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George Russell French

Biography at,_George_Russell_%28DNB00%29 -
'... FRENCH, GEORGE RUSSELL (1803–1881), antiquary, was born in London in 1803. After being privately educated he became an architect, and was for many years surveyor and architect to the Ironmongers' Company. French was an accomplished scholar, and devoted his leisure to antiquarian researches. He was long an active member of the council, and subsequently one of the vice-presidents, of the London and Middlesex Archæological Society. In 1841 French published an elaborate account of the ancestries of Queen Victoria and of the Prince Consort; and in 1847 his ‘Address delivered on the sixth anniversary of the College of the Freemasons of the Church.’ He next traced the royal descent of Nelson and Wellington from Edward I, king of England, and published in 1853 the tables of pedigree and genealogical memoirs in connection therewith. In 1861–9 he prepared and issued a ‘Catalogue of the Antiquities and Works of Art exhibited at Ironmongers' Hall.’ French published in two parts the result of a careful series of Shakespearean investigations, under the title of ‘Shakespeareana Genealogica’ (1869). The first part consisted of an identification of the dramatis personæ in Shakespeare's historical plays, from ‘King John’ to ‘King Henry VIII,’ accompanied with observations on characters in ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Hamlet,’ and notes on persons and places belonging to Warwickshire alluded to in several plays. The second part consisted of a dissertation on the Shakespeare and Arden families and their connections, with tables of descent. French, who was a temperance reformer, published in 1879 a work entitled ‘Temperance or Abstinence,’ in which he discussed the question from the scriptural point of view. French died in London on 1 Nov. 1881 ...'
[taken from the DNB]

for a list of French's works, see 'Athenæum', 12 Nov. 1881; French's Works

* ERO D/P 548/6/23, 1845, plan of All Saints 'District Church, Stanway and Lexden, Consecrated 8 April 1845, prepared by George RUSSELL French, of 18 Sussex Gardens, London, architect. '... Bears memorandum, signed by the incumbent, churchwardens and architect, stating that church was built in 1844, with the aid of a grant of £150 from the Society for Promoting the Enlargement, Building and Repair of Churches and Chapels on condition that a proportion of seats should remain free and unappropriated. Gives details of accommodation (appropriated and free sittings, etc.) ...'

All Saints' Church, Shrub End Road (south-east side)


[JB] Church by George Russell French, 1844-5, to serve a new parish for the growing population of Stanway and Lexden. Hard red brick with Caen stone dressings. Nave, chancel, and low tower with splay-foot spire over the N porch; organ chamber added 1883, S choir vestry 1958, and the nave extended W in 1982. A plain exterior enlivened only by the carved label stops along the N side; those at the new W end are portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Fittings include reredos of marble and gold mosaic by John Hardman & Co. (memorial to Edward Coope Fulcher died 1880); stained glass window on S side of nave by Cox & Sons, 1878 (memorial to John Smith Dolby, first incumbent), and another by James Powell & Sons (memorial to Edith M.M. Scarman died 1930); and wall monument to Thomas Joseph Turner of Little Olivers, Stanway, died 1866, by L.J. Watts of Colchester.
A significant church by a well-known London architect who also had Essex connections, with addresses in Wanstead and Leytonstone. See H.M. Colvin, Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (2008), p. 398; Incorporated Church Building Society file 3432, Lambeth Palace Library, London; 'Builder', vol 2 (21 Sept 1844), p. 482, and vol 36 (23 Feb 1878), p. 200; VCH Essex, IX (1994), p. 335. [JB]

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