We believe that this fuchsia is named after Walter Hume Long, who was born in Bath in 1854, and married Lady Dorothy (Doreen) Blanche, daughter of Richard Boyle, 9th Earl of Cork, in 1878. Walter died in 1924 at Rood Ashton House in Wiltshire. During his political career which spanned over 40 years, Walter held office as President of the Board of Agriculture, President of the Local Government Board, Chief Secretary for Ireland, Secretary of State for the Colonies and First Lord of the Admiralty. He is also remembered for his links with Irish Unionism, and served as Leader of the Irish Unionist Party in the House of Commons from 1906 to 1910. He was appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire in February 1920, and was raised to the peerage as Viscount Long of Wraxall in the County of Wiltshire in May 1921. Note: The Royal Commission on Agriculture, meet at Trowbridge on 18 January 1893. Some Clues: The Fuchsia Cultivar ‘Walter Long’ appeared in the following nursery catalogues, John Forbes (1888), B S Williams (1888), W J Bull (1889-93), H. Cannell (1892). We would love to see images of these catalogue entries, with references in the Gardeners Chronicle and Gardeners Oracle….
We always knew James was buried in Market Lavington churchyard, from the parish burial register (deposited at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre) but extensive searches of the graveyard had failed to locate his grave. We learnt that recently a book containing positional information for some burials had been given to Market Lavington Museum, which may help in locating James’s grave. We contacted the museum prior to our visit to Market Lavington on the 23rd April 2016 and when we arrived we learnt that some of the Museum helpers had been out earlier in the day to try and find his grave location. Which by all accounts wasn’t easy, but with a bit of persistence and some lateral thinking they discovered the location of his grave and to their surprise there was also a gravestone. When we arrived at the museum, we were met by the curator Mr. Frost. He took us across the graveyard and we stood in front of a grave on which you could not read the inscription due to the Crustose lichen growing on it. Mr Frost informed us that this was James’s grave. With the assistance of some water and a toothbrush from the museum, I started to clean the headstone…
Lye – Feb. 3rd at Sunnyside, Easterton, James Lye (for many years a faithful servant to the late Hon. Mrs. Hay, Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington), aged 75 years – Funeral at Market Lavington, Friday, 3pm. From: The Devizes & Wiltshire Gazette, February 14, 1906. p.g.94.
James Lye. – On Saturday last, at a ripe age, a victim to paralysis, there passed away at Market Lavington, Wilts., a gardener in the person of James Lye, who had the warm esteem and regard of a wide circle of friends, and who had made for himself a good name in horticulture. For very many years he was Gardener at Clyffe Hall, Market Lavington, and there gave his attention largely to the raising and growing of Fuchsias and Potatoes. Whilst the varieties of the latter which he raised have been elbowed out of commerce by newer ones, many of his Fuchsias to-day still rank amongst the very best in cultivation – indeed, none are more beautiful, have better habits, or flower more abundantly. Mr. Lye was a very capable raiser and first class grower of specimens, and the noble pyramids he grew at Clyffe Hall, 9 to 10 feet in height, and referred to in an article in Gardeners’ Chronicle, February 14, 1885, were never excelled out of the West of England. He had retired from active life for several years, but still retained his love for Fuchsia-raiding to the last. A.D. From: The Gardeners’ Chronicle, February 14, 1906….