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THOMAS BEWICK: 
1){8 %itc anb tTimes. 




rnuMAi •KWKb 



THOMAS BEWICK 
His iife ant> tD^ime0 



ROBERT ROBINSON 




VUtb Vwo ^neteo ^UMtnttone 



NEWCASTLE 

PRINTED FOR R. ROBINSON, PILGRIM STREET 

3u6ifM tff 42u«en Q^icfona 

HDCCCLXXXVII 






^ ^, N£ 



TO 

THOMAS GOW, Esquire, 

OF CAM BO, NORTHUMBERLAND, 

THE FOLLOWING PAGES 

ARE 

'RespectfuUi? Snacribeb 

BY 

HIS GRATEFUL SERVANT, 

THE AUTHOR. 



PREFACE. 



IHOMAS BEWICK remarks that "a grace and 
£<g; ffg*j[ a preface ought not to be too long," * an excel- 
CW| I lent precept worthy of observance. As has 
[ ^^ y Jl been elsewhere explained, my object in this 
work has been mainly to relate interesting 
particulars heard in conversation with my dear old friends 
the Misses Bewick, embracing the meaning of many of the 
tailpieces which adorn the " History of British Birds," and 
little traits of Thomas Bewick's personal history and habits, 
believing that nothing would be considered trifling that tends 
in the least to illustrate the character of a man so eminent as an 
artist, and of known private worth. These characteristics must 
have a special value with all who recognise his talents and 
genius, when Dr. Johnson's reflection is borne in mind, that 
" lives can only be written from personal knowledge, which is 
growing every day less, and in a short time is lost for ever." 

Of the many who have chosen Bewick for their theme, no 
one has had the friendly intercourse with his family enjoyed 
by myself, or been favoured so highly. My purchases of old 
included the Birds and Quadrupeds on imperial paper, uncut, 
presentation copies to his wife and children, together with 



il at head of Ptdacc u 



" Btituh Bitd^" voL ii 



viii PREFACE. 



many rarities, some unique. By far the most important were 
Bewick's celebrated woodcuts of the Chillingham Wild Bull 
and the Old Horse Waiting for Death, the finest examples of 
wood-engraving ever produced. To these I may add that 
presents were made from time to time of early printed books 
for children, with woodcuts by the brothers, and autograph 
letters, specially selected to enhance the interest and value of 
this volume. I had also the privilege, unsolicited, to take home 
and use his interleaved copy of the Birds, two vols., 182 1 (Lot 
183 in the Bewick Sale Catalogue, February 1884), ^^ which 
Mr. Bewick, agreeable to the wish of his daughter Jane, had 
written an explanation of a large number of the vignettes. For 
this valuable and interesting copy I bid at the auction one 
hundred pounds. E. B. Mounsey, Esq., of Darlington, became 
the buyer at one hundred guineas. That gentleman a few 
days after was offered ;^I50 for the volumes, but declined to 
part with them. This lot was started at the modest sum of 
three pounds. 

The correspondence between Mr. Bewick and Mr. Charnley, 
relative to his reprint of the ** Select Fables," 1820, pp. 139-143, 
will be read with interest. The following Notes and Analysis 
of that work are from the pen of Miss Jane Bewick, and will be 
found both amusing and instructive. They are contained in an 
imperial 8vo copy (Lot 167 in the Bewick Sale) in the magni- 
ficent Bewick Collection at Pendower, Newcastle, the seat of 
J. W. Pease, Esq. At the beginning Miss Bewick gives a list 
of the habitiUs of that once celebrated resort of Whig politicians, 
Charnley's back-shop. The first name is that of the worthy 
bookseller himself, " Emerson Charnley, and his man, Willie 
Garrett;" then follow "Sarah Hodgson, the printer, and her 
sons, Thomas Hodgson, printer, John Hodgson, James Hodgson 4 



PREFACE. i.'c 



George Burnett; John Trotter Brockett, attorney ; John Murray, 
surgeon ; Rev. William Turner; William Preston, printer; John 
Adamson, attorney ; William Nicholson, portrait-painter; Charl- 
ton Nesbit; Nat Winch; Dr. Headlam, sometimes." 

Miss Bewick describes the frontispiece, or portrait of her 
father, by Nesbit, as "a vile caricature of T. B. The hair 
looks like a wig awry." Of the cut on title, " T. B. did not cut 
this." The cut above advertisement, " perspective bad." Ditto 
memoir, "Isaac Nicholson, sculpt." End of memoir, "Who 
was the artist here, Mr. Charnley ? Where on earth was this 
cut produced ? " Cut above contents (Tynemouth Priory), 
" Who did this ? " Referring to the small figures in the fore- 
ground to the right, Miss Jane asks, "Are these paddocks ?" 
Cut, end of contents, "Stag drinking ; to the right, Isa. Nichol- 
son's rock." Vignette, p. 6, " background copied from vignette 
in Birds." Vignette, p. 8, " Howitt's designs for Dr. Fothergill's 
work. This and some others were sent to him in America; 
what business had Mr. Nicholson with the design ?" Page lo, 
"Tommy Trip (Thos. B.), published by Newbery;" p. i6, 
"Where came this from.^" p. 19, "foreground cut away; "p. 
20, "Gays Fables" (1779); p. 21, "John Bewick;" p. 23, 
"foreground cut away;" p. 24, "sky gone;" p. 26, "bad copy. 
Looking Glass, p. 149, the ferns are made growing out of the 
tops of the trees ; " p. 33, " whitened ; " p. 36, " Tommy Trip ; " 
p. 38, "Gay's Fables;" p. 40, "Uncle John;" p. 42, "The 
Fisherman, stolen from the Birds, bad copy ; " p. 44, " from the 
Story-Teller, 1778, ' The Trials of Virtue' ; " p. 45, "foreground 
a little lightened;" p. 50, "Tommy Trip;" p. 52, "Select 
Fables" (1784) ; p. 54, "Tommy Trip;" p. 57, "Select Fables, 
no alteration here ; " p. 60, " Lawrence on the Horse, bad 
copy;" pp. 62 and 66, "Trip;" p. 65, "Select Fables, the 



PREFACE. 



n 



walk whitewashed;" p. 72, ** from a little story-book, Aladdin; 
p. 8 r, " Select Fables ; " p. 82, " T. B/s Trotting Horse copied ; 
p. 84, " an advertisement on handbill ; " p. 86, " not T. B. ; " 
pp. 88, 92, 96, "Trip;" p. 91, "a very pretty cut;" p. 94, 
" Tees' Chain Bridge, copied from a cut done for Durham 
Agricultural Report, not by T. B. ;" p. 97, "Select Fables, 
John Bewick, the drawing at Cherrybum;" pp. icx^, 108, 
116, "Trip;" the cut on p. 123 of Chamley's edition of the 
Select Fables, is engraved by John Bewick; p. 125, "Select 
Fables, beautiful design and cut;" pp. 128, 136, 138, 140, 
144, 152, 166, 204, 212, 214, "from Tommy Trip;" p. 132, 
"reduced copy from Fisher's Spring Day, very bad;" p. 141, 
"by David Martin;" p. 142, "copy from Jane Hewitson's 
Book Cut, reduced and reversed, a marriage — see coach in 
background;" p. 148, "from Fisher's Spring Day, bad copy, 
reduced;" p. 154, "Oh! what a horse;" p. 168, "copy from a 
saddle-plate;" p. 178, "from Robin Hood;" p. 180, "from 
The Looking Glass;" p. 182, "copied from Freshfield's Book 
Cut ; " p. 1 84, " engraved by David Martin ; " p. 200, " very old 
cut;" p. 210, "Death of Jezebel;" pp. 216, 226, 244, 258, 262, 
276, 284, 318, "from T. Trip;" p. 228, "from The Looking 
Glass;" pp. 235, 237, "from the Select Fables;" p. 241, "Gay's 
Fables;" pp. 243, 245, "Select Fables;" p. 247, "from the 
Story-Teller;" pp. 249, 251, "from the Select Fables;" p. 253, 
"from Pamela;" p. 257, "Story-Teller;" p. 260, Stag, copy; 
pp. 265, 267, 271, "Gay's Fables;" p. 269, "Story-Teller; 
pp. 273, 275, 277. 279, 281, 283, 285, 287, 293, "Select Fables; 

PP- 303> 305» 307* 3i7» 3^7f "from Gay's Fables" (i779)> Pub- 
lished by Saint Miss Jane Bewick states that ninety-eight of 
the cuts in Chamley's reprint of the Select Fables of 1 784 are 
not by her father. 



»» 



n 



PREFACE. xi 



The following is from the office copy of the sixth edition of 
the Birds (1826), the last personally superintended in its passage 
through the press by Bewick, and to which he contributed an 
original and most interesting preface, omitted in subsequent 
re-issues of the work. This office copy abounds with marginal 
notes by Mr. Bewick, consisting of instructions of the most 
minute description to the pressmen respecting the proper printing 
of the cuts, affording evidence of the great care bestowed by 
him on this important part of the work, and his thorough know- 
ledge and mastery of details. This will best appear from a few 
extracts taken at random. He goes through the cuts, marking 
such birds as were engraved from stuffed specimens with the 
word " Wycliffe ; ** others as drawn from " Life ; " whilst the 
word " Nature " is pencilled to by far the largest number. 

Against the Lesser White-throat, page 253, we read, " Keep 
the bird a little darker, or the background lighter." The Wren 
is marked "Wycliffe." The Swallow "Life." The Night-jar 
** Nature." The Partridge, p. 348, '* A thin overlay here." 
The Stone Falcon, p. 46, ** Lighten the foliage here." The 
Eagle-Owl, p. 52, "This has generally been printed far too pale 
on the back and wings." The Snowy Owl, p. 54, " Print this 
cut pale, but let the feathering faintly and delicately appear." 
The Raven, p. 79, " The legs of this bird have generally been 
too hard pulled." The Magpie, p. 92, " The bird might bear 
an overlay on the body, but the distance, though clear, is full 
hard enough pulled." 

The originality and merits of Bewick have been set forth in 
past years by able writers with a felicity of language and an 
appreciative insight into the mind and characteristics of the 
great wood-engraver that leave nothing for after critics to add 
to their tributes of praise. John Jackson, in his " Treatise on 



xii PREFACE. 



Wood-Engraving/' and my old schoolfellow, John Gray Bell, 
in his excellent Catalogue of Works Illustrated by the Be- 
wicks, gathered and combined the same with much judgment 
in their respective works. The Rev. Thomas Hugo, in his 
" Bewick Collector,'* likewise found it impossible to pass by the 
elegant and exhaustive criticism of men so eminent as Professor 
Wilson, Thomas Doubleday, Audubon, and others. Following 
their example, I have not hesitated to avail myself of such a 
valuable catena of matured sentiment and thought. 

A marked example of the influence of Bewick's Natural 
Histories in diffusing a love for animated Nature among the 
young is instanced in the early career of the late Mr. William 
Proctor, Curator of the Durham University Museum. As 
Willoughby's Ornithology was the favourite book of Pennant 
when a youth, first deriving his propensity for Natural History 
from its perusal, so Bewick's Birds awoke a chord in the 
heart of young Proctor only to cease with life itself. On the 
occasion of a presentation made to that gentleman (December 
1864) in acknowledgment of the valuable services he had ren- 
dered to Ornithology and other branches of Natural History, 
Canon Tristram, in the course of his address, thus alluded to 
Mr. Proctor s first introduction to Bewick : — 

" If there ever was such a thing as a bom naturalist, Mr. Proctor was un- 
doubtedly a very favourable specimen of the class. When he was but a car- 
penter's apprentice he was in the habit, whenever he could get holiday, of trudging 
into Newcastle, a distance of sixteen miles, just to look into a bird-stuffer's window, 
and after gazing with wistful and curious eyes upon the treasures he saw there 
displayed, he would supperless and penniless trudge back again home. In the 
course of these rambles Mr. Proctor asked the price of a book upon birds — ^a 
book written by Thomas Bewick, the engraver. He had often looked into the 
window in which this work was exhibited, and he longed to become its possessor. 
He was but a poor carpenter's boy, but he saved up all the money he could, and 
one day he went into the shop and inquired the price. Old Thomas Bewick 



PREFACE. xiii 



was in the shop, and he told him 13s. a volume. There were two volumes, and 
poor William Proctor, who had only just 13s., asked if he could have one volume, 
and he would call for the other afterwards, when he got sufficient money. 
Thomas Bewick, in his broad Northumbrian dialect, said he did not do business 
in that way, and at first declined the offer ; but afterwards perceiving, from the 
blank face of the young man, the keenness of the disappointment which he felt, 
he handed him the two books, and told him he could take them away and pay 
for them when he got the * brass.' William left the shop in transports of delight, 
and when he had got three or four miles from Newcastle, he sat himself down by 
the roadside and commenced an eager perusal of the books he had long coveted. 
So absorbed did he become in their contents that he did not cease reading until 
darkness set in and compelled him to desist. Six weeks afterwards Mr. Proctor 
called upon Bewick, purchased the second volume, and paid him the money, 26s. 
Bewick said, * Well, my lad, I trusted thee when I did not know thee, there's 
thy money back,' and he made Mr. Proctor a present of the books. That begun 
a friendship which was only terminated by the death of Mr. Bewick. From that 
time the fortunes of Mr. Proctor were made — the fortune he acquired in fame, 
respect, and reputation." 

Unostentatious and courteous in his mode of life, this 
humble-minded student of Nature died January 8, 1877, aged 
seventy-six. 

On the 31st of December 1825, Bewick and his son dissolved 
partnership, after having been thirteen years thus connected. 
Newcastle was the theatre from first to last of the art life of 
Thomas Bewick and his son, with the exception of the year he 
worked in London. 

There is an interesting little article in the Newcastle Magazine 
for October 1830, entitled "Three Newcastle Apprentices," 
signed R. P. H., i.e.^ Robert Pollard, HoUoway. Mr. Bewick's 
old friend and companion, then in his seventy-second year, lived 
at HoUoway. The three apprentices were Bewick, Bulmer, 
and Pollard, each of whom had, by a course of probity and 
industry, achieved fame and independence. Mr. R. Bewick did 
not wish this harmless communication to appear in print, and 



xiv PREFACE. 



wrote a letter to W. A. Mitchell, the publisher, to that effect ; 
nevertheless the article, to which there could be no reasonable 
objection, was not withheld. 

In the summer of 1828, after the lapse of fifty years, Bewick, 
accompanied by his daughters, visited London, to the surprise 
of his old friends. Mr. Bulmer sent his carriage to Bewick's 
lodgings, in which Pollard and he and the Misses Bewick were 
conveyed to Bulmer's elegant mansion in the country, where 
they all dined together, and after spending a delightful day, 
they "took their leave, and the coachman and horses were 
ordered out to take them back to town where taken up." 
Bulmer died worth ;^30,oc)0. The sale of Goldsmith's and 
Parneirs Poems produced a profit of ;^i500 to Bulmer, as I 
was informed by Miss Bewick. The wood-engravers then in 
London showed every kindness and respect to the aged artist, 
whose days were fast drawing to a close. 

The little farm of eight acres at Cherryburn, with the Land- 
sale Collieries on Eltringham Common and Mickley West 
Wantes, were rented by Thomas and William Bewick for some 
time after the death of their father, at jC^o per annum. These 
might be worked with unceasing labour for many a long year 
without affording a tithe of the benefit derived by Mr. Bulmer 
from the ingenuity of the Bewicks within a few months. 

The scenerj' on our noble river, the prime source of so 
much wealth and material prosperity, has changed much since 
the days of that pious gentlewoman, Dame Dorothy Lawson, 
who from the antique porch and mullioned windows of her 
manor-house at St. Anthony's, beheld its natural beauties and 
important traffic. " This seat," we are told, " was most com- 
modious for pleasure, and pleasant for all commoditys ; the rich 
and renown'd river Tine ebbing and flowing in such a propor- 



PREFACE. XV 



tionable distance from the house that neither the water is incon- 
venient to it, nor does it want the convenience of the water. 
The vast confluence of ships which it brings to Newcastle for 
coles pass under the full view of the house." Such a prospect 
might well gladden the heart of a lady of the seventeenth 
century. 

There are still resident families of position who from their 
gardens on its southern shore, opposite St Anthony's, can " sit 
quietly, and, looking on the water, see some fishes sport in the 
silver streams, others leaping at flies of several shapes and 
colours/' though the time has gone by when " looking down the 
meadows," in the words of good old Izaak Walton, " I could 
see here a boy gathering lilies and ladysmocks, and there a girl 
cropping culverkeyes and cowslips, all to make garlands suitable 
to this present month of May " (** Complete Angler," chap, xvi.) 

Marvellous have been the changes for the better in the 
outward aspect and social condition of society in Newcastle 
since the Jubilee of good King George the Third, thanks to 
the genius of Sir W. Armstrong, Richard Grainger, George and 
Robert Stephenson, and other eminent engineers, and the liber- 
ality of our venerable townsman, Mr. John Clayton, without 
whose aid a Grainger might have toiled in vain. Within living 
memory the direct road leading from Pilgrim Street to the 
Shield Field, now one of the most thronged in the town, was 
deemed so unsafe after nightfall by reason of its loneliness, that 
persons living in Northumberland Street, and wishful to reach 
the latter place, had to go round by the Manor Chare, the Stock 
Bridge, and Pandon Bank, to avoid danger to life or property. 
This was before the erection of the New Bridge over Pandon 
Dean in 1812. 

Mr. Clayton Atkinson states that Bewick when in London 



XVI PREFACE. 



in 1776 worked "with a person of the name of Cole." Mr. 
W. H. D. Longstaffe informs me that the Coles were a Gates- 
head family. That gentleman has in his collection a ** South- 
West Prospect of the Ancient City of York," engraved by B. 
Cole, 1731; it is a large sheet. At the Bewick Sale I bought 
(Lot 142) a fine uncut copy of "A History of Animals," by 
(Sir) John Hill, M.D., London, 1752. The work is in folio, 
and adorned with twenty-eight copperplates, signed B. Cole, 
sculp. This may probably be the engraver alluded to by 
Atkinson. In the GentlematCs Magazine for 1753, some of the 
plates in Edwards' "Natural History" are closely copied by 
means of woodcuts. These are well drawn and executed. The 
Golden Thrush in the December number is a good example. 
I have not been able to discover the name of the engraver. 

With respect to the trade edition of Gay's Fables, published 
in London in 1788, I never could bring my mind to believe 
that the cuts were by John Bewick ; some of them might be. 
A word to Miss Bewick would have settled the point, but with 
other queries this was forgot until too late. The book does not 
appear in Bell's Catalogue. 

In the notice of Robert Johnson, p. 96, it is said that he 
could not engrave on wood. This is quite true, even though 
the cuts in the '^ Mirror" by R. J. should be his. At page 
118 of that work, which was published by Saint, and is now 
very rare, there is a beautiful cut heading the Tale of Tity and 
Mirtillo, with others, by T. Bewick. In the seventh edition of 
Croxall's iEsop's Fables, published by T. Saint in 1783, p. 
86, the cut above the Fable of the "Boasting Mule" is an 
attempt on wood by Ralph Beilby. 

There are two tailpieces (" British Birds," 1847, p. 35), of 
which a wrong explanation has hitherto been given ; both are 



PREFACE. xvii 



closely connected. The true reading is this, to quote Bewick's 
own words : — " The attraction of an alehouse has, as usual, 
proved too powerful for the driver. He has left his horse and 
cart to refresh himself and tell news ; meantime four idle lads 
have got into the cart ; one unfortunately has fallen out and got 
killed ; consternation and dismay have taken possession of the 
rest." 

The Sequel, p. 50. — " This is a continuation of the story so 
admirably depictured at p. 35. The unprofitable servant is 
about to reap the reward so justly due to him for leaving his 
cart and horse and guzzling in the alehouse. This has the 
same background as the previous cut." — Bewick MS. 

A small view of Strawberry Hill has been christened over 
and over again as the Hon. Horace Walpole's Book Plate. It 
was engraved for the late Mr. Charnley, bookseller, to head his 
List of Works printed at Strawberry Hill. The receipt, in the 
handwriting of Mr. R. Bewick, is now before me, dated April 3, 
18 19. The price of the cut was £2, 2s. 

The father of this gentleman, William Charnley, son of a 
haberdasher at Penrith, at the age of fourteen was bound 
apprentice in Newcastle, January 8, 1741, to Joseph Longstaffe, 
tinplate-worker, and afterwards turned over to Martin Bryson, 
who had been admitted to the freedom of the town in 1725. 
At the expiration of his apprenticeship in 1748 Charnley was 
admitted to the freedom of the town, and in 1750 his master 
took him into partnership, which was dissolved in 1755, when 
the old apprentice continued the business on his own account 
"at the bridge end." Mr. Charnley died August 9, 1803, aged 
seventy-six years (see Mr. Hodgson Hinde's " History of the 
Press in Newcastle"). 

I am indebted to my old friend, Mr. William Dodd, so well 



xviii PREFACE. 



versed in local and bibliographical lore, for the fine portrait of 
Mr. Charnley, and also for the true version of the anecdote I 
am about to relate. Good Mr. Charnley was very deaf, and 
carried an ear trumpet. Standing one Saturday at his shop 
door with this instrument in his hand, a pitman passed by who 
had just come out of Swarley's tavern, the " Black Boy/* Seeing 
the trumpet, without knowing its use, he cried out, " Play us a 
tune, man, on thy trumpet." To hear what was said the book- 
seller put the trumpet to his ear. **What!" exclaimed the 
miner, " does thou want to make us believe thou can blaw a 
tune out of thy lug ? " 

Some collectors are curious to know the meaning of the 
letters P. V. B. B. on the beautiful cut of the Newfoundland 
Dog, p. 306, "History of Quadrupeds," 1790. They are the 
initials of Preston, printer, foreman at Hodgson's office ; Vint,^ 
printer and publisher; Bell, the painter, who lived in the High 
Bridge, and built BelFs Court in Pilgrim Street — friends who 
accompanied Bewick to Eslington, where the drawing was 
made. The monogram explains itself. 

There is a vignette at p. 207 of Bewick's " Memoir,'* which 
the late Bishop Bewick, a warm admirer of the artist, thus 
amusingly described in an interleaved copy of the " Vignettes," 
octavo, 1827: — "A countryman who kept bees, and possessed 
three hives, visited his treasure on a warm summer day, mounted 
on a donkey, with his dog. The donkey was properly secured, 
and his owner felt inclined to rest. Unfortunately the former 
began to rub his hind quarters against one of the hives, a liberty 
the bees at once determined to resent. Believing at first the 
dog to be the aggressor, one of the little creatures fastened on a 

^ John Vint, of the firm of Vint & Anderson, printers, in the Burnt House Entry, Side, 

Newcastle. 



PREFACE. xix 



leg. The poor dog, stung with pain, made off with piteous 
criei ; the donkey, being tied up, could not follow, but strove to 
heal its torments by licking the afflicted spot. The bark of the 
dog and the bray of the donkey would very soon awaken its 
master from his pleasant nap." 

On the I St of August 1883 began that labour of love, 
mingled with regret, which resulted in the Catalogue of Books, 
Engravings, Furniture, and Silver Plate formerly belonging to 
Thomas Bewick, and sold by order of the Executors of Miss 
Isabella Bewick, deceased. Mr. J. W. Barnes of Durham, and 
Mr. Joseph Crawhall (the executors), called at my shop on the 
afternoon of that day, and empowered me to proceed at once. 
A most successful sale took place in the early part of February 
1 884. Six months afterwards the residue came to the hammer, 
when twenty-nine lots of "engraved wood blocks by various 
artists, the crude efforts of pupils, and of no art value whatever,** 
were sold in lots of ten each, for very small sums.^ Both sales 
were held in Newcastle. 

Bewick's daughters entertained the feeling, shared by dis- 
tinguished strangers when on visits to the town, that their 
father had been slighted, passed over, and not sufficiently 
appreciated by the literate part of the community of Newcastle. 
It must be admitted that this impression was not altogether 
without cause. Sometimes the pupils were put before their 
master when the Misses Bewick were present in company, a 
proceeding in very questionable taste. Other matters of a 
more offensive kind might be named. It is only recently that 
the claims of this great master to be admitted into the first 
rank of painters in water-colours has been recognised. In the 

» "The Bewick Memento." Field & Tuer, London. 



XX PREFACE. 



Introduction to the ** Bewick Memento," the question as to who 
really designed the tailpieces in the Birds and Quadrupeds has 
been duly considered. The testimony of Mrs. Hodgson, widow 
of Solomon Hodgson, Bewick's first printer and publisher, ought 
to have great weight This lady was personally acquainted 
with Nesbit, Clennell, and Johnson. Yet whilst still engaged in 
a violent quarrel with her husband's old friend, she concludes a 
long and angry epistle to the editor of the Monthly Magazine 
in words which do honour to her sense of truth and justice. 
" I never attacked Mr. Bewick's professional abilities," con- 
tinues the writer ; ** on the contrary, I think him a great designer 
and an unrivalled wood-cutter, and I do him the justice to add 
further that I believe he designed and engraved all the figures 
and vignettes in the books above mentioned himself" {i.e.^ 
the Birds and Quadrupeds). This letter is signed ** Sarah 
Hodgson," and dated ''Newcastle Chronicle Office, December 

23, 1805." 

The recollection of the opening sentence of this Preface 

admonishes me to hasten to a close ; but still one fondly lingers 

over the past, and those scenes and sketches which " lend to 

loneliness delight." For 

" Sounds which address the ear, are lost and die 
In one short hour, but that which strikes the eye, 
Lives long upon the mind." — Waits. 

So will It ever be with the delightful and hitherto unsurpassed 
woodcuts of this great master. 

Since this volume was first announced, some changes have 
been made. To meet the wishes of friends and collectors, the 
size of it has been altered to imperial 8vo, so as to range with 
the largest paper copies of the Birds, Quadrupeds, and Fables, 



PREFACE. xxi 



thus enabling gentlemen to have a uniform set of the whole. 
Whilst still a gallery of choice engravings by Thomas and John 
Bewick, the subject matter will be found amply to justify the 
title under which it now appears. The fine series of portraits 
of local celebrities, friends of Bewick, have been added at 
considerable cost, the price remaining the same. My grateful 
acknowledgments are due in the first place to the subscribers, 
without whose encouragement the work would never have beea 
undertaken, and not less so to the distinguished liberality of 
Thomas Gow, Esq., of Cambo, for the use of his invaluable 
woodcuts of the Chillingham Wild Bull and the Old Horse 
Waiting for Death, Bewick's first and last great works ; to the 
Natural History Society of Northumberland, Durham, and 
Newcastle, for permission to copy their beautiful portrait of 
Bewick by T. S. Good — the last portrait he sat for; to J. W. 
Pease, Esq., Pendower, Newcastle, for the privilege of making 
use of the Bewick treasures in his noble library, abounding in 
illuminated manuscripts by mediaeval scribes, a copy of the 
Sacred Scriptures on thin vellum, of the fourteenth century, 
and early English printed books. I have reserved mention 
to this place of his valuable and interesting picture of the Lost 
Child, by Ramsay, shown at the Second Exhibition of the 
Northumberland Institution for the Promotion of the Fine Arts 
in September 1823, wherein portraits are introduced of Thomas 
Bewick, the Rev. W. Turner, and other Newcastle worthies, 
with a picturesque and faithful view of the Cathedral Church 
of St Nicholas, and old buildings now pulled down. In the 
" Pease Collection " may be mentioned an assemblage of 15 10 
proofs of woodcuts by and after Thomas Bewick, formed for 
the most part by Bewick himself for his friend Mr. Vernon 
of Liverpool (pp. 109-114 of this volume); also the "John 



xxii PREFACE. 



Trotter Brockett Collection/' sold at Sotheby's in 1823, and 
thus described in the catalogue — " Lot 169, Figures of British 
and Foreign Birds and Tailpieces, brilliant impressions^ mounted 
on tinted paper^ 2 vols, folio, half Russia^ unique." 

To the Rev. Edward Hussey Adamson, for the loan of 
woodcuts and memoranda. To James Hall, Esq., of Tynemouth, 
for the loan of an interesting series of woodcuts of local scenery 
by John Jackson, after drawings by T. M. Richardson, senior, 
and J. W. Carmichael To J. W. Barnes, Esq., F.S.A., of 
Durham, for the loan of woodcuts and many favours. Mr. 
Barnes is justly proud of his Birds and Quadrupeds (presenta- 
tion copies), on the largest paper, uncut ; and his co-executor, 
Joseph Crawhall, Esq., of Newcastle, of his beautiful drawing 
of the White Owl. Miss Jane Bewick pronounces the plumage 
of this bird to be " the perfection of art." 

To T. W. U. Robinson, Esq., of Hough ton-le-Spring, for 
the loan of wood-blocks, including the admirable cut of the 
Bay Pony by Thomas Bewick, and a copy of that rare work, 
the *' Ornithologia Nova." Mr. Robinson's treasures comprise 
uncut presentation copies of Bewick's Works of the largest size. 
To James Hodgson, Esq., of Newcastle, for the loan of several 
beautiful woodputs. To J. G. Hodgson, Esq., of Newcastle, 
for the loan of the fine plate of his grandfather. 

To the Rev. William Kingsley, M.A., Rector of South 
Kilvington,,Thirsk, for his admirable criticism on Bewick's last 
great woodcut. To James May Fothergill, Esq., of West Jes- 
mond, for unpublished poetry by L. Clennell. To Councillor 
John Dobson, Newcastle, for permission to use the late Mr. 
Garnett's beautiful Trade Woodcut. To Mr. George Skelly of 
Alnwick, for information. To John Hancock, Esq., New- 
castle ; to George E. Swithenbank, Esq., of Anerley Park, 



PREFACE. 



Surrey; R.Y. Green, Esq., Newcastle; Mr. Thomas W. Waters, 
Newcastle ; and to other gentlemen, for thoughtful kindness. 

To Messrs. Ballantyne, Hanson & Co., my acknowledgments 
are due for the conscientious care and attention exercised from 
first to last in the printing of the illustrations ; to Mr. Richard 
Taylor, wood-engraver, London, for his admirable rendering 
of Good's delightful portrait of Thomas Bewick, and others. 




Otter Hunting— From Somervik't date. 



Dean Buckland, towards the conclusion of his speech at the Anni- 
versary Dinner of the Natural History Society, Newcastle, on the 27th 
of August 1838, the Duke of Northumberland presiding, said — 

<< Before he sat down, he (Dean Buckland) begged to observe that he should 
never enter the town nor the Museum of Newcastle without a joyful recollection of 
one whose name he had heard but once feebly uttered since he came here on this 
occasion, but whose name would never be forgotten by any friend of Natural His- 
tory ; and when he uttered the name of Bewick — (loud applause) — and associated 
with it the progress of Natural History in this town, he uttered the name of an 
individual who, he believed, had done as much by his works, published at a time 
when Natural History was imknown as a popular science but only to a few profound 
individuals, — who had done as much as White of Selbome, even at a distance of a 
quarter of a century ; when, he said, he uttered the name of Bewick, he had a 
pride and pleasure in stating that he believed the whole world would never forget 
that Bewick was a native of Newcastle. (Loud applause.)" — Local Paper, 



The following is from a valuable contribution on the subject of the 
Fine Arts Section of the Newcastle Jubilee Exhibition, specially com- 
posed for the Newcastle Daily Chronicle newspaper (nth May 1887). 
The writer, Mr. John Evan Hodgson, R.A. (Professor of Painting at the 
Royal Academy), is a grandson of Mr. Solomon Hodgson, to whose 
memory Bewick engraved the beautiful cut given at p. 219 of this work. 

"By a complicated but not unnatural association of ideas, my thoughts are 
brought round to Thomas Bewick, whose portrait, by Good, is certainly both one of 
the most interesting and one of the best pictures in the collection. An artist of great 
eminence once told me that he could discern little merit in Bewick's work. After 
much puzzling over that confession, I have been forced to relegate it to the domain 
of insoluble problems, with the square circle and the perpetual motion ; and with 
humble submission to superior genius and power, I must respectfully protest that 
Bewick has soimded every keynote of landscape art Almost every incident of 
riural life seems to have been noticed and portrayed ; and were I seeking for some 
irrefragable proof of the Englishman's innate love of Nature and delight in her for 
her own sake, I would instance the lives of Thomas Bewick and Gilbert White of 
Selbome. Good's portrait is tmdoubtedly a lifelike portrait of the grand old artist 
and naturalist, and it is a fortunate circumstance that the city of Newcastle has 
been able to secure for her Jubilee Exhibition an authentic portrait of one of her 
worthiest and most distinguished citizens." 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 



The names of Subscribers who have died since the commencement of the 

Work are printed in Italics. 



The Reverend Edward H. Adamson, Vicar of St. Alban's, Felling. 

Ralph Atkinson, Esq., Newcastle. 

L. W. Adamson, Esq., Whitley House, Whitley. 

Horatio Adamson, Esq., Tynemouth. 

Mr. William Anderson, Newcastle. 

Mr. Thomas Arkle^ Highlaws. 

The Rev. John F. Bigge^ Vicarage^ Stamfordham, 

Sir William Bowman, IX. D., F.R.S., London, two copies. 

Edward Boyd, Esq., Moor House, Durham. 

Matthew Bowman, Esq., Newcastle. 

William Briggs, Esq., Bristol 

Frederick Bloomer, Esq., London, two copies. 

The Rev. Dr. J. C. Bruce, Newcastle. 

Gainsford Bruce, Esq., Q.C., Yewhurst, Kent. 

Alderman Barkas & Son, Newcastle, y5?«r^(t7//>j. 

The Rev. J. R. Boyle, Newcastle. 

Robert Blair, Esq., South Shields. 

William Beer, Esq., Newcastle. 

Mr. Richard Brown, Toronto, Canada. 

The Rev. J. K Elliot Bates, Milbourne Hall, Northumberland. 

Thomas J. Bewick, Esq., Haydon Bridge. 

The Right Rev. Dr. Bewick^ Lord Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle. 

Miss Isabella Bewick, Cherryburn. 

d 



XX vi LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 

♦J. W. Barnes, Esq., F.S.A., Durham. 

Charles William Bigge, Esq., Newcastle. 

M- W. BiDDULPH, Esq., Newcastle (Major, Northumberland Fusiliers). 

* Joseph Crawhall, Newcastle, fwo copies. 

Matthew T. Culley, Esq., Coupland Castle, Wooler. 

The Rev. Henry B. Carr, Rectory, Whickham. 

The Rev. Charles B. Carr, Berwick-on-Tweed. 

Captain H. J. Carr, R.N., Whickham. 

The Rev. C. R. Carr, Exmouth. 

Henry Clapham, Esq.^ Sheriff of Newcastle. 

Councillor Adam Carse, Newcastle. 

Councillor John Cutter, Newcastle. 

John Curry, Esq., Bishop Oak, Wolsingham. 

Mr. J. E. Cornish, Bookseller, Manchester, two copies. 

Nathaniel George Clayton, Esq., Denton Bum. 

Joseph Clarke, Esq., The Roos, Saffron Walden. 

CfWOViOJL J. CooKSON, Esq., Newbrough, Fourstones. 

Norm AN C. Cookson, Esq., Oakwood, Wylam. 

J. IJLENCOWE CooKSON, Esq., Meldon Park, Morpeth. 

G. I). Atkinson Clark, Esq., Belford Hall, Northumberland. 

W. I), Cruddas, Esq., Elswick. 

JOHKPH CRAcxis, Esq., Newcastle. 

Gkokgk W. T. Coventry, Esq., Upton-onSevem. 

The Rev. OwKN Carr, Newcastle. 

Colonel Carr, Dunston Hill. 

Jamkh Paiterson Cassells, Esq., M.D., Glasgow. 

Walter Charles Carr, Esq., Gateshead. 

John Coppin, Esq., Bingfield, Corbridge. 

John A. Cowen, Esq., Blaydon Burn. 

Joseph Cowkn, Esq., Stella House. 

Mr, W. Drewett, Bookseller, Kingston-on-Thames. 

Martin Dunn^ Esq,^ Neivcastle. 

Miss Easton, Nest House, Gateshead, and Layton Manor, Yorks, two copies. 

T. W. Embleton, Esq., The Cedars, I^eds. 

* Executori of the late Miss Isabella Bewick, of Gateshead. 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. xxvii 



Alfred Emley, Esq., Newcastle. 

Ralph Carr Ellison^ Esq,^ Dunston HilL 

The Rev. Henry Ellison, Rector of Melsonby. 

George A. Fenwick, Esq., By well Hall. 

James May Fothergill, Esq., West Jesmond. 

John George Fenwick, Esq., Moorlands, Gosforth. 

George Baker Forster, Esq., Lesbury House. 

Edward Fisher, Esq., Newton Abbot, Devon. 

George Freeman, Esq., Newcastle. 

Thomas C. Grainger^ Esq.^ Newcastle, 

Robert Y. Green, Esq., Newcastle. 

Mr. James Garland, Grey Street, Newcastle. 

George Clementson Greenwell, Esq., Duffield, Derby. 

George Green, Esq., Jarrow. 

Thomas Gow, Esq., Cambo, six copies, 

Charles M, Govder, Esq,^ M,D,y Newcastle, 

W. P. Garrison, Esq., The Nation^ New York. 

WiLUAM Grimshaw, Esq., The Cedars, Sunderland. 

Major General Gordon, Guernsey. 

Captain J. B. Gaskell, Liverpool. 

Edward Green, Esq., CuUercoats. 

Thomas Hood Henderson, Esq., Newcastle. 

Mr. F. Hay, Grainger Street, Newcastle. 

Alfred Holmes, Esq., Newcastle. 

Alderman Thomas Hedley, Newcastle. 

J. G. Hodgson, Esq., Newcastle. 

Mr. P. Hall, Grey Street, Newcastle. 

Henry Hewitt, Esq., Newcastle. 

John Hutton, Esq., Castle Eden. 

Mr. Thomas Hutchinson, Pegswood. 

Matthew Heckels, Esq., F.G.S., Heaton. 

Mr. Adam Holden, Bookseller, Liverpool 

Messrs. Hodges, Figgis, & Co., Booksellers, Dublin, three copies, 

George Howard. Esq., Naworth Castle, Cumberland. 

Thos. Geo. Hutton, Esq., The Cedars, Sunderland. 

John Hancock, Esq., Newcastle. 



xxviii LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 

James Hall, Esq., Tyneraouth. 

Hubert E. H. Jerningham, Esq., Longridge Towers. 

Mr. A. Jackson, Bookseller, London, three copies. 

The Rev. Octavius James, Clarghyll Hall, Cumberland. 

Mrs. B. H. JoBLiNG, Newcastle. 

Mason Jackson, Esq., Earl's Court, London. 

James Leathart, Esq., Bracken Dene, Low Fell. 

The Rev. John Low Low, M. A., Rector of Whittonstall. 

John Lord, Esq., Brighouse, Yorks. 

Charles Lilburn, Esq., Sunderland. 

F. G. Lawrence, Esq., Sutton, Surrey. 

John Langlev, Esq., Exmouth, Devon. 

William Law, Esq., Littleborough, Manchester. 

Andrew Leslie, Esq., Coxlodge Hall, Newcastle. 

W. H. D. LoNGSTAFFE, Esq., Gateshead. 

The Honourable Claud Lambton, Lambton Castle, fufo copies, 

Edward B. Mounsey, Esq., Darlington. 

A. B. Freeman-Mitford, Esq., C.B., Batsford Park, Gloucestershire. 

Sir John Majoribanks^ LeeSy Coldstream, 

Mr. R. Jeffery Mackenzie, Newcastle. 

Robert Muras, Esq., Wolverhampton. 

Henry M. Mather, Esq., Newcastle. 

Henry Clayton Manisty, Esq., Newcastle. 

Messrs. Mawson, Swan, & Morgan, Booksellers, Newcastle,ySwr copies, 

Thomas Murray & Son, Publishers, Glasgow. 

John Waddon Martyn, Esq., Croydon. 

Frederick Morrice, Esq., Ditchingham Hall, Suffolk. 

Mr. Matthew Mackey, Newcastle. 

Newcastle Public Library. 

The Right Hon. Lord Northbourne, Betteshanger, Kent. 

John H. B. Noble, Esq., Jesmond Dene House. 

Mr. George Nesham, Durham. 

The Rev, George ORNSsr, M.A,, Vicar of Fishlake^ Yorks, 

Mrs. Annie C. Pulleine, Clifton Castle, Bedale. 

Charles Perkins, Esq., Kirkley, Newcastle. 

Henry Power, Esq., Hyde Park, London. 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. xxix 

John Philipson, Esq., Newcastle. 

Mr. Henry Piper, Gateshead. 

James Price, Esq., Jarrow. 

J. W. Pease, Esq., Pendower, two copUs, 

M. J. Pelegrin, Esq., Newbrough Park. 

John Pattinson, Esq., Shipcote House, Gateshead. 

N. K. PuNSHON, Esq., Killingworth. 

Rev. John Quick, Bawden, Halifax. 

Sir Matthew White Ridley, Bart, M.P., Blagdon, Northumberland. 

Robert Norman Redmayne, Esq., Newcastle. 

Adam Robertson, Esq., Alnwick. 

Thomas W. U. Robinson, Esq., Hardwick Hall, Durham. 

Mr. Edwin Robson, Gateshead. 

Sir John Swinburne, Bart., M.P., Capheaton, Northumberland. 

Captain Shawe Storey, Arcot Hall, Northumberland. 

William Strangeways, Esq., Newcastle. 

Thomas Taylor Smith, Esq., Greencroft Park, Durham. 

George E. Swithenbank, Esq., Anerley Park, Surrey. 

John Straker, Esq., Stagshaw House, Corbridge. 

Mr. George Skelly, Alnwick. 

John Storey, Esq., Newcastle. 

Mr. W. J. Smith, Bookseller, Brighton, two copies. 

The Rev. Henry Slater, Rectory, Riding Mill-on-Tyne. 

Mr. John Sampson, Bookseller, York, three copies, 

Alexander S. Stevenson, Esq., Tynemouth. 

B. F. Stevens, Esq., Trafalgar Square, London. 

Robert Spence, Esq., North Shields. 

The Rev. W. J. Townsend, Newcastle. 

John Taylor, Esq., Glenbuck House, Surbiton. 

The Rev. R. Tilbury, Brignall, Rokeby. 

Arthur Tite, Esq., Ware, Herts. 

W. G. Tacey, Esq., Bradford. 

G. H. Thompson, Esq., Alnwick. 

Mr. J. Teal, Bookseller, Halifax 

Thomas Tate, Esq., Allerburn, Alnwick. 

W. G. Woods, Esq., Pigdon, Morpeth. 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS. 



John A. Woods, Esq., Benton Hall, Newcastle. 
Mr. John Wilson, Newcastle. 
Mr. Edward Wilson, Newcastle. 

E. J. Walker, Esq., Low Elswick. 

The Rev. a R, Wigram, Ingle Dene, Oxford. 

F. White, Esq., Birmingham, (Aree copies. 

H. A. W£DGi*rooD, Esq., ErUa>t<, C/ulUnham. 

Mr. John Waller, Newcastle. 

Mr. Thomas Carrick Watson, Gateshead. 

Mr. Thomas F. Ward, Newcastle. 

Mr. John Wheldon, Bookseller, London. 




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PAGB 



Thomas Bewick. After Portrait by T. S. Good 

(Engraved on Wood by Rich. Taylor.) 

Ball Ticket. Newcastle Assembly Rooms, 1795 

Portrait of William Chamley. By T. Ranson 

The Home of the Otter. (From "Somervile's Chase," 1796) 

Title to Book I. (From "Somervile^s Chase," 1796) 

" Sweet Auburn." (" Poems by Goldsmith and Pamell ") 

Queen Anne. (Goldsmith's " History of England ") 

Vignette. ("The Hive," 1806.) By Luke Clennell 

Portrait of the Earl of Derwentwater. After Kneller 

Albert Bane. ("The Hive," 1806.) By Thomas Bewick 

Fox Hunting. (" Somervile's Chase," 1796.) By T. Bewick 

The Boasting Trout. ("Tales for Youth," 1794.) By J. Bewick 

Portrait, Rev. C. Gregson. After Bewick 

Waiting for Death, 1785. Engraved on copper by T. Bewick, 1786 

Newgate, Newcastle ....... 



Frontispiece 



Monastery of Grey Friars . . . . . 
Heads of English Monarchs. By Thomas Bewick . 
Portrait, Gilbert Gray . . . . . 
Portrait, Thomas Spence . . . . . 
Portrait, John Cunningham. After Thomas Bewick 
Beilby, Ralph, Memorial Plate . . . . 
Bar Bill Cuts, &c. By Thomas Bewick 
Portrait, Sir M. W. Ridley, Bart 



TitU 

xvii 

xxiii 

xxxix 

I 



I 

2 

5 
6 

9 

13 

15 
16 

17 
18 

25, 27, 29, 31 
32 
34 
39 
44 
46 

47 



XXXll 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PACE 

Nancy Collins. ("The Hive/' 1806.) By Thomas Bewick . 51 

The Ant and the Wasp. (*' Tales for Youth," 1 794.) By J. Bewick 56 

Little Jack. ("TheLookingGlass for the Mind," 1794.) By J.Bewick 61 

Ruins of Tyncmouth Monastery. Engraved by J. Jackson 65 

(From a Drawing by T. M. RicbardsoD, sen.) 

Tailpiece. (" The Looking Glass for the Mind.") By J. Bewick 68 

Liberty and Slavery. ("The Hive," 1806.) By T. Bewick 74 

The Slave Trade. ("The Hive," 1812.) By Thomas Bewick . 76 

Valentine and Unnion. (" The Hive.") By Luke Clennell . yy 

The Chillingham Wild Bull, 1789. By Thomas Bewick . 79 

Old Oak Tree. ("Goldsmith's Poems," 1795.) By T. Bewick . 85 

Frontispiece to " Elmina," 1800 ...... 86 

Title Uj liiKjk II. (" Somervile's Chase," 1796.) By T. Bewick 87 

Hare Hunting. ("Somervile's Chase.") By Thomas Bewick . 89 

lialla/l Singer. Rough copy of Sketch by T. Bewick, 1788 . 91 

The Traveller, ("Goldsmith's Poems," 1796) ... 92 

(KfiKfttved by 'Iluxnof Ikwick after R. Westall.) 

The I lermit, Ang^l, and Guide. R. Johnson, del. T. Bewick, sculp. 97 

The Conceited Mttgjiie. liy John Bewick, 1794 . . .100 

The Wilful Hoy and the Hornets. By John Bewick loi 

Vlgnelle. (" (Joldmnith'ii Poems.") By John Bewick no 

NoMliuiiilierlttiid Hank Note . .113 

I'loiii ''The Adventuren of a Fly," 1790. By John Bewick 115 

Aulo^rttph Letter of ThonmH Ht^wick, in fac-simile . .115 

Hi, Augimtine preaching before King Kthelbert .116 

{\im\ nil tittf IHIm |iag« of lAnnani'n " Anglo*Saxon Church," vol i., 1806.) 

*'Tlir lllve," Hy riionmn Bewick, 1806 .... 118 

'* The HIege of CwlttU." Hy Luke Clennell, 1806 . 119 

j'ortittit of (Irorge (Irtty. From a painting by }i- P. Parker 122 

1 1tn llUtory of JoMeph. Hy Thomas Bewick . . 124 

Ihr Story iif h DiMabled Soldier. By Luke Clennell . 125 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



XXXIU 



Cut from " The History of a Fly." By John Bewick 
Portrait of John Trotter Brockett .... 

Ingratitude Punished. By John Bewick 

Alcestes and Praetus. By John Bewick 

Shepherd Lubin. ("The Repository of Literature," 1808.) 

The Cuckoo and the Swallow. By John Bewick 

The Wounded Soldier. By Thomas Bewick . 

The Perfidious Duck and the Stork. By John Bewick 

The Envious Dog and the Ermine. By John Bewick 

Portrait, Rev. John Hodgson .... 

The Peacock and the Blackbird. By John Bewick . 
Filial Piety. By Thomas Bewick .... 

Celadon and Amelia. By Thomas Bewick 
Tailpiece. (" The Looking Glass for the Mind.") By J. Bewick 
Tailpiece. (" The Looking Glass for the Mind.") By J. Bewick 
Portrait of the Rev. William Turner .... 

Tailpiece. (" Somervile's Chase," 1796.) By Thomas Bewick 

Waiting for Death, 1828. By Thomas Bewick 

Robert Bewick's Bookcut ...... 

Race Cut. ("Sporting Magazine," 1793.) By John Bewick 
Returning Good for Evil. By John Bewick . 
Stephen Geo. Kemble as Sir John Falstaff. By Thomas Bewick 
Meditation. From Hodgson's Office .... 

Caroline ; a Lesson to Cure Vanity. 1 792. By John Bewick 
From "Harrison's Picture Book," 1792. By John Bewick 
Rosina. (" The Looking Glass for the Mind.") By J. Bewick 
The Story of Le Fevre. By Thomas Bewick . 
From "Youthful Recreations." Newbery, London . 
Armorial Bearings of Thos. Hodgson, Esq. By T. Bewick, 18 19 

(In the distance St. Nicholas Church, the old Castle, Windmills, a Staith with 

Coal Keels.) 

e 



PAGE 
128 

129 

134 
135 
138 

148 
149 

168 
169 

173 

174 

17s 
176 

178 

180 



XXXIV 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Marsden Rock. By John Jackson ..... 

Italian Ruins. Drawn and engraved by John Bewick 

History of the Empress Catherine. By Luke Clennell 

North Shields. By Jackson ...... 

From Hodgson's ed. of " The History of a Fly." By J. Bewick 
From Hodgson's ed. of " The History of a Fly." By J. Bewick 
A Pleasant Story. From Hodgson's Office 
The Modest Man. ("The Hive/' 1806.) By Thomas Bewick 
From " The Life of a Fly " (Hodgson's ed.) By John Bewick 
The Beggar's Petition. (''The Hive," 1806.) By T. Bewick 
From Harrison's " Nursery Picture Book "... 
The Village. ("Poems by Goldsmith and Parnell," 1795) 
Title to Book III. (" Somervile's Chase," 1796) 
Huntsman and Hounds. (" Somervile's Chase ") 

(Drawn by John and engraved by Thomas Bewick.) 

The Wanderer Destroyed, 1794. By John Bewick . 

From " The Life of a Fly." By John Bewick 

From " The Oracles." By John Bewick 

The Story of Obidah. ("The Hive," 1806.) By T. Bewick 

The Story of Melissa. By Luke Clennell 

The Story of Maria. By Thomas Bewick 

Portrait of Robert Roxby ...... 

The Battle of Blenheim. ("The Hive," 1812) 

Cut in memory of Solomon Hodgson, 1800. T. Bewick, sculp. 

Morning of the Chase, 1796. By Thomas Bewick . 

The Envious Shepherd. (" Tales for Youth," 1 794.) By J. Bewick 

The Moth and the Water Fly. ("Tales for Youth," 1794.) By 

John Bewick ..... 
The History of Jonathan. (" The Looking Glass for the Mind ") 
The Rival Dogs — Nancy and her Canary Bird. (" The Looking 

Glass for the Mind.") By John Bewick . . . . 



PACE 

184 
188 
188 
189 
190 
191 
192 

195 
196 

198 

2CX) 
201 
203 

205 

208 

209 

211 

213 

214 

215 

217 

219 

220 

222 



223 
225 

226 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



XXXV 



The Silly Lamb — The Cat and the Fish. By John Bewick 
The Destruction of Envy. (" Harrison's Picture Book ") . 
The Ungrateful Fox — The Timorous Boy — The Contemplative 

Hero. ("Tales for Youth," 1794.) By John Bewick 
The Turkey-Cock and Turtle- Dove — ^Avarice Punished. ("Tales 

for Youth," 1794.) By John Bewick 
The Sad Historian. John Bewick, del. et sculp. 
Memorial Pillar. (" Poems by Goldsmith and Parnell ") . 
KingGeorge HI. Hunting in Windsor Park. ("Somervile's Chase") 

Otter Hunting. (" The Chase ") 

The Tomb. From Newbery's Office. By John Bewick . 
Cut from " The History of a Fly " .... 

The Earth Worm. ("Tales for Youth," 1794.) By J. Bewick 
The Benighted Traveller. By John Bewick 
Hedworth Wind and Water Mills ..... 

(This village is in the parish of Janrow, near Hebburn. The pretty little view is 

engraved on copper by Robert E. Bewick.) 

Bookcut of John Adamson, Esq. By Thomas Bewick 
Oak Tree ......... 

Title to Book IV. (" Somervile's Chase," 1796) . 
Headpiece to "The Hermit," by Parnell, 1795. By J. Bewick 
The Departure. Drawn by R. Johnson. T. Bewick, sculp. 
The Vain Sparrow and Cruel Judge. By John Bewick, 1794 
The Spider and the Chieftain. (" Tales for Youth ") 
Memorial Cut to Robert Johnson ..... 

(From a drawing by himsell Engraved by Charlton Nesbit, 1796.) 

Memorial Cut from "Goldsmith and Pamell's Poems," 1795. By 
John Bewick ........ 

The Hermit at his Morning Devotion. (" The Hermit," by Par- 
nell.) John Johnson, del. Thomas Bewick, sculp. . 

Dionysius the Tyrant. By Luke Clennell (L.C.) 

Alexander and Septimus. By Luke Clennell (L.C.) . 



PAGE 
227 

228 



229 

233 

234 

23s 
236 

240 

241 

242 

242 



243 

244 

24s 

247 
248 

250 

251 

255 



256 

256 
260 
261 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



The Northumberiand Lifeboat. By Luke Clennell (L.C.) 
The Grateful Turk. By Luke QenneU (signed L.C.) 
The Turf Hotel, Newcastle .... 

St. Mary's Chapel, Tynemouth. By J. Jackson 
Tynemouth Priory and Lighthouse. By J. Jackson . 
Storm at Sea. ("Talcs for Youth," 1794.) By J. Bewick 
Tiger Hunting. ("The Chase," 1796.) By T. Bewick . 
The Bay Pony. (Reays "Sportsman's Friend," 1801) 

('Iliii beaullful cut «u drawn uid cnEraved by Thomas Bewick.) 

Tailpieces from "Ferguson's Poems," 1814 . . . . 

Portraits of King George I., IL, and 111. (" Goldsmith's History 
of Kngland," 1807) ....... 

flot««:rt Karl of Salisbury, A fac-simile portrait by T. Bewick . 
Camofrna, Itust of. I}y Thomas Bewick . . . . 

Armorial IfKarings of John Murray, Esq. . . . . 

O/ulsofi's ItusfncHS Card. By Thomas Bewick 
CartiTtt's Hu»infn» Card. By Thomas Bewick 
Cut from "The Mi»t<iry <if a Foundling" . . . . 



262 
26s 
267, 269 
268 
272 
286 
289 
299 



301 
302 
303 
307 



310 
314 



fl/ote. — Thf. (Hi]|>frrc on p. 2 is one of sixteen engraved by Clennell, 
representing youtlifiil H|>orli*. The entire number ts given. 




DIRECTIONS TO BINDER. 



The Binder will place the separately printed Illustrations 
as below : — 



Portrait, Thomas Bewick 



simile 



Portrait, William Charnley 

Portrait, the Earl of Derwentwater 

Monastery of Grey Friars 

Portrait, Thomas Spence 

Beilby's, R., Memorial Plate . 

Portrait, Sir M. W. Ridley . 

Ruins of Tynemouth Monastery 

The Chillingham Wild Bull . 

The Traveller 

The Hermit, Angel, and Guide 

Northumberland Bank Note . 

Autograph Letter of Thomas Bewick, fac-i 

Portrait, John Trotter Brockett 

Portrait, Rev. John Hodgson 

Portrait, Rev. William Turner 

Waiting for Death 

Marsden Rock 

Italian Ruins 

North Shields 

Portrait, Robert Roxby 

Hedworth Mills . 

The Departure . 

The Hermit at his Morning Devotion 

St. Mary's Chapel, Tynemouth 

Tynemouth Priory and Lighthouse 

Bar Bill, Beardsley's Hotel, Ferry Hill (engraved by T. Bewick) 



facing the Title-page 



xvii 

5 
i8 

34 

44 

47 

65 

79 
92 

97 

"3 

"5 
129 

146 

156 

161 

183 
184 

188 

215 

242 
248 
256 
268 
272 
308 





^HERRYBURN.— Old English names of places in 
Northumberland sound sweetly compared with 
many modern appellations in the same county. A 
scattered plantation of cherry trees had for genera- 
tions skirted the margin of a burn or rivulet on the 
south bank of the Tyne, opposite Ovingham, and gave name to 
the locality. 

On the upland hard by stood, in 1752, a retired little home- 
stead, with its garden, stackyard, and out-offices, the home of 
John Bewick, whose father had farmed lands at Bywell and 
other places on Tyneside from about the year 1 700. He also 
rented Mickley Bank Colliery. His 
descendants still hold the estate under 
the Wrightson family, work the same 
mine, and plough the same fields their 
forefathers tilled in the days of Queen 
Anne. Here Thomas Bewick was 
bom on August is, 1753, his father 
having three sons, of which he was 
the eldest, and five daughters. 

John, the second son, became a 
■wood engraver, of whom more here- """" *""'■ 

after, and William, the youngest, continued the business of the 
farm and colliery after the death of his father in 1785. To 




3 TSaVAS BZXfJCK.' 

Wiliian Bewick iraa bora c«a lioutj^tiers and six sons. Tbcmas. 
Johtu WiUuun. Stilpiu JoseplL and Haahicv. Ct' cnese R:ilpa 
only was auuxJsiik >nt^ hati a fiimil'V". 

Hjs oi^jcrng; Mr. |jfca Eew-Ick. aad his saaars C-arriSt aiai 
A^tK. aewr tesuii as Cherrybcn. "^ Lea; gsit tSat siiaae et 
Iffewxk ^.ciarisii there ui ;r^-si;erxy imf jeaix." wis tie s^nadc 
mi Ti\ ^hi isii 'iaaaviPtd irJecii. sbc RiT. J^iiui F- Ee^g*^ Vaar 



|]t7TL.£ TfiK Bx'K'3£x £bg'ihi5<fii3 qiutBtus aims made 
iiati the jun si jie imniir frcim chllilhncicL Winka 
1)3 sic:ti£i;tl hi -UTo. iuD cif li^ i arting fcir ^ 5'esis, 
IciliL notil-r !:• tii^t ftOcncic. sad ibalsd zict xm 
jnlhtTft i:ir lumtttib' ii lgadcn3i';p irmanga :dte lads 
«tf sibt Tiliui:*. ^3j$. -w-Ili! and lamdsErcmg^ ^uri deligfateifl 
lit imilrir; iitii^ icmi.iH!im>:iiti- iiiid cduntrr s^icnxs and psBomcs 
— ^utrvitoi- ^lui diiS ncil iuTEuir s vear ra^M adnmcc xd lus 
MuiilttSk £mui.I] jir£g7i%sa> via xnaiHc in gnr mniiiT or .sracb* 
mttnia.. amdl ffiUl less- ia auiq^tiimi^ xbc rudiments c^ xhc 
Lddn Kitij-iir.. 13« iko- repra ■ctf lus friendly naar, sche 3tw- 
tlir-mBifliaji CiTti^ot lima Virar of Ormg:iian», For aic 
virvwixrd. iCTpiling lie -csSeraiunoiS 
s smccre »<Tfixd. jm>3 znary were 
lilt 'GSJirs ma^ ic> T HrlBrm sun, 

serrs 33tt rJiK of lie saiox. 

Maaniiaiicir. Ht t»3»- at^wi xr -tatiiiaDi cnf icuic^ 
<3i^ scter !isy%. 'xi^» iSmigtr. j'^nn^ier £hia h'mwciK, w<£ir£ I 



.■Rfi;?^d^a=^ 



>N!5f.¥J 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



good scholars, and an honour to their preceptor. By kindly 
words of persuasion a reformation was at length effected that 
severe discipline and punishments had failed to accomplish. 
He soon made up for misspent time, and by dint of application 
acquired a good, plain, useful English education, sufficient to 
enable him to pass through life with credit and respect The 
yeoman of that period received but an ordinary education ; the 
tenant-farmer had to rest content with still less. Each had to 
work hard early and late to support their families and maintain 
a decent position. Nothing was left in those days for servants 
to do that the gaffer and his wife, assisted by their sturdy sons 
and active daughters, could manage themselves. Chap books, 
broadsides, and ballads adorned with rude woodcuts, supplied 
by hawkers, or bought when at Newcastle on market-days, 
sufficed to amuse both old and young through the long winter 
nights. These largely partook of indecent jest and ribald song. 
The tone of society in town and country was then coarse 
and licentious, nor were even some of the clergy free from its 
degrading influence. 

The domestic annals of Northumberland from the outbreak 
of the great civil war in the seventeenth century to the unhappy 
risings in 1715 and '45, the latter only eight years before the 
birth of Thomas Bewick, afforded ample material for conversa- 
tion in the baronial hall, the old manor-house, and the cottage 
of the peasant Events of stirring interest rapidly followed 
each other, the gravity of which all classes could understand. 
So much of stern reality had passed before the eyes of the 
dwellers on Tyneside between Hexham and Newcastle, a dis- 
tance of only twenty-one miles, that they did not need to be 
informed by " News Sheets " of what they themselves had seen 
and their fathers had told them. In the ale-houses at Ovingham 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



and Corbridge, old men might still be found in the days of 
Bewick's grandfather who had seen the Scots army under 
Leslie cross the Tyne by the fords at Ovingham, Bywell, and 
Eltringham, and heard the boom of their artillery, hooped with 
cords and wet raw hides, as they played upon the English 
breastworks from Newburn Church tower. They could tell 
also of the siege of Newcastle, and the gallant defence made by 
the townsmen under their patriotic mayor, Sir John Marley ; of 
the imprisonment of King Charles I. in our ancient town, and 
how his Majesty used to pass from the grand old residence in 
which he lodged in Pilgrim Street to play at golf in the Shield 
Field 

Northumberland, at that time harried and impoverished by 
exactions and forced loans by Royalist and Roundhead alike, 
was in a truly miserable condition, particularly the poorer class 
of farmers and husbandmen. The wealthy and prosperous 
town of Newcastle suffered but little. Feudal feeling was still 
strong in the North, resentment deep though secret was widely 
felt, when news came that Sir John Fenwick of Wallington had 
been arrested on a charge of high treason and committed to the 
Tower, and after the farce of a trial had been gone through, 
beheaded on Tower Hill. This talented gentleman of long 
descent was condemned, upon suspicion of treason only, by a 
law made after the crime was done, at the instance of a guilty 
approver. His legal murder long rankled in the hearts of the 
people, and contributed to foster dislike to the reigning dynasty 
and the principles of the Revolution. From this time to the 
ill-fated attempt in 1715 to restore the eldest son of James 
II. to the throne of his ancestors, only nineteen years had 
clapttcd. 




1/.?.: .-T isAwzir-iTWAVn.. 



V. I -.'jL 



I. '.L 

r. :■■ ft.' ill 'o l!r. 



1 *ci.lw 



> . I . 





k 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 5 




HE melancholy end of the young Earl of Derwent- 
WATER and his heroic brother sank deep in the popular 
mind, and found expression in the then well-known 
" Lament/' so full of pathos : ^ — 

" Farewell to pleasant Dilston Hall, 

My father's ancient seat, 
A stranger now must call thee his, 

Which makes my heart to greet 
Farewell each kindly well-known face 

My heart has held so dear ; 
My tenants now must leave their lands. 

Or hold their lives in fear. 

" No more along the banks of Tyne 

111 rove in autumn grey ; 
No more 111 hear at early dawn 

The lavVocks wake the day. 
And who shall deck the hawthorn bower 

Where my fond childhood strayed ? 
And who, when spring shall bid it flower, 

Shall sit beneath the shade ? " 



^ The Right Hon. James RadclifTe, third Earl of Derwentwater, a martyr in the rebellion 
of 17 1 5, was bom on the 28th June 1689, his mother being the Lady Mary Tudor, youngest 
natural daughter of King Charles II. Through her influence, together with the friendship 
formed whilst a boy at St. Germains with the little Prince, afterwards called the " Pretender," 
he was led to join this ill-fated enterprise in favour of the Stuart dynasty. Early on the morning 
of the 6th of October 1715, the Earl, with his brother Charles, and many friends, left Dilston 
Hall, never to see it again. On the 13th of November, seventy-five noblemen and gentlemen, 
mostly Northumbrians, with one hundred and forty-three of the same rank from Scotland, 
surrendered after a heroic fight to the army of King George at Preston. Lord Derwentwater 
with the other noblemen were conveyed to London and lodged in the Tower, tried, found 
guilty, and sentenced to death. On the fatal 24th of February 17 16, the Earl of Derwentwater 
and Lord Kenmure were beheaded on Tower Hill, faithful to the last, and true to the Prince for 
whom they sacrificed all they held most dear. 

Charles RaddifTe, the youngest son of the second Earl of Derwentwater, and brother of Earl 
James, was bom in England on the 3rd of September 1693 ; married in 1724 Charlotte Mary, 
Countess of Newburgh. Accompanied by his son, he was captured on board of a French 
privateer, laden with military stores, bound to Montrose, in Scotland, for the service of Prince 
Charles. He was committed to the same gloomy fortress which had received his beloved 
brother thirty years before, from whence he was led to execution on the 8th of December 1746. 
He was the more bold and resolute, and met death with becoming fortitude and constancy. 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



IHE late William Laws, Esq. of Pnidhoe Casde, 
Jjg^Ba agent for the Duke of Northumberland, was a 
^nJ| I gentleman well known to Mr. Bewick, and out- 
\0.^' M lived him many years. 

His grandfather was a youth at school at the 
time of the execution of King Charles I., and lived to hear of 
the beheading of the last Earl of Derwentwater and his gallant 
brother, Charles Radcliffe, Esq., thirty years afterwards. From 
an unpublished letter in the collection of William Oswald 
Charlton, Esq. of Hesleyside, it appears that Charles Radcliffe, 
under the assumed name of Thompson, revisited the North of 
England and the home of his forefathers in July 1721. 

He travelled from Durham in company with Mr. Widder- 
ington, and called at Lumley Castle, where he was kindly 
received, and from thence proceeded to Newcastle, where he 




put up at the Bull and Crown in the Groat Market. From this 
tavern he addressed a letter to the housekeeper at Dilston, the 
good and faithful Mrs. Busby ; in it he requests the loan of five 
guineas. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



Whilst at Durham he had only five or six shillings, two 
shirts, and a pocket-handkerchief. He desires that the money 
should be sent him by Lady Swinburne, or some other falthfijl 
hand, as he could not trust the lad who brought the note. He 
promises to see her at Dilston before leaving England, to 
arrange some matters ; he was obliged to leave Durham " for 
very good reasons." This loan was repaid by Mr. Errington 
of Capheaton. 

To such straits the scion of a noble house was too often 
reduced in those troublous days. 




GENERATION later witnessed the last 
effort made by the Jacobite gentry of the 
North to upset the House of Hanover in 
favour of Prince Charles Edward Stuart 
Ill-judged and unwise might be the 
enterprise, still there was something 
generous and unselfish in risking life and 
fortune for the sake of a principle they 
deemed it to be their duty to uphold. The confiscation by the 
Government of the estates of so many old families was for the 
time a misfortune. The loss of that profuse hospitality and 
kindness to the poor, for which they had been distinguished, 
was severely felt by the needy and dependent. But as Bewick 
has it, " Good times and bad times, and all times get over." 
Society at length righted itself under the blessing of a setded 
and strong government ; private philanthropy and public spirit 
effected changes in the manners, mode of life, and habits of 
the people, which have proved as beneficial as they have been 
lasting. 



THOMAS BEWICK: 




||HE late Dr. E. Charlton, an uncle of the 
gentleman just named, and a member of one 
of the most ancient and honourable families 
in the county, read a paper on "Society in 
Northumberland in the Last Century," before 
the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical 
Society, in 1874. A few copies only were printed for private 
circulation. The following extracts cannot fail to amuse, as 
they vividly illustrate the habits of the gentry during the early 
manhood of Thomas Bewick : — " Many, and indeed most, of 
the Hanoverian gentry," he remarks, "spent their winters in 
Newcastle, and retained their town-houses there till far into the 
present century. The majority of the Jacobites and Catholics 
kept apart. Of the lives they led we obtain much insight from 
some correspondence of about the middle of the last century. 
As to Newcastle, its gaiety far surpassed that of the present 
day. They seem, about 1755,10 have had balls or masquerades 
twice a week during the winter. The races 
were then, as now, a great season of festivity. 
About the year 1750 the races seem to have 
lasted three days, and during all that time 
the gentlemen did not go to bed, but sat up 
all night carousing in Debord's, the fashionable tavern in the 
Cloth Market^ still passing under its ancient name of the White 
Hart." 

" We have been amused by the letter of a Jacobite squire, 
writing to Sir Francis Delaval, and begging him to make up a 
quarrel that had taken place there, and excusing himself from 
being mixed up with it by saying that he was ' much in liquor 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



at the time.* The old squires took plenty of time in 
returning home from the races. ' My husband has not 
yet got home/ writes a lady from the west country, 'but 
he wrote the other day for his horses to be sent to 
Hexham, so he will be on his way.' As they went back 
to their dreary homes, they loved to stop at some Jacobite 
friend's who had not been able to join in the dissipation 
of the week, and whose anxiety to learn the news of the 
day formed a good excuse for a prolonged drinking bout 



.^tri^^^^M/^^M: 




In the absence of intellectual amusements and of a good 
supply of books time must have hung heavily enough on 
their hands. . . . They rose early, and were often in the 
saddle before daybreak in winter to hunt up their fox. 
Going out to the chase seems to have been at times con- 
ducted with as much parade as is usual in France or Germany 
at the present day. *0n the first day of the season, the 
gentlemen of the Newcastle Hunt met at Debord's with great 
parade, and with French horns, and much music and smacking 



10 THOMAS BEWICK: 

of whips." . . . Among the Delaval papers we find an amusing 
letter from a country squire .in Northumberland to his friend, 
Sir Francis, in London, begging him to procure for him in 
London 'a hand-organ to play a dozen tunes or so, with a 
handle on ye outside to turn it about with ; it is a thing I have 
a great longing for.' . . . The study, of music or painting 
seems to have been hardly thought of in the family circle. 
One lady's husband stays long at Newcastle, whither he had 
gone to see Domenico, the fire-eater, and at last returns, bring- 
ing %vith him four fiddlers and a drummer, and the house has 
now no rest ' I like music, especially the " White Cockade," ' 
says the sly little Jacobite writer, ' but this is rather too much.'" 



I HAT an immense advance do we not behold 
at the present day in all that tends to refine 
and cultivate the understanding, — the cruel 
and barbarous sports of bull-baiting and cock 
fights banished for ever from the number of 
popular amusements, whilst deep drinking 
and swearing are now only to be found amongst the lowest 
class of artisans ! The colliers are not the degraded body they 
once were, but attach themselves with success to scientific and 
Jjhilosophical research, a love for plants and flowers, and the 
study of botany and ornithology, being very .widely diffused. 

* In looking through a file of Ihe Ncwcasth CArmtitU for 1768, I Gnd the foUDwing mmc 
eitraordiiiary account of t, [ox hunt: — "A (01 being cloieljr pursued b; Lord StralhmoTE'a 
hounds, threv hinuelf in at Ihe dajhole of ■ collier; near Gibside, frhere levenJ of ibe honndt 
followed wilh some of ihe hunlen, and atcer a chue of an hoar and a half throngh all the 
tuiningi and windings of ihe coHiei^, he wU (t lasL taken under a heap of nihbith where he 
bad crept fnr.saletf. The hunten were obliged to px. laQthoms and candles, and had a ver; 
fine divei^on in the subterraneous caver^ about 300 feet undei the surface, having Ihe fox 
seteral times in view during the chaie."— 13th Eebtuary 176S. 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. n 

Every pit village can boast of at least one bird or animal 
preserver. Bewick's ** History of British Birds," and Gold- 
smith's "Natural History," have done much to create and 
foster a taste for such pursuits^ The possession of a good 
pianoforte is far from uncommon, whilst a violin or a flute is 
seldom wanting in the house of a miner. 

Mr. Bewick, in his graphic and instructive Memoir of him- 
self, thus speaks of his early essays in art whilst a schoolboy 
at Ovingham : — 

"I was for some time kept at reading, writing, and figures — how long I 
know not ; but I know that as soon as my question was done upon my slate, I 
spent as much time as I could find in filling with my pencil all the unoccupied 
spaces wi^h representations of such objects as struck my fancy, and these were 
rubbed out, for fear of a beating, before my question was given in. As soon as 
I. reached Fractions, Decimals, &c., I was put to learn Latin ; and in this I was 
for some time complimented by my master for the great progress I was making ; 
but, as I never knew for what purpose I had to learn it, and was wearied out 
with getting off long tasks, I rather flagged in this department of my education, 
and the margin of my books, and every space of spare and blank paper, became 
Ailed with various kinds of devices or scenes I had met with, and these were 
accompanied with wretched rhymes explanatory of them. As soon as I filled all 
the blank spaces in my books, I had recourse, at all spare times, to the gravestones 
and the floorof the church porch^ with a bit of chalk, to give vent to this pro- 
pensity of mind of figuring whatever I had seen. At that time I had never 
beard of the word ' drawing ; ' nor did I know of any other paintings besides the 
king's arms in the church, and the signs in Ovingham of the Black Bull, the 
White Horse, the Salmon, and the Hounds and Hare. I always thought I 
could make a far better hunting scene than the latter : the others were beyond 
my hand. I remember once of my master overlooking me while I was very 
busy with my chalk in the porch, and of his putting me very greatly to the blush 
by ridiculing and calling me a conjuror. My father also found a deal of fault 
for ' misspending my time in such idle pursuits ; ' but my propensity for drawing 
vras so rooted that nothing could deter me from persevering in it, and many of 
my .evenings at home were spent in filling the flags of the floor and the hearth- 
stone with my chalky designs. 

"After I bad long scorcl^ed my fiaice in this way, a friend^ in compassion. 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



furnished me with some paper upon which to execute mj designs. Here I had 
more scope. Pen and ink, and the juice of the bramblebeny, made a grand 
change. These were succeeded by a camel-hair pencil and shells of colourst 
and, thus supplied, I became completely set up ; but of patterns or drawings I 
had none. The beasts and birds which enlivened the beautiful scenery of 
woods and wilds surrounding my native hamlet fiimbhed me with an endless 
supply of subjects. I now, in the estimation of my rustic neighbours, became 
an eminent painter, and the walls of their houses were ornamented with an 
abundance of my rude productions al a very cheap rate. These chiefly consisted 
of particular hunting scenes, in which the portraits of the hunters, the horsesi 
and of every Aog in the pack, were, in their opinion, eu v.'eii as my own, faith- 
fiilly delineated" 




IS recollections of home, and the round of duty he 
performed whilst a boy, is remembered and dwelt 
upon with pleasiire. His ardent love of Nature is 
M always apparent. 

" In the vermin-hunting excursions in the depth of winter, while the whole 
&ce of Nature was bound in frost and covered with deep snow, in traversing 
through bogs, amidst reeds and rushes, I have often felt charmed with the sight 
of birds — flushed and sometimes caught by the tenier dogs — which I had never 
seen or heard of before; and I am still in doubt whether some of them have 
not escaped being noticed as British birds. 

" These were the diversions of the winter months, which I enjoyed in an 
extreme degree amidst the storm and the tempest In that season I was also 
sometimes better employed in looking after a small flock of sheep on the fell, a 
part of which was my own. The extremity of the weather had taught them to 
seek a place of shelter under a steep but low ' brae,* overhung with whin% 
under which, in such weather, I was almost certain to find them and their 
associates all huddled together. To this place, through wreaths of snow, I early 
bent my way, with a bundle of hay on my back, and my pockets sometimes filled 
with oats, which I distributed amongst them. Upon these occasions, though at 
other times extremely wild, they were quite tame, and seemed to know me. . . . 

"At that time of life every season had its charms ; and I recollect well of 
listening with delight, from a little window at my bed-head, to the murmoring of 



HIS LIFE AND TmES. 



<3 



the flooded bum which passed my father's house, and sometimes roused me &om 
my bed to see what it was like. After this my first and common employment 
was to ' muck ' the byre ; and when the servant girl did not come soon enough, 
I frequently tried nty hand at milking the cows ; and I was always particularly 
keen of being there in snowstorms. When this was the case, within the byie 
door I snugly watched the appearance of various birds which passed the little 
dean below, and which the severity of the weather drove from place to place in 
search o(. shelter. With the sight of my intimate acquaintances, the robins, 
Wiens, blackbirds, sparrow^ a solitary crow, and some others, I was not much 
attracted, but always felt an extreme pleasure and curiosity in seeing the more 
rare visitants — such as the woodcock, the snipe, and other waders, with the red- 
wings, fieldfares, &c — make their appearance. . . . 

" From the little window at my bed-bead I noticed all the varying seasons 
of the year ; and, when the spring put in, I felt charmed with the music of birds, 
which strained their little throats to proclaim it. . . , 

" As soon as the bushes and trees began to put forth their buds, and make 
the face of Nature look gay, this was the signal for the angler to prepare his 
fishing-tackle. In doing this I was not behindhand. Fishing-rods, set-gad^ 




The BoMtinj TrooL— r^iu/iir C™/*, 1794. 



and night-lines were all soon made fit for use, and with them, hite and early, I 
bad a busy time of it during the summer months, until the bo&ts of autumn 
forbade me to proceed. The uneasiness which my late evening wadings by the 
waterside gave to my father and mother, I have often since reflected upon with 
r^ret They could not go to bed with the hopes of getting to sleep while 
haunted with the apprehension of my being drowned; and well do I remember 



14 ' THOMAS BEWICK: 



Xo this day my Other's well-known whistle which called me home. He went 
to a little distance from the house, where nothing obstructed the sound, and 
whistled so toud, through bis finger and thumb, that in the still hours of evening 
it might be heard echoing up the vale of the Tyne to a very great distanca 
This whistle I learned to imitate, and answered as well as I could, and then 
posted home." 

The little window at his bed-head is pictured in John 
Bewick's view of Cherrybum house, just below the gable. T6 
the left beneath the hedge-row is the burn or rivulet and below 
it the dene, which is continued along the bottom of the cut. 



3T length the time came when boyish pastimes 
must be parted with, and the companionship of 
schoolfellows cease; when preparation for an 
entry upon the battle of life, and that discipline 

on which so much will depend, can be delayed no longer. 

Mr. Bewick thus narrates the first step in the story of his 

apprenticeship :— 

"Being now nearly fourteen years of age, and a stout boy, it was thought 
time to set me off to business; and my father and mother had long been 
plannit^ and consulting, and were greatly at a loss what it would be best to fix 
upon. During the summer of 1767, William Beilby and his brother Ralph took 
a ride to Bywell to see their intimate acquaintance, Mrs. Simons, who was my 
godmother, and the widow of the late vicar there. She gave them a most 
flattering account of me : so much so, that they, along with her and hei daughter, 
set off that same aflemoon to Chenybum to visit us, and to drink tea. When 
the Newcastle visitors had given an account of their enamellings, drawings, and 
engravings, with which I felt much pleased, I was asked which of them I should 
like to be bound to ; and, liking the look and deportment of Ralph the best, I 
gave the preference to him. Matters bearing upon this business were slightly 
talked over ; and my grandmother having left me twenty pounds for an appren^ 
tice fee^ it was not long till a good understanding between parties took place, 
and I soon afterwards went to R. Beilby upon trial 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 15 

" The first of October was the day fixed upon for the binding. The eventful 
day arrived at last, and a most grievous one it was to me. I liked my master ; 
I liked the business ; but to part from the country, and to leave all its beauties 
behind me, with which I had been all my life charmed in an extreme degree — 
and in a way I cannot describe — I can only say my heart was like to break ; 
and, as we passed away, I inwardly bade farewell to the whinny wilds, to Mickley 
Bank, to the. Stobcross Hill, to the water banks, the woods, and to particular 




trees, and even to the large hollow old elm, which had lain perhaps for centuries 
past on the haugh near the ford we were about to pass, and which had sheltered 
the salmon fishets, while at work there, fix)m many a bitter blast We called 
upon my much esteemed schoolfellow, Christopher Gregson,' of Ovingham, where 
he and his father were waiting to accompany us to Newcastle— all on the same 

* The Rer. Chtislopher Gr^MO, bom in 173S, held the liviDg of Ovingham foi upwards of 
foct7-lluree years. Bewick itates, in hii delightful Memoir, tfa»t the ttlpend was oatj thiny 
poQDdi pet anoum, [ill the " ]rj rector, Thomas Chailes Bigge, Esq. of Benton, added some 
land to ibe glebc^ by way of betteriog his condition." After a lime ha began to keep popils, 
sod was considered a snecessful teacher of the young. He died, unirersally respected, on the 
26th Decembei 1809, aged 71 yean, and lies interred at Ovingham, 



16 THOMAS BEWICK: 



errand — (we were both t»und on that day). While we were condoling, com- 
forting each other — I know not what to call it — at the parsonage gates, many 
of the old neighbours assembled at the churchyard wall to see us set ofij and to 
express theii good wishes ; and amongst the rest was a good, sensible old woman 
of the village, named Betty Kell, who gave us her blessing, and each a penny for 
good luck. This being done, oui horses were mounted, and we commenced 
our journey. The parties kept & little distance frora each other. I suppose 
our late preceptor was lecturing his son, and my father was equally busied in 
the same way with me." 

When they reached Newcastle the indenture, after some 
demur, was drawn up and duly signed. Young Bewick now 
entered upon his seven years' servitude, a period found to be 
in most cases one of singular hardship and endurance. 

The late Miss Bewick informed me that at the time the 
lad left home he had in his pocket a small drawing representing 
an old horse standing by a bank-side, near to the withered 
trunk of an aged oak tree, Cherrybum in the distance. 
This, his earliest known design, he many years afterwards 
engraved. I obtained the little copperplate from the Misses 
Bewick, and have now, by favour of the owner, Thomas Gow, 
Esq. of Cambo, much pleasure in bnnging it under the notice 
of my readers. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 




HEN young Bewick began his apprenticeship the halo 
of antiquity rested upon Newcastle: Everywhere 
the good town was intersected by pleasant gardens. 
Its famed old wall, flanked by towers at short dis- 
tances, then existed almost entire. Ponderous gates 
of massive masonry, which had protected the inhabitants through 
many centuries of turbulence and domestic anarchy, frowned 
stem and gloomy as they stretched across the main streets from 
Westgate to Pilgrim Street. The river Tyne was spanned by 
a bridge of medizeva! architecture, whilst stately mansions and 




quaint old houses with carved enrichments added much in those 
days to impress strangers with an idea of the wealth and 
dignity of its merchants and gentry. Delightful it then was, 
and long after, to wander by the Maiden's Walk on a summer 
morning, through the fields and meadows of Elswick and 
Benwell, and Newburn and Denton Bum, and at eventide, after 
the turmoil of the day, to note the cry of the corncrake, or 



1 8 THOMAS BEWICK: 

the lark's evening hymn, or how, as when " h'ght thickens, and 
the crow makes wing to the rooky wood " far over the Tyne to 
Axwell and Ravensworth and the distant shades of Gibside, to 
witness the gradual approach of night and Nature's silent reign ! 

One princely residence, built about 1580, was the pride, not 
of Pilgrim Street only, but of Newcastle, the air of antiquity 
which clung about it disposing the mind to thoughts of serenity 
and peace. 

In the olden time, when faith was strong, a Monastery of 
Grey Friars flourished here, and the monastic gardens in all 
their quiet beauty existed till within little more than fifty years 
ago, though six hundred years had passed since Duns Scotus, 
the glory of the Franciscans, and Hugh of Newcastle, studied 
within its walls. 



EVOTION,aided by fancy, might still conjure 
up the form of the Subtle Doctor, as wrapt 
in meditation he paced its cheerful walks, 
clad in the long grey habit of the Order, 
with girdle of rope, his soul fixed on God 
and things divine. Now and then, whilst at school, I used to 
pass a leisure hour under the pleasant shade of the fine old 
trees that grew around, and on one occasion, not to be forgotten, 
had the happiness to experience something of the supernatural. 
In the early days of my apprenticeship I went through the 
house just before its demolition, and viewed the apartments 
occupied by King Charles I. whilst a prisoner in the hands of 
the Scotch. In summer time the peacocks might be seen 
proudly treading the spacious lawn, in keeping with the lordly 
aspect of the place ; and on stormy winter nights the western 




■^MBM 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 19 

wind swept through the trees with loud and weird-like sound, 
inspiring feelings of awe. 

This house was built by Robert Anderson, merchant In 
Speed's map of the town, 1610, it is called the ** Newe House." 
Sir Francis Anderson, Knt, in 1675 conveyed it to Sir William 
Blackett, Bart, who added the two wings in a modern style. 
It came into the possession of Sir Walter Blackett, Bart., by 
his marriage with Sir Williams granddaughter. In 1782 it was 
sold to Mr. Geo. Anderson, an opulent architect, whose son. 
Major Anderson, lived in it at the time the annexed view was 
taken. The heir of this gentleman sold the estate, about twelve 
acres, to the late Richard Grainger, Esq., in 1832, for ;^50,cxx). 

Whatever time Bewick had at his disposal in the morning, 
or after shop hours in the evening, or could spare from his 
dinner-hour, was spent in the enjoyment of the open country 
air. Nor had he to travel far that he might revel amid green 
fields and pleasant gardens. In the first days of his apprentice- 
ship, as I have been told by the late Miss Jane Bewick, he 
would run without a cap from the workshop, through Denton 
Chare, to the Spital Field and the Forth. Many of the shops 
in that ancient thoroughfare were then occupied by fruiterers 
and confectioners, who used to remark as he passed their doors, 
"There goes Beilby's wild lad." It was in passing along this 
" Chare " in after years with his friend Richard Wingate that 
he sketched the little owl ("Brit Birds," vol. i. p. 55, 1797); 
and it was here Mr. Bewick once offered to set up his daughter 
Isabella as a bookseller, but she declined — " the responsibility 
was too great," she remarked in conversation one evening. 

Bewick would occasionally change his route, and vary the 
scene. Entering the Castle Garth by the Black Gate, a 
gloomy structure of the time of Henry III., he would then, 



20 THOMA S BE WICK : 



by the low Norman postern on the Castle stairs, soon reach 
Tyne Bridge. Both those venerable remains are still in exist- 
ence. To a youth born and bred in the country, the novelty 
of such a scene as would then present itself must have been 
•trikinj; and picturesque in the extreme. The bridge, of 
mediiTvul architecture, a study in itself, stood on the site of 
the Pons AiVii of Hadrian. Narrow and inconvenient, by 
r«tt»on of the projecting old timber houses, with shops below, 
by which it was crowded, it was rendered still more so by three 
Utron^ towers. What was called the Magazine Gate, built in 
tho reign of Charles I., stood at the north end. A fine marble 
ntutua of hia royal successor, clad in a Roman toga, graced the 
muith (\\n\t\ in the middle there was another tower, which 
H^VV^U «« u j>ri»on ; whilst a third stood near the Gateshead end 
\\\i iho brldgo, Beneath their antique portals a stream of horse- 
\\m\ km\ |H^dt5»trittn8. carriages of the gentry, royal grenadiers 
\\\ K\\\^U\\ \u\llorm, and regiments of local militia changing 
v\^*uUM'«*i wwj^ no uncommon sight ; whilst carriers' carts from 
^U^ijihU^ulug vilhigCH, heavily laden waggons from Leeds, 
Shv>«\v4\l, Nhu\cl\r»ter. York, London, and Nottingham were 

^H^^i^VU <^^^^^Ui ^^J^^^^^t ^'»"y' ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^P^ ^^ saddlers, 
i^t^^\w^^v^u^^\i httttrrn. drapers, grocers, cheesemongers, and 
\<\\m \\^\\\m, but specially booksellers. To the latter the 
tV^HMyHsv^\ sM y\m\^ Bewick would be mainly directed; por- 
^iv^\^ \^\ \\\^ \\\pmy ntorcs they contained (and some were very 
v^Ntt%is\vMi^Wi» li\ilwd) were openly exposed to view. 

^^ VsO^M\\i»t m liheUorM italU expanded lie, 
A\\\\ >^«iou« iiolenco lurei the learned eye ; 
i\\p \\m\\\\\^ ihelvei with pond'rous scholiasts groan, 
Ami \W^|> Ulvlnf)», to modern shops unknown ; 
\\f\^ m\\\\PT\n^ »prentices o'er Otway weep, 
OV Cw\«r«vt amlle, or over Dyer sleep." 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



iHEN on an errand, our young apprentice would no 
doubt be tempted to linger now and then for a 
few minutes and examine with pleasure such books 
as the " Nuremberg Chronicle," so full of wonders, 
" Holinshed's Chronicles," the learned Conrad 
Gesner's " History of Birds, Beasts, and Fishes," adorned with 
thousands of fine woodcuts, or the plates in Edwards' recently 
published "History of Birds" — little dreaming that centuries 
hence, when that bridge should have long passed away, and 
the " famous town of Newcastle " had become a city, his wood- 
cuts, the offspring of his genius, would be held in universal 
admiration. About the middle of the seventeenth century 
the principal booksellers had their shops on Tyne Bridge and 
the Sandhill. Robert Barker, who in 1639 came to Newcastle 
in the train of King Charles I., had his shop on the Sandhill, 
and his office in St. Nicholas Churchyard. He was succeeded 
by Stephen Bulkley {who brought his type and press with him 
from York), so well known as the printer of "Gray's Choro- 
graphia" in 1649. The almost mythical William London, a 
contemporary, with his marvellous catalogue of books in ancient 
and modem languages, and on almost every branch of learning, 
probably resided in this much - coveted locality. Richard 
Randell and Peter Maplisden dwelt upon the Sandhill, near the 
bridge, where you could have " Books bound after what manner 
you please." Joseph Hall in 1693 used to have sales of books 
by auction on the bridge, and at the beginning of the eighteenth 
centur}' lived here Sarah and afterwards Joseph Button, the 
friend and correspondent of Daniel Defoe. Thomas Bewick 
used to study Reay Sabourn's Latin Grammar, published by 
Button in 1733. 




THOMAS BEWICK: 



I HERE was John Linn, bookbinder, at the 
sign of Locke's Head, on the middle of 
Tyne Bridge, and John Fleming, and his 
widow after him, who published the J'/ew- 
castle General Magazine at his " shop under 
the Magazine Gate," safe and snug from 
those driving showers of sleet and rain, 
and boisterous gusts of wind, that so often sweep down the 
valley of the Tyne in the autumn and winter months. There 
also flourished Martin Bryson, an eminent bookseller, who 
once received a letter from Allan Ramsay, addressed to 

"Martin Bryson, 

Dwelling on Tyne Brigg, 

An upright, downright, honest Whig." 

The poet had a son who was an assistant with Bryson. 

The best of the old houses at the south end of the bridge 
let for £,21, and consisted mostly of a shop on the basements, 
with a cellar below, to which access was gained by a winding 
stair. In the cellar was a door in two parts, secured by iron 
bolts ; the upper part was used as a window to let in light, and 
by the lower half goods were let down, to be conveyed away 
by boats on the river, immediately below, which at high water 
reached nearly to the cellar floor. Above the shop were a 
kitchen and parlour, opposite each other, whilst another stair- 
case led to the bedrooms. 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



8HEN Joseph Hall or Sarah Button first 
opened their windows in the morning 
and sat down to breakfast whilst the 
clock on the Exchange was striking 
seven, it must have been a pleasurable 
sight to behold the broad and silvery 
river flowing silently beneath. The 
rural quiet pervading the fair valley, the sheep feeding on its 
southern slopes amid trees and woodlands, in an atmosphere 
pure and untainted, would form a charming prospect Tyne 
Bridge and its traditions, Roman and mediaeval, occupy an 
important page in local history. 

One remarkable event in its annals, chronicled by Leiand, 
is dear to all natives of the Northern Metropolis who cherish 
a love for the venerable past. On a bright sunny day in the 
month of July 1503, the Princess Margaret, daughter of Henry 
VII., then in her fourteenth year, passed through Newcastle on 
her road to Scotland, the affianced bride of King James IV. 
The passage itself is too long for insertioa " Upon the bryge," 
we are told, "cam in processyon rychly revested the college of 
the said towne. ... At the bryge end, upon the gatt, war 
many children, revested of surpeliz, syngyng mellodiously 
hympnes, and playing on instruments of many sortes." Alas 1 
the domestic happiness of this young and illustrious lady was 
but short-lived. In less than ten years she was a widow, and 
her royal husband, the gay and chivalrous James, lay a bloody 
corse on Flodden Field. 




THOMAS BEWICK: 



3ao2al Visits to i^etocastU. 

aiOBERT CURTHOSE, eldest son of William the 
Conqueror, on his return in 1080 from an unsuc- 
cessful enterprise against Malcolm, King of Scot- 
land, erected a fortress which was called the New 
The c/ii castle is supposed to have been the Roman 
Pons JE\i\, From this new castle the adjoining town 
darlvet Its name. 

KiN<i MicNKV I., Beauclerc, is supposed by Bourne to have 
tiiillt St, Nicholas' Church between the years 1115 and 1128. 
lit) ^avo the Church of Newcastle, with that of Newbum and 
othtsm, to the See of Carlisle. 

KiNii Stici'HKN, being at Durham, invaded Northumberland. 
l^vUI, KiiHJ of Scotland, at this time commonly resided in 
NtiWtH(Ntl*>. IVhcc was made between the two kings in 11 39. 

KtNU IIknkv II. had a mint at Newcastle. King John in 
Ui>U Iwl tt Ctmfcrcnce with William, King of Scotland, in this 
»MWI\, «!»! nwdo it his residence for a lengthened period. 

KlNU IIknry III., in 1255, accompanied by his Queen, 
Wi»v«> lit Nowcastle, which tliey left for Werk Castle, to have 
Att iHtPrvlflW with their daughter, the Queen of Scotland, and 
\m huilMtuI. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 




<^W^ 





26 THOMA S BE WICK : 



Kino Edward I. was in Newcastle in 1292, to whom John 
Daliol did homag^e in the hall of his palace within the castle. 
This monarch by charter (1299) united the ancient Vill of 
Pampcdon to Newcastle, the two places henceforth to constitute 
one town and borough. 

KiNii linwARi) II., with his minion Gaveston, fled from York 
to Newcastle, pursued by the incensed barons, headed by the 
Karl of Lancaster : retiring to Tinmouth, they took ship for 
Scarborouyh. 

KiNii MnwAUi) III., the victor of Crecy and Poictiers, kept 
\\U VViUuiuUidu heru in 1334, soon after which Edward Baliol, 
King of SiMitland, diil him homage in the Church of the Black 
IMtti'tt funid jjrwt Holcmnity. 

KlN\J IUnuy IV. WUH at Newcastle in 1400. By charter 
\\\\\\^\ May ^,\^\ in that year it was the royal pleasure to separate 
thu \\\\\\\ ol Nowca»tlc-upon-Tyne from the county of North- 
U»ulHMlah\li and luako It a distinct county of itself, with the 
»UK» ol *Ml\o county tvf thti town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne." 

[i\H\k IUnkv VlMwlth his heroic Queen and many of the 
noMllty who i\v\\ with him from Yorkshire after the fatal battle 
ol 'l\^\Vton, took ivl\ijjt^ In thiJi town. Amongst the gentlemen 
\\\\\\ M\ on \\\v ^Ido t>f tho house of Lancaster, history makes 
nn^nlon ol John {\\v\vU\ KniKht, a member of the family of 
\\\\\\\\ \\Am\ n\mkn whrn ho says, ''The Gray Freres in 
N*»\v^4»«i»lo ol lhi» tc'alrhitslloil foundation, originally marchauntes 
oi \\w ^mw towni ftud ttfttxr men of landc." 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 





28 THOMAS BEWICK: 



King Edward IV., after his great victory, marched north- 
wards as far as Newcastle, but soon afterwards returned to the 
South. 

King Richard III., in the year 1483, confirmed the grant of 
former charters to the town. His death at Bosworth was fol- 
lowed by the peaceable accession of King Henry VII., who 
made Newcastle his residence for some time. In 1490 he 
made a grant of the fair called St. Luke's Fair to the town. 

King Henry VIII. granted in 1544 the Black Friars, with 
the houses, orchards, and gardens thereto belonging, to the 
Corporation of Newcastle, reserving to himself the bells, lead, 
and timber of the Church. 

King Edward VI., 1549, granted to the Corporation of 
Newcastle the Chapel of the Blessed Mary at Jesmond ; also 
the Chapel of St. Laurence, which stood near the margin of the 
Tyne, a little below Ouse burn. 

Queen Mary, 1554, confirmed to the town several royal 
charters granted by her ancestors. 

King James I., on his way to Scotland, 1617, arrived at 
Newcastle from Durham on St. George's Day, where he was 
met upon the Sandhill by the mayor (Lionel Maddison), alder- 
men, and sheriff; and, after an oration by the town-cleric, was 
presented by the mayor, in the name of the Corporation, with 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 





30 THOMA S BE WICK : 



a great standing bowl, to the value of an hundred jacobuses 
and an hundred merks in gold ; the mayor carrying the sword 
before him, accompanied by his brethren on their foot-cloths. 

King Charles I. This unhappy monarch visited Newcastle 
on several occasions. After the disastrous battle of Marston 
Moor, on July 2, 1644, Newcastle was the last bulwark of the 
Royal cause in the North. After offering a very spirited resist- 
ance of about ten weeks, it finally surrendered on October 2 2d 
of that year. As a reward for the gallant defence made by the 
inhabitants during the siege, his majesty bestowed upon it the 
proud motto, '*Fortiter Defendit Triumphans." 

King Charles 1 1, confirmed previous charters to the town, 
and granted others. A fine statue of the Merry Monarch, in 
a Roman habit, which formerly stood over the Magazine Gate, 
at the north end of Tyne Bridge, is now placed near to the 
entrance of the Merchants' Court, adjoining the Guildhall, 
Newcastle. 

King James II. A magnificent equestrian statue of King 
James, cast in copper, was erected a little before the Revolution 
in the midst of the Sandhill, Newcastle. The statue was raised 
upon a pedestal of white Italian marble, 14 feet from the base, 
which was of black polished marble. This fine work of art 
was approved by Sir Christopher Wren, and cost the town 
;^8oo sterling. In November 1688 it was pulled down by a 
hot-headed Protestant mob from Sandgate, provided with ropes 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



for the purpose, and thrown into the river. Bourne says, " It 
was confessed the most beautiful and curious of its kind that 
was in the whole kingdom. Certainly it was a great omafnent 
to the town, and 'tis therefore great pity it is not still in being, 
though it was the statue of an unfortunate king." 





THOMAS BEWICK: 




^HILST an apprentice, and catering for himself on 
four shillings and sixpence per week, young 
Bewick became acquainted with Gilbert Grav, 
an eccentric but most worthy and intelligent 
bookbinder, who had been shopman to Allan Ramsay at the 
time he composed the "Gentle Shepherd." Originally intended 
for the Kirk, he received a liberal education at the College of 
Aberdeen. Having somehow imbibed 
a rooted dislike for priests and priest- 
craft, he gave up all thoughts of enter- 
ing the ministry, for, as he told his 
friend, "of a 'trouth,' Thomas, I did 
not like their ways." After leaving 
Scotland he directed his steps to New- 
castle, and first entered the employ of 
Messrs. Bryson & Charnley, whom he 
afterwards left for that of Mr. Slack and 
his successor, Mr. Solomon Hodgson, publishers of the iVrtf- 
casile Chronicle. In the workshop of this worthy tradesman 
the youthful wood-engraver spent his winter evenings, a docile 
and attentive disciple of this sage in humble life. Many of the 
books sent to bind he was allowed to read, and encouraged 
to converse freely on such passages as interested him most 
These obligations Bewick never forgot in after life, but remem- 
bered with gratitude when his own course was nearly run. 

We may be sure the familiar objects in that old workshop 
would also linger long in his memory. The strong shelf at 
the back that held Gilbert's stock of milled boards, the well- 
worn grindstone on which he was wont to sharpen his plough- 
knives, the cumbrous standing press and long iron pin, the 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. $z 

clumsy pasteboard shears, the closet in which he kept his supply 
of leather and Dutch marbled papers, Bewick would require no 
effort to recall to his fancy. 

Gray "rose early to work, lay down when he felt weary, 
and rose again when refreshed. His diet was of the simplest 
kind, and he ate when hungry, and drank when dry, without 
paying regard to meal-times." To instruct the ignorant, to 
visit poor debtors in prison, and by paying what they owed, if 
proved deserving, restore them to liberty and their families, 
was a duty he loved to discharge To objects such as these 
Gray devoted his little savings and the profits of his small but 
useful publications. " He varied his favourite dish of hasty- 
pudding with pease, which usually stood in a bowl near him 
while at work, and which, with water, satisfied the wants of 
nature." Animal food he rarely tasted, and once on being 
presented with a goose, had it salted, hung up, and cut into 
slices and broiled as wanted. The time at length came when 
the old man, full of days and good works, must cease from his 
honest toil, and receive the reward due to his life of self-denial 
and perseverance in well-doing. His weary frame, exhausted 
by long watching and attending the sick-bed of his aged wife, 
with whom he had lived most happily, sank under the burden, 
and, strong in Christian hope, he departed this life, 1 2th Feb- 
ruary 1794, aged 85 years, though intimate friends believed 
that 95 was nearer the truth. Mr. Bewick, with others who 
respected his character, attended the funeral. 




THOMAS BEWICK: 



n^^TSBEWICK relates in his Memoirs, p. 71, that it was 
^10g|P2/| through his frequent visits to the workshops of 
^ie^^^ Gilbert Gray and his son William that he first 
f^^^^^aj became acquainted with Thomas Spence, who 
was born on the Quayside, Newcastle, on the 21st of June 
1750. From it we learn that 

" He was one of the wannest philanthropists in the world. The happiness 
of mankind seemed with him to absorb every other consideration. He was of a 
cheerful disposition, warm in his attachment to his friends and in his patriotism 
to his country ; but he was violent against people whom he considered of an 
opposite character. With such he kept no bounds. For the purpose chiefly of 
making converts to his opinion 'that property in land is everybody's right,' he 
got a number of young men gathered together and formed into a debating 
society, which was held in the evenings in his schoolroom in the Broad Garth. 
One night, when his favourite question was to be debated, he reckoned upon me 
as one of his ' backers.' In this, however, he was mistaken ; for, notwithstanding 
my tacitly assenting in a certain degree to his plan,— viz., as to the probability of 
its succeeding in sotne uninhabited country or island,— I could not at all agree 
with him in thinking it right to upset the present state of society, by taking from 
people what is their own, and then launching out upon his speculations. I 
considered that property ought to be held sacred, and, besides, that the honestly 
obtaining of it was the great stimulant to industry, which kept all things in order, 
and society in full health and vigour. The question having been given against 
him without my having said a word in its defence, he became swollen with 
indignation, which, after the company was gone, he vented upon me. To reason 
with him was useless. He began by calling me, from my silence, 'a Sir 
Walter Blackett,' adding, ' If I had been as stout as you are, I would have 
thrashed you, but there is another way in which I can do the business and have 
at you.' He then produced a pair of cudgels, and to work we fell. He did not 
know that I was a proficient in cudgel-play ing, and I soon found that he was 
very defective. After I had blackened the insides of his thighs and arms he 
became quite outrageous, and acted very unfairly, which obliged me to give him 
a severe beating." 

The rough usage this political theorist and dreamer received 
at the hands of young Bewick did not dissolve their old friend- 
ship, for, as we afterwards find, he called upon Mr. Spence at 
Haydon Bridge on his journey to Scotland, where he was a 







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i I .■ ..: : . 

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HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 35 

" welcome guest," and stopped two days. In " Tlie Spensonian 
Commonwealth" every fifth day was to be a Sabbath, or day 
of rest. The Established Church was to be maintained at the 
public cost ; Dissenters,, if they set up any other religon, were 
to bear the cost of it themselves. Spence set himself not only 
to remodel the British Constitution, but to reform the English 
language. In 1775 he invented a New Alphabet, consisting 
of forty letters, each of which represented a different sound. A 
stanza from his version of Gray's Elegy may be given as a 
specimen : — 

AN ELIJE, RITIN IN A KUNTRE CHURCH-YARD. GRA 
" Thi Kurfu tolz thi Nel ov parting Da, 
Thi louing Herd W'mdz slole o'r thi Le, 
Tbi Plomin homwurd plodz his wereid Wa, 
And livi thi Wurld too darknis and too mt" 

Mr. spence died in London, 8th September 1814. We are 
told that he was of a sanguine and open countenance, cheerful 
disposition, and winning manners. However erroneous his 
views, his honesty and sincerity were never doubted. 



N Sunday morning the 17th November 1771, when 
Thomas Bewick had just entered the fifth year of 
his servitude, .an event took place which was re- 
membered and spoken of on Tyneside for genera- 
tions afterwards. This was no other than the fall 
of Tyne Bridge. Five hundred and twenty-three years before, 
the greater part of the town, together with its bridge, was 
destroyed by fire; and in 1339 part of the bridge was carried 
away by a sudden inundation, when no less than 1 20 persons were 
drowned. Having weathered many a storm and tempest during 




36 THOMAS BEWICK: 



five centuries, the end came at last In consequence of heavy 
and long-continued rains in the west, the Tyne and her tribu- 
tary streams became swollen beyond all previous floods the 
records of which have been preserved. The first alarm was 
given about two o'clock. The dreadful noise made by the rush 
of waters through the arches of the bridge aroused the inhabi- 
tants from their sleep to a sense of their danger. All was dark^ 
and the cold excessive. The middle arch of the bridge, and 
two other arches near to Gateshead, were carried away, and 
seven houses, with shops standing thereon, together with several 
of the inmates, were overwhelmed with immediate destruction. 
One house was carried away entire as far as Jarrow Slake. A 
family of five persons, including two children, remained for six 
hours, perishing with cold, on a portion of the bridge only six 
feet square, until George Woodward, a heroic bricklayer in 
Gateshead, accomplished their rescue. The arches and houses 
on each side of them had fallen into the gulf below. Boats 
plied on the Sandhill for some hours, the water being six feet 
deep. Thomas Bewick, then strong and active, rowed about 
in one of them, endeavouring, with others, to make himself 
useful in helping to save property. Three sloops and a brig 
were driven upon the Quay, and left there when the flood 
abated. A wooden cradle was picked up at sea by a vessel, 
in which was a child, alive and well. Ralph Beilby engraved 
on copper a view of the ruins of the bridge, from a drawing by 
his brother William. It is curious, but without any merit as an 
engraving. At Bywell the catastrophe was severely felt; ten 
houses were swept away, and six persons perished. The whole 
village was under water; and in the dining-room and other 
rooms on the first floor of Mr. Fen wick's house it was eight 
feet deep. Most of the valuable stud of horses belonging to 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 37 

that gentleman were got inside of the Black Church, and saved 
themselves by holding by the tops of the pews, which were 
allowed to continue in their gnawed state for several years. I 
have heard Miss Bewick say that her grandfather, Robert 
Elliot, who farmed lands under the Ellison family at Woodgate, 
near Bill Quay, was on a visit to Mr. Hall of By well at the 
time. There was to have been a turkey for supper. A relative 
came in and mentioned the alarming rise of the tide. He was 
told that, whenever they promised themselves to be more than 
usually comfortable and happy, he was sure to come in with 
some story or another and damp their joy. The words were 
scarcely uttered when the waters rushed into the room and put 
out the fire. It is needless to say that the turkey was soon 
forgot in their endeavour to secure the safety of themselves 
and their property. A mare belonging to Mr. Elliot was saved 
in the same church by getting upon the altar-table. An old- 
fashioned press which stood in Miss Bewick's kitchen in West 
Street came from Bywell, where it floated about the room on 
that memorable night. Nowhere was the flood more disastrous 
than at Ovingham, where the boat-house was carried away, 
together with the boatman, his wife, and two children, his 
mother and his brother, his man and maid servant, with two 
young men. Those ten persons all perished, except the boat- 
man and his brother, who were carried down the river for 250 
yards, together with the thatch of their house, until their head- 
long course was fortunately stayed by a wood. Here they 
remained upon the trees for ten hours, drenched with water 
and almost starved with cold and hunger, before they could be 
rescued. Not the least interesting of the ''Newcastle Reprints" 
is " An Account of the Great Floods in the Rivers Tyne, Wear, 
&c., in 1 771 and 1815, and of the Eruption of Solway Moss.'* 



THOMAS BEWICK: 




jEWICK'S apprenticeship was now drawing to 
a close. Few forms were more familiar to 
the people of Newcastle at this time than 
that of John Cunningham, the pastoral poet. 
Shortly before the poor player breathed his 
last, Bewick took his portrait " He walked 
after the poet in the streets of Newcastle, stopped, loitered 
behind, repassed him, and in this manner, unobserved by the 
dying bard," sketched his likeness. Cunningham died at 
his lodgings in the Groat Market on the i8th September 
1773, aged forty-four, respected not only for his talents, 
but on account of his private character, many gentlemen of 
the town attending his funeral.^ The organist played a 
solemn dirge. His friend and patron, Mr. Slack, publisher 
of the Newcastle Chronicle, erected a table -monument over 



' John CanDingham was bom B,t Dublin in the year 1739, his parents having some time before 
migrated Irom Scotland. At the early age of seventeen he produced a drama, entitled " Love 
ID a Mist." From inclination and the pressure of family circumstances he was led to attach 
himself to tliealrical pursuits, though destitute of some personal attractions always considered 
needful to injure success as an actur. York, Sunderland, Durham, Nonhallenon, and other 
towns in the North of Englani!, appear to have been regularly visited by the company of which 
he was not an unimportant member. Newcastle he ever esteemed his home. In 1766 he pub- 
lished a collected edition of his fugitive pieces, which he was strongly recommended to dedicate 
to Mrs. Eliialieth Montagu of Denton Hall, whose beauty and elegant acquirements were 
recognised in the first literary circles of the day. David Gairick, then in the zenith of his fame, 
was idolised by the poor player, who not only dedicated his work, but actually walked up to 
London to present Ihe English Roscius with a copy, cipcclanl and hopeful. His reception was 
chill it) the extreme. Gariick put two guineas into the poet's hand, with the remark, " Flayers, 
sir, as well as poets, are alwap poor I" MorLllicd beyond expression, he left the presence of 
the brilliant actor sad and dejected. From Ihis time Cunningham declined in health, and from 
some cause tuknown left the kindly shelter ol Mr. Slack's roof for lodgings a few doors off. 
Here be died. His eicellence as a pastoral poet, and his kindly heart, endeared him to a large 
circle of friendi. For many years young ladies belonging to some of the best families in the 
town were wont to meet and scatter Howers over his grave. In our own day, Joseph Cowen, 
Esq., whose true liberality, eloquence, and ability will, irrespective of parly, long be remembered 
by the people of Newcastle, ha-i placed in the venerable church where the poet rests in peace 
M, rich stained-glass window to his memory. He has also headed a subscription to restore the 
monument, now fallen into decay, and the inscription almost obliterated, set up by the first 
proprietor of the NeaxtatU Ckr^nitU, 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES, 39 

his remains in St. John's Churchyard. If it be a vile thing 
to libel a man's character whilst living, it is surely not 
less reprehensible and cruel to caricature his features and 
gait after death. This has unwittingly been the fate of 
Cunningham. The first transgressor, I believe, was Richard- 




son, in the "Local Historians' Tabl6 Book," who represents 
the bard as an ill-looking, poverty-stricken mendicant, whereas 
his features were pleasing, and himself always decently ap- 
parelled. His form, indeed, was then attenuated by sickness. 
The portraits profess to be copied from a miniature by Bewick, 
which is not the case; his drawing being three-quarters length 



42 THOMA S BE WICK : 



about to enter was more so, and required some courage. This 
was Horsley Lane, which led direct to Ovingham after passing 
Mount Hboley. Whilst threading his course along this narrow 
road, deeply ploughed with cart ruts, the village clock might 
be heard to strike ten, and as the sound died away the stillness 
and gloom seemed to increase. 

The moon, breaking from behind a cloud, would for awhile 
illumine the grey Saxon tower of Ovingham Church and the 
ruins of Prudhoe Castle, the ancient seat of the Umfrevilles, 
on the opposite bank of the Tyne, and then again all would 
be wrapt in darkness. Ovingham reached at last, it sometimes 
happened that his further progress was stayed, if the night 
proved stormy, or the ferry-boat could not be had. He 
would then remain with his friend Mr. Dobson till the 
following morning, when, rising early, he crossed the river, 
and took breakfast with his father and mother at Cherry- 
burn. 

Only one born and bred amid the hardships of a country 
life, and accustomed from boyhood to travel in the night, 
could undertake such pedestrian "flights up the Tyne" as 
Bewick religiously performed. The season of the year, or the 
state of the weather, was never considered. He learned that 
to be placed in the " midst of a wood in a winter night, amid 
whirlwinds of snow, when the tempest howled above him, 
was sublimity itself." The rigour of winter in due time gave 
way to the brightness of spring and all the glories and fulness 
of summer. The pencil of the artist and the song of the poet 
would alike fail to picture the charms of Tyneside, such as 
Bewick beheld one hundred years ago. In pastoral loveliness 
its scenery could not be surpassed. He well describes his 
own impressions in the following words : — 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 43 

" As soon as the days began to lengthen and the sprouting herbage had 
covered the ground, I often stopped with delight by the sides of woods to admire 
the dangling woodbine and roses, and the grasses powdered or spangled with 
pearly drops of dew, and also, week after week, the continued succession of 
plants and wild flowers. The primrose, the wild hyacinth, the harebell, the 
daisy, the cowslip, Sic, these, altogether, I thought no painter ever could imitate, 
1 had not at that time ever heard the name of the great and good Linnxus, and 
knew plants only by their common English names. While admirii^ these 
beautifully enamelled spots on my way, I was also charmed with the equally 
beautiful little songsters which were constantly pouring out their various notes 
to proclaim the spring. While this exhilarating season glided on by imper- 
ceptible degrees, unfolding its blossoms until they faded into summer, and as 
the days lengthened, my hours of rising became more and more early. I have 
often thought that not one-half of mankind knew anything of the beauty, the 
serenity, and the stillness of the summer mornings in the country, nor have ever 
witnessed the rising sun's shining forth upon the new day." 

These weekly visits, dictated by filial piety, continued until 
the death of his parents in 1785'. 



^^^^^HE first employment the young apprentice was put 
?/^^\M to, was copying "Copeland's Ornaments" and 
\ 1^^ / blocking out the wood about the lines on the 
S^^l^ diagrams (which Mr. Beilby finished) for Dr. Charles 
Hutton's Diaries and " Treatise on Mensuration," 
one of them being a view of the steeple of St Nicholas' 
Church, under the shadow of which his life may be said to have 
been passed.* In a letter in xh^ Newcastie Magazine for June 
1823, Dr. Hutton gives interesting particulars relative to the 
Beilby family, and his connection with Bewick : — ■ 

"Between the years 1760- 1770, two brothers, William and 



' Thit view, Bewick'i first known attempt on wood, U almoit identical wilh a little cut of 
the steeple which appeared more than once in the NtvxatlU Comrant newipaper fni 174S, 
heading an advertUement of Joseph Buber, bookseller, m Amen Comer. 



THOMAS BEWICK.- 



Ralph Beilby, rendered themselves famous in the arts of draw- 
ing and seal-engraving, lettering on plate and other metals, 
and painting or lettering on glass and burning it in, &c. The 
elder brother, William, settled as a teacher of drawing in schools 
and to individuals, while Ralph adopted the profession of a 
seal-engraver. Having passed several years in his native town, 
William migrated to the metropolis, and set up a boarding- 
school at Chelsea, which, it would seem, was not successful, 
as we find him afterwards residing somewhere about Notting- 
ham, in the same way, where he died many years ago. Ralph 
continued as a seal-engraver till his death in 1817." 

About 1760, Dr. Huiton began making preparations for his 
work on Mensuration, the first edition of which was put to press 
in 1768, employing Ralph Beilby to 
execute the necessary diagrams. He 
i^y^ /' procured the blocks of boxwood from 

., -a., atr^ /- .f London, with the tools for cutting 

them, instructing Mr. Beilby ' and 
Thomas Bewick how to cut and 
square the blocks, and to cut or 
engrave lines upon them. " Thus then," observes Hutton, 
" I was the instructor of the very ingenious Mr. Bewick in 
this branch of engraving, which he has, since carried to such 
a high state of perfection;" On the completion of this job^ 
young Bewick addressed himself with uncommon, ardour and 
perseverance to the task of obtaining a complete insight into 
and mastery of the art of wood-engraving. The study of its 
fesources and capability from henceforth became the pleasure 
and business of his life. If tools were wanting, his inventive 
genius and mechanical skill soon supplied the deficiency. 



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HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 




IJHE first book with pictorial woodcuts by Bewick, 
entitled "The Youth's Instructor and Entertaining 
Story-Teller," was published by Thomas Saint in 
1774. Many of the cuts in this work are beautiful, 
and testify to the advance the young artist had 
already made in his profession. At a very early period of 
his apprenticeship, two or three bar bills, from the correct 
drawing and neatness of execution displayed in the cuts with 
which they were headed, attracted much notice. The first was a 
"George and Dragon," done for W. Howe, of the George Inn, 
Penrith. It has no border. Miss Bewick gives 1767 as the 
date of this cut. About the same time another with a similar 
design (varied) was cut for Richard Dungett, who kept an inn 
in the Bottle Bank, Gateshead ; and a third for the Cock 
Tavern at the head of the Side, then one of the best in the 
town. 

The first mail coach from Newcastle to London started 
from this inn in 1786. The landlord, Matthew Hall, died in 
1804. The examples on next page were engraved for public- 
houses in Newcastle and other towns. 

"The 1st of October 1774 arrived at last; and, for the 
first time in my life, I felt myself at liberty," is Bewick's 
remark on looking back on this interesting day, which ended 
his servitude and made him his own master. 

In the last month of Bewick's apprenticeship a contested 
parliamentary election for Newcastle took place. The poll con- 
tinued open for eight days. The candidates were Sir Walter 
Blackett, BarL (whom Bewick calls the "silent member"); Sir 
Matthew White Ridley, of Blagdon, co. Northumberland, Bart. ; 
the Hon. Constantine John Phlpps, afterwards Lord Mulgrave; 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



^S 


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mS*s 


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S,:ii:i;- .- .■r.:', tic I 
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i r n r ■ . c U-'- ■ i>i;-tn tu ;!. ■ !'■.!,/ it "^..I'ui 
'■:.;l^ ;i-.ii i.y !i:s r.iniily uiruUj^li iiia;!y ;:^y ;.,ir 



r.-.rard, 
ir ;l ,.- 



48 THOMAS BEWICK: 

pride, and, it is to be hoped, would have found a home at 
Cherryburn when the last daughter of Thomas Bewick should 
have passed away. But then he would have lost that un« 
alloyed pleasure of the heart he felt in presenting the guineas 
to a beloved mother. This event took place in February 

1775- 

On this occasion Bewick remarks, "Amongst the several 

congratulations of kind neighbours, those of Mr. Gregson, my 
old master, stood pre-eminent. He flew from Ovingham, where 
the news first arrived, over to Eltringham, to congratulate my 
father and mother ; and the feelings and overflowings of his 
heart can be better imagined than described." 

After the expiration of his apprenticeship, Bewick worked 
for a few weeks with Mr. Beilby as a journeyman, at a guinea a 
week, and then went to spend Christmas at Cherryburn. Here 
he joined in hunting parties with the Nimrods of the country- 
side, and accompanied his father, as in former days, in collect- 
ing what money was due for coals from the farmers and other 
customers, as well as executing a large number of cuts for 
Thomas Angus, the famous Newcastle printer of Chapbooks 
and Garlands. He was thus employed throughout the year 
1775 and for some months of 1776. He still pursued with 
ardour his favourite amusement of angling. This was a re- 
creation of which he believed he could never tire. It happened 
on a hot summer afternoon in June, whilst thus engaged, that 
all of a sudden he fell into a meditative mood ; he pon- 
dered awhile, then tied up his rod and walked home. He 
told his mother that he had resolved to see more of the world, 
and would begin by visiting his relations in Cumberland. He 
requested her to put up some shirts for him ; three guineas were 
sewn into the waistband of his breeches, and then, with a good 



n 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 49 

Stick in his hand, he began his travels, followed by his favourite 
and faithful companion '* Witch." For nearly two months he 
traversed on foot a considerable part of Cumberland and the 
Highlands of Scotland. After visiting Penrith and Carlisle, he 
crossed the Border, and saw Selkirk, Dalkeith, and Edinburgh ; 
thence to Glasgow and Dumbarton, and onwards to the High- 
lands by the western side of Loch Lomond ; returning by 
Stirling, Falkirk, and Linlithgow to Edinburgh. 

Through all his lonely wanderings — by the mountain's misty 
side, the dreary waste, or solitary heath, as well as in the brighter 
landscape of sunny fields and woodlands — Witch clung to her 
master. She would run for a considerable distance before him» 
and then lie down and wait until he came up, when off she 
would start again. I have a pencil sketch of this dog by 
Bewick, under which he has written : " 'Witch,' ob. 9th Feb- 
ruary 1 784, aet 9^, accompanied T. B. in his journey to Scot- 
land." This I obtained from Miss Bewick, together with a few 
portraits of Highlanders, men, women, and children, ministers 
and soldiers, some only thumb-nail size, sketched during this 
tour. Having seen this much, he now set his face homeward. 
A Leith sloop, bound for Newcastle, received him on board just 
as she was moving from the pier. After encountering a violent 
storm off the Firth of Forth, during which he suffered much 
from want of rest, repose was sought in a wretched bed, in which 
he could neither lie on his side nor easily turn over. The kind- 
ness and compassion of his nature in such a trying situation 
was now brought out, for to complete his distress a little infant 
was put in bed beside him ; this child he tenderly nursed until 
Its sick mother relieved him on her recovery. After resting a 
day or two at South Shields he set off to Newcastle, where he 
arrived on the 12th August 1776. Here he did not propose to 



50 THOMAS BEWICK: 



remain long. As all artists, actors, and men of genius in every 
profession aspire after metropolitan fame, that they may in time 
acquire fortune and reputation, Bewick made up his mind to go 
to London, where so many of his old friends were now located. 
Funds only were wanting. After working for a few weeks in 
Newcastle, he earned sufficient to enable him to carry out his 
intention. Having paid for his passage by a collier, after a 
voyage of about three weeks, he arrived in London on the ist 
of October 1776. His schoolfellows, Christopher and Philip 
Gregson ; his former companion, William Gray, then a book- 
binder in Chancery Lane ; and his friend Robert Pollard, re- 
ceived him with gladness. The first two provided a lodging, and 
the last, through the kindness and influence of his master, Isaac 
Taylor, with plenty of work. Thomas Hodgson, printer, George 
Court, Clerkenwell, who served his apprenticeship with John 
White, the printer of the Newcastle Courant, had a taste for 
wood-engraving, and embellished with rude and curious cuts 
many of the old ballads and histories printed by his master. He 
too, in anticipation of his arrival, had in readiness a store of little 
jobs. These, along with Mr. Carnan, and Newbery of St Paul's 
Churchyard, kept him busily employed during the nine months 
he spent in London. In the streets of that vast city, he looked 
with grief and sorrow on the sad fate of so many young and 
handsome women, following the paths of sin and misery, 
who might have lived happily and respected. He deplored 
their wretchedness, and, when needed, relieved their poverty. 
London life and manners proved distasteful to one of such 
simple habits and mode of living. 

The usage Bewick met with from his fellow-workmen, and 
other causes, combined to create such a feeling of dislike, that 
he determined to leave the Metropolis and never set foot in it 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. JI 

^^in. He would rather, he said, "enlist for a soldier, or go 
and herd sheep at five shillings per week as long as he lived, 
than be tied to live m it." 

The " Hole-in-the-Wall," Fleet Street,' was a tavern much 
frequented by people from Newcastle, and there every Monday 
night he used to repair to meet friends from the North and see 
the Newcastle newspapers. Many a pleasant evening, after 
the labour and confinement of the day was over, was spent in 
this harmless and agreeable manner. 




K/iSCr COLLMS— Tie Hivr, iSoS, 



The announcement that he was about to leave London and 
"never return" was received with surprise and astonishment 
Isaac Taylor and Thomas Hodgson could not conceal their 
feelings of chagrin and disappointment His last night in 
London was passed with a few friends at the "George" in 

* Had Bewick Uiried & few weeks longer in London he would no doubt have joined in 
celebrating ihe victory obtained by the free bur(reises over the Corporation, held at the " Hole- 
iD-the-WalL" There an cleguit dinner «rai provided b; Newcaille men then in London, on 
the lllh of Angnst 1777. Amongit the toatli and sentiments were the following: "The cool 
trade and our friends at Newcastle;" "Long life and good healih to Mothet Willis,** the 
tespected landladf . 



52 THOMAS BEWICK: 



Brook Street ; and, as might have been expected, they did not 
separate till a late hour. In the morning, after taking leave of 
his landlord and family, he got on board a collier, and arrived 
in sight of St. Nicholas' Church steeple about the 2 2d of 
June 1777. No sooner did Bewick reach Newcastle than he 
called upon his old master, his mind filled with thoughts 
regarding his future prospects and the best mode of profitably 
employing his talents. He felt a delicacy in commencing 
business on his own account, which did him much honour, as it 
arose from a fear lest Mr. Beilby should consider it as done in 
opposition to himself. His London friends had supplied him 
with plenty of work, which would take a considerable time 
to finish ; he therefore fitted up a bench at his old lodgings at 
Hatfield^s. 

About this time an election took place in Newcastle, occa- 
sioned by the death of Sir Walter Blackett The candidates 
were Sir John Trevelyan, who sought to occupy the seat held 
by his uncle, Sir Walter, for the long period of forty-three 
years. There was a severe contest, his opponent being the 
notorious Andrew Robinson Bowes, Esq., who had recently 
married Lady Strathmore. Mrs. Elizabeth Montagu of Denton 
Hall ^ describes in a letter her ladyship's extraordinary conduct 
at Newcastle. She was accustomed '' to sit all day in the window 
at a public-house, from whence she sometimes lets fall some 
jewels or trinkets, which voters pick up, and then she gives 
them money for restoring them — a new kind of oflTering bribes." 
The town is described as being ^' in a wild uproar/' Mr. Bowes 



^ This lady, who was the eldest daughter of Matthew Robinson, Esq., of West Layton, in 
Yorkshire, married in 1743 Edward Montagu, Esq., of East Denton, in Northumberland. 
She survived her husband twenty-five years, and died 25th August 1800^ in the eightieth year 
of her age. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 53 

lost the election, although he " sold ;^5ooo a year of his lady's 
income for life, to procure himself ^40,000 " (" A Lady of the 
Last Century," by Dr. Doran). A truly extraordinary picture 
of the times! 

Mr. Beilby was no doubt apprehensive that his former 
apprentice would commence business in the town sooner or 
later. Bewick's thorough knowledge of the trade connection 
and requirements of the office in St Nicholas' Churchyard 
would give him many advantages. Proposals for a partnership 
were at once made through a mutual friend. The idea did not 
at first recommend itself to Mr. Bewick, but on consideration 
he consented, and acted wisely in doing so. Although without 
capital, he thereby acquired an excellent position in a highly 
respectable and established business. In the light of subsequent 
success, consequent on the development of his genius, he might 
regret the step, but at the time he did well to entertain the 
su^estion. Thus the firm of Beilby & Bewick, destined to 
become so famous, began its commercial career. 



IN the partnership being legally completed, Mr. 
Bewick took his younger brother John, then 
in his seventeenth year, as an apprentice, whose 
amiable and cheerful disposition won the esteem 
of Mr. Beilby, and endeared him to all who 
had the pleasure of his acquaintance. Of him 
and his works an extended notice will be given hereafter. 
"While my brother was my apprentice," Bewick remarks in 
his Memoir, " he frequently accompanied me on my weekly 
visits to Cherrybum. He was then a clever, springy youth, 
and our bounding along together was often compared to the 




54 THOMA S BE WICK : 



scamperings of a pair of wild colts. These journeys commenced 
while I was an apprentice. I then mostly went and returned 
on the same day ; but when I became my own master^ for many 
years, in summer's heat and winter's freezing cold, I did not 
miss a single week." These visits continued regularly from 
1777 till 1785. The route taken by the brothers in these 
weekly wanderings, frequently by night, is worthy of mention. 
In the course of conversation one evening, I inquired of Miss 
Bewick what road her father generally took. She said that 
occasionally, but only seldom, he would cross over to Gateshead, 
and then go along the south bank of the Tyne by Swalwell 
and Winlaton. But this way he disliked, mainly on account 
of Crowley's Crew,^ a fighting and violent set of men whom it 
was difficult to avoid, as they were always to be found standing 
in groups along the road and about the doors of public-houses 
he was obliged to pass in going through these villages. He 
commonly used the high or military road, constructed by 
General Wade after the rebellion of 1745. In summer-time, 
when the days were long and the nights light, the footpath by 
the waterside by way of Elswick, Scotswood, and Newburn 
was both short and pleasant, and often travelled by the family 
in going to and returning from Ovingham when the tide 
permitted, but was attended with considerable danger on 
dark, wet, and winter nights, particularly that part which lay 
between Wylam and Ovingham, where the road was narrow, 
the river being on one side and thick bushes which obscured 
the footpath on the other. In those long walks, whether by 
himself whilst an apprentice, or afterwards in company with his 
brother, they were never molested, though at that time daring 

^ Crowley's Crew — Sons of Vulcan — employed at the ironworks at Swalwell and Winlaton, 
near Newcastle, established by the estimable Sir Ambrose Crowley about two hundred years ago. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. $$ 

attempts by well-mounted gentlemen of the road against peace- 
ful travellers were frequent, who, whilst a pistol was held to 
their head» were compelled to yield up purse, watch, and 
whatever valuables they had. 

A few extracts from the Newcastle Chronicle for 1770 
afford a striking picture of the times : — On March 3, we read 
that as the steward of Mrs. Ord of Fenham was returning home 
from Newcastle, he was attacked by two footpads, who knocked 
him off his horse, and robbed him of his watch and money. In 
August, the postman carrying the mail between this town and 
Durham was robbed of the bags on Gateshead Fell, and on 
another occasion on Chester Moor. On a Saturday night in 
October, a blacksmith was stopped by two footpads near 
Els wick Mill, and robbed of his marketing and money ; whilst 
Alderman Peareth's servant was robbed by two men on 
horseback near the gibbet on Gateshead Fell on the ist of 
November. Only three days after this, two gentlemen were 
robbed near Birtley by two mounted highwaymen armed with 
pistols. A gentleman on horseback was stopped by a footpad 
near Chester bar, who presented a pistol, but did not fire ; and a 
farmer near Kenton was stopped near the gallows on the Town 
Moor, and robbed by two men on horseback, armed with 
pistols. Mr. Liddle of Newton, son of Sir Thomas Liddle, of 
Ravensworth, had a desperate encounter with armed footpads 
on the Durham Road. Pistols were fired on both sides ; Mr. 
Liddle happily escaped unhurt. Much blood was found on the 
ground afterwards, but the robbers escaped in the darkness of 
a December night Lumley Thicks was a famous resort for 
robbers, and avoided by all travellers as much as possible. 
The perpetual occurrence of such crimes, and the alarm they 
occasioned, explain what some consider the too frequent intro- 



56 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



duction of the gallows in so many of Bewick's little land- 
scapes. 

In the Genileman's Magazine for the year 1785 we read: 
" This morning a shocking spectacle was exhibited before the 
debtor's door of Newgate, where twenty miserable wretches 
were in one moment plunged into eternity." Robbery and 
burglary were the crimes for which they suffered — not one 
was even chained with murder. Capital punishment was 
common in those days for offences which now would only 
meet with imprisonment with hard labour. 

Whilst an apprentice, and during the year 1775, Bewick 




The Ant and the Vissp—TaUifor Yaulk, 1794. 



drew and engraved a portion of the cuts which embellish the 
"Select Fables," published in 1776, as well as by far the larger 
number executed for an edition of " Gay's Fables," which came 
from the press of Thomas Saint in 1 779, after being delayed 
about five years. The ediiio princes of this important little 
volume is indispensable to the Bewick collector, embracing 
as it does the cuts submitted by Mr. Beilby to the Fine Art 
Society, and for which Thomas Bewick was awarded a premium. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. S7 

It has been said that Bewick had the assistance of his 
brother in the execution of many of the cuts. Having gone 
through the book carefully, with the hope of being able to 
identify any such from my knowledge of his style, the con- 
clusion I have come to is, that not more than half-a-dozen are 
entirely the work of his hand, though he might possibly have 
rendered some help with others. 

It must be remembered that John Bewick had only been an 
apprentice for about two years. In the cut heading the first 
Fable, p. 13, we have an example of cross-hatching in the cloak 
of the Traveller : this process never found favour with Bewick. 
I am persuaded that the first ten cuts, having their angles orna- 
mented with agricultural implements, anything but graceful, were 
never engraved by him. The pleasing tailpiece at p. 19, a 
youth amusing himself with his dog under a tree, is Bewick all 
over, and in striking contrast, both in drawing and execution, 
to the cuts which precede and follow. 

These may be attributed without hesitation to David Martin. 
Miss Isabella Bewick told me that she had often heard her 
father speak of him. He was an apprentice with Beilby when 
Bewick first entered his service. It will be shown hereafter, 
from a long and valuable statement of Bewick's, now published 
for the first time, that David Martin executed some of the cuts 
for the "Select Fables" of 1784, hitherto thought to be the 
exclusive work of Thomas and his brother. 

We now come to "Tommy Trip's History of Birds and 
Beasts, with the History of Little Tom Trip himself and his 
Dog Jouler, and of Woglog, the Great Giant. Newcastle, 1779." 
Mr. George Clayton Atkinson observes that it is to this little 
book that we are indebted for Bewick's more finished and cele- 
brated productions, the Histories of Quadrupeds and British 

H 



58 THOMAS BEWICK: 



Birds, The frontispiece, with the following cuts, are neatly 
engraved, the natural attitude of the animals and birds being 
well preserved in most cases, indicating the future excellence 
of the artist — viz., the Student, the Lion and the Jackal, the 
Horse, the Chameleon, the Roebuck, the Angler, the Wild Boar, 
the Eagle, the Vulture, the Falcon, the Cuckoo, the Nightin- 
gale, &c. From the introductory account of Tommy Trip, 
Miss Bewick was led to believe that the author of this tiny 
volume was no other than Oliver Goldsmith, Of this I think 
there can be little doubt The amusing production is worthy 
of insertion : — . 

• 

"Tommy Trip, the author of the following sheets, is the only son of Mr, 
Vl^illiam Trip, of Spittle Fields, London. He is but short in stature, and not 
much bigger than Tom Thumb, but a great deal better, for he is a good scholar, 
and whenever you see him, you will always find him with a book in his hand, 
and his faithful dog Jouler by his side. Jouler serves him for a horse as well as 
a dog ; and Tommy, when he has a mind to ride, pulls a little bridle out of his 
pocket, whips it upon honest Jouler, and away he gallops tantivy. As he rides 
through the town, he frequently stops to know how the little children do, and 
if they are good and learn their books, he then leaves an apple, an orange, or a 
plumcake at the door, and away he gallops again tantivy. You have heard 
how he beat Woglog, the great giant. But lest you should not, I will tell you : — 
As Tommy was walking through a meadow on a moonlight night, he heard a 
little boy cry, upon which he called Jouler, saddled him, and rode away. He 
found Woglog with a little boy under his arm, whom he was going to throw into 
the water. Little boys should never loiter about in the fields, nor even in the 
streets after it is dark. However, as he had been a good boy in other respects, 
little Trip was determined the giant should not hurt him, and called out, * Here, 
you great giant, you Woglog, set down the little boy, or 1*11 make you dance 
like a pea on a tobacco pipe. Are you not ashamed to set your wits to a 
child?' Woglog tried to seize little Trip between his finger and thumb, and 
thought to havQ cracked him as one does a walnut ; but just as his hand reached 
him, Jouler snapped at it, and bit a piece off his thumb, which put the giant in 
so much pain that he let fall the little boy, who ran away. Then Trip up with 
his whip, and lashed Woglog till he lay down and roared like a town bull, and 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 59 

promised never to meddle with any little boys or girls again. Then Trip put 
the child upon Jouler and carried him home, charging him to be a good boy, 
and to say his prayers and learn his book, and do as his papa and mamma bid 
him, which this little boy has done ever since, and so must all other little boys 
and girls, or nobody will love them. Little Trip is not only an agreeable com- 
panion and a great scholar, but one of the best poets of the age, which is owned 
by the poets themselves, which I think an incontestable proof of his abilities. 
He has by him several dramatic pieces, not culled from other authors, as the 
custom is, but all originals. The following song, composed by him when he 
was very young, will prove his superiority in lyric poetry : — 



' Three children sliding on the ice 

Upon a summer's day. 
As it fell out they all fell in, 
The rest they ran away. 

* Now, had these children been at school. 

Or sliding on dry ground. 
Ten thousand pounds to one penny 
They had not all been drown'd. 

* You parents who have children dear. 

And eke you that have none, 
If you would have them safe abroad. 
Pray keep them all at home.' " 



The next production of Saint's Press that claims attention is 
a i2mo volume of "Select Fables," published in 1784. It is 
described on the title as "A New Edition, Improved," having 
reference to the earlier impression, printed by him in 1 776, with 
an inferior set of cuts. The illustrations in this rare litde tome 
are very considerably in advance of those contained in " Gay's 
Fables," 1779. Bewick in the interval had improved in his 
drawing, and acquired greater freedom in the use of his tools. 
In design and execution the best of these cuts may fairly com- 
pare with many contained in the "Fables of iEsop," his last 



Co THOMAS BEWICK: 




work. For true, genuine, deep wood-cutting, so characteristic of 
Bewick's unequalled style, they are far superior. Many of the 
cuts were undoubtedly the work of John Bewick, others the 
work of David Martin. 



ajN 1778 there was a Society in Newcastle, composed 
of respectable tradesmen, who met together for 
friendly conversation and to discuss the politics 
L^jH^w] °^ *^^ ^^y' '^^^ meetings were held at Richard 
Swarley's, the Black Boy Inn, in the Groat Market. 
Mr. Bewick was elected a member on 17th October 1778, the 
ticket of admission being engraved by Ralph Beilby, and bore 
the motto, " Honi soit qui mal y pense" — "The Newcastle 
House of Lords." Members on entering the room paid their 
sAai : this was the small sum of fourpence, which was spent in 
refreshment. A chairman was elected for the evening to keep 
order, and when not otherwise engaged, Bewick seldom allowed 
a week to pass without more than once enjoying such pleasant 
intercourse. At ten o'clock the meeting broke up, according to 
rule, and members left for their several homes. One cannot 
sufficiently admire the moderation, simplicity, and true temper- 
ance displayed in those old-world doings. 

Of another social club which he entered afterward, the card 
of admission reads thus : " Brotherly Society, held at Whit- 
field's Golden Lion, Newcastle. Mr. Thomas Bewick admitted 
a brother, i8th December 1782 (No. 32). Jno. F. Dixon, 
President. Jos. Gory, Secretary." 

This card has a beautiful border of flowers cut by Bewick. 
The Golden Lion stood on the west side of the Bij^ Market, 
a few doors above the Pudding Chare ; it was an Elizabethan 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



tavern, two stories high, and entered by a low stone arch with 
one step down. 

The parlour was panelled with oak, the ceiling low. On a 
winter night, when the outer shutters were closed, and a good 
fire burning, it appeared the picture of comfort. 

A long yard, extending to the rear of Rosemary Lane, 
provided ample stabling for the many carriers who used to put 
up at the house, and whose carts and waggons stood in the 
street in front. At the entrance was a well-worn stone mount 




lATTLB Jack— From the LaotiHg Claaforlkt Mind, 1794. 

(an object now rarely seen even at old country inns), to enable 
farmers' wives to get easily on the pillion behind their husbands 
in riding home. 

This old inn has just been pulled down, together with 
its neighbour, the Unicorn. Built about the same time, they 
have at last succumbed before the march of improvement. In 
former days, before long bars and gin palaces had any exist- 
ence, its respected landlady, Mrs. Elliott, famed for her beauty, 
realised a handsome fortune by honest trading. Eighty years 
have changed for the worse the liquor traffic in Newcastle. 



THOMAS BEWICK: 




' BRIEF retrospect of what Newcastle has done in 
the past in relation to the Fine Arts may not be 
out of place, or an un6tting introduction to a more 
^^^# extended notice of the Bewicks, and the school of 
which the elder brother was the admitted founder. 

In the formation of that British School of Painters of which 
England is so justly proud, these northern parts have borne no 
inconsiderable share. Northumberland and Durham have pro- 
duced artists, architects, and engineers whose genius has shed 
a lasting lustre on our country. Though we may not have 
given birth to a Claude, a Berghem, or a Cuyp, or to an 
engraver whose work could vie with the unapproachable 
excellence of that of Durer or Marc Antonio, few provincial 
towns in England have attained to a higher position, or 
rendered more important services in promoting a taste for 
the Fine Arts. Though much remains to be done to 
educate thi popular mind, Newcastle has at all times, as 
might have been expected, attracted to herself the most 
promising amongst the youth of the neighbouring villages. 
Here native talent has ever found, when needed, patrons ready 
to foster and aid the ingenious in their struggles with adversity, 
and afford that early and kindly help without which they might 
have lived and died unknown.^ In 1778 the gold pallet was 

* John Cborlton, the diiiinguished animal-painter, was, when a bo]>, lot lome time in my 
■errice. He emplojred hit leisure in sketching with an ordinaij steel or quill pen ulmirable 
little niial scenes wiihout premeditation oi forethought, afterwards using waler-colours or Indian 
ink for more finished productions. These were bought by customers for one shilling each, 
which served for pocket'money on a lalher liberal scale. I asked him once who taught him 
drawing. He replied, " No one ; I could always draw." The late Miss Jane Bewick observed, 
on my showing her some of his sketches, " Now, that lad has genius." At that time few were 
more capable of expressing themselves belter, or had a keener perception of the merits of original 
talent, than that venerable lady. Afterwards, through the interest of Mr. John Hancock, the 
wetl-knowD naturalist, and last surviving friend of Tliomas Bewick, Charlton obtained employ- 
ment in the office of Sir I&aac Lowthian Bell, who fostered and encoutaged bis studies. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 63 

given by the Society for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts 
to Robert Watson for the best historical drawing. Three years 
before this, Thomas Bewick received a premium from the 
same Society. Earlier still, William Bell was presented by 
Sir Joshua Reynolds with the gold medal accorded by the 
Royal Academy. George Gray, so well known by his fruit- 
pieces and knowledge of natural science, and John Martin, 
whose original and sublime conceptions so vividly bring before 
us the awful events of sacred history, and illustrate with such 
power the scenes depicted in Milton's grand epic, ** Paradise 
Lost," were men of whom our good town may justly boast; 
whilst the exquisite enamels of Charles Muss, a pupil of 
Martin s, will ever be admired for their marvellous delicacy and 
beauty. In the foremost rank of English landscape-painters 
the name of Thomas Miles Richardson and his talented family 
stands pre-eminent, coupled with those of Ewbank and Car- 
michael and George Balmer, many of their works being worthy 
of the pencil of Turner, Stanfield, and David Cox. 

Robert Watson, artist and engineer, was the son of Joseph 
Watson, a member of the Free Porters' Company in Newcastle. 
His mother made sausages in the Flesh Market Robert was 
born on April 20, 1755, about two years after Thomas Bewick. 
At an early age, we are told, he evinced such a fondness for 
drawing, that, after his education was finished, his parents 
apprenticed him to a coach-j)ainter. In this situation he did 
not long continue. Leaving his native town, he went to 
London, and became a student in the Royal Academy. His 
artistic skill and literary ability as an art critic obtained for 
him the patronage and friendship of Dr. Johnson, Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, and other eminent men. He obtained an appoint- 
ment in India as engineer, where, after displaying on many 



64 THOMA S BE WICK : 



occasions a masterly knowledge of his profession, he was un- 
fortunately seized with a fever, from the effects of which he 
died, in the twenty-eighth year of his age. 

William Bell was a native of Newcastle, where his father 
was an ingenious bookbinder. Mr. Bell went to London about 
the year 1 768, and was amongst the first of those who entered 
as students in the Royal Academy. For his picture of ** Venus 
Soliciting Vulcan to Forge the Armour of JEneas*' he obtained 
the gold medal. The figures were all portraits. William Carr, 
the herculean smith of Blyth, fitly represented Vulcan. Bell 
was much patronised by Sir John Delaval (afterwards Lord 
Delaval), and died about 1800. 

The Chevalier Sir John Martin, K.L., was born on July 
19, 1787, at Low Land Ends, Haydon Bridge, near Hexham. 
He was one of twelve children, and when very young was 
sent to the Free Grammar School at that place. One day, 
whilst the three masters of this establishment were standing 
together, he took a burnt stick and sketched the group on the 
wall near the fireplace, to the surprise and admiration of both 
teachers and scholars. When he was about fourteen years of 
age his parents settled in Newcastle, and resided near the White 
Cross. They apprenticed John to Mr. Wilson, coachmaker. 
Quarrelling with his master, his indentures were cancelled, and 
at the age of seventeen he ventured to London, where, within 
a few years, by dint of great application, careful study, and the 
untiring exercise of his extraordinary talents, he acquired a 
great name and the blessing of independence. His well-known 
pictures of " Zadoc in Search of the Waters of Oblivion," 
"Joshua Commanding the Sun to Stand Still," " The Fall of 
Nineveh," and " Belshazzar's Feast," have justly merited praise 
in every art centre both in Europe and America. From 



■ •* 



A 






HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 6$ 

foreign courts he received many marks of honour and dis- 
tinction. Belgium conferred the Order of Leopold (knight- 
hood) and the large medal of the Exhibition ; he was 
elected a member of the Academy of Antwerp; and the 
King of the French presented him with a gold medal and a 
splendid present of Sevres china. He died 17th February 
1854. 

Whilst an apprentice, the elder Richardson, Carmichael, 
Woodhouse, famous for his lifelike portraits on glass (in 
black), and other artists, together with Ewbank, were fre- 
quent visitors at the shop of my master in the Royal 
Arcade.^ 

Thomas Miles Richardson was born at the Ballast Hills, 
Newcastle, May 15, 1784. At the age of fifteen he was 
apprenticed to Messrs. Gibson & Usher, joiners and cabinet- 
makers, who soon afterwards dissolved partnership. He served 
out his time with one Gibson, a dissipated fellow, whose 
favourite job was the annual erection of tents and booths on 
the Town Moor on the occasion of the races. Richardson's 
father, who was master of St. Andrew's Free School, died in 
1806, when his son Thomas was chosen his successor. Whilst 
in this position, having confidence in himself, he began to give 
lessons in drawing, and continued to do so for about seven 
years. He then resigned his post as schoolmaster, and followed 
with ardour the bent of his inclinations. Posterity has done 
that justice to his talents which in this instance was but 
sparingly meted out whilst living. During my apprentice- 



} Thomas Brown, bookbinder, removed from the Nun's Gate to the Royal Arcade soon 
after it was built, where he commenced business as a bookseller in connection with binding. 
He afterwards removed to Mozley Street, and about 1S42 migrated to Toronto, Dominion 
of Canada. His father, who was admitted a member of the Stationers' Company, Newcastle, 
by serritttde in 1774, was the father of the trade in the N&rth of England. 

I 



66 THOMA S BE WICK : 

ship fifty years ago many of his best pictures and drawings 
sold for very small sums. In 1836 a selection of his works 
were disposed of by lottery. My master, who was an old 
friend of Richardson's, strove hard to promote the success of 
the scheme, and obtained a goodly number of subscribers at 
one guinea each. I remember several of the pictures which 
were then exhibited in the shop ; they would now be greedily 
purchased by eager buyers at ten times the price at which 
they were put into the lottery. 

Mr. Richardson's children inherited the genius of their 
father and his love for the Fine Arts. His eldest son settled 
early in life as an artist in London, where he has continued 
to reside, carrying the art of painting in water colours to 
the highest perfection. His works are generally purchased 
privately as soon as exhibited. At the dispersion of Mr. 
Ismay's collection at Strawberry House, Newcastle, in 1872, 
I gave £si^y los. for two very large and magnificent examples 
of this artist, being views of Borrowdale in Cumberland and 
Monaco in Italy. Both are now at Longridge Towers, near 
Berwick. 

John Wilson Ewbank, the son of Michael Ewbank of 
Gateshead, innkeeper, was born at Darlington, 4th May 1799. 
His parents removing to the banks of the Tyne in 1804, *^ course 
of time he was bound an apprentice to Mr. Thomas Coulson of 
Newcasde, an eminent house-painter, whom he accompanied 
to Edinburgh about the year 18 16. By the advice of his 
master, Mr. Ewbank took lessons of Mr. Nasmyth of that city. 
Endowed with rare talents, and a keen appreciation of the 
beauties of nature, he rapidly advanced in the knowledge of 
the true principles of painting. Flushed with success, and the 
achievement of unlooked-for fame and fortune, which, unhappily 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 67 

for himself, he was destined to enjoy but for a brief period, 
the position he had won was no sooner gained than lost 
His fall carried with it the abandonment of every feeling 
of self-respect, and ended in poverty and wretchedness, his 
artistic efforts displaying more and more the moral wreck of 
the man. Drunkenness became habitual. Whilst we were 
engaged in the office posting the ledger, about twelve o*clock 
one cold winter night in December 1836, some one began to 
rattle at the door, which was locked. No notice was taken of 
this at first, thinking that whoever it might be they would 
soon tire. As the annoyance continued, my master told me 
to go and see who it was. On the door being opened, in came 
Mrs. Ewbank, thinly clad, and shivering with cold. She 
begged for a shilling, as they were starving; I was told to 
give her one and let her go. 

Ewbank had a daughter who was very beautiful, with long 
dark eyelashes, her complexion being as the bloom of the 
damask rose. She had her portrait taken, I believe, by Simms 
of Edinburgh, when quite young. She was represented in a 
white dress, seated under a tree in a garden, arranging a 
wreath of wild flowers, herself the fairest and most lovely, 
adorned with all the graces and charms of childlike innocence. 
Alas I long before twenty summers had flown, every trace of 
her former beauty had disappeared, and she and her brother 
might be seen, borne down with want, selling their oil sketches 
in the streets and taverns of Newcastle and Shields. 

" A budding rose. 
Blasted before its bloom, 
Whose innocence did sweets disclose 
Beyond that flower's perfume." 

— Shensione, 



68 THOMA S BE WICK .- 



The family at last took up their abode in a dark and un- 
wholesome cellar in Sunderland — a single chair its only furniture, 
with a pallet of straw for a bed. There, struck down with 
, fever in its deadliest form, poor Ewbank lay until he was 
removed to the Infirmary, where, on the 28th of November 
1847, at the early age of forty-eight, he breathed his last 
Such was the sad end of this senior member of the Royal 
Scottish Academy. 

I have sold this victim of intemperance many a sheet of 
cardboard, which he was wont to divide into four or more 
parts, rapidly sketching on each with one of Airey's pencils 
an admirable view of some Highland loch or Border home- 
stead, castle, or tower. These he sold for ninepence or a 
shilling, whenever he could find a buyer. An old friend of 
his, who was also an artist, and clever in copying Morland, 
told me that once whilst he and Ewbank were at Shields, 
and too poor to buy cardboard, they drew on the back of a 
pack of cards they carried with them whatever their fancy 
suggested. These they sold for a few pence. 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



N Christmas week, 1784, Bewick, whilst sliding on 
the ice at Ovingham, was seized with a mysterious 
presentiment of coming ill, at which he felt sur- 
prised. There was to be a family dinner. Every 
one seemed cheerful; his father told his best jokes 
and drollest stories, and nothing appeared more likely than 
that for many years to come all present would meet again in 
health and happiness. But this was not to be. The year 1785, 
whilst still young, was one of sorrow for Mr. Bewick. On 
the 20th of February, at the age of fifty-eight, his mother, 
whom he loved so well, succumbed to a chill received whilst 
on an errand of mercy to a sick girl. This was his first and 
heaviest grief. But sorrows seldom come alone. His eldest 
sister, who had so carefully nursed her mother in her last brief 
illness, became the object of his anxious solicitude. The fatigue 
she had undergone told on a rather delicate constitution, en- 
feebled by constant watching and other duties attendant on a 
sick-room. She died on the 24th of June 1785, at the residence 
of her brother at the Forth, and was buried at Ovingham. 

On Tuesday, the 15th day of November in the same year, 
Bewick began to engrave the first wood-block for his " History 
of Quadrupeds" with the figure of the Dromedary. Whilst 
engaged on this cut, news was brought of the death of his 
father. This event, which took place on his seventieth birthday, 
broke the spell that had for so many years governed Bewick's 
filial round of visits to Cherryburn. 

Those attentions hitherto paid to his parents were soon to 
be transferred to another object. The void left by their loss 
required filling up, for the sense of being alone weighed on his 
spirits. He had no longer the companionship of his brother John. 



TO THOMA S BE WICK : 



Of a social disposition^ and formed for a domestic life, he 
longed for the society of one to whom he might impart his 
confidence and share his joys and troubles. 

On the 20th of April 1786, being then in his thirty-third 
year, Bewick married Isabella Elliot* the daughter of Robert 
Elliot, a farmer then living at Ovingham. 

Their ages nearly corresponded, and what was better still, 
they were of a kindred temper and disposition. The attach- 
ment was of old standing. Dovaston relates that on one 
occasion when a lad, at church with Miss Elliot, in consequence 
of some juvenile prank of his, the young lady jumped up and 
cried out to the parson, "O sir, guide Thomas Bewick" — an 
interruption which obtained for the delinquent a sound flogging 
on the following day. After twenty years had rolled away she 
became his wife. 

Miss Elliot was bom at Woodgate, above Bill Quay, and 
opposite to Bill PoinL The latter place is represented, " Brit. 
Birds," voL ii p. 144 (ed. 1826). On the recommendation of 
Mr. Rennie, the eminent engineer, it has since been removed 
by the Corporation of Newcastle. 




LLUSION is made in the Memoir, p. 142, to the 
'' woodcuts of Roman altars and arms of the Bishops 
of Durham," done for Hutchinson*s History of that 
county, as the first job of any importance he had been called 
upon to execute. The following letter to Mr. Hutchinson 
(enclosing a sketch of Nevill's Cross restored) is interesting. 
Beilby's design was not adopted, but Bewick s good taste and 
judgment is very observable in his recommendation as to the 
background and accessories, if any. His obligation to Geo. 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 71 

Allan, Esq., of the Grange, for the loan of works on ornitho- 
logy is acknowledged at p. 153 of the same work. This letter 
is now published for the first time, from the original holograph 
in my collection. From what is there said, it appears certain 
that Bewick entertained the idea of publishing an illustrated 
"History of British Birds" from the very time he began to 
engrave the cuts for the "Quadrupeds," though its final 
carrying out was made to depend on the success of the first 
venture. 

"Newcastle, 21st March 1786. 
"Dear Sir, 

" Enclosed is the sketch of NevilPs Cross, as requested in your last, 
different from both Bailey's and Lambert's, and is a medium between the two ; 
also it is done as near the description of it in the book as we could make it 
The following is the height, &c. : — Seven steps, 6 inches each, 3 ft. 6 in. ; sole- 
stone, 12ft. I in. ; socket, 27 inches, 2 ft. 3 in. ; pillar, 3 J yards, 10 ft. 6 in. ; 
boss, 4 ft. 6 in. ; cross, 7 ft. 9 in. ; in all, or the whole height, 29 ft. 6 in. Mr. 
Beilby drew it by a scale from this measurement, and took some pains to make 
it exact. If it meet with your approbation, please to return it, and I will do the 
cut in time, so as not to stop the press : any little alteration which you may 
think necessary may be added I think it would be improper to put in a battle 
scene in the background, but it would not be amiss to give a pretty exact view 
of the country around it, as described in your book, with a few monks praying, 
&c, at the foot of the wood cross which was erected afterwards for that purpose. 
We are much obliged to Mr. Allan for the many favours conferred on us. It 
would take up a deal of room to particularise each, so we must be content to 
return our sincere thanks for the whole, and endeavour in future to make every 
return in our power. The impressions by Gardner are excellent things of their 
kind indeed. The two turious old books are not of any immediate use to me, 
as it will be some time before I can work through the * Quadrupeds.' They 
may be of service if I was begun with the * Birds,* but that will entirely depend 
upon the encouragement in the sale that the first meets with. Mr. Beilby means 
to call upon you on his return from a journey to the South, about three weeks 

or a month hence. 

" I am, Dear Sir, 

Yours, &c., 

** THOMAS BEWICK." 



72 THOMAS BEWICK: 

I have little doubt but that the "two curious old books" 
here referred to was a copy of the '* Ornithologia Nova," a 
History of Birds, illustrated with 350 woodcuts, published in 
two volumes i2mo, at Birmingham, in 1743-5, ten years before 
Bewick was born, and fifty-four years before the publication of 
his ** Land Birds." Though the figures admit of no comparison 
with the latter, they are still very remarkable, and superior to 
any English woodcuts of the period. The work is rare, which 
may account for its not being mentioned by Chatto in Jackson's 
** Treatise on Wood- Engraving." Had he known of its exist- 
ence, it would have been much to his purpose, showing that a 
"History of Birds" adorned with cuts had so long ante-dated 
Bewick's masterly performance — proving also that the art of 
wood-engraving was no secret in this country, but practised not 
only in London, but also in the provinces. 




N Tuesday, September 19, 1786, a most deplorable 
accident occurred in Newcastle, by which an amiable 
young gentleman, the hope of a much-respected family, 
came to a sad end. The day was bright and pleasant ; crowds 
of people from all parts of the town streamed towards the Spital- 
field and its approaches. The tower of St. John's Church and 
the steeple of St. Nicholas were filled with spectators to witness 
the first ascent in Newcastle of Mr. Lunardi's far-famed balloon. 
The field lay close to the Royal Grammar School, the ancient 
Chapel of St. Mary the Virgin. The master (Rev. Hugh 
Moises) had given the scholars a holiday. All was pleasurable 
excitement, and business for the time was suspended. Mr. 
Bewick and his newly-married wife awaited the event from the 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 73 

garden behind their own house. Mr. Lunardi having occasion 
to draw the plug from the funnel of his machine, the sudden 
noise and emission of gas created an unnecessary alarm to 
several gentlemen on one side of the balloon, who rushed from 
their respective stations. In the panic which ensued most of 
the ropes which held the balloon were set free. The remaining 
cords proved inadequate to secure it, and it ascended with great 
velocity. One of the ropes fastened to the top of the aerial 
transport was held by Mr. Ralph Heron, the son of an eminent 
solicitor, who had inadvertently coiled it round his hand and 
arm. He was by this means carried up far above the height 
of Sl Nicholas' Church steeple. His weight having turned the 
balloon, its top, to which the rope was tied, tore off, and the 
unhappy gentleman fell into a gar- 
den adjoining. Terror and dismay 
filled every heart, whilst the cries 
and anguish of the assembled multi- 
titude were most distressing. His 
father, mother, and sisters were on 
one of the stands in an agony of 
grief. He fell, partly erect, upon a tree, and thence upon a 
flower-bed of soft mould, into which he sank nearly knee-deep 
and stuck fast 

Mr. Heron, though found to have sustained no external 
injury from the fall, expired in a few hours. His aged sisters, 
who lived in Eldon Square, I knew very well, particularly Miss 
Charlotte, who was gifted with charming conversational powers. 
These ladies invariably left the town whenever similar exhibi- 
tions took place in after years.* 

' Vincento Looatdi nuule hit first balloon atcent in Ei^Iuid on September IS, 1784. 




THOMAS BEWICK: 



JOHN HOWARD, the phUanthropist, was in New- 
castle in 1787 on his truly Christian mission of 
visiting the prisons in England and Scotland, with 
the design of softening the rigour to which their unhappy 
inmates were subjected by brutal gaolers and turnkeys, the 
cells being in many towns a disgrace to humanity. The 
horrors he was the means of disclosing were not even sus- 
pected by those who had both the power and will to provide 
a remedy. In the eloquent language of Burke, the labours 




Libeny aod S]a.\try—rtt Hivt, Oab. 



of Howard led him " to dive into the depths of dungeons, to 
plunge into the infection of hospitals, to survey the mansions 
of sorrow and pain, to take the gauge and dimensions of misery, 
depression, and contempt" Such was this great benefactor 
to those who had not the power to help themselves. He trod 
in the footsteps of his Divine Master; and in that day when 
He shall make up His jewels, the spirit of this great English- 
man will " shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the 
stars for ever and ever." The prison for the county of North- 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 75 

umberland was on the lower floor of the Old Castle, and was 
described so late as 1801 ^ to be ** a fearful sight to humanity." 
How far we have advanced in true civilisation will be appa- 
rent if we look back to the state of prison accommodation 
in Newcastle as then pictured by a local historian : — " The 
unhappy and not infrequently innocent prisoners, brought from 
their homes, were immured in this hideous dungeon, to take 
their trials at the assizes, the prisoners before trial being 
manacled, conveyed through the public streets in a cart, thrown 
into this den of filth, covered only with a little straw, chained 
to the wall, and shown like wild beasts to the gaping mob 
by a rapacious gaoler at twopence a piece." Mr. Bewick, 
with all right-minded persons, viewed with indignation such 
acts of wanton cruelty, and lived to see the barbarity done 
away. 

A more truthful or saddening picture the artist never drew 
than that represented here. A reduced sketch of this cut, 
so full of pathos, will be found in the " History of Quadrupeds," 
ed. 1824, p. 403. For thirty years the wretched man thus 
depicted had been confined in prison, the hapless victim of an 
unfeeling and obdurate creditor — 

'< Meagre were his locks, 
Sharp misery had worn him to the bones." 

" He was sitting upon the ground, upon a little straw, in the farthest comer 
of his dungeon, which was alternately his chair and bed A little calendar of 
small sticks was laid at the head, notched all over with dismal days and nights 
he had passed there. He had one of those little sticks in his hand, and, 
with a rusty nail, was etching another day of misery, to add to the heap." — 
The Hive. 

In the great political and social questions of the day 

^ Baillie*s *' History of Newcastle,*' pp. 194-196. 



76 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



Bewick took a warm interest; his generous sympathy was 
always enlisted in the cause of justice and humanity. The 
admiration he entertained for the noble and patriotic efforts 
of William Wilberforce, in striving for the abolition of the 
iniquitous slave trade, knew no bounds. Mrs. Bewick used 
to say, "Why, what can you do to help him ?" and he would 
reply by saying that he considered it to be the duty of every 
honest man to afford Wilberforce all the support in his 
power. 




The Slave Tiade— 7"A< Hi 



No town in the kingdom was more earnest than Newcastle 
in appealing to the Legislature for the emancipation of the 
poor blacks. Mr. Bewick would have rejoiced, had he lived, 
to witness the triumph of Christian effort and disinterested 
perseverance in giving freedom to the slave in our distant 
colonies. 

The American War was highly unpopular with the great 
body of the English people, and created a strong feeling 
against all but defensive warfare. This was a primary article 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 77 

in the Liberal creed Mr. Bewick had, as all good men 
must have, an abhorrence of war and bloodshed : the foreign 
policy of Mr. Pitt was his special detestation, and was a theme 
on which he dwelt with zest and relish, and he never tired 
of enforcing his views against all gainsayers. He made no 
allowance for the immense difficulties which beset that great 
Minister in a European crisis of so extraordinary and tremen- 
dous import 

When Bewick left home in a morning for his place of 




Valentine and Unmon—Tie ffivt, iBoS. 



business he was frequently accompanied by his little daughter' 
Isabella. They were wont to pass along the Forth Lane 
into Westgate Street, and through St John's Lane to the 
Bigg Market then down into the Groat Market He used 
to make calls on his road to hear the news of the morning; 
but there was one shop in particular, that of Mr. Leadbitter, 
a saddler, next to the Crown and Thistle Inn, where his 
stay used to be so prolonged in talking over the politics of 
the day, that Miss Bewick said "she was wearied and tired 
out in listening to them." 



78 THOMA S BE WICK : 



N interval of five years had elapsed since the 
publication of the " Select Fables/' published by 




Saint in 1784, Bewick being now in the thirty- 
sixth year of his age. Though he had not 
produced anything deserving of special notice since that 
time, he had been most diligent in acquiring a perfect 
mastery of the technique of his art For the last four years 
he had laboured incessantly, mostly in the evenings at home 
after shop hours, in drawing the figures of the animals, de- 
signing the vignettes, and engraving both on the wood for 
the proposed " History of Quadrupeds," now drawing near to 
completion. Many were the interruptions that disturbed the 
prosecution of his task, and necessitated its being laid aside 
for a time, in order that the jobs which came in from day 
to day might be got through. These could not be put off, 
but required immediate attention; being ready-money tran- 
sactions, they supplied the needful to meet current expenses. 

An important commission, which would not only add to his 
immediate fame as an artist and student of nature, but be re- 
membered to his praise and honour ever after, was about being 
received. In the autumn of 1788, Mr. Bewick was in corre- 
spondence with Marmaduke Tunstall, Esq., of WycHfTe-on-the- 
Tees, in Yorkshire, respecting an engraving of the Chillingham 
Wild Bull which that gentleman wished to have done. Mr. 
Tunstall was an ardent naturalist and true Christian philosopher. 
In his Memoir Mr. Bewick relates how at Easter-tide, 1789, 
he set out for Chillingham for the purpose of obtaining a sketch 
of one of those remarkable animals, and the difficulty he expe- 
rienced in accomplishing his object, from the continual change 
of position and restless habits distinctive of those aborigines of 



.i:i j» 



rl. 



.v*!I be n 



• ■ 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 79 

our Northumbrian moors and forests. Bewick's first idea was 
to engrave the Chillingham Bull and Cow on one copperplate. 
He afterwards saw reason to change his plan, and adopt wood 
instead, confining himself to a figure of the Bull alone. On 
wood, Bewick was a master without a rival. To this fortunate 
preference for the material best fitted for the display of his 
genius and wonderful talent as a wood-engraver we are indebted 
for the most accurate representation of the Chillingham Wild 
Bull in existence, and unquestionably the finest example of 
animal portraiture ever cut on wood. The skill displayed in 
this cut exhibits a perfect knowledge of the resources and 
capability of wood-engraving for the faithful rendering of foliage 
and of the natural texture of this noble animal, as well as for the 
display of those tints and gradations of light and shade observ- 
able in nature, and required to give finish and colour to the 
composition. The undisputed merits of this fine work amply 
justify the judgment of connoisseurs and art critics in pro- 
nouncing it to be the chef-cCosuvre of the artist Mr. Bewick 
himself always considered it his masterpiece. The ancient 
breed of cattle, of which this bull is a member, has become 
nearly extinct. They were supposed by Sir Walter Scott to 
have inhabited, from pre-historic times, the vast primeval forest 
extending from the Tweed to Glasgow, at the two extremities of 
which — namely, Chillingham and Hamilton — they are still found. 
Impressions of the Chillingham Bull on parchment, in the 
first state — i.e.^ with the ornamental border, and before the 
name and date — ^are of extreme rarity, and, when they do occur 
for sale, command long prices, from twenty to thirty pounds 
not being considered too much. Fifty pounds, it is said, were 
paid for the one now in the South Kensington Museum. The 
impression given in this work will be found on comparison to 



80 THOMAS BEWICK: 

be equal in brilliancy and richness of tone with any hitherto 
printed, except some few special copies. The late Miss 
Bewick's fine proof on vellum, in the first state, has, by the 
liberality of her executors, Jos. Crawhall, Esq., Newcastle, and 
J. W. Barnes, Esq., F.S.A., Durham, been presented to the 
Museum of the Natural History Society in Newcastle. 

But few copperplates were executed by Bewick, and what he 
did in this way yielded neither profit nor fame. In the summer 
of 1786, Sir Henry George Liddle, Bart, of Ravensworth Castle, 
County Durham, in company with two other gentlemen — viz., 
Mr. Bowes and Matt Consett, Esq. — determined on making 
a tour through Sweden, Lapland, and Denmark, and on their 
return bring over to England two female Laplanders, with five 
reindeer, in which they were successful. The popular belief has 
always been that this adventure was the result of a wager made 
after dinner. An account of this expedition was drawn up by 
Mr. Consett, and published, in 1789, in a thin quarto volume. 

The frontispiece, engraved by Mr. Bewick, contains portraits 
of the tourists. Sir Henry stands in front, attired in the rich 
garb of an English gentleman of the period, conversing with 
Mr. Bowes, who has a watch in his hand. Behind him is Mr. 
Consett They are viewing the midnight sun at Tomao, in 
Lapland. At page 67 there is an exceedingly beautiful repre- 
sentation of a reindeer, admirably drawn and engraved by 
Mr. Bewick ** from the living animal." The cheerless landscape 
is most truthfully expressed. The three plates of birds are the 
exclusive work of Bewick himself, although signed '* B. & B., 
sculpt, Newcastle." Mr. Beilby, as a partner, insisted on having 
his name introduced. About 1808, on the occasion of a sale 
of old furniture and lumber at Ravensworth, before the old 
castle was pulled down, Bewick, who was present, bought the 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 8i 

horns of the identical reindeer he had drawn and engraved 
some twenty years before. Until lately they adorned the 
kitchen wall at Bewick's house in Gateshead. They are now 
owned by Edward B. Mounsey, Esq., Darlington. 

About this time Newcastle had not only very clever artists 
and musicians, but a club of wits, whose harmless pleasantries 
have not as yet passed out of remembrance. 

This memorable tour was the occasion of a famous and most 
amusing literary hoax. Messrs. John and Thomas Davidson, 
then eminent attorneys in Newcastle, the former being Clerk 
of the Peace for Northumberland, and his brother presiding 
over the Stamp Office, had in their employ as clerks three 
young gentlemen of considerable literary ability. These were 
George Pickering, Thomas Bedingfeld, and James Ellis. In 
the Newcastle Courant of the 2nd September 1786 appeared 
a letter, signed T. S., together with what professed to be a 
Lapland Song^ with a translation; and on the 21st of October 
an elaborate criticism on the same, with a new and more accu- 
rate translation, which the writer assures the reader "is as 
literal as the idioms of the two languages will admit" 

The song was afterwards set to music, and, with the first 
translation, published, as having been sung by the female Lap- 
landers at Ravensworth Castle; it was afterwards inserted 
as genuine by Mr. Consett in his account of the tour, and 
copied from thence into several of the London magazines. 
These truly original compositions sprung from the lively imagi- 
nation of two of those gentlemen. Mr. Pickering wrote the 
first letter containing the Lapland Song, and Mr. Bedingfeld 
the exquisite criticism which followed.^ 

^ Poetry, FugitiTe and Original. By Thomas Bedingfield, Esq.» and Mr. George Pickering. 
By a Friend (James Ellis, Esq., Otterbom). Newcastle. 8vo. 1815. 

L 



82 THOMA S BE WICK : 

In addition to the plates contained in this work, Mn Bewick 
engraved about this time two large copperplates, representing 
the Whitley Large Ox (Mr. HalFs), and Mr. Spearman's Kyloe 
Ox. The former was published in 1 789, and the latter in 1 79a 

In the "Memoir," pp. 144, 145, the author supplies the fol- 
lowing brief narrative concerning the origin of the " History of 
Quadrupeds : " — 

" Having, from the time that I was a schoolboy, been displeased with most 
of the figures in children's books, and particularly with those of the 'Three 
Hundred Animals,' the figures in which, even at that time, I thought I could 
depicture much better, and having afterwards very often turned the matter over 
in my mind of making improvements in that publication, I at last came to the 
determination of making the attempt The extreme interest I had always felt 
in the hope of administering to the pleasure and amusement of youth, and 
judging from the feelings I had experienced myself that they would be affected 
in the same way as I had been, whetted me up and stimulated me to proceed. 
In this, my only reward besides was the great pleasure I felt in imitating Nature. 
That I should ever do anything to attract the notice of the world, in the manner 
that has been done, was the farthest thing in my thoughts, and so far as I was 
concerned myself at that time, I minded little about any self-interested con- 
siderations. These intentions I communicated to my partner; and, though 
he did not doubt of my being able to succeed, yet, being a cautious and think- 
ing man, he wished to be more satisfied as to the probability of such a publica- 
tion paying for the labour. On this occasion, being little acquainted with the 
nature of such undertakings, we consulted Mr. Solomon Hodgson, bookseller, 
and editor of the Newcastle Chronicle^ as to the probability of its success, &c., 
when he warmly encouraged us to proceed. 

*' Such animals as I knew I drew from memory on the wood ; others which 
I did not know were copied from * Dr. Smellie's Abridgment of Buffon ' and 
other naturalists, and also from the animals which were from time to time 
exhibited in itinerant collections. Of these last I made sketches first from 
memory, and then corrected and finished the drawings upon the wood from a 
second examination of the different animals. I began this business of cutting 
the blocks with the figure of the dromedary on the 15th November 1785, the 
day on which my father died. I then proceeded in copying such figures as 
above named as I did not hope to see alive. While I was busied in drawing 
and cutting the figures of animals, and also in designing and engraving the 







HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 83 

vignettes, Mr. Beilby, being of a bookish or reading turn, proposed, in his 
evenings at home, to write or compile the descriptions. With this I had Httle 
more to do than furnishing him, in many conversations and by written memo- 
randa, with what I knew of animals, and blotting out in his manuscript what 
was not truth. In this way we proceeded till the book was published in 1790. 

"The greater part of these woodcuts were drawn and engraved at night, 
after the day's work of the shop was over." 

Apropos to the above is the following letter written by 
Bewick in 1788, which appeared in the Bibliographer for 
December 1881. Mr. H. Trueman Wood, of the Society of 
Arts, in introducing the letter, says nothing was known of its 
existence until he, in company with Mr. Wheatley, was recently 
turning over a mass of papers in one of the garrets of the 
Society. Mr. Wood adds : — 

" We had each worked away at our respective bundles without making any 
discovery of importance, when suddenly I came on Bewick's name at the bottom 
of a letter. * Here,' said I, * is something worth keeping ; it is a letter of Bewick, 
asking the Society to help him with his "British Quadrupeds." He says he 
encloses some specimens of it.' * Yes,' said Mr. Wheatley, making a dive into 
his box, ' and here they are ! ' How long the letter and its enclosure had been 
separated — why they were separated — is more than I can say, but it is certainly 
not a little curious that they should then have seen the light simultaneously. 
Bewick, as indeed may be inferred from the letter, was one of the many artists 
whose youthful talents were rewarded by the Society of Arts. In 1775 he 
received a premium of seven guineas for an allegorical vignette on wood As 
he was bom in 1753, he must have been twenty-two when he took this prize. 
It is pleasant to find that he, like Flaxman and others, was not insensible to 
the help he had received, since he shows in the letter the truest gratitude — ^a 
lively sense of favours to come." 

The letter is as follows : — 

" Newcastle, %2nd May 1788. 
" Sir, — I have herewith, by favour of Mr. Gregson, transmitted to your care 
some Specimens of Wood Cuts, with Proposals for Publishing, by subscription, 
a History of Quadrupeds ; which I hope you will be so obliging as to lay before 
the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, &&, of which Society I understand 
you are yet Secretary. The favourable Reception which some of my Juvenile 



84 THOMA S BE WICK : 

Performances have met with from that Honourable Body, and their request to 
me at that time ' That I would not rest satisfied with one attempt, but subject 
my friture Performance to their inspection,' have again emboldened me to 
submit my Labours to their View. I know not that there is at this Time any 
Reward offered by the Society, or any competition in the way, but if I should 
be so happy as to find that the work now in hand meets with their Approbation 
and Patronage, it might silence the clamour of ill-natured criticism, and tend 
to promote its sale. When the curious are served with the best Impressions, 
a second and inferior Edition will be done for the use of youth at Schools, 
with a view more widely to diffuse a better Knowledge of this Branch of Natural 
History, and also to awaken in the contemplative mind an admiration of the 
wonderful works of Nature. If you think it worth your notice, I will send you 
the rest of the prints to complete the Set as soon as they are done. 

" I am. Sir, 

With the greatest Respect, 

Your most obedient and humble Servant, 

(Signed) "THOMAS BEWICK." 

The following is a copy of the prospectus referred to in 
Bewick's letter. It is printed on a broadside, with specimens 
of the illustrations : — 

•* Newcastle, 2St A January 1788. 

"Proposals | for publishing by subscription | A General History of Quad- 
rupeds, I containing a Concise Account of every Animal of that Kind | hitherto 
known or described. | With | observations on the Habits, faculties, and Pro- 
pensities I of each Creature | intended as | A Complete Display of that Part of 
Animated Nature, I At once Useful, Instructive, and Entertaining. | Embellished 
with I Accurate Engravings on Wood | of each Animal. | Drawn from the Life, 
or Copied from the Productions of the best Authors I on that subject. I 

"To THE Public. 

"To add to the number of Publications already extant on this Branch of 
Natural History, may seem at first View both presumptuous and unnecessary ; 
but when it is considered that the great expense of the more voluminous Works 
confines them chiefly to the Libraries of the Wealthy, and that the smaller 
Publications of this sort are such mean and pitiful Productions as must disgust 
every Reader of Common Observation, the propriety and usefulness of this 
undertaking will appear sufficiently obvious. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



85 



"The great care that has been taken to give the true Portrait and Character 
of each Creature, and the masterly execution of the Wood Engravings, will, it 
is hoped, strongly recommend this Work to every Admirer of that part of Nature's 
Productions. Many of the animals have been accurately drawn from Nature ; 
and in this respect the Editor has been peculiarly fortunate in being enabled to 
ofier to the Public more faithful Representations of some rare Quadrupeds than 
have hitherto appeared. 

"*,* The work will be neatly printed, in One Volume Octavo, on a good 
Paper, with entire new Types. 

" St§ Price to Subscribers 8 Shillings in Boards. To be paid on Delivery. 
Printed for, and sold by S. Hodgson, by whom Subscriptions are taken in ; also 
by Beilby and Bewick, Engravers, W. Chamley, R. Fisher, D. Akenhead, J. 
Atkinson, E. Humble, and T. Whitfield, Newcastle ; L. Pennington, Durham ; 
J. Graham and J. Reed, Sunderland ; R. Christopher, Stockton ; W. Grey, 
Nottingham ; W. Tesseyman and J. Todd, York ; and W. Creech and C. Elliott, 
Edinburgh." 




Y 






SHE author is indebted to J. W. Pease, Esq. of 
Pendower, Newcastle, for permission to print 
the following most interesting letter from 
Thomas Bewick to his brother John, then a re- 
sident in London, together with the accompany- 
ing local song. Pleasure is expressed by the 
writer of the letter with the execution of the cuts for the 
" Emblems of Mortality," after Holbein's designs. This work 
was published in 1 789. 

" Our 'Natural History'" refers to the " History of Quadru- 
peds," then in progress, the first edition of which was published 
in 1790. The twenty-six impressions of animals already sent 
off were proofs printed at the office of Thomas Angus. Of 
these I possess a set coloured by Bewick himself, and presented 
to his daughter Isabella on the ist of January i8oa Robert 
Pollard's engraving of the Hermitage at Warkworth, published 
in 1787, is a fine large print; the landscape is engraved by 
J. Peltro, the figures by Pollard. 



90 THOMAS BEWICK: 



"Newcastle, 9/A/tf If, 1788. 
"Dear Brother, 

"I have your letter of the ist Nov. last now before me. I find 

it came per Capt. Carr. I am much pleased with the Cuts for 'Death's 

Dance,' and wish much to have the book when it is done. I am surprised you 

would undertake to do them for 6s. each. You have been spending your time 

and grinding out your eyes to little purpose indeed. I would not have done 

them for a farthing less than double that sum. I showed them to Mr. Edwards, 

a very capital and eminent painter, as well as a very worthy man, now here, 

painting the scenes in the new play-house. He approved much of them, but 

was surprised when I told him the price which you had for them. He, I expect, 

will be your friend after this, when he returns to London. I am glad to find 

that you have begun on your own bottom, and I would earnestly recommend 

it to you to establish your character by taking uncommon pains with what work 

you do. I hope it will, in the end, turn better out than doing it slightly. — I 

suppose your next will be an answer to one which I sent with 26 impressions 

per Matthew Williamson. I have wished for your answer to it for some time 

past If Mylock's print be the same as the one which you so obligingly sent 

to me, I think nothing of it. It is not worth (in my opinion) one of the two 

Tigers which I long since sent to you, in order to exchange with him. I am 

obliged to you for the drawing of the Lion ; Mr. Edwards says it is a faithful 

representation. I wish I had as good a one of the Wolf, the form and shape of 

which is so variously and contradictorily represented to me by different people 

that I am quite puzzled as to its real appearance. I am glad to find that a large 

collection of animals is now on its way to this Town. They are expected here 

on the latter end of this month. They consist of varied kinds of the Ape tribe, 

Porcupine, Tiger-Cat and Tiger, Greenland Bear, and one of the finest Lions 

(very lately brought over) that ever made its appearance on this Island ; so that 

I expect to have the opportunity of doing such of them as I want, fi'om the Life. 

Our * Natural History ' will be put to press in a little time. The first Edition 

will be done by subscription. You may perhaps, in the course of a month, see 

it advertised in the N'Castle papers, at the Hole in the Wall, Fleet Street. T. 

Dobson and I was at our little niece's Christning on Christmas Day : I was 

Godfather, and Nancy and another the Godmothers. It is a fine little girl. 

Brother William and his family are very well ; he is going on very prosperously 

with his Colliery. I spent one night at Ovingham, one at Eltringham, and one 

at Hedley, and then returned to Town, and found all very well at home. I 

wish you would send your account of what you have paid and reed, on my acct. 

in London. It is best to keep all square once a year at least. I paid for ' Gay's 

Fables * j£ s. d, (l told you at the time, but have forgot). Aunt Nanny and 

Tommy do not seem to hit it so well as I could wish : she is queer, and he 

can make no allowance for a poor old woman. I shall conclude with wishing 

you the compls. of the season. My Bell also desires her best respects. Give 

my thanks and compls. to Mr. Pollard. I am much obliged to him for the 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



Hennitage at Warkworth, and am sorry for the loss he has met with in the 
death of his Brother, and my old Friend. 

" I am, Dear Brother, yours, &c., 



" Mr. John BewtcK, ENCRAVEm, 

No. 7, Clerkenwbll Gbken, Lohdok." 



"THOMAS BEWICK. 




*' Thou's aw candied, maw bonny Kinney, 

Thou's double japandied, ay-u-a, Hinney ; 

Thou's aw candied, maw bonny Hinney, 

Thou's double japandied, ay-u-a. 
" Gan up the Toun, maw bonny Hinney, 

An' riyde on the Brum, a-u-a, Hinney ; 

Gan up an' doun, maw bonny Hinney, 

Thou's th' Flower of the toun, ay-u-a. 
" Fir shep and for culler, thou's leyke th' mother, 

A-u-a, hey-u-a, maw bonny Hinney ; 

Fir shep and for culler, thou's leyke the mother, 

A-u-a, hey-u-a, maw bonny Bairn. 
" Fir Heyde and fir Hue, maw bonny Hinney, 

There's nane leyke thou, a-u-ay, Hinney; 

Fir Heyde an' Hue, maw bonny Hinney, 

There's nane leyke thou, ay-u-a. 
" Gan up the Raw, maw bonny Hinney, 

Thou bangs thim aw, ay-u-a, Hinney ; 

Gan up the Raw, maw bonny Hinney, 

An' clash thir jaw, ay-u-a. 
" If you have not the above, it will add ooe more to your collectioD." 



92 THOMAS BEWICK.- 

Newcastle can boast of many capital songs in the vulgar 
tongue, remarkable for their genuine wit and humour. These 
are still enjoyed even by the educated and refined gentry of 
Northumberland and Durham with a relish as keen as that 
felt by the humbler classes of society. John Bewick and his 
friends — Pollard, Bulmer, Gregson, and William Gray — would 
often entertain themselves with such ditties on an evening, 
when the work of the day was over. Though resident in 
London, Newcastle would ever be fondly remembered. 



^lEWICK'S thoroughly domestic character, and the 
attachment invariably felt towards his wife and 
children, is at all times apparent This devotion 
is feelingly expressed in the following letter from 
Wycliffe, written whilst employed in drawing birds 
from stuffed specimens in Mr. Tunstall's Museum. It was in 
his family that he placed his chief happiness, being ever a 
faithful husband ; he had his reward in the affection of a 
dutiful wife and an obedient son and daughters. Beyond home 
pleasures he desired nothing; in this he showed true wisdom. 

"WvcLirPB, Aug. %th, 1791. 
" My dear Bell, 

" I never opened a letter with more anxiety, nor read one with more 
pleasure in my life, than I did my Bell's last week. To hear of you beii^ all 
well gave me the greatest of pleasures. How desirous am I to hear of your 
still continuing so. — My dear little Boy is hardly ever out of my mind. I 
hope the Sea will mend him. If upon my return I find him recovered I think 
I shall be frantic with joy. — Indeed, if upon my return I find you all well, I 
shall look upon my fireside at the Forth like a little Heaven. — I hope I shall, 
when I return, but I think it will be about 3 weeks yet before I have that 
pleasure. The young Gentleman has sent Mr. Collier notice that he will not 
be at this place till the latter end of the month. I have plenty of work before 
me to keep me closely employed a much longer time, but I am tired out 




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T 



e-T- 



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a 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 93 

already, and wish it was over. I have dulled myself with sticking to it so 
closely. In short, I lose no time in order to get through with the business. 
When you write again tell me when you will be at the Forth, lest I should 
be at a loss where to direct to you. Also tell me how you all are, for that is 
everything with me. Take care when you return to the Forth lest the beds 
should be damp by your long absence. Tell Jane and Robert that if they be- 
have well I will let them see a vast of little pictures of Birds when I come home ; 
and I hope my Uttle Bell will be able to say more than dadda when I see her again. 
" I am, with compls. to all, 

My Bell's loving husband, 

"THOMAS BEWICK" 

Miss Isabella Bewick kindly presented me with the next 
letter I have the pleasure to bring before the notice of my 
readers. It is addressed to her father 
by her uncle John, and was selected by 
that lady for me, as being more than 
usually interesting. From it we learn 
the fact that a '* History of British 
Birds," to correspond with the " Quad- 
rupeds," was at that early period well 

known even in London. A dissolution of partnership with 
Mr. Beilby was, as might be expected, a subject for dis- 
cussion in the family immediately after the publication of 
the first edition of that work. The pecuniary advantages 
of such a step, in view of the brothers combining their 
talents, and pulling together in business, was obvious, yet 
the elder held back, afraid to commit himself by such an 
act Many times Miss Bewick and myself have talked the 
matter over, and speculated on the results, but the early death 
of John would, in my opinion, have considerably lessened much 
of the promise held out by a union of interests. It is clear that 
Bewick did not gain what he had a right to expect by the 
exercise of such rare gifts and indefatigable industry. 




94 THOMAS BEWICK: 



** Mount Pleasant, 4/A Deer, 179a 
"Dear Brother, 

"Your last letter came just in time to prevent me writing 
to you in a very III Humor, it being much longer than your usual time 
of writing, and I being told by Mr. Dilly and others that you were busy with 
the 'History of Birds,' and frequently asked questions respecting it, and I 
knowing nothing of the matter, vext me not a little, but I am glad to find it 
is not the case, as I hope if ever it be done, 'twill be on your own account. 
A great deal might be said respecting a Dissolution of Partnership both fro 
and con^ but at present all I shall say is, that I am pretty certain not a Friend 
you have that sincerely wishes well to you and Family, but will stroDgly recom- 
mend it. As to its appearing to you like beginning the world again, it might 
be so, tho' not without some knowledge of it. In my opinion you have had 
the most favourable beginning that possibly man could have, particularly that 
branch of Business which I hope 'tis your wish ever to pursue, both for your 
Honor and advantage (i>., publishing your own works) : it is but just that every 
man should reap the benefits of his own ingenious industry. You are sensible 
that every day, and week, the intricate matrimonial accounts of partnership must 
increase, so that if you have, or ever had, any wish to part, now is the time ; if 
on the contrary, be not persuaded by me. It may be thought arrogance in 
me to dictate to you respecting this Business, therefore shall only say that I am 
ready and willing to exert and strain every nerve to assist with whatever may 
be in my power. I cannot help admiring the intrepid proposal of your faithful 
Helpmate: she seems to have enter'd on the Business with some degree of 
spirit I am perfectly of her way of thinking, and should do the same myself 
on such an occasion, tho', to be sure, Crowdy here wou'd be esteemed a dish of 
some novelty, but I could live in a hollow Tree on Bread and Cheese, which 
might be equally cheap. I am still in my Country Lodgings, and perfectly re- 
covered, thank God. I may, if nothing particular happens to prevent me, take 
a trip to Newcastle in the spring, just to ask how you all do, and away again. 
Mr. Dilly wou'd be glad to know how you mean to dispose of your 2nd 
Edition ; he wishes much to have a hand in the Pye. I have not seen Dickinson 
these some months past I have wished much for my Gun ever since I have 
been at Mount Pleasant Shou'd be glad if you could send her, and an old 
favourite tinn Powder flask with my name upon it, the first opportunity. With 
these sets of Animals you'd please to mention the price. I shou'd likewise be 
glad to have an account of what I am in your debt. You never gave any 
answer to that business of Mr. William Bulmer's ; I dined with him last Sunday 
at Mr. Pollard's. If to-morrow be fine I expect Mr. Stothard and Mr. Pollard at 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 9$ 

Mount FleasanL My compliments to George Gray, and if he has any wish to 
see London I could procure him Employ at a Guinea and half per week Fruit- 
Painting, &c, in- the Jappanning line 

" I am, Dr. Brother, 
"Mr. Bewick, "JNO. BEWICK. 

Forth, 

Newcastleupon-Ttni." ' 

" That business of Mr. William Bulmer's," alluded to at the 
close of this letter, I take to be an interchange of ideas and 
opinions between Bulmer and Mr. Bewick, which eventually 
resulted in the fine edition of Goldsmith's Poems, published 
by the former in 1795. The selection consisted of "The 
Traveller," "The Deserted Village," and "The Hermit," by 
Pamell, forming one handsome quarto volume. The excellence 
of the typography, printing, and paper was only exceeded by 
the extraordinary beauty and novelty of the illustrations. The 
part that John Bewick had in this work was not considerable, 
seeing that the only important cut he contributed was the large 
engraving of the " Sad Historian," p. 36. 

Mr. Bulmer, in the advertisement, thus speaks of the em- 
bellishments : — "They are all engraved on blocks of wood by 
two of my earliest acquaintances, 
Messrs. Bewick, of Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne and London, after designs 
made from the most interesting pas- 
sages of the poems they embellish. 
They have been executed with great 
care, and I may venture to say, without being supposed to be 
influenced by ancient friendship, that they form the most extra- 
ordinary effort of the art of engraving on wood that ever was 

' Printed fiom ihe oiigiiul holognpit in the coUection of ibe pubtUher. 




96 THOMAS BEWICK: 

produced in any age or any country. Indeed, it seems almost 
impossible that such delicate effects could be obtained from 
blocks of wood." 

This beautiful volume possesses unusual interest for the 
Bewick collector. In it are combined the talents of the two 
brothers, in union with undisputed examples of the genius of 
Robert Johnson and his cousin John. These early pupils of 
Bewick could not engrave on wood, and the efforts of the 
former on copper do not rise above mediocrity. Their forte lay 
in another direction. As skilful artists in water-colour painting, 
they possessed a truly original genius. The designs of Robert 
Johnson in particular are distinguished by much elegance, sim- 
plicity, and truth. The early death which befel both must ever 
be mourned as a serious loss to the Fine Arts in this country. 

My unique copy of Goldsmith's Poems is rendered valu- 
able and very interesting on account of its containing Bulmer's 
own written directions to the engraver, neatly mounted on blank 
leaves, and endorsed by Miss Jane Bewick. 

Opposite the cut of ** The Traveller " is the following : — 

" Mr. Westall,^ you will see, has drawn an outline to this painting, which will 
assist you much. Be very particular in finishing this block, and above all things 
preserve the characteristic sentiment of the &ce, which so happily accords with 
the language of the poet Without this, the whole force of the drawing will be 
lost The shrub, too, must be exactly copied. Omit the ' R. W.' at the comer." 

(" Westall desigfud • Thi TraoelUr: ") 

" The small drawing marked No. i is, in my idea, a most beautiful concep- 
tion, and given altogether in a manner that is really astonishing." 

** From IVm, Bultner 

to 

Thonuu Bewick tit 
" This criticism must refer to the above hedd-piece, 

••J. B." 

^ Richard Westall was born about the year 1765. Like Bewick, he was apprenticed to an 
engraver of heraldry on silver and other materials, and died in 1836. John Thurston and he were, 
much about the same period, largely patronised by publishers in designing book illostrations. 




K. /etHim. dtl. T. Bemitk. sculp. 

THE HERMIT, ANGEL, AND GUIDE. 



PMubtd, Marth 1887, I7 Aohrf Reiinum, it Pi7friiii SIral, 
NtuimtU-vpBK- Tjni. 



ii 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 97 



The exquisite cut of Roman edifices in ruins is the one 
intended. 

Before that of ** The Departure" we read — 

" Give as much character to the faces as you possibly can, and suppose you 
make the foreground rather coarser than you generally do, in order to form the 
stronger contrast with the fine finishing of the block. Let this picture have one- 
eighth of an inch more in depth." 

" 7'Ais criticism was written 
by Wm, Bulmer^ 

addressed to Thomas Bewick, 
"Jane Bewick." 

And again, as regards the beautiful cut of "The Hermit, 
Angel, and Guide," instructions are given remarkable for the 
knowledge of effect and attention to details bestowed by Mr. 
Bulmer in the production of the work, every care being taken 
to render those marvels of art worthy of the artists by whom 
they were designed and executed : — 

** Give the Hermit more of age and feebleness, and keep the Landscape part 
and bridge gloomy, rugged, and dangerous. The drowning man to remain as 
it is. If the depth of the picture was increased abt. an Jth of an inch at top, 
I think it would amend it. Let the drapery of the Angel seem floating and free, 
and the face delicate and sweetly interesting." 

" Directions by Wm, Bulmer 
to 

Thomas Bewick^ 

This criticism, so full of interest, is rendered more intelligible 
by having two impressions of the cut facing each other, one 
being in the first state, before the suggested alterations were 
carried out by the engraver. It is a proof on yellow India 
paper, and, I have reason to believe, the only one in existence. 
In it the glory above the head of the angel is wanting, the 
flowing robe of the celestial messenger is much darker than in 
the altered cut as we have it in the book, and the foliage a 

N 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



&A 




shade more sombre. Art critics will differ as to the propriety 
or otherwise of the changes made in Bewick's first treatment of 
the cut, especially as to the glory and darkening of the foliage. 
The face and garment of the angel 
appear more in accordance with 
one's idea of a citizen from the 
realms of light and beauty. 

However admirable the illustra- 
tions in this work are, they are dis- 
tanced both in design and execution by the companion volume 
issued by Bulmer in the following year, 1796, from the Shake- 
speare Press. This was a truly splendid edition of Somervile's 
Chase. 

The drawings were made on the wood by John Bewick 
previous to his leaving London for the last time, in the 
vain hope of. recruiting his strength by again breathing his 
native air. 

Alas ! too soon was the agreeable social companion and 
talented artist destined to rest his weary frame beside his 
father and mother in Ovingham Churchyard. 



SHE unfortunate death of John Bewick seemed likely 
to occasion some delay in the fulfilment of the 
engagement entered into with the publisher. Mr. 
Bulmer, who was a keen man of business, addressed 
himself therefore at once to his brother, and ui^ed 
him by a "bold effort" to engrave the cuts within the time 
originally agreed upon. 

This was accordingly done : no second appeal was needed. 
Before proceeding with the work, I have little doubt that the 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 99 

engraver, with his accustomed ability and good taste, corrected 
and considerably improved the whole of the drawings already 
made on the wood, in loving memory of his brother. Mr. 
Bewick would not allow the last offspring of his genius to go 
forth to the world with any faults it lay in his power to remove. 
The precept, " Let brotherly love continue," was one he was 
not likely to forget 

In 1797 the first volume of Bewick's great work, the 
" History of British Birds," was given to the world, and imme- 
diately became popular. It com- 
prised the Land Birds only. The 
commencement or first step in this 
enterprise was a visit to Wycliffe- 
on-the-Tees, the seat of Marma- 
duke Tunstall, Esq., whose magni- 
ficent Museum of Natural History afforded him an opportunity 
of making drawings of such birds as he was not likely to see 
alive. 

Two months were spent at this place, after which Mr. 
Bewick returned home laden with a folio of drawings, the fruit 
of much study and close application. 

These he immediately began to engrave, but soon dis- 
covered that the preserved specimens which he had copied so 
faithfully had been very inartistically executed — so much so 
that the labour expended over them had been almost thrown 
away. As the undertaking became known, much interest was 
excited, and gentlemen from all parts forwarded to him such 
rare birds as they had shot, and in some instances even living 
birds. 

The beautiful cut of the Corncrake or Land Rail, now 
classed by the scientists among Water Birds, was drawn from a 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



living specimen presented by Major Harry Gibson, son of a 
former town-clerk of Newcastle. This bird was given to 
Richard Wingate to preserve, and many years afterwards was 
sold, when his extraordinary collections in Natural History were 
brought to the hammer. To my regret I missed buying it, but 
determined if ever I had a second chance it should be mine. 
After the lapse of twenty-one years, I was employed to catalogue 
the library, Roman coins, pictures, and rare china at Green- 
croft Park, near Lanchester, County Durham, the property of 



The Conccilcd Magpie— From Taksfiir Youth. 1794. 

John Claverlng, Esq., deceased. On entering the hall, the first 
object that met my eye was this well-remembered figure of 
the Corncrake, in its curious oval cjise, which I was glad to 
purchase along with some of the best of the coins, books, &c. 

This interesting specimen I embraced the first opportunity 
of submitting to my friends the Misses Bewick, who were so 
much pleased with the sight of the bird that Miss Jane re- 
quested me to leave it with them for a few weeks. The fine 
cut of the Swan Goose appears in the second edition of the 
"Water Birds" (1805), p. 281. Like the Corncrake, it was 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



domesticated in Bewick's house at the Forth. A tub of water 
was sunk for its use in the garden, but after being kept for some 
time it was found necessary to part with it. The letterpress, or 
descriptive history of the Birds (Land), contained in the first 
volume of the work, was written by Mr. Bellby, subject to the 
corrections of his partner, and most ably did he accomplish his 
share of the work, though it must be deemed inconsiderable 
when compared with the part which Bewick performed, and to 
which he alone was equal amongst all living artists, not in 



f%^^>&^^^^ 




The Wilful Boy and llic Hi 



7-«/«/or VoulA. 1794. 



England only, but throughout the nations of the Continent, 
those venerable centres of the arts and civilisation. It is 
scarcely to be supposed that, without some previous knowledge 
of the subject, Mr. Beilby could have so admirably acquitted 
himself in the literary portion of the work. His descriptions 
are free from the charge of being too diffuse, or the opposite 
fault of a meagre and spiritless style. The following copy of a 
very curious handbill, dated 1 790, goes to prove that he pos- 
sessed some knowledge of and taste for Natural Historj', though 
followed only as a recreation. 



102 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



Beilby's Curious Collection of Preserved Birds and Shell-Work, 

The Sight of which will strike the Beholder with Wonder and Astonishment ; 
every Bird is fixed in so lively an Attitude, and in so great Preservation, that 
Life cannot be more striking. This beautiful Collection will be put up by 
Subscription at is. each Subscriber ; to be 360 Subscribers, and prizes as follow, 
at Mrs. Henzel's, in Mosley St, on Monday the 17th May inst, at 6 o'clock in 
the evening. 



PRIZES. 

1. A Beautiful Pheasant and other Birds 

2. A Case of Birds and Squirrel • 

3. A Basket of Flowers from Nature 

4. One ditto .... 

5. A Nest of Birds and Old Ones 

6. A Large Case of Various Birds 

7. The Squirrel, preserved . 

8. Two Cases of Flowers . 

9. The Green Plover, preserved . 
10. The Fell Faire 



330 

I I o 

220 

16 o 
o 15 o 

1 I o 

o 10 o 
o 15 o 
o 10 o 

080 



Twenty Cases of Birds at ss. each prize. Fifteen Prizes of the King and 
Queen at 2s. 6d. each. 

May^thy 1790. 

The device of a lottery for the ready disposal of pictures, 
fans, and other articles of taste was quite common in those 
days, and did not in the least detract from the position and 
standing of the owners. 

In a letter addressed to the artist by Thomas Pennant, the 
well-known naturalist and antiquary, dated 28th June 1798, 
thanking him for the present of a copy of the second edition of 
the first volume of the " Birds," 1 798, he begs his acceptance of 
some token of the sense he entertained of the favour. " I sent 
last week," he adds, *^a copy of my 'History of London,' the 
best edition, to Mr. White, bookseller, Fleet Street, to be 
delivered to your order. May it prove some amusement to 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 103 

you." It is inscribed, " To the ingenious Mr. Bewick, with the 
author's compliments. June 14, 1798."' Bewick gave the 
work to his wife, who had it bound in morocco. Above the 
title is written, " The bequest of Isabella Bewick to her daughter 
Elizabeth." The book is now in my collection. 

In reply to Mr. Bewick, who had expressed a wish to have 
a portrait of Moses Griffith, Pennant writes a few weeks after- 
wards: "Sir, I will endeavour to get Moses to draw his portrait, 
and if I succeed, will send it in a frank," &c. This portrait, 
when sent, proved to be an admirable likeness of Bewick's 
father, and in the opinion of himself and his wife the resem- 
blance was so perfect that had he sat for it nothing better could 
have been produced. It formed part of the valuable assemblage 
of drawings, pictures, miniatures, and choice woodcuts presented 
by the executors of the late Miss Bewick to the Newcastle 
Museum of Natural History. 

Pennant presented portraits of himself and the Rev. John 
Lloyd, rector of Caerwis, his constant friend, companion, and 
assistant in his tour in Wales, to Mr. Bewick. The former is 
after a picture by Gainsborough, painted in 1776, and engraved 
by W. Ridley ; the latter, an oval, from a drawing by Moses 
Griffith, engraved by P. Mazel. Both are in the original black 
and gold frames, and are now in my possession. 

I Memoirs of Marmaduke Tuiulall, Esq., >nd Geoi^e Allan, Esq., i*ith Noticei oT the 
Works of Thomw Bewick. By G. T. Foi, F.L.a 8vo. iSa?. 




THOMAS BEWICK: 



EWICK'S famous workshop in St Nicholas' Church- 
yard, where so large a part of the life of the great 
wood-engraver passed in cheerful and unremitting 
industry, has been often drawn and engraved ; with it 
we are all familiar. This, however, was not the original scene 
whence his first efforts date their beginning. Joseph Barber, the 
bookseller, had his shop and circulating library at Amen Comer, 
St Nicholas' Churchyard. Next to it was an old red-brick 
house having two queer-fashioned wooden spouts projecting 
from above the upper windows far into the yard, like no other 
but itself It was here Ralph Beilby carried on the business 
of a copperplate printer and engraver when Elewick first entered 
his service. This house, though hitherto unnoticed, witnessed 
the buddings of hts genius and the commencement of his 
subsequent success. The late Miss Jane Bewick more than 
twenty years ago gave me this information. She said, " I never 
pass by the old place without doffing my bonnet." The con- 
struction of Dean Street diverted a large amount of business 
from the Side, which had hitherto been the main connecting 
link not only between the upper and lower parts of the town, 
but also between Newcastle and Gateshead, and the country 
south of the Tyne. The new street was a great improvement, 
and the public were not slow to avail themselves of it, thereby 
avoiding the narrow and steep ascent of the Side. 

In consequence, Messrs. Beilby and Bewick determined to 
remove from their old quarters to other premises at the south- 
east end of the yard. This house was leasehold, and bought 
by the firm of Serjeant Bayles,' the "eloquent sword-bearer." 

' Dr. Nathaniel Bayles, the patriotic champion of the right! of the burgesses in respect 
to the herbage of the Town Moor and Casite leases.— f/i/i; " Bewick's Memoirs," p. 68. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 105 

They were thus brought nearer to the more fashionable and 
popular thoroughfare, without losing the advantage of a retired 
and quiet situation so essential to artists and literary men. 

This took place in 1795. Mr. Bewick's neighbour for many 
years previous to the change, had been Joseph Barber, music and 
copperplate printer. In 1741 this gentleman, whilst located on 
the Sandhill, published *' the first copperplate engraving done in 
Newcastle." The subject was "A Curious Draught of the famous 
managed Horse call'd the Marbled Persian. Price One Shilling." 

In 1743 this was followed by a very large and curious 
copperplate of the equestrian statue of King James II. which 
stood on the Sandhill, and was thrown into the Tyne by a 
Protestant mob at the Revolution. It was advertised as "just 
arrived from London," and to be had, price 5s., of Joseph 
Barber, in Humble's Buildings, Newcastle. Round the margin 
of the print, which is extremely rare,^ were the coats of arms 
of the subscribers, 200 in number. These were afterwards cut 
off and sold to them at 2s. 6d. each, together with 100 im- 
pressions to be used as book-plates. We afterwards find 
Mr. Barber in business as a bookseller at the sio^n of the 
Duke of Cumberland, at the Golden Ball, at the head of the 
Flesh Market, his business card having a well-engraved portrait 
of the hero of Culloden at the top. He afterwards removed 
to Amen Corner. At an early period Mr. Bewick engraved for 
him a shop-card of elegant design, and subsequently another cut 
to be used as a book-plate. This is of great artistic beauty, not 
exceeded as a work of art by anything he afterwards produced 
of the same kind. It is very scarce ; indeed the only impression 
I have ever seen is a fine proof inserted in my " Bewickiana." 

* An impression without the armorial bearings is in the collection of Jos. Crawhall, Esl[., 
of this town. 

O 



io6 THOMAS BEWICK: 



The Catalogue of Barbef's Circulating Library, probably the 
first of its kind established in Newcastle, is a literary curiosity. 
I hope to be excused for giving its quaint title in extenso. 

A 

NEW CLASSICAL 

CATALOGUE 

O F 

BARBER'S 

ORIGINAL 

Circulating Library, 

CONTAINING 

Above Two Thoufand Volumes, 

in a]] Branches of Polite Literature. 

To be Lent out to Read, at Two Shillings 

and Sixpence per Quarter in the Town, and Three 
Shillings in the Country. 

Jk Jb Jk^k ^k Jb JU iti Jb jtaid <li Jb Ml MijtultMi JbMi Jb jd Ml Ml Ml Ml Ml Ml mijIi ill Jk 
▼ ▼ ~TP TP ▼ ▼ TP V " " " ▼ ▼ " " " " " " " " * * * * * * " " " " 

Where Ufeful, Entertaining, and Polite, 

Colle6ted, join the Curious to invite : 

As Sermons, Comments, Pray*rs, religious Mifteries, 

Lives, Geography, Memoirs, Tra6b, and Hiftories j 

Voyages and Travels, where'er Sea or Shore is, 

Romances, Novels, Tales, and Comic-Stories ; 

With Num'rous of the MUSES rapt*rous Lays, 

From good ELIZA's down to GEORGE's Days. 

Which will be lent to read, by Week or Quarter, 

At JOSEPH BARBER'S Shop, in Amen-Corner. 



jj^ CATALOGUES may be had, Price Three- 
pence, at the Library ; to Subfcribers {gratis) 






HIS LIFE AND TIMES. lo; 

Mr. Barber died 4th July 1781, aged 74 years, and is 
buried under a table-monument at the north-east corner of 
St Nicholas' Churchyard. The good man little dreamt that 
more than a century after his 
decease a new tomb would be 
built to perpetuate his memory *^ " 
by one of the most distinguished 
scholars of the age, Joseph Bar- 
ber Lightfoot, D.D., Lord Bishop *s^=-.-i«?,jK%--i-— - 
of Durham. Joseph, his eldest son, settled in Birmingham, 
and from the marriage of his daughter Anne Matilda with 
Mr. J. J. Lightfoot comes Joseph Barber's great-grandson, the 
eminent prelate just named. 

Barber was succeeded in business at Amen Corner by 
his son, Martin Barber, who died in London in 1799. As a 
memento of this old Newcastle bookseller, I have pleasure 
in using at the tea-table a handsome black cocoanut sugar- 
basin, richly ornamented with silver, with his initials, M. B., 
on a silver shield, engraved, no doubt, by either Beilby or 
Bewick. 

The following letter, now published for the first time, 
from Mr. Bewick to George Allan, Esq., of the Grange, 
refers to the approaching dissolution of partnership with Mr. 
Beilby, after existing for twenty years. The matter had been 
debated in the family ever since the publication of the 
" Quadrupeds." Mr. Bewick did not derive from his inces- 
sant labour and the unsparing exercise of his great talents, 
that amount of pecuniary advantage from the sale of his works 
that he might reasonably have expected. And this arose from 
his having to share the profits equally with his partner and 
publisher. 



io8 THOMAS BEWICK: 



"Newcastle, 5M Dfcr, 1797. 

"Sir, — It gives me great pain to think that you should have been made 
the least uneasy or anxious respecting the invaluable Books which you have 
so obligingly lent me. They, as well as your Draft, was safely received ; and 
although, perhaps, nothing ought to excuse me for not answering your obliging 
letter sooner, yet I cannot forbear telling you that they arrived at a time when 
I was in the middle of more business or rather confusion than I cou'd possibly 
get through — for you must know that Mr. Beilby and I will be no longer con- 
nected in Business together than until the last day of this month. The accounts 
for years back I am struggling to get set right — the sale of the * Book of Birds,' 
the heavy payments to make up for the paper, &c — and, in the midst of all 
this, by way of complicating the overload, I am obliged to be the acting Overseer 
of the Poor. Perhaps I have troubled you too much with this recital of my 
own affairs, instead of filling my letter with grateful acknowledgments for your 
kind attention and friendship towards me. I expect to be employed by the 
Durham Agricultural Gents, in taking drawings of their best and worst Sheep, 
Horses, Bulls, Cows, &c, some time in the latter end of next Spring ; if so, I 
shall accept of your kind invitation and make the Grange my home. There 
were a great many additions to the two last Editions of the * Quadrupeds,' and 
if you have the least desire to have one of them, you need only drop me a hint 
and I shall think myself happy if you will accept of it from me. We have just 
eight of the third Edition, common paper, left on hand. 

" I am. Sir, 

Your obliged and humbl. Servt., 

"THOMAS BEWICK. 
" Geo. Allan, Esq., Darlington.'* 

In his Memoir, p. 183, Bewick records a visit to 
Darlington, " to make drawings of cattle and sheep for a 
Durham Report." When these were made they proved to be 
too like the animals to please his employers. " He objected 
to put lumps of fat here and there, where he could not see 
It," to please " fat cattle-makers ; and the journey ended in 
nothing;" so he observes, " I got my labour for my trouble." 

In the year 1800, Mr. Bailey of Chillingham, and George 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



CuIIey, Esq., of Fowberry Tower, published a valuable Report 
concerning the State of Agriculture in Northumberland. Both 
gentlemen were friends of Bewick, and kindly mentioned in 
the Memoir, which accounts for their joint work being illus- 
trated with several vignettes that had previously appeared in 
the "Quadrupeds." This was an unusual favour. 




9HE following correspondence between Mr. Bewick 
and Mr. T. Vernon, picture merchant, of Liver- 
pool, was occasioned by the latter forwarding two 
folio volumes (blank) for his friend to fill with 
such stray cuts or proofs as might and would no 
doubt lie about the shop, and be accounted of little or no value. 
The three books mentioned in the first letter refer to copies of 
the " Land Birds," and vignettes, printed two on a page, without 
letterpress, in iSoo. That Bewick thought much of this issue 
appears from the fact that he carefully reserved a few copies for 
particular friends. Mr, Vernon seems to have suggested an illus- 
trated edition of Burns's immortal poem of "Tarn o'Shanter," 
the incidents of which are well fitted 
to bring out the talents of the artist. 
This may be considered to have been 
at least partially accomplished in the 
Alnwick Edition of Burns's Poems, 
published by Catnach & Davison in 




From a second most interesting letter, addressed to the same 
gentleman at the close of the year, we learn the estimate the 
writer had formed of the character and tastes of his clever 



no THOMAS BEWICK.- 

pupil, Henry Hole. His master evidently considered that much 
reading and studious habits were calculated to disqualify him 
for that active rude intercourse with the world he was then 
about to enter. He had dwelt too much in the regions of 
imagination, and Bewick sought to interest his friend in pro- 
moting the interests of one in whose happiness he felt deep 
concern. Who their common intimate Mr. Harvey was (spelt 
Hardy afterwards) I have not been able to discover — probably 
the keeper of some tavern. Fortune dealt kindly by Mr. Hole. 




He was not destined to end his days in monotonous and weary 
toil. On the death of an uncle he succeeded to a considerable 
estate at Ebberley Hall, Devonshire. The bashful and retiring 
spirit shown by Robert Bewick when a youth of sixteen was not 
shaken off when manhood was attained. Diffidence in his own 
powers was the prevailing feature in his passage through life. 

Mr. Thomas Bewick /c Mr. T. Vernon. 



t, ttk January iSot. 

"Sib,— I sit down to ansr. your Letter of the aist ultmo., but when I may 
meet with an opportunity of getting your ' Books of Birds ' sent by a safe con- 
veyance I know not. If I send it by the Waggon, in all probability it will never 
more be heard of, and there is pretty neaily the same chance of it being lost by 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. in 

the Mail, besides their unreasonable charges for the carriage of small parcels. 
However, I shall be upon the look-out for a private hand, who may be willing to 
do me the favor of taking charge of it ; and if my patience shou*d be wearied 
out, it is but to venture upon the other modes of conveyance at last You'l see 
I have sent 3 Books. If my friend Mr. Gregson has a mind to have one of 
them, let him have it ; but if not, perhaps you may have an opportunity of selling 
them. I have only a few of these Books on hand for my particular Friends, for 
as soon as Mr. Mawman saw a specimen he ordered the whole Edition. The 
retail price is half a guinea. I hardly know what to say to you about doing 
* Tam o' Chanter * on wood. I cannot undertake to do it untill I have got quite 
done with the Second Vol. of * Birds.' Everything that causes a delay in the 
publication I consider as taking a liberty with an indulgent public, who have a 
right to expect it as soon as I can ; and yet it is not in my power to keep closely 
upon the * Birds ' while I keep a shop in the manner I do ; and indeed, to tell 
you the truth, I am almost wrought to death — ^the ^^^"^^''V^ is kept con- 
tinually bent, and I find myself not very well. I had lately an application to 
engrave a Bank note plate ; and while I was doing it, a scheme came into my 
head to attempt something to prevent the forgery of it, and in this I think I 
have compleatly succeeded, by a manner of engraving perfectly new, and which 
I am of opinion, from the nature of the work, cannot be in any way exactly 
imitated. I suspect that this may cause a run upon me for orders in this way, 
which will still keep me from the * Birds.' I gave you all the loose impressions 
of the * Birds ' I had, and I suposed there wd. be none a wanting ; however, if I 
can find those you mention among any strayed proofs, I will send them. I 
would be much obliged to you to desire Mr. Happy Scott of your place to pay 
for his Book ^i, is. to Mr. Gregson. Mr. Gregson can readily remit me any- 
thing in this way to N'Castle. 

" I am, Sir, 

With my best wishes. 

Yours, &c., 

"THOMAS BEWICK. 

" To-morrow by the Mail I will send your Parcel ; it is needless waiting any 
longer. 

**Jany, 23, 1 801. 

^^P.S. — ^The Birds you mention are no doubt water^ for the Second Volume. 
I have a great number of both them and new tailpieces proved, which I am 
unwilling to be made public untill the Book is out. I will then send or save a 



1 1 2 THOMA S BE WICK : 



coinpUat set of them for you. Miss Gostling has got all the little sketches of Tail- 
pieces, &c., from my little Boy, for I cannot be at the trouble of taking care of 
such things myself. I think I have burnt loods. of them, and untill he took a 
fancy to save them none were saved by me." 

By the "little sketches" mentioned above, impressions of 
woodcuts are meant. 

** Newcastle, 4/// Deer. 1801. 

" Dr. Sir, — I cannot remember whether I ansrd. your kind letter of the ist of 
March or not, for at that time, and for a long while after, I was so badly of the 
dizzyness in my head, accompanied with faintness and inability to look after 
anything properly, that it is most likely I had laid your letter, as well as many 
others, to a side. I have now the pleasure, however, of telling you that I am 
at this time, I may say, immensely better^ and I think — indeed, I doubt not, that 
this change has been brought about by relaxation from business and sea bathing. 
I trust it will continue, as I am determined to do otherwise than I have done. 
Your elegant ptfolios arrived by the Carrier long since, and I fear you have 
been disappointed at my not returning them long before this time ; but I don't 
know how I could have done better for you, for I never took any care of 
Impressions from my Cuts, and those wch. found their way to the -Forth were 
very often given to the Children to play with, and by that means lost or 
destroyed ; however, my little Boy is now very careful of them, and you may be 
assured that I will pull out his stores (such as they are) for you ; and as soon 
as the 'Water Birds' are put to press I will take care that you shall have the 
whole of the Impressions from them. I know not what I can say more on 
this business ; for, were it not entirely to oblige you, I cou'd not bring myself 
to anything like a resolve to take the least care in collecting or preserving any 
Impressions from the Cuts wh. I execute. I cannot look at them any longer 
than while they are quite new. The * Birds ' will be set about in earnest as soon 
as I can be certain whether Parliament will or will not take off the late heavy 
and prohibitory Tax wch. they laid upon it last Session ; but, at any rate, I think 
I have done right in delaying the publication, for certainly paper will now be 
cheaper. 

" The Bearer of this — my late pupil, Mr. Henry Hole — intends to begin busi- 
ness in Liverpool, and probably it may be in your power to shew him some 
civilities in the shape of advice, &c He knows but little of mankind and the 
world into which he is just launched. You will find that he has read a good 
deal, is of a poetic and romantic turn of mind, is unsettled, and does not know 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 113 

where to cast Anchor and moor in Safety, I cannot help figuring in my mind 
that he is like a Ship without a Pilot, and for his safety and welfare I am 
extremely anxious ; and indeed (although I shall not shew it to him) I shall be 
inwardly much grieved at bidding him farewell, for I think I shall never see 
him again. I hope, however, from his sobriety and attention, that he will, 
when more settled, make a figure in the line of his profession, and be a ci;edit 
to the place where he was reared. 

" I sometimes have a Pint of Beer at your friend Mr. Harvey's, and our chat 
is often turned upon you. He is always enquiring when I heard fxova you — 
how you are, &c. Both he and Mrs. Harvey are very well, and desired me 
to give their Compts., best wishes, &c., to you and Mrs. Vernon. 

" I am. Dr. Sir, 

Yours, &c, 

"THOMAS BEWICK." 



"Newcastle, 18 May 1803. 

*Dr. Sir, — Your Letter catched me in the midst of anxiety and bustle, pre- 
paring to go to press with the second volume of * Water Birds,* the paper for 
which is now all at Sea — I fear at a bad time ; but, however, I must hope it will 
arrive in safety. When I get to press I shall be enabled to save you an Impres- 
sion from each cut for your splendid, or rather your massy volumes. My little 
Boy has gathered a few of one kind or another for you. Such as they are you 
are welcome to them, for they are only such as have been left, and the rest 
were picked out by comers and goers who are as fond of such things as your- 
self. For my part I cannot be at the pains to trouble myself about them any 
longer than a first peep at the proofe, and were it not that my Boy is more 
careful of them, I should not have one left. I missed or rather mistook the 
Carrier day, which is Monday to Edinburgh ; and as you have hinted that your 
stay at that place is uncertain, I must hear firom you again before that day, 
informing me whether it will be safe for me to send them to you by next 
Mondays Edinburgh Carrier or not I often spend an Eveg. at our friend Mr. 
Hardy's. Both he and Mrs. Hardy are very well| and desired me to return 
their best respects to you and Mrs. Vernon, to whom also with mine, 

"lam, 

Your most obet Servt., 

"THOMAS BEWICK." 

P 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



Mr. Vernon to Master Robert E. Bewick. 
"My Young Friend, 

"Accept of this Cup, not in return for the obligations I Teel 
myself under to you, but as a cement to that Friendship which I hope will 
subsist between us when you are of riper years ; and I trust your own good sense 
will point out to you the benefits you will find, in your progress through Life, by 
fiidlowing the example your Father has shewn you. Wishing you health, 
" I remain, 

Very truly yours, 
"avr. 13, 1804." "T. VERNON. 

" Dr. Sir, — ^When your Messenger arrived with your handsome present, I was 
at a loss at the moment what to say to you, and am not less so still When 
RobL came in, read your letter, and saw your present, he blushed over the ears, 
and felt so embarrassed that he cou'd not wait upon you to return his thanks — 
youi kindness has made him ashamed to see you, and he has not been accus- 
tomed to make compliments. 

"I was writing to Mr. Gr^json of Liverpool when your present arrived, and 
I told him what you had don^ &c. 

"Shall I see you at Hardy's to-night? 
" I am. 

Dr. Sir, 

Yours, Sec, 
"tVtdmid^, \aDter. iBtM.'" "THOMAS BEWICK. 

> I tun indebted to the liberality and kindneis of J. W, Peue, Esq., Pendower, who ownt 
the identical volumes thas enriched by Bewidc, for permittion to publish thii conapondence. 
The impressions of the cats ue briUiant. 




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i^t^ /€/r.£€^ Jlc^t^f^^ I^"7^^ #^:i^^^#.^^^ i/u^px.<^ oCc^c^?><^ /iur- C4f^^P9^%/^ 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



^HEN on a visit to the Misses Bewick one afternoon 
in September 1876, the ladies, in the course of 
conversation, kindly presented me with an autograph 
letter of their father. I have read it over many 
times with pleasure, and have no doubt my readers 
will be glad to have such a capital example of the writer's 
pleasant homely style in perfect fac-simile. 

It is addressed to Miss Esther Elliot, a sister of his wife, who 
resided with the family at the Forth from not long after Bewick's 




From ibe AdxHiOims of a Ply, 1790. 



marriage, and removed with them to Gateshead in 1S14, where 
she continued to act as housekeeper until her death. It is 
written in reply to a letter from his apprentice Luke Clennell. 
Bewick's copper-plate printer at that time was George Barber, 
a near relative of Joseph Barber the bookseller. Mr. Joseph 
£ell, who is named in it, was a portrait-painter of some ability*. 
His house and shop were in the High Bridge, next to the 
premises now occupied by Mr. Henry Watson, the eminent 
brassfounder. His house was decorated with great taste, the 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



ceiling of the sitting-room being painted light blue and studded 
with golden stars. On the walls were large landscapes in 
compartments, within rich borders of flowers. John Bell, his 
son, and his daughter Mary, were intimate friends of the 
Bewicks. " Little Rob," the artist's only son, then in his 
fourteenth year, was already a skilful performer on the North- 
umberland pipes. 




"Willy Dean's Cottage," where Bewick lodged, stood on the 
banks overlooking the short sands, at Tynemouth. 

The second volume of the " British Birds," containing the 
"Water Birds," was not published until 1804. The letterpress 
was the work of Bewick himself, who in the advertisement 
acknowledges his obligations to the Rev. H. Cotes, vicar of 
-Bedlington, County Northumberland, for his literary corrections. 
Mr. Beilby, who had hitherto mainly supplied the descriptions to 
the " Quadrupeds," and the first vol«me of the " Birds/' retired 
immediately after the publication of the latter, Mr. Bewick, as 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 117 

I 

we are informed (Memoir, p. 164), "was obliged, from necessity, 
not choice, to commence author. As each bird was finished 
on the wood, he set about describing it from the specimen 
before him, after consulting such authorities as were within 
his reach, adding from the stores of his own knowledge such 
particulars as appeared of value, and likely to interest his 
readers." 

The following is an extract from a page of Ralph Beilby's 
ledger, and records the final settlement between himself and 
Mr. Bewick, with the amount received for his share in the 
copyrights : — 

1802 Thos. Bewick. Z>r. 

April 15th. To my third share of the " History of Quadrupeds," 

sold this day ;^ioo 

1804 
Novr. 1st To my half share of the first vol of the " History of 

British Birds" ;^3oo 

The payment of these heavy sums, drawn from a property 
entirely of his own creation, was not only a severe strain upon 
the resources of the artist, but would naturally bring to his 
remembrance the words of his late brother, " that things might 
have been managed more to his advantage." A dissolution 
of partnership in 1790 was a step he strongly recommended. 
Mr. Bewick remarks in the Memoir, pp. 162-3, that — 

'* On some disputes happening respecting the printing of the ' Quadrupeds,' 
Mr. Beilby, who now sought repose, sold me his share of that publication. 
Some time before the second volume of the ' Birds ' was put to press, he also 
sold me his share of the first volume. I had no sooner agreed to give the price 
demanded than many recollections of the past crowded upon my mind, and, 
looking at the unfavourable side, I could not help thinking of the extra labour 



Ii8 THOMAS BEWICK: 

and time I had spent in the completion of these works, wherein he had home 
comparatively a small part ; but, having promised to pay the sum, I made no 
further observations to any one." 

The "Seasons," by Thomson, was a great favourite with 
Mr. Bewick. He engraved a series of woodcuts after designs 
by Thurston, for a fine edition, published by Jas. Wallis, Pater- 
noster Row, in 1805. In the following year Jas. Catnach, of 
Alnwick, brought out an edition of the " Hermit of Wark- 




Tbe Hiyt—Titmas Baai(k, 1806. 

worth," for which Bewick executed the cuts from drawings by 
Mr. Craig. The third and best edition of the " Hive of Ancient 
and Modern Literature" appeared also in 1806, from the press 
of Mr. Solomon Hodgson. It contains fourteen large and 
beautiful woodcuts by Thomas Bewick. Three of the original 
drawings — viz., those that illustrate the story of " Fidelia," " Le 
Fevre," and the "Wounded Soldier" — are in my collection. 
These were obtained from Miss Isabella Bewick. The remain- 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



119 



ing cuts (with sixteen vignettes showing the Sports of Youth) 
are entirely the work of Clennell. His initials are on several of 
the more important. These are fine examples of genuine wood- 
engraving, and I am happy in being able to adorn this work 
with such an interesting series. The merits of the master and 
his brilliant pupil may thus be viewed side by side. The 
extracts in prose and verse have been selected with great care 
from the best English writers, and do credit to the judgment of 
the publisher. 




The ^ege of Calais— From Tlie Hivt, L. C. 1806. 



About this time Bewick was much occupied in devising means 
to prevent the forgery of bank notes. After considerable time 
had been consumed, and a very lengthy correspondence with 
bank officials, he found, like many other ingenious men, that 
his suggestions had only served to build up the fortune of 
others. Sir William Congreve, who was in a position to " cuU 
and select from" the designs contributed by various talented 
artists, and appropriate ideas thus made known to him, some- 
what disguised by modifications of his own, reaped in the end 




I20 THOMAS BEWICK : 

all the honour and advantage. In the spring of iSSi, Miss 
Isabella Bewick presented me with a letter (endorsed, "For 
Mr. Robinson") written by Mr. William Bulmer to her father. 
The reader will observe that in it he asks his old friend " if he 
had thought of any little poem that he would wish to illustrate " 
— presumably in the style of Goldsmith's Poems and Somer- 
vtle's Chase, which had both proved 
such a great success. Miss Bewick 
said that Allan Ramsay's Poems and 
those of Burns had been suggested by 
Bulmer. It is matter of regret that 
the idea was not taken up. Bewick, 
however, did not feel inclined to re- 
spond to the invitation. Bulmer drove a hard bargain with 
respect to the cuts recently supplied him by the two brothers, 
and this want of liberality did not dispose the great wood- 
engraver to engage again in similar work for a like remunera- 
tion. The sum of sixty pounds was all that Mr. Bewick 
received for the splendid cuts which illustrate Somervile's 
Chase. 

Mr. William Bulmer to Thouas Bewick. 

"/i/y 31, iBoj, 
"Dear Bewick, 

"By this day's Mail Coach I have forwarded to you a deal box 
containing 6 copies of Somervile's Chase, agreeable to your Order ; and as the 
Newcastle people seem fond of our joint eSorts, I have likewise inclosed 4 copies 
of the and edit of Goldsmith's Poems, which it is very ptx>bab1e some of the 
Booksellers may wish to have, as I have not above a dozen Copies of this edition 
on hand. The Trade price is 1 7/-, the retail i Guinea. I have sent them by 
the Mail, as our friend George Gray means to go to Newcastle paitly by the 
Coach and occasionally to walk a little, which prevents me the opportunity of 
sending them by him. The expense of this parcel, as well as the former one. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



you will make me debtor for. . . . Have you yet thought of any little poem oi 
poems that you would wish to engrave some blocks for ? 

" I am, Dr. Bewick, yrs. very truly, 

"W. BULMER. 

Mr. T. Bewick 

i8oa Ta W. Bulmer. Dr, 

July 21 To ti Somervilc's Chase in boards at ii/S . ^£3 10 c 

To 4 Goldsmith's 4to Poems at 17/- boards . 38c 



iCharnley, 2 Goldsmith's 
Sands, I Somervile 
Akenhead, 2 Somervile's 

"Mr. Thomas Bbwick, 
Engraver, 

Nbwcastle-upon-Tyne." 




^EORGE GRAY, the fruit-painter and enthusiastic 
^ student of Nature, was a frequent visitor at the 



^^ fi Forth. A half-length portrait of John Bewick, 
^SfAii painted by him in crayon, is now in the Museum 
of the Natural History Society, Newcastle. He is 
represented as wearing a dark-brown wig, bright-green coat, 
buff vest, and frilled shirt. When this was taken he would 
probably not be more than thirty. His finely formed forehead 
and dark luminous eyes vividly remind one of Nasmyth's well- 
known portrait of Burns. Gray, who lived in a small white- 
washed house at the foot of the Pudding Chare, opposite to the 
Crown and Thistle yard, was of an exceedingly humorous and 
merry disposition. 

As drawing-master at one of the most respectable schools for 
young ladies in the town, his entry in a morning was the signal 
for a general hum of pleasurable excitement among the pupils, 

Q 



122 THOMAS BEWICK: 

Eccentric, but of a truly honourable and independent spirit, he 
would never incur the slightest obligation. 

On the occasion of his calling at Mr. Bewick's house, he 
never could be prevailed on to take tea, but remained standing. 




garnishing his discourse with observations remarkable for 
shrewdness and pungent wit Mr. Gray was an able mineralo- 
gist as well as an artist His ardour in the study of botany 
led him to visit the wilds of South America, and wander for 
years amongst the savage inhabitants. Mr, Bewick had a pair 
of good-sized stockings woven by Gray from the stalks of 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 123 



nettles after being macerated in water. Miss Bewick showed 
me one of them, the colour, fabric, and quality being excellent 
He had his little stocking manufactory to carry out the process 
in Jesmond Dene. 

To the trade in particular the following letter will recom- 
mend itself, as showing the liberal terms on which booksellers 
were supplied. The writer announces the publication of the 
fifth edition of the "Quadrupeds," published 13th May 1807. 
The "Birds" referred to is the second edition, 1805. The 
demy copies named would be the second impression of the 
"Land Birds,** printed in 1798 with the date of 1797, and the 
first edition of the "Water Birds," 1804. There are demy 
copies of the "Land Birds" substantially the edition of 1797, 
but having on the last leaf and title the words "printed by 
Edw. Walker," with the date " 1804.'* 

Mr. Bewick gave the trade long credit for large orders. I 
have in my possession an acceptance for j^ too, payable fifteen 
months after date. 

** Newcastle, May 29, 1807. 

" Sir, — A new Edition of the * History of Quadrupeds * being now ready for 
delivery, and as I have determined to throw the sale open to the whole of the 
London Trade upon equal terms, I take the liberty of soliciting your orders for 
whatever numbers you may be inclined to take. The following are the terms of 
Sale: — In Boards — Imperial, ^i, 2s., sells ^i, iis. 6d. ; Royal, 15s., sells 
j£if is; Demy, 9s., sells at 13s. In sheets — Imperial, j£i, is. ; Royal, 14s. 4d. ; 
Demy, 8s. 6d. 

" * British Birds ' — of them I have Imperials and Royals on hand ; the Demy 
were sold some time ago. In Boards — Imperial, per Volume, 1 7s. ; Royal, per 
Volume, 13s. Six, nine, and twelve months' Credit will be given for large 
Orders, and your acceptances taken at those Dates. The Books are to be 
Shipped at your risk and expense. 

*' I am. Sir, your most obedt. 

"Mr. J. Payne, « THOMAS BEWICK. 

Bookseller, 

Mews Gate, London." 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



jlHE want of a bridge between Pnidhoe and Ovingham 
had been long felt by the inhabitants on both sides 
of the river, particularly by the farmers. Many 
fatal accidents had occurred in fording the stream 
from time to time. 
Bewick inserted a letter in the Newca^U Courani 
(17th May 1816), under the nom-de-plume of "The Hermit ot 




The His ory o Joseph From Tkt H 



Horsley Wood." urging the building of such a structure as a fit 
monument to the Duke of Northumberland, to whose public 
spirit the county was so largely indebted, in preference to a 
column, on the ground of utility. " Here," he observes, " many 
a man and many a team have by the sudden floods of the Tyne 
been swept away." Sixty-seven years afterwards this desirable 
work was begun, and the foundation-stone of a bridge laid, 
amid general rejoicing among the villagers. This was within a 
few days of the funeral of the last daughter of Thomas Bewick, 
who died at the age of ninety-four. 

In the early part of 1883 the Ovingham Bridge Company 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



(Limited) was formed, with John Hilton Ridley, Esq., of Well- 
bum, Ovingham, as chairman. On June 21st the foundation- 
stone of the north pier was laid by Mrs. Ridley. His Grace 
the Duke of Northumberland, as owner of the land at both 
ends, gave every support to the company. The bridge was 
publicly opened on the 20th of December following. Mr, 
Hubert Laws was the engineer, who completed the work in the 
short space of six months. After the bridge was opened the 




Tbe Story of a Disabled Soldier— From T*t Hhit. 1B06. 

company partook of luncheon at the Ovingham Inn. The 
health of the Duke of Northumberland was proposed by the 
Rev. John Frederic Bigge, Vicar of Stamfordham. A ball was 
held in the same room in the evening, largely attended by the 
neighbouring gentry. 




1 26 THOMA S BE WICK : 




STORY too good to be omitted is given of the poet 
Campbell in W. B. Scott's " Memoir of David Scott, 
R.S.A." :— 

"Some of the earliest pupils of Robert Scott (David's father), stimulated 
by the success of Bewick's * Birds ' and * Quadrupeds,' employed their inexpe- 
rienced hands on a series of animals. Mr. Scott applied to Thomas Campbelli 
then a student at Edinburgh, to write the descriptions of birds, beasts, and fishes, 
which Campbell undertook to do. But Campbell worked but slowly, and the 
engraver, whose patience was worn out, visited the poet*s lodgings one evening 
without finding him at home, and collected the books he had sent for the task, 
in order to place them in other hands. One of these, Bewick's ' Birds,' was 
found in a sadly dilapidated state — several leaves had been torn in half from 
the end. The landlady was called in and questioned, her children being 
suspected ; but these she exonerated by exclaiming, ' Oh, that's the book Mr. 
Camel lichts his canelle wi' when he comes hame at nicht ! ' " 

From this time up to 1818 nothing deserving of special 
mention came from the hand of Mr. Bewick. To particularise 
every cut he executed during the interval forms no part of the 
plan I have marked out for myself. This has been already done 
most amply by the late Rev. Thomas Hugo in the "Bewick 
Collector." In 181 2 he had a severe illness, and believed him- 
self to be on the very confines of another world. All the past 
history of his life presented itself to his mind with a freshness 
and reality which could not be exceeded had the events been 
the actual occurrences of the previous day, so vivid was their 
memory. His mother once said to him, shortly after he had 
taken up his abode at the Forth, that he would not remain 
there long. He replied that he would never leave it till he was 
carried out And this really took place ; for after the property 
was sold, and he was obliged to seek another residence, he 
had, through weakness, to be carried out His hands were 
swollen and painful in consequence of the gout In this state 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 127 

he was removed to lodgings at Carr's Hill, near Gateshead. 
Having recovered health and strength, a project long enter- 
tained was set about in good earnest. This was no other than 
the publication of an illustrated edition of the "Fables of 
iEsop," uniform in size with the " Quadrupeds " and " Birds." 
Greater difficulties had to be encountered, we are informed, in 
the production of this work than he had experienced with either 
of those just mentioned. The most able of his pupils at this 
time were William Harvey and William Temple, who engraved 
nearly the whole of the cuts, assisted by Mr. R. E. Bewick. 
The publication had been looked forward to with much interest, 
and was at length given to the world on ist October 18 18. 

Unlike his previous works, it failed in obtaining that praise 
and commendation which greeted his earlier efforts. 

The manner in which the cuts were engraved was different 
from his ordinary and well-known style. It lacked that boldness 
of stroke to which the public had been accustomed, and which 
had hitherto distinguished the work of his hands. The general 
opinion, shared by Mr. Bewick himself, was that the printing 
of the cuts did not come up to the high standard formerly 
obtained. A very curious receipt was given to subscribers, 
adorned with a sprig of sea-weed printed in red from a copper- 
plate, over a woodcut. This was done at Bewick's own office : 
the object was to detect copies obtained by stealth, and not 
from himself. The effiect was both novel and pleasing : con- 
noisseurs never fail to acknowledge the taste and ingenuity of 
the device. Bewick's signature is sometimes written^ a genuine 
autograph, but generally printed: the quaint conceit of his 
thumb mark is amusing. In 1823 a second edition was called 
for. In it the printer was thought to have been more successful, 
but the unfavourable impression produced at first continued. 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



The late Miss Jane Bewick many times declared to me that, in 
her opinion, the cuts had not had justice done them. 

There have been but two editions of the Fables, and sixty- 
three years have now elapsed since its last appearance. In the 
meantime there has been a complete revolution in public opinion 
regarding the merits and undoubted excellence of the work. 
What was once disparaged is now held by general consent to 
be truly admirable, and worthy of Mr. Bewick's great name. 
The originality of the designs is remarkable, and where the 
cuts in Croxall's ^sop have manifestly suggested the idea, the 




From the History of a Fly {Newcastle Edilioa). 

treatment of the subject has been so wonderfully improved by 
Bewick that it becomes a new composition altogether. Sixteen 
guineas Is not now thought to be too much for an uncut copy in 
imperial octavo. Miss Bewick once offered me the whole of 
the woodcuts for ^sop's Fables, including the copyright, for 
^500.' In 1876 a most absurd offer was made for the Fable 
cuts by an eminent London publisher, which was rejected by 
Miss Bewick with just indignation. " Rather," she said, "than 
my father's cuts should be sold for such a sum, I would take them 
down to the bridge, and drop them one by one into the river." 

' Mils Bewick valued the entire collection at jfjooa 



) 




JJaiffii!)' Ti^®'J'Z'3]E, IfelE^ClEZlCIF If.S.A. 




>••» 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 129 




HE ensuing correspondence between Mr. Bewick and 
John Trotter Brockett/ the well-known north-country 
antiquary and collector of rare books and coins, is now 
published for the first time, from the, original letters in my 
possession. The smartness and spirit shown on both sides is 
characteristic of the writers. Indignation, keen and intense, 
was felt by each towards the other, from an acute sense of insult 
and injury. They had long been friendly, and it is to be re- 
gretted that any estrangement should have taken place. When 
the edtito princeps of the " Fables of iEsop " was about to 
be put to press, Mr. Brockett conceived that a set of impressions 
from the cuts, on India paper, would be a valuable acquisition 
to his large and choice collection of literary rarities. What 
passed when the matter was first mooted in conversation be- 



^ John Trotter Brockett, F.S.A., one of the Council of the Society of Antiquaries, New- 
castle, and a Secretary of the Literary and Philosophical Society. This accomplished lawyer, 
bibliophile, and numismatbt was a native of Witton Gilbert, near Durham. On the removal 
of his father to Newcastle, his education was confided to the care of the Rev. William Turner, 
and at the proper age he selected the law as a profession. The duties connected with this 
honourable calling henceforth became the business of hb life. He was mainly instrumental in 
establishing the Newcastle Typographical Society, several of whose most valued publications 
had the benefit of his careful editorship. 

The sale of Mr. Brockett's choice cabinet of coins and valuable library, &c., took place at 
Sotheby's in 1823, and occupied twenty-four days, the proceeds amounting to upwards of 
;£ 600a The prices obtained were at that time thought excessive. It would mightily gladden 
the heart of a Newcastle bookseller at the present day were he able to purchase Bewick gems 
in such bindings and condition for such small sums. 

He compiled the Memoir of Thomas and John Bewick prefixed to Chamley's excellent re- 
print of the '* Select Fables,'* published in 1820. But it is upon his ''Glossary of North-Country 
Words " that he will be best known to posterity. He was one of that literary coterie accus- 
tomed to assemble in the back shop of worthy Mr. Chamley, the prince of north-country book- 
sellers, along with the Rev. John Hodgson, the eloquent and learned historian of Northumber- 
land ; Vicar Smith ; the Rev. W. Turner ; John Adamson, the distinguished Portuguese scholar 
and translator of Camoens ; William Nicholson, the artist ; Thomas and James Hodgson, the 
former learned in Roman antiquities, whilst the latter edited the Newcastle Chronicle newspaper 
with much spirit and ability ; Thomas Doubleday, brilliant alike in prpse and rhyme ; with 
others less known to fame. Mr. Brockett died at his residence in Albion Place, Newcastle, 
1 2th October 1842, aged fifty-four. 

R 



130 THOMAS BEWICK: 



tween him and Mr. Bewick I know not. The India paper was 
duly bought and forwarded by Mr. Brockett, but, alas! only 
to be returned in the same condition. A disappointment so 
unexpected went to the very heart of the antiquary, and his 
wrath found vent in letters to Bewick full of bitterness and 
anger. Mr. Brockett had no claim to be so favoured over 
many friends of long standing. With him, to be baulked by a 
rival collector of a Roman denarius with a rare reverse, of a 
unique tractate from the Allan Press, or even of one of Prynne's 
miscellaneous works needful to complete his set, would at once 
constitute an offence not to be condoned. Again, he collected 
not so much with the intention to keep, as to sell when oppor- 
tunity offered. On the other hand, the great wood-engraver 
through life never could understand or reciprocate the ardour 
of a genuine collector, or enter into the feelings of the curious 
in such matters. He was thoroughly utilitarian in all the pur- 
suits of life. Impressions on white satin or vellum of several 
of his finest cuts, particularly of the " Birds," are to be found 
in the collections of connoisseurs, but these were struck off by 
the pressmen su6 rosa, without the knowledge or consent of 
Mr. Bewick. 

Mr. Bewick fo Mr. John Trotter Brockett. 

**D€cr, g^A, 1818. 

" Mr. Brockett. 

" Dear Sir, — I beg to advise you of having returned the India paper, and 
to inform you that, before I received it, I had cleaned and gone through a great 
number of the Fable Cuts ; consequently I cannot at present take oflf a set of 
Impressions such as you want It will afford me much pleasure to meet your 
wishes when the work goes again to press. 

" I am, Sir, 

Your most obedt. 

«* THOMAS BEWICK. 
'* To Mr. Brockett." 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 131 

Mr, Brockett to Mr. Bewick. 

"Sandhill, iiM Deer, 1818. 

" Sir, — I have this morning reed, your extraordinary Letter, dated two days 
ago. Taking all the circumstances into consideration, I consider your conduct 
towards me as to the Cuts for the Fables to have been uncandid and un- 
handsome in the extreme. With that conviction on my mind, I can place 
no reliance on the future Promises of one who has not only broken those 
already made, but has throughout the whole Aflfair betrayed such a littleness 
of mind as really makes the Transaction without a Parallel. 

"Sir, 

Your obedt. Servt., 

"JOHN TROTTER BROCKETT. 
"Mr. Thos. Bewick." 



The Reply, 

"St. Nichs. Churchyd., 
*' \2th Deer. i8i8. 

" Mr. Brockett. 

"Sir, — By your arrogant and offensively impudent Letter, you have pre- 
vented me from answering it any otherwise than by merely saying, it has put 
an end to all future correspondence or connection between us. Farewell. 

" I am, &C., 

"THOMAS BEWICK." 

Mr. Brockett's Rejoinder. 

"Sandhill, \2th Deer. 1818. 

"Sir, — My Letter was intended to produce the Effect your very polite 
note of this morning has anticipated; for I assure you your shuffling and 
insincere Behaviour (to say no more of it) could never allow me for one 
moment to hold further communication with one who has forfeited the best 
Protection which can bind man to man. I still suspect there is some dirty 
fellow in the back Ground. If it is the Person I suppose, I should like him 
to know that I consider his Conduct as despicable as his Character has proved 
itself to be worthless. I remain for the last time, 

" Yrs., 

"JOHN TROTTER BROCKETT. 
"Mr. Thos. Bewick." 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



EWICK had a memory richly stored with local 
anecdote. No man possessed a better knowledge 
than he of Northumbrian phraseology, or could 
have rendered more valuable help in perfecting Mr. 
Brockett's instructive and entertaining " Glossary 
of North-Country Words." 

An illustraled glossary of words in use by the peasantry 
and common people one hundred years ago from such a hand 





llude Punished— From Talafor YemlM, 1794. 



would now be highly prized by all students engaged in the 
study of words. What such a brochure would have been, a 
tolerable idea may be formed by quoting instances where Mr. 
Brockett has sought to impress his verbal definitions on the 
mind of the reader by a reference to the graphic pencil of 
Bewick. Thus, in the first edition of the Glossary, we have — 

" Neddy, Netty, a certain place that will not bear a written explanation, but 
which is depicted to the very life in a tail-piece in the first edition of Bewick's 
'Land Birds' (1797), p. 3S5. In the second edition a bar is placed against 
the offending part of this broad display of native humour," 

" Nose-on-the-grindstone, a simile for the fate of an improvident person. See 
an illustration in Bewick's jfeop, p. 128." 



mS LIFE AND TIMES. I33 

" Oysters — ' E-shee-ke-le-kauI-er-oysters,' the famous cry of the elder oyster- 
wenches in Newcastle, but now rarely carried to this musical extent. Bewick 
has figuied two of these dames in a tail-piece to hts 'Land Birds/ ed. iSai, 
p. ao." 

"Pant, a public fountain. See a representation of a north-country pant 
in Bewick's JEsop, p. 334." 

"Hik^, a swing. It is much better represented than I can pretend to in 
Bewick's tail-piece of two monkeys engaged in the sport. See ' Quadrupeds,' 
p. 484, ed. iSao." 

" Shuggy-sfiew, a swing. A long rope fastened at each end, and thrown over 
a beam, on which young persons seat themselves, and are swung backwards and 




Ai^ESTKS and Pb^jtus— From Tola for YmOk, 1794. 

forwards. See Bewick's JEsop, p. 4, where his Satanic Majesty is amusing 
himself in this manner." 

'* Howdy, a midwife; helter-skelter, in great haste. Vide Bewick's 'Land 
Birds,' p. 157, ed. 1797." 

In this vignette the good woman is represented as being 
carried along at a somewhat reckless pace by a messenger 
on horseback, half dressed, the case being ui^ent Part of 
the cut is covered by a lai^e leaf, to denote that the scene 
about to take place requires to be concealed. What the good 
lady may bring forth is still one of the secrets of nature. 
John Jackson, who was a native of Ovingham, and for a short 



134 THOMAS BEWICK: 

time a pupil of Bewick's, projected an " Illustrated Glossary of 
North-Country Words " some time before his death. A number 
of cuts were engraved for the purpose, and a considerable 
number of words (not in Brockett) gathered together. Had 
he lived to carry out his idea the result of such a performance 
could not fail of agreeably extending our knowledge of what 
is fast becoming obsolete. It ts to be hoped that his brother, 
Mr. Mason Jackson, will find leisure amid his arduous duties 
to complete the work. 

The second portrait taken of Mr. Bewick was a miniature 




by Murphy, amusingly alluded to by him in a letter dated 
i8th April 1803, addressed to Mr. Christopher Gregson, 
London, a son of his old master, and quoted by Jackson in 
his "Treatise on Wood Engraving," In it Bewick humorously 
alludes to his beauty when a boy, and to the state of his 
coat-sleeve, in consequence of his using it instead of a pocket- 
handkerchief Bewick, it is to be observed, was very hard- 
featured, and much marked with the small-pox. After mention- 
ing Mr. Murphy as "a man of worth, and a first-rate artist in 
the miniature line," he thus proceeds ; " I do not imagine, at 
your time of life, my dear friend, that yon will be solicitous 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



about forming new acquaintances ; but it may not, perhaps, 
be putting you much out of the way to show any little 
civilities to Mr. Murphy during his stay in London. He has, 
on his own account, taken my portrait, and I dare say will 
be desirous to show you it the first opportunity; when you 
see it, you will, no doubt, conclude that T. B. is turning 
bonnyer and bonnyer in his old days. But, indeed, you cannot 
help knowing this, and also that there were great indications 
of its turning out so long since. But if you have forgot our 



f "- ' ''^'^''-^^"^'^*^-^^^ : 




Tbe Cuckoo and the Swallow— From Tales for YouHi. 1794, 

earliest youth, perhaps your brother Philip may help you to 
remember what a great beauty I was at that time, when the 
grey coat-sleeve was glased from the cuff towards the elbow." 

This portrait was afterwards neatly engraved by J. Summer- 
field, and published in 1815. Little is known of the engraver, 
who seems to have led a wild and irregular life, and to have 
joined a militia regiment stationed at Newcastle in the early 
part of the present century. As an artist and an engraver, 
he would soon become known to Mr. Bewick, and if any 
one could have reclaimed him from a life of folly and un- 



1 36 THOMA S BE WICK : 

happiness, the prudent and wise counsel of his friend would 
have done so. William Carey, the author of "Memoirs of 
the Progress of the Fine Arts in England during the Georgian 
Era/' 4to, 1826, and other works, had, it appears, entertained 
the idea of writing a sketch of his life, and applied to Mr. 
Bewick for any material he could supply. This was the 
occasion of a letter sad enough to read, and now printed 
for the first time (from the original), by the courtesy of J. W. 
Pease, Esq., Pendower, Newcastle. Summerfield appears to 
have been a pupil of F. Bartolozzi, R.A. The engraving of 
"Rubens and his Wife," alluded to therein, was published in 
February 1801, and ought to rank amongst the best of the 
English school. It was my good fortune to secure this print 
at the sale of the Bewick Collection, February 1884, and it 
now hangs in my Bewick room with other relics of the artist 
It is done from a painting by Rubens and Snyders. 

" Newcastle, 4/k April 1818. 

" Dear Sir, — It is long since I had given up the thought of ever hearing 
more of my friend Mr. Carey, having from time to time made many enquiries for 
that end, but to no purpose. Time was beginning to wear out the recollection 
of what had so agreeably passed between us and our friend, the late Mr. Joseph 
Bell, until your letter brought back to my recollection many of the circum- 
stances you name ; but my young folks, who were pleased with reading your 
letter, repeated over to me, pit-pat, everything that had happened between us 
while you were here. They are all well, and were pleased to find you the same. 
I cannot pretend to give you anything like a full memoir of poor Summerfield ; 
this wou'd take a long time to do such an article any justice. I can only 
answer some of your Queries shortly, and perhaps not so accurately as I wish. 
He appeared, on the whole, to me to be a man on whom Nature had been 
very liberal of her bounties, and that he threw her favors in her face. I had 
a very great regard for him, and was much with him the latter part of the time 
he was in Newcastle. I know not how long he might be altogether in New- 
castle, but I suppose from the time the militia Regt. to which he belonged to 
were first here, and until some time after the quarrells which took place among 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. I37 

the ofl5cers ^roke them up. After this happened he lodged at various places, 
and lived all the time in expectation of his opulent friends sending him supplies, 
but which they either did not do at all or totally withdrew their bounties. I 
do not know how this was, but I know he became involved in debt and diffi- 
culties, insomuch that, to avoid the [Sketch of three devils], he took private 
lodgings somewhere about Benwell, where he remained incog, during the week, 
but invariably (I think) visited me at my house at the Forth on the Sundays, 
when, after spending the day, to avoid being watched to his home, he crossed 
the Tyne by the Bridge, walked up its south banks, crossed it again, and walked 
(perhaps in the dark) up the bank to his lodgings. During this time he appeared 
to be fast losing his health, and before he bid me farewell his handsome and 
manly looks were much faded away. Before parting, I most earnestly implored 
him to leave off his dissipated course of life, and to begin in earnest with his 
engraving ; and this, with his last words to me, he promised me he wou'd do ; 
but, but ! this had not, I fear, been done. I had much reason to know that 
he was of a good-natured and pleasing disposition. I have also seen him, on 
being insulted, act the part of the roused Lion. He made me a present of the 
print of * Rubens and his Wife.' I never saw him at work with the plate of 
the ' Dead Christ,' &c., you name, and do not now remember whether or not 
he engraved it at Newcastle. I was much grieved at parting with him. This 
happened in 1809, and I think it was in the autumn of that year. Thus, my 
dear Sir, I have, tired and wearied out, almost asleep, set about giving you a 
hasty scrawl, which, so far as it goes, may perhaps aid you a litde in giving 
your Memoir of poor Summerfield, in which I wish you may be rewarded for 
your trouble. It will make his name linger a little while longer here than it 
would otherwise have done ; but that is all, for he is gone where all will go^ 
to the land of foigetfiillness. 

" I am. Dr. Sir, 

With Best wishes, 

"THOMAS BEWICK. 
" Mr. Wm. Carey, 

35 Mary-lb-bonnb Street, 

Piccadilly, London." 

Mr. Carey does not appear to have ever carried out his 
intention of giving to the world the life of his unfortunate 
friend. Miss Isabella Bewick, in one of our last conversa- 



>38 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



tions, told me that she believed he had never done so, or they 
Would have been sure to have had a copy. 

Mr. Bewick could enter into the feelings of an honest trades- 
man contending with difficulties in the outset of bis career. 
In 1819 a stationer on the Quayside, Newcastle, stood indebted 
to Messrs. Tipper and Fry to a considerable amount An 
acceptance had been given, which was dishonoured, and Bewick 
was asked to wait upon him and request immediate payment. 




The Wounded Soldier— From TJit HitM, 1806. 

This was done, and the cash faithfully promised in three or 
four days. Mr. Bewick, in a letter to those gentlemen, thus 
represents the case : — 

" Mr, G is at present not well, but he closely attends his shop, and I 

dare say is using his utmost endeavours to do well. I do not think he is doing 
anything in a la^e way, and I feai he begun upon a small capital, so that he 
must have to stni^le on some time with difficulty, but he is attentive, sober, 
and active." 

Time being allowed, the defaulting debtor was enabled to dis- 
charge the account, and continued in business for many years 
afterwards. 



HIS LIFE A ND TIMES. 1 39 




MERSON CHARNLEY, a highly respected book- 
seller in Newcastle, purchased in 18 18, of Messrs. 
Wilson and Spence of York, printers and publishers, 
twelve hundred woodcuts, many of which were 
formerly the property of John White, who estab- 
lished the Newcastle Courant newspaper in 171 1. This collec- 
tion contained wood-blocks of the seventeenth century, together 
with the earliest and best productions of Thomas and John 
Bewick, including the cuts for " Tommy Trip," " Gay s Fables," 
and the interesting series which embellish the little volume of 
'* Select Fables" published by Saint in 1784- 

These Mr. Charnley rightly considered might be used agsun 
to illustrate a superior edition of the same work, and thereby 
show the progress Bewick had made, and the gradual develop- 
ment of his genius when contrasted with his later productions. 
Mr. Bewick judged otherwise : he did not wish his first efforts, 
made to adorn school-books, to be now brought before the 
public in a more respectable form. The subject is well reasoned 
from his point of view in the following letters and statement, 
which impart much curious and interesting information. 

The original correspondence between Mr. Bewick and his 
local publisher is now printed verbatim for the first time. It 
forms not the least important part of my private collection. 

Mr. T. Bewick to Mr. Charnley. 

"Newcastle, ii May 1819. 
" Mr. Charnley. 

" Dear Sir, — In consequence of your advertisement in the Courant and 

Chronicle of ' Select Fables,' &c., I have thought it proper to communicate to you 

the inclosed, which it is my intention to insert in the Newcastle, York, Manchester, 

and London Papers. It is exceedingly painful to me to obtrude myself upon 



.■1^0 



140 THOMA S BE WICK : 



the public, and most particularly so in a matter where you, whom I have always 
considered my Friend, and for whom I have ever had the greatest respect, will 
not now stand upon the vantage ground you have hitherto done. You must 
allow that if the Book is published in the form of my other works it will make a 
sorry figure, not only from the badness of the Engravings but from the want of 
Tail pieces. If those are supplied by others^ with what truth can it be said that 
the embellishments are the works of myself and my late Brother, as advertised ? 
But you will see by the inclosed that in that particular you have already com- 
mitted yoursel£ As my name is now considered by the public of some little 
estimation in the woodcutting Business, it will be readily admitted, upon seeing 
the work now advertised, that if I had been concerned in no other, my reputation 
might as well have hung by the Cut of a halfpenny Ballad : consequently your 
success must depend upon my after acquired name. I believe I anticipate the 
sentiments of every enlightened mind when I declare that your undertaking can 
alone be supported by the cunning and trick practised by needy adventurers, or 
those regardless of character. Therefore, my dear Sir, reflect maturely before 
you go further. I believe you little to blame ; I believe you have entered upon 
the undertaking without reflection. No man has a higher opinion of your 
honour than myselfl I can assure you I have no animosity ; I breathe nothing 
but goodwill toward you : if any other feeling, you must be sensible I^would 
not have handed you the inclosed for your consideration. I have no motive 
otherwise than honestly to protect Property of which I am the guardian, and to 
prevent the illiberal and unhandsome use of my name, which must evidently 
tend to bring it into contempt, and thereby materially aflect the after sale of my 
Works. Before I do anything I shall wait your answer. I have always acted 
with candour towards you, and wish the return. 

"lam. 

Dear Sir, 

Yours sincerely, 

"Mr. Emerson Charnley, "THOMAS BEWICK. 

To the care of 

Messrs. Baldwin, Craddock & Joy, 
Booksellers, 
{Post Paid,) London." 

"To THE Printer, &c 

" Newcastle, May ii, 1819. 
"Sir, — Observing an advertisement in your paper of 'Select Fables,' with 
cuts designed and engraved upon wood by Thomas and John Bewick previous 
to the year 1784, to be published by Mr. Charnley — as I lately published 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 141 

an Edition of the * Fables of iEsop' and others in form corresponding to 
the work now advertised by Mr. Chamley, and as that Edition has been 
most favourably received by the public,^ and Mr. C. was the principal pur- 
chaser, it may be believed that I am a party concerned in the present publication. 
I think it therefore necessary to declare that I have no interest in the under- 
taking; nor were the cuts confined to the workmanship of my late Brother 
and myself. I recollect the work, with many particulars respecting it, and 
when I inform the public that los. was the price paid for each cut, and that 
price considered exorbitant by the publisher, they will readily agree with me 
that no great excellence could be expected in the execution. At the same 
time it is but justice to the late Mr. Saint, for whom the cuts were engraven, 
to state that it was intended by him only as a common School Book, and in 
that form it was introduced to the world ; and if Mr. Chamley had republished 
it in its original shape, and for its original purpose, I should not have troubled 
you with this letter. The book had no reputation, and has remained in an 
unproductive state for many years; but as this is the Age of Bookmaking, 
and every artifice used to decoy the public, and as my name is considered 
of some little value where there are woodcut embellishments, many unwarrant- 
able liberties have been taken with it which I have never noticed, nor would 
I in the present instance, had it not been used unworthily in opposition to 
a work which has cost me the labour of years. When the 'History of 
Quadrupeds' was first undertaken it was only intended to supersede the 'Three 
Hundred Animals.' In the execution of that work I am sensible that nothing 
would please long, but just representations of general nature ; I was, therefore, 
more anxious about the accuracy in the drawings than the mechanical nicety 
of the cutting, as the printer, inexperienced at that time in woodcut printing, 
did not make good work from a finely executed Engraving. I therefore date 
the 'Quadrupeds' to be my commencement of Wood Engraving worthy of 
attention. Before that period I was engaged in the general work of a Country 
Engraver's Shop; one hour employed on copper, another on wood, another 
on silver, another on brass, and another on steel — indeed, ready and willing to 
undertake any description of work. Under these circiunstances Mr. Chamley may 
as well collect every sixpenny job which has been done in my premises during the 
last forty-five years, many of which possess more merit, and certainly produced 
more gain, than these famed ten shilling Cuts, executed partly by my late 
Brother, when he was an apprentice, and partly by David Martin^ whom I 



^ Being nearly out of print, and I am under conditions with Mr. C not to put it to press 
again for two years. 



142 THOMA S BE WICK : 



respected as a Man, but who was obliged from inability to seek some other 
line of work. As I have hitherto found in Mr. Chamley the same honourable 
Sentiments and Integrity of mind which distinguished my sincere and worthy 
friend, his late revered Father, it is extremely painful to me that he should 
descend from the proud eminence on which he stood, and lend himself to a 
disreputable concern — I say, lend himself, as I am persuaded the matter has 
not originated with him, nor has he reflected upon the impropriety of the 
undertaking. It may be said that the work is intended for the curious, merely 
that a comparison may be made between it and the improvement of my after 
works ; it is certainly announced Hhat the Impression is to be "limited."' What 
is limited ? The new cant of the most experienced Book drudge of the Day 1 
A Bait to hook the poor Bibliomanist ! In this obtruding myself upon the 
Public to guard both my reputation and property, I am aware that many 
may consider me as interested and of a contracted disposition. Those who 
know me will readily acquit me of an excess of zeal in the pursuit of advantages 
personal to myself; to those who do not, I think proper to declare that I 
have ever considered it the Duty of a Parent to provide for his Family, and 
promote its Prosperity by every honourable means. Under such sentiments, 
I conceive my conduct would be highly censurable if I were indifferent to the 
defence of property of which I feel myself the natural Guardian. 

"THOS. BEWICK." 

Mr. Charnley fo Mr. Bewick. 

" London, Saluniay Evening. 
" Dear Sir, — I received your letters this day, but shall not at present attempt 
answering them at any length, but should wish you to suspend your opinion 
of my undertaking till I can have a personal interview, which, as I return to 
Newcastle in a week, will, I think, be to our mutual advantage^ There is one 
part of your letter, however, I do not lose a moment in repl3ring to, and that 
is the imputation of my wishing to injure your fame by the intended publication. 
I am too great an admirer of your genius even to take any step which may be 
construed into a wish to detract from your well-earned reputation ; and my view 
of the work was to shew the world the promise of that talent afterwards so 
eminently displayed in your later publications, viz., the * Quadrupeds,' * Birds,' 
&C. Should the work, after it is printed, in the opinion of our mutual friends, 
be thought to detract from your reputation, I should be the first to propose 
its destruction. In the advertisement prefixed to the work every particular 
shall be faithfully given of the origin of the publication, &c. &c. All the cuts 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 143 

of the Fables shall be those Mr. Wilson sold me as yours and your Brother's 
cutting. The truth of Mr. Wilson's statement I cannot immediately ascertain^ 
as Mr. Wilson is at present in Ireland; but if you prove to my satisfaction 
that you did not engrave any of the cuts of the Select and Gay's Fables, 
psjt of which latter are to be inserted in this work, I shall immediately make 
d bonfire of the cuts, and have no doubt Mr. Wilson will return me the money 
I paid him for them, as they were only valuable to me as being the production 
of your early labours ; the only new cuts are a few tailpieces, of which I had 
not a sufficient number. 

" I should be doing an injustice to you to allow Nesbit, Willis, or Nicholson's 
cuts to be confounded with yours. That I feel that I am not injuring your 
Fables, I am quite ready immediately to enter into a treaty to purchase the 
engravings of that work, and would thank you to inform me if you should like 
to dispose of them, and on what terms. This part of my letter respecting the 
purchase of your i£sop I should feel obliged by your answering me imme- 
diately; and as I shall not leave London before Sunday or Monday week, I 
can receive an answer from you in time. Thanking you for the candour of 

your communication, 

" I am, Dear Sir, yours truly, 

"E. CHARNLEY." 

Mr. Bewick's I^€pfy. 

** Newcastle, 21 May 1819. 
" Dr. Sir, — It was with painful feelings that I set about writing to you on the 
subject of the old Fables, and I now can assure you that it was with pleasure 
I read your reply. I should suppose it scarcely possible that you and I can 
quarrel on this business ; perhaps our mutual friends will easily set the matter 
to rest One of the leading considerations with me is that it may be understood 
by the public that I have no interest in the work, nor any desire to feed the 
whimsies of the Bibliomanists. In the expectation of this reaching you before 
you leave London, I have lost no time in attending to what you have said, and 
to answer your letter as soon as I was abla ^To your question respecting my 
selling you the Fables, I have to answer that I will gladly do so as soon as I can 
inform myself of the real value of that work ; and if, upon your consulting your 

« 

London Friends, you can say what you will give, I shall not be long in saying 
whether I will accept your offer or not. 

" I am. Dr. Sir, yours truly, 

"Mr. Emerson Charnley, "THOMAS BEWICK. 

At Messrs. Baldwin, Craddock & Joy's, 

Booksellers, Pater Noster Row, London." 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



Mr. Charnley's handsome and elegantly printed volume of 
" Select Fables," with cuts designed and engraved by Thomas 
and John Bewick, and others, previous to the year 1 784, made 
its appearance in 1820, in imperial, royal, and demy octavo, to 
range with the " Birds," "Quadrupeds," and " Fables of jEsop." 
The objections Mr. Bewick so strongly expressed against this 
work at the beginning had given way on calmer reflection, and 
the old friendship between this respected tradesman and his 
distinguished correspondent remained firm as in days gone by. 



"'^;^<^^^C^^!S'^ 




Tbe Pnfidknu Dock and the S oik— From Tain far YoiM, 1794. 

It is matter of regret that, even previous to the publica- 
tion of the " Quadrupeds," down to a late period of his life, 
Bewick had unfortunately been forced into several disputes, 
many of which he could well afford to have let alone. Nothing 
further took place with respect to the purchase of the cuts and 
copyright of "^sop's Fables." These, together with the cuts 
for the "Birds," "Quadrupeds," and "Memoir," remained in 
the family to the last. 

As a proof that all irritation had ceased, Mr. Bewick 
allowed Chamley the use of the wood-blocks of the Peacock^ 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 145 

Great Bittern, Lion, three beautiful tailpieces, and two cuts 
from "iEsop's Fables," to adorn a set of titles for his works 
in the various sizes. The printing of these titles was charmingly 
executed at the Chronicle Office by S. Hodgson. The date, 
however (1822), might have been omitted. 

The next letter is addressed to a London author and pub- 
lisher in answer to one Mr. Bewick had just received. The 
balance unpaid has reference to the cuts done for " Thornton's 
Family Herbal," published in 18 10. The defaulter is well 
reminded that ** the sum left standing is not less due for having 
stood so long unpaid." Let us hope that this appeal to the 
debtor's sense of what was just and right did not prove un- 
successful. 

" Newcastle, i^Jum 182a 

" Dr. Sir, — I received your letter requesting to know if I would undertake 
to execute some Cuts for you for School Books. This we will do with great 
pleasure ; but not knowing what time they may take doing, until we see your 
designs, we cannot promise you to do the first parcel you name in the time 
you limit us to; we will, however, do them without delay. It is painful for 
me to name to you again the sum you left standing unpaid for the Botanical 
cuts, jQ^ 19s. id, since June 1809. It is not less due for having stood so 
long unpaid, and I hope you will remit me the amount. I am, at this time, 
struggling hard to make the ' History of British Birds ' complete. I intend to 
make a Supplement of such Birds as I can get, for the purpose of furnishing 
my friends with them who have got the former Editions without the Figures. 
A New Edition of the ' Quadrupeds,' printed much better than any that has 
been done before, is now ready for Sale. I am at press again with the ' Birds,' 
which I also hope will surpass any of those which were done before. 

" I am, Dr. Sir 

(for Son and Self), 

Your most obedt 

"THOMAS BEWICK." 



146 



THOMAS BEWICK: 




|0R profound erudition, painful and laborious inquiry 
into the records of distant ages, the name of the 
Reverend John Hodgson will ever rank among the 
most distinguished and learned antiquaries of this 
His invaluable "History of Northumberland" was 
the result of intense study and application. He delighted in 
exploring the mines of antiquity, and was thus engaged in 
collecting materials for his great work for the long period of 
twenty-two years, sustained by a rare spirit ofdevotion. 



country. 




The Envious Dog and the Emiine— From TaUtfer Ymtk, 1794. 



Mr. Bewick engraved views of Chipchase Castle, Warkworth 
Bridge, and Copeland Castle, to illustrate Hodgson's account 
of those places, and had friendly literary intercourse with the 
author. Mr. Hodgson was born in the year 1779, and died 
on the 1 2th of June 1S45, loved and honoured by all who 
knew him. His piety resembled, in its gentleness, purity, and 
love of truth, that of George Herbert and Izaak Walton and 
White of Selborne. 

In the course of business many schemes were resorted to 



HIS LIFE ASD TIMES. 147 

by unprincipled strangers and others to get work done without 
any intention of paying for it One winter night, Miss Bewick 
said, a woman came for some job just finished, vhich she wished 
to take away on credit. Being unknown, this was refused. 
Suddenly she snatched up the parcel and ran out of the shop. 
Bewick followed, and caught hold of her gown as she was 
running down t^e stone steps leading into Dean StreeL In 
doing so, a part of her dress unfortunately became detadied 
and was left in his hand. 




Taieijor i'nu/iL, 171^- 



!t was in the heyday of his early manhood, in August 1 776, 
that Bewidc first saw Edinburgh, and now in tbe erening 
of his days he again longed to revi^t that beautiful city. On 
the nth of August 1823 he went through by coadi, and 
whilst dbere recdved much kind attention from Professots 
Jameson and Wallace, Mr. Nasmyth. tlie eminent landscape- 
punter, and die leading engravers of the day, induding 
^^^lliam Nicholson, who some years before had migrated finom 
Newcastle. Before leaving, after a stay of twelve da}>s, he 
called upon Messrs. Ballantyne & Robertson, the well-known 



148 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



lithographic printers. Whilst at their office, he was pressed 
by those gentlemen to make a sketch on stone, which was 
done on the following morning before breakfast. A few im- 
pressions were struck off on the same day, and the print is 
now known to collectors as the " Cadger's Trot." This slight 
sketch represents a man on horseback riding in the midst of 
a drifting storm of rain and sleet This is Bewick's only 
attempt at lithography. Not more than thirty copies were 
printed on white and tinted paper, when the design was rubbed 




» of Filial Duly— From T^ Ht 



off the stone; they are consequently of considerable rarity. 
Mr. Bewick left Edinburgh on the 23d of August 1823 ; " and 
I think," he remarks, " I shall see Scotland no more." On 
his return to Newcastle, he addressed himself to the task of 
pushing through the press the eighth and last edition of the 
" Quadrupeds," consisting of the same number of cuts as in 
the three previous editions. This was published in 1 824. 

On the title of an edition of the "Quadrupeds," printed in 
4to, without letterpress, in the same year, there is an interesting 
vignette, representing a man riding on horseback in the midst 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



149 



of a storm of wind and rain. The same cut occurs at p. 5, 
vol. i., of the last edition of the " Birds," 1847. In the two in- 
stances of its use, however, it presents a considerable difference 
— the rain appears d/ac^ in the "Quadrupeds" and w/iiie in 
the " Birds." That the rain might be dark, as in Nature, it 
was requisite that a second block should be provided : this 
was accordingly done. The lines pencilled on it were left 
untouched by the graver, and the intervening spaces carefully 
cut away, this process being the reverse of the practice usually 



i^^ 


gl 




m. 


|; ^^SI^BI^^^G^ 


».-. — , 



Celadon and Amelia— From Tiih 



followed. When this second cut, consisting of fine diagonal 
lines only, representing rain, was printed over or above the 
first, on which the entire subject was engraved, the desired 
effect was produced. Mr. E. Walker, in whose office the 
printing was done, was staying at Croft at the time The first 
impressions or printing were taken off on a Saturday afternoon, 
and as the motius operandi was intended to be kept a profound 
secret, Mr. Bewick agreed with his pressman, Thomas Kay, 
that the second printing should take place on the foUtiwing day. 
On Sunday morning they went together to Mr. Walker's house 



ISO THOMAS BEWICK: 



in Pilgrim Street, and, after much persuasion, succeeded in 
obtaining the key of the office from the servant girl. It being 
Sunday, they entered through the rear of the premises in the 
Manors. Two blocks were cut for the second printing. The 
first of them did not answer the purpose intended ; the second 
was a complete success. Three "points" were used by Kay 
to ensure accuracy, that the second printing might fall imme- 
diately over the first. When these " points'' were noticed by 
the workmen on the following morning, they were much 
puzzled, and laughed at Kay for using "points" in printing 
such a simple job as a title. Bewick and his pressman were 
equally delighted with the success of the experiment, the 
former exclaiming, "Would that I had been but twenty years 
younger ! " 

On the work being finished, every scrap of paper on the 
floor used in proving the cut was destroyed by Bewick. The 
titles were all packed up, and taken by Kay to Bewick's shop. 
When Mr. Walker returned home, he soon learned the unautho- 
rised use that had been made of his office in his absence, and 
great was his displeasure at such a liberty. He was still 
further irritated, both against Bewick and his own workman, 
for refusing to tell him the nature of the job, or even to show 
him one of the titles. He could not understand how one block 
could be printed above another. Kay said that Bewick called 
it " cross-hatching," and that was all he knew about it. This 
Sunday job, however, together with Kay's refusal to inform 
his employer how he manufactured a composition which he 
had invented for making printers' balls, at last cost him his 
situation. For this information, which the late Mr. Hugo 
highly valued, he was indebted to me. My informant was- 
Kay himself 




HTS LIFE AND TIMES. 



fj^^WEWICK'S views with regard to the best means 
to be adopted for the regulation of our salmon 
fisheries are worthy of attention. The original of 
the following letter is in the collection of J. W. 
Pease, Esq., Pendower: — 

"Newcastle, April ^ 1S34. 
" Mr. Hopper. 

"Sir, — I have met with few things in passing through life that have given 
me more pleasure than the information you have this rooming imparted to 
me respecting Mr. Brandling's intention of laying before Parhament the various 
causes which, taken together, throw obstructions in the way of the Salmon tribe 
breeding in the Tyne in the same overflowing numbers as of old, and in putting 
together a few remarks in as short a way as time permits, to state my opinion 
as to the reasons for such an immense falling off. When a boy, from about the 
year 1760 to 1767, I was frequently sent by my parents to the fishermen at 
Eltringham Ford to purchase a salmon, and was always desired not to pay ad. 
a pound, and I commonly paid only a id. and sometimes i^d. Before, or 
perhaps about this time, I have been told that an article had always been 
inserted in every indenture of apprenticeship in Newcastle, that the apprentices 
were not to be forced to eat salmon aiove twice a-weei, and the same bargain 
was made with common servants. I hope the time will shortly come when the 
same overflowing bounty of Providence will again enrich my beloved Tyne. 
Whatever obstructions are thrown in the way to prevent the salmon from 
ascending as far up the river and rivulets as they can reach, for the purpose 
of spawning, is the first and great cause of the breed being thinned ; therefore 
every weir and eveiy dam ought to be removed. The fishermen's weirs are 
bad, but those of Bywell dam are the worst ; they both have thefr rise in a 
greedy and selfish disposition, to prevent other fisheries from catching or 
partaking in a due share of the fish. You will be able, as well as I can, 
to point out to Mr. Brandling the evils arising from the use of nets of 
various kinds, which obstruct the fish from ascending the river, as well as 
those which arrest the fiy in their way to the sea. Should the business of 
the wears and dams be settled, then River Conservatore should be appointed 
to guard the spawning fish (usually called kipper fish) from being killed (which 
they are) in this sickly state. These Conservators ought also to be empowered 
totally to prevent wicked destruction, occasioned by putting lime into rivulets. 



1S2 THOMAS BEWICK.- 

M they kill millions of spawn, as well as every living creature in the water 
within its extended reach. Fishermen may grudge to see the angler fill his 
creel with a few scores of the fry, which would perhaps return to them as 
salmon in a short time ; but when it is considered that a pair of salmon will 
breed more of this fry than all the fair anglers can catch from the head to 
the foot of the river in a season, I think it is cruel to debar such from enjoying 
the diversioa Fish are not like game which are fed by the farmer. Their 
food costs nobody anything, and ought only to be preserved so far as may be 
for the public good; therefore I have always felt disgusted at what is called 
preserved rivers. In these, because they run through the land of some free- 
holder, the fish is usually claimed as his own. The disposition which dictated 
claims of this kind is the same which would, if it could, restrict the use of 
the sun and rain. The angler is debarred the most delightful of all recreations, 
which ought to be the birthright particularly of the sedentary and studious. 
It is the healthiest and comparatively the most innocent of all diversions ; it 
unbends the mind, and enables such as the pale artist to return to his avocation 
or studies with renovated energy, to labour for his own and the public good. 
I ought also to name to you the uncommon destruction of the fry, which 
frequently happens when they are hastening to the sea, by the stopping a mill 
race with thorns and then letting the water oflT some other way, by which it 
has been known that a cart load of fry have been taken at once. I named 
to you the kind of weirs which ought to be made out of the tide-mark, to 
increase the depth of every river in the middle, by which a more equal 
chance would be given to all fishermen to come in for their due share, and 
at much less trouble and expense than they have hitherto been put to, and 
would, besides, open a free passage for the fish to where they instinctively 
ascend to the proper spawning ground. 

" I am, yours, &c, 

"THOS. BEWICK." 





HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



?N June 1825 it was proposed by a few friends to 
have a marble bust of Mr. Bewick executed by an 
eminent sculptor, and placed in the new Library of 
the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society. 
Mr. Armorer Donkin, Bewick's solicitor, took 
an active part in forwarding this object, and invited the co-ope- 
ration of Mr. John Trotter Brockett, between whom and Mr. 
Bewick the sharp passage-at-arms took place, already noticed. 
That gentleman, forgetful of past differences, at once cordially 
responded, and I have much pleasure in recording the steps 
taken to accomplish the resolution come to. The original 
letters are in my collection. 

Mr. A. DoNKiN fe Mr. Brockett. 

" Newcastle, ^ti Junt 1835. 
" Deak Brockett, 

" It is proposed that a few friends of our distinguished Towns- 
man, T. Bewick, shall meet at Fletcher's, the Turk's Head Inn, on Monday 
Evening, the 6th inst, at 8 o'clock, for the purpose of organising a Subscription 
for a Bust of Bewick, to be placed in the Literary and Philosophical Society, or 
in some other Public Situation. I took the liberty of mentioning to the parties 
among whom the idea originated that I thought you would be a zealous pro- 
moter of the object in view, and I had no doubt would be happy to attend the 
meeting, at which, I presume, a committee will be formed to cany the design 
into effect It has consequently fallen to my Lot to solicit your attendance. 
May I rely upon you P 

" Yours sincerely, 

"ARMORER DONKIN. 
"J. T. Brockett, E»q." 

Mr. Brockett's Refly. 

"Sandhill, ^tkjmu 1825. 
"Dear Dohkin, 

"You may rely on ray attending the Meeting to which yoa 
invite ne, and if any exertions of mine can tend to promote the Object you have 
in view, I shall feel extremely happy. No nuui can appreciate more forcibly 

U 



1 54 THOMA S BE WICK : 



than I do the uncommon Genius and extraordinary Talents of the Individual of 
whom you are desirous of having so deserved and so imperishable a Memorial. 

" Believe me, Dear Donkin, 

Very sincerely yours, 

"JOHN TROTTER BROCKETT." 

''July 30, 1825. 

"The Committee for managing the Subscription for Mr. Bewick's Bust are 
requested to meet at the Turk's Head on Monday Evening, at 8 o'clock. 

"WILLIAM TURNER, &^^/torv. 
"J. T. Brockett, Esq., 

Albion Street." 

It was now determined to issue a circular, of which the 
following is a copy, having the names of about seventy gentle- 
men attached, who had become subscribers. 

"Bust of Mr. Bewick. 

" A few Friends, admiring the Talents and esteeming the Character of Mr. 
Thomas Bewick, whose various unique Works reflect so much Honour on 
himself, and on the town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, have conceived that it would 
be an appropriate Tribute to his Merit to have a Bust in Marble, executed by 
an eminent Sculptor, placed in the New Building for the Literary and Philo- 
sophical Society. For this Purpose a Committee has been formed, and E. H. 
Baily, Esq., R.A., has been engaged, and is expected shortly to visit Newcastle, 
to prepare a Model for the Purpose. 

"In Order to give Mr. Bewick's numerous Friends an Opportunity of 
gratifying their Feelings, the Subscription of each Individual is limited to One 
Guinea." 

The following is from an elegant article by the late Thomas 
Doubleday, Esq., in the British Quarterly Review : — 

"To expect the artist to go to London to sit to any sculptor there was a 
somewhat hopeless expectation, and was therefore not entertained; but Mr. 
Baily was brought down in order to make the model from which the bust was 
to be executed So far all went smoothly ; but when it came to be debated in 
what ' costume ' he should be taken, a sore controversy arose. The sculptor, 
as is usual, insisted upon covering the engraver's shoulders with some kind of 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. !$$ 

drapery which, for want of a better word, we shall call Romatusgue. Whether it 
was precisely a ' toga ' or not we cannot say ; but it was, no doubt, something 
classical, in so far as it was not English ! Against this, however, Bewick at once 
rebelled. He was resolved, if he must appear on earth after his death, to do so 
after the fashion of Hamlet's father, 

' In bis babit— u be lived,' 
and &om this resolution he would not budge. The 'toga' was accordit^Iy 
given up, and the artist was taken in his coat and waistcoat, not forgetting his 
neckcloth and rufHed shirt ; nor can we say that the likeness was thereby injured, 
whatever may be the case with the classicality." 

The plaster cast was taken by Mr. Baily in the drawing- 
foom at West Street, Bewick reclining on a couch with small 
pieces of quill in his nostrils, as usual, to enable him to breathe. 
Miss Bewick remarked, in giving this in- 
formation, that she did not at all like to 
see the operation. 

The distinguished sculptor employed 
succeeded in rendering an admirable like- 
ness of the artist, to the great satisfaction 
of the committee, as well as that of Mr. Bewick and his family. 
These gentlemen were not left without a valuable souvenir of 
the work, as will appear from the following letter : — 

Thos. Crawhall, Esq., to Mr. Brockett. 

"NlWCASTLE, tath AfiriJ iSz& 

" Dear Sir, — Mr. Baily having forwarded to my care a Cast from the Bust 
of Mr. Bewick for each Gentleman of that Committee without annexing Names 
to them, and some being slightly injured, I therefore request the favour of your 
attendance at my house on Friday Evening next, at 8 o'clock, to determine by 
ballot theii distribution. 

" I remain, Dear Sir, 

Yours truly, 

"THOS. CRAWHALL. 
"J. T. Bbockett, Esq." 




156 ■ THOMAS BEWICK: 

The solid casts alluded to were very fine, and have now 
become scarce. I am happy in possessing one of the best, as 
perfect as the day it left Mr. Bail/s hands. 

The Rev. William Turner, who kindly acted as secretary 
to the committee, was a dissenting minister, well known in 
Newcastle for his large benevolence and scientific attainments. 
These were ever directed to the promotion of the knowledge 
of God in Nature to both old and young. His amiable dis- 
position, coupled with public usefulness wherever good might 
be done, caused him to be highly valued, irrespective of creed 
or politics. 

As early as 1 784 he succeeded in establishing two Sunday 
schools, and was one of the first projectors of the Literary 
and Philosophical Society, to which, in 1802, he was appointed 
Lecturer on Natural and Experimental Philosophy. 

There is a Memoir of Bewick by him, prefixed to the 
sixth volume of Jardine's " Naturalist's Library." Though a 
resident in Newcastle from about 1782, and an intimate friend 
of our artist, it is surprising how little he had to communicate 
of interest on the subject. Mr. Turner left Newcastle for 
Manchester in 1847, at the advanced age of 81, where he 
died, April 24, 1856, aged 97. 





,//. C'/fe-^;, 




^ 







ramifr/na^iH O/frmf ir-ja t^ 1ir,^iH<ir Hdurr ^ Aj£'ri.m 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. i$7 

|]N 1836 the sixth edition of the " Birds," the last 
published in the lifetime of the artist, was given 
to the world. This, bearing the impress of the 
author's own and last hand, is much and de- 
servedly esteemed. In the Preface, dated New- 
castle, July 1826, the writer reviews the past, and looks forward 
to the future, in a strain so well worthy of regard, that a few 
extracts will not be deemed out of place. Mr. Bewick observes — 

"My writings were intended chiefly for youth; and the more readily to 
allure their pliable, though discursive, attention to the Great Truths of Creation, 
I illustrated them by figures delineated with all the fidelity and animation I 
was able to impart to mere woodcuts without colour ; and as instruction is of 
little avail without constant cheerfulness and occasional amusement, I inter- 
spersed the more serious studies with Taie-pieces of gaiety and humour; yet 
even in these seldom without an endeavour to illustrate some truth or point 
some moraL . . . Many have imagined, and some few have publicly asserted, 
that having, with scanty literary education, been brought up an engraver, the 
whole of my department has been confined to the figures and embellishments, 
and that I have had very little, or indeed no share in the composition of the 
history or observations. But my education was not so scanty as many imagine ; 
I was sent early to a good school, and regularly kept there, and from the freshest 
vernal years of my infancy was enraptured with nature." . . . 

He thus concludes — 

"The conscious integrity of my intention imparts a reasonable expectancy 
of a continuation of the happiness I have hitherto enjoyed in this life, and 
a cheerful hope of the eternal existence hereafter ; and with these feelings I 
offer, kindly and respectfully, to liberal and enlightened minds, the last edition 
of this work which I may, probably, at my advanced age, live to republish ; 
though, if it please Heaven to allow me the blessings of health and sight, I 
shall continue to throw off my inoffensive fancies, wherein I perceive no 
deficiency of imagination, and apply my graphic labours, whereof I seldom 
feel wearied ; it being my firm resolution not to claim the privileges of senility, 
or suffer inert idleness to enaoadi on reasonable repose." 

As I have found this most interesting Preface wanting in 
many copies of this edition, I have much pleasure in bringing 



i$S THOMAS BEWICK: 



these last aspirations of the venerable artist before the notice 
of my readers. 

There seems to have been some hesitation about its in- 
sertion, for whilst Mr. Bewick and his daughters were at 
Buxton in 1836 he addressed a note on the 6th of June in 
that year to Mr. Edward Walker, his printer, in which he 
says : " I trust you will be so good, as soon as you can, to send 
me a proof of the Preface to this ediiion as on the other side, 
without any alterations, as I am determined to have it so." 

In a letter to W. C. Trevelyan, Esq., dated 4th November 
1826, he alludes to his " late very severe illness" and "aversion 
to stir from home." He complains of being baffled in cutting 
a numerous set of vignettes by reason of the weakness of his 
eyes. These were no doubt the tailpieces for the intended 
" History of Fishes." Age and infirmity were fast stealing 
round the old man, already enfeebled with pain and sickness, 
so that, whilst engaged on the cut of the Alpine Vulture,' we 
hear him lament, *' I cannot get so fast forward as / used to do." 

* Vide Bewick Correspondciice, communicaMd to the Tronsatliom of the Natural Hui«ry 
SxiOy e/Nerlhumblrland, &c. (vol Tii.), by Sir Walter Trevelyan, BarL 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



0— "IN the 12th of January 1876 the writer purchased 
I of his late honoured friends, the Misses Bewick, 
I their father's last and largest woodcut, " Waiting 
w^foJ for Death." The accompanying illustration is 
printed from the original wood-block. No reproduction can 
possibly do justice to or adequately represent the merits of 
this extraordinary work. It was an attempt to produce by 
means of two or more woodcuts, printed over each other, the 



r^a»5i^iS.^Sfe^I^il?:«'',i^*it*^^ 




admirable effects obtained by William Woollett in his excellent 
copperplates. There is a marked resemblance between the 
foliage of both those artists — the same breadth and freedom 
of style is common to each. Unhappily for the Arts, the 
engraving was left unfinished by the rather sudden death of 
Mr. Bewick. Had he lived to finish what had been so 
successfully b^njn, there can be no doubt that this inimitable 
work would have added much to his great fame, as it has 
certainly shown the kindness of his heart in thus endeavouring 
by pen and pencil to instil a more humane and compassionate 
feeling towards the horse. The history of the animal is well 



i6o THOMAS BEWICK: 

told in the author's own words, written so far back as 1785.' 
The cut measures 1 2 inches by 9 inches, and is formed of four 
blocks closely joined together, and mounted on two transverse 
mahogany panels, to prevent warping. A second block, exactly 
the same size, had been prepared : on it an impression of the 
cut was transferred, but not a line engraved. There was also a 
third block. This was provided should further tints and more 
colour be deemed necessary to perfect the effect. It has been 
said that the head of the horse is too large, but I have been 
assured by an eminent anatomist that this results from the fact 
that the head of the animal is less emaciated in proportion to 
the body, by reason of its bony structure, and not a consequence 
of bad drawing. The cut was proved at Walker's office, in the 
presence of Mr. Bewick, on the Saturday before he died. 

Four proofs were taken, and distributed among the members 
of his family. In 1833 a small impression of "Waiting for 
Death" was printed for Mr. R. E. Bewick by Messrs. Vizetelly 
and Branston, accompanied by a sheet containing the descrip- 
tive letterpress. 

' The odginU tketch, in peadl, is dated 30[h November 17S5. 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



IXTY-TWO years had now rolled away since, as a 
young lad fresh from the country, somewhat rude 
in manner and unpolished in speech, hut of an 
intrepid heart, and full of life and hope, Bewick 
travelled towards Newcastle along with his father 
and the village parson. 

The final return journey was near at hand. The sprightly 
object of their care and solicitude was now an old and broken- 
down man. His parents, a brother and a sister whom he 
tenderly loved, with the aged parish priest, had long since 
departed to their eternal rest, and he looks forward to the time 
when his ashes shall mingle with theirs in the lone churchyard 
at Ovingham. 

It is singular that Bewick's first-known sketch, and the last 
time he took pencil in hand, was to portray the same object — 
an old horse " Waiting for Death." 

I can state on the authority of Miss Bewick that the White- 
throated Nightingale was the last bird drawn and engraved by 
her father, and that the last vignette he ever cut on wood is 
that placed at the conclusion of the Memoir — viz., the Funeral 
Procession from Cherryburn. In the hedge may be observed 
a bright shining cross, to indicate the Christian's hope in 
life and death. This is placed in advance of the mournful 
spectacle. 

The governing passion continued with him to the end, for 
whilst slumbering during his brief illness, he would in imagina- 
tion revisit the green fields so well known to his boyhood, and 
those bumsides where, with schoolfellows gay and light-hearted 
as himself, he was wont to stroll through the long summer day. 
On being asked, when awake, about what he had been thinking. 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



he replied, with a faint smile, that he had been devising subjects 
for some new tailpieces. 

That wonderful power so long exercised for the delight and 
instruction of mankind was then fast ebbing away. Happily 
free from all mental or physical suffering, his spirit passed into 
the hands of his Creator. 




Thomas Bewick departed this life on the morning of 
Saturday, 8th November 1828, aged 75, and was interred on 
Thursday, 13th November, at Ovingham. 

" He mused on Nature with a poet's eye." 

Mr. Robert Bewick wrote to his father's old friend, William 
Bulmer, informing him of his death, and Mr. Bulmer acknow- 
ledges the sad intelligence by a letter, dated 17th November 
1828, in which he feelingly condoles with him for the loss the 
family had sustained. " He little thought, when he parted with 
the friend of his youth only a few months back, that it was 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 163 

for the last time. They were companions in boyhood, and past 
memories crowded on his mind. He had known his father 
upwards of fifty years, and they had passed many happy and 
pleasant days together. . . . Mr. Bewick had spent a laborious 
life ; " and he conjures Robert to follow in the footsteps of his 
father, in truthfulness, patient industry, and rectitude; above 
all, not to let the art of wood-engraving perish, which had slept 
from the time of Albert Durer until recovered by his father. 

WAITING FOR DEATH. 

In the morning of his days he was handsome— sleek as a raven, sprightly 
and spirited, and was then much caressed and happy. When he grew to per- 
fection, in his performances — even on the turf, and aften^-ards in the chase and 
in the field — he was equalled by few of his kind At one time of his life he 
saved that of his master, whom he bore in safety across the rapid flood ; but 
having, ii) climbing the opposite rocky shore, received a blemish, it was thought 
prudent to dispose of him, after which he fell into the hands of different masters ; 
but from none of them did he ever eat the bread of idleness, and as he grew in 
years his cup of misery was still augmented with bitterness. 

It was once his hard lot to fall into the hands of Skinflint^ a horse-keeper — 
an authorised wholesale and retail dealer in cruelty — who employed him alter- 
nately, but closely, as a hack, both in the chaise and for the saddle ; for when 
the traces and trappings used in the former had peeled the skin from off his 
breast, shoulders, and sides, he was then, as his back was whole, thought fit for 
the latter ; indeed, his exertions in this service of unfeeling avarice and folly were 
great beyond belief. He was always, late and early, made ready for action — he 
was never allowed to rest Even on the Sabbath day, because he could trot 
well, had a good bottom, and was the best hack in town, and it being a day of 
pleasure and pastime, he was much sought after by beings in appearance some- 
thing like gentlemen, in whose hands his sufferings were greater than his nature 
could bear. 

Has not the compassionate eye beheld him whipped, spurred, and galloped 
beyond his strength in order to accomplish double the length of the journey 
that he was engaged to perform, till, by the inward grief eJcpressed in his coun- 
tenance, he seemed to plead for mercy, one would have thought, most power- 
fully ? But alas ! in vain. In the whole load which he bore, as was often the 



1 64 THOMA S BE WICK : 



case, not an ounce of humanity could be found ; and, his rider being determined 

to have pennyworths for his money, the ribs of this silent slave, where not a 

hair had for long been suflfered to grow, were still ripped up. He was pushed 

forward through a stony rivulet, then on hard road against the hill, and having 

lost a shoe, split his hoof, and being quite spent with hunger and fatigue, he 

fell, broke his nose and his knees, and was unable to proceed ; and becoming 

greased, spavined, ringboned, blind of an eye, and the skin by repeated friction 

being worn oflf all the large prominences of his body, he was judged to be only 

fit for the dogs. However, one shilling and sixpence beyond the dog-horse 

price saved his life, and he became the property of a poor dealer and horse 

doctor. 

It is amazing to think upon the vicissitudes of his life. He had often been 

burnished up, his teeth defaced by art, peppered under his tail, had been the 

property of a general, a gentleman, a farmer, a miller, a butcher, a higgler, and 

a maker of brooms. A hard winter coming on, a want of money and a want of 

meat obliged his poor owner to turn him out to shift for himsel£ His former 

fame and great value are now to him not worth a handful of oats. But his days 

and nights of misery are now drawing to an end ; so that, after having faithfully 

dedicated the whole of his powers and his time to the service of unfeeling man, 

he is at last turned out, unsheltered and unprotected, to starve of hunger and 

of cold. 

THOMAS BEWICK. 




HE author has been favoured with the following lines 
from the pen of the Rev. William Kingsley, Rector of 
South Kilvington, Thirsk, an experienced art critic 
and admirer of Bewick. 

"This woodcut, * Waiting for Death,' is the last work of Bewick, and was 
intended to be printed, not as it is now presented, but with additional lines 
printed over what is here given. The object he had in view was to give greater 
fulness of tint and a better rendering of effects depending upon crossed lines 
than could be given by the ordinary method of wood-engraving. 

"A few words to explain the process of wood-engraving will make this clear. 
If a wood-block is inked, and paper laid upon it and pressed down, the result is 
of course a black impression of the block ; but if lines are cut upon the block, 
and the printing process repeated, these lines will appear white on a black 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 165 

ground Hence it is necessary, in wood-engraving, to cut away all the surface 
of the block excepting where the black lines are to appear in the impression. 
This is the very reverse of what is done in engraving a copper or steel plate, for 
the lines cut in such plates hold the ink and print dark. Now it will be seen 
that the lines which are very easy to draw with a pen are very difficult to cut in 
a wood-block, as all the whites have to be picked out ; but in a copperplate 
such lines are easy, as they are at once cut with the tool. It will also be seen 
that it is not possible to cut such lines on a wood-block and secure the freedom 
of the original drawing, and in all cases of refined expression crossed dark lines 
cannot be used in a woodcut. 

"To obtain dark tints, either with a pen or copperplate, crossed lines are 
most eflfective, and what is called * crossed hatching* is constantly used; but 
such work is quite wrong in woodcutting, though it is constantly seen in modem 
woodcuts and in very old ones. Bewick in his Autobiography refers to this in 
the large woodcuts by Albert Durer, and expresses a doubt of their being printed 
from a single block. In all probability Durer made the drawings on the blocks, 
and left them to be cut by the very clever school of engravers then existing at 
Nuremberg. In these cuts a large amount of cross-hatching occurs in all parts, 
and most commonly on walls in shade and such places, where any method of 
obtaining the right degree of shade would have done just as well. These cuts 
by Albert Durer are the grandest examples of the art the world has yet seen, 
but the grandeur depends on the power of the draughtsman, and not on that of 
the engraver : indeed it may be doubted whether there is one single cut in which 
there are not serious failures of engraving, arising from the difficulty of keeping 
the freedom of line in the original drawing. These Durer cuts are large and 
the lines thick, but the delicacy of a line does not consist in its thinness, but in 
the truth of its edge ; and in power of drawing these cuts are unrivalled. 

" Then came a time when prettiness and fine cutting were more admired 
than powerful drawing, and the art of wood-cutting sank into a clever imitation 
of copperplate engraving, and thence most rapidly into the vilest rudeness and 
coarseness. 

" It was from this state that Bewick raised it ; and if any one will compare 
any of the woodcuts of the last century with Bewick's ' Birds,' he will see at once 
the enormous step Bewick had taken in the art, and also see that to him is due 
the wonderful amount of good wood-cutting to be found in almost any cheap 
illustrated work of the present day. It would take too much space to show that 
his work is still far superior to all that followed it, but as bearing upon this plate 
of 'Waiting for Death' it is necessary to point out in what respect Bewick's 
work excels. It mainly consists in this — he was both artist and engraver, and 



i66 THOMAS BEWICK: 

so had learned how to make the most use of the special fodlities wood-engiaving 
afforded in rendering the picture in his mind. He in fact drew at once with his 
graver. He maintained that all tints could be got without crossing his lines, and 
his Birds are a proof of the correctness of his assertion. It may be questioned 
whether the difficulty of drawing without crossing lines is not so great as to be 
beyond the power of ordinary men ; at any rate it was so difficult that he tried 
to avoid the difficulty by using more than one block, printing first from one and 
then on the impression from another block. The vignette on the title-page to 
the 'Quadrupeds,' 4to, 1824, is an example. The subject is a man riding over 
a moor in a stonn : the rain is printed from a second block, and crosses all sorts 
of lines without losing any freedom. There were, of course, difBculties in the 
process, but they are not so great as may be supposed. Great care is needed in 
' keeping the register ' in printing, but that is perhaps the greatest difficulty. How- 
ever, the success of the small cut was sufficient to prove to Bewick that he could 
produce a large cut such as the world had not seen, and this ' Waiting for Death ' 
was from the first block — the rain, &c, having to be printed on the impression 
from other blocks, which he had not begun. His death, however, just after the 
first impression had been taken, deprived the world of the realisation of his design. 
Much as we may regret the unfinished state of the engraving, it ought to i^e a 
satisfaaion to all who look at it to remember that the artist died in harness ; 
and, unlike the poor horse, 'his eye was not dim, nor his natural force 
abated.' " 



WHILST at work Mr. Bewick invariably wore a brown 
silk cap. When a child he unfortunately got scalded, 
and in consequence of this accident became bald on 
the crown of his head ever after. In the days of 
his early manhood, agreeable to the fashion of the 
time, he wore a wig, and of course used hair powder ; when this 
commodity was not to be had, flour formed a ready substitute. 
Bewick seldom smiled ; but once was he known to dance, and 
that was at his own house with a young lady, the daughter of 
a very intimate friend — Miss Jane Ann C — w — 11. Though 
acquainted with many, especially local songs, on one occasion 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES, 167 

only was he ever heard to sing, and that was Allan Ramsay's 
beautiful ballad of the 

WAUKING O' THE FAULD. 

" My Peggy is a young thing, 
Just entered in her teens. 
Fair as the day, and sweet as May, 
Fair as the day, and always gay. 
My Peggy is a young thing, 

And I'm nae very auld. 
Yet weel I like to meet her at 
The wauking o' the fauld. 

" My Peggy speaks sae sweetly. 
Whene'er we meet alane, 
I wish nae mair to lay my care, 
I wish nae mair o' a' that's rare. 
My Peggy speaks sae sweetly. 

To a' the lave I'm cauld ; 
But she gars a' my spirits glow 
At wauking o' the fauld. 

" My Peggy smiles sae kindly, 
Whene'er I whisper love, 
That I look down on a' the town, 
That I look down upon a crown. 
My Peggy smiles sae kindly, 

It makes me blythe and bauld, 
And naething gi'es me sic delyte 
As wauking o' the fauld. 

" My Peggy sings sae safUy, 
When on my pipe I play, 
By a' the rest, it is confest, 
By a' the rest that she sings best 
My Peggy sings sae saftly, 

And in her sangs are tauld, 
Wi' innocence, the wale o' sense, 
At wauking o' the fauld." 

In both dance and song he acquitted himself remarkably 
well, having a good ear for music ; but he could not play on any 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



instrument, and in this he differed much from his younger brother 
John. Ramsay's charming pastoral, " The Gentle Shepherd," 
was a great favourite with Mrs. Bewick, who could repeat 
almost the whole poem from memory. It was once performed 
by a Scotch regiment quartered in Newcastle, at the "Turk's 
Head Long Room " in the Bigg Market, a place of entertain- 
ment well known to the inhabitants sixty years ago, and gave 
great satisfaction. 

Bewick and his family were seldom seen at the theatre, or 




indeed at any other place of amusement During the Race 
Week, on Thursday, when the Gold Cup was run for, he used 
to take his children to the Moor for an afternoon's recreation, 
taking care, however, to avoid the pressure of the crowd. In 
the interval between each race little Robert and his sisters 
amused themselves by making caps and whips of the rashers 
or rushes which grew around. On these occasions pater/amt/ms 
always provided an ample supply of nuts to eat as they sat on 
the green sward. 

At that time the Town Moor was in a comparatively wild 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 169 

state. The population being small, the attendance at this great 
annual festival, though more select, fell short of that mighty 
multitude brought together from all parts of the country by 
rail in late years. Then the aristocracy and patrons of the 
Turf usually came into town on the Friday or Saturday before 
the races, which began on the following Monday, and continued 
five days. Pilgrim Street, the principal thoroughfare, was during 
their continuance gay and lively with the many carriages and 
rich equipages of the nobility and gentry, as they streamed 




Retutning Good for Evil— From TJu loaiiiig Glass fer IMt Mini, 179a. 



northward through its grey and aged gate to enjoy the sports 
beyond — the Queen's Head, the principal inn, being thronged 
with company. 

Newcastle Races, familiarly known as household words, 
are now a thing of the past That brilliant assemblage of 
beauty and fashion which in the days of our grandfathers graced 
the. grand stand, the dress-circle at the theatre, or the ball at 
the Assembly Rooms, will never be seen again on a like 
occasion. 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



^EPHENKEMBLE,' whilst manager of the Theatre 
Royal, at the beginning of the present century, by 
reason of his obesity did not like to venture out 
^^ at night in the dimly-lighted streets during the 
winter months, when not required at the theatre. 
He resided in a large house nearly opposite the White Cross, 
on the east side of Newgate Street Here in winter time Mr. 





Bewick and he spent many a pleasant evening. The elegant 
and finished conversation of the accomplished actor would con- 
trast with the shrewd remarks and strong provincialism of the 
talented artist Mr. Kemble often spoke of the honour and 

* Foitrait of Stephen George Kemble in the character of Sii John Falstaff. Engraved for 
the AdmUtioQ Ticket to the Boiei of the Newcutle Theatre od the occasioD of Mr. Kemble's 
Bene&t Mr. Kemble, who was the only "Falstaff" mithoiU siMffing, died Jane 6, 1831. 
When this ticket wai engraved he was the muiager of the Theatre Royal, Newcastle, Glkseow, 
and Edinbu^h. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 171 

high principle which actuated so many of the performers, their 
self-denial rather than run in debt, and of the kindness and 
generosity they displayed to fellow actors when in trouble or 
distress. 

The great wood-engraver was simple in all his habits, and 
inexpensive in his indulgences. Frugality approaching to 
parsimony prevailed in his household arrangements. Had it 
been otherwise, Mr. Bewick would have had but Httle to leave 
behind for his family. Miss Jane assured me that it was not 
until after the publication of ^sop's Fables, 1818-23, that they 
could feel assured of even a moderate competence. This un- 
certainty would at times weigh heavily on the mind of the father 
of four children, three being daughters. 
At page 116 of the Memoir Mr. Bewick 
speaks of his "little happy cot at the 
Forth," where his eldest sister died in 
1 785. It was here he first commenced 
housekeeping, some years before his 
marriage, in 1 786, having bought part of the furniture belonging 
to the previous tenant, Dr. Hutton, the eminent mathematician, 
for whose " Treatise on Mensuration " he had cut the diagrams 
in 177a Both were self-taught men, and had achieved celebrity 
at a time when Free Libraries and Mechanics' Institutes were 
equally unknown. It was a fine low old-fashioned house, 
pleasantly situate in what was called Circus Lane, having a 
garden extending backward almost to the old Town Wall, and 
embracing a view of the semicircular bastions of West Spital 
Tower and Gunnerton Tower. It was well stocked with fruit 
trees and flowers, especially roses, in the culture of which 
Bewick and his accomplished family took great pleasure, though 
he, through a long life, never allowed recreation to interfere 




THOMAS BEWICK: 



with business. West Spital Tower had been transformed into 
a genteel residence, where Bewick's partner, Ralph Beilby, and 
his family dwelt, amid a delightful orchard, not far from where 
the Central Railway Station now stands. A most pleasing 
vignette at page 109 of the first edition of the "Water Birds," 
1804, represents one of those old towers as seen from Bewick's 
windows, which In summer time were thickly wreathed with the 




fragrant jasmine. A venturesome youth, with a companion — 
probably scholars from the neighbouring Grammar School — is 
depicted in the act of climbing its venerable wall in search of 
birds' nests, thereby disturbing a colony of jackdaws in their 
secluded retreat. The Norman keep of the Old Castle is seen 
in the distance. 

In this garden, on a Sunday afternoon, he used to enjoy 
himself in quiet meditation, and the grateful feelings of his 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



heart fouad expression in the lines of his favourite poet, 
Thomson : — 

" Soft roll your incense, herbs, and Ihiits, and flowers I 
In mingled clouds to Him, whose sun exalts. 
Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil paints." 

Had I not known Mr. Bewick's partiality for the author of 
"The Seasons," I should certainly have thought Goldsmith 
would have held the first place in his estimation, the senti- 
ments of the " Deserted Village " being congenial with his own 
cherished convictions. 



jf^'»w^^^,^f^^'' 




CarOUNB : A Lesson to Cure Vaaily— From TJU Looking Glass for tkt Mind, 1793. 

This humble abode, secluded as it was, became in time the 
joy of his heart In it his children were bom, and here he first 
felt the endearments of domestic life. It consisted of only five 
rooms, and the rental was but ^^8 per annum. The family had a 
pew in St John's Church hard by, and nothing gave Mrs. Bewick 
more pleasure than to see her son and daughters, neatly dressed, 
attending their Parish Church, where they had been baptized. 

The congfregation comprised the ^liie of Westgate Street 
and Charlotte Square, then both very aristocratic, together with 
the Forth, Elswick, and Benwell. 



»74 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



The Misses Bewick have often described to me the dress 
of the ladies, and the large handsome fans they used in church 
in summer time. When service was over the quality repaired 
to the Forth, to inhale the fresh country air under the shade of 
two rows of lime trees. 



HE summer walking attire of the fair sex appears 
to have rivalled in our good town the splendour 
of Ranelagh, Kensington Gardens, or St. James's 
Park. These were mostly of white, light blue, or 
other coloured muslins, worn very low In the neck. 
The gipsy chip, straw, or Leghorn bonnets were of various 





hues ; some pink, nankeen, pea-green, or lilac, tied under the 
chin, and ornamented with flowers in front 

The Rosina hat was a general favourite, trimmed with a 
wreath of flowers ; whilst low shoes, red, pink, or yellow, with 
silk stockings, completed the costume. 

The high and costly plumes of ostrich and bird of paradise 
feathers I do not attempt to describe. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 175 

A lady named Hunter, who lived in Charlotte Square, and 
a Mrs. Lloyd, whose husband was in the Newcastle Fire Office, 
were by general consent accounted to dress in the best taste. 
Mr. Lloyd was at one time most friendly with Bewick, but 
after the publication of the "Land Birds" became indignant 
at the character of some of the tailpieces, and threatened a 
prosecution. 

Conspicuous amongst the many whose habit it was to enjoy 
a walk in the Forth in the cool of the day was Lieutenant 




RosiKA : or, Froward Girl Reformed— From Tit Lrnting Glaafer the Mind, 1793. 

Hamilton, of the King's Land Forces.' This gentleman had 
received a wound in the side (not in the groin, like my Uncle 
Toby), and as the bullet could not be extracted, the result was 
a stiff neck and a peculiar gait when walking. This compelled 
him to turn round whenever accosted by a friend — and he had 



' Joseph HuniltoD, Esq., mided in Newcutle for about twenty years. He lodged at a 
houK OD the right-hand side on eatciing Usle Street, where on Saturday morning, a9th Sep- 
tember 1798, be dropped down dead whilst dressing. This gallant ofBcer was ia the siity- 
uxth year of hij age, and wai buried at St. Andrew's Church, Newcastle. 



176 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



many, by reason of his politeness and gentlemanly manners. 
He wore a cocked hat and bag-wig, light-coloured breeches 
and blue stockings, with large silver buckles on his high- 
lows. The distinguishing feature of his dress was a large 
red and white checked plaid or cloak, which he was accustomed 
to wear both in winter and summer. His extraordinary 
motions and rolling about when spoken to inflated this gar- 
ment every now and then, and obtained for him, amongst 
the vulgar, the nickname of " Peter Waggy." 



■p 


SS3 


^K^ 


j^-.i^^H 


HHpffi 


||Pi^r-.8|uf^^ 


!ip|| 


Wf^SKi 


L^=^^^^^^< 


#"***'^^^-<>^ 



The Story of Le Fevre— From Tit Hivt. liad. 



I^^^^^SlHE Bewick family rose at six o'clock in the 
Hra^S^^ morning — sometimes earlier. The young ladies 
n. ^^KJMi would, as was natural, fain have reposed a while 
lBt^|3i^^' w| longer; but their father's voice, "Come down 
and get dressed," being more than once repeated, they would 
say to each other, " We may as well get up, for there will be 
no peace till we do so." In summer time, when the weather 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 177 

■ 

was fine, they strolled up Summerhill, and then turned along 
Elswick Lane. 

" Forth issuing on a summer's mom, to breathe 
Among the pleasant villages, and farms 
Adjoined, from each thing met conceives delight ; 
The smell of grain, or tedded grass, or kine. 
Or dairy, each rural sight, each rural sound" 

It was on one of these early morning walks that Bewick, 
accompanied by his little daughters, made a sketch for the 
beautiful cut of the Pintado ("British Birds," vol. i. p. 293, 
ed. 1797). 

The bird belonged to John Hodgson, Esq., the hospitable 
owner of Elswick Hall. The gate of the yard being fast, he 
had to climb over the wall to gain admittance, and he has repre- 
sented this incident in the background to the cut. Though 
very minute, the resemblance of the figure on the wall to him- 
self is perfect The Rev. Thomas Hugo was indebted to me 
for this anecdote, which he inserted in the " Bewick Collector." 
This I had, with other interesting information explanatory of 
the vignettes, from the Misses Bewick. The limit of their 
ramble reached, they would now, invigorated and strengthened, 
direct their way homeward by a pleasant footpath through some 
delightful meadows that led to the river's side, near to a place 
rightly named Paradise, listening meantime to a carol from on 
high by our earliest songster. 

" Married to morning by a sweeter hymn 
Than priest e'er chaunted from his cloister dim 
At midnight, or veiled virgin's holler word 
At sunrise or the paler evening heard." 

Mrs. Bewick frequently went to meet her husband and chil- 
dren, and all returned together. The repast that awaited them 



178 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



was somewhat homely. The family never tasted tea for break- 
fast ; good wholesome hasty pudding was the common dish, each 
using a wooden spoon marked with his or her initials. In 1 768, 
whilst Bewick was an apprentice, Souchong sold for "twelve 
shillings, and the 6nest Hyson at twenty shillings per pound, at 
Watson's, the Teaman, in the Bigg Market, where also might 




be had The Ladies' Sticking-plaster, Daffy's Elixir, Godfrey's 
Cordial, &c." Bewick's dinner hour was two o'clock. 

Sixty years ago, when a lad, I was often sent to the grocer's, 
and remember paying eight shillings per pound for tea, and 
sevenpence for moist sugar. The Courant newspaper (weekly) 
then cost sevenpence. 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



PISS JANE BEWICK once told me that when it 
became known that her father proposed to adorn 
his " History of Quadrupeds" with vignettes or tail- 
pieces, there were not wanting those who at once 
condemned their use, on the somewhat singular 
ground that they would be objected to and considered vulgar by 
persons of taste and education. In this, as in other points, 
the artist boldly adhered to his own ideas and resolves, without 
regard to the advice tendered by his would-be critics. The 
originality and unity of purpose existing in his own mind he 
rigidly adhered to, and is most observable in the " History of 
British Birds." The history, explanation, and significance of 
the charming tailpieces and backgrounds to so many of the 
cuts in this, the artist's greatest work, was often adverted to 
when on visits to my venerable friends. On the holidays at 
Easter, and in the Race Week, I was for years a regular visitor, 
and always invited to tea. The ladies expected my coming, 
and would say to the maids, " Mr. Robinson is sure to be 
here this afternoon." On leaving Bewick House I immediately 
began to turn over in my mind the topics which had formed 
the subject of our pleasant gossip. On reaching home, I wrote 
down all that was worthy of remembrance. The connection 
and relationship between the figure described in the text and 
the accompanying vignette is well worthy of attention, as well 
as the apposite nature of the designs in r^ard to the position 
they hold in the book. One brain conceived, one pencil de- 
signed, and only one graver could execute those matchless crea- 
tions of genius and poetic fancy. For the sake of illustration, 
it is only necessary to take the admirable cut on the title-page 
of the first volume of the " Birds." The arms and crest of the 



l8o THOMAS BEWICK: 



town appear on a boundary stone in the centre ; over against 
a thicket of brushwood a fine blackbird is seen perched on a 
spray, aprqfios of coaly Tyne. The Rev. James Murray, in his 
"Travels of Imagination," takes notice of the song of a black- 
bird saluting him on reaching the south side of the Tyne, after 
being drawn across the river in a ferry-boat, when on his way 
to London. A fleet of keels in full sail are going against the 
tide, laden with coals, commonly called "the black fleet." On 
the near side are two others empty ; the crews are pouying 
their keels by three siowers ; the long wooden erection called 
a staith is seen close to the shore on the opposite side of the 
river ; the Windmill Hills appear in the distance. A colliery in 
full work is a prominent object to the right. Two waggons are 
on the incline — one filled with coal running down to the staith ; 
the other at the same time being drawn up, after discharging 
her cargo at the staith. Two keels are using their sweeps, a 
very long oar which is guided by one man at the stern, whilst 
the rest are pouying. The third is drawn along shore by a rope. 
What a wonderful amount of incident and detail is contained in 
this small picture ! 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 




IIHE lovely cut of the Bird's Nest and Eggs heading 
the Preface fittingly introduces the reader to a 
history of the feathered tribes and their young. 
The drawings of William Hunt, with all the aid 
of colour, do not call up a more intense feeling for the beautiful 
than this little gem in black and white. 

A pedlar wearing a cocked hat and spatterdashes, with a well- 
filled box strapped on his shoulders, is appropriately placed 
before the Table of Contents. He has come from Newcastle, 
and has five weary miles yet to travel before the next village 
is reached, where he can display his wares before the farmers' 
buxom wives and sprightly daughters. 

Mr. Bewick's choice of Nature was most felicitous and 
original. His art resembles poesy, for in it 

"Are numberless graces which no methods teach. 
And which a master hand alone can reach." — Pefie. 

And if, as Ben Jonson remarks, "even one verse alone some- 
times makes a perfect poem," how truly is this verified again 
and again in Bewick's charming vignettes. Each litde picture 
is a poem. 

How fertile is the imagination of the artist [ He may 
indeed have witnessed what his pen and pencil here represents 
and describes so well. " A magpie is seen busily engaged in 
collecting materials for her nest from the back of a cow, whilst 
her mate is observed flying towards the nest persecuted by a 
hawk, which in turn is harassed by two crows and a third 
magpie " (" British Birds," vol. L p. 74, 1 797). 

Then there is, at page 78 of the same volume, the admired 
cut of the Snow-Man, a boyish reminiscence. The youth 



i82 THOMAS BEWICK: 

mounted on a three-legged stool, Miss Jane Bewick informed 
me, was her father. The stout well-dressed boy, Willy Johnson, 
lived in the adjacent hamlet, and in after years became a farmer 
at Prudhoe ; his other playmate, the less-favoured urchin, Joe 
Liddell, was a son of Anthony Liddell, mentioned in Bewick's 
Memoir, p. 221. The background is a view of Cherrj-- 
burn : the " little window at his bed-head " is seen below 
the gable. 

Another charming bit of rustic life (p. 147) is that of tracing 
a hare in the snow. The figure in the distance behind the 
hedge is Mr. Bewick ; the man in the foreground with the gun, 
the lock of which he so carefully protects with the tail of his 
coat, is Joe Liddell, just mentioned, but now grown to man- 
hood. 




n N depicting the varied seasons of the year Bewick is 
always at home, and never more so than in his 
winter scenes. There is a cut at page 162 which, 
along with many others, attests the truth of this 
remark. Here the severity of the season is still 
felt, though the cut stack — a favourite object with the artist — 
indicates its approaching close. Long icicles hang from the 
gable of the roof, which is thickly covered 
with snow : heat from the chimney has 
kept others from forming near it. Two 
lads are seen watching their success in 
snaring birds, their footsteps marked in 
the snow. Outwardly all is bleak, but still there is an air of 
comfort about the little dwelling, arising from the feeling that 
warm and honest hearts are sheltered within. 





■^ 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 183 

There is a very pretty cut at page 202, in which the decre- 
pitude of age and the joyous spirit of youth are well contrasted 
— the ruins of St. Edmund's Chapel, Gateshead, in the back- 
ground. 

Above the Table of Contents to the second volume of the 
** Birds/' 1 804, is a cut full of humour. An old poulterer, with 
pannier and basket full of birds, has broken his stick with 
beating his restive horse, that he may be in time for the market. 
" He has lost his hat/' Bewick observes, *'but not his patience ** 
(Bewick's Book of MS. Annotations on Vignettes). 

Views of Marsden Rocks and Bywell Castle are given at 
pages XX. and 23. The romantic scenery of the former place 
is renewed at pages 144, 156, and 161. Another local view, 
supposed to represent the Ruined Church of Alnmouth, now 
washed away by the sea, is given at page 245. 

At page 348 of the same volume there is a little cut of a 
woman pumping water on the leg of an impotent man : his 

crutch and stick are lying beside him. Mr. Harry H , a 

gentleman well known to Mr. Bewick, had a weak limb, and 
frequent recourse was had to this method of imparting strength 
and effecting a cure. A lover of mischief represented that this 
cut was intended to caricature his lameness, notwithstanding 
that Mr. Bewick protested that such a thought had never 
entered his mind The untruth was believed, and a coolness 
ensued for many years in consequence. 

The old sea-worn coble, with the ruined castle on the cliff, 
forms a telling and appropriate finis. 

In villages and about farms it is no uncommon sight to 
see a number of geese follow one another in regular order ; 
the foremost turns round and cries "Ga, ga." In the frag- 
ment of a letter Bewick thus describes in short, natural, and 



THOMAS BEWICK: 




expressive terms the flocks of geese he had seen "on their 
route to the Metropolis — a hissings cackling, gabbliitg, but 
peaceful army, waddling along (like other armies) to certain 
destruction." 



1HERE is much meaning in many of the tale-^ces, 
not apparent at flrst sight, but requiring to be un- 
folded even to those who have given their days 
and nights to the study of Bewick ; and better ex- 
positors there could not be than his own daughters. 
For instance, the admirable cut of " The Ovinghara Dyers," ' 
so replete with humour, contains characteristic portraits of 
Thomas Dobson, dyer and bleacher, and his man, Geordie 
Carr. Dobson owned some property, and was esteemed a 
laird, as I have been told by Miss Isabella Bewick of Cherry- 
burn. One of Carr's daughters, Mabel, married Robert 
Stephenson, the father of George Stephenson, the world- 
renowned engineer and originator of railroads. Worth in the 
humblest paths of life is akin to greatness. The following 
anecdote is illustrated in the background of the cut : — A 
certain laird, I remember the late Miss Jane Bewick telling 
me, made a vow that he would never again enter a public- 
house. He kept his promise to the letter; he would not 
dismount, but whilst sitting on his horse at the door, he 
would freely partake of a goodly tankard or two of the best 
ale the house could supply. Thomas Dobson's second son 
married Bewick's sister, Ann. My kind old friends in West 
Street always spoke highly of Geordie Carr as an honest and 

• "BrilUb Birds," vol i. p. 17, 1805. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 185 

upright man who had brought up a large family. His children 
were all a credit to him.^ 

Edward Willis, who served his time with Mr. Bewick as 
an engraver, was a grandson of George Carr. For him the 
Bewick family entertained the utmost respect Mrs. Dobson 
had two children — a son, Thomas, and a daughter named Jane. 
Both, with their father, died young. To his sister, Ann, Mr. 
Bewick was much attached. After the death of her husband, 
who was a cooper, and lived in the Close, she removed from 
Newcastle to Ovingham, and commenced keeping a small school. 

At page 135, vol. i., "British Birds" (1826), we have an 
example of a sport far from uncommon even now amongst 
idle lads in country places — that of tying a tinpot to the tail 
of a dog, and then setting it adrift The terrified animal is 
here seen wildly dashing along amidst the hooting and stone- 
throwing of its bare-legged persecutors, whilst a great hulking 
fellow, with folded arms, enjoys the cruel pastime. Bewick, 
with his daughters, when young, watched for a long time to 
see how the leather leggings were fitted on this man, who 
was a tanner living in the West Gate, whose place they often 
passed in their morning walks. 

Then we have, at page 223, the capital vignette of "The 
Burglar Disturbed." It is a summer morning about sunrise, 
for the chimneys are not yet smoking; an open gate shows 
too well how the thief has obtained an entry ; when attacked 
by the dog, his booty, in the form of a large portmanteau, has 
been thrown upon the ground. His mode of fence consists 
in holding a stick (across) before him by the ends; by this 
means he expects to baffle a rather awkward assailant. 

^ George Cair lived in a cottage opposite the *' Brick House," Ofingham, where Mr. Bewick's 
father-in-law, Robert Elliot, had farmed. ETeiy other house in OTingham was built of stone. 

2 A 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



%T the beginning of the present century a spacious 
mansion stood near the foot of Westgate Street, 
where the Library of the Literary and Philosophical 
Society now stands, having twenty-five windows in front, and 
is engraved on the margin of Corbridge's rare plan of the town 
(1726), and marked " Mr. Thomas Ord's House." 

It was afterwards occupied by William Gibson, Esq., who 
was town-clerk for nearly thirty years. There was a large 
garden behind, and in front the ground was tastefully laid out, 




and displayed an abundance of snowdrops and other spring 
flowers in their season. At the time I write of this house had 
become a boarding-school for young ladies, under Miss Smith, 
a person of the highest respectability. Here the Misses Bewick 
finished their education. Elementary instruction had already 
been imparted at a seminary close to their home at the Forth, 
kept by Miss Stevenson. 

The landlady to whom this property belonged had a laige 
conservatory in her garden, to which Bewick and his family had 
free access, he being her agent, and collected the rents. Miss 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 187 

Isabella used to go there to learn her lessons, and was often 
startled by hearing the large apples fall from the trees. The 
late Mr. Barnes of Whitburn, who, whilst a lad, resided with 
his uncle, Alderman Forster, close by, attended the same school. 
The room was reached by a wooden staircase at the outside, 
having formerly been a hayloft. Now and then he played the 
truant, and would visit Bewick's workshop to pass away the 
time. For some fault he was one day " kept in " by himself. 
He longed for an apple or two from a tree which stood near 
the window but beyond his reach. At last he thought of the 
school tongs, and contrived by their means, after one or two 
failures, to secure some of the tempting fruit. Bewick observed 
this juvenile prank, and made a sketch of the amusing incident, 
as he was accustomed to do when any occurrence struck his 
fancy. 



IjPINNING was one of the principal industries fol- 
lowed at the Forth, in which Mrs. Bewick showed 
much skill, and manufactured every winter a web 
of most excellent Hnen. On Saturdays, as Bewick 
with some of his children went to the office, they 
used to pass a woman wearing a gipsy hat, sitting on a basket 
at the foot of St. John's Lane, selling bands for spinning-wheels. 
Her cry was, " Now then, lasses, don't forget your wheel- 
bands." This most useful old-world employ has now gone out 
of fashion. Not long ago a lady from London, on a visit to 
the Misses Bewick, saw a spinning-wheel in the room, and 
innocently asked if it was a musical instrument t 

Eighty years ago early rising was more general in New- 
castle than at present Those of the inhabitants who wished 



188 THOMAS BEWICK: 

to spend a day at Tynemouth were much inconvenienced, for 
there was but one coach, which left in the morning and returned 
the same day. The passage down the river was pleasant, but 
very long and tedious. It took three hours in going by the 
*' Comfortables," a kind of covered passage-boat used on the 
Tyne before the introduction of steamboats. Robert Bewick 
and his sisters were wont to prefer the road, and walk the 
distance, leaving home at six o'clock in the morning. After 
enjoying many hours of healthful pleasure they would return 










^m^ 



The Historj of the Empress Catharine— From Tkt Hive, 180& 



in the same way, sometimes meeting Stephen Kemble on the 
road, who tried by such exercise to keep down his constitutional 
tendency to increase in bulk. 

It is related that whilst Liston, the comedian, was perform- 
ing in Mr. Kemble's company, a dispute arose between the 
manlier and the performers respecting the arrangements made 
by the former for playing on alternate nights at Newcastle, 
Shields, Sunderland, &c., by which the latter were much 
harassed. A rebellion being likely to ensue, Mrs. Kemble 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 189 

was reported to have said that the company might leave as 
soon as they choose, " for there were actors to be got on every 
hedge." Shortly after, Liston and some others, walking along 
the road from Newcastle to Shields, perceived a post-chaise at 
some distance behind them, which they knew was conveying 
Mrs. Kemble to the place of their destinatioa Immediately 
Mr. Liston clambered among the bushes to the top of the 
hedge, and when the chaise came up, Mrs. Kemble, astonished 
at seeing him in such a situation, cried out, " Mr. Liston, what 




From Ihe Hiiiorj of a Fly (Hodgson's Edition). 



are you doing there?" "Looking for actors, ma'am," replied 
he; "but I can't find a single sprout." It is needless to 
add that he was instantly invited to enter thetchaise. On 
another occasion, as he was walking between Newcastle and 
Sunderland, he was overtaken by one of the coaches which 
ran on that road (then and long after proverbial for the 
slowness of their motion), when the driver asked him if 
he was for a ride. "No, thank you," said he; "I am in a 
hurry ! " 



THOMAS BEWICK: 




HILST the Rev. James Lushington was Vicar of 
Newcastle, and for a lengthened period non-resi- 
dent, his curate, the Rev. John Ellison, resided 
at the Vicar^e in Westgate Street. This house 
was "large and ancient, suitable to hospitable 
times." Here the worthy gentleman used at Christmas and 
at Midsummer to give parties to the young ladies and gentle- 
men round about, including the daughters of Thomas Bewick 
and their brother, where, amongst others, they used to meet 




From the History of a Fly (Hodgson's Edition). 

with the two daughters of Lord ColUngwood, who, with Lady 
Collingwood and her relatives, the Blacketts, lived in Charlotte 
Square. On such interesting occasions there was much to 
delight the eye, and an abundance of fruit, cake, and all that 
was good, to satisfy the desires of his young guests. Innocent 
mirth and good humour was pictured in every pretty face. 

A glowing fire, with many lights, reflected upon the polished 
oaken floor and quaint old furniture, frequently in striking con- 
trast, when the hour for parting came, with the view presented 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 191 

outside of this venerable mansion, its many antique gables and 
mullioned windows being covered with snow, in token that Old 
Christmas had come again, in fitting mantle clad. In extreme 
old age the ladies remembered with pleasure the reminiscences 
of their youth, and delighted to recall the recollections of 
bygone days. The fine old oak staircase, the rich clusters of 
large red-currant berries that grew in the Vicarage garden, the 




laburnum and lilac trees which spread so gracefully over the 
garden wall into the street, were never forgotten. 

The time came when Mr. Bewick would in all probability have 
to leave his much-prized "cot in the Forth." In consequence 
of the death of the owner, the property had to be sold. The old 
tenant was loth to leave ; he had a strong desire to buy his 
house at a reasonable price. At the auction he had to encounter 
the opposition of a Mr. Featherstone, a wealthy grocer in 



192 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



CoIIingwood Street, who outbid Mr. Bewick, and became the 
purchaser at jCs6o. 

The large garden was sold as a separate lot. Mrs. Laidler's 
land at the Barras Bridge was bought by Messrs. Bumup, 
builders, for ;^2cxx>. Long previous to this Bewick had made 
many endeavours to buy a little land in the neighbourhood of 
Eltringham, but was always forestalled by the landowners 
whose estates adjoined. The many little pleasures the family 
had enjoyed at the Forth never passed out of remembrance, 
and the kindness of the Waldies and other neighbours in times 
of sickness was not forgot 

The apple tree, with its golden pippins, which stood before 
the door, and under the shade of which they often took tea and 
had their evening meal, the field in which his children used to 
play, all served to endear an otherwise humble dwelling to those 
who had known it so long. 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



jp?R. BEWICK was now approaching his sixtieth year, 
and in ill-health. Many old haunts were now being 
gradually forsaken ; the long and toilsome ascent 
to his new abode in Gateshead began to tell even 
on so stout a pedestrian.* The practice of temper- 
ance and assiduous application to hard work had not so 
enriched the artist that he could afford to venture upon a 
more desirable residence in Newcastle. Whilst at the Forth 
he frequently began work at six o'clock in the morning, and 
continued until nine at night He used to say that " he could 
get better on with what he had to do after the lads had left" 
At his solitary bench he would hear the curfew bell " swinging 
slow with sullen roar" from the tower of St Nicholas. And 
when he had lapped up for the night, he had to pass on his road 
home by a strange and uncouth group congregated near the 
south door of the church. This was the watch, who met there 
before departing on their nightly rounds, clad in topcoats with 
many capes, and wearing coloured neck-shawls. Each man 
was provided with a powerful rattle, which hung from a leathern 
belt buckled round the waist a lanthom, and a short staff with 
a hook at the end. The clock of St Nicholas reflated most 
of Mr. Bewick's movements. He never had a watch ; this was 

* The following adTCTtisemcnt io Uie Newcattle pKpen Gnt dieir Mr, BewidL'i mttention to 
tbu property. Mr$. Bewick coold lee thii hoose wliilit tniilding bom Uieir Eardm at the Foitli. 
A FREEHOLD DWELLING-HOUSE AND GARDEN, ftc, 
7*0 it £>tf Jr Friv<a4 Cenirac/, 

And ma; be eoteied npon at Ma; fint All that snbitantud itone-built Dwelling- Hoom, 
Mtnated in an tirj and pleasant road on the wett (ids of Gatohead, called the Back I^ne. 
The boat conmandt a beantifid view of the conntiT to the Weit, extending berond Aiwell 
Park, which aflbrdi an agreeable object. On the North and East are leen Newcaitle, and a 
fine protpect eaitwatd. 

For furtlKi puticolais ^tpl]' to Mr. Hancock, Bridge End, Newculle. 

2 B 




194 THOMAS BEWICK: 

a luxury he did not care to Invest in. His brother John was 
not so self-denying. The family at Cherrybum possess, along 
with other relics, his inexpensive silver timepiece. 



?HEN a young man, Mr. Bewick, by always using his 
right eye with the glass, very much weakened the 
other. He applied to a Dr. Clark for advice, who 
recommended him to make a practice of plunging 
his head into cold water every morning. This he 
did at the pant in Dam Crook, in Newgate Street, until both 
eyes recovered strength, 

Bewick one afternoon, whilst writing in his office, observed 
through a window his two apprentices, Harvey and Temple, 
writing on slips of paper, which they twisted up, and quietly 
passed to each other. Mr. Bewick got off his seat, went 
through to them, and managed to pick up a few of these 
missives, which he read. They proved to be full of impudence 
about "Tommy." He called them both into the ofifice, where, 
after making them feel ashamed of their behaviour, they 
were told with much earnestness " that if ever he caught 
them again passing such remarks about ' Tommy,' he would 
knock their heads together so long as he had strength in his 
arms;" and there can be no doubt he would have kept his 
word. 

Mr. Bewick whilst at work at night never used a lamp, as 
is usual amongst engravers ; by the light of two candles with 
double wicks he could see to execute the most delicate and 
minute objects. In everything he was most regular and 
methodical, whether in regard to the business and routine of 
the shop or household affairs. Except on rare occasions he 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



was seldom out of his own house much after ten o'clock, when 
it was customary with him to have bread and cheese, with a 
glass of good ale, for supper, or a little rum and hot water 
before going to bed. Among the early relics of Mr. Bewick 
preserved by the family is his silver punch ladle with ebony 
handle, inscribed " Thomas Bewick, Engraver, Newcastle, 
1786." 

An ill-mannered journalist, whose office was in St. Nicholas' 
Churchyard, once incurred the wrath of Bewick by a remark 




From Ibc Lifei^a Fly (Hodgson's Edition). 



made in the course of conversation. This the irate engraver 
promptly resented by administering a sound slap on the cheek 
of the offender which made his ear tingle, saying "that he 
would not seek redress from a m^istrate whilst he could 
vindicate his honour himself." Age had not tamed his old 
spirit in resenting an insult 

Bewick's supper beer, whilst he lived at the Forth, was 
brought in a bottle that held five gills (which served the whole 
family) from the Black Bull's Head, which stood at the foot 
of Wes^te Street, nearly opposite Denton Chare. This old 



196 



THOMAS BEWICK : 



house — one could almost touch the gable — ^was famed for good 
beer. It has just been pulled down. 

Mr. Robert Wilson, merchant tailor, now in his eighty-ninth 
year (1877), who, whilst I was an apprentice, lived in Richmond 
Court, Pilgrim Street, told me that he well remembered going 
down in an evening when the business of the day was over to 
the Blue Bell Inn at the head of the Side, then kept by William 
Cant, an admirable performer on the Northumberland small 
pipes. Here Mr. Bewick was accustomed to repair and regale 



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himself with a pot of good porter. His dog Cheviot invariably 
accompanied him, and lay down at his feet on entering the 
room. Bewick was the acknowledged chief and president of 
a harmless gathering of substantial Newcastle tradesmen, who 
met here to discuss the politics of the day. After having 
quietly occupied his chair for about an hour, Cheviot would get 
up, and, standing with his tail against the door, begin to whine 
and look bard at his master. To this well-known signal that 
time was up, the old gentleman would say, "Well, Cheviot, we 
must be off and home. I understand you, old boy." Then 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



taking up his walking-stick he left along with his canine friend, 
who never allowed his master to remain too long without 
broadly hinting that it was time to be gone. 

The same informant related a curious story about Cheviot 
On the occasion of some repairs being done to Bewick's house 
in West Street, several masons and joiners were employed to 
complete the job. To one workman in particular the dog took 
a sudden and most decided dislike, for which no reason could 
be assigned. He growled and barked in such a threatening 
manner that the man became afraid to enter the house or come 
near the dog. Some time after this the Misses Bewick were 
staying with their relatives at Cherryburn, when a woman came 
to the farm one day with a basket containing laces, nightcaps, 
and other articles. She offered a cloth pelisse for sale, which 
was immediately recognised by Miss Bewick as having belonged 
to her, and been stolen some time before. It turned out that 
this woman was the wife of the workman who had incurred so 
unaccountably the anger of Cheviot. 



»]N 1 836 the Rev. Dr. Dibdin, whilst collecting material 
for his " Bibliographical and Antiquarian Tour in 
the North of England," paid a visit to the Misses 
Bewick. This was brought about, at "Dibdin's 
urgent solicitation," by the Rev. John Collinson, 
Rector of Gateshead. Miss Isabella Bewick's subscription copy 
of the "Tour" ts now before me, with her autograph on the 
title, as well as on the book-plate in each volume. This was 
generously offered me by that lady — a present I was glad to 
accept Miss Bewick has underlined several passages, added 
marginal notes, and inserted a few annotations on notepaper. 




198 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



The first has reference to Dibdin's blunder in stating (p. 330, 
vol. i.) that her father was bom in Gateshead. At page 333 
he favours his readers with an account of his interview with 
those ladies and their brother at the family residence in West 
Street. Miss Bewick in strong terms expresses her sense of 
the injustice done to the memory of her father by the insinua- 
tions contained in the Doctor's remarks as to his religious belief. 
I am of opinion that " the tearful eye and the tremulous tongue" 
existed only in the Doctor's imagination. It was surely an un- 



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11%" ^ 


"|n V 


lllilllta,, ^ 


km 



grateful return after the kindness and attention he had received. 
Miss Bewick continues — " This is a piece of unmitigated imper- 
tinence which never was named, nor had I ever occasion to 
shed a tear during the interview." Dibdin quotes a " Brief 
Memoir" (this was a single 4to page, published by a local 
bookseller after Mr. Bewick's death), in which it is said that 
Bewick was "jealous of his fame, and had not much affection 
for rival artists." Miss Bewick, in the margin, truly asks, "Of 
whom need Bewick be jealous ? " Certainly not of any one of 
the many talented pupils he reared, either as designers or 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 199 

engravers on wood. Miss Bewick afterwards comments on a 
note at page 336 of the " Tour " in reference to the progress 
her father had made at the time of his death towards the 
intended " History of Fishes." 

The Doctor relates that " Miss Bewick was so obliging as to 
furnish me with the following list of the woodcuts of what this 
work upon * Fishes' contained, namely, fourteen entire fishes 
upon wood ; seventy vignettes, chiefly of fishing scenes ; about 
forty drawings of fish, with a few descriptions and memoranda ; 
thirty-five sketches of vignettes, with a few slighter." This 
statement calls forth the following observations : — " Miss Bewick 
ventures here to express a wish that she had let the /zsi suffice ; 
but on the worthy Doctor begging for the loan of a cut (viz., a 
cat lifting its foot to a creel hung against a wall, allured by the 
smell of the fish) to place in his ' Northern Tour/ she was so 
simple as to confide this cut to his keeping, that ' he might give 
it a place in this book ; ' he declaring that it would be such a 
benefit ' that we might bless the day that brought him to call 
here/ He begged hard also to have the loan of the portrait 
(Good's portrait), for which he was prepared to give (I think) 
;^20, to get copied for his * Northern Tour.' We never more saw 
our beautiful cut, nor an impression from it in the * Northern 
Tour,' or anywhere else. But in a letter from him at last, 
which began, ' I never in the course of a long life was so 
pained, &c. &c.,' he ended by telling us that the cut was 
burnt at a fire in a printing office (he did not inform us where 
or when), where it was left by him, I suppose, to print The 
Rev. Mr. CoUinson was much chagrined when I told him what 
had occurred, as he had introduced the reverend gentleman to us. 
I heard him preach at Gateshead Church from the last verses 
of chap. xii. of St. Matthew, *Who is My mother, and My 



200 THOMAS BEWICK.- 

sister, and My brethren ? * This cut may ooze out some time 
or other." The drawing for this cut was included in the valu- 
able present made by the executors of the late Miss Isabella 
Bewick to the Museum of the Natural History Society of 
Newcastle. 






I^Y first acquaintance with the Misses Bewick 
began about thirty years ago. Since then I 
have spent many, very many, pleasant hours 
in the society of these ladies, Miss Jane and 
her sister being ever most liberal in displaying 
their artistic treasures. Folios of engravings 
and rare children's books, not to be found in " Bell " or 
" Hugo," were brought out for inspection on the occasion of 
my visits. 

About the earliest subject we spoke of and discussed 
was the publication of the manuscript left by their father. 
I respectfully urged Miss Bewick to publish the work herself, 
if it was to be done at all, now whilst she enjoyed 
health and strength, and not to leave the Memoir to be 
mangled probably by others after her decease. The topic 
was renewed time after time throughout a lengthened period. 
I considered its performance to be a duty ' she owed to the 
memory of her father and herself, as well as to the public, 
and that it should not be delayed any longer. This Miss 



204 THOMAS BEWICK: 



Bewick readily admitted, but urged the great trouble and 
anxiety it would entail at her advanced age. After much con- 
sideration the task was at length undertaken, and proceeded 
apace. Thus the world is indebted to my representations and 
persuasion that the Memoir was at length put in hand, and 
brought out under the best of all possible editorship. 

My calls on the ladies were mostly in the afternoon or in 
the evening. My stay was usually about three hours or more. 
Miss Bewick often favoured me by reading extracts from the 
proof-sheets, as they were received from the printer, to my 
great delight These were carefully examined, she noting on 
each sheet the date when received, and how long it had been 
in hand, often expressing displeasure at the delay which now 
and then took place. 

On my pointing out that the poet Thomson's name had 
been spelt with a "p" at page 257, she observed that "that 
was so. In the revise it had been carefully corrected, but that 
the self-sufficiency of printers was so great, there was no putting 
them right." 

The chapters treating of religion and politics I strongly 
objected to, especially the former, and begged that they might 
be omitted. But Miss Bewick would not listen to this. She 
replied with much spirit, "That would not be my father. I 
wish to show him to the world not as an artist only, but as a 
philosopher." 

The impression on my mind all along as to the tenor of 
the Memoir in regard to remarks on some of his contemporaries 
had been something very different from what the book proved 
itself to be, and in this misconception I was not alone. Years 
before its publication was determined upon, I remember the 
late Mr. Robert White, the historian of the Battle of Otterburn, 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



asking my opinion as to whether it would ever come to light, 
or was likely to share the fate of Lord Byron's Memoirs. And 
when it was at last given to the world, Mr. John Fenwick, 
a well-known local collector, and who had at one time been 
Bewick's solicitor, remarked in the course of conversation, 
" Sir, if the Memoir had been published as written, it would 
have immediately given rise to half-a-dozen actions at law." 
The observation was truly professional. Such anticipations 
never had any foundation in fact The woodcuts are certainly 



f*^.***^*^.'^ 




The Wanderer Destroyed— From Tales/or Youlh, 1794. 

disappointing ; they must be considered as the last efforts of a 
great man, and preserve much of his old power and individuality. 
The great merits of the work are now recognised, and the 
author's literary fame rests on a surer basis than before. The 
all-accomplished art critic, John Ruskin, recomniends the book 
to his students at Oxford as one of the first they ought to study. 
The freshness and truth with which he describes Nature in 
the varied year will always be read with pleasure. Miss Jane 
Bewick was a lady of rare intelligence and capacity, and fitted to 
edit the Memoir written at her request She knew the world 



2o6 THOMAS BEWICK: 

well, and could gauge the character and mind of those with whom 
she came in contact with nice discrimination, inheriting much 
of the shrewd and close observation of men and things for 
which her father was so noticeable. In many little peculiarities 
she instinctively followed him. It is said that Berghem used 
to be always singing whilst at work; Bewick had an inveterate 
habit of whistling. Miss Jane, when busily employed in arrang- 
ing and selecting woodcuts or drawings, an occupation in which 
she never appeared to tire, indulged in something faintly ap- 
proaching that modulation of the lips. Miss Bewick was lady- 
like in manner, and in her best days stately, resembling her 
father in personal appearance. A well-informed mind, united 
to a most retentive memory, rendered her conversation most 
enjoyable. One winter evening, whilst speaking of Shakespeare, 
she recited, with animation, the speech of Queen Katharine at 
the Trial (Henry VIII. Act ii. Scene 4). 

During the last four years of her life her memory failed 
very much, and Miss Isabella was often called upon to assist 
her sister with respect to names and dates. 

This venerable lady departed this life on the 7th April 1881, 
in the ninety-fourth year of her age, to the deep regret of many 
old and attached friends, and the great grief of her sister, the 
last surviving child of Thomas Bewick. They were never 
separated, but lived in sisterly love and affection, " being ever 
from their cradles bred together." 




«f 






J- » 




Fao-simile of ■ 1«U«f writtvn by Mlam 1SABELL.A BEWICK in her 9&d y««r, pHntad for "THOMAS 

BEWICK: hia Life and TiRies," by R. Roblneon, by the kind permiMlon of 

1.ADY NORTHBOURNE. to whom It waa addreued. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 207 




OME notice of Mr. Bewick's residence at 19 West 
Street, Gateshead, and its contents, may not be 
without interest. On the walls of the dining-room 
or parlour were a few engravings in old black 
and gold frames, including one of " Rubens and 
his Wife," a gift from poor Summerfield the engraver; a 
portrait of Captain Coram after Hogarth, "The Spanish 
Pointer," " The Rural Cot," " The Apple Gatherers,'' " Cela- 
don and Amelia," and a landscape after Poussin, all engraved 
by William Woollett; a portrait of Robert Elliot Bewick 
when a boy (an oil-painting), by Joseph Bell ; a plaster cast 
from Baily's marble bust ; and an old mahogany bookcase, with 
green curtains in front, containing the artist's litde library. 
Before one of the windows of this room the old gentleman 
used to sit in his declining years, busied in engraving the cuts 
for his intended " History of British Fishes." One evening, 
when about to leave, Miss Isabella directed my attention to 
her father's neat work-table, with one drawer, from which he 
regularly took a single fig every day at twelve o'clock.^ The 
sitting-room, immediately above, will never be forgotten by me, 
for there I was favoured, through long years, with the hospitable 
kindness and instructive conversation of those venerable ladies, 
whose retentive and well-stored memories, rich in old local 
information and gossip, which they were ever pleased to impart, 
was a treat in which I delighted. 

The apartment had three windows. Formerly pleasant 
fields and gardens lay in front : these have now given place to a 
dismal-looking Mechanics' Institute and buildings of an inferior 

^ This valued relic, filled with choice wood-blocks, the masterpieces of Bewick and his 
brother, is now in my Bewick room. 



THO^fAS BEWICK: 



description. On the while marble mantelpiece there was a 
mirror, to the left of which, near to the couch on which the 
ladies usually sat, hung Good's 6ne portrait of Bewick, repre- 
senting the old gentleman in a sitting posture, with one leg 
folded over the other, dressed in a black coat and vest; kersey- 
mere breeches, and blue worsted stockings, home-made — an 
admirable example of the artist's skill in giving a pleasing 
radiance to the side face. His intellectual and 6neIy-formed 
forehead is well brought out ; the eyes are full of animation 




From ihe Hislary of a /Vi' ( Hodgson's Edition). 



and intelligence, whilst a ruddy and genial glow suffuses the 
whole countenance. 

Under this picture was a beautiful miniature of the artist on 
ivory by Plyraer. To the right was a portrait of Northcote by 
Ramsay, and below it Murphy's miniature, also on ivory. This 
has been engraved by Summerfield. In a recess between the 
6replace and the window was a large mahogany case, resting on 
a card-table, containing a portion of the precious woodcuts of 
Birds, Quadrupeds, and Fables of ./Esop. The great bulk of the 
cuts were contained in a press in the kitchen, on the basement 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



at the back of the house, whence they could easily be removed 
through a window into the garden in case of fire. In the 
opposite compartment stood a handsome pianoforte, and above 
it an antique china bowl, richly painted with flowers and gilt 
In the middle of the room, on a noble centre table, there was 
another of larger size, filled with rose-leaves. " The fragrance 
is all the more grateful," Miss Bewick once remarked, "from 
having come from Cherrybum." Between the windows were 
choice impressions of the Chillingham Bull, the Whitley Ox, 




From Tie OraiUi, rTgit. 

and the rare lithograph called the "Cadger's Trot." The 
opposite wall displayed a curious half-length portrait of John 
Bewick (crayon), by George Gray. He is represented in a 
blue dress coat, buff vest, and wearing a wig. This was found 
by Miss Bewick a few years ago at the bottom of a drawer, 
unframed, unknown till then. Under it was suspended his 
pretty silver-mounted cane with ebony gibb. Near this hung 
a proof of the Chillingham Bull on parchment, in the first state, 
with the ornamental border. It is but just to myself to point 
out that this impression, now in the Museum of the Natural 



210 THOMAS BEWICK: 

History Society, Newcastle, with other impressions I have seen 
in the same early state, do not exceed in excellence that given 
in this work. In company with the above were beautiful proofs 
of Pidcock's Lion and Elephant, the original drawing in colours 
for Spearman's Kyloe Ox, frames containing highly finished 
drawings of Birds, and vignettes of the same high quality as 
those recently presented to the nation by the Misses Bewick, 
and now in the British Museum. On the wall to the right of 
the door was a fine large portrait in crayons of the late Miss 
Jane Bewick, drawn by J. Gilbert in 1852, together with proof 
impressions of some of the best cuts done by John Bewick to 
illustrate Trusler's " Progress of Man in Society," " Robinson 
Crusoe," &c. At the bottom of this apartment, Ramsay's 
portrait of Mr. Bewick, so well known by Burnett's engraving, 
hung above a small sideboard. This portrait was a present 
from the artist to Mrs. Bewick. On each side were closets 
well filled with family relics, silver plate, folios of drawings, 
and scrap-books abounding with rare woodcuts. A large and 
splendid Wedgwood vase, with other articles of taste, occupied 
side-tables, and finished the decoration of the room. Gas never 
found an entrance at 19 West Street As soon as it turned 
dark, two elegant silver candlesticks were brought in by a 
maid, and placed on a table near the fire, and the wax candles 
lighted. 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



night. 



N my first entering the room Miss Bewick would say, 
" I am glad you have come, for I am weary and tired 
out with this work," viz., the sorting and arranging 
of woodcuts and piles of old letters of her father and 
Uncle John. These were at once put aside for the 
After having tea, I had the privilege for two or three 



hours of feasting my eyes in looking through a collection of 
Bewick treasures, neatly mounted in folio volumes, which the 
ladies kindly placed before me. The cuts, as far as possible, had 




The Slory of Obidah— From Tii Hme. 1806. 

been arranged in chronological order. For two of these books, 
one of which I bound myself, I offered more than once, on 
behalf of a wealthy customer, the sum of one thousand pounds 
— (this was before it was determined to present them to the 
nation) — but my offer was declined. They have since then been 
taken to pieces, their contents framed, and exhibited to the 
public in the King's Library at the British Museum. For a 
time I respectfully pressed on the Misses Bewick the claims 
of Newcastle for the precious gift, but the National Museum 



212 THOMAS BEWICK: 



appeared to the donors to be the only fitting receptacle, London 
being the grand centre to which not only all Englishmen resort 
most frequently, but also students from America, France, Ger- 
many, and other countries. 

In ordinary use at the tea-table was a carved cocoa-nut 
cup or sugar-basin, mounted in silver, and inscribed on the rim, 
"Thomas Bewick, Newcastle, 1779." It was the first article 
bought before he began housekeeping. This relic the Misses 
Bewick said, on Christmas Eve 1876, they intended to leave 
me, but could not bear to part with it while they lived 
Meantime, as a pledge that it should be mine afterwards. Miss 
Isabella gave me the pretty turned stand on which it originally 
stood before Mrs. Bewick had it mounted with silver. At the 
same time I was presented with an interesting little copper jug 
which belonged to their father: on it is engraved, ** Thomas 
Bewick, 1780." 

After Miss Bewick's death I duly received the following note 
from the solicitors : — 

"Union Chambers, Newcastle, 
3^/ September 1883. 

"Dear Sir, — We have been requested by Messrs. Joseph Crawhall and 
John Wheeldon Barnes, the Executors of the Will of Isabella Bewick, deceased, 
to inform you that under this Will you are entitled to the legacy mentioned on 
the other side (silver-mounted cocoa-nut cup). 

" Yours faithfully, 

"HODGE & WESTMACOTT." 

The cup, which is exquisitely carved, was received a few 
days afterwards. 

Miss Bewick kindly favoured me, on one of my visits, 
with a sight of her father's box of tools, many of them well 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



worn, including his eye-glass, gravers used for making outlines, 
with part of the handles cut off, tint-tools for cutting parallel 
lines, gouges for scooping out the wood towards the middle of 
the block, and chisels for paring away the edges of vignettes. 
The box contained two or three pieces of chalk, just as when 
last used by Mr. Bewick ; there was also a rest. These relics 
are now in the possession of Joseph Crawhall, Esq. The tools 




The Siory of Mdiutt— From TA* Hive, 1806, 



needful for wood-engravers are but few, but these are of various 
sizes. 

On a call I made Miss Bewick in August 1881, four months 
after her sister's death, I found the old lady knitting. She was, 
of course, in mourning, and wore a small gold brooch, having 
the date of her mother's death, and a lock of her hair. She 
had on a pair of gold spectacles, her eyesight now beginning 
to fail. I noted these little particulars, so as to refresh my 
memory in after years, when all the dream of life should be 
well-nigh over, and not without some hope that my readers 
might not altogether disapprove my recording them here. 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



&T is unpleasant to remark that, in a special number of 
the Graphic (4th June 1881), published to comme- 
morate the Centenary of George Stephenson, there is 
a woodcut portrait of Thomas Bewick, professedly taken from 
Ramsay's full-length portrait of the artist. In it the engraver 
has striven, most unworthily, to render Bewick's appearance 
as contemptible as possible. This at the time gave great pain 
to Miss Bewick, that lady being then in her ninety-second 




The Story of Maria— From Thi Hive, 1806. 

year. The accuracy of the scribe who represents the great 
North-countryman as having been bom at Ovingham, and cari- 
catured by one of his sons on a pane of glass in the workshop 
window, is on a par for truthfulness with the woodcut itself. It 
is needless to say that Mr. R. E. Bewick's filial respect for his 
father would never allow him to be guilty of such an act. I 
was glad to learn afterwards that a playful urchin had sent 
his ball through it, and smashed the precious relic, the work of 
some idle tenant long after Robert Bewick had been forced 
from the premises. The property was leasehold. 



I 

f 

1 



( 




A' 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 215 

My last interview with Miss Isabella was on an evening 
about a month before her lamented death. The conversation 
turned on Robert Roxby, the bard of North-country anglers. 
This gentleman, with the late Mr. Thomas Doubleday, were both 
Tyneside fishers of renown, and enthusiastic in sounding the 
praises of their favourite streams. She mentioned the cut by her 
father on the title of Roxby's poem of the ** Reed water Minstrel."^ 

Miss Bewick did not seem disposed, as usual, to converse 
freely, yet to my surprise she recited with much feeling, although 
in her ninety-fourth year, George Pickering s beautiful fragment, 
entitled 

DONOCHT HEAD. 

Keen blaws the wind o'er Donocbt Head, 

The snaw drives snelly through the dale ; 
The gaberlunzie tirls my sneck. 

And, shivering, tells his waefu' tale: 
" Cauld is the night, O let me in. 

And dinna let your minstrel fa*. 
And dinna let his winding-sheet 

Be naething but a wreath o' snaw. 

* Robert Roxby died in Newcastle, July 30, 1 846, in his seventy-ninth year. The deceased 
was bom at Needless Hall, Reedsdale, Northumberland, and having lost his father at an early 
age, he was confided to the care of Mr. Gabriel Goulburn, an extensive farmer in the neigh- 
bourhood. With that person he led a rambling kind of life until his twenty-fifth year, when 
Mr. Goulburn became insolvent, and the small fortune of Mr. Roxby being lost in the wreck, 
he was cast penniless upon the world. About 179S he became a clerk in the bank of Sir W. 
Loraine & Co., in Newcastle, and on the failure of that establishment he entered the bank of 
Sir M. W. Ridley & Co., where his cleverness as an accountant soon became remarkable. After 
composing various pieces of poetry of more or less merit, he published by subscription in 1808 
an edition of 250 copies of " The Lay of the Reed water Minstrel," a ballad poem which he had 
gradually expanded into three books from a mere metrical epistle of a few stanzas addressed to 
Matthew Forster, Esq., Broomyholme, near Chester-le-Street. In 1822, in conjunction with Mr. 
Doubleday, then a young man, he published what proved to be the commencement of a series 
of lyrical productions, which obtained a large circulation, and which since his death have been 
collected under the title of '*The Coquetdale Fishing Songs." In these ballads he took great 
pride, which their popularity sufficiently excused. That their originator should predict that 
songs which have been sung on the banks of the Ganges and on the banks of the Hudson would 
not speedily be forgotten is quite pardonable. 

Mr. Roxby was of middle height, had much colour, and a patch over one eye. He usually 
wore a dark-green dress coat, with light drab gaiters. On first entering the bank in the 
morning, he used to inquire of a young gentleman, a clerk in the establishment, who lived in 
Jesmond Dene, " Were the mennims loupin* in the bum this morning ? " 



2i6 THOMAS BEWICK: 



" Full ninety winters hae I seen, 

And piped where gor-cocks whirring flew ; 
And mony a day ye've danced, I ween, 

To lilts which frae my drone I blew." 
My Eppie waked, and soon she cried, 

" Get up, gudeman, and let him in, 
For weel ye ken the winter night 

Was short when he began his din." 

My Eppie's voice, O wow I it's sweet, 

E'en tho' she bans and scaulds a wee ; 
But when it's tuned to sorrow's tale, 

haith I it's doubly dear to me. 

" Come in, auld carl, I'se steer my fire, 
ril mak' it bleeze a bonnie flame ; 

Your bluid is thin, ye've tint the gate, 
Ye shouldna stray sae far frae hame." 

<* Nae hame hae I," the minstrel said ; 
" Sad party strife o'ertumed my ha' ; 
And, weeping, at the eve of life, 

1 wander thro' a wreath o' snaw." 



On leaving I promised to see her again very soon, but this 
was fated never more to be in this world. After a brief illness 
my venerable friend departed this life on the 8th June 1883, 
aged 93, and was laid under the sod in Ovingham Churchyard 
on the following Monday. 

The morning of that day was lovely in the extreme. The 
solitary hearse, with the remains of the last child of Thomas 
Bewick, wound its way by Gateshead and the Redheugh Bridge 
to Newcastle, and so on by the west road, through Benwell, 
to Ovingham. The company invited, including the writer, 
went by rail to Prudhoe, crossing the river by the ferry-boat 
Ovingham Church (dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary) is 
kept as all churches ought to be — the altar properly vested, and 



■HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 217 

the door ever open to the parishioners and the casual stranger. 
In the Vicarage garden we were shown the original altar, with 
its crosses, incised stones beautifully adorned with the Christian 
emblem, pious memorials of the long-forgotten dead. The 
worthy vicar expressed a wish that those sacred relics might 
one day be built up in the church porch, and so preserved from 
further profanation. 

The clergy, with a large and efficient surpliced choir, met 




The Battle of BlenlKlm— From Tie Hive, [Bo& 



the corpse at the church gate, and went in procession towards 
that venerable house of God wherein the high-bom noble 
and the humble peasant have knelt in worship through many 
centuries. 

The ruins of feudal power and grandeur are here in imme- 
diate contrast with the still aaive and living ministrations of 
the imperishable Christian Church. 

The sublime Service for the Dead was read by the Rev. 
William M. Wray and the Rev. John F. Bigge, the esteemed 



THOMAS BEWICK.- 



vicar of Stamfordham.' After the funeral, a most delightful 
walk by the rlver-side, amid high bushes rich with hawthorn 
blossom, and the silver Tyne beneath, brought us all too soon 
to Wylam, where we took train for Newcastle. I was assured 
by an old friend and much honoured priest of the Church of 
England, who accompanied me a part of the way, that amongst 
the most famed rivers of France, however picturesque and known 
to song, there was not one to surpass the sylvan beauties of our 
own noble river from Ryton westward — which I fully believe. 

Before leaving Ovingham, whilst lingering over the tablets 
in memory of the two brothers, and the vault which had just 
received the remains of my good old friend, the words of 
Garrick's inscription on Hogarth's monument in Chiswick 
Church came to mind — 

" If Genius fire thee, Reader, stay ; 
If Nature touch thee, drop a tear ; 
If neither move thee, turn away, 

For Bewicl/s honouHd dust lies here." 

> Bulh iheic wocili; piicsls han iiDce deparled to their etenuU test. 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 219 




R. BEWICK'S Family Bible (Ostervald's) is a fine 
large folio volume with plates, printed in 1782 by 
his early and dear friend Thomas Lawson, in Vine 
Entry, Flesh Market, Newcastle. 

The following is a true copy of the Register, as written on 
the fly-leaf at the beginning. The entry of Miss Jane's death 
is made by her sister. One word, " Isabella," forms the last 
line, and in her own handwriting. 

Thomas Bewick and Isabella Bewick, 

Newcastle, 

Was married 20th April 1786. 

Jane Bewick was Bom 29th April 1787. 
Robert Elliot Bewick was Bom 26th April 1788. 
Isabella Bewick was Bom 14th January 1790. 
Elizabeth Bewick was Bom 7th March 1793. 



Isabella Bewick died ist February 1826, aged 74 or 5. 
Thomas Bewick died 8th November 1828, aged 75. 
R. E. Bewick died 27th July 1849, aged 61. 
Eliz. Bewick died 7th April 1865, aged 72. 
Jane Bewick died 7th April 1881, aged 94. 
Isabella 

A line may not be out of place explaining the origin of 
the relationship which subsisted between the late Mr. Robert 
Ward, printer and publisher, Newcastle, and the Bewick family. 
Mrs. Bewick's brother, Robert Elliot, who was a farmer, 
lived in the Red Brick House, Ovingham, from whence he 
afterwards went to Haydon Bridge, where he married. His 
daughter became the wife of Thomas Ward, farmer, Wylam, 
whose son, the late Mr. Robert Ward, residuary legatee of the 
late Miss Isabella Bewick, died at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 
January 2, 1883, aged sixty. 



THOMAS BEWICK: 




Morning— From TJic Chait, by W. Somervile, 1796. 




slOHN BEWICK was born at Cherryburn in 1760, 
probably in March. Giving early evidence of an 
inventive genius, in 1777, at the age of seventeen, 
he was apprenticed to his brother, then in partner- 
ship with Mr. Beilby. His engaging manners and 
vivacity of disposition soon won for him many friends, who de- 
lighted in his ready wit and humorous conversation. But herein 
lay the source of after grief and sorrow. Serious disagreement 
and numerous altercations took place between him and his more 
prudent and circumspect relative. Thomas deeply deplored 
the erring course of life which wrong-headed and thoughtless 
companions were surely leading one to whom from infancy 
he was much attached. To wean him from their society, and 
habits so fatal to his future success in life, Mr. Bewick resolved 
to cancel his indentures after he had served about five years, 
and remove him from Newcastle to London — a change which 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 22 1 

was attended with complete success. That freedom and latitude 
he had allowed himself in the latter period of his servitude 
were now found to be incompatible with his altered position. 
Work in earnest was a necessity, and with the utmost diligence 
he addressed himself to the task of obtaining an honourable 
subsistence. Unfortunately his ill-requited labour induced a 
rapid and hasty method of execution which did not tend to 
increase his fame as a draughtsman or an engraver. In John 
Bewick's circumstances at this time there was much to excuse 
that want of proper care and attention which was only too 
obvious to his best friend whom he had left at Newcastle. 
The London booksellers supplied any amount of work, but the 
remuneration was small. As his prospects brightened, the 
more liberal terms he was enabled to command freed him at 
length from a thraldom so irksome to an artist inspired with a 
true love for his profession. To add celebrity to the name of 
Bewick, already so distinguished in the art world, was an 
ambition worthy of himself. That John Bewick contributed 
cuts to •* Gay's Fables," published by Saint in 1 779, and the 
" Select Fables," issued from the same press in 1 784, has been 
already stated. 

In 1 78 1 Newbery published a little volume entitled "Choice 
Emblems," &c., adorned with woodcuts. These John Gray 
Bell believes to have been done after his removal to London. 
I am inclined to think they were executed before he left 
Newcastle. 

In 1786, after a short stay in the North, he finally settled 
in the Metropolis, where he arrived on the 12th of August in 
that year, and began business on the 15th of October 1787 at 
No. 7 Clerkenwell Green. Here he worked by himself, with- 
out the help of an apprentice. He never had a pupil, or 



THOMAS BEiVICK: 



published any work on his own account The "Emblems 
of Mortality," a reproduction of the "Imagines Mortis" of 
Holbein, representing in upwards of fifty cuts Death seizing 
persons in all ranks and conditions of life, was published by 
Thomas Hodgson in 1789. This is a desideratum with all 
Bewick collectors. The cuts were executed in London, and 
are well engraved. The original drawings are in my collec- 
tion. Several have been only slightly traced on the wood, 
affording evidence how completely the feelings of the artist 



rv.«»*i**o^Ri£^iR»--^ 




The Envious Shepberd— Fram Tata for Yb 



had been enlisted in his work, and the confidence he felt in 
his own powers. An inferior workman without innate genius 
would have required every line to have been drawn on the 
block before proceeding to engrave ; but this was not the case 
with John Bewick. A copy of the third edition of the 
"Imagines Mortis," 1545, the gift of the late John Adamson, 
Esq., to Thomas Bewick, was once in my possession, but 
afterwards parted with to the late Admiral Robert Mitford. 

His continued industry and application in a sedentary occu- 
pation tended to injure his health, which at this time (1790) 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



223 



began to break down. The very large number of woodcuts 
executed for the Rev. Dr. Trusler testify that his brain was 
not idle. " Proverbs Exemplified," " Proverbs in Verse," and 
the "Progress of Man and Society" more particularly, show 
a considerable advance in the artistic treatment, both in design 
and composition, of such subjects. Proof impressions of most 
of the cuts in the last-named work are in my possession. At 
page 6 of the Preface to "Proverbs Exemplified" the author 
mentions Mr. John Bewick as "an artist who knows how to 




snd tbe Water-Fljr— From TaUsfor YoMth. 



illustrate the follies and vices of mankind better than most 
men," and his having profited by his abilities in the adorn' 
ment of the book. In the following touching letter to his 
brother he already anticipates a fatal termination of his illness. 
The symptoms named were calculated to dishearten and have 
a depressing effect on a nature so sanguine, and unfit him from 
following his profession with spirit and energy. The gratitude 
of the sick artist to bis brother for all past kindness is most 
feelingly expressed, and cannot be read without emotion. He 
alludes to the third edition of the "Quadrupeds," published 



224 THOMAS BEWICK: 



in the preceding year, and the general opinion entertained in 
London that the sale might have been conducted more to the 
author's advantage, but adds that he well knew ''that the 
management of it was noi in your bands." This is most signi- 
ficant Bewick somehow is often thrown into the background. 
In the original prospectus to the " Quadrupeds," so wretchedly 
written, this is very apparent 

"Crouch End, March 31, 1793, 

" Dear Brother, — You have often (and not without some reason) accused 
me for my long silence, which I always acknowledged as a fault, which fault 
I think you seem much inclined to imitate. I was told by Mr. Bulmer, I may 
say months ago, that you intended to write me soon, since which time I have 
with the greatest impatience waited till yours of the 15th inst., wherein I am 
extremely happy to hear of Mrs. Bewick's safe delivery, and that she and my 
little niece are both well, which I hope will continue thriving.^ I am sorry 
that you should think that I am in the least dissatisfied with you respecting 
the sa/< of your * History ' in London, well knowing that the management of it 
was not in your hands. JV/iat I said concerning the conducting of it from the 
beginning was the universal opinion of every weU-wisher^ and I still believe might 
have been managed much more to your advantage. Far be it from me to upbraid 
you, or in the least harbour any such unjust thought Your advice and utmost 
endeavours to serve me, I may say from my infisuicy, when 111 able to judge or 
serve myself, must to my last Day with gratitude be remembered, which I am 
afraid will be the only (tho' poor) recompense that may ever be in my power 
to make. My very poor state of health at present crowds with grief on my 
memory all these past obligations. My severe Illness last summer has not, nor, 
I am afraid, ever will, entirely leave me. I have for these few Days past spit 
a good deal of Blood, which has rather alarmed me, never before having been 
troubled with that Complaint, though we are always ready, and ever willing, to 
hope to get better. Yet reason tells me (from the many severe attacks which 
I have had of the same kind) that my Constitution must be much impaired. 
I am happy to hear of your improvements at the Forth, where I hope you and 
your Family will there long live to enjoy Health and Contentment * O Blessed 
and glorious Health, thou art above all Gold and Treasure 1 He that has thee 

^ Elizabeth, youngest daughter of Thomas Bewick, born 7th Marcli I793i died at Gateshead, 
7th April 1865, aged 72. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 225 

hath little more to wish for; but he that is so wretched as to want thee, wants 
everything with thee.' 

< When Health is lost be timely wise. 
With Health all taste of pleasure lies.' 

" I sometimes have a wish to be with you in the North ; at other times think 
I am much better here with respect to my Health. Indeed, all agree that the 
warmer the Climate the better for my Complaint Dr. Oliphant wou'd recom- 
mend a Voyage to some hot Country. I have moved from Mount Pleasant 
in October last, and now lodge and board with an old Widow Lady in the 
neighbourhood, who pays me every attention that a Nurse or Mother could 
possibly da And as the weather gets warmer I hope, and please God, to get 
better. The two Mr. Bulmers, Mr. Gregson, and Mr, Pollard was to see me 
the other Sunday. Dined and spent the Day at Crouch End. 

" I am, with Kind Love to Mrs. Bewick and all Relations and Friends, 
Dear Brother, 

•'Addrtts— "JNO. BEWICK. 

Mi. Bkwick, Forth, Niwcastlk-upon-Tynk." 

In the " IjOoking Glass for the Mind," published by New- 
bery in 1 794, will be found charming examples of his pleasing 




The HiM0i7 of Joaathan— From Tin Uekiag Glaafar the Mind, 179a. 

Style. The late Miss Jane Bewick greatly delighted in this 
little work, and not without reason, for the pure and childlike 



226 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



sweetness and innocence depicted in the looks and graceful 
form of young children, always a feature in John Bewick's 
juvenile portraiture, is in no work more observable. The dress 



iVJ^S^,,,^^^.,,,,,^?^^.,,^ , 




The Rival DoEs-From T*€ I-ooki^g Gliufor /it AUnd. 




Nancy and lier Canary Bird— From 7"*e looking Glasifor tht Mind. 



and occupations of the little people, so simple and truthful, 
bring before the mind's eye pleasurable memories of the golden 
hours of youth and childhood. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



227 



In the same year Newbery brought out " Tales for Youth, 
in Thirty Poems," illustrated with thirty beautiful cuts by the 
same artist, " Many of them equal to the highest efforts of 




The Silljp Lamb and Ihe Shepherd's Dog— From Takifir Vaiilk, 1794. 



f-.=, .-.^''V^^^gS''*^^,^.^ 




The Cal and the Tub— From, Tata fur Vn 



his genius; that of a Prowling Cat, at page 55, has been 
pronounced the most natural, likeness of that animal ever 
produced" (Vide " Bell's Catalogue," p. 27). 



228 THOMA S BE WICK : 

As impressions from the whole of the original wood-blocks, 
together with several in the " Looking Glass for the Mind," 




ITic Destmciion of Envy— From Taltifar Yaulk. 




From Hamson Ptettat Book 179a. 



are given in this work, my readers will be enabled to judge 
for themselves. The " Blossoms of Morality" afford also cuts 
of equal merit. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 




The Canumplative Hero— From Tala/or Yc 



330 



THOMAS BEWICK. 



In April 1794 a prospectus was issued by William Bulmer 
announcing the publication of a splendid edition of Goldsmith's 
Poems for the following January, comprising '* The Traveller," 



..•y<i:^f^:y'\^'' 




The Turkey-Cock and Turtle-Dove— From TaUsfor Yaulh. 



\\ 




Avarice Punished— Fi 



" The Deserted Village," and the " Hermit," by Parnell. The 
fine large cut of " The Sad Historian," drawn and engraved 
by John Bewick, was the only important woodcut he contributed 




J(An Btaiek, iti. tl sculp. 
THE SAD HISTORIAN. 



PMiih€i, Match 1S87, by Rohtrt RoUmim, II Filrrim SIra 
Nnixoitlt-apon- Tyiu. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 233 

to the work. His fame rests chiefly on the admirable draw- 
ings, made on the wood, to illustrate Somervile's poem of the 
Chase. Bulmer remarks in the prospectus that Goldsmith 
will be "enriched with Twelve Engravings on Wood, from 
the most interesting Passages of the Poems, by T. Bewick of 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne and J. Bewick of London, the whole 
forming the most extraordinary effort of the Art of Engraving 
on Wood that has ever been published." Gentlemen are invited 
to inspect the engravings at the Shakespeare Printing Ofiice in 




Cleveland Row. They appear to have been already finished, 
although the book was not published until 1795. This is the 
only work in which the genius of Bewick's pupils, Robert and 
John Johnson, may be seen combined with the skill of their 
master and his younger associate. Two of the largest and 
most important cuts were designed by the former. These, 
together with the fine cut of " The Hermit at his Devotions," 
designed by John Johnson, were engraved by Thomas Bewick, 
as was also the cut of "The Traveller," from a design by 



234 THOMAS BEWICK: 

Richard Westall. " The Sad Historian," an old woman gather- 
ing water-cresses, affords an excellent example of the peculiar 
style of John Bewick, and his mode of treating foliage, which 
was inferior to, and stands in contrast with, the unapproachable 
fidelity in imitating Nature exhibited by his brother. Another 
main characteristic is that of contrasting positive black with 
pure white. Sickness and worry indispose the mind from 
even attempting that which can only be attained when free 




KcNG GeOKob ni Hum ng n Windsor Park —From 7"** C/tan by W bomerv te 

from care and in the enjoyment of quiet and repose. This, 
unhappily, was not destined to be his portion in this life. 

These illustrations, however beautiful, and their merits are 
unquestionable, must yield in originality and elegance to those 
contained in the companion volume, " Somervile's Chase," 
published by Bulmer in 1796. These were all, with one 
exception {a group of hounds from a picture by Halkart), 
designed and drawn on the wood by John Bewick. In conse- 
quence of his early and lamented death, it fell to the lot of 
his brother Thomas to engrave the entire series, except the 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 235 

last, which was done by Charlton Nesbit. Mr. Bewick did 
more than engrave those masterpieces of art In affectionate 
regard for his brother's memory, I feel assured that, where 
needful, he improved the drawing in the original designs. 
The artistic beauty displayed in these charming productions, 
and the finely balanced composition of each, have obtained 
from competent judges and connoisseurs unqualified commenda- 
tion. It is said that George III. could not be persuaded that 
such delicate effects were obtained by means of woodcuts, and 
that his bookseller, Mr. George Nichol, obtained for his Majesty 
a sight of the blocks to convince him of the fact. 

In the vain hope that his native air would once more restore 
him to health and strength, John Bewick again sought the banks 
of the Tyne, but not, as in past years, to derive the much- 
wished-for benefit. Amid the haunts and scenes of his boyhood 
he was destined to breathe his last. He died at the residence 
of his sister, Ann Dobson (a widow), who lived at the Red 
Brick House, Ovingham. Mr. John Grey Bell errs in stating 
that his death took place at the residence of his brother William 
at Cherrybum. 




Oltcr Hunting— From Tk Ckau. \sf W. Somervile. 



236 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



Mr. Bewick put up a marble tablet in Ovingham Church- 
yard, with the following inscription ;— " In memory of John 
Bewick, Engraver, who died 5th December 1795, aged 35 years. 
His ingenuity as an Artist was exceeded only by his conduct 
as a man." 




There was an amount of refinement in manner and speech 
about him that his more talented brother did not possess. 
John played well both on the flute and clarionet: Thomas was 
no musician. 

When John visited Newcastle he invariably brought with 
him from London an assortment of entertaining books for 
children, with proof impressions of cuts he had executed, as 
presents to his little nephew and nieces. Miss Jane Bewick 
used to say that, when young, "she thought her uncle the 
funniest fellow she ever saw." 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 




[' HAVE now before me a tiny tome, entitled '* The 
Oracles," published by Newbery. On the fly- 
leaf is the following inscription : " The Gift of 
John Bewick to his nephew, R. E. Bewick, 1792." 
Below this Miss Bewick kindly added, " The 
Gift of Jane and Isabella Bewick to Mr. Robert Robinson, 
May 16, 1877." 

Innocent mirth was a part of John Bewick's being. He 
was of a sallow complexion, and rather under middle size. In 
this he differed from his father and brothers, who were tall, 
portly, and ruddy. He was particular in his dress, as a young 
man ought to be who is desirous to please. Ordinarily he 
wore a green or blue coat with bright buttons, light-coloured 
vest and breeches, a beaver of the latest London fashion, a 
neat powdered wig, a shirt with three cambric frills, silk 
stockings, and silver buckles. A very pretty buckle that fas- 
tened his stock was remembered by Miss Bewick after ninety 
years had rolled by. Fine drawings of birds and animals, 
including a Prize Ox, a Turtle-Dove and Thrush, coloured and 
of the size in nature, the work of his pencil, are in the possession 
of the family at Eltringham. 

The same love for a country life and rural quiet that so 
strongly possessed the mind of his brother through life, was 
not less intensely felt by John Bewick. Whilst yet a resident 
in the great city, he longed for a humble dwelling or hermitage 
on the richly wooded banks of the Tyne, between Prudhoe 
and Wylam.' 



"And may at last my weary age 
Find out the peaceful hennitage, 



238 THOMA S BE WICK : 



The hairy gown and mossy cell, 

Where I may sit and rightly spell 

Of every star that heaven doth show, 

And every herb that sips the dew." — Milton. 

Twenty-five years ago, after having had tea one pleasant 
afternoon in May with the family at Cherry burn, the late Mr. 
William Bewick ^ accompanied me to Wylam, and pointed out 
the locality where his uncle John so ardently desired to live 
alone and in peace. The lines of Cowley come to mind — 

<< Would I a house for happiness erect, 
Nature alone should be the architect" 

It is reported of Sir Francis Blake Delaval that, on having 
his attention called to the fragrance of a May evening in the 
country, he replied, " This may be very well, but for my part 
I prefer the smell of a flambeau at the playhouse." How 
tastes differ ! This brilliant and talented gentleman, when the 
end came, bitterly deplored the misspent past. It would be 
well if from such an abode of peace as young Bewick sighed 
for, when the close of life draws near, we could look forward 
without a thought for the morrow, and contemplate the shadows 
of the passing cloud, that 

" Imitate, on field and furrow, 
Life's chequered scene of joy and sorrow." 

Incessant toil, serious illness, and the cares of this world 
were obstacles in the way of John Bewick's realising such a 
dream. 



^ William Bewick, third son of Mr. William Bewick of Cherrybum, died 13th April 1863, 
aged seventy-two years, and was interred at Ovingham. He had been in the employ of his 
uncle Thomas as copperplate printer. He had a brother named John, who was apprenticed to 
his uncle also. This talented youth died at the age of nineteen, before he was out of his time. 
Several clever examples of his pencil are at Cherrybum. 



H 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



fa^^KOBERT ELLIOT BEWICK was born on the 
M V^^ 26th of August 1788. No father could be more 
delighted at the birth of a. son and heir than was Mr. 
Bewick on this happy event Through the years 
of childhood and youth he displayed toward this 
loved object of his hopes the most tender care and affection. 
Shortly after the child was vaccinated his eyes became inflamed, 
and his parents saw with sorrow that impure matter bad been 
received into his system, threatening to entail deplorable con- 
sequences on their offspring at the very threshold of life. In 
course of time, however, a strong constitution enabled the little 
sufferer in a great measure to overcome its ill effects, whilst 
good country air and sea-bathing in after years contributed 
much towards restoring his health. In a letter dated 9th July 
1 799, written from Ovingham to his sister Jane, who was then 
staying at South Shields, he relates in boyish glee that " he had 
never had such fun in his life. 
He had learned how to walk on 
stilts, and he believed he could 
cross the Tyne on them, and looked 
forward to the time when he should 
have a grand plodge with them 
at home, in the Forth, when the wet weather should set In. 
Jemmy Maflfin (Maughan) had taught him many new tunes, 
which he had jingled away at Ovingham, Eltringham, and 
Hooly Hill. His father liked best the tune, 'What can a 
young lassie do with an auld man?' He wished he could 
get down to Shields, but his father would not let him out of 
his sight, and he would let Jane hear how he would jingle 
away on Bessy Skipsey's birthday." The above is written 




y^ 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



in 3 bold round hand, the letters being well formed and 
distinct. 

He was now eleven years old, and a tolerable performer 
on the Northumberland small pipes. At the house of Mr. Dob- 
son, who farmed at Mount Hooley, near Ovlngton, and whose 
son married Bewick's sister Ann, young Robert and his sisters 
were always at home. Here he was accustomed whilst a boy 
to enliven and amuse the company with the strains of his 
favourite instrument, on which he afterwards became such a 
proficient In course of time he possessed a valuable collection 




From (he Hiiiery of a Fly (Hodgson's Edition). 

of pipe music. As he grew in years he took tolerably well 
to his father's profession, and could engrave respectably both 
on copper and wood, but did not manifest much enthusiasm 
or greatly endeavour to excel in either. He was fond of 
isometrical drawing, and wished to become an architect. Many 
excellent examples of his ability might be named. Fidelity to 
Nature and minuteness of detail distinguish his performances. 

On ist January 1812 Mr. Bewick admitted his son into 
partnership, and the business was continued in all its branches 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 241 

as before, under the style of " Thomas Bewick & Son." The 
late Rev. John F. Bigge, vicar of Stamfordham, had three 
drawings by Mr. R. E. Bewick, presented to him by Miss 
Isabella Bewick. These were interesting views of Seaton 
Delaval Hall, before the fire, the old house at the Forth in 
which Richard Wingate's father lived, and a sketch of cattle. 

Robert Bewick died, unmarried, on the 27th July 1849, 
aged 61, and was buried at Ovingham. As an engraver he 
was not successful in maintaining the renown of his father. 



r-^...,;3^3^£ 




The Earth-Worm— From Tain for Youlk, 1794, 



There certainly was latent talent, and I am persuaded that, 
if only the necessary effort had been made, his natural ability 
would have shown itself; but he was wanting in energy, some- 
what listless, and of a retiring and diffident disposition, qualities 
not calculated to make their owner famous among artists. 
Through life he displayed a kindly feeling towards birds and 
animals and every living creature. Whilst taking a walk in 
the country, he would go before his sisters and remove out of 
the way the lowly palmer-worm, lest it should be trod upon. 
His pockets were usually filled with bread crumbs, to strew 

2 H 



243 THOMA S BE WICK : 

on the road for pigeons and sparrows to pick up. His sensi- 
tive nature shrank from giving pain, and he passed from this 
life without having provoked a single enemy. 

He was more at home with copper than with wood. The 
most notable of his performances are the following, viz. : — A 
Lobster, engraved for the late Isaac Cookson, Esq., to orna- 
ment lobster-pots. The Rev. Canon Raine of York owns 
one of these pots, probably the only perfect example in exist- 
ence. A few proof impressions from the plate were struck 



^^>^>^^*^:,.J^<.^^^'r^,^-A 




off and printed in red ink before it was delivered. These are 
now very rare. I possess the original pencil drawing,' with 
one of those proofs, both obtained from Miss Bewick, It is 
an admirable work of art. There is also a very pretty view 
on the Tyne, with Bywell Hall ; the " Maigre," included 
amongst the woodcuts of fishes at the end of Bewick's 
Memoir ; a View of Ryton Church, in the County of Durham, 
engraved in 1822 for the late Venerable Archdeacon Thorp, 

' The Unisheil drawing, a [lerrect gciD, nuiy be seen in Ibe Museum of the Naluial History 
Society, Newcxsile. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 243 

and deservedly prized by that gentleman — it is a beautiful 
little plate; a Masonic Arch, with emblems (14 inches by 9 
inches), engraved for the Northumberland Provincial Lodge of 
Freemasons in the same year, with others. These, though 
stated to be executed by T. Bewick & Son, are almost ex- 
clusively the work of the latter. In the last edition of the 
"Birds," 1847, will be found a cut of the Bewick "Swan." 
This is the most favourable example of his skill as a wood- 
engraver. In Fox's "Synopsis of the Newcastle Museum" 
there are also two plates by him. The superintendence of 
the seventh and eighth editions of the " Birds," in their pas- 
sage through the press, devolved on Mr. R. E. Bewick and 
Mr. John Hancock, a very old friend of the family, and owe 
much of their excellence to the care and attention of both. 
His sisters would occasionally visit the printing ofiice whilst 
the work was in progress, examine the proof-sheets, and, as 
Miss Jane told me, remove with a fine bodkin any particles of 
ink lodged in the interstices of the cuts and likely to affect 
the printing. 




■^ 







SEWICK had many pupils in the course of 
his long career, but none who united in 
themselves those high and rare qualities 
found in their great master — that of 
being both draughtsman and engraver 
of unsurpassed excellence in the pro- 
vince his genius had created. 
Johnson could design well, and express his artistic concep- 
tions in colour with readiness and effect, but did not engrave, 
beyond a few trifles unworthy of mention, either on wood or 
copper. 

Charlton Nesbit, though deficient in those intellectual 
powers which constitute a master mind, excelled as a wood- 
engraver. 

The natural talents of Luke Clennell were of the highest 
order. He was essentially a man of genius, and an artist of 
Nature's own making. These justly entide him to our homage, 




248 THOMAS BEWICK: 

whilst that dire calamity, the loss of reason through so many 
years, will ever enlist the sympathy of every feeling heart. 

William Harvey's talents as a designer and engraver on 
wood are too well known and understood to need particular 
mention. The same remark will apply to John Jackson. 



|OBERT JOHNSON was born at Shotley, in Nor- 
thumberland, in 1770, where his father followed the 
trade of a joiner and cabinetmaker. His mother 
being a great favourite with Mrs. Bewick, she besought her son, 
whilst on her deathbed, to take Robert, then in his eighteenth 
year, as an apprentice, which was accordingly done in or about 
1788. This date does not agree with a remark Miss Bewick 
once made, that Johnson was bound on the day her father was 
married. His parents afterwards removed to Gateshead. Few 
masters would have felt disposed to take an apprentice at such 
an age, but Mr. Bewick had regard to the request of his mother. 
Young Johnson's fondness for drawing would thus be encouraged 
under the guidance of one who was himself self-taught, and 
well fitted to develop natural talent in others. Miss Bewick 
said that her father took uncommon pains with Johnson. She 
remembered him well. Miss Isabella told me that he had 
often carried her in his arms whilst a child, and spoke of him 
kindly. He used to bring flowers to the Forth on a Sunday 
afternoon from the garden of a relative. Miss Harvey (sister of 
William Harvey, Bewick's pupil) informed me that Johnson 
lodged with the father of the late Mr. John Bell, land surveyor, 
without the Westgate, near to where the Tyne Theatre now 
stands. At the expiration of his apprenticeship he eng^ed 



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■ ' •. . I. ii' AVt:-.! t: •• 

• . • lis ^.-i'/Llcri":;! 
^. .;«: ir» 'jr a! ' mil 

;■ :• '•. Miss iJt\.'Kk 



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■ A ^'•■\.A'\'-. Mi.:; : !arv''V ( ^isl:jr til 





R. jBhiuti; diL 



THE DEPARTURE. 



P^'iW, March 1887, ij ftiAtri Ralinum, n Filfrim Strat, 
HiatailU-upoa- Tjiit. 



II 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 249 

rooms for awhile at the head of Dean Street, where he intended 
to follow the business of a copperplate engraver, but was 
seemingly unsuccessful. Towards the close of the last century, 
Mr. Joseph Whitfield, bookseller, at the north end of Tyne 
Bridge, well known for his ultra-Tory principles, published an 
Annual Ladies* Pocket-Book, with an engraved frontispiece. 
For one of these Johnson executed on copper a reduced view 
of his fine large drawing of St. Nicholas' Church. Subsequently 
Whitfield, having obtained a sight of the architect's design for 
intended alterations on the north front of the Exchange, New- 
castle, employed Johnson to engrave the same, of a suitable 
size, to illustrate his next year's Pocket-Book. This was the 
origin of an amusing feud between the bookseller and the 
engraver. Johnson closely copied the drawing; but when 
finished Whitfield raised an objection, viz., that it wanted a 
foreground, although there was none in the original drawing, 
and refused to pay what he had bargained for unless there were 
figures introduced in front. Johnson, to get his money, added 
figures, placing Whitfield, who unfortunately had one leg much 
shorter than the other, conspicuously amongst them. 

This proceeding exasperated the bookseller so much that at 
length he refused to pay anything, making use of the engraving 
nevertheless. Johnson, to be revenged, designed and etched a 
clever coloured caricature of Whitfield (which he sold for one 
shilling), who then took counsel's opinion as to prosecuting 
Johnson, but was advised to laugh it off. To retaliate on the 
artist, he had a pirated copy of the caricature done, which he 
sold at sixpence. This again roused the burin of Johnson, who 
published a second and a third caricature of Whitfield. These 
are now of extreme rarity. The first was entitled "A Real 

Friend to his Country Begs." This represented Mr. Whitfield 

2 I 



350 THOMAS BEWICK: 

standing, with his short leg raised, holding a declaration headed, 
"An Antidote against the Black Demon of Discord." He is 
attired in a light blue coat, striped pink and white vest, yellow 
breeches, white stockings, and shoes with buckles. A scroll 
proceeds from his mouth, on which is written, " Britons stand 
forward, and sacrifice a part to save the whole." Whitfield 
was an Irishman. These caricatures resembled him both in 
features and general appearance. The others were " The Asses 
in Danger " and " The Overthrow." 




The Vain Sparrow and Crwl Judge— From Talafor Yo 



Whilst in Newcastle Johnson made a drawing of Sunderland 
Bridge, then in course of erection, which was afterwards en- 
graved by himself and Mr. Abraham Hunter. It was Mr. 
Bewick's opinion that had Johnson lived, he would have obtained 
distinction as an engraver on copper; but engraving was not 
M\% forte, and I am persuaded that he never would have attained 
fame in that department of art In his youth he studied Nature 
by Shotley Burn and the banks of the Derwent, or the more 
wild and romantic scenery about AUansford and Shotley Bridge. 
He possessed an elegant and refined taste, displaying much 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



originality in his designs, and could portray the human form 
with grace and truth. 

Mr, Bewick acknowledged that Robert Johnson could not 
draw out of perspective. It is on his skill as a painter in water- 
colours that his fame as an artist must depend. Dying so young 
and uncared for, fine examples of his pencil are, unfortunately, 
but few. 

The Earl of Bute, in passing through Newcastle, called at 
Mr. Bewick's, where he was shown a portfolio of drawings by 




The Spider and the ChieftaiD— From TaUifor Youth, 1794. 

Johnson, with which he was so much pleased that he purchased 
as many as amounted to £,y:i. This sum Messrs. Beilhy & 
Bewick retained, on the ground that they were the work of an 
apprentice, and that the making of such drawings was a part of 
his business. Johnson's friends took a different view of the 
matter, which ended in litigation. At the trial the case for the 
defendants broke down, it being proved by Charlton Nesbit, 
another apprentice, that they had never received any instruction 
from their masters in the art of painting In water-colours, and 
that it formed no part of the teaching necessary for an engraver. 



252 THOMAS BEWICK: 



The action was tried in the Sheriffs Court, Newcastle, April 29, 
1 795- The bill of costs against Beilby & Bewick amounted to 
jC9f I OS. I id. 

Mr. Ralph Heron, an attorney, who was consulted by John- 
son's friends, was informed by an anonymous correspondent that 
he had seen a caricature of him in Bewick's office, in which the 
bird of that name was represented holding a pen in its bill, and 
guiding the hand of a dying man in signing his will. Mr. Heron 
was recommended to secure the drawing before it was published, 
as it was likely to do him much harm. Some years after, that 
gentleman gave Mr. Bewick this note, when the latter assured 
him that such a drawing was never made or seen by him, and 
that he never caricatured any man, be he friend or foe. 

In the summer of 1796, Mr. Johnson was recommended 
to Messrs. Morison, publishers, Perth, to make drawings of 
portraits by Jameson, the Scottish Vandyke, at Taymouth 
Castle, Kenmore, the seat of the Earl of Breadalbane, for 
Pinkerton s " Iconographia Scotica." Mr. Johnson was very 
anxious that his drawings should be well engraved, " as much 
as possible in the manner of ' Houbraken's Heads of Illustrious 
Persons.* Except the engravings are done with judicious exact- 
ness from these drawings," he remarks in a letter to Mr. Pinker- 
ton, " I beg you will not put my name to them, as I think it a 
laudable precaution which every young artist should take and 
abide by who has only his hands and his little name to depend 
on." Mr. Johnson had probably seen some of the portraits 
already engraved which two years before had been so con- 
temptuously spoken of by Horace Walpole. 

The following letter details the sad circumstances attending 
the death of this unfortunate youth, " to fortune and to fame 
unknown : " — 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 253 



Messrs. Morison & Son to Mr. Pinkerton. 

" Perth, November 18, 1796. 

" You no doubt will be surprised when we inform you that the purpose of 
this letter is to announce to you the death of poor Johnson. We have seldom 
met with an occurrence in which we have felt more interested than the latter 
end of that deserving young man. 

** The very day after we last wrote you, we received a letter from Kenmoret 
from the man in whose house he lodged, desiring us to send for him, as he was 
quite delirious ; and by express the day following we were informed of his death. 
Some weeks before this Lord Breadalbane and family had left Taymouth House, 
and he had continued his business in a large parlour, without fire. Anxious to 
get through with his job, and the hours of daylight but few, he frequently sat six 
and seven hours on a stretch, and contracted a terrible cold. A fever was the 
consequence ; no person to take a charge of him, he neglected himself; it flew to 
his brain ; and, terrible to relate, he was bound with ropes, beat, and treated 
like a madman. It is a subject too painful to be dwelt minutely on. For- 
tunately, the day before his death, a Dr. M 'Lagan, passing through Kenmore, 
visited him, ordered him to be unbound, applied blisters, &c. The day follow^ 
ing the delirium abated ; he became calm, and died in peace and composure. 
As none of us could go from home, we sent an acquaintance to see him decently 
interred ; and so entirely were we strangers to him, that we know not more about 
his relations than that they lived at Newcastle. Mr. Kirkwood, of Edinburgh, 
who recommended him to us, advised his friends of his death, and a young 
gentleman went up to Kenmore and investigated his little matters. There are 
two finished portraits among his drawings which will doubtless be sent you ; but 
the young gentleman's instructions were to seal up everything and send them to 
Newcastle. We stated to him the circumstances concerning these portraits, and 
cannot for a moment doubt their being immediately ordered back. 

" We have been informed of several anecdotes about him which are interest- 
ing. He was bound apprentice to the famous Bewick of Newcastle (who cuts 
figures on wood in so dexterous a manner) by his father. We should have set out 
with mentioning that he was the only son of an aged man, a carpenter, in Gates- 
head, near Newcastle. His master, observing his uncommon genius for drawing, 
employed him to trace the figures on the wood. This accustomed him to 
drawing, and the figures in Bewick's * History of Quadrupeds * will be lasting 
monuments of his genius and abilities. A lady in Newcastle, observing his taste 
and abilities, was at the expense of keeping him at an academy for drawing ; 
and by the time his apprenticeship was finished, he was considered as almost fit 



254 THOMA S BE WICK : 



for London. He determined, however, to work at home till he could work more 
to his mind, and had been employed for about six months on his own account 
when he agreed to go to Kenmore. He had been so successful that he made 
his aged father give up his tools, for which he was now too infirm, and took 
upon himself his support In this and several other respects his private character 
was most exemplary ; and such of his drawings as can be had will bring great 
prices, and it is expected will raise a little fund to support the inconsolable 
parents, who have now no child left His funeral charges came exorbitantly 
high, from eleven to twelve pounds. We have a great inclination to subscribe a 
little towards them : perhaps you may feel so disposed also. Excuse my freedom." 

With respect to the assertion herein made that Mr. Johnson 
had rendered considerable help to his master in tracing on the 
wood the figures in the " History of Quadrupeds," Miss Bewick 
favoured me with a sight of the original draft of her father's 
vuidication of himself from the erroneous statement of Mr. 
Pinkerton. Bewick affirms that the whole of the cuts in the 
" Quadrupeds " were designed, drawn, and engraved by himself; 
that he received no help or assistance from any one, except that 
some of the trifling ornaments or tailpieces were left to be cut 
by the pupils. He speaks in a friendly tone of Mr. Johnson, 
and of himself as the victim of " associated malice and envy." 

Fifteen drawings had been finished, and there remained 
four to copy when Johnson died. His parents presented to 
his relatives and friends a memorial card with the following 
inscription : — 

ROBERT JOHNSON, of Gateshead, 

Painter and Engraver, 

Died at Kenmore, in Perthshire, 29th October 1796, 

In the 26th year of his age. 

The Works of his Pencil speak for themselves. His other Valuable and Pleasing 
Qualifications can be justly appreciated by those only who knew him. 



This Memorial was executed from one of his own designs by his Friend and 

Fellow Apprentice, Mr. C. Nesbit. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 2$$ 

An impression from the original woodcut is given below. 
The following drawings by Johnson are in the collection of 
Joseph Crawhall, Esq., Newcastle : — 

Saint Nicholas' Church, Newcastle — The original drawing ; afterwards 
engraved on wood by C. Nesbit. A work of great local interest 
Landscape with Figures — A drawing of remarkable beauty. 
OviNGUAu Churchyard — Signed R. J., on a stone in the foreground. 
The Friars — Newcastle-on-Tyne. 
Tan field Arch — County of Durham. 
Wabkworth Castle — Northumberland. 
Waakworth Castle — Another view. 




A lovely drawing, " Lavinia." is in the possession of James 
Leathart, Esq., Bracken Dene, Gateshead. John Hancock, 
Esq., Newcastle, has also several interesting examples. 

In addition to the drawings made by this talented young 
artist to embellish Bulmer's fine edition of Goldsmith's "Deserted 



25« THOMAS BEWICK: 



Village," and the " Hermit," by Parnel!, I have the pleasure to 
make known a little discovery of my own, viz., that a channing 
vignette, engraved by Charles Warren from what must have 
been an exquisite drawing of poor Johnson's, will be found on 
the engraved title of the second volume of Cooke's edition 
of Gay's Poems, 1804, and illustrates a line in the forty-fifth 
Fable, "The Poet and the Rose" — "A rose he plucked, he 
gazed, admired" (vol i. p. 78). Mr. Warren probably received 
the drawing from his son-in-law, L. Clennell. 



Jft^wOHN JOHNSON, a cousin of Robert Johnson, was 
j^[p bom at Stanhope, in Weardale. He also was a pupil 
f^^ of Bewick's, but did not live to finish his apprentice- 
ship. The beautiful woodcut of the " Hermit at his Devo- 
tions," engraved in Poems by Goldsmith and Parnell (4to, 1795), 
was from a drawing by this talented young artist. 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 




gjltARLTON NESBIT wasborn in 1775 atSwalwell, 
a village on the banks of the Derwent, near its influx 
with the Tyne, about four miles south-west from 
'^M Gateshead, County Durham. His father was a 
keelman, who, perceiving the bent of his son's genius, 
had the good sense to apprentice htm to Mr. Bewick about 1789. 
The kindliness of his heart was early shown, for on the sad death 
of his fellow apprentice, Robert Johnson, he engraved in memory 
of his friend the beautiful cut already given, which will ever 
remain not only a touching memorial of the strength of his 
friendship, but a charming example of the mastery he had 
attained in the art of wood-engraving. Whilst Johnson was 
in Scotland, Nesbit supplied the trade with his caricatures of 
Whitfield, and also with one of his own, representing Stephen 
Kemble as " Hamlet," wearing the Order of the " Elephant 
and Castle." Beneath are the words, " O that this ioo, too solid 
flesh would melt." The likeness was admirable. It is etched 
on copper, quarto size, and is very rare. An old lady, a rela- 
tive, saw him busy with it; he then resided in Drury Lane, 
Newcastle. Nesbit's goodwill towards Johnson was still further 
manifested in that not long after the expiration of his apprentice- 
ship, he engraved on twelve blocks of boxwood, firmly clamped 
together and mounted on an iron plate to prevent warping, a 
View of St. Nicholas' Church, for the benefit of Johnson's 
parents. The following is a copy of the Prospectus : — 

" In Januaiy 1798 will be published an Engraving on Wocxi representing a 
North View of St. Nicholas' Church in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, fix>m a highly 
finished Drawing of the late Robt Johnson, Painter, and engraved by C Nesbit, 
late pupil to Mr, T. Bewick. Size of the Print, Fifteen inches by Twelve : being 
the largest Engravit^ on Wood ever attempted in the present Mode. The 

2 K 



258 THOMAS BEWICK: 



patronage of the Public is earnestly solicited to the abpve, being undertaken 
solely for the Emolument of the aged Parents of the deceased artist 

"To be printed by Mr. Bulmer at the Shakespeare Press, London. Price 
five shillings." 

Subscribers' names were received by the printer, and by 
the booksellers in Edinburgh, Perth, York, Newcastle, and sur- 
rounding towns, and by the father of the artist, Thomas Johnson, 
Gateshead. 

For the execution of this large cut the Society of Arts 
presented Nesbit with the lesser silver palette, and in 1802 he 
received the Society's silver medal. About 1799 Mr. Nesbit 
removed to London, where he remained till 18 15. During his 
residence there he engraved, from the designs of John Thurston, 
a number qf cuts for various works. His cuts for Northcote's 
Fables are esteemed very highly, and considered amongst the 
best he lived to execute. At the latter date he returned to his 
native place, where he took up his abode until 1830, when he 
again left the North for London, and continued to reside there 
until his death on the i ith of November 1838, aged sixty-three. 
His large cut of Rinaldo and Armida, engraved in 18 18 for 
Savage's '* Hints on Decorative Painting,'* is unquestionably a 
fine work of art, and well adapted to display Nesbit's merits as 
an engraver. The subject was designed by Thurston, whose 
talents were so often called into requisition by the engravers 
of that day. 

There is an elegant edition of '* Hudibras," with Dr. Grey's 
Notes, plates engraved by Ridley after Hogarth, and woodcuts 
by Nesbit. This was printed by Bensley for Vernor & Hood 
in 1 80 1, in 2 vols, super royal 8vo. 

William Shield, the eminent musical composer, was also a 
native of Swalwell In early life he became the friend of John 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 259 

Cunningham, several of whose pieces he set to music. The 
charming melody of " The Thorn " will never cease to delight 
the most fastidious critic, together with "The Wolf" and 
" The Heaving of the Lead." The remains of the son of 
the Swalwell singing-master now rest with the illustrious 
dead, poets, statesmen, and dramatists, in the great Abbey of 
Westminster. 



r^-|^-^l|UKE CLENNELL, the most brilliant offshoot of the 
— —*" Bewick school, was born at Ulgham, a small hamlet 




near Morpeth, in Northumberland, on the 8th of 
April 1781. When young he was placed under the 
protection of an uncle, a grocer at Morpeth, with 
whom he continued until he was sixteen. Evincing a strong 
liking for drawing, his friends seconded his inclination by 
sending him to Mr. Bewick, to whom he was apprenticed on 
the anniversary of his birthday, 1797- His genius, elegant 
taste, and fine imagination were soon manifest, for he was 
equally at home in depicting Nature in the recesses of woodland 
or village life, by the mountain stream or the wild ocean shore. 
He more than equalled Nesbit or Nicholson as a wood-engraver, 
and might claim the palm of excellence with Johnson as a 
painter in water-colours. After the termination of his appren- 
ticeship he continued to work for Mr. Bewick, who employed 
him in engraving several of the cuts for an edition of Hume 
and Smollett's " History of England " (Scholey's edition), with 
historical woodcuts from Thurston's designs. For engraving 
those cuts Mr. Bewick paid him two pounds each, whilst he 
charged the publisher five pounds. On this being known to 
Qennell, he sent to the firm a proof of one of them — Alfred 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



in the Danish Camp — stating that it was his work. This led 
to an engagement in the Metropolis, where he arrived towards 
the close of 1804. Jackson, in his " Treatise on Wood-Engrav- 
ing," observes that between the expiration of his apprentire- 
ship and his departure for London he appears to have engraved 
several excellent cuts for a school-book entitled "The Hive of 
Ancient and Modem Literature," printed by S. Hodgson, New- 
castle. In boyhood he had watched the gathering storm and 
tempest from the far-stretching coast that skirts Druridge Bay 




to Cresswell, and wandered, " when summer days were prime," 
by the gentle windings of the Wansbeck to where that river 
seeks the sea at Camboise. His poetic soul in after years 
mused upon those early remembrances heaped up in the store- 
house of memory. In an octavo edition of Falconer's "Ship- 
wreck," published by Cadell & Davis, 1808, is an extremely 
beautiful cut of a ship running before the wind in a gale, 
engraved by Clennell, though the drawing on the block was 
done by Thurston — no doubt a vivid recollection of what 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 261 

he had frequently beheld off Northumbrian shores. The fine 
large cut which he engraved for the diploma of the Highland 
Society, from a design by Benjamin West, President of the 
Royal Academy, obtained much praise. " The original draw- 
ing was made on paper; and Clennell gave Thurston fifteen 
pounds for copying on the block the figures within the circle ; 
the supporters — a Highland soldier and a fisherman — he copied 
himself. The block on which he first began to engrave this 
cut consisted of several pieces of box veneered upon beech; 



mm 


iPi 




ijy! 


■ri^ 


^^^ 


i>|p!i£^|H 




phSb 


m^ 


^^H 




^KKt 


E 


&^3 




n 


WK ' .'-. 


'■' - "^^uj 











Alcanueu and SKErriuius—From TAt Hive, 1806. 



and after he had been employed upon it for about two months, 
it one afternoon suddenly split when he was at tea. Clennell, 
hearing it crack, immediately suspected the cause, and on find- 
ing it rent in such a manner that there was no chance of repair- 
ing it, he, in a passion that the labour already bestowed on it 
should be lost, threw all the tea-things into the fire. A new 
block was made; Thurston was paid another sum of fifteen 
pounds for redrawing the figures as before. For this cut 
Clennell received one hundred pounds, and the Society for 



262 THOMA S BE WICK : 

the Encouragement of Arts presented him with their gold 
medal, May 30, 1809."* In 1814 he received a commission 
from the Earl of Bridgewater to paint a large picture of the 
grand banquet given to the Allied Sovereigns in the Guildhall 
by the City of London. After overcoming many difficulties, 
and enduring much worry and anxiety in obtaining portraits 
and sketches of the illustrious personages who were present, 
he unfortunately became insane, a malady from which he was 
never afterwards entirely free. Lucid intervals there were. 




The Northumberland Lifeboal— From Tht Hive, 1806. 



when reason seemed again to assert her former power, but 
these were only transitory ; the material organ of that faculty 
of the soul had become fatally impaired, and the great work 
on which he had been employed was left to be finished by 
another hand (E. Bird, R.A.), who in his turn also became 
insane. Not long after, Mrs. Clennell * was deprived of reason, 
and died, leaving three young children destitute. Such a 

' Jackson's "Treatise on Wood-Engiavim;," p. 617 (1839). 

' Mrs. Ctctlnell was the daughter of C. Warren, an excellent copperplate engraver. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 263 

calamity awakened the generous sympathy of several noble- 
men and gentlemen, patrons of the Fine Arts. It was resolved 
to publish by subscription an engraving from his picture of 
" The Decisive Charge of the Life Guards at Waterloo " for 
the benefit of Clennell's helpless children, and to aid in pro- 
viding for the future wants of himself. I possess Mr. Bewick's 
superb proof impression of the plate, obtained from his daughters. 
The following is a copy of the receipt attached : — 

CLENNELL SUBSCRIPTION, May 22, 1819. 
By Authority of the London Committee. 

/ heredy acknowledge the Receipt of Three Pounds^ being the Deposit Sub- 
scription for a Proof of a Plate, engraved by Wm. Bromley, after a Picture 
by Luke Clennell, representing " The Decisive Charge of the Life Guards at 
Waterloo," from Mr, T, Bewick, 

N.B, — ^The whole Receipts arising from this Print to be appropriated towards 

the Support and Education of three infant parentless Children of the Painter, 

under the Direction of a Committee. 

J. BRITTON, F.S.A., Hon, Sec, 

This picture formed part of the collection of the late Mrs. 
George Vaughan, and was sold by Messrs. Christie, Manson, 
& Woods on February 23, 1885, for £Z^y 5s., and bought by 
Mr. Vokins. It measures about 24 inches by 36 inches. 

Whilst living in the neighbourhood he was accustomed to 
call on Mr. Bewick. He was then quite harmless, and had 
no misgiving but that he could both draw and cut on wood as 
well as in past days, and longed to be put to the test. Bewick, 
to amuse him, put a piece of wood into his hands. He went 
away happy, and returned some time after with the finished 
cut ; but how unlike his former work ! the contrast was pitiable 
indeed. No more melancholy or painful spectacle could be 




264 THOMA S BE WICK : 

presented than to contemplate the wreck of such a mind. His 
wild and pure and beautiful thoughts he took pleasure in com- 
mitting to paper. The following specimen of his poetry is now 
published for the first time : — 

THE COTTAGER. 

IVri/fen in October 1827. 

In my Cabin of aubour 

i took my wine 

twas mine lot 

to be Steward ! of an cot, 

to dress the flowing Vine ? 

Mine Hind, was at my door 

did the forest range 

for the green leafs change 

Soft was the gale 

over ! the Cottage of the vale : 

My lute i woud sound 
in soft simphoni abound 
and my dear mate 
my loveli Kate 
each flower so rare 
did in her bosom wear. 

During the latter part of his life he had spent not less than 
twenty-two years in lunatic asylums in London and Newcastle. 
He lived several years with a relative at St. Peter's Quay, 
Newcastle, beguiling the weary days in drawing, music, and 
writing poetry. Becoming violent, it was thought prudent in 
1 83 1 to place him again under restraint, in which state he 
remained until death kindly released him from all his troubles 
on the 9th February 1840. In 1844 a handsome marble tablet 
was placed in the north transept of St. Andrew's Church, New- 
castle, to perpetuate his memory. Many excellent drawings 




HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



265 



by this artist are to be found in the collections of local connoisseurs, 
including Mr. Joseph Crawhall and Mr. Thomas Gow of Cambo. 
This gentleman has several of Clennell's best drawings of monastic 
and castellated ruins in Northumberland, made for Sir Walter 
Scott's " Border Antiquities." Not less than sixty-four engravings 
in this important work are from drawings by Clennell. Mr. M. 
Lambert of Newcastle owns a very interesting little picture repre- 
senting a scene on the Town Moor, Newcastle, on the day after 
the Cowhill Fair. Alderman Cail, of the Low Fell, Gateshead, has 






The Grateful Tutk— From 7"*< J/ivt, 1806. 

several choice examples by the same artist. A few pleasing speci- 
mens, obtained from Miss Bewick, I have the pleasure to possess. 
Mr. Austin Dobson, in his elegant monograph, "Thomas 
Bewick and his Pupils," speaking of Clennell, observes that his 
" last work of any moment as a wood-engraver is the series of 
cuts which illustrate Rogers' * Pleasures of Memory, with Other 
Poems.' This little volume has an established reputation with 
collectors, and the excellence of the cuts as enlightened render- 
ings of pen-and-ink sketches can scarcely be exaggerated."* 

' The engnfingi are Irum pen-uid-uik drawings by T. Stolbuti, R.A., Beulej, 1810-12-14. 

2 L 



THOMAS BEWICK: 




lILLIAM HARVEY was bom at Newcastle-upon- 
Tyne on the 1 3th of July 1 796, his father being 
keeper of the Public Baths at the Westgate, and at 
the age of fourteen he was apprenticed to Thomas 
Bewick for the usual term of seven years to learn 
the art of engraving on wood. In 1817 he went to London, 
where he became a pupil of the unfortunate Benjamin R. Hay- 
don, and studied anatomy under Sir Charles Bell along with 
those distinguished artists, Sir Charles Eastlake, George Lance, 
and Sir Edwin Landseer. His elaborate engraving of the 
Assassination of Dentatus, from a painting by Haydon, will 
ever remain as a witness of his skill and perseverance. His 
illustrations to Lane's translation of the "Arabian Nights," 
Henderson's " History of Wines," and the designs supplied 
to Northcote's Fables, mainly engraved by Nesbit and John 
Jackson, attest the versatility of his genius. 

From about the age of thirty he gave up the practice of 
wood-engraving, and, like Thurston, confined himself to that of 
designing book illustrations for the trade. 

I cannot here forego the pleasure of placing on record the 
following extract from a letter I had the honour to receive from 
Mr. Harvey, who was Bewick's favourite pupil. Fifty years 
had then passed since he worked as an apprentice under the 
eye of his distinguished master. 



Mv Dear Sir, — 1 am realty ashamed at having suffered your kind and 
Battering letter of the 33d of August to remain so long without an answer; but 
I trust to a charitable view of my case when I assure you the real delinquent 
has been your enthusiastic friend. ... I shall feel great pleasure in forwarding 
you the impressions of Dentatus as soon as I can And an hour to look them 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



267 



over, and delighted to be of any use to you in illustrating, by any little know- 
ledge I may possess, the works of our great townsman, and in assisting you to 
avoid the mistakes of many of hJs well-intentioned friends in attributing to him 
the execution of engravings in which he had no share. I consider him so 
superior to any one of his followers, that a careful "weeding" is more calculated 
to serve than detract from his transcendent merit The designs by Thurston for 
Bums, I believe, were entirely engraved by Harry White. I merely mention 
this as a case in point. Pray ask me, without reserve, anything in which I can 
be of service to you in this matter, and believe me, yours very truly, 

WILLIAM HARVEY. 
7e R. Robinson, Esq. 

Mr. Harvey, esteemed by all who knew him, died at Prospect 
Lodge, Richmond, on the 13th of January 1866. 




/;, V 



; >'. ■-■ 



^ 



.y \ 



;.-. 1 • » 



■ ■ ^ 



* ^ 



.1" 1 '.:. ■ ; ' 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



269 



John Jackson drew and painted domestic subjects with 
much originality of feeling, and he always had a strong desire 
to be a painter. He might have realised that ambition under 
more favourable circumstances, but he had all his life to con* 
tend against the depressing influence of bad health, and he was 
never able to do more in drawing and painting than amuse 
himself occasionally to relieve the tedium of his profession as 
an engraver. With the exception of a few weeks in the 
summer, he was compelled to take his recreation indooi^, and 
among other amusements he collected materials for a history of 
wood-engraving, which, with the assistance of his friend, the 
late Mr. W. A. Chatto, resulted in the publication of the well- 
known work on that subject. Some good examples of Jackson's 
work both as a draughtsman and an engraver will be found in 
the latter part of " The Treatise on Wood- Engraving." 

John Jackson died in London, March 27, 1848. 




PORTRAITS 



OF 



THOMAS BEWICK, 

Several of which /lave been Engraved. 



The following is a list of them : — 

1. Mr. Thos. Bewick, the celebrated Engraver on Wood, 
Miss Kirkley Pinxt., T. A. Kidd Sculpt. Published as the 
Act directs, Jan. 4, 1798, by G. G. and J. Robinson, Paternoster 
Row, and W. Lubbock, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 

This engraving, of which early impressions are extremely rare, was inserted 
in the Gentleman^ s Magazine for January 1829. 

2. Mr. Thos. Bewick, restorer of the art of engraving 
on wood. From an original miniature by Murphy, in the 
possession of Mr. Bewick, with whose permission this plate 
is engraved and published by J. Summerfield, November i, 
1815-. 

The following year this plate was again published by T. M*Lean, Sackville 
Street, Piccadilly, February i, 1816 ; but this also is now of considerable 
rarity. Mr. Joseph Crawhall and Mr. J. W. Barnes of Durham, the 
executors of the late Miss Isabella Bewick, presented to the Museum of 
the Natural History Society, Newcastle, the beautiful drawing by Miss 
Kirkley, fresh as when first painted, and the equally beautiful miniatures 
on ivory by Murphy and Plymer. The latter was much prized by the 
Misses Bewick. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 271 

3. Thomas Bewick, the celebrated Engraver on Wood. 
London, published by T. Ranson/ Judd Place West, New 
Road, and Messrs. Boydell, Cheapside, Jan. 18 16. 

This print was engraved by subscription, and deemed the best portrait of 
Bewick which had then been executed. Falling into the hands of a 
local bookseller, he had it cut down to an octavo size, and used it as a 
frontispiece to several of Bewick's works. Both are now rarely to be met 
with. The original painting by William Nicholson is in the collection of 
the Right Hon. Earl Ravensworth, Ravensworth Castle. Mr. Chamle/s 
fine dog " Don " is introduced by the side of the artist. 

4. Mr. Thos. Bewick, Engraver on Wood, painted by Jas. 
Ramsey, engraved by J no. Burnett, Pub. Oct. 25, 181 7, for the 
Proprietor, at Molteno's, Pall Mall, and Colnaghi's, Cockspur 
Street 

Original impressions *6f this beautiful portrait are now extremely rare. 
Bewick considered it by far the best likeness of himself. It was originally 
published at 21s. The artist made a present of the picture to Mrs. 
Bewick. Through the liberality of the executors it was also sent to the 
Museum. 

5. Thomas Bewick, pencilled on the block by William 
Nicholson, and engraved by Charlton Nesbit, 1820. 

This portrait appeared as the frontispiece to Chamley's edition of the 
Select Fables, and was afterwards printed with a View of the Old 
Exchange, in Newcastle, on 4to, with large Cuts of a Tiger, Elephant, 

■ 

^ Thomas Fryer Ranson was bom at Sunderland in 1784, and served his apprenticeship as 
an engraver with J. A. Kidd of Newcastle, after which he removed to London, and in 18 14 
received the silver medal of the Society of Arts for engraving a portrait of Sir Thomas Gresham. 
In 18 18 he entered warmly into the controversy respecting the forgery of bank notes, on which 
the Bank authorities commenced proceedings against him, and he was confined in Coldbath- 
Fields Prison, where he engraved "An interior view of Cold-Bath-Fields Prison, in which 
" Thomas Ranson was unlawfully confined by the Bank of England, for holding an alledged 
" forged One Pound Note (that he paid forty shillings for), which was proved to be genuine by 
" a Court of Justice. Dedicated, without permission, to the Governor and Company of the 
'' Threadneedle Street Paper Establishment." In 182 1 he received from the Society of Arts a 
gold medal for his line engraving from a portrait of the Duke of Northumberland ; and in 1822 
another gold medal for his engraving from Wilkie's picture '* Duncan Gray.'* 



272 THOMAS BEWICK: 



and Zebra, all by Nicholson. The Lion in this set was drawn on the 
wood by Bewick, and engraved by W. W. Temple. This fine woodcut 
was executed for the late Mr. Chamley a considerable time before the 
others. When finished it gave little satisfaction, for the skin had a wavy 
appearance, more like marble than hair. It was returned to Mr. Bewick, 
at his own request, who went three times over the work before it was 
brought to perfection. Impressions of this beautiful cut on vellum in 
the first, second, and third states are in my collection. Besides this 
portrait, Chamley gave in his Select Fables reduced facsimiles of the 
portraits engraved by Kidd, Ranson, Summerfield, and Burnett 

6. Thomas Bewick, drawn and engraved on wood by John 
Jackson, probably when a pupil with Bewick. 

This Cut was inserted, with the account of Bewick's death, in the Local 
Historian's Table Book, published at Newcastle by Mr. M. A. Richardson. 
Mr. Jackson engraved on wood from recollection another portrait of 
Bewick which appeared in his History of Wood-Engraving. 

7. Thomas Bewick, drawn and engraved by Edward Train, 
from a bust by Baily. 

This portrait illustrated a memoir of Bewick and his works, by George 
Clayton Atkinson, Esq., of Newcastle, which was published in the Tran- 
sactions of the Natural History Society of Newcastle for 1830. 

8. Thomas Bewick, engraved on wood by Heaviside, after 
the picture by Nicholson. 

This portrait, with a short memoir by William Howitt, appeared in Howitt's 
Journal, No. 38, voL iL, Sept 18, 1846. 

9. A Portrait of Thomas Bewick was published as frontis- 
piece to voL V. of Jardine's Naturalist's Library. 

10. Thomas Bewick, engraved on steel by F. Bacon, and 
published by Robert Turner, Newcastle, in 1852, from a highly- 
finished full length painting on panel by J as. Ramsey in 1823, 
in the collection of Mr. R. S. Newall, Fern Dene, Gateshead. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 273 

11. Thomas Bewick, etched by Leopold Flameng (1880) 
from a beautiful drawing by William Nicholson, the property 
of Mr. Thomas Crawhall, Condercum, Newcastle, This fine 
work of art was painted for the late Mr. Emerson Charnley, 
Bewick's local publisher. R. E. Bewick was accustomed to 
bring friends to see it, he considered the likeness so faithful. 

1 2. Thomas Bewick, a full-length painting in oil, by T. S. 
Good of Berwick, well drawn and highly finished, as Audubon 
remarks. This was the picture so much coveted by Dr. Dibdin 
to adorn his " Northern Tour," and which, by special resolution 
of the Committee of the Newcastle Natural History Society, is 
now engraved for the first time as a frontispiece to this volume. 

This admirable work of art was presented to the Museum of the Society 
by the executors of the late Miss Isabella Bewick. 



In addition to the portraits enumerated, there is one at 
Cherryburn by George Gray, a present to Bewick's mother. 
A fine miniature by W. Nicholson (John Trotter Brockett's) 
is now in my collection. 



2 M 



CATALOGUE 

or THE 

PRINCIPAL WORKS ILLUSTRATED 

BY 

THOMAS AND JOHN BEWICK. 



(i.) A Treatise on Mensuration, both in Theory and Practice, 
by Charles Hutton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, printed by T. Saint, 
for the author, and for John Wilkie, St Paul's Churchyard, and 
Richard Baldwin in Paternoster Row, London. 1770. 

This work, which is in 4to, was published by subscription, and in numbers. 
It was commenced in 1768, and completed in 1770, and is dedicated to 
Hugh Percy, Duke and Earl of Northumberland : the armorial bearings 
which embellish the dedication are understood to have been engraved 
by Beilby. It contains 648 pages, besides 26 of preface, and list of sub- 
scribers. The diagrams are plain, but neatly executed, and are exceed- 
ingly numerous. The copperplate at page 600 is also by Beilby. At 
page 42 there is a view (diagram) of the Tower and Steeple of St Nicholas' 
Cathedral, Newcastle, Bewick's earliest known woodcut. 

(2.) The Youth's Instructive and Entertaining Story Teller. 
1 2 mo. Printed by Saint, Newcastle, 1774. 

Many of the cuts of this work, considering them as Bewick's earliest pro- 
ductions, are beautiful, and show the wonderful progress he had made 
in the art in so short a period. A second edition of it was published in 
1775 ;i the third edition, with 37 cuts, in 1778. All are of great rarity. 

^ Some of the cuts of this work are introduced as vignettes in Charnley's edition of the 
Select Fables, as also various other cuts which occur in the juvenile publications of T. Saint at 
this period. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 275 

(3.) Moral Instructions of a Father to his Son, comprehend- 
ing the Whole System of Morality, &c., and Select Fables on 
the most important occasions of Life, extracted from Dodsley 
and others. Adorned with Emblematical Cuts. Third Edition. 
Newcastle, printed by and for T. Saint, mdcclxxv. i2mo, 
pp. 168. With 34 Woodcuts. 

Many of these woodcuts were the work of Thomas Bewick during the early 
years of his apprenticeship, and on this account interesting. Nearly the 
whole of the cuts appear in the rare edition of Select Fables, published 
by Saint in 1776. My copy has John Bewick's autograph (1775) on ^^s' 
leaf, and the autograph of Thomas Bewick (1776) on the last. It was 
bought of Miss Bewick. 

(4.) Fables by the late Mr. Gay, in one volume complete, 
with cuts by Thomas and John Bewick. i8mo. Newcastle, 
printed by and for T. Saint, W. Charnley, and J. Whitfield and 
Co. 1779. Pp. viii. 252. 

In the advertisement announcing the publication of this book Saint terms 
it " A new and elegant edition of Gay's Fables in 8vo, on fine writing 
foolscap, adorned with very curious cuts and a finely engraved frontis- 
piece ; some of these cuts have gained the premium of the Royal Society," 
— alluding to the five prints, for the execution of which the Society of 
Arts presented Bewick with the sum of seven guineas. It contains 67 
cuts and 33 vignettes by Bewick, and an engraved frontispiece by Beilby, 
and was published at 3s., but is now rarely to be met with. A good 
copy is worth 50s., the price paid for my choice copy at the sale of Mr. 
Hugo's collection. It has the autograph, " Jno. Bell, Novo Castro," on 
fly-leaf Other editions of this work were printed in Newcastle by Saint, 
and his successors Hall and Elliot, and afterwards at York by Wilson 
and Spence, all having the same cuts. Nearly the whole of the last 
edition printed in Newcastle was sold to an Edinburgh bookseller, who 
printed a new title-page, with the following imprint — " Edinburgh, printed 
for W. Coke, Leith, 1792." 

(5.) A Pretty Book of Pictures for Little Masters and 
Misses, or Tommy Trip's History of Beasts and Birds, with a 



276 THOMA S BE WICK : 



familiar description of each, in verse and prose ; to which is 
prefixed the History of Little Tom Trip himself and his Dog 
Jouler, and of Woglog, the Great Giant Newcastle, Saint, 
square 24mo, 1779. 

Though this little work went through several editions, it is rarely to be met 
with. It contains 62 woodcuts. Mr. Clayton Atkinson states that we 
are indebted to this little book for Bewick's more celebrated productions, 
the Histories of Quadrupeds and of British Birds. Several of these 
cuts were afterwards introduced as tailpieces in Chamley's edition of 
the Select Fables : see that work, pages 66, 144, 152, 214, 226, 244, 
262, 276, and 290. The 12th edition, though also from a Newcastle press, 
is stated to be printed in London for the booksellers in town and country. 

(6.) A Curious Hieroglyphick Bible, or Select Passages in 
the Old and New Testaments, represented with emblematical 
figures, for the amusement of youth ; designed chiefly to fami- 
liarize tender age, in a pleasing and diverting manner, with 
early ideas of the Holy Scriptures ; to which are subjoined, a 
Short Account of the lives of the Evangelists, and other pieces, 
illustrated with cuts. 

This little book, which was published in London by T. Hodgson about 
1780, contains several cuts by Bewick, though the whole of the cuts are 
not by him. It passed through many editions. The third edition is dated 
1785, the thirteenth being published by Robert Bassam, by assignment 
from the executors of T. Hodgson, in 1796, price is. plain, 2s. coloured. 
The frontispiece, representing Adam and Eve in Paradise, the Last Judg- 
ment, and that at p. 134, are by Bewick. 

(7.) Select Fables, in three parts. Part I., Fables ex- 
tracted from Dodsley's; Part II., Fables with Reflections, in 
prose and verse; Part III., Fables in Verse, to which are pre- 
fixed the life of iEsop and an Essay upon Fable.^ A new 
edition, improved. i2mo. Newcastle, printed by and for T. 
Saint. 1784. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 277 

A book, with nearly a similar title, was printed in Newcastle in 1776, illus- 
trated by 114 small cuts, poorly executed, with two or three exceptions. 
Part III., Fables in Verse, is embellished with 14 large cuts, executed 
in a very superior style, 13 of them being introduced in the above. The 
cut heading Fable IX. is omitted. For this new edition a new set of 
cuts was engraved by Thomas and John Bewick, assisted by David 
Martin, an apprentice of Beilby's when Bewick first entered his service. 
After Saint's death the cuts became (as before mentioned) the property 
of Hall and Elliott, his successors, who sold them to Wilson and Spence 
of York, and they afterwards sold them to Charnley of Newcastle, who 
had them retouched by Nesbit, and part of the ornamental borders 
removed, and published them uniform with Bewick's other works (see 
Select Fables, 1820). Mr. Charnley in turn parted with his collection 
to Mr. Henry George Bohn of York Street, Covent Garden, who pub- 
lished an inferior edition of Charnley's reprint (in demy 8vo only) ; he, 
in 1865-6, disposed of them to Mr. Edwin Pearson of London, and are 
now the property of the Rev. E. Pearson of Cheltenham. 

The same year another impression of this work was printed with precisely 
the same title-page, but with considerable variations in the body of the 
work; for instance, vignettes occur at pages 122, 125, and 152, which 
are not in the first edition; the letterpress varies at pages 123, 143, 147, 
151, and 164. The parts in verse are shorter, while the Reflections are 
longer ; it also has an index of two pages at the end, which the other 
has not, and an elegant frontispiece, drawn and engraved on copper by 
Ra. Beilby. The Misses Bewick presented the writer with a copy of this 
rare book. Above the title is written, " The Gift of T. Bewick to his 
little daughter Elizabeth, April 2, 1801 ;" and on the fly-leaf, "Presented 
by I. and K Bewick to Mr. R. Robinson, May 15, 1877." 



(8.) Choice Emblems, Natural, Historical, Fabulous, Moral, 
and Divine ; for the Improvement and Pastime of Youth ; dis- 
playing the beauties and Morals of the Antient Fabulists, &c. 



* The first part contains 48 Fables, the second 67 Fables, and the third part 26 Fables ; 
in all, 141 Fables. The arrangement given in Chamley's edition in 1820 is quite different, and 
contains 166 Fables. Some of the cuts engraved for Saint's edition of Gay's Fables are also 
given by Charnley ; but none of the Fables in his edition are in verse. Copies of the work 
as printed in 1784 are now exceedingly scarce. 



278 THOMA S BE WICK : 



London : printed by J. Chapman for E. Newbery, St. Paul's 
Churchyard, mdcclxxxi. 

This little work was one of the first productions of John Bewick after his 
removal to London. It is in 12 mo, and contains 69 wood-engravings 
and a frontispiece on copper. The sixth edition bears date 1788, and 
was published at 2s. 

(9.) The ChilHngham Wild Bull, with a beautiful orna- 
mental border ; size of the cut 9^ inches by 7^ inches. New- 
castle, 1789. 

Every attention was paid by Bewick to this cut. The border, which was 
of a highly ornamental character, was about three-quarters of an inch 
in breadth. From the block, which was finished and sent to the printer's 
on a Saturday, four beautiful impressions were taken on thin drawing 
vellum, at the suggestion of Mr. John Bell of Newcastle, land surveyor, 
who was aware that the beauty of the cut would appear much finer on 
vellum than on paper. These four copies were appropriated, one to 
Mr. Tunstall,^ another to Mr. Beilby (Mr. Bewick's partner), the third 
to Mr. Hodgson the printer, and the fourth to Mr. John BelL It is 
understood that Mrs. Hodgson sold the copy belonging to her to Earl 
Spencer, and Mr. Beilby's copy has also been disposed of. The price 
obtained for one, if not both of these copies, is stated to be twenty 
guineas. The block, after these impressions were taken, was cleaned, 
and heedlessly laid in a window, where it remained until the Monday 
morning, and when the workmen arrived at the printing office they 
found it split into two pieces, apparently by the heat of the sun during 
the Sunday. Immediate attempts were made to repair the accident, 
and the block was screwed together, and impressions were eventually 
taken for sale, but these impressions showed a deficiency in the cut 
by a ragged white line running across it, hardly the breadth of a hair ; 
afterwards it was found necessary to remove the ornamental border, so 
as to endeavour to screw the pieces of the block tighter together, which 

^ See a Memoir of Tunstall, in the Synopsis of the Newcastle Museum, by G. T. Fox, and 
a particular account of his Museum, which was sold soon after his death to George Allan, Esq., 
and on the death of the latter gentleman (principally through the interest excited in reference 
to it by Bewick and a few friends) became the property of the Literary and Philosophical 
Society of Newcastle. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 279 

was done so as to remove the white line. The later impressions, there- 
fore, are found wanting the border. Repairs were made about the year 
181 7, and more lately in 1876, after my purchase of the block from the 
Misses Bewick. I then took it out of the old iron frame in which it 
had so long been clamped up, removed the mahogany wedges, and in- 
serted others of boxwood, carefully wedging the precious woodcut in a 
new frame of gun metal. For this my best thanks are due to Mr. Henry 
Watson of the High Bridge Brass Works, Newcastle. Vide pp. 78-80 of 
this work. 

(10.) Emblems of Mortality; representing, in upwards of 
fifty cuts, Death seizing all Ranks and Degrees of People, 
imitated from a painting in the cemetery of the Dominican 
Church at Basil in Switzerland ; with an Apostrophe to each, 
translated from the Latin and French. Intended as well for 
the information of the curious as the instruction and entertain- 
ment of youth. To which is prefixed a copious Preface, con- 
taining an Historical Account of the above, and other paintings 
on this subject, now or lately existing in divers parts of Europe. 
(i2mo.) London : printed for T. Hodgson, in George's Court, 
St. John's Lane, Clerkenwell, 1789. Pp. xxviii. 51. 

The cuts to this book were engraved by John Bewick, and display con- 
siderable talent. The work went through only three editions, the blocks 
being destroyed by fire in London. The third edition is much inferior 
to the two first Charaley of Newcastle at a subsequent time reprinted 
the title, inserting his own name in lieu of Hodgson's, but retaining the 
original date. Another edition of this work, with woodcuts imitating 
those of Bewick, but much inferior, was published in London at a sub- 
sequent period, but has the same number of cuts, and is also of great 
rarity. My copy of the first edition of this rare work has on the title the 
autograph, " Thomas Bewick, Newcastle." The original drawings are in 
my collection. The Preface was written by John Sidney Hawkins, Esq. 

(11.) The Whitley Large Ox, belonging to Mr. Edward 
Hall of Whitley, in Northumberland. Rising seven years 
when killed at Newcastle by Mr. Thomas Horsley; weighed 



28o THOMA S BE WICK : 



187 St. at the public weigh-house, March 21, 1789. Drawn 
and engraved by Thomas Bewick. Newcastle : published and 
sold by Beilby and Bewick, Newcastle, April 10, 1789. 

This is a copperplate, measuring lof inches by yf inches. In the back- 
ground is a view of the celebrated ruin of Tynemouth Abbey. 

(12). A Tour through Sweden, Swedish Lapland, Finland, 
and Denmark. I n a series of letters ; illustrated with copper 
plates, designed and engraved by Ralph Beilby and Thomas 
Bewick. By Matthew Consett, Esq., who accompanied Sir 
H. G. Liddell, Bart., and Mr. Bowes, in his Tour. Stockton : 
printed by R. Christopher, 1789. (Demy 4to.) 

The birds in this work were engraved from drawings sent to the artist 
The fine plate of the Reindeer, and that representing Sighre and Aniea, 
were designed and engraved by Mr. Bewick. Beilby, as a partner, in- 
sisted on having his name introduced on the copperplates. My autho- 
rity is Miss Bewick : "I have heard my fether say," she remarked, "that 
Beilby had no hand whatever in any of these plates." See pp. 80, 81 of 
this work. 

A second edition was published in i2mo, Stockton, 181 5. 

An interesting notice of Consett's Tour will be found in Fox's Synopsis of 
the Newcastle Museum, pp. 289, 292. This work also contains a variety 
of other matter relating to Bewick and his works. 

(13.) Proverbs Exemplified, and Illustrated, by pictures from 
real life, teaching morality and a knowledge of the world, with 
prints ; designed as a succession book to iEsop s Fables, after 
the manner, and by the author of Hogarth Moralised. Printed 
for and published by the Rev. J. Trusler, and sold at the 
Literary Press, No. 62 Wardour Street, Soho, and by all book- 
sellers. Entered at Stationers' Hall. Price three shillings, 
half-bound. London, May i, 1790. 

This work consists of 196 pages, i2mo, and contains 50 woodcuts from the 
graver of John Bewick, most of them bearing tokens of considerable 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES, 281 

ability. Those at pp. 13 and 97 are amongst the best My copy has 
the autograph, " Thomas Bewick, Newcastle," on the title, and was bought 
of Miss Bewick. 

(14.) Proverbs in Verse, or Moral Instruction conveyed in 
Pictures, for the use of schools, on the plan of Hogarth 
Moralised, by the same author, with fifty-six cuts ; to which 
are prefixed rules for reading verse. London : sold by J. 
Souter, I Paternoster Row. 

The illustrations to this book, which is in i2mo, pp. 124, are also by John 
Bewick. It has no date, but was published about the same time as the 
preceding work. 

(15.) Harrison's Nursery Picture Book, containing seventy 
interesting engravings. Devizes : printed and published by 
J. Harrison, and sold by the booksellers and stationers. 

A pretty little book, illustrated by John Bewick. It has two cuts on a page, 
and is without letterpress, save a short inscription to each cut 

(16.) A General History of Quadrupeds. The figures 
engraved on wood by T. Bewick. Newcastle-upon-Tyne : 
printed by & for S. Hodgson, R. Beilby, & T. Bewick. New- 
castle : sold by them, by G. G. J. and J. Robinson, and C. 
Dilly, London, 1790. 

Of this, the first edition, fifteen hundred copies were printed on demy, and 
one hundred on royal 8vo, the former being sold for 8s., and the latter 
for I2S. It contains 456 pages, and is illustrated by 200 figures and 104 
tail-pieces, and was published on the 27th of April.^ 

^ In Mr. John Bell's (of Newcastle) Catalogue of Books, printed in I795t occur the following 
interesting copies of the first edition of the Quadrupeds : — 

" A copy of Bewick's Quadrupeds, printed on Whatman's fine wove atlas Tellam paper, on 
which only two copies were printed." The late £. B. Jupp's copy brought £so at the sale of 
his fine collection in 1878. It was bought of R. Robinson. 

"Another copy, the cuts only (above 130) taken off upon strong writing paper, music 4to 
sixe, one on a leaf, for colouring." 

" Another copy, the cuts only, proof impressions, on wove demy paper ; two, three, and 
four of the animals on a leaf, interleaved with writing paper. This is a unique book.'* 

2 N 



282 THOMA S BE WICK : 



The second edition appeared the following year, the same number of demy 
copies being printed and sold at 9s. each, and three hundred on royal, 
which were sold at 1 2s. The work was increased to 483 pages, containing 
212 figures and 108 tail-pieces, many of the latter in both this and the 
first edition being reprinted, or given in duplicate. The principal addition 
to this edition was the Bats. The impressions of the cuts in the royal 
paper copies are brilliant 

The third edition in 1792 was nearly a reprint of the second, the number 
of pages and illustrations being the same ; the only alterations occurring 
are the addition of a note at page 392 respecting the application of mole- 
skins in the manufacture of hats, and the variation of several of the tail- 
pieces, different ones occurring in the third edition at pages 16, 80, 87, 
94, 192, 194, 207, 236, 290, 344, 351, 357, 386, 391, 398, and 419, from 
those in the second edition, by which means the repetition of the cuts of 
this nature, which occurred in the two first editions, was avoided. The 
impression was of like number, and the price similar, and the edition was 
printed in demy and royal octavo. 

The fourth edition, which was published in 1800, shows a considerable 
improvement It contains 525 pages, and has 225 figures and 100 tail- 
pieces, and the Linnaean names of the animals are introduced. This is 
the first edition of which imperial paper copies were taken. The impres- 
sion was as follows : — Two hundred and thirty on imperial 8vo, which 
sold at 21S. ; three hundred on royal 8vo, at 15s. ; and one thousand on 
demy 8vo, at los. 6d. On the publication of this edition some difference 
arose between Messrs. Beilby, Bewick, and Hodgson as to the disposal 
of the copies, and it was finally arranged that each party should have a 
third share of the edition, and dispose of it as he should think fit Beilby, 
having then retired from business, sold his share to Mr. John Bell, book- 
seller, of Newcastle, in consequence of which his name is introduced 
into the title of a portion of this edition. Mr. Beilby soon after sold his 
interest in the copyright and engravings of the work to Mr. Bewick, 
between whom and Mrs. Hodgson ^ the altercation became so violent, 
that both parties appealed to the public (see the Annual Review for 1804, 
Monthly Magazine, August 1805, &c) 

The fifth edition was not published until 1807, and was then printed by 

^ Mr. Solomon Hodgson died April 4, 1800, in the fortieth year of his age, and was interred 
in St. John's Churchyard, Newcastle. Mr, Bewick executed a very beautiful wood-engraving 
to his memory, which, through the kindness of his grandson, James Hodgson, Esq., of Newcastle, 
has been inserted at page 218 of the present volume. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 283 

Edward Walker of Newcastle. In it there appears an addition of one 
figure and one tail-piece on the same number of pages. None of this 
edition was printed on royal paper. The price of the book was now 
advanced to 13s. for the demy, and £1, iis, 6d. for the imperial copies. 
Bewick sold his share of this edition to Messrs, Longmans & Co., of 
London. 

The sixth edition is again similar to the fifth, consisting of the same number 
of pages and illustrations. It appeared in 181 1, and was only printed on 
demy paper, the price being further raised to 21s. 

In 1818 twenty-five copies of the figures to the Quadrupeds were printed 
on demy 4to paper, without letterpress, and were sold for 2 guineas in 
sheets. 

The seventh edition was issued in 1820, and an eighth in 1824, but they 
are both very similar to that done in 181 1. Of both editions copies were 
printed on imperial, royal, and demy paper, the prices being jQi^ is. for 
the demy, j£iy iis. 6d. for the royal, and £2, 2s. for the imperial paper. 

Shortly before her death. Miss Isabella Bewick sold me a demy copy, with 
additions in MS. by Mr. Bewick, giving an enlarged and minute account 
of the Wombach, intended for insertion in a subsequent edition, with 
corrections of the text. This last impression, published in the author's 
lifetime, contains 226 figures of animals, 76 vignettes, and 29 of an 
inferior class. 

A second edition of the figures to the Quadrupeds without letterpress was 
printed in 1824, both on octavo and quarto paper; and the vignettes (or 
tail-pieces) were also done in the same manner as a supplement. The 
impression was very small (250), and copies are rarely to be met with. 

The descriptive part of the History of Quadrupeds was written by Mr. 
Beilby,^ at that time partner with Bewick. The work was favourably 
received by the public, and highly praised by the critics of the day (see 
the Critical, English, Monthly, Analytical, and Annual Reviews),' par- 



^ Ralph Beilby died 4th January 1817, in his seventy-fourth year. 

' From a long and highly commendatory article in the last-mentioned Review (vol. iii. p. 
729), the following is taken: — "It was reserved for Mr. Bewick to restore to its original 
dignity a nearly forgotten art Educated for the profession of an engraver, but endowed with 
a painter's eye, he could not confine his attention to the mechanical operations of his regular 
business, and, though placed by the accident of his birth in a provincial town, at a great dis- 
tance from the capital and from extensive patronage, his native genius burst through every 
impediment, and pointed out to him the way to celebrity and honour. His particular turn of 
mind led him to observe and to delineate the form and manners of the animal creation, and he 
soon found that the yielding consistence of wood b better fitted to express the ease, freedom. 



284 THOMAS BEWICK: 



ticularly on account of the correctness of the drawing and superiority of 
the wood-engravings to any that had previously appeared, and the taste 
and care bestowed on the subordinate parts of the subject The tail- 
pieces to many of the chapters are full of interest and pathos, though 
some are rather tinged by a want of delicacy, occasionaUy indulged in by 
the artist 
In January 1828 a short memoir of Mr. Bewick appeared in the GentUmaris 
Magazine^ in which, speaking of the History of Quadrupeds, the writer 
says : *' Perhaps there never was a work to which the rising generation of 
the day was, and no doubt the rising generation for many years to come 
will be, under such obligations for exciting in them a taste for the natural 
history of animals. The representations which are given of the various 
tribes possess a boldness of design, a correctness of outline, an exactness 
of attitude, and a discrimination of general character which convey at 
the first glance a just and lively idea of each different animal." 

(17.) The remarkable Kyloe Ox, bred in the Mull, Argyle- 
shire, by Donald Campbell, Esq., and fed by Mr. Robert Spear- 
man, of Rotheley Park, Northumberland. Six years old, killed 
July 22d, 1790. Drawn and engraved by Thomas Bewick, 
1790. 

This copperplate was engraved for Mr. Spearman, and measures 13 inches 
by 10. Copies in the first state are now of great rarity. The drawing is 
in the Museum of the Natural History Society, Newcastle. 



and spirit which ought to characterise portraits of animated beings, than the stubborn surface of 
a metallic substance. He accordingly engraved wooden blocks of all the domestic and most of 
the wild British Quadrupeds, and neglected no opportunity of drawing such foreign animals as 
were exhibited in the itinerant collections which visited Newcastle-upon-Tyne. These univer- 
sally show the hand of a master. There is in them a boldness of design, a correctness of outline, 
an exactness of attitude, and a discrimination of general character, conveying at the first glance 
a just and lively idea of each different animal, to which nothing in modem times has ever 
aspired, and which the most eminent old artists have not surpassed. But Mr. Bewick's merits 
as an artist extend far beyond the simple delineation of the animal. The landscapes which he 
sometimes introduces as a background and relief to his principal figures, as well as the greater 
part of his numerous vignettes, have a similar excellence ; and though the parts of which they 
consist are extremely minute, there is in them a truth to nature which admits of strictest 
examination, and will be admired in proportion as they are more attentively observed and 
better understood. Many of them are adapted to the work, and exhibit several of our domestic 
animals in various situations and modes of action." 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 285 

(18.) Pieces of Antient Popular Poetry, from authentic 
manuscripts and old printed copies, adorned with cuts (post 
8vo). London : printed by C. Clark, &c., i79K 

This interesting volume (compiled by Ritson) contains 14 cuts by Thomas 
and John Bewick, partly facsimiles of the cuts occurring in the original 
poems. A second edition, with the same cuts, was published by Pickering 
in 1833. 

(19.) The Progress of Man and Society, illustrated by 
upwards of one hundred and twenty cuts, opening the eyes 
and unfolding the mind of youth gradually. By the Rev. Dr. 
Trusler, author of Hogarth Moralised, Proverbs Exemplified, 
&c. &c. The best knowledge of Man is Man. London : 
printed for the Author, John Trusler, at the Literary Press, 
No. 62, Wardour Street, Soho. Entered at Stationers' Hall, 
July 1 791. (i2mo.) Price 5s. bound; picked impressions, 7s. 

MDCCXCI. 

My fine paper copy, with picked impressions, has the autograph, " Thomas 
Bewick, Newcastle," on the title. It was purchased of Miss Bewick, who 
has written above the imprint, "The cuts designed and engraved by 
John Bewick." 

The second edition, which appeared in 1810 (but bears no date), was much 
altered by a rearrangement of the cuts, and the addition of some fresh 
ones ; the title also varies a little. 

(20.) The Poetical Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B., 
Complete in one volume, with the Life of the Author. The 
Vignettes Designed and Engraved on Wood by T. Bewick. 
Hereford : printed by D. Walker, at the Office of the Hereford 
Journal, in the High-Town. 1794. 

This work, which is printed in i8mo, and was published at 2s. 6d. sewed, 
contains six beautiful cuts. Walker published another edition, the same 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



size, and containing the same cuts, in 1809, at Gloucester. The charm- 
ing vignette on the title is one of Bewick's happiest efforts. The title 
and imprint was afterwards adapted to suit the London sale The pub- 
lisher was J. Parsons, Paternoster Row. 



r^^-Ajs^^gA_^ 




(21.) Tales for Youth, in thirty poems; to which are 
annexed Historical Remarks and Moral Applications in 
Prose, by the author of "Choice Emblems for the Improve- 
ment of Youth, &C.," ornamented with cuts, neatly designed 
and engraved on wood by Bewick. London : printed by 
J. Crowder, for E. Newbery, the corner of St Paul's Church- 
yard. 1 794. 

This little work is in lamo. It contains 30 beautiful cuts by John Bewick, 
many of them equal to the highest efforts of his genius : that of a prowl- 
ing cat at page 55 has been pronounced the most natural likeness of that 
animal ever engraved. The work is written by Mr, J. H. Wynne. I 
possess the whole of the wood blocks. My copy of this work was bought 
of Miss Bewick, and has her autograph on the f)y-leaf, " Isabella Bewick, 
1798." In 1815 another edition of it was published in iSmo by }. Harris, 
St Paul's Churchyard, with the addition of 24 new cuts, making in the 
whole 54 cuts ; but the additional cuts are understood not to have been 
engraved by Bewick. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 287 

(22.) The Looking-Glass for the Mind, or Intellectual 
Mirror, being an elegant collection of the most delightful stories 
and interesting tales, chiefly translated from that much admired 
work, L'Amie des Enfans. A new edition, with seventy-four 
cuts, designed and engraved on wood by John Bewick. 
London : printed by J. Crowder, for E. Newbery, the corner 
of St Paul's Churchyard. 1 794. 

This work went through a great number of editions, but all were mere 
reprints of their predecessors. The seventh edition appeared in 1798, 
the ninth in 1803, the fifteenth was published in 182 1. In the early 
editions is a copperplate frontispiece, which does not occur in the latter 
ones, representing a lady, attended by Virtue and Prudence, presenting her 
children to Minerva, from whom they are receiving the " Looking Glass.'' 
All editions consist of 271 pages i2mo. 

(23.) The Blossoms of Morality, intended for the Amuse- 
ment and Instruction of Young Ladies and Gentlemen, by 
the Editor of the " Looking Glass for the Mind," with forty- 
seven cuts, designed and engraved by J. Bewick. London : 
printed for E. Newbery, the corner of St. Paul's Churchyard. 
MDCCXCVi. i2mo, pp. X. 221. 

This is the first edition with cuts by John Bewick. The publisher, in his 
advertisement, observes : " Much time has elapsed since the commence- 
ment of this edition, owing to a severe indisposition with which the 
artist was long afflicted, and which unfortunately terminated in his death. 
And sorry, very sorry, are we compelled to state that this is the last 
effort of his incomparable genius. — Oct. 6, 1796." The work passed 
through several editions; the third is dated 1801, the fifth 1810, and 
the sixth 1814. 

(24.) Poems by Goldsmith and Parnell, London : printed 
by W. Bulmer and Co., Shakespeare Printing Office, Cleve- 
land Row, 1795. 



288 THOMA S BE WICK : 



The original edition was in royal 4to in 1795, which was followed by 
another impression in 1796 in royal 8vo. Another edition, called the 
second, appeared in 1802 in royal 8vo, and was followed in 1804 by 
another impression on the same sized paper. Of the original, one copy 
was printed on white satin for a gentleman of Altona, and three were 
done on fine vellum, at twelve guineas each; one went to the Royal 
Library, the second to that of Mr. Hoare, and the third was bought by 
Mr. Edwards the bookseller, and was in 1804 sold by auction, when Sir 
M. M. Sykes bought it for 14 guineas. Such was the success of the 
work that, after paying all expenses, Bulmer ^ realised a profit of ;^i5oo. 



(25.) Robin Hood, a collection of all the Antient Poems, 
Songs, and Ballads now extant, relative to that celebrated 
English Outlaw; to which are prefixed Historical Anecdotes 
of his Life. 2 vols, post 8vo. London : printed for T. Egerton, 
Whitehall, and J. Johnson, St. Paul's Churchyard. 1795. 

I have the pleasure to possess Miss Isabella Bewick's copy of this interesting 
work of the late Joseph Ritson, which contains 58 woodcuts by Thomas 
and John Bewick. In it that lady has noted the passages omitted by 
Mr. Pickering in the second edition, published in 1832. These occur 
in the Life of Robin Hood, and in the notes and illustrations which 
follow. The fine cut at p. i, vol. i., is by Thomas Bewick. The above 
was bought of Miss Bewick, and contains her autograph, ^^ Isabella Bewick^ 
Gateshead^^ in both vols., and R. K Bewick's autograph and book-plate. 

A collection of poems relative to Robin Hood, under the title of " Robin 
Hood's Garland, being a complete History of all the notable exploits 
performed by him and his men," &c., was printed by Saint in Newcastle, 
at a very early period, with cuts by Thomas Bewick. Many editions of 
the work were printed, and the cuts being sold, with others, to Wilson 
and Spence of York, they afterwards printed various editions of it 



* William Bulmer was a native of Newcastle, where he was bora in 1757. He learaed the 
printing business under Isaac Thompson, in the Burnt House Entry, in the Side. He left New- 
castle for London, visited Paris, returned to London, where in 1787 he established the Shake- 
speare Press, forming a valuable connection with Mr. Nichols, bookseller to George III. He 
retired in 1819 with an ample fortune. From this time he resided at Clapham Rise, Surrey, 
where he died in 1830, aged seventy-three. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 289 




(26.) The Chase, a Poem, by William Somervile, Esq., 
with woodcuts engraved by Thomas Bewick, after designs by 
John Bewick. London : printed by W. Bulmer and Co., 
Shakespeare Printing Office, Cleveland Row. 1796, 

The first edition of this beautiful book was printed in the above year in 
royal 410, three copies being done on vellum. 

The second edition appeared in iSaa, and was printed in super royal Svo. 
This work contains the best specimens of John Bewick's abilities as a 
designer. All the cuts were drawn by him except one, but none of 
them were engraved by him. Shortly after he had finished the drawings 
on the blocks, be returned to the North, in consequence of ill-health. 
They were engraved by Thomas Bewick, with the exception of the tail- 
piece at the end of the volume, which was engraved by Nesbit Speak- 
ing of the death of John Bewick, a writer in the Gentlema^s Magatine 
says — " The works of this young artist will be held in estimation, and the 
engravings to Somervile's Chase will be a monument of Fame of more 
celebrity than marble can bestow." 

(27.) Fabliaux, or Tales abridged from French Manuscripts 
of the Xllth and Xlllth Centuries, by M. le Grand; selected 
and translated into English Verse (by the late Gr^ory Lewis 
Way, Esq.) ; with a Preface, Notes (and Appendix, by G. Ellis, 



290 THOMA S BE WICK : 



Esq.) London : printed by W. Bulmer and Co., Shakspeare 
Press (Cleveland Row, St James's, and) sold by R. Faulder, New 
Bond Street 1 796-1 800. 

This work is in two volumes, super royal 8vo. The first volume was pub- 
lished in 1796, and the second in 1800. This edition is now scarce. In 
the above transcript of the title, what is within the parentheses does not 
occur on the title of the first volume, but does on the second The first 
volume contains twenty-five, and the second twenty-seven illustrations. 

A second edition appeared in 181 5, in 3 volumes small 8vo, published by 
J. Rodwell, New Bond Street, but was only a reprint of the first 

The cuts in the first volume by Thomas Bewick are '' The Priest," p. 49 ; 
Vignette, p. 173. "The Lay of Sir Gruelan," p. 177, was finished by him. 
"The Canonesses," p. 51, is engraved by John Bewick. In the second 
volume, " The Lay of Narcissus," p. 31, is by Thomas Bewick, who partly 
engraved the cuts at pp. 14 and 109. The "Three Knights," p. 17, was 
drawn on the wood by John Bewick. The " Lay of Sir Gugemer," p. 3, 
was designed by Thurston. Those at pp. 128, 131, 155, 163, 167, 174, 
are by Luke ClennelL 

(28.) History of British Birds. The Figures engraved on 
wood by T. Bewick. Newcastle : printed by Sol. Hodgson, 
for Beilby & Bewick : sold by them, and G. G. & J. Robinson, 
London. 1797, 1804. 

The first edition of the first volume of the History of British Birds (contain- 
^"S 335 P%^ exclusive of introduction, &c., illustrated by 117 figures of 
Birds and 91 tail-pieces) appeared in 17971 and consisted of one thousand 
copies on demy 8vo, which were published at los. 6d., and eight hundred 
and fifty on thin, and the like number on thick royal, at 13s. and 15s. 
each, and twenty-four on imperial paper, at 21s. each ; and the following 
year, 1798, a further impression, also bearing date 17979 was printed as 
follows : — Seven hundred and fifty on demy, six hundred and sixty-nine 
on royal, and two hundred and seven on imperial The first edition of 
volume ii. (consisting of 400 pages, exclusive of introduction, &c., illus- 
trated by loi figures and 139 vignettes) appeared in 1804, and a similar 
number was printed on demy paper at 12s. each, on thin royal paper at 
15s. each, thick royal paper at i8s. each, and on imperial paper at 24s. 
The text of volume L was written by Mr. Beilby, that of volume ii. by 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 291 

Mr. Bewick, assisted by the Rev. H. Cotes, then vicar of Bedlington, 
county N(»thumberland. 

The figures of the Land Birds with the tail-pieces were taken off in 8vo in 
1800 without the letterpress. Of this edition 500 were printed at 12s. 

Tlie second edition of both volumes was published in 1805, volume i. con- 
taining 346 pages (exclusive of introduction, &c), illustrated by 1 18 figures 
and 117 vignettes or tail-pieces; and volume iL consisting of 400 pages 
(exclusive of introduction, &&), with 103 figures and 133 tail-pieces. No 
copies were printed on demy of this edition. 

The third edition, published in 1809, was printed on demy paper only. 

The fourth edition was also printed only on demy 8vo in 181 6; it contains 
729 pages, viz., vol. i. 329 pages, and vol iL 400 pages. 

In 181 7 twenty-five copies of the Figures of the Land and Water Birds were 
taken off on 4to, without letterpress, at ^2, 2s. each. These are rarely 
to be met with. The impressions of the cuts are very fine. 

The fifth edition appeared in 182 1, to which was added the Supplement 

In 1825 an edition of one hundred copies of the Land and Water Birds 
and 14 Foreign Birds was taken on quarto paper, without letterpress, at 
jCSt 3s. in sheets. This contains all his Birds, excepting the King Duck, 
Harlequin Duck, Vulture, Blue-breasted Robin, Reed Wren, and Cream- 
coloured Plover, which he engraved subsequently. 

The sixth edition, printed in 1826, was the last superintended in its passage 
through the press by Bewick. Copies were printed on imperial, royal, 
and demy paper. Vol L contains 394 pages, with 157 figures ; and vol. ii. 
432 pages, with 143 figures, besides the 14 figures of foreign birds. The 
Supplement is incorporated with this edition. 

A seventh edition was printed in 1832, and an eighth in 1847. 

A Memorial Edition of the works of Thomas Bewick, in five volumes, royal 
8vo, is now in course of publicatioa The " Memoir " will be prefaced 
and annotated by Mr. Austin Dobson. This edition of 750 copies will 
be issued to Subscribers only at ^10, los. the set Newcastle : R. Ward 
& Sons. London : Bernard Quaritch. 

It is said that " in after years Bewick advanced an opinion that light, or 
rather grey, impressions were the best ; but the key to the matter was, he 
was always afraid of too great a pressure injuring the blocks, and to a 
very serious extent his fears were justifiable, as may be inferred from the 
fact that, among a multitude of other and constant renovations, the Black- 
bird has had six bills I " 

Bewick's British Birds have so often and so fully received the praise of 



292 THOMA S BE WICK : 



critics, that it is unnecessary in this place to dwell upon their beauties, 
save by the insertion of the opinions of judges of known ability. 

*'Have we forgotten," says a writer in Blackwood* s Afagazifu for June 1828 
(generally supposed to be Professor Wilson), 'Mn our hurried and im- 
perfect enumeration of wise worthies — have we forgotten *The Genius 
that dwells on the banks of the Tyne ? ' the matchless, inimitable Bewick ? 
No. His books lie on our parlour, bedroom, dining-room, drawing-room, 
and study table, and are never out of place or time. Happy old man ! 
The delight of childhood, manhood, decaying age ! A moral in every 
tail-piece — a sermon in every vignette. Not as if from one fountain 
flows the stream of his inspired spirit, gurgling from the Crawley Spring 
so many thousand gallons of the element every minute, and feeding but 
one city, our own Edinburgh. But it rather oozes out from unnumbered 
springs — here from one scarcely perceptible but in the vivid green of 
the lonesome sward, from which it trickles away into a little mountain 
rill — here leaping into sudden life, as from the rock — here bubbling 
from a silver pool, overshadowed by a birch-tree — here like a well 
asleep in a moss-grown cell, built by some thoughtful recluse in the 
old monastic days, with a few words from Scripture, or some rude 
engraving, religious as Scripture, Otnne bonum desuper — Optra Dei 
mirificar 

Our distinguished townsman, Thomas Doubleday, in an eloquent article 
in the British Quarterly Review for November 1845, observes — "In 
addition to the figures of the birds, which are beautifully executed, the 
artist had adorned the work with a profusion of those exquisite tail- 
pieces which, whether we contemplate their admirable design, their 
nature, their truth, or the humour and keen satire, or powerful morality, 
which are so often superadded and transfused, certainly divide our ad- 
miration with the principal objects of the work. As a whole, the pub- 
lication was universally admired, and the hold which it eventually took 
of the public attention has been equalled by few works which have 
appeared either before or since." "Of the marvellous correctness of 
Bewick's eye, and of the wonderful precision with which he seized'^.and 
transferred the form and lineaments of whatever in nature, animate J^or 
inanimate, he chose to depict, it is almost superfluous to speak. In 
that extraordinary power resides the great charm of all he has done. 
The sheer truth of Bewick's drawing was, perhaps, hardly ever matched, 
certainly never exceeded. Whether his subject be animated or lifeless, 
in motion or at rest, he at once seizes and impresses its form and 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 293 

character. Verisimilitude is too weak a word for some of his most 
finished portraitures. They are not like the truth, they are the truth 
itself. In some of his Quadrupeds and Birds, we have not only the 
form and action of the animal, ibut its very air and physiognomy." 
The same writer, speaking of the continued attraction of his works, 
says — "The scholars of the scholars of Bewick can cut lines on wood 
as finely as their master. In this sense, engravings on wood equal to 
those of Thomas Bewick may be met with at every turn and every 
corner. It is only requisite to repeat the names of Branston, Vasey, 
Landells, and Williams, to bring this undoubted truth before the mind. 
The difference between these engravings and those of Bewick resides, 
not in the nature of the lines cut, but in the nature of the souls of 
those that cut them. It is not because their hands are dissimilar 
that their works are dissimilar, but because their minds are dissimilar. 
Had distinction rested in handicraft only, distinction would have been 
confounded. Samson would have been shorn of his locks, and have 
become only as other men. Hence, to solve the problem of the con- 
tinued attraction of these celebrated specimens of art, we must look 
to causes very different from mere mechanical improvement That 
solution is to be found in the higher and more intellectual feelings 
associated with that art, in the vivida vis of the mind, in the truth 
and beauty of the conception which they embody, and not in the 
craft of hand or delicacy of touch which they exhibit. The charm 
of these would soon have been outrivalled and soon have passed 
away." 
The distinguished ornithologist, Audubon, writes of Bewick — "He was 
purely a son of nature, to whom alone we owe all that characterised 
him as an artist and as a man. Warm in his affections, of deep feel- 
ing, and possessed of vigorous imagination, with correct and penetrating 
observation, he needed little extraneous aid to make him, what he 
became, the first engraver on wood that England has produced. Look 
at his tail-pieces, reader, and say if you ever saw so much life repre- 
sented before, from the Glutton, who precedes the Great Black-backed 
Gull, to the youngsters flying their kite; the disappointed sportsman, 
who, by killing a magpie, has lost a woodcock ; the horse endeavoiuing 
to reach the water ; the bull roaring near the stile ; or the poor beggar 
attacked by the rich man's mastiff. As you turn each successive leaf, 
from beginning to end of his admirable books, scenes calculated to 
excite your admiration everywhere present themselves. Assuredly you 



294 THOMAS BEWICK: 

will agree with me in thinking that in his peculiar path none has 
equalled him. There may be men now, or some may in after years 
appear, whose works may in some respects rival or even excel his, 
but not the less must Thomas Bewick, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, be 
considered in the art of engraving on wood, what Linnseus will ever 
be in Natural History, though not the founder, yet the enlightened 
improver and illustrious promoter." 
'' Of Bewick's powers," says a writer in Blacktvood^s Edinburgh Magaxine 
for July 1825, ''the most extraordinary is the perfect and undeviating 
accuracy with which he seizes and transfers to paper the natural objects 
which it is his delight to draw. His landscapes are absolute y^-jf>f^/ 
his animals are whole-length portraits. It needs only to glance at his 
works, to convince ourselves with what wonderful felicity the very 
countenance and air of his animals are marked and distinguished. 
There is the grave owl, the silly wavering lapwing, the pert jay, the 
impudent over-fed sparrow, the airy lark, the sleepy-headed gourmand 
duck, the restless titmouse, the insignificant wren, the clean harmless gull, 
the keen rapacious kite — every one has character. This is far beyond 
the mere pencilling of fur or feathers. It is the seizure and transfusion of 
countenance. In this, Bewick's skill seems unapproached and unapproach- 
able by any other artist who has ever attempted this line. His vignettes 
are just as remarkable. Take his British Birds, and in the tail-pieces 
to these two volumes you shall find the most touching presentation 
of Nature in all her forms, animate and inanimate. There are the 
poachers tracking a hare in the snow, and the urchins who have 
accomplished the creation of a 'snow man.' In the humorous, there 
are the disappointed beggar leaving the gate open for the pigs and 
poultry to march over the good dame's linen which she is laying out 
to dry, or, what a Methodist would call profane, the cat stealing the 
old man's dinner whilst he is devoutly saying grace, or the thief who 
sees devils in every bush and stump of a tree — a sketch that Hogarth 
himself might envy. Then, in another strain, there is the strayed 
infant standing at the horse's heels and pulling its tail, the mother in 
an agony flying over the stile, the sportsman who has slipped into the 
torrent, and the blind man and boy unconscious of 'keep on this 
side.' In the satiric there is that best of burlesques upon military 
pomp, the four urchins astride of gravestones for horses, the first 
blowing a glass trumpet, and the others bedizened in tatters, with 
rush caps and wooden swords. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 295 

'' Nor must we pass over his seaside sketches — all inimitable. The cutter 
chasing the smuggler — is it not evident they are going at least ten knots 
an hour ? The tired gulls sitting on the waves, every curled head of which 
seems big with mischief. What pruning of plumage, what stalkings and 
flappings, and scratchings of the sand, are not depicted in that collection 
of sea-birds on the shore ? What desolation is there in that sketch of 
coast after a storm, with the solitary rock, the ebb tide, the crab just 
venturing out, and the mast of the sunken vessel standing up through 
the treacherous waters? What truth and minute nature is in that tide 
coming in, each wave rolling higher than its predecessor, like a line 
of conquerors, and pouring in amidst the rocks with increasing aggres- 
sion? And last and best — there are his fishing scenes. What angler's 
heart but beats when he sees the pool fisher deep in the water, his rod 
bending almost double with the rush of some tremendous trout or heavy 
salmon? Who does not recognise his boyish days in the fellow with the 
' set rods,' sheltering himself from the soaking rain behind an old tree ? 
What fisher has not seen yon 'old codger' sitting by the river side, 
peering over his tackle, and putting on a brandling ? It is needless to 
recapitulate. Bewick's landscapes, in short, are upon the same principle 
with his animals. They are, for the most part, portraits. They are the 
result of the keenest and most accurate observation. You perceive every 
stone and bunch of grass has had actual existence. His moors are north- 
country moors, neither Scotch nor English. They are the progeny of 
Cheviot, of Rimside, of Simonside, and of the Carter. The tail-piece 
of the old man pointing out to his boy an ancient monumental stone, 
reminds one of the Milfield Plain and Flodden Field. Having only 
delineated that in which he himself had taken delight, we may deduce his 
character from his pictiures. His warm-hearted love of his native country, 
its scenery, its manners, its airs, its men and women; his propensity 

< by himself to wander 
Adown some trolling bum's meander, 

An' no think lang ; ' 

his intense observation of nature and human life ; his satirical and some- 
what coarse humour ; his fondness for maxims and old saws ; his views of 
worldly prudence now and then 'cropping out,' as miners call it, into 
daylight; his passion for the seaside, and his delight in the angler's 
* solitary trade ' — all this, and more, the admirer of Bewick may deduce 
from his sketches." 



296 THOMAS BEWICK: 



Mr. Jackson, who was a pupil of Bewick's, and gained considerable celebrity 
as a wood-engraver, speaking of the illustrations, says: — "Nothing of 
the same kind that wood-engraving has produced since the time of 
Bewick can for a moment bear a comparison with these cuts. They are 
not to be equalled till a designer and engraver shall arise possessed of 
Bewick's knowledge of Nature, and endowed with his happy talent of 
expressing it Bewick has, in this respect, effected more by himself than 
has been produced by one of our best wood-engravers when working from 
drawings made by a professional designer, but who knows nothing of 
birds, of their habits, or the places which they frequent, and has not the 
slightest feeling for natural incident and picturesque beauty. No mere 
faC'SimiU engraver of a drawing ready made to his hand should venture 
to speak lightly of Bewick's talents until he has both drawn and engraved 
a cut which may justly challenge a comparison with the Kyloe Ox, 
the Yellow-hammer, the Partridge, the Woodcock, or the Tame Duck. 
Bewick's style of engraving, as displayed in the Birds, is exclusively his 
own. He adopts no conventional mode of representing texture or pro- 
ducing an effect, but skilfully avails himself of the most simple and 
effective means which his art affords of faithfully and efficiently represent- 
ing his subject He never wastes his time in laborious trifling to display 
his skill in execution ; — he works with a higher aim to represent Nature ; 
and consequently he never bestows his pains except to express a meaning. 
The manner in which he has represented the feathers in many of his 
birds is as admirable as it is perfectly original. His feeling for his sub- 
ject and his knowledge of his art suggested the best means of effecting 
his end ; and the manner in which he has employed them entitle him to 
rank as a wood-engraver, without reference to his merits as a designer, 
among the very best that have practised the art." 

It has been stated that some of the illustrations to the Birds were executed 
by Bewick's pupils, and both Robert Johnson and Luke Clennell are 
particularly mentioned as having done so. It is certain, however, that, 
with one or two exceptions, the figures of the Birds and the great majority 
of the tail-pieces are exclusively Bewick's work. On this subject, Mr. 
Bewick's own testimony is thus related by Mr. Atkinson : — " Talking of 
his art, I inquired if he permitted the assistance of his apprentices in 
many cases ? He said, * No ; it had seldom happened, and then they had 
injured the cuts very much.' I inquired if he could remember any of 
them in which he had received assistance ? He said, * Ay, I can soon 
tell you them ; ' and after a few minutes' consideration he made out, with 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 297 

his daughter's assistance, ' the Whimbrel, Tufted Duck, and Lesser Tern.' 
He tried to recollect more, and, turning to his daughter, said, 'Jane, 
honey, dost thou remember any more?' She considered a little, and 
said, 'No, she did not, but that certainly there were not half a dozen in 
all' These we both pressed him to do over again. * He intended it,' 
he said. But, alas ! this intention was prevented." 
A very important collection of upwards of one thousand five hundred wood- 
cuts, formed for the most part by Bewick himself for a friend, is well 
worthy of special mention. The first volume consists of proofs of the 
Quadrupeds and Birds in various states. The second volume contams 
proofs of the cuts in Poems by Goldsmith and Pamell ; the " Blossoms 
of Morality ; " miscellaneous subjects, including tradesmen's cards, rare 
book-plates, ball and theatre tickets, funeral cards, book illustrations, 
unfinished proofs, and proofs on yellow India paper, && To such of 
the woodcuts as have been engraved by pupils their names have been 
added in pencil These precious volumes grace the splendid library of 
J. W. Pease, Esq., Pendower, Newcastle. The correspondence which led 
to the formation of this unique collection is given at pp. 1 09-1 14 of this 
work. Choice uncut presentation copies of the early editions of Bewick's 
works, of the largest paper, are owned by J. W. Barnes, Esq., Durham ; 
Thomas W. U. Robinson, Esq., Hardwick Hall; and Edward Mounsey, 
Esq., Darlington. 

(29.) The Hive of Ancient and Modern Literature, a Col- 
lection of Essays, Narratives, Allegories, and Instructive Com- 
positions. Newcastle : printed for S. Hodgson and G. G. and 
J. Robinson, Pater Noster Row. London. 1799. 

This work was a selection made by the late Solomon Hodgson, Newcastle. 
The first had only three cuts by Bewick, but the subsequent editions had 
an increased number of wood-engravings, that printed in 1806 having 
fourteen cuts by Thomas Bewick, and ten (besides several vignettes) by 
Luke Clennell. It was republished in 18 12. 

(30.) Four large Woodcuts, a Zebra, an Elephant, a Tiger, 
and a Lion. 

These were engraved in 1799 for Mr. Gilbert Pidcock, the proprietor of a 
celebrated menagerie then in Newcastle. Previous to the blocks being 

2 P 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 




^^§'f,g^ J 



300 THOMAS BEWICK: 



(33.) The Seasons, by James Thomson, with his Ufe by 
Samuel Johnson, LL.D., and a Complete Glossary and Index, 
embelHshed with engravings on wood by Bewick, from Thur- 
ston's designs. London : printed for James Wallis, Paternoster 
Row. 1805. 

It is in 8vo, but an edition in iimo was printed the same year. 

(34.) The Hermit of Warkworth, a Northumberland Ballad, 
in three fits, by Dr. Thos. Percy, Bishop of Dromore, with 
engravings on wood by Mr. Bewick, after designs by Mr. Craig. 
Alnwick : printed and sold by J. Catnach. 1806. 

A second edition of this work was published in 1S07. 

{35.) The Poetical Works of Robert Bums, with his Life, 

ornamented with engravings by Mr. Bewick, from original 
designs by Mr. Thurston, in two volumes. Alnwick : printed 
by Catnach and Davison ; sold by the Booksellers in England, 
Scotland, and Ireland. 1808. 

I imo, containing 31 cuts in the first, and 29 cuts in the second volume, all 
engraved by Henry White. 

(36.) The Poetical Works of Robert Fergusson, with his 
Life, in two volumes, ornamented with engravings on wood by 
Mr. Bewick, from original designs ; with a number of character- 
istic tail-pieces, etc. Alnwick : printed by W. Davison. 1814. 




n Fiigmion' i PofBi< 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 



(37.) A History of England, in a Series of Letters from a 
Nobleman to his Son. London : printed for J. Brambles, A. 
Meggitt, and J. Waters, by H. Mozley, Gainsborough. 1807. 




Two vols. lamo. The large woodcut portraits are admirably executed by 
Thomas Bewiclc The entire series is iotroduced in this work, and given 
to me by my old and much respected agents, Messis. Mozley of Derby. 
When first publisfaed the portraits were of oval form; afterwards the tints 
were removed. 



THOMAS BEWICK: 




(38.) Newcastle Typographical Society Publications. 
This valuable series was commenced in 1817, and continued till 1845. 
They were unifoTmly printed in ciown 8va Mr. John Adamson, 
Thomas Hodgson, John Trotter Brocket!, Mr. Straker, William Garret, 
John Fenwick, and other local gentlemen, edited the several reprints. 
Each publication had one or more cuts by Thomas Bewick. That done 
for Mr. Thomas Hodgson is given at p. 180, and Mr. Adamson's at p. 
>43 of this volume, llie above, by Bewick, is an excellent fae-simUe of 
the original portrait prefixed to " The Life and Death of Robert, Earle of 
Salisbury," i6ia, reprinted by J. T. Brockett, 1818. 



(39.) The Fables of ^sop, and others, with designs on 
wood by Thomas Bewick. Newcastle: printed by E. Walker 

" The wisest of the ancients delivered their conceptions of the Deity and 
their Lessons of Morality in Fables and Parables." 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 303 

for T. Bewick and Son ; sold by them, Longman & Co., 
London, and all Booksellers. 18 18. 

A second edition was published in 1S33. A few proofs on India paper 
were taken of the cuts, but they are extremely rare. ' A third impression 
in TOyal 8vo is now in the press, forming the fourth volume of the 
Memorial Edition. 

(40.) Bibliotheca Lusitana, or Catalogue of Books and Tracts 
relating to the History, Literature, &c., of Portugal, in the 
library of John Adamson, Esq., F.S.A. Newcastle, 1818. 

This work, which is now rarely to be met with, was printed in two parts for 
private circulation by Mr. Adamson, and contains some beautiful wood- 
cuts by Thomas Bewick. 




(4 1.) Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Luis de Camoens, 
by John Adamson, F.S.A. London, Edinburgh, and New- 
castle-upon-Tyne. London ; printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, 
Orme, and Brown. 1820. 

This work, which is in two volumes, and of which two editions were printed, 
viz., one in crown 8vo, and the other in royal Svo, is illustrated with 
several wood-engravings by Thomas Bewick, as also some copperplates 
by Skelton. The blocks, including the beautiful cut of the Grotto of 
Camoens, were destroyed by fire at the burning of Mr. Adamson's library, 



304 THOMA S BE WICK : 



April 21, 1849.1 For the cuts in this work Mr. Adamson paid Bewick 
for Davidson's Arms, 15s.; the Grotto of Camoens, ^4, 48.; Two 
Viceroys, ^2, 2s. ; Faria Sousa,^2, 12s. 6d. ; Camoens, ^2, 12s. 6d ; 
portrait, whole length, ^9, 9s. ; Camoens, head and reverse, first and 
second medals, ^5, 5s. 

(42.) Select Fables, with cuts designed and engraved by 
Thomas and John Bewick, and others, previous to the year 
1784; together with a Memoir and a Descriptive Catalogue 
of the Works of Messrs. Bewick. Newcastle : printed by S. 
Hodgson for Emerson Charnley, and Baldwin, Craddock, and 
Joy. London, 1820. 

This work contains a Memoir of Thomas and John Bewick, as well as a 
Descriptive Catalogue of their various publications, by Mr. John Trotter 
Brockett This edition was printed on imperial paper at ^i, i is. 6d., 
on royal at £1, is., and on demy at 15s. each. Twelve copies of the 
imperial size had India proofs of the cuts, and were sold at ^5, 5s. 

(43.) A Supplement to the History of Birds, the Figures 
engraved on wood by Thomas Bewick. Newcastle : printed 
by Edward Walker, Pilgrim Street, for T. Bewick, &c. 1821. 

^ John Adamson was the son of Lieut Cuthbert Adamson, R.N., of Gateshead, where he 
was born, September 13, 1787. Having ultimately chosen the law as his profession, he was 
articled to Messrs. Davidson of Newcastle, who, from their social position and the important 
offices they held, might be considered the leading firm of solicitors at that period. After being 
admitted to practise himself, he was fortunate in succeeding at an early age, on the death of 
Mr. Walter Heron, to the office of Under Sheriflf, and continued to act in that capacity until 
the passing of the Municipal Reform Act. During a residence in Lisbon, where an elder 
brother was long settled as a merchant, he acquired a knowledge of Portuguese, and imbibed a 
taste for the literature of the country which bore fruit in after years. He translated the play of 
Donna Inez de Castro from the original of Nicola Luis, and wrote Memoirs of the Life and 
Writings of Camoens. The Queen of Portugal recognised his services by conferring upon him 
the Orders of Christ and of the Tower and Sword. He was member of various societies both 
at home and abroad. For many years he was Secretary of the Literary and Philosophical 
Society of Newcastle, and took a prominent part in the formation of the Society of Antiquaries, 
and of the Natural History Society in the same town. He was a collector of coins, medals, 
books, and prints ; of plants, fossils, minerals, and shells. His collection of shells was always 
much admired, and of great value. His correspondence with men of letters and science, and 
other distinguished persons in various parts of the world, extends over nearly half a century. 
Mr. Adamson died, after a short illness, September 27, 1855, in his sixty-eighth year. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 30$ 

This Supplement consists of two parts, illustrated by forty-two figures and 
forty-one tail-pieces, on imperial, royal, and demy paper. A few copies 
of the figures were printed in 4to without letterpress. The Foreign Birds 
were mostly done from preserved figures in the Wycliffe Museum. 

(44.) Vignettes by Thomas Bewick. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: 
printed by Edward Walker, Pilgrim Street. 1827. 

These embrace the tail-pieces to the Histories of Quadrupeds and Birds, 
and were printed in octavo and quarto without the letterpress, and arc 
now scarce. 

(45.) A Memoir of Thomas Bewick, written by himself. 
Embellished by Numerous Wood-Engravings, designed and 
engraved by the author for a work on British Fishes, and never 
before published. Newcastle - on - Tyne : printed by Robert 
Ward, Dean Street, for Jane Bewick, Gateshead. Sold by 
Robert Robinson, Pilgrim Street. London : Longman & Co. 
1862. 

Demy 8vo, cloth, price 18s. My first order was for 100 copies. The 
vignettes do not call for particular remark. Ten shillings for a single 
copy of the Prospectus of the History of British Fishes (1825), with the 
cut of the John Dory or the Lump Sucker, was the ordinary price I paid 
Miss Bewick, and glad to purchase at that sum. At the head of the 
Preface is a View of Bywell ; to the left is the deep pool below the rock 
where the Rev. H. P. Dwarris, curate of Bywell, was drowned whilst 
crossing the Tyne in a boat. May 3, 1855 ; to the right is the mill dam, 
destroyed by Mr. Beaumont. At the end of the personal narrative a 
woodcut is given representing a funeral procession wending its way through 
the meadows which lie between Cherryburn and the Ford at Eltringham, 
where a boat is observed, ready moored, to convey the departed to his 
last resting-place in Ovingham Churchyard, on the opposite bank of the 
Tyne. This appears from the date of the block to be the last tail-piece 
ever cut by Thomas Bewick. The original pencil drawing is in my 
collection. 



2 Q 



i 



3o6 



THOMAS BEWICK: 



A FEW OF THE MISCELLANEOUS CUTS 
EXECUTED BY BEWICK. 



Cherryburn Cottage, the birthplace of Thomas Bewick. 

This was drami by John Bewick in 1781, and partly engraved by bim, but 
being left unfinished at his death, it lay for many years, and was eventually 
finished by Thomas Bewick. The beautiful drawing in Indian ink is in 
the possession of the family at Chenybum. 




The then Spire of the Exchange in Newcastle. 

This vras engraved in 17S3, and drawn from nature, to insert in the large 
old watch-cases then in fashion. It shows the rook's nest above the 
vane, in which situation a pair of rooks built in despite of all interruptions 
for many years; and what was remarkable, the iron rod to which the 
vane was fixed went through the centre of the nest, which turned with 
every change of wind. 

Ticket of Admission to a Ball, for the benefit of the family of 
the late Mr. Clagget. 
This beautiful cut now adorns the title of this work. It was engraved by 
Thos. Bewick in 1795, The inscription was erased many years afterwards. 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 




Book Plates with Armorial Bearings. 

Some of the happiest efTorts of Thomas Bewick's genius were displayed in 
book plates, which he engraved on wood for various gentlemen. The 
above is one he did for John Murray, Esq., M.D., of Newcastle. 

The Fleece. 

This most beautiful and rare woodcut of a Heath Ram suspended by 
the middle, was engraved by Thomas Bewick for Mr. William Frood, 
Rochdale, in May iSia, and charged only ^i, iSs. A proof on yellow 
China paper is in my collection — size, 7^ inches by 5 inches. 

Mail Coach, Hull, York, and Newcastle, drawn by four horses 
at full gallop. 

This fine rare cut was "drawn and mostly engraved by me, Thomas 
Bewick, and given this 14th February 1826 to my deai son, T. B." — 
inscribed on an impression of the print The cut is 14^ inches by 
S inches, and engraved on five wood-blocks. My impression was 
obtained from Miss Bewick. 



308 THOMA S BE WICK : 

The Theban Harp, 

Engraved on copper by Thomas Bewick, and the first job of the kind he 
received after his return from London (1777). It was done for the Rev. 
James Munray, and appears in No. 5 of the " Magazine of the Arts." 
The drawing from which it was made was the work of James Bnice, Esq., 
the celebrated traveller. 

An Oak Tree. 

This beautiful cut belonged to the Rev. J. F. Bigge. After his lamented 
death it was given to me at Stamfordham Vicarage by his widow and 
sons in memory of a friendship of more than forty years. It was engraved 
for Mr. Fallain 1815. 

Thomas Coulson's Cut. 

The fine cut given below was engraved by T, Bewick as a business card 
for Mr. Coulson, an eminent decorative painter, a native of Newcastle. 
Since then it has been ingeniously manipulated — Coulson's name erased, 
and "Walker" inserted. The letter a in painter being covered by the 
boy's hand, it would stand for printer without alteration. There is no 
date in the first state of the cut I am indebted to the kindness of J. W. 
Barnes, Esq., Durham, for the use of this cut and the two vignettes to 
Fergusson's Poems. 




• V" 






r.v^' 




V" -■ 



l*' ^ mfl<^^ w 



I » 



' ^ f 



i 1 



1 



■1 ■ 

I 

1 



/ / / 



f •,'■■ 






■ ■ /• 



■■ '/ 



HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 309 

The name of Joseph Garnett will ever rank amongst the 
most worthy of old Newcastle tradesmen. This gentleman was 
born at Alnwick, in 1772, of humble parentage. When quite 
young he obtained a post in the Royal Observatory, Greenwich ; 
but owing to an affection of the eyes he was compelled to resign, 
and towards the close of the last century commenced business 
as a chemist and druggist on the Quayside, Newcastle. In 
the month of February 1803, he removed to a shop at the 
^^ Foot of the Side, near the Scale-Cross ;'' he lived in the house 
above his place of business for the long period of sixty years. 
When Mr. Garnett died, he had attained the patriarchal age of 
ninety years. He was an accomplished musician, and rarely 
absent from his accustomed seat in the organ box at St. 
Nicholas' Church. The charitable institutions of the town 
were liberally remembered in his will ; his acts of private 
charity were unstinted. His valuable library, cabinet of rare 
coins, paintings, articles in gold and silver, diamond rings, 
antique seals, and cameos, were sold in Newcastle in the 
months of February, March, and April 1862. The sale 
occupied seventeen days. Amongst the books, one exces- 
sively rare little volume I was fortunate enough to secure, 
viz.. Lot 889 — "The Psalter of David, in Englishe, purely 
and faithfully translated after the Texte of Feline (Martin 
Bucer). Argentine, by me Francis Foye^ i530-" But two or 
three perfect copies of the first edition of the Psalter in 
English are known. The above was imperfect. In antique 
silver, a couple of Apostle spoons, very fine, with figures of 
St Peter and Paul, 1562, and others, were knocked down to 
me. These are now in the collection at Hardwick Hall. The 
series of exquisite old Wedgwood cameos went to enrich the 
keramic treasures of Robert Spence, Esq., North Shields. 



THOMAS BEWICK. 



i) 



Mr. Garneu's executors were fortunate in securing the services 
of W. H. D. Longstaffe, Esq., an accomplished numismatist and 
able antiquary, to compile the coin catalogue. That gentleman 
told me he might say "Jltu " to every lot, the examples were 
so choice, comprising Greek and Roman coins in gold, silver, 
and brass, highly preserved English, Scotch, and fore^ coins 
in gold, silver, and copper. The coins and medals relative to 
Charles I. and Cromwell were particularly choice and interesting. 
A Hadrian in gold cost me jC^. The heavy English gold sold 
cheap. For the use of the beautiful cut engraved for Mr. 
Garnett by Thomas Bewick in 1805, I have to thank Mr. 
Councillor Dobson, who had the conduct of Mr. Gamett's 
business for so many years before his death, and has continued 
the same ever since on the old lines, without change. 




THE HOWDY 



AND 



THE UPGETTING. 



TWO NORTHUMBRIAN TALES 

OF 

ONE HUNDRED YEARS SIN SEYNE, 



AS RELATED BY THE LATE 



THOMAS BEWICK, OF NEWCASTLE, 



IN THE TYNESIDE DIALECT. 



THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS 

OF THE TWO FOLLOWING TALES RELATED BY THE LATE 

THOMAS BEWICK. 

The ciUbrcUed Engraver on Wood^ 

WERE FORMERLY IN THE POSSESSION OF 

A//?. JOHN BELL OF GATESHEAD, 

IX) WHOSE MEMORY THEY ARE NOW DEDICATED. 



( 313 ) 



THE HOWDY 

IN THE TEYNE SEYDE DIALECT. 
ONE HUNDRED YEARS SEYNE. 



Ae-hy, Ak-hy, kih she, yeh may say what yeh leyke, but Aze suer aws reet, 

aw ken weel eneugh when he was bwoam, fir aw meynd, aw was up at the 

Mistrisses suon ee mwoming, ith th' howl oh wounter, when in cam little 

Jenny runnin — Muther ! Muther I sez she, here cums little Andra Karr, 

plishplash throw the darts, thockin and blowin, wiv his heels poppin out ov 

his Clogs every step, leyke twe little reed Tatees — wiv a Hares bum on his 

Hat and the crown ov his head and teheyteed hair stannin up throw't — poor 

fellow, sez the Mistriss, aws warn a keahm hesint been int this twe months — 

Andra! Andra! whats the mayteer, sez the Mistriss — is thee Muther shoutin 

out — eyeh that she is — ayrms aye by George! for aw heard her o th' way fra 

our Hoose te Roaffies Staggarth Deyke — whees there (sez th' Mistriss) wey 

theres our Dehyim an Isbil an Barbary — an aw so oad Mary commin tappy 

lappy owr the Stob-Cross-Hill — an Jack Gorfoot galloppin by Antys Garth neuk 

on the oad Gray Meer, wiv Mragery the Howdy behint him fit te brik their 

neeks — ^aeyh (sez the Mistriss) an aw mun away tee — whares thee Fayther, 

Andra (sez the Mistriss) wey sez Andra, aw so him stannin at th' lown end oh 

the Byer, wouv his Jasay Neet cap on, an his hands in his kwoat pockets, 

beayth thrimpt owr his Thees — ^an glowrin about, but aw so nowse he wis 

leukin at — sit doon Andra— oh the Trou Steahyn — see doon sat Andra an 

we3rpt his nwoase on ov his kwoat kuff — meayk heayst lass an bring him (poor 

fella) a shive oh Butter an Breed^ut him a good counge an strenkle a leapyt 

ov sugar ont for aw wamt he hesint brokken his fast to day. — ^Jack Roe was 

sittin o the teyme, leanin on the hud steahyn, wiv his braid shouthers an his 

leg pletted oure his Yek Pleught, warmin his sel — Aehy, sez Jack, an as aw 

cum owre the Bwoat-Hill — aw so Jenny the Gardner with Teagnhey-bed, an 

sum mare sic leyke Fwoak, cummin as hard as they cud drive — By George ! 

2 R 



314 



THE HOWDY. 



sez Jack, what a mininin theyies meayhd, at sic a teyme, spechell; whare 
(hair's ne occasion fort, amang a House-fuh of Bayrnes an Mebbies but a 
tebuhm cubbard for them — How monny Baymes hes thee Muther now, 
Andra, sez Jack, aw dar say this is the seevent or eight — aw think if thee 
Mutber gans on this way, yeel bev as monny seughn as the Boucher ov 
Bawwell — aw wonder how thee Fayther gets yeh o fed, sayrey man, aw dar 
say he hes eneough to de to gel it o deughn — Boucher o Bywell (sez the 
Mistriss) bow monny baymes had he — wey, sez Jack, they had twoalve, an 
brout them o up to men and women, an tho' they never gat owse better than 
thaaf keahyk, crowdie an milk, or tatees an soat — they war as reed cheekt an 
thriven, an leuked better than the Swires baymes, or ony Gentlemens on 
Teynesyde. Bliss us I (sed the Mistriss) how did they find neayhms for them 
o — weel eneugh (sez Jack) — there wis Will, an Mat, an Jack, an Tom — an 
Raney, an Gwoardy, an Roger, an Fenwick, an Jerry — an Nanny, an an 




Hiitary of a Foundling (Moiley s Edit on) 



( 315 ) 



THE UPGETTING 

IN THE TEYNE SEYDE DIALECT. 
ONE HUNDRED YEARS SEYNE. 



Oh ! Mawlee ! Oh Maw-aw-aw-lee ! — how way hehaym wouth th' — thou theayks 
a vast oh caaling on — what do's th' want ! yammering and shouting as kin yen 
was deef — thous neahn deef but was ower bissey tiggen on woh Jemmy Grame 
the theaker lad behint the staggarth Deyke — awze sure of thee impidence ! whe 
dos thou tig on wee Thee sell aw wonder! — wey, wey ne mare oh that, or 
Muther wants th' directly to gan to Peggy Hivers upgettin, meayke heayst, 
shes waitin. — What de yeh want Muther yer aye fashin yen wh' somethin or 
other — aw want th' to be sharp an dress thee sell, smartly, an gang to the 
upgettin at Micklee. Houts Muther cannit ye gang yoursell, — aw was gannin 
to th' Madam's at Apperly, wh* the Young Chickins — an ye ken weel eneugh 
whatever present ye give to her, she aye gives ye tweyce as gude aghayn — 
aw dinnit leyke te gang amang a hecp oh weyves o dresset up at seckin a 
pleace — Come Come maw hinney, thou mun gang, for maw shoun hes been 
mendin at the Coblers this Month an mare, and thou can get on thee sisters 
shoun and ony thing else of her claiths — and mheyk thee sell leuk varra 
spnint wouth them — an aw wamt thoul leuk as weel as the best oh them — 
and when thous there, meynde what their o toakin about and put in thee 
word leyke a woman and dinna sit there leyke steuke and sit and say nowse — 
Varra weel Muther A'll try what aw can de. 

THE RETURN. 

Wey hinney thous gettin heayhm aghin and dis na leuk varva pleasd come 
tells o whe was there and what passet amang them and how ye fared — Aw 
hardly know where to begin, Muther, for there was sic clatterin and sic din 
when they o gat fairly startet — There was the skeul Maisters Weyfe — the 
Howdy — Tibby Bell — Jenny the Gardner, an Betty Kell — an Mary Nicholson 



3i6 THE UPGETTING. 



— ^an some aw dident ken — an there was Posset — a good speyce suet keayk — 
an honey an bacon collops an frummety — ^aw langed for some oh the Collops, 
but aw gat neahyn — ^an what did they toak about — wey they spak about 
Weylam Engine — The Lairds oh Ryton — an of the great Swires Deeth ith th 
nwoarth the other day and the number oh fwoak that went to his Dhad — 
monny oh them keept crakin oh the Baym an tippin its cheeks wouth the're 
fingers th meayk it smeyle — the Howdy never gav ower cryin Gwoardy, 
Gwoardy, Gwoardy, wheres the Bayme hah lad gittsey, gittsey, gittsey, — an 
praising its Beauty — mouny oh them thrimped in to dih the sheym and aw 
thout aw wad dih see tee — see aw stept up an begun ih maw turn — but L— d 
forgih mih for leeing, for aw thout it the ugliest^ Ufardest Bayme aw ever so^ 
it was blutherin and slverin leyke a drownin whelp — Betty Kell was the wisest 
body there sheed seen a vast o' the warld, and is an oad farvent body she 
spack a deal about the deeth of the Swire and his Dhael — and telPd how 
after o the grandeur oh this warld it mhead ne mater, how hee Fwoak leyke 
him held up their heeds and thout themsels of sic consequence — a bit of 
spurt was mhead about them for a whyle after they deed — deeth cam to them 
at last an they leyke other fwoak were seun forgotten — Aye, Aye, kih Mary 
Nicholson thats true for the varra mwoaming after the Dhael — Nickel Urn 
was driving away and whistlin in his kayrt leyke a Nightengal and mheakin 
a' ring aghaym as kin nowse had happend — an Aws sur his Muther grat mair 
at the Dhael than ony body that was there an Gwoardy the Thaleur said their 
Christan was thare an she thout she grat as much as was decent but as for 
Nanny Urn she blaired out for a greet while an teuk the lead of o' the rest — 
The Skeul Maisters Weyfe said it was melancholly when you leukd about 
them, to see such numbers of yens freends constantly droppin off when they 
were never thinkin about it — Its varra true, sed Jenny the Gardner, for theres 
aw swoart of fwoak deed this year that was never deed afwore. Betty Kell 
gav her sic a gleyme and see did the Skeul Mistriss — Then up spake Tibby 
Bell and said that she knew little mare about Weylam Engine than that when 
she peeped into it she thout she wad ha' been skumfeesht wi' the steyth an 
then she set on a telling about a vast of Baymas that had deed without 
knowing ony thing about this wicked warld — aw then thout it teyme to put 
in maw word — an sez aw tiv her "prey ye if ye please" had your muther 
ever any Baymes, yes yeh feul ye (wi* sec a Glower) ti' be sure, or else how 
wad aw heh been heer, oh kiv aw, but aw was meanin your Grandmuther — 
aw thout she was gannin to spit at me — Confound her for beheavin se to maw 
Bayme — if aw had her heer aw wad let her find how aw lyad clout her lugs 
for her for her impidence. 



INDEX. 



Adamson, John, 222, 302, 303, 304 
note. 

iEsop, Croxall's, 128. 

" i£sop's Fables," offer by London pub- 
lisher for cuts of, 128 ; Miss Bewick's 
indignation at offer, 128. 

Agriculture in Northumberland, Report 
concerning state of, in 1800, 109. 

Allan, George, 71, 103, 107. 

Alpine Vulture, cut of, 158. 

Anderson, Major, 19. 

Anderson, Robert, 19. 

Ang^s, Thomas, 48, 89. 

Annual Revitw on Bewick, 283. 

Apprentices' assistance, Atkinson's rela- 
tion of Bewick's testimony as to, 296. 

Apprenticeship, Bewick's story of his, 14. 

Atkinson, George Clayton, 57, 71. 

Atkinson, Joseph, cattle-painter, 298. 

Audubon, the ornithologist, his opinion 
of Bewick, 293. 

Bailey, Mr., of Chillingham, 108. 

Baily, Mr., sculptor, 155. 

Ballantyne & Robertson of Edinburgh 
and Bewick's only attempt at litho- 
graphy, 148. 

Barber, George, 115. 

Barber, Joseph, 104, 105, 107. 

Barber, Martin, 107. 

Barber's Circulating Library, catalogue 
of, 106. 

Barker, Robert, 21. 

Barnes, J. W., 80, 297, 308. 

Barnes, Mr., of Whitburn, 187. 



Bayles, Serjeant, 104 and note. 

Bedingfeld, Thomas, 81 and note: 

Beilby and the illustrations of <'Tour 
through Sweden," 28a 

Beilby & Bewick, firm of, 53 ; bill of 
costs against, in re Johnson's draw- 
ings, 252. 

Beilby, Bewick, and Hodgson, difference 
between, in reference to fourth edition 
of Quadrupeds, 282. 

Beilby, Ralph, 104, 283 note ; settlement 
between, and Bewick, 117. 

Beilby, Mr., his work on the Land Birds, 
10 1 ; curious handbill, 102. 

Beilby, William and Ralph, 14, 44. 

" Beilby's wild lad," 19. 

Bell, John, 312. 

Bell, John Gray, 221, 235. 

Bell, Joseph, portrait-painter, 115. 

Bell, Sir Isaac Lowthian, 62 note. 

Bell, William, 63. 

Bell's, John, catalogue of books, 281 note. 

Ben well, 17. 

Berghem, 206. 

Bewick, Agnes, and Cherry bum, 2. 

"Bewick Collector," Thomas Hugo's, 
126. 

Bewick, Elizabeth, 224 and note. 

Bewick family, the, i, 2. 

Bewick family (Thomas), habits of, 
176 et seq. 

Bewick, Isabella, and Cherry bum, 2. 

Bewick, Isabella, her father's companion, 
77 ; Carey's projected life of Summer- 
field and, 136, 138; Dibdin's "Tour," 



3«8 



INDEX. 



her opinion of^ 197 » jealous of father's 
fame, 198; a visit to, in 1881, 213; 
last interview with, 215 ; death, 216 ; 
funeral, 217. 

Bewick, John, brother, 2 ; apprenticed 
to Thomas, 53 ; drawings for Somer- 
ville's Chase made on wood by, 98 ; 
genius and characteristics, 220, 236, 
237; contributions to Saint's publica- 
tions, 221 ; works for Dr. Trusler, 
223 ; character of his work, 226, 234; 
"The Sad Historian," 230; death, 
235 ; marble tablet to memory of, 
236; acquirements, 236; Miss Jane 
Bewick's opinion of, 236 ; best speci- 
mens of work, 289. 

Bewick, John, father of Thos. Bewick, i. 

Bewick, Miss, on publication of father's 
manuscript, 203 ; her remarks on 
printer's proof-sheets, 204; opinion 
of printers, 204. 

Bewick, Misses, the, and their father's first 
drawing, 16; a visit to, 115 ; author's 
first acquaintance with, 203 ; pleasant 
society, 203. 

Bewick, Miss Jane, 19 ; rare intelligence 
of, 205 ; knowledge of world, 206 ; 
acquaintance with Shakespeare, 206 ; 
death, 206. 

Bewick, Mrs., and "Gentle Shepherd," 
168 ; pleasure in seeing her children 
attending Parish Church, 173. 

Bewick, Mrs., artist's mother, death of, 69. 

Bewick, R. E., son of Thomas, birth, 
239; health and disposition, 239; 
musical talent, 240 ; character as an 
artist, 240; admitted to partnership 
by father, 241 ; death, 241 ; mental 
characteristics, 241 ; sensitive nature, 
241 ; example of his work, 242. 

Bewick, Robert, Bulmer's condolence 
with, on father's death, 163. 

Bewick's father, likeness of, 103. 

Bewick's house, description of, 207 etseg^, 

Bewick's, Miss, executors, 80 ; her gift 
to author, 120. 



Bewick's pupils, 247 el seq, 

Bewick, Thomas : birth, i ; childhood, 
2 ; school life, 2, 3 j hopeful spirit, 7 ; 
early essays in Art, 11; recollections 
of home, 12; love of Nature, 12; 
his parents' anxiety regarding his 
safety, 14; apprenticeship, 14; his 
earliest known design, 16; how leisure 
time spent, 19; love of ' literature, 
20, 21 ; how he passed his winter 
evenings, 32 ; proficiency in cudgel- 
playing, 34 ; his services at the fiall 
of Tyne Bridge, 36 ; evening visits to 
Cherryburn, 41 ; " flights up the 
Tyne," 42 ; first employment as an 
apprentice, 43 ; his first book with 
pictorial woodcuts, 45 ; bar bills, 45 ; 
end of apprenticeship, 45 ; honoured 
by Society for Promoting Fine Arts, 473 
his appreciation of neighbourly con- 
gratulations, 48 ; works as a journey- 
man, 48 ; his favourite amusement, 48 ; 
purposes " seeing more of the world," 
48 ; sets out on his travels, 49 ; his 
dog Witch, 49 ; experiences, 49 ; goes 
to London, 50 ; London life and man- 
ners distasteful to him, 50 ; last night 
in London, 52 ; fits up bench at Hat- 
field's, 5 2 ; partnership with Beilby, 
53 ; weekly visits to Cherryburn, 53, 
54; work in connection with " Select 
Fables " and " Gay's Fables," 56, 59 ; 
how far assisted in this work by his 
brother, 5 7 ; illustrates Tommy Trip's 
History of Birds, &c., 58 ; style of 
wood-cutting, 60; elected member of 
social clubs, 60; first grief, 69; father's 
death, 69 ; marriage, 70 ; first impor- 
tant work, 70 ; philanthropy, 75 ; 
abhorrence of war, 77 ; detestation of 
Pitt, 77; diligence in business, 78; 
an important commission, 78 ; his 
cke/'iPceuvrey 79 ; copperplate, 80, 82; 
narrative concerning his " History of 
Quadrupeds," 82 ; domestic character, 
92 ; issue of first volume of " British 



INDEX. 



3*9 



Birds," 99; visit to Wycliffe-on-the 
Tees, 99 ; public interest in his work, 
99; his workshop in St. Nicholas' 
Churchyard, 104 ; removes from, 104; 
independent mind, 108; writes de- 
scription of cuts, 117; dissolution 
of partnership with Beilby, 117; 
works for several publishers, 118; 
occupied in devising means to pre- 
vent the forgery of bank notes, 119; 
a nom-dt-p/ume, 124; serious illness, 
126; knowledge of Northumbrian 
phraseology, 132; allusion to his 
portrait, 134, 135 ; his generous dis- 
position, 138 ; unpleasant business 
experiences, 147 ; pays second visit to 
Edinburgh, 147 ; well received, 147 ; 
his only attempt at lithography, 148 ; 
publication of eighth and last edition 
of Quadrupeds, 148 ; views with re- 
gard to regulation of salmon fisheries, 
151; sixth edition of "Birds" — a 
retrospect, 157; his last and largest 
woodcut, 159, 160; the last bird drawn 
and engraved, 161 ; his last vignette, 
161 ; his governing passion strong to 
the end, 161 ; death, 162 ; personal 
characteristics, 166 ; once only known 
to dance, 166; and sing, 167; as 
paterfamilias, 168; friendship with 
Kemble the actor, 170; simple in all 
his habits, 171; where he commenced 
housekeeping, 171 ; Sunday spent in 
quiet meditation, 172; his favourite 
poet, 1 73 ; his home, 1 73 ; choice of 
Nature, 181 ; fertile imagination, 181 ; 
his winter scenes, 182 ; endeavour to 
purchase land, 192; instance of his 
gratitude, 192 ; a long day's work, 
193 ; his dependence on St. Nicholas' 
clock, 193 ; never possessed a watch, 
193; a morning practice, 194, 206; 
incident with his two apprentices, 1 94 ; 
habits of work, 194 ; methodical in 
his home, 195 ; encounter with jour- 
nalist, 19s; supper -beer, 195; his 



dog Cheviot, 196 ; the manuscript he 
left, 203 ; his pupils, 24'jetsr^,; opinion 
of Johnson, 250 ; his favourite pupil, 
268 ; portraits of, 270 eiseq,; principal 
works illustrated by, 274 et seg.; 
earliest known woodcut, 274 ; com- 
pared to Linnaeus, 294 ; love of native 
country, 295 ; Jackson's opinion o^ 
296 ; assistance received from appren- 
tices, 296; miscellaneous cuts executed 
by, 306 €t seq, 
Bewick, Thomas, list of Portraits of: — 
By Miss Kirkley and T. A, Kidd, 270. 
Drawing and Engraving on wood by 

John Jackson, 272. 
Drawing and Engraving by Edward 

Train, 272. 
Engraving on steel by F. Bacon, 272. 
Engraving on wood by Heaviside, 272. 
Engraving on wood by C. Nesbit, 271. 
Engraving published by T, Ranson, 

271. 
Etching by Leopold Flameng, 273. 
Full-length Painting in oil by T. S. 

Good, 273. 
Miniature by Murphy, 270. 
Miniature by W. Nicholson, 273. 
Painting by J as. Ramsay, 271. 
Portrait by Geo. Gray, 273. 
Portrait published as frontispiece to 

Jardine's Naturalists' Library, 272. 
Bewick, William, brother of Thomas, i. 
Bewick, William, nephew of Thomas, 

238 and note. 
Bible, Hieroglyphick, frontispiece of, 

276. 

Bibliographer^ letter of Bewick's in, 83. 

Bigge, Rev. John F., 2, 125, 217, 241, 
308. 

Bigge, Thomas Charles, 15 note. 

" Birds and Beasts, Tommy Trip's His- 
tory of," 57, 58, 275. 

" Birds, Beasts, and Fishes, History of," 
Conrad Gesner's, 21. 

"Birds, British," sketch of owl for, 19; 
text of vol. I written by Beilby, 290. 



320 



INDEX. 



" Birds, British," vol. ii., letterpress the 

work of Bewick and Rev. H. Cotes, 

ii6, 291. 
•'Birds, History o^" Edwards', 21. 
Bird's Nest and Eggs, cut of, 181. 
Birds, The, assertion as to Johnson and 

Clennell executing illustrations for, 

296. 
Birds, The, last edition of, published in 

artist's lifetime, 157 ; the Misses 

Bewick and, 243. 
Blackett, Sir Walter, 45, 5 2. 
Blackett, Sir William, 19. 
" Black Fleet," the, 180. 
Blue Bell Inn and Bewick, 196. 
Bohn, Henry George, 277. 
Book of Pictures for Little Masters, Clay- 
ton Atkinson's statement regarding, 

276. 
Books, absence of good, 3, 9. 
Booksellers' shops, situation of, 21. 
"Border Antiquities," Walter Scott's, 

265. 
Bourne's Newcastle, 31. 
Bowes, Andrew Robinson, 52, 80, 280. 
Bridgewater, Earl o^ and Clennell, 262. 
"British Birds, History of," various 

editions, 290 et seq, 
British Quarterly ReTnew^ and bust of 

Bewick, 155. 
Brockett, John Trotter, correspondence 

with Bewick, 129 and note; editorial 

work of, 302, 304. 
Brown, Thomas, 65 note. 
Bruce, James, the celebrated traveller, 

and the Theban Harp, 308. 
Bryson, Martin, Allan Ramsay's address 

to^ 22. 
Bryson & Charnley, 32. 
" BufTon, Smellie's Abridgment of," 82. 
Bulkley, Stephen, 21. 
Bulmer, William, 41, 94, 95 ; his edition 

of Goldsmith's Poems, 230 ; death of, 

288 note. 
Bulmer's suggestions regarding Allan 

Ramsay's and Bums's Poems, 120. 



" Burglar Disturbed, The," vignette, 185. 
"Bums's Poems, Alnwick Edition of," 

109. 
Burnt House Entry, 288 note. 
Busby, Mrs., 6. 
Bute, Earl of^ and Johnson's drawings. 

Button, Sarah, 21, 23. 
Bywell, I, 4, 14. 



<( 



Cadger's Trot," the, 148. 
Cail, Alderman, 265. 
Camoens, Luis de. Memoirs of Life of, 

303- 
Campbell the poet, and his landlady, 

story of, 126. 
Cant, William, 196. 
Carey, William, author, 136. 
Carlele, John, knight, 26. 
Carlisle, See of. Church of Newcastle 

and, 24. 
Carmichael, 65. 
Carr, George, 184, 185 note. 
Castle Garth, the, 19. 
Castle, Lumley, 6. 
Catnach and Davison, the Alnwick Press, 

109, 300. 
Changes, beneficial, 7. 
Charlton, William Oswald, 6. 
Charlton, Dr. E., 8. 
Charlton, John, 62 note. 
Charnley, Emerson, bookseller, 139; his 

" Select Fables," 144. 
Chase, Somervile's, Bewick's payment 

for illustrating, 120; originality and 

elegance of illustrations in, 234. 
Chatto, W. A., 269. 
Cherrybum, i, 2, 14 note, 16, 48. 
Cherry bum House, 14. 
Cheviot, Bewick's dog, anecdote of, 197. 
Chillingham Wild BuU, 78, 79; Sir 

Walter Scott's suppositions regarding, 

79 ; rarity of impressions of, 79 ; 

description of cut, 278, 279. 
Choice Emblems, 221. 
Chronicle^ Newcastle^ extract from, 55. 



INDEX. 



321 



Chronicle Office, titles of iEsop*s Fables 

printed at, 145. 
Church, St Andrew's, 264. 
Church, St. John's, 72, 173. 
Church, St Nicholas', 47, 52, 72, 73, 

I93» 249i 257, 309- 
Churchyard, Ovingham, marble tablet to 

memory of John Bewick iii, 236. 

Churchyard, St John's, 39. 

Churchyard, St Nicholas', 21, 53, 104, 
107. 

Clagget, Mr., 306. 

Clcnnell, Luke, 119, 247, 259 etseq.; sub- 
scription in behalf of, 263 ; references 
to his work, 290, 297. 

Clennell, Mrs., 262. 

Colliers, improvement amongst, 10; cul- 
tivation of music by, 11. 

Collingwood, Lady, and family, 190. 

Collinson, Rev. John, 197, 199. 

" Comfortables," the, 188. 

" Commonwealth, the Spensonian," 35. 

Congrcvc, Sir William, 119. 

Consett, Matt, 80, 81, 280. 

Copperplate engraving, the first done in 
Newcastle, 105. 

Coquetdale Fishing Songs, the, 215. 

Corbridge, 3. 

Correspondence — 

Between Bewick and Mr. T. Vernon, 

109 et seq. 
Between Bewick and Mr. John T, 

Brockett, 130. 
Between Bewick and his local pub- 
lisher, 139. 
With reference to bust of Bewick — 
A. Donkin to Mr. Brockett, 153; 
Thos. Crawhall to Mr. Brockett, 155. 

Cotes, Rev, H., Bewick's obligations to, 
116. 

" Cottager, the," 264. 

Coulson, Thomas, 66, 308. 

Courant^ Newcastle^ establishment of, 

139. 
Cowen, Joseph, and stained glass window 

to memory of John Cunningham, 38. 



Cowley, quotation from, 238. 
Crawhall, Joseph, 80, 213, 255, 265, 
Crew, Crowley's, 54, and note. 
Critics' opinion of Bewick's work, 292 

et seq. 
Cross hatching, 57. 
CuUey, George, 109. 
Cunningham, John, 38 ^/ seq, 
Curthose, Robert, and the New Castle, 
Cuts, miscellaneous, by Bewick — 

Book plates, 307. 

Cherrybum Cottage, 306. 

Fleece, the, 307. 

Mail Coach, 307. 

Spire of Exchange, 306. 

Thomas Coulson's Cut, 308. 

Ticket of admission to ball, 306. 

Darlington, Bewick's visit to, 108. 

Davidson, John and Thomas, 81, 304 
note. 

Debord's tavern, 8, 10. 

Defoe, Daniel, and his Newcastle cor- 
respondents, 21. 

Delaval, Sir Francis, 10, 238. 

Delaval, Thomas, 47. 

Denton Burn, 17. 

Dentatus, Assassination of, 266. 

Denton Chare, 19. 

Derwent water, third earl of, 5 and note ; 
" Lament " for, 5. 

"Deserted Village," Goldsmith's, and 
Bewick, 173. 

Diaries, Dr. Charles Hutton's, 43. 

Dibdin, Dr., 197 et seq, 

Dilston Hall, 5 and note, 6, 7. 

Dobson, Ann, 235. 

Dobson, Austin, on Thomas Bewick and 
his pupils, 265 ; his Memorial Edition 
of Bewick's works, 291. 

Dobson, Councillor, 309. 

Dobson family, the, 185. 

Dobson, Thomas, 184. 

Domenico, the fire-eater, 10. 

Donkin, Armorer, 153. 

Donocht Head, 215. 

2 S 



32^ 



INDEX. 



Doubleday, Thomas, 129 note, 215 ; 


« Forth, cot in the," numerous attractions 


article in British Quarterly Review on 


of, 191, 192. 


Bewick's birds by, 292. 


Freehold Dwelling- House and Garden 


Dovaston's story, 70. 


advertisement, 193 note. 


Duke of Northumberland, his Grace the. 




125 ; treatise on mensuration dedi- 


Garneit, Joseph, 309. 


cated to, 234. 


Garret, William, 302. 


Dwams, Rev. H. P., 305. 


Garrick, David, 38. 


"Dyers, the Ovingham," cut of, 184. 


Gay's Fables, and Edinburgh bookseller, 

275. 
General Magazine^ Newcastle^ 22, 43. 


Edition, Memorial, of works of Thomas 


Bewick, 291. 


GentlematCs Magazine on "Quadrupeds," 


Editions, early, of Bewick's works, pre- 


285 ; memoir of Bewick in, 284. 


sentation copies, owners of, 297. 


"Gentle Shepherd, the," performed by 


Elegy, Gray's, Spencc's new version of. 


Scotch regiment in Newcastle, 168. 


35- 


George and Dragon, 45. 


Elliot, Isabella, 70. 


George III. and Bewick's woodcuts, 235 


Elliot, Miss Esther, 115. 


Gibside, 18. 


Elliot, Robert, 37, 70, 219. 


Gibson & Usher, Messrs., 65. 


Ellis, G., 289. 


Gibson, William, town-clerk, 186. 


Ellis, James, 81 and note. 


Glossary of North-country words, Broc- 


Ellison, Rev. John, hospitality of, 190. 


kett's, 129 note, 132, 133; Jackson's 


Els wick, 17. 


projected, 134. 


Eltringham, 4. 


Goldsmith, Oliver, and Miss Bewick, 58. 


Engravings of varied character, 183. 


Goldsmith's Poems, 230, 233. 


Errington, Mr., of Capheaton, 7. 


Good's portrait of Bewick, 199, 208. 


Ewbank's daughter, 67. 


" Good times," 7. 


Ewbank, John Wilson, 63, 65 et seq. 


Gossip, pleasant, 179. 


Ewbank, Michael, of Gateshead, 66. 


Goulbum, Gabriel, 145 note. 


Ewbank, Miss, 67. 


Gow, Thomas, of Cambo, 16. 




Grainger, Richard, 19. 


Fables of ^Esop, publication of illustrated 


Graphic^ the, special number of, and 


edition of, 127; non-success, 127; 


woodcut portrait of Bewick, 214. 


second edition of, 127; revolution of 


Gray, George, fruit-painter, 63, 121, 


opinion regarding the work, 128. 


122 ; his portrait of John Bewick, 


Fables, Select, number of parts, 277. 


121, 122, 209. 


Fair, St. Luke's, 28. 


Gray, Gilbert, 32. 


Falla, Mr., 308. 


Gray, William, 34, 50. 


Family Bible, Bewick's, 219. 


" Gray's Chorographia," 21. 


Fenham, 41. 


Greencroft Park, 100. 


Fen wick, John, 4; his opinion of Bewick's 


Greenwell, Mr., 298 note. 


memoir, 205 ; editorial work, 302. 


Gregson, Christopher, 2, 15, and note 


Feudal feeling, strength of, 4. 


134. 


Fisher, Mr., 298 note. 


Gregson, Christopher and Philip, 50. 


Fleming, John, 22, 


Griffith, Moses, 103. 


Forster, Matthew, 215 note. 


Groat Market, the, 6. 



INDEX. 



323 



Hall, Edward, of Whitley, 279. 

Hall and Elliot, 277. 

Hall, Joseph, 21, 23. 

Hall, Matthew, 45. 

Hamilton, Lieutenant, 175 and note. 

Hancock, John, 62 note, 243, 255. 

Handbill, a curious, 102. 

Hanover, House of, Jacobite gentry of 
North and, 7. 

" Hart, the White," 8. 

Harvey, William, apprentice and favourite 
pupil of Bewick, 266 ; pupil of Hay- 
don's, 266 ; his fellow-artists, 266 ; 
illustrates Arabian Nights, etc., 266 ; 
death, 267. 

Hawkins, John Sydney, and Emblems 
of Mortality, 279. 

Hay don Bridge, 34. 

H eaten, Breet Star o', 47. 

Heddon-on-the-Wall, 41. 

" Hermit, Angel, and Guide," instruc- 
tions concerning, 97. 

Hermit, the, at his Devotions, 233. 

Heron, Ralph, 73, 252. 

Heron, Walter, 304. 

" History of British Birds," Bewick's, 
influence of, 11. 

History of Durham, Hutchinson's, 70. 

History of Quadrupeds, the several 
editions of, 281 el seq,; Miss Jane 
Bewick and, 179. 

Hive of Ancient and Modern Literature, 
118. 

Hive^ The, extract from, 75. 

Hodgson, James and Thomas, 129 note. 

Hodgson, James, 282 note. 

Hodgson, John, of Eiswick Hall, 177. 

Hodgson, Rev. John, learned antiquary, 
146 ; Bewick's connection with, 146. 

Hodgson, Solomon, 82, 118; Bewick's 
wood-engraving to memory of^ 218, 
282 note. 

Hodgson, Thomas, 50, 51. 

Hogarth's monument, Garrick's in- 
scription on, applicable to Bewick, 218. 

Hole, Henry, pupil of Bewick, no, 112. 



Hole-in-thc-Wall, the, 51 and note. 

" Holinshed's Chronicles," 21. 

Hornby, Miss, of Newcastle, 40. 

Horsley, 41. 

Horsley Lane, 42. 

" Horsley Wood, Hermit o^" 124. 

Howard, John, visit to Newcastle, 74 ; 
Burke's estimate of, 74. 

Howdy, the, 133, 313. 

" Hudibras," 258. 

Hugo, the Rev. Thomas, and the 
" Bewick Collector," 177. 

Hunter, Abraham, 250, 

'* Huntsman and Old Hound," cut of 
the, 47. 

Hunt, William, reference to drawings of, 
181. 

Hutton, Dr., 43 ; the instructor of Be- 
wick, 44. 

" ICONOGRAPHIA SCOTICA," PlnkCfton's, 

252. 

^^ Impressions," Bewick's opinion as to 

the best, 291. 
Ismay's, Mr., collection of pictures, 66. 

Jacobites and Catholics, 8. 

Jacobitism in the North, 7. 

Jackson, John, birth, 268; engravings 
for Penny Magazine by, 268 ; his pro- 
jected Glossary, 133, 134 ; his opinion 
of Bewick as a wood-engraver, 296. 

Jackson, Mason, 134. 

Jameson and Wallace, Professors, and 
Bewick's second visit to Edinburgh, 
147. 

Jesmond Dene, stocking manufactory at, 
123. 

Johnson, John, 96, 233, 256. 

Johnson, Robert, 96, 233, 247 et seq. 

Johnson, Willy, playmate of Bewick, 182. 

Johnson's caricatures, 249, 250. 

Jonson, Ben, 181. 

Kay, Thos., pressman, and Bewick, 149. 
Kemble, Mrs, 189. 



324 



INDEX. 



Kemble, Stephen George, 170 and note, 


Lloyd, Rev. John, 103. 


188. 


Locke's head, 22. 


Kenmure, Lord, 5 note. 


London, William, 21. 


Kingsley, Rev. William, his estimate of 


Longman & Co., fifth edition of Quadru- 


Bewick, 164 el seg. 


peds sold to, 238. 


Knight, Charles, and Jackson, 218. 


Longstaffe, W, H. D., 301. 


Kyloe Ox, Mr. Spearman's, 82. 


" Looking Glass for the Mind," 225. 




Lushington, Rev. James, 190. 


Ladies' dress, the Misses Bewick on, 1 74. 




I«aird, the, and his vow, 184. 


Magazine^ BlackwootPs^ on Bewick, 292, 


" Lavinia," 255. 


294. 


Law, William, of Littleborough, 40. 


Magazine Gate, the, 2a 


Lawson, Thomas, 219. 


Magazine^ dnllemaris^ extract from, 


Leadbittcr, Mr., 77, 


56 ; on death of John Bewick, 289. 


Leathart, James, 255. 


Magazine^ NewcaslU^ letter in, respect- 


Leland*s Chronicle, 23. 


ing the Brothers Beilby, 43. 


Letters — 


Magazine y Penny ^ 268. 


Bewick, John, to Thomas, 94, 224. 


Maiden's Walk, the, 17. 


Bewick, Thomas, to Hutchinson, 71 ; 


Maplisden, Peter, 21. 


to Bibliographer^ 83 ; to his brother 


Marble bust of Bewick, proposal with 


John, 90 ; to Mrs. Bewick, 92 ; to 


reference to, 153 ; circular regarding. 


George Allan, 107 ; to J. Payne, 


154 ; extract from article in British 


bookseller, London, 123; to his 


Quarterly Review on, 154. 


friend Wm. Carey, 136 ; to Messrs. 


Marley, Sir John, 4. 


Tipper & Fry, 138 ; to Mr. Charn- 


Martin, David, 57, 60 ; Bewick's opinion 


^cy> I39» 143 i ^0 ^^ printer, etc., 


of, 142. 


140 ; to London author and pub- 


Martin, John, 63, 64. 


lisher, 145 ; to Mr. Hopper anent 


Mary, Charlotte, Countess of Newburgh, 


salmon fishing regulations, 151. 


5 note. 


Buhner, William, to Thomas Bewick, 


Memoir, Bewick's : early essays in Art, 


120. 


II, 12 ; chapter treating of religion 


Chamley, Mr., to Mr. Bewick, 142. 


and politics, 204. 


From Mrs. Bewick's executors to Mr. 


Mensuration, Treatise on. Dr. Hutton's, 


Robinson, 212. 


43 ; instruction of Bewick as to cutting 


Harvey, William, to Mr. Robinson, 266. 


and squaring blocks, 44. 


Morrison, Messrs., of Perth, to Mr. 


Merry Monarch, the, statue of^ at New- 


Pinkerton, 253. 


castle, 30. 


Liddell, Anthony, 182. 


Mickley Bank Colliery and Bewick's 


Liddell, Sir Henry George, 8. 


father, i. 


Lightfoot, Joseph Barber, Lord Bishop 


Milton, quotation from, 238. 


of Durham, 107. 


Mitford, Admiral Robert, 222. 


Linn, John, 22. 


Montagu, Mrs. Elizabeth 38, 52, and note. 


Liston the comedian, anecdotes con- 


Morality, Blossoms of, 228. 


cerning, 189. 


Morrison, Messrs., Perth, and death of 


Literary coterie and Mr. Charnley, 129 


Johnson, 252. 


note. 


Mortality, Emblems of, 89, 222. 



INDEX. 



32s 



Mounsey, Edward B., 81, 297. 

Mozley, Messrs., of Derby, 301. 

Murphy's miniature of Bewick, 134 ; en- 
graved by Summerfield, 135. 

Murray, John, M.D., 307. 

Murray, Rev. James, Bewick's engraving 
on copper for, 308. 

Museum, Wycliffe, 99, 305. 

Muss, Charles, 63. 

Nasmyth, the landscape-painter, and 
Bewick, 147. 

"Natural History," Goldsmith's, 11. 

Naturalist's Library, Jardine's, 156. 

Nesbit, Charlton, 247, 251, 257 e/ s^g. 

Nevill's Cross, 70, 71. 

Newbum, 17, 24. 

Newbum Church tower, 4. 

" Newe House," the, 19. 

Newcastle : market days, 3 ; exempt 
from Royalist and Roundhead loans, 
4 ; Bull and Crown Inn, 6 ; Groat 
Market, 6, 38, 77 ; Literary and Philo- 
sophical Society, 8 ; gaiety of, 8 ; the 
races, 8, 168, 169 ; gentlemen of the 
Hunt, 8; Bewick indentured at, 16; 
natural features of the town, 17 ; 
monastery of Grey Friars, 18 ; apart- 
ments occupied by King Charles I., 18; 
Wcstgate, 17, 77 ; Pilgrim Street, 17, 
169 ; Castle Garth, 19 ; Black Gate, 
19 ; Tyne Bridge, 20 ; shops on, 20 ei 
seq.; derivation of name, 24 ; the Quay- 
side, 34 ; fill of Tyne Bridge, 35, 36 ; 
a familiar figure in streets of, 38 ; first 
mail coach from, 45 ; contested elec- 
tion in, 45, 52 ; natives of, in London, 
51 ; picture of the times, 55 ; Saints' 
Press in, 5 7 ; social clubs in, 60 ; 
liquor traffic in, 61 ; fine arts in, 62 ; 
Lunardi's balloon, first ascent of, in, 
72 ; deplorable accident at, 73 ; John 
Howard's visit to, 74 ; Baillie's His- 
tory of, 75 note ; state of prison ac- 
commodation in, 75 ; club of wits in, 
81 ; local songs, 92 ; improvements 



in, 104 r Circulating Library in, 106 ; 
Museum of Natural History, portrait 
of John Bewick in, 121 ; Literary and 
Philosophical Society, marble bust of 
Bewick in, 153 ; "Gentle Shepherd," 
performed by Scotch regiment in, 168 ; 
Theatre- Royal at, 170 ; summer attire 
of fair sex, 174 ; price of tea in, sixty 
years ago, 179 ; early rising in, 187 ; 
spinning a principal industry, 187 ; 
Kemble in, 188 ; claims of, for Bewick 
treasures, 211 ; itinerant collection of 
wild and domestic quadrupeds in, 285 
note ; spire of the Exchange in, 306 ; 
worthy tradesmen of, 307. 

Newcastle, royal visits, &c., to — Princess 
Margaret, 23 ; Robert Curthose, son 
of William the Conqueror, 24 ; Henry 
L, 24 ; King David of Scotland, 24 ; 
King Stephen, 24 ; mint of Henry H. 
at, 24 ; King John and William, king 
of Scotland, 24; Henry II L and his 
Queen, 24 ; Queen of Scotland, 24 ; 
Edward I., 26 ; John Baliol pays 
homage to Edward I. at, 26 ; Edward 
II. 26; Edward III., 26; Edward 
Baliol, 26 ; Henry IV. separates town 
from county of Northumberland, 26 
Henry VI., 26; Edward IV., 28 
Richard III., 28; Henry VII., 28 
Henry VII I.'s grant of the Black Friars 
28 ; Edward VI. 's grant to Corpora 
tion, 28 ; Queen Mary's do., 28 
James I., 28 ; presentation to, 28 
Charles I., 30 ; Charles II. confirms 
charter to town, &c., 30 ; James II., 
magnificent statue of at, 30. 

Newcastle and the Fine Arts, 62. 

Newcastle, contested election at, 45. 

Newcastle, Corporation of, grants to, 28. 

Newcastle, first mail coach from, to Lon- 
don, 45. 

Newcastle General Magazine^ 22. 

Newcastle Hunt, the, 10. 

Newcastle Literary and Philosophical 
Society, 8. 



326 



INDEX. 



Newcastle, old inns in, 6i. 


Pollard, Robert, 50, 89, 298 note 


Newcastle Races, 8 ; the old squires and 


Pope, quotation from, 181. 


the, 9. 


Prcfece, an interesting, 157. 


"Newcastle Reprints," 37. 


Printers, self-sufficiency 0^ 204, 


Newcastle-upon-Tyne, "the county of 


Prospectus of " History of Quadrupeds," 


the town of," 26. 


84. 


Newspapers in Newcastle, references to — 


" Proverbs Exemplified," 223. 


Chronicle^ 10 note, 32, 38 and note, 


Prowling Cat, the, 227. 


55, 82, 129 note, 139, 145 ; Courant, 


Prudhoe and Ovingham, bridge between. 


43 note, 50, 81, 139, 178. 


124, 125. 


Nichols, Mr., bookseller to George III., 




235, 288 note. 


Quadrupeds, History of^ narrative con- 


Nicholson, William, engraver, 147. 


cerning, 82, 281 et seq. 


Northumberland, domestic annals of, 3, 




4 ; society, 8 ; habits of gentry, 8 ; 


Race Week at Newcastle, Bewick's cus- 


neglect of music and painting in, 10. 


tom during, 168. 


" Northumberland, History of," 146. 


Races, Newcastle, a thing of the past, 


Northumberland, prison for county of, 75. 


169. 


Nun's Moor, the, 41. 


Radcliffe, Charles, 5 note ; his assumed 


"Nuremberg Chronicle," the, 21. 


name, 6 ; at Durham, 6, 7. 




Ramsay, Allan, 23, 32. 


OviNGHAM, I, 2, 3, 4, II, 15, 37, 42, 54. 


Randell, Richard, 21. 


Ovingham Bridge Company, the, 125. 


Ravens worth, 18. 


Ovingham Church, 216. 


Ravens worth Castle, 80, 81. 


Oracles, the, 237. 


Ranson, Thomas Fryer, 271 and note. 


" Ornaments, Copeland's," 43. 


Reay, Henry Utrick, 298. 


"Omithologia Nova," 72. 


Receipt, a curious, 127. 




Red Brick House, the, 185 note. 


Partnership, dbsolution of, with Beilby 


" Reedwater Minstrel," the, 215 and note. 


discussed, 93; recommended, 117. 


Relic, an early, of Bewick's, 195. 


Pastime, a cruel, example of, in " British 


Rents, house, on Tyne Bridge, 22. 


Birds," 185. 


Review^ Annual^ on Bewick, 283 note. 


Pearson, Edwin, 277. 


Richardson, Thomas Miles, 63, 65. 


Pearson, Rev. E., 277. 


Richardson, children of, 66. 


Pease, J. W., 89, 114 note, 136, 297. 


Ridley, the house of, 47. 


Peltro, J., 89. 


Ridley, Sir Matthew White, 45. 


Pennant, Thomas, 102. 


"Rob, Little," 116. 


Phipps, Hon. Constantine John, 45. 


Robin Hood, Isabella Bewick's copy of, 


Pickering, George, 81 and note, 215. 


288. 


Picture, a saddening, 75. 


" Robin Hood's Garland," 288. 


Pidcock, Gilbert, 297. 


Robinson, Thomas W. U., 297, 298. 


Pintado, sketch for cut, 177. 


Rogers' " Pleasures of Memory," 265. 


Pocket-Book, Annual Ladies', 249. 


Roxby, Robert, 215 and note. 


Poems, Goldsmith's, Buhner's edition of. 


" Rubens and his Wife," engraving, 136. 


95 \ John Bewick's work in connection 


Ruskin, John, his opinion of Bewick's 


with, 95 ; unique copy of, 96. 


Memoir, 205.