George Somes Layard

George Somes Layard (1857–1925) was an English barrister, journalist and man of letters.[1][2] He was the third son of Sarah (nee Somes) and Charles Clement Layard, rector of Combe Hay in Somerset, born at Clifton, Bristol; Nina Frances Layard was his sister. He was educated at Monkton Combe School and Harrow School. Matriculating at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1876, he graduated B.A. in 1881, and was called to the bar that year at the Inner Temple, which he had joined in 1877.[3][4] He married Eleanor Byng Gribble. The psychologist John Willoughby Layard was their second child.[5]

George Somes Layard
George Somes Layard.png
Born1857 (1857)
Clifton, Bristol
Died1925 (aged 67–68)
OccupationBarrister, writer
Spouse(s)Eleanor Byng Gribble
ChildrenJohn Willoughby Layard

Family connectionsEdit

Layard was related to a number of prominent individuals through both his parents. His father was first cousin (on his father's side) of Sir Austen Henry Layard (excavator of Nineveh and Nimrud), Edgar Leopold Layard (Curator of the South African Museum at Cape Town, and Governor of Fiji), and of Lady Charlotte Guest (translator of the Mabinogion and collector of ceramics).

His grandfather Brownlow Villiers Layard was aide-de-camp and afterwards (1802) private chaplain to the Duke of Kent (and brother of the Governors of Malta and Curaçao and of Lady Lindsey), and was the son of a Dean of Bristol and grandson of the accoucheur Daniel Peter Layard. C. C. Layard was also first cousin (on his mother's side) of Lady Llanover (of the Welsh cultural revival), being the son of Louisa Port, sister of Georgiana (favoured grandniece of Mrs Delany and companion of Fanny Burney), and therefore a descendant of Bernard Granville of Calwich and of Sir Richard Grenville of 'The Revenge'.

Layard's mother Sarah Somes was sister of Samuel Somes and the MP, Joseph Somes. In the 1830s her brothers were the largest ship-owners in London and held contracts for convict shipping to Australia. His sister Nina Layard was a poet, prehistorian, archaeologist and antiquarian who conducted important excavations, and one of the first four women to be admitted as Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.[4]



  1. ^ George Grossmith; Weedon Grossmith (20 November 2008). The Diary of a Nobody. Broadview Press. p. 240. ISBN 978-1-4604-0332-7.
  2. ^ "George Somes Layard | Artist | Royal Academy of Arts". Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  3. ^ "Layard, George Somes (LRT876GS)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  4. ^ a b Plunkett, Steven J. "Layard, Nina Frances". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/58931. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  5. ^ MacClancey, Jeremy. "Layard, John Willoughby". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/76193. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  6. ^ "Review of Portraits of Cruikshank by Himself by G. S. Layard". The Dial. 22 (263): 338. 1 June 1897.
  7. ^ Buckingham, James Silk; Sterling, John; Maurice, Frederick Denison; Stebbing, Henry; Dilke, Charles Wentworth; Hervey, Thomas Kibble; Dixon, William Hepworth; MacColl, Norman; Rendall, Vernon Horace; Murry, John Middleton (25 December 1897). "Review of Portraits of Cruikshank by Himself by G. S. Layard". The Athenaeum (3661): 891–892.

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