William Corden The Younger: a family of painters

Author: Ros Clow
Date published: 06/11/2011
© Ros Clow

The Corden family of painters consisted of William the Elder (1797-1867) and William the Younger (1819-1900), and his son Victor (1860-1939). Thus the images of Datchet in the 1870s and the rebuilt church in 1864 must be by William the Younger and it is assumed those of the church in 1857 before rebuilding are also his. It is only William the Younger who certainly lived here by the early 1850s.

The first William was a painter of china in Derby and Nottingham who exhibited his designs (particularly portraits) at the Royal Academy. This led to commissions for Royal portraits, including the Queen. He also copied many portraits in her collection and was sent to Coburg by Prince Albert in 1844 to copy Saxe-Coburg pictures there.

His son William was also born in Derby but moved to Windsor in 1819. He travelled to Coburg with his father and constantly copied royal portraits for the Queen to give as presents, as well as carrying out new commissions, mainly working in watercolour. Victor Milton Corden painted landscape and military subjects, also for the Queen.

By the 1891 census, William the Younger had moved to Malt House Villa, The Wharf, Newbury & was married to Elizabeth née Burtt, b. Windsor, 1821. Victor later lived in London Road, Donnington Square, ‘Wayside’, Oxford Rd &, in 1937, in a new flat built near the Wharf. His studio was an old shack behind the present Police Station.

CAN YOU HELP? Did William or Victor paint the picture of Victoria’s Christmas tree? Why did the family move to Newbury? Does Victor’s studio still exist? What happened to Victor’s sons Bernard & Arthur?

Grave no. Nch(A) L

Sources:Information from Dictionary of National Biography & NRC Friend, Julia Goddard

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