|Larling lies in the
Brecklands - a few miles north-west of
critic and political writer John Middleton Murry
(1889-1957) moved into the Old Rectory at Larling in
1931. Murry was the editor of The Adelphi
- a radical journal which he founded in 1923. He also
had a close friendship with D. H. Lawrence. In 1931 he
published a controversial study of Lawrence entitled
Son of Woman.
John Middleton Murry
His first wife, the short story writer
Katherine Mansfield, died of tuberculosis. His second
wife Violet le Maistre also succumbed to the same illness and, in a state of
grief, he married his housekeeper Betty Cockbayne.
Betty was a highly emotional and volatile person who frequently
violent rages which made life at Larling extremely
difficult for both Murry and his children.
Colin and Katherine Middleton Murry - who were his
children by Violet - both wrote autobiographies which
dealt with their upbringing at Larling. In Beloved
Quixote Katherine recalled her step mother's
terrible fits of temper. Colin's memories were
entitled One Hand Clapping and Shadows
on the Grass but were slightly less troubled.
Later in life, Murry became
interested in self supporting agricultural communities
and set up Lodge Farm at Thelnetham - just over the
border in Suffolk. He finally found
happiness here with his fourth wife Mary Gamble.
Ironically, after searching all his life for a creed, he finally
settled for the Church of England; he is buried in the churchyard at Thelnetham.
Grave of John Middleton Murry in Thelnetham Churchyard