JOSIAH WOOD WHYMPER AND EDWARD WHYMPER
A plaque at Town House in the High Street celebrates the life of Josiah Wood Whymper and Edward Whymper, father and son.
Josiah Wood Whymper was born on 24 April 1813 in Ipswich. His wood-engraving business became one of the most thriving in London and his engravings appeared in a number of popular books of British Birds and Wild animals. Whymper was among the first of a group of intellectuals to move to Haslemere after the opening of the railway, encouraged by the belief that the 'Alpine' air at Hindhead would be good for his wife's health. Sadly she died within weeks of their move to Town House. In his retirement he was an active participant in the intellectual hot house that characterised Haslemere and Hindhead at this time. He exhibited for the Haslemere Society of Artists in 1894 and 1895, becoming president in 1898, a post he held until shortly before his death in 1903.
Born in 1840, Edward was Josiah's second son. At the age of fourteen he was apprenticed as a draughtsman engraver in his father's firm. A commission in 1860 by William Longman to make illustrations of the Alps initiated his mountaineering, for which he is best known. On 14 July 1865 he led a group which was the first to climb the Matterhorn. Tragically, on the descent, one of the team slipped, dragging three fellow climbers to their death. The disaster provoked a scandal from which Whymper, who became an embittered and solitary individual, never fully recovered. Nevertheless he led a number of further ground breaking expeditions, to Greenland, The Andes, The Alps and Canada, where Mount Whymper bears his name.
Haslemere Uncovered Whymper article - CLICK HERE
Location on Google Maps - CLICK HERE
Click here for the Haslemere Society Blue Plaque leaflet on the Town House.