TEMPEST, Margaret Mary

1892 - 1982

Margaret Mary Tempest

Margaret Mary Tempest was born at Parkfield, Park Road, Ipswich on 15 May 1892, daughter of Charles Ernest Tempest (1854-1931), a sharebroker, and his wife Frances Sarah née Jacob (11 October 1860-1947), who married at Warminster, Wiltshire in 1890. Her father was a Justice of the Peace and Mayor of Ipswich. Margaret studied at the Ipswich Art School, the Westminster School of Art and the Royal Drawing Society and in 1912 co-founded the Chelsea Illustrators Club with some of her co-students and was honorary secretary until it was disbanded in 1939 owing to the war. Margaret achieved fame as an illustrator of children's books, including Alison Uttley's 'The Little Grey Rabbit' series starting in 1929 and eventually contributed to 34 of the series and went on to illustrate many other children's stories, some of which she wrote herself, such as the 'Pinkie Mouse and the Curly Cobbler' books. Elected a member of Ipswich Art Club in 1920 and exhibited in 1923 three works 'Pin Mill', 'The Dream Boat' and 'Lullaby', and from 28 Fonnereau Road, Ipswich in 1932 two watercolours 'The Gateway to the Bazaar' and 'The High Court, Allahabad' and was a member of the committee in 1940, retiring in 1974 when she became a life member. Whilst living and working in Chelsea, she taught drawing in a number of private London homes. Her other passion was sailing and she became Commodore of Pin Mill Sailing Club on the river Orwell near Ipswih and was a member of the Royal Harwich Yacht Club. In 1939, she was living at 28 Fonnereau Road, Ipswich with her mother and sibling brother Francis Lewis (28 May 1893-1951), a solicitor. She married at Ipswich in 1951 her widowed cousin, Sir Edward Grimwood Mears (1869-1963) when she became Lady Margaret Mears, and died at her home in St Edmund's Road, Ipswich in 1982. At the centenary exhibition of the Ipswich Art Club in 1974 she exhibited three watercolours 'Chestnut Fairies'; two illustrations from 'Little Grey Rabbit' and 'Belief for children' and her sketch-book. Other books illustrated by Tempest included 'No Rubbish There' (Collins 1936), 'Willow Witches Brook' (Collins 1944) and 'A Belief for Children' (Collins 1952) and she occasionally exhibited at the Society of Women Artists including 'Lords and Laties' and 'Dandelions and Ann' (1918).




Works by This Painter