Branfill, Benjamin Aylett

Identity area

Type of entity

Person

Authorized form of name

Branfill, Benjamin Aylett

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1828-1899

History

Colonel Benjamin Aylett Branfill was an artist, remembered especially for his enormous founding contributions and pioneering influence to the art scene in the late nineteenth century in Nelson, New Zealand. He was a well-known illustrator and was published in T.L Wilson’s History and Topography of Upminster (1880). He was born on 26 February 1828 to Champion and Anne (nee Hammond) Branfill in Upminster, England. Benjamin was the fourth child of eight. He spent his childhood at Upminster Hall, a fifteenth-century Estate home that had been the ancestral home of his family since 1685. He was educated at Forest School in Walthamstow. Within the span of a year, between 1843 and 1844, Benjamin
would lose both his brother, Egerton, and his father of illness. On the 5 April 1846, at the age of 18, he joined the 10th Royal Hussars Cavalry regiment (Prince of Wales’ Own) at the rank of Cornet, but quickly rose to the rank of Lieutenant by 1847. He traveled to India with the regiment in 1846 and then to the Crimea in 1855. Upon returning to England in June 1856, he married Mary Anna Miers on 1 July 1857 at Cheltenham and they had 8 children: Champion Edward (b. 1858), Capel Aylett (b. 1859), Mary Leigh (b. 1860), Ethel Aylett (b. 1862), Helen Hammond (b. 1863), Egerton Brydges (b. 1864, d. 1866), Francis Lisle (b. 1865), and Benjamin (b. 1871). On 6 May 1859, he was assigned Deputy
Assistant Quartermaster General (DAQMG) in Ireland and lived in Dublin until 1864. From 1864 to 1881, he traveled widely, making trips to Gibraltar, Cape Town, and Mauritius, as well as having extended postings in Bermuda (May 1873- March 1874) and India (1875-1876). He retired as a Lieutenant-Colonel in October 1877. He inherited Upminster Hall in 1873 and resided there with his family after his retirement. In 1881, he immigrated to New Zealand and settled in Nelson. Once there, he became an art instructor
and critic for the Bishopdale Sketching Club. In New Zealand, Branfill’s life focused primarily on art, religious study, music, horticulture and photography. He died 4 January 1899 at the age of 70.

Places

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area

Occupations

Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC