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Welbore St Clair Baddeley, 1856-1945

Nationality: English
Date of Birth: 1856


Welbore St. Clair Baddeley was a poet, dramatist, world traveller, amateur archaeologist and historian.


Baddeley wrote several local history books including Place-names of Gloucestershire: A Handbook (1913), A History of Cirencester (1924) and A Cotteswold Manor being the History of Painswick (1929). He also wrote travel guides of Italian towns such as Sicily, Florence and Venice, for many of which he collaborated with Augustus J. C. Hare. Other publications include essays on 'Charles III of Naples and Urban VI' and 'Cecco d'Ascoli: Poet, Astrologer, Physcian' (1894), Robert the Wise and his Heirs, 1278-1352 (1897), Autographs of Cloud and Sunbeam in England and Italy (1900) and Recent discoveries in the Forum (1904).

In Italy Baddeley came to know the prominent archaeologists Rodolfo Lanciani and Giacomo Boni, and his letters and diaries provide an important source of information on these two rivals. A collection of his diaries, notebooks and papers can be found at the Gloucestershire Record Office, whilst his 1920-36 letters to Lilias, Countess Bathurst and his 1923-31 letters to Lord Bathurst are held in Leeds University Library.

JW was a friend and correspondent of Baddeley. Indeed, Baddeley was among those invited to JW's famous Sunday breakfasts (#00231). He also appreciated JW as an artist, describing the 'wondrous night atmosphere' of his Nocturnes as mysterious yet truthful. He supported JW at the time of the Whistler v. Ruskin trial, writing 'Art criticism so-called often strikes me as being the ruined nucleus of an indecisive, but art-tending temperament' (#00232). In 1878-79 there was talk of Baddeley dedicating one of his books to JW (#10532). His publications of the time included John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, an Historical Tragedy, and Songs and Poems (1879), George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham; a Drama, and other Poems (1878) and The Daughter of Jepthah, a Lyrical Tragedy, and other Poems (1879).


Gray, Irvine, Antiquaries of Gloucestershire and Bristol, 1981; Wiseman, T. P., Talking to Virgil. A Miscellany, Exeter, 1992; British Library on-line catalogue (accessed 2004).