WHITBY, Elsie Margaret

1865 - 1947

As Elsie Margaret Cluff, she was born at 68 Albion Road, Hackney on 1 January 1865, youngest daughter of William George Cluff (28 June 1825-14 March 1911), clerk to a house agent, and his wife Louisa Hephzibah née Jack (13 July 1826-1882), who married at Shoreditch in 1848. As Miss Elsie M. Cluff, in May 1895 she exhibited at the 40th exhibition of the Society of Lady Artists in the Egyptian Hall at the Royal Academy, an oil painting (262) 'View from H. M. Customs House London' and later that year at the Old Vestry House, Walthamstow two oils, 'The Nave' and 'Henry VII's Chapel, Westminster Abbey', two watercolours 'The Lake Higham's Park' and 'Cheyne Walk, Chelsea' and several black & white sketches. In 1901, an artist, living with her widowed father at Eagle House, 354 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, Essex. Elsie married at St Ethelburga's Church, Bishopsgate Street, London on 4 December 1907, John Warren Whitby (9 March 1865-27 May 1942), a farmer at Woodlands Farm, Raydon, near Ipswich, the youngest son of the late William Chaffey Whitby, who had died on 25 January 1904 leaving the then very substantial sum of over 100,000. Elsie was a painter of landscapes and buildings in oil and watercolour and, as Mrs John Warren Whitby, a member of Ipswich Art Club 1910-1912 exhibiting twelve works including in 1910, three watercolours 'A Suffolk Harvest Field', 'Harvest Sunset' and 'The Building of Tower Bridge' and the oil 'Henry VII Chapel, Westminster Abbey', five works in 1911 and three in 1912. In 1939, she was living at 'Woodlands', Raydon, Hadleigh, Suffolk with her husband John Warren Whitby, manager of his own farm. Elsie died at 'Woodlands' Raydon on 20 September 1947, aged 82. Under her maiden name of Elsie M. Cluff she painted a watercolour in 1910 'The Tomb of Edward the Confessor' (40cm x 28cm).