William Frederick Mayor, coastal and landscape painter, was born in Yorkshire. He studied at the Royal College of Art, where he was taught by Frank Brangwyn. In 1886, he enrolled at the Académie Julian, Paris. He moved to Staithes, Yorkshire, in 1899 and became a founder member of the Staithes Group. After eloping with fellow member, Hannah Hoyland, causing her father (a wealthy Sheffield manufacturer) to withdraw financial support, he moved to Montreuil-sur-Mer, France. From 1909, Major and his family lived in Whitechurch, Buckinghamshire, relocating again to London in 1912. Four years later Mayor required an operation for his asthma before beginning work as a war artist. He haemorrhaged and died as a result of the procedure, aged 50.
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