Julian Howard Ashton

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Julian Howard Ashton
Born 9 August 1877
Islington, London, England
Died 30 April 1964
New South Wales, Australia
Residence Sydney, Melbourne
Nationality English
Occupation Writer, journalist, artist, critic
Spouse(s) Mary Ethel Roberts
Children Three sons, one daughter
Parent(s) Julian Rossi Ashton (father), Eliza Ann Pugh (mother)

Julian Howard Ashton (9 August 1877 – 30 April 1964), often referred to as Howard Ashton, was a journalist, writer, artist and critic born in England, who had a considerable career in Australia. He was a son of Julian Rossi Ashton.


Ashton was most notable for his short stories in The Bulletin, however due to success of this, he began selling his paintings at art galleries, and then began writing for British magazines such as Pall Mall Gazette and Chambers's Journal. He also drew portraits for the Sydney Daily Telegraph, in his late teenage years/early adulthood.

Born in Islington, London, England, Ashton only lived in London for a short period of his life. Before his first birthday, his family moved to Sydney, Australia.

Ashton became a junior shipping reporter of The Sydney Morning Herald but, two years later, he moved to Melbourne, where he was given the position of reporter by Argus, and given the title of music critic in 1910. By his early twenties, Ashton had become a well-known figure in the local media and newspaper companies. He was now writing music, literary and art reviews, though he was only 22. He was a respected and dedicated member of magazines and newspapers companies etc. He resumed his criticism of music, and other arts in 1926, when he was made an associate editor.

Ashton had never worked as a full-time artist; however despite this, in 1938 he won the Sydney sesquicentenary prize for landscape drawings. Ashton was, as well as an artist, a musician who had been known to entertain guests and lodgers at his house; it was because of this that the suggestion of forming the first Sydney String Quartet was put forward.


Ashton was the eldest child of Julian Rossi Ashton (father), who was also an artist during his life. Julian Rossi Ashton was married to Eliza Ann (née Pugh), who was his first wife, and mother of Ashton Jr. When attending his father's art school, Ashton Jr began a relationship with Mary Ethel Roberts, whom he later married. Together, they had three sons, and one daughter; however, Roberts died many years later in December 1945, so one month later, Ashton Jr resigned from The Sun in order to devote his time to painting and reading, as well as to be closer to his offspring.

Ashton died at age 86 in New South Wales.