John Everett
18th August 1876 – 22nd February 1949
John Everett painted by Wiliam Orpen

Herbert Barnard John Everett was born in Dorchester, Dorset on the 18th August 1876. He was the only son of the Reverend Henry Everett, Rector of Holy Trinity Church, Dorchester and his wife, Augusta who was also known as Aurelia. Henry baptised his son at Holy Trinity on the 13th October 1876.

His mother, Augusta Francis Harriet Stewart could trace her maternal family back to Viscount Sackville, third son of the Duke of Dorset and her paternal family to the 7th Earl of Galloway and the 7th Earl of Wemyss.

After his father died in 1896, Herbert, as his family called him, went to London to enroll at the Slade School of Fine Art. He studied for a short while at the Académie Julian in Paris, and then, in 1898, signed on as a crew member of the barque 'Iquique' at London Docks. This was the first of his sixteen voyages. He travelled to Sydney, Australia and returned to England the following year where he returned to the Slade School. With fellow students, he formed part of London's cafe society and went on painting excursions to Cornwall and France.

In 1901 Herbert chose to be called John. The same year he married his Irish cousin and fellow Slade student, Kathleen Olive Herbert. She was known as Katherine. Their honeymoon was spent at sea en route to Australia.

Their first home was in Fitzroy Street, London. In 1904 they moved to Wool, Dorset and rented Woolbridge Manor House, which was owned by the Drax family. The author, Thomas Hardy visited them there.

John and Katherine's first son, Henry was born at Wool in 1904. He was a sickly child. The couple moved to Paris and then to Swanage, Dorset where, in 1906, their second son, Anthony Blaze was born. Within a year they had moved to a mill house called 'Arfleet' in Corfe Castle. They spent several years living there until claypit excavations threatened the house property. They then bought land at Broadstone, designing and building their home which they named 'Prospect'.

By 1914 John and Katherine's marriage was over. Katherine wrote "In the past, if things had been uncomfortable, as for instance directly after my babies were born, Herbert went away, perhaps to Paris or Cornwall or I might not know where he was. This time he informed me that his disappearance was to be final".

From then on, John did not see or pay for the education of his children. Katherine raised them alone.

During the Great War security restrictions prevented darwing and painting outdoors but in 1918 John was asked by the Ministry of Information to draw river scenes on the River Thames.

Also in 1918 John joined the Merchant Navy as a Seaman serving as a Fourth Officer.

On 22nd April 1920 he joined the barque 'Birkdale' at Bristol. He signed on as Third Mate and sailed for Sabine, Texas. During this voyage he drew and painted..

Back in Dorset in May 1924 John made a set of oil sketches. He had met American Ernest Brennecke Jr. who required illustrations of places featured in the writings of Thomas Hardy for a book 'The Life of Thomas Hardy' that Brennecke was writing. In 1925 six illustrations were published in the book in America but the book was banned in Britain by Hardy himself. He considered it inaccurate.

Also in 1925, John exhibited Hardy Country aquatints at the Camera Club in London.

John's last voyage was in 1938. World War Two restricted travel thereafter and he painted from memory from that point.

Herbert Barnard John Everett died in London on 22nd February 1949.

In 2017 it wasdiscovered that there are more paintings in UK public art collections by John Everett than any other artist.