Artist: Henry Joseph Moule

Date of Birth:
Date of Death:
Place of Death:
Residence in Dumfries & Galloway:

Rosebank, Gatehouse of Fleet, 1862-1877


University of Cambridge


Rambles in Galloway, Malcolm McLachlan Harper.

A Victorian View of Dorset, the life and watercolours of Henry Joseph Moule MA, 1825 – 1904, Gwen Yarker, Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, 1997

Image,photograph of the artist, by kind permission of Gwen Yarker and the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society


Factor to Mr Murray Stewart at Cally, Gatehouse in the 1860s and 1870s before returning to Dorset. Curator of the county museum there in the 1880s and 90s. Illustrated Gatehouse of Fleet and Anwoth Old Kirk, as full plates and a number of other views in Rambles in Galloway (see bibliography). 202 of his watercolours of Gatehouse and Galloway are in Dorset County Museum. Got to know Thomas Hardy through their mutual interest in watercolours. Wrote to Hardy 3/10/1881 telling him that the drawings lent to be copied for Rambles in Galloway were “detestably” done. (Yarker) see bibliography.

Moule’s Cally landscapes were the subject of a lecture to the Garden History Society in Scotland at their study weekend in South West Scotland 11 and 12 May 2007

Henry Joseph Moule was a Dorset man.  He was born on September 25th 1825 at Gillingham Vicarage, where his father was curate.  Henry Joseph was the eldest of eight boys.  His younger brothers included George, later the bishop of Mid-China and Handley, a celebrated bishop of Durham.

Henry Joseph Moule grew up at Fordington Vicarage, near Dorchester before going up to Cambridge, where he graduated in 1848.  He became tutor and secretary to the family of Lord Wriothesley Russell and later librarian to Earl Fitzwilliam.  He travelled on the continent and it was probably at this time that he established the practice of sketching every day.  Between 1856 and 1860 Henry Joseph taught Thomas Hardy to sketch in watercolours from nature, cementing a friendship which endured for 40 years.

In the early 1860s Henry Joseph Moule moved to Gatehouse of Fleet to become factor to Horatio Murray Stuart at Cally.  In 1862 he married Elizabeth, daughter of John Young of Edinburgh and it was at Rosebank, the factor’s house overlooking Ann Street in Gatehouse that he lived for the next 15 years and it was here that his four children were born.   It is likely that these are the children we see in a number of his Galloway drawings.  His brother Handley in his Memories of a Vicarage wrote that Henry Joseph managed the estate “with great energy and capacity.”

As a correspondent of the influential John Ruskin, Moule would have been influenced by Ruskin’s opposition to the industrial revolution.  There are, therefore, no scenes of industrial activity around Gatehouse but a large number of sketches of views around the town, particularly within the grounds of Cally.  His work provides a unique record of the Designed Landscape of Cally and today’s Fleet Valley National Scenic Area, as it was in Mid-Victorian times.

Moule also sketched the coast at Ravenshall and at Carrick, both sketching places favoured by the Faeds and he co-operated with Malcolm Harper in the production of the first edition of his Rambles in Galloway.  However, Moule was unhappy with the reproduction of the seven illustrations, which he lent to be engraved, writing later to Thomas Hardy that they were “detestably” done.

Henry Joseph Moule left Gatehouse in 1877 and after a short  time in Ireland returned to his native Dorset, where in 1883 he was appointed first curator of the newly built Dorset County Museum.  Towards the end of his life Henry Joseph collected together his work of sixty years in twelve volumes of sketches including a volume of sketches done in Galloway entitled “Anwoth and Girthon”, which has been generously donated to the County Museum by the Moule family.  He died in Dorchester in March 1904.