Major Sir Neville Wilkinson, K.C.V.O
(26 October 1869 - 22 December 1940)
British officer of arms, British Army officer, author, architect, artist and dolls house designer.
Early life and military career:
Wilkinson was born in Highgate, Middlesex, the son of a barrister. He was educated at Harrow School and entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst in 1889. He was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards in 1890 and promoted Captain in 1899. He served in the Second Boer War and retired in 1907, although he returned to service in the First World War as a staff officer. He was promoted Major in 1915.
Wilkinson was appointed Ulster King of Arms in 1908 and was the last person to hold that office. As such, he was Principal Officer of Arms of Ireland, and one of the chief heraldic officers in the United Kingdom. Wilkinson granted and confirmed arms up to his death in 1940. One of his achievements in his capacity as Ulster King of Arms was the establishment of the State Heraldic Museum in 1909.
Wilkinson was appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) after the visit of the King to Dublin in 1911, knighted in the 1920 New Year Honours, and appointed Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO) after the state opening of the Parliament of Northern Ireland in June 1921.
Wilkinson built two famous dollhouses, Titania's Palace (completed and inaugurated in 1922 by Queen Mary) and Pembroke Palace (completed in 1907). Titania's Palace remained in the family for many years, but was sold after 1960 first to an English amusement park and then to Legoland. Pembroke Palace Dolls House is now at Wilton House, seat and home of the 18th Earl of Pembroke.
He was exhibited at the Royal Academy on seventeen occasions from 1927 to the year of his death in 1940. His unique designs for mosaics were shown no less than eight times during that period.