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January 2014

Ray Ward gave an interesting talk about the characters behind the project to build a cottage hospital in Halwill Junction in 1899.


Mainly the Webb Medley family and the architect Charles Francis Annesley Voysey

The inscription above the main door reads -

"The Winsford Cottage Hospital erected in Memory of George Webb Medley by his wife Maria Louisa Medley 1900"

Maria Louisa Medley (1840-1919)

Maria Louisa (Molly) Medley, born 1840, was the daughter of Henry Courteney Selous, a distinguished artist and illustrator of Victorian children's books. Among other things he received the commission to paint the Opening of the Crystal Palace Exhibition 1851, this painting now resides in the Victoria & Albert Museum. The painting shows the Archbishop of Canterbury giving a blessing in the presences of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

George Webb Medley (1826-1898)

George was born into a family that made its fortune in Jamaican sugar plantations. Following the emancipation of the slaves in 1843, the family returned to England. George was 14. He did not go to university but was clearly well-educated and was inter alia a well known chess champion. He entered the Stock Exchange specialising, with success, in railway investments. He was an advocate of Free Trade and wrote a number of pamphlets on the subject. He twice stood for Parliament as a Liberal but was not elected.

George married Maria in 1875, when he was 45 and she 36.

George died in 1898 and his Will shows his gross estate at £260,000. In modern terms this is many millions of pounds. Almost everything was left to his wife but among smaller bequests was the sum of £1,000 to the Reverend Charles Voysey if the Theistic Church, Piccadilly, London.

Charles Francis Annesley Voysey (1857–1941)

Voysey was an English architect and furniture and textile designer. Voysey's early work was as a designer of wallpapers, fabrics and furnishings in a simple Arts and Crafts style, but he is renowned as the architect of a number of notable country houses. He was one of the first people to understand and appreciate the significance of industrial design. He has been considered one of the pioneers of Modern Architecture, a notion which he rejected. His English domestic architecture draws heavily on vernacular rather than academic tradition, influenced by the ideas of Herbert Tudor Buckland (1869–1951) and Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812–1852).



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