Octavius Dixie Deacon, a Loughton Artist
Goldings Hill, Loughton
Octavius Dixie Deacon was born at Bow in 1836. His father owned Samuel Deacon and Co., an advertising agency which Octavius described as the oldest in England, established in 1812.
We know very little of his early life; however, with the media contacts of the family business they must have been kept up to date with the latest events and the latest celebrities.
Octavius Dixie Deacon married Louisa Anna Horncastle in 1868. The young couple lived in Stoke Newington where their first child, Elgiva, was born, moving to Grove Street in South Hackney and then to Goldings Park Road (now Goldings Road), Loughton in 1874. Their house was the first on the south side of the road and had a 200 ft long garden. They lived there until 1888.
By 1888, the Deacon family had moved to the top of Upper Park Road. Their new house, Kettering, had been largely designed by Octavius himself, although the project was managed by Edmond Egan, the Loughton based architect who designed the Lopping Hall. This house was demolished in the 1980’s.
In 1998, Epping Forest District Museum acquired a collection of letters, books and sketchbooks connected with Octavius Dixie Deacon and some of his large family of nine children.
The drawings and pictures in this collection show life in a small rural village in Victorian times. From examining Deacons’s sketches, one gets an image of a caring and loving family. Octavius often recorded his children’s lives in his drawings and also produced sketches for their entertainment.
Octavius Deacon died on December 13, 1916.