A Redhill Artist

Joseph Dakin
On the 'People of 117' page of this website The following information about Joseph Dakin is given: -
Joseph Dakin Lived at Beaufort House, Upper Bridge Road, Redhill. In 1883 a Mr J.Dakin of Upper Bridge Road had two landscape paintings accepted by the Royal Academy but they were not hung due to lack of space.

Mr Sean Hawkins kindly provided this additional information: - 'This artist did have pictures exhibited at the Royal Academy and many other important galleries. He was a landscape artist and two pictures I have found listed are entitled 'Old Sandpit' and 'On Reigate Heath'. A Miss Sylvia Dakin, also a landscape artist in London in 1893: possibly a daughter'.

This had been on the webpage for some time when Mr Bruce Banham sent in the following (edited) email: -
I lived with my parents at Highlands, Blackstones, Redhill Common, Redhill from around 1958 to 1967. During this time my parents bought a J Dakin oil picture depicting a river scene with a weeping willow on the right of the picture and ducks in the foreground. Three weeks ago I moved to France and during all this time the Dakin picture has miraculously survived and is at present hung on the wall in the utility room of my new home in France. I am interested in your comments with regard to the above.

An image of the picture concerned was attached and appears below.
At first glance this looked to be what is now the lower of the two Earlswood lakes, painted before the upper lake was created. The roofs in the distance would be those on the cottages in the 'Roundabout', a group of homes on the common that are no longer there.
In order to get a little more information I put an article into the 'Yesteryear' section of the local newspaper, the Surrey Mirror, asking for information. This produced a result. A painting entitled 'Wray Common Evening' by Joseph Dakin turned out to be in the possession of Mr John Childs of Kingswood.and is shown below
Wray Common Evening
The following week this article appeared in the Surrey Mirror.

The 1879 'Pond at Earlswood' picture referred to would seem to be the one in the possession of Mr Banham.

And the 'Reigate Hills from Wray Common' painting could be the one owned by Mr Childs, even though the title has changed slightly.


Then, the Surrey Mirror of 24th January 2008 published the article shown on the right.

So what is there left to discover? Well, plenty, probably. Such as what happened to Joseph Dakin? Did he have a family? Did he become wealthy? Is he buried locally? What other lanscapes did he paint? These and other questions may be answered in time.
(See email from Kathryn Lewin at bottom of the page)

It would seem that the part of Bridge Road between the bridge and Grovehill Road has alternated between being a part of Lower Bridge Road and a part of Upper Bridge Road. Early street directories show Lower Bridge Road extending from Redhill High Street (which it no longer does) to Grovehill Road at a time when the houses had names but not numbers.
Early in the 20th century the numbering system included all of the road as far as Grovehill Road with Lower Bridge Road. After Grovehill Road numbers started again for Upper Bridge Road.
Then in the 1990s Mr Bachelor of the first house after the bridge queried the numbering system with the result that it was adjusted to finish numbers for Lower Bridge Road at the bridge and to start numbering Upper Bridge Road immediately after the bridge.
This meant that No.4 Upper Bridge Road (where I used to live as a child) became no.10 and all the other houses were similarly altered, and that the part of the road below Grovehill Road became 'Lower' once more.

Many thanks to the Surrey Mirror and all those who have contributed information about Redhill artist Joseph Dakin.

If you have any information to add to this article please
Since the above was written the names of five more pictures by Joseph Dakin have come to light.
A Rest by the Wayside (1871)A Day Fishing 1874
A Shepherd with a Flock on a Wooded Path 1869Summer (date unknown)
A fifth painting entitled 'Sheep in an Extensive Landscape' at first had no picture of it available but Mr David Woodards very kindly supplied this photo of a painting in his possession which could be it. While getting the painting reframed he was able to see pencilled on the back the words 'Redhill Common'. The painting is dated 1871-3 which was before the common was taken over by the Commons Conservators and many changes made. These changes may have included the removal of the mounds shown in the painting.. The distant view could be north towards the Hills beyond Merstham or south across the Weald..
Dakin's signature and date on the above painting
Grateful thanks to Mr Woodwards for the above information and photos.
And two photos of Dakin watercolours have been sent by Lisa who unfortunately has no idea of their titles. Both date from 1895.
Many thanks to Lisa for the above photographs of paintings in her possesion.
This lovely photo is of a painting by Joseph Dakin owned by John.. It is entitled 'Asking The Way' and John says it is a view across the beach at Thurlestone in Devon. A man dressed in a red hunting jacket is sitting on a horse talking to a young peasant woman who looks like she's collecting shellfish. John's family are from Devon and at one time in the 1950's an aunt of his lived right on the beach at Thurlestone. He inherited the picture from his mother but doesn't recall how long it had been in the home in Torquay where he grew up.

Many thanks to John for the photo. The picture is behind glass and quite rightly John didn't want to disturb it, so the slight streaking in the photo is due to light refection. AJM September 2009

Email from Christine Hawken:-   For several years we have had in our possession  a picture which was given to my husband by his aunt. She cannot remember where or when she acquired it but it would have been many years ago, (she is 90), and most probably bought at an auction in the area around Wadebridge in Cornwall. I doubt it cost her very much as she only bought items she liked and which were inexpensive.   In spite of having had the picture here and removing it from the wall several times, I have cleaned it but never really taken much notice of it until I removed it to paint the hall recently and noticed the label on the back. I decided to see if I could find out anything about the artist and eventually ended up on your site.   I enclose a photograph of the picture which has labels on the back. The labels read:-  

Top label
(Top line unreadable but may be a title)
Joseph Dakin
Beaufort Cott, Red Hill.

Bottom label
C. Hollingsworth Fine Art Gallery 7 Cranbourne Street Leicester Square London WC  

I would be interested to know if anyone has any further information on the title of the picture or the location of the houses and I hope this has added a little more to your very interesting story of his life.  

The painting by Joseph Dakin belonging to Christine Hawken's husband; title unknown (photo courtesy Christine Hawken)
Many thanks to Christine Hawken for sending in the painting above, it's lovely and certainly adds to the information about Joseph Dakin. I wish I could identify the scene it as being of a local scene, especially as the label on the reverse bears Joseph Dakin's Redhill Address. The hills at a little like those at Reigate but are bare of trees and the large houses are unfamiliar. Could it be at the South Downs? If anyone can identify the scene please CONTACT AUTHOR AJM
The following email received from Kathryn Lewin: - Joseph Dakin comes from a branch of my family. The 1901 census RG13 508 p26  shows him living with his brother George William Dakin in Camberwell. He is shown as artist and landscape painter aged 68 and single.
He was born 28-11-1832 chr.15-2-1833  Christened Lady Huntingdon's Chapel, Blackfriars Road, Southwark. He lived in Camberwell with his parents, then his brother. His parents were Henry (b.1803) and Mary Dakin (nee Overton) m.1830 Southwark
Brothers Henry John 8-1-1831 chr.23-2-1831 and Edward Russell 29-10-1834 chr.22-5-1835 both Lady H. Chapel .There were more but I don't have their dates. Also a cousin George William Dakin b.1825.
Grandparents were Sarah & Joseph Dakin - grocer and cheesemonger of 172 High St Southwark, quite wealthy. Not related as far as I can find to the Thomas Dakin who was Lord Mayor and started London Necropolis Company. These Dakins were all in Commerce and grocery trade, dealing in tea, sugar, flour, cheese, and wines, with colonial interests (and slave trade).
I don't know how an artist would have been received!  I think Sylvia Dakin (mentioned by Sean Hawkins above) was a granddaughter of Henry John and Laura Alida Foulgoux; am still looking . They had at least fourteen children, Edward Russell and  Jane Punnet had at least seven children. According to Joseph looks likely to have died Oct 1915 in Bridge, Kent
. I will keep an eye open and pass on any more information I find.
Thank you very much for this information, Kathryn
(Kathryn is
descended from Joseph the grocer's brother, James, a sack merchant of Horsleydown)
From Elizabeth Petku
I'm taking the liberty to ask for your help. I have in my possession a watercolor portrait sign by the artist.J.Dakin.  Looking for more information about his life, his past, I found out that  the Dakins were in commerce business, trading in groceries, sugar, tea, wine and also in slave trade. The portrait I own, it's a portrait of a slave (it looks like) and is signed by the artist. I would be very grateful if I could get more information..

Thank you for the photo of the painting, Elizabeth. Whether or not the portrait is of a slave I wouldn't like to say but it's certainly the first portrait on this page. If anyone else has any comments perhaps they would care to CONTACT AUTHOR

More information from Mr Sean Hawkins who found his Joseph Dakin's grave and that of his parents in Reigate Cemetery, and with some difficulty deciphered the worn inscription on their memorial ledgerstone.
Photos courtesy Sean hawkins
The inscriptions read: -

Father . . . . Henry Dakin born August (cannot read the date) 1802; died at Redhill, 22 April 1886.
Mother . . . . Mary Dakin born 24
th April, 1798; died at Redhill, 22 November 1882.
Son . . . . . . Joseph Dakin died 13
th December 1915, aged 83 (no birth date given).

Grateful thanks once again to Sean.

As this history is developing as it goes along perhaps it would be appropriate to summarise known information here.

1832 Joseph Dakin born 28th November (as stated above by Kathryn Lewin).
1901 census - Joseph is aged 8 living at Windmill Lane, Lambeth with his parents, Henry and Mary Dakin, and three
. . . . .. . . . .. . brothers, Henry 10, Edward 8 and George 4.
1851 census - Joseph 18 living with his parents and same three brothers at a new address of 9 Holland Place, Lambeth
. . . . .. . . . . .. His father is a clerk to a ship broker and Joseph is shown as having the same occupation.
1861 census - Still in Lambeth but now at 10 Woheath? Terrace and still with his parents. Joseph is 28 and unmarried. He .
. . . . .. . . . . . is shown now as an artist painter. His father is now 59 and still in the same occupation.
1871 census - Aged 38 and still with his parents the address is no 1 Elm Cottages, Lambeth. His father is 69 and retired
. . . . .. . . . . . Joseph is shown as an artist.

As a painting dated 1871-3 is of Redhill Common it may be that the Dakins moved to Redhill around this date

1881 census - Aged 48 and still unmarried Joseph is now at Beaufort House, Redhill, and still with his parents. His . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . .. . . occupation is that of 'artist landscape painter'.
1881 census - Unable to locate Joseph. If anyone can supply information for this date please
1882 - Joseph's mother died
1886 - Joseph's father died
1886/7 - J. Dakin listed at Beaufort House, Redhill
1899 - no Dakins shown as living at Redhill in street directory for that year
1901 census - Living at 16 St James Road, Camberwell with his younger brother George and his wife; occupation artist
. . . . .. . . . ........ . landscape painter working at home.
1915 - Interred with parents at Reigate

From the above is is possible that as Joseph Dakin prospered he was able to see that his parents had a comfortable retirement in Redhill, although having lived all their lives in Lambeth that would have been quite a big change for them and may have meant moving away from the rest of the family. Perhaps there was another reason for the move away from South London. Joseph could have been seeking countryside subjects for his landscapes and persuaded them to move with him to Redhill so that he could accomplish that and look after them in their old age. It does seem that with them gone Redhill was not for him and he moved back to South London, living at and working from his brother's house. Having spent his whole life with his parents it seems fitting that he should now be with them at Reigate.
Finally, Mr Bain emailed with the following: - 

The Dulwich Gallery has a drawing/print/painting by Joseph Dakin dated 1894 of the interior of the Dulwich Gallery. My wife and I saw it there many years ago and it was reproduced in a catalogue for an exhibition held at the gallery in 2008: "The Agony and the Ecstasy. Guido Reni's Saint Sebastians", p. 105. I attach a copy of this reproduction scanned from the catalogue. A search for 'Dakin' on the Dulwich web site produces no results and so I have e-mailed the gallery to ask them whether they still have this work and for any details they can give me of it. It is of possible interest for two reasons. Since it is the only work anyone seems to have
come across which is not a conventional landscape, it might suggest that Dakin had some connection with the Dulwich Gallery. Secondly, if it is a print (it is hard to be certain from the reproduction), it would indicate an interest in print-making, I'll let you know if the Dulwich Gallery gives me any useful information.
With best wishes,
Keith Bain
The Dakin picture referred to by Mr Bain. 
Details of another painting - from Peter Williams of Surrey.
I own a painting by J Dakin dated 1894 (see close-up of signature). It is named (something) Wood (see close up of torn label on back) – it would be nice to know which wood. I also attach a photo of the picture which I think is in watercolour. I don’ t know how it entered my family but we did live in Redhill – first Woodlands Road in the 1940-50s, then in mid fifties/early 60s at Gatton Point as part of the then Hawthorns School. My Mother had water colour painting as a hobby.
The tranquil sceneThe torn label that reveals not quite enough of the name of the painting's subject
The signature and date on the painting
This painting could be of a wood (as in clusters of trees) but it doesn’t look like that, it looks more like a farm in which case ???? Wood could be its name. Also is it ????? wood (two words) or ?????wood (one word), and is the w lower or upper case? The other problem is that places change so much as to be unrecognisable 100 years later. Close to Redhill there’s the area called Earlswood, which would have been built up by 1894 but there would still have been farm land around it.  A few miles away there’s the village of Charlwood. In both cases the w would be lower case. Probably it's neither of these. If anyone else has any suggestions perhaps they would email me and I'll pass them on to Peter - AJM
Many thanks to all contributors. Our knowledge of Joseph Dakin's life and work is increasing.
17th April 2012