By George Solly
Not much activity this period which is slightly surprising as lockdown might have given people more time to research but finally this week from Peregrine Solly, who wrote:
I hope that you are well and that you have survived all the vicissitudes of the last few months? I am sorry that I have been so hopeless at producing any articles for the journal; my grand plans of settling into a leisurely retirement and finding time to go through my Solly papers simply haven’t happened and I am still ridiculously busy. However I have at last managed to put together a short, and, I hope, not too serious article about a visit By George Bernard Shaw to a “haunted” house owned by my great-grandfather, George Bushell Solly.
Sadly I can’t claim the credit for the inspiration for the article. This came from someone called John McIntyre who contacted me out of the blue during lockdown to check if I knew which house it was in Wandsworth that GBS had visited. John, it transpired, was in lockdown in New York where my twin brother lives. Although they didn’t meet, they corresponded and between us all we were able to put the story together of the Solly’s departure from Kent and their move to Canada.
Yours ever, Peregrine
PS: I still intend to explore Richard Heaton Solly’s life in a bit more detail. He had been cut out much of his inheritance, and despite being bitter, obsessive and fairly unpleasant, he was clearly very successful with investments in breweries, lighthouses and farms – an intriguing character.
[Ed: We hope to have both those articles in a future edition. I have been in communication with Peregrine and he has been fortunate to inherited a trunk full of family papers which he has yet to go through. They relate to the Sollys
and are from 1730 to 1860s, so we look forward to hearing what he discovers]