Artwork of the Month – Octavius Dixie Deacon

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.


Festive Art in Epping Forest District Museum’s Collection

In the spirit of the season we thought we would share some seasonal art work from the Museum’s collection with you.
As some of you might be aware the museum houses a great collection of art from a variety of important and renowned artists that have strong connections with the district.
Here is a little more information about them and some of their festive and season inspired art.

Walter Spradbery
Walter Spradbery was a renowned commercial artist, who lived in Buckhurst Hill. He was best known for his travel posters which were commissioned by London Transport and a number of rail companies which later became British Rail. His early work was influenced by William Morris and the New Art movement which can be seen in his exact attention to detail.

Haydn Mackey
Haydn Mackey was also a commercial artist and a close friend of Spradbery. The museum’s collection house prints, drawings, watercolours and oil paintings by Mackey showing his great skill. He has an international reputation as a painter, illustrator and war artist.

Mackey lived in the Vicarage, Waltham Abbey for a while during the 1930’s.

Both Spradbery and Mackey served together in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the First World War and both had close links to Walthamstow School of Art & Buckhurst Hill Community association.

Octavius Dixie Deacon
Octavius Dixie Deacon was a publisher, businessman and artist who lived in Loughton for a large part of his life. His work shows rural village life in the Victorian period. The museum houses letters, books and sketchbooks connected to Deacon.

Deacon Christmas card design

Deacon Christmas card design