Phyllis Maureen GOTCH

Phyllis Maureen GOTCH
Maureen Marquise de Verdieres BODILLY

Born on 6 September 1882 in Brolles, France, the daughter of Thomas Cooper GOTCH and Caroline Burland GOTCH, she grew up in the affectionate and loving circle of her family and the other Newlyn, Lamorna and Falmouth artist friends of her parents. She loved dressing up and organising all manner of entertainments and parties.

Her first husband was Ernest Doherty, whom she married in 1913. Ernest died in South Africa, 1918, leaving Phyllis & daughter Patsy to return to live with her parents. In 1922 she married Andre, Marquis de Verdieres. Her third marriage took place in 1936 to Jocelyn Bodilly (later Sir), grandson of Francis BODILLY, the artist.

The Bodillys returned to live in Newlyn, where the 'Marquise' as she was known, became active socially and politically with Newlyn again, leading protests against the re-development of Newlyn after WWII, and famously sailing with the Rosebud to Westminster Docks in support of retaining historic Newlyn harbour.

As Laura KNIGHT commented in her own memoirs, it was impossible to resist Phyllis: 'had she been a General she could have led millions to death and glory for a hopeless cause.' (p178) She wrote The Romance of A Boo-Bird Chick, Verses and Pictures by Phyllis M. Gotch (1903) London: R. Brimley Johnson. A moral tale in verse form, concerning scandal-mongering, amongst a group of colourful and characterful birds.


Illustrator, author, campaigner

works and access

Works include: Verses and illustrations The Romance of A Boo-Bird Chick (1903)


Flanagan, B (2010) Artists along the Ouse 1880-1930 p44

Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall p197

Knight (1936) Oil Paint & Grease Paint

Lomax (2004) The Golden Dream  (amongst other Gotch family biographies); 

Sagar Fenton (2003) The Rosebud and the Newlyn Clearances

Tovey, David (2022) Lamorna - An Artistic, Social and Literary History - Volume I - Pre-1920, Wilson Books