Photograph of HRN Pictor Photos courtesy Margaret Wakefield May 2019
Earlier this year in the story Pictor & Sons, we mentioned that there were few photographs of the important Pictor family who controlled much of the Box quarry trade as quarry-owners from their works at Clift Quarry and their role as chairman of the Bath and Portland Stone Firms. Chris Gale sent us photos of William Smith Pictor and his wife Emma.
Margaret Wakefield recalled that she had seen a photo of one member of the family and searched the albums collected by her father Philip Lambert. Now she has found the item amongst cricket photographs dated 1879, when Herbert Robert Newman Pictor was twenty-six years old. The quarry trade was still vibrant under the control of Herbert's uncle, Cornelius, after the sudden death of Herbert's father Robert two years before. The family's personal fortunes were rising with Cornelius building Fogleigh House.
It was a false dawn and the trade was always liable to great swings in profitability. Within a decade, Pictor & Sons was merged into the newly-formed Bath Stone Firms (precursor to the Portland merger) and by 1891, Cornelius retired, leaving Herbert to run the business. The serious young man in the cricket photo became an isolated, lonely adult in his house Rudloe Towers. Eventually, personal disaster overtook him with divorce and later bankruptcy. A sad personal failure.