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Compton wallpaper (designed 1896)

John Henry Dearle (1860 - 1932)

'Compton' was previously thought to have been William Morris's last design for a wallpaper (and adapted as a pattern for fabric). This was confirmed by May Morris in her ‘Collected Works of William Morris’. However, following Linda Parry’s research it is thought to have in fact been designed by Morris & Co.'s Chief Designer Henry Dearle.  Morris and Co. redesigned the the residence of Laurence W. Hodson, Compton Hall near Wolverhampton in 1895-6, although Morris had a hand in some of the designs (this is confirmed in surviving letters), there is no evidence that he was sole designer for any of the house designs. Rather, he and Dearle worked together, sending designs back and forth and correcting each other’s work. The evidence to suggest this is in fact Dearle’s design, is further strengthened by its similarity to his other work, particularly 'Leicester' wallpaper.