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Hardwicke Rawnsley

British writer

Died when: 68 years 242 days (823 months)
Star Sign: Libra


Hardwicke Rawnsley

Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley (29 September 1851 – 28 May 1920) was an Anglican priest, poet, local politician and conservationist.He became nationally and internationally known as one of the three founders of the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty in the 1890s.

Rawnsley was descended from a line of Church of England vicars, and after briefly considering medicine as a career he graduated from Oxford and took holy orders.

In the mid-1870s he worked with the urban poor in London and Bristol, before being appointed in 1877 to a rural parish in Westmorland in the English Lake District.

He soon became a vigorous activist in the campaign to preserve the region from excessive industrial development.In 1883 Rawnsley was appointed Vicar of Crosthwaite, Cumberland, in the north of the Lake District.

He remained in the post for 34 years, becoming known locally and nationally for his energetic efforts to improve life for working people.

He and his wife founded the Keswick School of Industrial Art, and he led campaigns to make access to the countryside available for everyone.

Concluding that protests and legislation were not enough to protect the environment, he joined Robert Hunter and Octavia Hill in 1893 to found the National Trust to own land on the public's behalf.

It grew to become one of Britain's largest and most important landowners, holding land and buildings in trust for the people of Britain.

Rawnsley was a prolific writer, publishing more than 40 books, including verse, sermons, historical studies, travel accounts and biographies.He retired in 1917 and moved to the village of Grasmere, in the southern Lake District, where he died in 1920, aged 68.

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