Folliott Stokes was born in Goring, Oxfordshire in January 1855. He married  Charlotte Vansittart Frere in 1882 and had a daughter, Muriel Charlotte (born in 1884). Initially a land agent, he became a landscape painter in the 1880s.  He was a member of Ipswich Art Club from 1889-1890 and also exhibited at the Royal Academy, Royal Society of British Artists and Nottingham Museum & Art Gallery.  By the 1890s he had moved to Cornwall and was a Committee member of the St. Ives Arts Club.  Here he is with the Committee circa 1895 (many thanks to St. Ives Arts Club for permission to reproduce this photo).

Folliott Stokes from website

In 1901 he had a studio in St. Ives. However, he later became a  journalist (working for The Studio and other magazines), and was the author and illustrator of the following books about Cornwall…

  • From St. Ives to Land’s End (1908) 
  • From Land’s End to the Lizard (1909)
  • From Devon to St. Ives (1910)
  • The Cornish Coast and Moors (1912)

I found this book review in The Spectator (dated 13th July 1912)…

“The Cornish Coast and Moors.  By A. J. [sic] Folliott Stokes.  (Greening and Co. 12s. 6d. net.) – A walk along the coastguard path of Cornwall is an excellent way of spending a holiday, but to make such a walk the subject of a book of three hundred and fifty pages is a somewhat rash undertaking.  Mr. Folliott Stokes’s style is not always fortunate, and his lyrical passages are rather too frequent.  At the same time he is an honestly enthusiastic admirer of his subject, and has been at great pains in describing with the minutest accuracy every detail of the coast-line of Cornwall (or as he prefers to call it “the Delectable Duchy”) from Marsland to Cawsand.”

Mr. Folliott Stokes stayed at Glebe Farm, Sancreed until Friday 13th September 1912 but I don’t know the purpose of his visit.  Perhaps he was doing research for a new edition of one of his books.  He died in Reading, Berkshire in October 1939, aged 84.

If you want to look up Mr. Folliott Stokes on the internet, I’ve found other spellings of his name including…

  • Allen Gardiner Folliott-Stokes
  • Alan Gardner Folliott Stokes
  • Allen Folliot Gardiner Stokes
  • Allen Gardiner Folliot Stokes
  • and, of course, James’s version, ‘Foilette’!

Sources: Suffolk Painters ; Cornwall Artists Index

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Author: Ann - Editor of James Stevens's Cornish Diary

My interest in family history began in 2010 and eventually led to the discovery of my Cornish ancestors. One of these was my Great-great-grandmother's sister, Honor Stevens, and her husband, James. Having read a copy of his published Diary I realised how useful it could be to other family and local history enthusiasts, so I spent the next few years re-transcribing it and producing a PDF version. I finished the transcription in August 2016, although it's clear it's going to be a continuing project as I add more background information. As I live about 5 hours drive from Cornwall, I'm able to holiday in the beautiful County of Kernow (or should that be Country!) at least once a year, visiting and photographing the places connected with the Stevens family. I've also been lucky to have the support of direct descendants of James & Honor, as well as local residents and organisations, who have helped with information and photos.

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