Grave No.3 - The Orchardson Grave
Sir William Quiller Orchardson 1832-1910
For the next grave retrace your steps on the grass path towards the chapel.
Look for the Hatfield Grave – a cross on a four step pedestal base with railings
and kerbstone (recently refurbished) and passing to the left of it to a gravestone
lying on the ground. This is the Gravestone of Sir William Quiller
William Orchardson was born 1832 in Edinburgh. His father was Scottish but
his mother Austrian and this is the origin of ‘Quiller’ in his name. He entered
the Trustees Academy in Edinburgh in 1845, a famous arts institute for the art
world. He was noted immediately for his natural talent and had a sketch
exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1848. However he seems to have
either had insufficient drive or been easily diverted as many studies by him
He moved to London in 1862 until 1865, sharing his accommodation with John
Pettie, Tom Graham and C. E. Johnston at 37 Fitzroy Square. He had a skill in
painting interpreting some of the foremost literary work of famous writers
such as Shakespeare. His output was prolific and his standards became well
respected by the art world. In 1880 he produced perhaps his best known
work, the atmospheric ‘Napoleon on board the Bellerophon’ (see below). This is
owned by the Tate Gallery but is currently on show at the National
Maritime Museum Greenwich.
In 1873 he married Ellen Moxon and the couple had four sons and two
daughters. But the local link came when the family moved to Westgate-on-sea
to their second home at Ivyside. There he built a studio and produced some of
his greatest works. He had always been a keen sportsman and built a tennis
court at Westgate. In 1907 he was knighted for his contribution to art. He
passed away on 13th April 1910 but had expressed a wish to be buried
in Thanet where he had spent so many happy years.
Prominent members of the art establishment attended
the funeral. Strange that he received so little
recognition, when he was a resident in Thanet longer
than Turner! From the Orchardson Grave return to the front of the Hatfeild Grave and look
to the graves to the right fronting the path. This is the grave of Major Mervyn
Cobb and to the rear are a series of graves relating to the Cobb family.