Clergyman and co-founder of the National Trust.
After working with Octavia Hill in London, Rawnsley became Vicar of Ambleside in 1877. He became involved in campaigns to protect the local countryside and formed the Lake District Defence Society (later The Friends of the Lake District).
In 1883, he moved to Crossthwaite, just outside Keswick. As disciples of Ruskin, he and his wife organised classes in metalwork and wood carving, in the School of Industrial Art. This remained operational until 1986.
Rawnsley’s campaigns with Octavia Hill and Robert Hunter to preserve the Lake District from rampant development led to the creation of The National Trust in 1895, which could buy and preserve places of natural beauty and historic interest for the nation. He was Honorary Secretary to the Trust until his death.
In 1915, he retired to Grasmere, where he bought Allan Bank, a former home of Worsdworth. He bequeathed Allan Bank to the National Trust after his death.
In his lifetime, he wrote 30,000 sonnets, various books about the Lake District and a biography of John Ruskin.