By Ron Spiers, England, 2002
Harry Spiers 1869 - 1934
Anglo-American painter of Dedham. Studied at the Academie Julian de Paris. He painted in Canada between 1894 and 1907 and has works in the Museums of Boston and Toronto, Canada. He had a brother, John, and they were both born about 1869 at Selsey Bill, Sussex, England. In the 1881 census they were both boarding at a house in Lancing, Sussex. Currently the author has no further information on them.
Charlotte Horn Spiers 1845 - 1914
Born in Oxford, died at Christchurch, Hampshire, England. In the 1871 census she was at living at St Pancras, Marylebone, London, unmarried, aged 26. She was a landscape painter who exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1881, 1897 and 1901. Titles of her paintings include, ‘On the Wye’, 1881, ‘In the marshes, Kingsland', 1901. In 1882 she was at 68 Newman Street, Oxford Street, London in business as Misses Spiers & Welby, art pottery painters. In 1892/6 she was an artist living at 4 Berners Street, London. She died a spinster and her Admon at death named her brothers, Richard Phené Spiers and Walter Lewis Spiers, both well known architects. Richard Phené died in New York, USA in 1916. Her parents were Richard James Spiers and Elizabeth Phené Joy who married in Oxford, England in 1837. Charlotte had six brothers, Richard Phené, Frank Edward, Walter Lewis, Arthur Hood, Ernest George and Hubert William and five sisters, Elizabeth Joy, Alice Jane Mary, Agnes Ellen, Florence Ellen Piggott and Agnes Decima. The business, R. J. Spiers & Son, were leading stationers, dealers in glass and china, desk and dressing case makers employing 30 people, at 102/3 High St, Oxford in 1851. They exhibited a papier mâché table at the 1851 Great Exhibition in London, which is shown in the exhibition catalogue. House No.102 dates from the early 18th century, and No 103 from the mid 19th. The business occupied the premises from 1835 to 1890. The father of Richard James Spiers was Richard Spiers who married Catherine Sirman in about 1799. He had a brother, Thomas who had a son, Richard. His father was Richard Spiers who married Elizabeth Dodd in about 1764. In view of the name, Richard, the family may belong to the Ewelme family tree. Both Richard Phené Spiers and Walter Lewis Spiers are included in the Dictionary of National Biography.
Bessie J. Spiers 1843 - 1901
Landscape painter. Member of the Society of Lady Artists. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, London in 1884-1893. Titles of her paintings include `Autumn near Reigate', `A tidal creek, Sussex'. Her London address was 21 Bernard St, Russell Sq., the same address as Richard Phené Spiers, F.S.A., F.R.I.B.A. Her name was Elizabeth Joy Spiers and she was a sister of Charlotte Horn Spiers.
Benjamin Walter Spiers 1845 - 1894
London genre painter who exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1875-1893.
Titles include -
‘Cracked bargains from brokers, cheap keepsakes from friends', 1876
‘The old bookstall', 1880
‘A visit to Wardour Street', 1890
One of his pictures painted in 1885 is titled, ‘Away from the World and its Toils and its Cares’, showing a desk, chair, table, globe and book cabinet with numerous paintings hung on the wall behind. In its review of the Victorian art market in 1994, Sotheby’s the London auctioneers, noted that such watercolours by Spiers were popular.
In the 1881 census he was living at 70 Hereford Place, Bayswater, Marylebone, London, aged 35 and unmarried, an artist and painter. He was also there in 1871. He had two sisters, Amy Mary, born 1847 and Emily Jane, born 1849, both in Marylebone, London Their father was Benjamin Spiers who married Amy Blake in 1843. His father was Benjamin Spiers who married Mary.
James Grant Sandford Jack Speirs
Born at Paisley, Scotland, in 1821, married Elizabeth Mary Bayard in Shoreditch, London in 1845. Died London 1864. Son of James Speirs, born 1786 in Glasgow, who married Mary Irvine in Dumfries, Scotland in 1812 and had five sons and four daughters, all born in Stepney, London. James was a painter and artist in 1863 and painted the headpieces on the front of ships.
Decorator of suits of armour e.g., made for Lazarus Schwendi, Freiherr von Hohenlandsberg. Probably produced in Augsburg 1550-60. It is in the Imperial Armoury, Vienna. Reference, 'A Record of European Armour & Arms', vol 111, by Laking.
Albert Van Spiers
Dutch historical painter circa 1666. Ref Dictionary of Biographical Reference, and ‘Dutch Art in the 17/18th century’. Jacob De Wit (1695-1754), born Amsterdam, was a pupil of Spiers, who was a pupil of Gerard de Lairesse, at the school Willem van Ingen. Van Spiers mainly painted ceilings. He knew Rembrandt. He died in 1718, ref Musgraves Obituary at Chancery, London.
Clifford Benjamin Cundy, 1925 - 1992
He is the son of Captain Walter Augustus Cundy of the Mercantile Marine and Esmé Miriam Spiers. Her parents were Chief Officer James Thomas Spiers of the Mercantile Marine, and Annie Elizabeth Thomas, grandparents of Ron Spiers.
His Obituary was in 'The Independent', London, 16 Apr 1992. Sculptor in bronze, painter in oils. Exhibited at the Royal Academy, London and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, and commercial galleries worldwide. Member of the Sketch Club. Member of the National Society of Painters. Scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford to study engineering but spent more of his time his time studying art at the Ruskin School of Drawing, Oxford and did not graduate. Friend of the Scottish sculptor, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, CBE, RA. He returned to England from Iran with the intention of becoming a monk, perhaps influenced by C.S. Lewis who was a don at Magdalen at the time, but instead met his lifelong muse, Hazel, who was to become his wife, so he gave up his intention. Clifford made all his own tools and equipment and did most of his own casting and finishing at Richmond, Surrey, England where he lived. His ancestor was Andreas Kunde, from Pommern, Prussia, born before 1762, who married Anna Clara Klatten auf dem Kutzenhufken also from Pommern, Prussia. Otto von Bismarck, the ‘iron chancellor’, had an estate in the same place.