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H. Fleury junior

 

 
 

Hermann Conrad Fleury

"H. Fleury junior"

postcard artist

(1876-1965)


HERMANN CONRAD FLEURY (my great uncle) was born in Mainz, Germany, on 29th April 1876. His parents were Hermann Fleury, a photographer and artist from Stuttgart, and his wife Margaretha [Schalck] from Wicker, which is a village near Frankfurt. They were married in 1873 in Frankfurt. Hermann was the third son, following brothers Robert (my grandfather), born 1873, and Carl, born 1874.

In the same year Hermann junior was born, the family emigated to England arriving in Liverpool. The family lived there for a number of years, first in Bootle, and then Toxteth Park. Their father, Hermann, made his living as a portrait painter. While in Liverpool, 2 more boys were born; Friedrich in 1878, and Wilhelm in 1879.

In about 1888/89, the family moved to Bradford, Yorkshire. Two more children were born there: Anna, the only daughter, in 1889, and Hugo the youngest of seven children altogether, in 1893. In the 1881 census, Hermann junior (age 15) is described as Apprentice to Artist. Whilst in Bradford, Carl, the second oldest, was married to a Bradford girl, Jessie Turner. Carl remained in Bradford and became a wool merchant, while the rest of the family moved to London.

By 1901 the family, apart from Carl and his wife, were living in Wood Green in north London. The 1901 census has Hermann junior (age 24) as Art Student (at home). Robert (age 27) is also Art Student (at home), while Frederick (age 23) is Wood Carver (at home). With their father being Artist Picture Painter (at home), the house at 88 Pellatt Grove, Wood Green, must have been very crowded and busy.

On 8th November 1905, at St Marylebone Register Office, Hermann junior was married to Frances Annie West, who was a servant, born in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, in 1883. On the marriage certificate, the groom is Artist (painter), of 30 Crawford Street, St Marylebone; the bride is domestic servant, of 104 Seymour Place, St Marylebone.

Although Frances gave the name Charles Arthur West (deceased), Shop Assistant, as her father, he had, in fact, died three years before Frances was born, leaving her mother, Emma [Smith] West, a widow with two children, Mary and Charles junior. I do not know who Frances's real father was. Mrs West had three more children after Frances between 1887 and 1890, with fatherhood unknown. Edith Elizabeth West was born in 1887; Emma Bishop West in 1888; and Florence May West in 1890. Mrs West was eventually remarried to George T. Smith in 1897. The only clue to the father(s) of the last four daughters is that there was a Richard Bishop, present as lodger with the family in Woodstock, in 1891.

Hermann's eldest brother, Robert, married a servant from Norwich, Edith Emma Gould, at St Saviour's Parish Church, Islington, in 1907. Robert became a marquetry and mother-of-pearl inlayer, working on clock cases and other objects. Robert and Edith are my maternal grandparents.

The next brother did not marry until after the war. Frederick Fleury married Frances West's sister (or half-sister) Emma West, in 1920, at Islington Register Office. On the certificate, the bride's name is Emily West, and the bride's father is Charles Arthur West (deceased), Draper's Assistant. Her real father was probably Richard Bishop. Four months after they were married, Emily gave birth to her only child, Joan Margaret Daphne Fleury, born 29th April 1921, in Islington. My mother remembers meeting her cousin Daphne once, but it was at the house of Hermann and Frances, whom she had always thought were Daphne's parents. In fact, Hermann and Frances had no children. My mother said that the brothers Hermann and Frederick were very close, always together. She once visited them where they worked, which was a small factory making props and scenery for stage productions.

The final brother to marry was the youngest, Hugo Fleury, who married Henrietta Levy, in 1923, in Edmonton Register Office. It was about this time that Hermann and Frances moved into a rented three-room flat at 75 Fairbridge Road, Upper Holloway, at which address they both lived until they died.

 
 

 

 
 

In 1938 Hermann applied for naturalization. The papers relating to this were marked Closed until 2040, but on applying to the Home Office, I have had them opened, and they can now be viewed at The National Archives, in Kew.

On his four-page application form, dated 2nd June 1938, he gave his full name as Hermann Fleury, of 75 Fairbridge Road, Upper Holloway, London N19. He gives as his occupation Scenic Artist, and his place of business as the same address. He says he was born of German nationality, on 29th April 1876, at Mainz, Germany. He gives his parents as Hermann Fleury and Margarethe Elisabethe Fleury, both of German nationality (at the time of death). He says he has been at his current address for 25 years, and that his total residence in the UK amounts to 61 years and 9 months. If this is correct, it would date the time of emigration of the family from Germany at about September, 1876.

He declares "I am now of no nationality, having lost German nationality owing to long absence." Included on the form is a statutary declaration that details given on the form are correct, given before a Commissioner for Oaths, who was R.G. Davis, declared at 23 Duncan Terrace, Islington, on 3rd June 1838. There are references from four people stating that they have known the applicant for 25 years. Those signing are: T. L. Freemont, of 75 Fairbridge Road, G. H. Harris, of 72 Fairbridge Road, Mrs M. Blake, of 6 Mulhern Road, Upper Holloway, N19, and W. Campbell, of 90 Alexander Road, Holloway, N19.

In the papers, there is a three-page report by the Metropolitan Police, which I have included below in full because it has some details of Hermann's life.

 
 
 
METROPOLITAN POLICE

SPECIAL BRANCH,
Metropolitan Police,
Scotland House,

27th. day of February 1939


With reference to the application for a certificate of naturalization by Hermann FLEURY, this is his full correct name and he resides at 75, Fairbridge Road, Upper Holloway, N. He is correctly registered with police under serial No. Y-1185.

The alien produced a baptismal certificate - No.725 - issued in Mainz on the 5th. May 1904, which shews he was born at Mainz, Germany, on the 29th. April 1876. He is registered as of German nationality, but has no passport or other document in proof thereof. He was in possession of a document - No. 108/25 - issued by the German Embassy in London on the 18th. May 1925, which states that he had not sufficient evidence to prove his German nationality. This document is submitted herewith as he claims at (g) in the questionnaire that he is of no nationality.

The applicant is a scenic artist, but does little work except at Christmas time when he is employed by Messrs. J. R. Roberts Stores Ltd., general house furnishers, 78-102, Stratford Broadway, E., at a fee of £200, to decorate their Christmas bazaar. This appears to be his sole regular income and he has been engaged annually by Messrs. Roberts for the past 20 years. Fleury has a current account with the Midland Bank, Holloway Road, N., the balance at the time of enquiry being £115. The rent of the three roomed flat he occupies is 12/8 per week and is paid regularly. He does not appear to live above his means.

The applicant's parents are dead; they were Hermann Fleury and Margarethe Elisabethe Fleury, nee Schalik and were German at the time of demise.

On the 8th. November 1905, at the Register Office, Marylebone, the applicant married Frances Annie West, a British subject. The marriage certificate has been seen and Mrs. Fleury resides with her husband. There have been no children of the marriage.

The applicant has been continuously resident in this country since his arrival here in 1876 and has never been abroad for any purpose.

He has an adequate knowledge of English, all his education having been received in this country.

The applicant was brought to England by his parents at the age of three months and attended school in Liverpool until he was 14 years of age. From then until the age of 18 he attended an art school at Bradford then began his career as a scenic artist, being first employed by his father who followed the same profession and since then has been employed in theatres throughout the country in the same capacity. The work is casual and he secures employment, when he needs it, through advertisements in The Stage.

The signatures of the applicant and those of the referees have been acknowledged. The applicant intends to reside permanently in this country.

The answers to clauses (a) to (k) of paragraph 14 have been given correctly with the exception of (g). The applicant has no proof other than the document submitted herewith that he is no longer of German nationality. The declaration of residence is correct.

Metropolitan Police and M.I.5 records have been searched, but nothing to the detriment of the applicant has been traced.

During the war the applicant was not interned as an alien enemy. He joined the Labour Corps on the 15th. August 1918 and served as a private at Amesbury until the 19th. November 1918, when he was discharged. Proof seen.

The applicant professes his loyalty to this country and does not appear to hold extreme political views. He states he has never been a member of any foreign political organisation.

The referees, who have all known Fleury for about 25 years, have been seen and are competent to act. They are:

Thomas Lawrence Freemont, a retired factory foreman of 75, Fairbridge Road, Upper Holloway, N.19.

George Herbert Harris, a dentist, residing and practising at 72, Fairbridge Road, N.

Mrs. Margaret Blake, a widow of no occupation, reside at 6, Mulkern Road, Upper Holloway, N.19., and

Walter Campbell of 90. Alexander Road, Upper Holloway, a leather case maker employed by Messrs. Rippengale and Co., 200 Hornsey Road, Holloway, N.7.

Submitted.

(Signed by two inspectors and a superintendent.)

 
 
 


In the naturalization papers, there are cuttings from two newspapers of notices of naturalization, one in the Islington Gazette, dated 3rd June 1938, and one in The Islington and Holloway Press, dated 4th June, 1938. Both have the same text as follows:

Notice is hereby given that Hermann Fleury, 75 Fairbridge Road, Upper Holloway, London, N.19, is applying to the Home Secretary for naturalization, and that any person who knows any reason why naturalization should not be granted should send a written and signed statement of the facts to the Under Secretary of State, Home Office, S.W.1.


At the front of the papers is a hand-written note dated 1st March 1839, which reads:

Special Branch rept attd. for Commissioner.

The report is favourable. There is nothing to his detriment, and he is not in any financial difficulties. He is a scenic artist, but does little work except at Christmas. 61 years residence.

Grant £9 wife to declare.

(initialed W.B.Q.S. 3/3/39)


From a rubber stamp with dates at the bottom of this page, it looks like the naturalization process was completed on 11th March 1939.

 
 

 

 
 

Twenty six years later, at the age of 88, Hermann Fleury died. The death was at 75 Fairbridge Road , on 11th February 1865, the cause of death being Cerebral Haemorrhage. He must have at some point bought this property, in which he and his wife had lived for over 40 years, because, in his will, he leaves the freehold to his wife Frances (or, in the event of his wife pre-deceasing him, to his sister Anna Fleury).

Frances died in 1966. In her will, the freehold of the house was left to her niece Helen West, (or to her sister in law, Anna Fleury, if Helen pre-deceased her).

 
 

 

 
 

H. Fleury junior hunting scenes


Framed copy of a print of one of Hermann's hunting scenes.


Set of four hunting scenes.

 
 
 


Set of three hunting scenes (1903).

   
Reynard in Sight
 
Damped Enthusiasm
 
Winner of the Brush


"Reynard in Sight"

A different version of one from the above set.




The whole print (above) plus three details.
 
 
 


I was recently contacted by a visitor from Canada who, whilst in England, managed to pick up an original H. Fleury junior painting:

September 5, 2009

Hello Alan,

As I mentioned in our previous correspondence I was in England in August. A family member suggested that we take in the Newark Antique sale, so we did.

I was looking for a picture that featured horses to bring home. We spent quite a bit of time walking around and at the end of the day as the vendors were packing up, I spotted this picture. As I have watched Bargain Hunt before, I bartered the vendor down a little and acquired the painting.

I was unsure as to whether it was even an original. I absolutely loved it so I purchased it anyway, and the fact that it is an original makes it even better.

It now hangs in our entrance way in our house in Canada.

Sincerely, Karen Burnham

Here is Karen's painting resting on her blue corduroy chair before it was hung:
 

 
 

 

 
 

H. Fleury junior postcards


Hermann painted pictures for a number of postcards, of which I have collected over 160. Judging by the post marks on those of my cards which were used, I think they were coming out in the first decade of the twentieth century. They are almost all signed "H. Fleury junior".

Click here for the catalogue of my whole collection of "H. Fleury junior" postcards.

There is a set of six animal cards called the At the Zoo series No. 195 which he did for Misch & Stock's. Below from this series are the lion and the hyena.

 

There are two sets of six cards showing scenes inside London railway stations, each card of which depicts a steam train and people in Edwardian dress on the platform. They are very colourful and quite detailed, and I think must have been larger in the original. They are Noted Trains series 331 and 332 published by Misch & Co. I have collected nine of the twelve cards so far.

Below is L.N.W.R. EUSTON The Special Liner Express from series 331, and, L.B.& S.G. VICTORIA Brighton Train (arrival) from series 332.

 

On 20th July 2012, the company Buckingham Covers issued a commemorative cover celebrating the 175th Anniversary of Euston Station . The cover features the picture on Hermann's Euston Station postcard.

More details can be seen on the Buckingham Covers website which is here. Enter "Euston" into the 'search site' box on their homepage.

There is a set of six cards of scenes at the Belle Vue Gardens in Manchester. These pleasure gardens were very popular at the time. Within the gardens was a zoo, and a boating lake on which visitors could take paddle steamer rides. These cards must also have been from larger paintings because of the detail. They are part of the Star Series published by G. D. & D. (originally Gottschalk, Dreyfus & Davis) of London, although the cards were actually printed in Bavaria.

Below, from the Belle Vue series, are The Ballroom and The Children's Delight.

 

There are numerous sets of comic cards which are all from the G. D. & D. Star Series. Below are two from a set of six featuring cyclists entitled Shocking his Modesty and The Up-to-Date & The Out-of-Date.

 

There is a set of six comic cards featuring nursery rhymes. Below are Little Jack Horner Sat in a Corner and Little Miss Muffit Sat on a Tuffet.

 

I have also come across some miscellaneous cards including a set depicting people in Welsh costume, and a set depicting fire fighting scenes. There is also a pair of cards entitled The Exposure (below) and The Result.


Click here for the catalogue of my whole collection of "H. Fleury junior" postcards.