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Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Philip Speakman Webb (1831-1915), Architect

Architect; born 12 January 1831, in Oxford, son of a physician. Articled to John Billing, Reading 1849; assistant to George Edmund Street 1854; close friend of Morris, whose Red House was his first independent commission and whom he joined in founding the design partnership known as Morris & Co.; major works include Rounton Grange, North Yorkshire (1873–90), Clouds, Wiltshire (1877–81) and Standen, Sussex (1892–7); with Morris and others founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings 1877; joined the Socialist movement 1880s; died 17 April 1915, in Sussex.

He is described as ‘tall, slim and handsome’, with ‘a gentlemanly manner leavened by a ready wit’. [1] Extremely modest and retiring by nature, he assiduously avoided all manner of publicity, including portraiture. According to May Morris, ‘a certain dryness of manner veiled a kindliness easily divined by those who knew him’. [2]

Dr Jan Marsh

Footnotesback to top

1) Kirk 2004.
2) Quoted Lethaby 1935, p.188.

Referencesback to top

Dakers 1993
Dakers, C., Clouds: The Biography of a Country House, London and New Haven, 1993.

Elliott 2000
Elliott, D.B., Charles Fairfax Murray the Unknown Pre-Raphaelite, Lewes, 2000.

Henderson 1986
Henderson, P., William Morris: His Life, Work and Friends, [London, 1967] rev. ed. 1986.

Kelvin 1984, 1987, 1996
Kelvin, N., ed., Collected Letters of William Morris, 3 vols, Princeton, 1984, 1987, 1996.

Kirk 2004
Kirk, S., ‘Webb, Philip Speakman (1831–1915)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004.

Kirk 2005
Kirk, S., Philip Webb: Pioneer of Arts & Crafts Architecture, London, 2005.

Lethaby 1935
Lethaby, W.R., Philip Webb and His Work, Oxford, 1935; repr. 1979.

MacCarthy 1994
MacCarthy, F., William Morris: A Life for Our Time, London, 1994.

Marsh 1998a
Marsh, J., The Pre-Raphaelites (NPG Character Sketches series), London, 1998.

Marsh 1998b
Marsh, J., ‘Rupes Topseia: A New Suggestion’, The Journal of the William Morris Society, vol.12, no.4, Spring 1998, pp.3–6.

Marsh 2005a
Marsh, J., The Pre-Raphaelite Circle (NPG Insights series), London, 2005.

Rose 1981
Rose, A., Pre-Raphaelite Portraits, Yeovil, Somerset, 1981.

Surtees 1971
Surtees, V., The Paintings and Drawings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882): A Catalogue Raisonné, 2 vols, Oxford, 1971.

Tilbrook 1986
Tilbrook, A., Truth, Beauty and Design, exh. cat., Fischer Fine Art Ltd, London, 1986.