Cat no. 62

Gaumont Graphic: Prince Henry at Ipswich

Running time1:37 Black & White Silent 1927 Ipswich, Suffolk

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Prince Henry visits Ipswich, 1927



Newsreel film of HRH Prince Henry, later the Duke of Gloucester, visiting Ipswich for the opening of the Gainsborough bicentenary exhibition in 1927. The film begins with scenes of Prince Henry's arrival in Ipswich. The Prince and his party are travelling by car; the policemen accompanying them are mounted on horseback. The Prince and the Mayor, Mr. W. Rostock Elliston, enter the Town Hall. Later they drive to Bourne Park. The police are shown clearing a path through the crowd. In the park there are speeches by the Mayor and the Prince. Alderman Paul presents the Prince with the title deeds which the Prince passes to the Mayor. The film closes with scenes of the Prince planting a tree. In the background is a young boy with another hand cranked movie camera.

Background Information:

After a drive through Christchurch Park, the Prince was entertained at luncheon at the Town Hall where the Prince unveiled a memorial to employees of the Corporation killed during World War I. In the afternoon he went to Bourne Park to receive the title deeds from Alderman William Paul. These he immediately handed to the Mayor.

Thomas Gainsborough was born in Sudbury, Suffolk, the eighth of nine children of a textile manufacturer. His date of birth is unknown but he was baptised on May 14th 1727 at the Independent Meeting House. He moved to London during the early 1740s and worked as a picture restorer and as an apprentice, painting background and minor figures for other artists, including Wynants. He also drew scenes to be made into engravings from the print trade. Unlike Constable, who had a private income, that allowed him artistic freedom, Gainsborough's father had been declared bankrupt when he was six years old. In 1746, he married Margaret Burr who had an annuity of £200 a year. This was discovered later to come from the Duke of Beaufort, suggesting that she was his illegitimate daughter. However, Gainsborough had to earn a living from art and although he painted some landscapes, is remembered for his portraiture. His clients included the Duke and Duchess of Bedford, the Duke of Buccleugh, The Duke and Duchess of Cumberland, the Duchess of Montagu and the Duchess of Richmond, as well as many other wealthy, titled people.

By 1776, Gainsborough was able to charge 40 guineas for a head, 80 guineas for a half length portrait and 160 guineas for a full length portrait. Even so, he spent most of his life in debt. Before his marriage he had developed a taste for drink and women. He continued to live beyond his means. Some of Gainsborough's notable landscapes include The Market Cart, Peasant Smoking At The Cottage Door, Landscape with Farming Scenes and Landscape with Gypsies. Gainsborough died from cancer on 3rd August, 1788. Gaumont Graphic was founded in October, 1910, although this appears to be the earliest example in the East Anglian Film Archive. Gaumont Graphics were released bi-weekly on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Featured People:

HRH Prince Henry; Mr. W. Rowley Elliston, Mayor of Ipswich; Alderman William Paul

Featured Events:

The opening of the Gainsborough bicentenary exhibition in Ipswich, 1927

Featured Buildings:

Ipswich Town Hall


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