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Topsy was William Morris's nickname; 'Ned' is short for 'Edward'. After moving to London in 1856, Morris and Burne-Jones took over the rooms at Red Lion Square that Rossetti had shared with Walter Deverell (one of the original Pre-Raphaelites). There were no furnishings, so Morris designed tables, chairs, cabinets and a settle, which were made by a local carpenter. Rossetti described the results as 'intensely mediaeval' and encouraged Burne-Jones and Morris to decorate the panels with their own paintings; Rossetti also provided designs himself. This growing interest in individual craftsmanship led to the formation of Morris & Co in 1861.

September 2004