Desmond Chute

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Desmond Macready Chute
Desmond Macready Chute.tiff
Born 1895 (1895)
Died 1962 (1963)
Nationality English

Desmond Macready Chute (1895–1962) was an English poet and artist, who became a Catholic priest in 1927. He was born in Bristol, where his father James Macready Chute (1856–1912) ran the dynastic family theatre.[1] He was educated at Downside School, and the Slade Art School in London.[2]

He was an intimate and influential friend of Stanley Spencer, from 1915.[3][4]

From 1918 became a close colleague, assistant and "beloved brother" of Eric Gill and was co-founder of The Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic,[5][6] publishing poetry in The Game, the community's magazine. His mother, Abigail Philomena, née Hennessy (1855–1931), was a principal patron of the Guild in its early days.

He became a convinced distributist and follower of Vincent McNabb,[7] to whom he and Eric Gill were introduced in 1914 by the influential same-sex couple Marc-Andre Raffalovich and John Gray. He started in 1921 to study for the priesthood, in Fribourg.[8]

Later Desmond moved for his health to Rapallo, Italy, where he was a close friend of Max Beerbohm and Ezra Pound, and one of the Tigullian Circle clique around him.[9] He tutored Mary de Rachewiltz, Pound's daughter with Olga Rudge, and supported both of them when Pound was arrested and deported by the US army. During the war, Desmond was interned at Bobbio, where he taught English to the local boys, and where he remained until the end of the war.

His radio play Poets in Paradise was broadcast by the BBC in 1955.[10]

He died and was buried in Rapallo, although a memorial designed by Gill stands in Canford Cemetery, Westbury-on-Trym, near Bristol.

Some of his papers are held in the Eric Gill Collection at Chichester, and others by his relation, David Charles Manners.


  1. ^ "Bristol's rich theatrical heritage revealed". University of Bristol. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  2. ^ Showering, W. (1963). "Desmond Chute, 1895–1962". New Blackfriars. 44: 27–36. doi:10.1111/j.1741-2005.1963.tb00882.x. 
  3. ^ Gough, Paul (2011). Your Loving Friend, Stanley: The Great War Correspondence Between Stanley Spencer and Desmond Chute. Sansom & Co. ISBN 978-1906593766. 
  4. ^ "Stanley Spencer by Chute - 1916". Stanley Spencer Gallery. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "CHUTE, Desmond Macready (1895 - 1961), Painter". Oxford Index. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  6. ^ Ward, Elizabeth (1983). David Jones, Mythmaker. Manchester University Press. p. 27. ISBN 9780719009556. 
  7. ^ O'Huallachain, D.; Sharpe, John; Carlson, Allan (2008). Distributist Perspectives: Volume II: Essays on the Economics of Justice and Charity. IHS Press. ISBN 9781605700021. 
  8. ^ Neumann, Therese (29 September 1962). "Fr. Desmond Chute". The Tablet: 20. 
  9. ^ Wilhelm, J. J. (2010). Ezra Pound: The Tragic Years, 1925-1972. Penn State Press. p. 110. ISBN 9780271042985. 
  10. ^ "Poets in Paradise". BBC. Retrieved 14 November 2015.