Bygone King's: sixteen engravings

September 2011

Henry VII's design for the College (1447-1449)

Henry VII's design for the College (1447-1449)
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This month we feature illustrations from the volume Bygone King's by Richard Arthur Austen-Leigh. Austen-Leigh came up to King's as a Scholar in 1891 from Eton. His family was well-represented in the college. His three uncles, Edward (admitted 1857), Augustus (1859), and William (1861), were all Fellows of King's and Augustus was Provost 1889-1905.

At Cambridge Austen-Leigh combined a First Class in the Classical Tripos with the Presidency of the Amateur Dramatic Club. He excelled in female parts and was best known for his 'Mrs Malaprop', which received enthusiastic notices in 1895.

Austen-Leigh received his BA in 1894 and went on to a distinguished career in the printing industry. In 1907, following on from his success with Bygone Eton (1906), Austen-Leigh published Bygone King's. In his preface, Austen-Leigh describes the volume as "an attempt to portray by means of contemporary illustrations the development of the buildings at King Henry's College."

Austen-Leigh married twice, first in 1906 to Vera Mercedes, and after her death in 1941 to Margaret Thruston. He retired in 1949 and lived quietly at his Cumberland home, Isell Hall, until his death in 1961.

Click on an image to enlarge it or start a slideshow of historical drawings from Bygone King's:

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