Robert Spence Watson, William Morris, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti blue plaque in Gateshead

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Spence Watson
(1837 - 1911)
Bensham Grove was home to
Robert Spence Watson
who enjoyed a national prominence
in both artistic and political circles.
His visitors included William Morris
and Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
A noted arbitrator in industrial
disputes, pacifist and
Liberal politician.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (/ˈdænti ˈɡeɪbriəl rəˈzɛti/; 12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882) was an English poet, illustrator, painter and translator. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais, and was later to be the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement, most notably William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. His work also influenced the European Symbolists and was a major precursor of the Aesthetic movement.Rossetti's art was characterised by its sensuality and its medieval revivalism. His early poetry was influenced by John Keats. His later poetry was characterised by the complex interlinking of thought and feeling, especially in his sonnet sequence The House of Life. Poetry and image are closely entwined in Rossetti's work; he frequently wrote sonnets to accompany his pictures, spanning from The Girlhood of Mary Virgin (1849) and Astarte Syriaca (1877), while also creating art to illustrate poems such as Goblin Market by the celebrated poet Christina Rossetti, his sister.Rossetti's personal life was closely linked to his work, especially his relationships with his models and muses Elizabeth Siddal, Fanny Cornforth, and Jane Morris.

Source: dbpedia

William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) was an English artist, writer, textile designer and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and English Arts and Crafts Movement. He founded a design firm in partnership with the artist Edward Burne-Jones, and the poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti which profoundly influenced the decoration of churches and houses into the early 20th century. As an author, illustrator and medievalist, he helped to establish the modern fantasy genre, and was a direct influence on postwar authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien. He was also a major contributor to reviving traditional textile arts and methods of production, and one of the founders of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, now a statutory element in the preservation of historic buildings in the UK.Morris wrote and published poetry, fiction, and translations of ancient and medieval texts throughout his life. His best-known works include The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems (1858), The Earthly Paradise (1868–1870), A Dream of John Ball (1888), the utopian News from Nowhere (1890), and the fantasy romance The Well at the World's End (1896). He was an important figure in the emergence of socialism in Britain, founding the Socialist League in 1884, but breaking with that organization over goals and methods by the end of the decade. He devoted much of the rest of his life to the Kelmscott Press, which he founded in 1891. Kelmscott was devoted to the publishing of limited-edition, illuminated-style print books. The 1896 Kelmscott edition of the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer is considered a masterpiece of book design.

Source: dbpedia

Robert Spence Watson (8 June 1837–2 March 1911) was an English solicitor, reformer, politician and writer. He became famous for pioneering labour arbitrations.On the 9th June 1863 he married Elizabeth Spence Watson.He was one of the original convenors of the National Liberal Federation in 1877, and was its president from 1890 until 1902.He helped to found the Durham College of Science in 1871, later to become Armstrong College and part of Newcastle University. From 1890 till 1911 Watson was the president of the 'Society of Friends of Russian Freedom'. He contributed much to the society's printed organ "Free Russia". He published The History of English Rule and Policy in South Africa in 1897, and joined the South Africa Conciliation Committee.In 1995 a blue commemorative plaque was erected outside his home.

Source: dbpedia

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