Edward William Godwin was an English architect and designer who contributed greatly to the English Aesthetic movement and also influenced the Arts and Crafts Movement. He specialised in ecclesiastical architecture and in 1861 he won a competition to design Northampton Guildhall and its interiors. This was his first important project and he realised the designs in the French Gothic Revival style. He was also an admirer of the Japanese style in which he decorated his own house during this same period.
Godwin then moved to London in 1865 and went on to design both Dromore Castle, in the Gothic Revival style for the Earl of Limerick in Ireland and additions to Castle Ashby in South Northamptonshire. Latterly, his architectural work reduced in scale and included houses for artists at Bedford Park and then the White House in Chelsea for his friend James McNeill Whistler. As of 1865, Godwin turned to focus his attention on designing furniture, textiles and wallpapers for both commercial projects and private clients. His designs were on sale at Liberty and Co and he boasted elite clients such as Oscar Wilde and Princess Louise.