AIRY, Christabel

1842 - 1917

Airy Family

Christabel Airy was born at Greenwich, Kent in 1842 and baptised at St Alphage, Greenwich on 6 June 1842, third daughter of [Sir] George Biddell Airy (27 July 18012 January 1892), astronomer royal, and his wife Richarda Airy née Smith, who married at Edensor, Derbyshire on 23 March 1830. She was the sister of Annot Airy and of Wilfred Airy, the father of Anna Airy. As Miss Airy she exhibited at the Ipswich Fine Art Club from the family's Suffolk home at Playford near Ipswich in 1882, a watercolour 'On the Thames at Greenwich' it is assumed that this is not by her sister Annot, as she is listed separately from a Miss A. Airy. In 1888, elected to the Guardians of the Greenwich Union and in 1891, a 49-year-old 'Guardian of the Poor' living at The White House, Crooms Hill, Greenwich with her 89-year-old father and siblings, 47-year-old Annot and 45-year-old Osmund and they retained three indoor servants. On the death of her father in 1892, she inherited The White House, with his Playford, Suffolk estate going to his son Wilfrid Airy. In 1911, she and her sister Annot, were still living at The White House, Greenwich and Christabel Airy died at White House, Crooms Hill, Greenwich, Kent on 8 June 1917, she was unmarried. There is a monument to her in Playford churchyard. Greenwich Observatory has a set of twenty-two watercolours executed by Christabel between 1866 and 1880 when living at Greenwich. Sir George Biddell Airy purchased a house now 'Airy's' at Playford near Ipswich 1843/4 where they spent their holidays and it remained in the Airy's possession until the death of his granddaughter, Anna Airy, in 1964.

Sir George Biddle Airy with his family with Wilfred and young Christabel on the left

Works by This Artist