Charles Isham

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Sir Charles Edmund Isham, circa 1850
Lamport Hall

Sir Charles Edmund Isham, 10th Baronet (16 December 1819 - 7 April 1903) was a landowner and gardener based at Lamport Hall, Northampton. He is credited with beginning the tradition of garden gnomes in the United Kingdom when he introduced a number of terracotta figures from Germany in the 1840s.[1]

Isham was educated at Rugby School and Brasenose College, Oxford. In 1846, on the death of his elder brother, he succeeded to the baronetcy.

In 1847, inspired by the writings of John Claudius Loudon, landscape gardener and horticulturalist, he commenced construction of a large rockery alongside his house. It was in this rockery that he first placed gnomes from Nuremberg as ornamentation. He is recorded as being the High Sheriff of Northamptonshire in 1851.

Isham died at The Bungalow, Horsham, Sussex at the age of 83.

Isham married Emily Vaughan, daughter of Sir John Vaughan and his wife Louisa Boughton on 26 October 1847. She died on 6 September 1898 aged 74. His first child, Vere Isham (later Sir Vere Isham 11th Bt. who married Millicent Vaughan in 1895) was born in 1862.[2]

Isham Collection[edit]

A replica of Lampy the Lamport gnome

In 1867 several extremely rare books and manuscripts were rediscovered in the library and loft of his family home.[3] These included a fragment of Thomas Edwards' Cephalus and Procris; Narcissus which had been lost for 200 years and was the only existing part until a full copy was subsequently discovered at the Cathedral Library at Peterborough.[4]

Also discovered were first editions of Milton's Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained in their original sheepskin bindings.[5]

Further discoveries included:

for each of which only one or two other copies were known. The above four works found their way into the Britwell Court Library before being sold in February 1922 to A.S.W. Rosenbach for £3,600.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bruce A. Bailey, ‘Isham, Sir Charles Edmund, tenth baronet (1819–1903)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  2. ^ http://auden.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/auden/individual.php?pid=I14456&ged=auden-bicknell.ged
  3. ^ a b The Times, 7 February 1922; p14; The Sale Room. Rarities From The Britwell Court Library
  4. ^ Charlotte Carmichael Stopes; Thomas Edwards, Author of "Cephalus and Procris, Narcissus"; The Modern Language Review, Vol. 16, No. 3/4 (Jul. - Oct., 1921), pp. 209-223
  5. ^ The Times, 27 November 1935; p11; The Sale Room Disposal Of Terry Library
Honorary titles
Preceded by
William Bruce Stopford
High Sheriff of Northamptonshire
1851
Succeeded by
Langham Christie
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Justinian Isham
Baronet
(of Lamport)
1846–1903
Succeeded by
Vere Isham