The Times/1927/Obituary/Willingham Franklin Rawnsley

Mr. W. F. Rawnsley.

Mr. Willingham Franklin Rawnsley, J.P., of the Manor House, Shamley Green, near Guildford, died on Friday at the age of 82. A great-nephew of Sir John Franklin, the Artic explorer, he was the eldest son of the Rev. Drummond Rawnsley, rector of Halton Holgate, Lincolnshire, and was sent, like his brother the late Canon H. D. Rawnsley, to Uppingham School in the early period Edward Thring's great headmastership. He went to Christ Church, migrating later to Corpus Christi College, Oxford and took classical honours. For many years he was proprietor of Winton House, Winchester, a famous private school. On retiring he went to live at Guildford. As a member of the National Trust, he took a leading part in the negotiations which led to the acquisition for the nation of a number of Surrey beauty spots. His tastes were mainly literary and he was at one president of the Poetry Society. In the current number of the Poetry Review he has an interesting letter on the ideals of the society and its work in encouraging the writing and speaking of poetry. In a note the editor described Mr. Rawnsley as “a sympathetic, kindly mentor and constructive critic, actuated by the highest motives and inspired by a fine flavour of the best of Victorian culture.” He was the author of several books, including “Highways and Byways of Lincolnshire,” a study of Edward Thring, which appeared last year, and “The Life and Letters of Lady Franklin.” He was a recognized authority on the poems of Tennyson, who was Sir John Franklin's nephew by marriage, and with whom he was personally intimate. He was a page at Tennyson's wedding in 1850. Mr. Rawnsley married in 1880 Alice, daughter of the late Very Rev. Marsham Argles, Dean of Peterborough.

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