Martin Conway, 1st Baron Conway of Allington
|The Lord Conway of Allington|
Conway in 1895
April 12, 1856|
|Died||April 19, 1936
|Other names||Martin Conway|
|Occupation||Art critic, politician, mountaineer|
William Martin Conway, 1st Baron Conway of Allington (12 April 1856 at Rochester, England – 19 April 1937 at London), known as Sir Martin Conway between 1895 and 1931, was an English art critic, politician, cartographer and mountaineer.
Background and education
Conway was the son of Reverend William Conway, afterwards canon of Westminster. He was educated at Repton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied mathematics and became a close friend of Karl Pearson. He became interested in woodcuts, engraving and early printed books, an interest encouraged by the Cambridge University librarian, Henry Bradshaw. From 1880 Bradshaw financed Conway's tours of the principal libraries of Europe, on which Conway collected material for History of the Woodcutters of the Netherlands in the Fifteenth Century (1884), the most learned of his thirty books.
Conway climbed extensively in the Alps as an undergraduate, and was elected to the Alpine Club in 1877. (He was president from 1902 to 1904.) In 1881 he published the Zermatt Pocketbook, the model for a series of Conway and Coolidge's Climbers' Guides, which he edited with W. A. B. Coolidge. Conway was responsible for many beautiful mountain names, such as Wellenkuppe, Windjoch, and Dent du Requin.
In 1892, in the course of an exploring and mountaineering expedition undertaken under the auspices of the Royal Society, the Royal Geographical Society and the British Association, he made an ascent of a subsidiary summit of Baltoro Kangri, claiming a world altitude record with a height of 23,000 ft (7,010 m). However, subsequent measurements have revised his height to 22,322 ft (6,804 m). In 1896–97 he explored the interior of Spitsbergen, and the following year he explored and surveyed the Bolivian Andes, climbing Sorata (21,500 ft / 6,553 m) and Illimani (21,200 ft / 6,461 m). He also attempted Aconcagua (22,831 ft / 6,959 m) stopping short of the summit by 50-ft and explored Tierra del Fuego making an attempt on Sarmiento. At the Paris exhibition of 1900 he received the gold medal for mountain surveys, and the founders medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1905, and served as President of the Alpine Club for 1902–04 and became the first president of The Alpine Ski Club at its inaugural meeting in 1908.
From 1882 to 1885, Conway was a Cambridge University extension lecturer. From 1884 to 1887 he was Professor of Art at University College, Liverpool; and from 1901 to 1904 he was Slade Professor of Fine Arts at Cambridge University. He was knighted in 1895 for his efforts in mapping 5,180 square km of the Karakoram Range in the Himalayas three years earlier.
Conway had been involved in politics for some time, consorting with both major parties allegedly in pursuit of a knighthood and a barony; he received both. He was elected Unionist Member of Parliament for the Combined English Universities in 1918, serving until 1931, when he was raised to the peerage as Baron Conway of Allington, of Allington in the County of Kent.
Conway was first Director-General of the Imperial War Museum and a trustee of the National Portrait Gallery. His photograph collection formed the basis of the Conway Library at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. He was also responsible for the restoration of Allington Castle.
While touring art galleries in Italy in 1883, Conway met Katrina, the only child of Charles Lambard, of Augusta, Maine, builder of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, and stepdaughter of Manton Marble, an investor and former editor and owner of the New York World. Conway was already engaged to Rose Shakespear, but he broke this engagement, ostensibly on religious grounds, and married Katrina at Marble's home, 532 Fifth Avenue, New York, on 10 June 1884. Supported by Katrina's family, the couple moved to Park Street, London, where their only child, Agnes Conway, was born on 2 May 1885. In 1924 Conway began a love affair with Monica Hadow, a divorcée forty-four years his junior with whom he worked, but this ended when she remarried in 1930. When his wife, Katrina, died on 22 November 1933, she left her estate, including Allington Castle, to their daughter, although Conway continued to live there and at Westminster. On 17 November 1934, he married Iva, daughter of Daniel Christian and widow of Reginald Lawson, of Saltwood Castle. He died aged 80 at the Empire Nursing Home, Vincent Square, London, on 19 April 1937, and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium. A memorial service was held on 23 April at St Margaret's, Westminster. This title became extinct on his death. His autobiography of 1932 was called Episodes in a Varied Life, while 1914's The Sport of Collecting explained his passion for collecting artworks, photographs, etc. For a biography see The Conways by Joan Evans.
Works on art
- History of the Woodcutters of the Netherlands in the Fifteenth Century, 1884
- Early Flemish Artists, 1887
- The Literary Remains of Albrecht Dürer, 1889
- The Dawn of Art in the Ancient World, 1891, dealing with Chaldean, Assyrian and Egyptian art
- Early Tuscan Artists, 1902
- Art Treasures of Soviet Russia, 1925
- Giorgione as a Landscape Painter, 1929
Mountaineering and travel works
- Climbing and Exploration in the KaraKoram Himalayas, 1894
- The Alps from End to End, 1895
- The First Crossing of Spitsbergen, 1897
- The Bolivian Andes, 1901
- Aconcagua and Tierra Del Fuego: A Book of Climbing, Travel and Exploration, 1902
- No Man's Land, a History of Spitsbergen from its discovery in 1596 to the beginning of the Scientific Exploration of the Country, 1906
- Mountain Memories, 1920
- "CONWAY, Sir (William) Martin". Who's Who, 59: p. 373. 1907.
- "Conway, William Martin". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- Curran, Jim (1995). K2: The Story of the Savage Mountain. Hodder & Stoughton. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-340-66007-2.
- Unsworth, Walt (1993). Hold the Heights. Hodder & Stoughton. p. 197. ISBN 0-340-33913-6.
- The London Gazette: . 8 December 1931.
- The Complete Peerage, Volume XIII - Peerage Creations 1901-1938. St Catherine's Press. 1949. p. 500.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Conway, Sir William Martin". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- Peter H. Hansen, ‘Conway, (William) Martin, Baron Conway of Allington (1856–1937)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
- Works by Martin Conway at Project Gutenberg
- Sir Martin Conway public domain audiobooks from LibriVox
- Conway, William Martin; John Walter Gregory, Aubyn Bernard Rochfort Trevor-Battye, Aubyn Trevor-Battye, Edmund Johnston Garwood (1897). The First Crossing of Spitsbergen: Being an Account of an Inland Journey of Exploration and Survey, with Descriptions of several Mountain Ascents, of Boat Expeditions in Ice Fjord, of a Voyage to North-East-Land, the Seven Islands, down Hinloopen Strait, nearly to Wiches Land and into most of the Fjords of Spitsbergen and of almost complete circumnavigation of the Main Island. Charles Scribner's Sons.
- Archival material relating to Martin Conway, 1st Baron Conway of Allington listed at the UK National Archives
- The Alpine Ski Club official website
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Combined English Universities
With: Herbert Fisher 1918–1926
Eleanor Rathbone 1926–1931
Sir Reginald Craddock
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation||Baron Conway of Allington