A Memoir of Thomas Bewick Written by Himself by Thomas Bewick

A Memoir of Thomas Bewick Written by Himself

byThomas Bewick

Kobo ebook | March 8, 2015

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It is in compliance with your wish that I have, after much hesitation and delay, made up my mind to give you some account of my life, as it may at a future day amuse you and your brother and sisters in your passage through the crooked as well as the pleasant paths of the world. I will commence by giving you some account of your pedigree as far back as I can. My grandfather, Thomas Bewick, farmed the lands of Painshaw Field and Birches Nook, near Bywell, and also the Colliery on Mickley Bank, or Mickley Common—how long since I know not, but it might probably be about the year 1700. He had the character of being one of the most intelligent, active, and best farmers on Tyneside, and it was said that, by his good management and great industry, he became very rich; but, except his being an expert angler, I know little more about him. My grandmother’s maiden name was Agnes Arthur, the daughter of a laird of that name at Kirkheaton, at which place my father was born in the year 1715, while his mother was there (I believe) on a visit to her friends. My maternal grandfather, Thomas Wilson, and my grandmother, whose maiden name was Hannah Thompson, lived at Ainstable, in Cumberland; but whether he was curate of the parish of that place, or parish clerk, I do not know. It is certain, however, that he was one or the other, and that he taught a school there; and, from the circumstance of his teaching his sons, and some of his daughters, Latin, I conclude he taught some of his scholars the same language. When he died, his eldest son, Christopher, became possessed of his freehold property, consisting of a house, &c., and a few fields adjoining. The rest of his family were left little beside a good education, and were spread abroad in the world to do the best they could for themselves. In this state of their affairs, my mother, Jane, and her youngest sister, Hannah, were taken by a distant relation, a Mrs. Gregson, of Appleby, to remain with her until she could get them places to live at. About this time, the Rev. Christopher Gregson had been appointed to the curacy of Ovingham, and wanted a housekeeper; and my mother, though young, was thought able to undertake that office, and accordingly engaged to perform it. Your maternal grandfather’s name was Robert Elliot, and your grandmother’s Jane Forster. He farmed the land of Woodgate, near Bill Quay, where your mother was born. He afterwards removed to a farm at Ovingham, where he died in 1777, leaving the character of a sensible, honest, and industrious man. How long my mother lived with Mr. Gregson, before her marriage, I know not; but from him I afterwards learned that she was a valuable servant to him, both with respect to his house-keeping concerns, and for the occasional assistance she afforded him in hearing his pupils their Latin tasks. From Ovingham, in the year 1752, she married my father, and went to live with him at Cherryburn House, near the small village or Hamlet of Eltringham, where all their family, of which I was the eldest, were born. The family consisted of myself and brothers, John and William; and my sisters Hannah, Agnes, Ann, Sarah, and Jane. Sarah died at the age of 16; the rest were reared to maturity, and were sent off, one way or another, into the world. In August, 1753, I was born, and was mostly entrusted to the care of my aunt Hannah, (my mother’s sister), and my grandmother, Agnes Bewick; and the first thing I can remember was, that the latter indulged me in every thing I had a wish for; or, in other words, made me a great “pet.” I was not to be “snubbed” (as it was called), do what I would; and, in consequence of my being thus suffered to have my own way, I was often scalded and burnt, or put in danger of breaking my bones by falls from heights I had clambered up to.

Title:A Memoir of Thomas Bewick Written by HimselfFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:March 8, 2015Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1465630570

ISBN - 13:9781465630575

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From the Author

It is in compliance with your wish that I have, after much hesitation and delay, made up my mind to give you some account of my life, as it may at a future day amuse you and your brother and sisters in your passage through the crooked as well as the pleasant paths of the world. I will commence by giving you some account of your pedigree as far back as I can. My grandfather, Thomas Bewick, farmed the lands of Painshaw Field and Birches Nook, near Bywell, and also the Colliery on Mickley Bank, or Mickley Common—how long since I know not, but it might probably be about the year 1700. He had the character of being one of the most intelligent, active, and best farmers on Tyneside, and it was said that, by his good management and great industry, he became very rich; but, except his being an expert angler, I know little more about him. My grandmother’s maiden name was Agnes Arthur, the daughter of a laird of that name at Kirkheaton, at which place my father was born in the year 1715, while his mother was there (I believe) on a visit to her friends. My maternal grandfather, Thomas Wilson, and my grandmother, whose maiden name was Hannah Thompson, lived at Ainstable, in Cumberland; but whether he was curate of the parish of that place, or parish clerk, I do not know. It is certain, however, that he was one or the other, and that he taught a school there; and, from the circumstance of his teaching his sons, and some of his daughters, Latin, I conclude he taught some of his scholars the same language. When he died, his eldest son, Christopher, became possessed of his freehold property, consisting of a house, &c., and a few fields adjoining. The rest of his family were left little beside a good education, and were spread abroad in the world to do the best they could for themselves. In this state of their affairs, my mother, Jane, and her youngest sister, Hannah, were taken by a distant relation, a Mrs. Gregson, of Appleby, to remain with her until she could get them places to live at. About this time, the Rev. Christopher Gregson had been appointed to the curacy of Ovingham, and wanted a housekeeper; and my mother, though young, was thought able to undertake that office, and accordingly engaged to perform it. Your maternal grandfather’s name was Robert Elliot, and your grandmother’s Jane Forster. He farmed the land of Woodgate, near Bill Quay, where your mother was born. He afterwards removed to a farm at Ovingham, where he died in 1777, leaving the character of a sensible, honest, and industrious man. How long my mother lived with Mr. Gregson, before her marriage, I know not; but from him I afterwards learned that she was a valuable servant to him, both with respect to his house-keeping concerns, and for the occasional assistance she afforded him in hearing his pupils their Latin tasks. From Ovingham, in the year 1752, she married my father, and went to live with him at Cherryburn House, near the small village or Hamlet of Eltringham, where all their family, of which I was the eldest, were born. The family consisted of myself and brothers, John and William; and my sisters Hannah, Agnes, Ann, Sarah, and Jane. Sarah died at the age of 16; the rest were reared to maturity, and were sent off, one way or another, into the world. In August, 1753, I was born, and was mostly entrusted to the care of my aunt Hannah, (my mother’s sister), and my grandmother, Agnes Bewick; and the first thing I can remember was, that the latter indulged me in every thing I had a wish for; or, in other words, made me a great “pet.” I was not to be “snubbed” (as it was called), do what I would; and, in consequence of my being thus suffered to have my own way, I was often scalded and burnt, or put in danger of breaking my bones by falls from heights I had clambered up to.