Mrs Henriette Marguerite Lilias Davis (Barrett) TREWHELLA
nee Lilas BARRETT, also called Leila

A more complex trail of names is rather hard to imagine!  Lilas was born as Henriette Davis, the daughter of writers Frank Davis (1846-1926, aka Frank Barrett)  and his second wife, Rose Aburrow Davis (1868 - ?, aka Joan Barrett). It should also be said at the start that the name she was known by is alternatively Lilas, Lilias, or Leila. Both of her parents were writers, though her father Frank had previously produced ceramics and sculptures while living in France, and prior to that had been a sausage-maker in his father's butcher's business. (See Bear Alley).

It appears from correspondence that David Tovey established from the Whitehouse family archive that the family arrived in St Ives in the winter of 1912-1913, though it may have been a bit earlier. Leila is mentioned as exhibiting by St Ives Times first in December 1915, again in 1917, and then on Show days in 1920, and 1923.

Her first STISA Show Day was in 1929, when a study of children at play was considered full of fine movement, and her painting in the 1931 London exhibition, to which many St Ives artists contributed, "emphasised the dark mystery of a wild coast", and was considered one of the show's highlights.

In 1932 both of her STISA exhibits sold immediately. At that time she was living at Restronguet Farm, Mylor Bridge, and although she did not contribute to any of the touring shows during the 1930s, she remained a member of STISA until 1947.



works and access

Works include: Sorrow (1920); La Ronde (1929); Zennor Cliffs (1931)


Lanhams, St Ives from 1915

St Ives Show Day 1923

STISA  Show Day 1929, Winter 1932

London Show Kernow Group 1931


STISA c1929-1947


St Ives Times 17 Dec 1915; 29 Jun 1917; 16 Apr 1920; 23 Mar 1923; 17 Jul 1931

Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p349)

Steve Holland (2008) (genealogical & literary research)

Tovey (2003) Creating a Splash;

Tovey (2009) St Ives/A social history Gloucester Records Office: Whitehouse Family Archive, Bundle 2/10)