About Lynwood Palmer
The story of Lynwood Palmer begins in 1868 when he was born the youngest of eight children to the Rev George Thomas and his wife Anna Frances at St Cornelius’s Church Linwood in Lincolnshire, about two miles south of Market Rasen.
A year after his birth his father moved to London serving at several parishes before finally ending up at St Mary’s Church Newington in South London.
Whilst here Lynwood used to get up at dawn to help with the horses at the large local bus yard that backed on to the rectory. At this time Lynwood attended school but did not gain any qualifications.
When aged seventeen he left school without his parents blessing and set sail to Canada he did not have any friends or relatives out there but he went anyway. In those days it must have been a very difficult thing to do without air travel and telephones which we take for granted nowadays.
He began by earning a living on ranches breaking the horses and delivering the young to the markets in New York and Boston and to Mr Grand in Toronto who was Canada’s leading horse dealer.
Later on he told a student Juliet McLeod that he had skirmished with Indians although it is most unlikely that any of these skirmeshes would have been significant.
A few years later on Palmer started to get involved in horse shows in Toronto and New York and through the contacts he made at these shows he found opportunities to develop his artistic skills.
In 1891 the Rider and Driver magazine featured a double page spread of eight sketches by Palmer entitled “Beauties of the Show”.
The following year Palmers name appeared twice in the New York Times as the donor of a prize in the first show of the United States Horse and Cattle Society. The prize was a portrat of the winner worth $200 for the best hunter up to 220lbs.
These sketches and others did not provide a living so Palmer found employment at the New York cab Company where Palmer found a living in charge of the horses.
Through giving prizes at major shows and doing sketches and even competing in the shows Palmer built up a network of equestrian contacts and so attained commisions for artwork from leading families in America.
In 1895 Palmer met his wife Lydia Frohawk she was from England and her father owned a large estate but had run in to financial difficulties and had to sell his estate and so Lydia was shipped off to America with her older sister. Palmer married Lydia later that year.
In 1895 Palmer returned from America and spent time with the aristocracy in England visiting numerous Princes, Dukes and Earls and their wives throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland and painting many paintings of their horses.
Then in 1911 Palmer purchased The White House in Heston “Down amongst the green fields and tall trees remote from industrial progress”. It would be another twenty years before the area was urbanized by the Great West Road and housing estates and much later on by Heathrow Airport.
The White House is described as a “magical place” quite large and the outside has lots of horse boxes and a tack room where all the leather harnesses were kept.
It is said that the house was originally built by Oliver Cromwell for his Daughter Elizabeth who certainly lived in Heston but where is quite vague.
Also in the yard stood Palmers Telegraph Coach which had been driven from London to Southampton in a record six hours
The house was a hive of activity with friends, vets and farriers as well as students of his paintings all calling and Lydia kept a variety of dogs from French Poodles, Staffordshire terriers and Dalmations.
The orchard had been converted to an outside schooling ring and Palmer looked after the 1924 Grand National horse race winner Master Robert at the White House.
That is why the newly opened pub on the Great West Road was called the Master Robert it has since been knocked down and a new hotel adorns the site.
He had an extensive staff a secretary, two indoor staff and three outdoor staff: pupils and clients came and went as well as horse drawn vehicles and riding horses were continually in use.
Lynwood Palmer died in 1941 a year before his wife and is buried in St Leonard’s Church Heston
I can thoroughly recommend the article on Heston Residents Association website or you can buy the very informative book on Sally Mitchell’s website by pressing the links below