In this series of posts research volunteer Alison Jones uncovers the life of William Stott of Oldham and his links with Maud Franklin.
Mary Maud Franklin was born in 1857 in Bicester, Oxfordshire. Her father was a cabinet maker and upholsterer. By 1871 Maud was 14 and lived with her family in Blantyre Street Chelsea. Her father was described as an upholsterer. The family were well placed to take advantage of a growing population eager to spend money.
She began posing for Whistler aged 16 and had two children by him, Ione and Maud, both of whom were boarded out with a family in Middlesex. Ione Franklin (also known as Forbes) survived to marry her cousin Warwick Tyler and move to the USA, sadly her younger sister died aged 10.
During the 1880s Maud studied with Sickert and exhibited as Clifton Lin and when she registered Maud’s birth described herself as ‘Artist’. Later in life she took up photography, taking and printing her own photos.
She seems to have enjoyed life with Whistler; for example in April 1880 Maud writes in a letter from Alderney St, that she has spent £100 on herself and was about to go to ‘a swell luncheon’
Whistler married Beatrice Goodwin in 1888 and Maud left England to live in Paris until her death. She married twice, both times to wealthy Americans and had a son by her first husband, John Albro Little, who, when he died, left an estate worth $4 million and Maud very well provided for. After his death she married Richard Harold Scott Abbott, a handsome American 18 years her junior, an art collector, and racing driver.
Mary Maud Franklin Abbot died in France at the villa Mon Gris near Cannes La Bocca in November 1939.
By Alison Jones, research volunteer.