George Hardy was born in 1822 at Brighton and christened there at St Nicholas Church the first child of George Hardy and Sarah Lloyd. His father George Hardy was a musician to George IV, Queen Adelaide and Queen Victoria in the royal household at Windsor. In 1851 George, at the age 29, was a professional painter in oils living at White Barn in Brenchley, Kent where he stayed for over ten years prior to moving to Rose Cottage, Waterloo Road in Cranbrook. George Hardy married Ellen Hutton on 8th May 1862 at Stoke Newington in London and three children were born in Cranbrook - George Sidney in 1864, Louisa in 1867 and Marguerite in 1873 and by 1881 the Hardy family was living at Fernside in Cranbrook and then in 1891 at Mount Pleasant. Throughout this period George, along with his younger brother Frederick, were members of the Cranbrook Colony of artists.
Frederick Daniel Hardy, George Hardy, Thomas Webster, George Bernard O'Neill, John Callcott Horsley and Augustus Edwin Mulready were an informal group of six professional painters known as the Cranbrook Colony that thrived in Cranbrook in the latter half of the nineteenth century. They were a close association of colleagues and friends, and, in the case of the Hardy brothers and G.B. O'Neill, distant relatives. All six were "Genre" painters depicting scenes from daily life, either real or imaginary and, through their work, we have an accurate depiction of the people and homes in the Cranbrook area during the Victorian age. Often the Colony used their children, families and friends as models with the Hardys and Webster focused on rustic interiors and O'Neill and Horsley on picturesque historic architecture. The six painters, who occupied The Old Studio in the High Street, were prolific in their work and exhibited extensively at the Royal Academy and the British Institution.
In later years George lived with his daughter's family in Eastbourne where he died in 1909 at the age of 86.
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||George Hardy, M, Head, married, age 58, born Brighton, Sussex; occupation: artist in oil painting||George Hardy||Fernside Villa||1881 Census|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Ellen Hardy, F, Wife, married, age 47, born Hackney, Middlesex||Ellen Hardy [Hutton]|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||George Hardy, M, Son, age 16, born Cranbrook, Kent; occupation: scholar||George Sidney Hardy|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Louisa Hardy, F, Daughter, age 13, born Cranbrook, Kent; occupation: scholar||Louisa Hardy|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Marguerite Hardy, F, Daughter, age 7, born Cranbrook, Kent; occupation: scholar||Marguerite Hardy|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Kate Brown, F, Servant, age 21, born Hawkhurst, Kent; occupation: general servant||Kate Brown|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Dudley V. Stuart, M, Head, married, age 40, born Castletown, Ireland; occupation: captain late H.M.S. army||Dudley V. Stuart, captain late H.M.S. army||Fernside, Bakers Cross||1881 Census|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Laticia Stuart, F, Wife, married, age 35, born Lydd, Kent||Laticia Stuart|
|3rd Apr 1881||Census||Emily Jennings, F, Servant, single, age 22, born Shelford, Cambridge; occupation: general servant||Emily Jennings|