Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus…

… Or: Never Tickle A Sleeping Dragon.  It is twenty years since the publication of the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.  I admit that this anniversary has little to do with archives – if it were the anniversary of The Order of the Phoenix, we could argue that what went on in the Hall of Prophecies is a classic illustration of why delicate records need appropriate storage facilities – but it does give us another excuse to show off some more cartoons by George Woodward (1760-1809).  Here’s a 1785 drawing of a magician, with something of the Dumbledore about him:

D5459-1-22

And here’s an 1813 print showing a pair of witches in a hayloft, complete with some fantastic beasts:

D5459-3-35

For more about the Woodward collection, have a look at some of our previous Woodward posts.

Advertisements

A cartoon to mark the transit of Mercury across the sun

For all those people who have been asking whether there is an appropriate George Woodward sketch to mark the transit of Mercury: Yes, indeed there is:

Astronomer.jpg

The cartoon (ref: D5459/1/93/24) shows the French astronomer Jérôme Lalande (1732-1807) telling Napoleon Buonaparte that he has discovered an island in the moon.  Napoleon’s response – that he has already despatched a king to take possession of it – refers to the latter’s policy of turning family members into kings.

The celestial whatnot will begin not long after midday today.  Looking up at the sun won’t work – and obviously you are too smart for that anyway – but if you are reading this before it happens, you  can follow a broadcast of the event by clicking the Play button below.  Or you can find out more about the whole shooting-match courtesy of the NASA website.

Some Derbyshire Gamblers

I have lately been enjoying a Radio 4 series called The Gambler, featuring my old friend Tim FitzHigham. Tim is, or was, a Wirksworth man, and has a penchant for risking life and limb in the pursuit of absurd undertakings, of the will-he-won’t-he variety.

His world record for the longest journey in a paper boat merits a mention in David Fearnehough’s “Derbyshire Extremes”, listed under “Boat” (immediately before “Boat Lift”, describing the achievement of the Butterley Company in creating the world’s first rotating boat lift). There are several copies of this book noted on the Derbyshire Libraries catalogue, including a reference copy held right here, so if you care to read it, you may.

Tim styles himself a Gambling Archaeologist, and likes to re-create wagers made by the denizens of 18th-century Gentlemen’s Clubs and so on and so forth. I wonder how much of This Kind Of Thing we might hold. A brief search turned up the following:

  • D5459/2/34/11: A cartoon drawn by George Woodward, entitled The Female Gambler’s Prayer, dating from 1801. Here it is, with the text on the back as well:

Female gamberGambler text

Plus these other gems:

  • Q/SB/2/1354: The record of an accusation made in about 1650 by Richard Binge against a Richard Cowlishaw of Belper, alleging that he is a gambler and swearer who “doth… walke in the night”. I would have thought, nominative determinism being what it is, that Mr Binge ought to have been the gambler rather than the confidential informant.
  • D3287/MIL/1/13: A letter of 1875 from Viscount Milner, statesman and colonial administrator (1854-1925) to Philip Lyttelton Gell of Hopton Hall (1852-1926), admonishing him “for not paying a debt after loss of a wager on the number of seconds to be gained by Balliol in Classical Modules”
  • D2375/M/41/29/31: Anonymous letter dating from 1840, addressed to Sir George Crewe, relating to gambling and the licensing of publicans. It is signed only “A Friend of Morality”.
  • D504/43/14/5: A £50 bond of indemnity between George Wood and Job Roe, relating to a wager made over a football match between George Wood and James Hinckley, dated 18 Dec 1756.
  • D258/30/36: A c1630 legal paper from the case of John Gell v Thomas Berket, charging Berket with “ruining his son William by gambling”
  • D3155/C/6267: A note recording a wager between Robert Wilmot Horton of Catton Hall (1784-1841) and his friend Edward Boscawen, the 1st Earl of Falmouth (1787–1841). It looks like this:

D3155 C 6267 Wilmot Horton bet

March 16th, 1825.  Mr Wilmot Horton bets Lord Falmouth  three hundred to one hundred sov[ereig]ns that a Catholic Peer votes in the House of Lords within five years from the present date.

Wilmot-Horton was a member of parliament, a great proponent of Catholic emancipation, and evidently a fellow who would put his money where his mouth was. But how did this bet work out? According to the History of Parliament website, the first Catholic peer was Bernard Edward Howard (1791-1856), the 12th Duke of Norfolk. He took his seat in 1829, and voted against Lord Blandford’s parliamentary reform motion on 18 Feb 1830, meaning that Wilmot Horton won his bet, by less than one calendar month! I wonder if Sir Robert claimed his prize?

Some tips on use of the record office catalogue, which this example can illustrate.

  • CALM – the database that runs the catalogue – does not interpret your search instructions, it just carries them out. So if you search for “bets” only, it won’t find “bet” (singular), much less “gamble”, “wager” etc. However, you can search for terms by clicking “refine search criteria” and putting “bet” and “bets” into the box marked “with at least one of the words”.
  • You can also use asterisks as wild-cards – so a search for “gambl*” will find “gamble”, “gambles”, “gambler”, “gambling” and so on.
  • Searches are not case-sensitive, which I am afraid means we can’t filter out Gamble and Wager as surnames. I can’t think of any cleverer option that wading through them.
  • There will be many, many other references to gambling which won’t be mentioned in the catalogue. You may remember reading a post about our acquisition of the diary of Isabella Thornhill, 1863 to 1875? The catalogue says this records “activities including social events, family life, anecdotes, social encounters with notable figures, and trips to London, Stanton, Chatsworth and other places”. I don’t remember whether any of those social encounters was at the race track, or whether there was an anecdote about a family friend who staked his entire fortune on the toss of a coin… Probably not – but as we haven’t the ability to transcribe every page of every document, the only way to be sure is to order a document in our search room and, shall we say, take a punt?

FindersKeepers project: the end in sight?

The FindersKeepers project has been making steady progress for a number of years now, as home-based volunteers work to get our archive lists ready to be imported into the catalogue.  The news today is that there are fewer than 700 lists to go – impressive when you consider that we have well over 7000 collections.  To make the end of the project easier to visualise, I have doctored one of George Woodward‘s lovely balloon cartoons. Each stripe represents 50 lists, and I will send out another blog post each time another gets wiped out.  To find out more about the project, including how to volunteer, have a look at the FindersKeepers page.

Totaliser700

Treasure 17: The George Woodward cartoon collection

This treasure is a collection of nearly 500 prints and drawings by the artist George Murgatroyd Woodward (1765-1809). Brought up in Stanton by Dale, Derbyshire, Woodward’s artistic talents were apparently evident at a young age, and according to his father ‘he used to draw before he could speak plain’.

The Woodward collection includes his earliest known drawings, a series of pen and ink sketches produced when still in his teens, as well as a series of portraits of actors in Shakespearean roles from between 1782 and 1787.  These include an image of Nick Bottom from Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is available for adoption on our Adopt A Piece Of History page.  In this video, Lien and Mark have a look at this and other illustrations:

Depictions of the earliest balloon flights in England are also included, as are a number of preparatory drawings for his published caricatures.  Here are some of the balloon pictures:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We have now added digital images of all the Woodward cartoons to our online catalogue.  You can browse them by following this link – this takes you to an overview page showing each image’s file title, but you can then click on any given entry to see the full description and a thumbnail image.  If you click on the thumbnail image, you will see your chosen cartoon in all its full-screen glory.  To search within the collection, click on Advanced Search, then use a keyword or two in conjunction with the reference D5459* (don’t forget the asterisk).  I tried using the word “clown” in the title field and got a single image of a clown – if you try the same thing, you may see why some people have nightmares about them!

During his brief career Woodward collaborated with some of the best known caricaturists of the day in order to produce his prints, and the collection includes examples of work produced in conjunction with Thomas Rowlandson, Isaac Cruikshank and Thomas Newton.

Woodward was more interested in the humour to be found in everyday life than in high politics and his caricatures provide a fascinating insight into the tastes and fashions of 18th century England.

As our Senior Conservator Lien explains in the video, she nominated the Woodward collection as one of Derbyshire Record Office’s 50 Treasures after being introduced to the archive during her job interview.  ‘There was this massive heap of dirty and damaged prints, drawings and watercolours lying on a table and I was asked what I would do with them…we certainly ended up doing all the work I’d suggested.’

As mentioned above, the Nick Bottom illustration is one of the Treasures listed on our Adopt A Piece Of History page – but if you have a personal favourite Woodward cartoon, you can still adopt that.  Just give us the details after choosing “adopt a unique piece of history”.

That hiking picture…

Regarding my last post – well, it seems Fridays bring questions and Mondays bring answers. Lisa has pointed out to me that you can see details of the images on Peakland Heritage by hovering the mouse over the little preview. D’oh! Still, that gives us an opportunity to give credit where it is due – specifically, it is due to James Walker Tucker (1898–1972). The original hangs at the Laing Art Gallery in Tyne and Wear. Full details can be seen on the BBC Your Paintings website.

It’s a very handy website for this kind of caper. You can search by gallery as well as by artist. I have checked the Derbyshire Record Office entry, and find that we have one solitary image to our credit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/galleries/locations/derbyshire-record-office-3153 . It would be more if George Woodward’s cartoons and John R. Biggs‘ woodcuts counted as paintings, perhaps? Of course, within Derbyshire County Council, works of art are properly the bailiwick of Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, who are credited with stacks of them: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/galleries/locations/buxton-museum-art-gallery-3501

Explore Your Archive – Reading, Writing and the Theatre Royal

Compare and Contrast – a selection of Derbyshire Record Office documents regarding Regency children and education.

Derby Mercury, 18 November 1829 (pt1)

Derby Mercury, 18 November 1829 (pt1)

Derby Mercury, 18 November 1829 (pt2)

Derby Mercury, 18 November 1829 (pt2)

From 'Sorrows, sacred to the memory of Penelope', 1796 (published by Sir Brooke Boothby whose daughter Penelope died aged 5)

From ‘Sorrows, sacred to the memory of Penelope’, 1796 (published by Sir Brooke Boothby whose daughter Penelope died aged 5)

From 'Sorrows, sacred to the memory of Penelope', 1796 (published by Sir Brooke Boothby whose daughter Penelope died aged 5)

From ‘Sorrows, sacred to the memory of Penelope’, 1796 (published by Sir Brooke Boothby whose daughter Penelope died aged 5)

D2375 M/84/24 Printed orders to parents on the admission of their children into charity schools, 18th cent

D2375 M/84/24 Printed orders to parents on the admission of their children into charity schools, 18th cent

D6948/15/2 Pages from Belper Mill Girls School admission register, 1820s

D6948/15/2 Pages from Belper Mill Girls School admission register, 1820s

Dronfield Academy advert, Derby Mercury, 11 July 1811

Dronfield Academy advert, Derby Mercury, 11 July 1811

D5410/17/6 Letter from Alleyne Fitzherbert (b.1815) at Tissington Hall (pt1)

D5410/17/6 Letter from Alleyne Fitzherbert (b.1815) at Tissington Hall (pt1)

D5410/17/6 Letter from Alleyne Fitzherbert (b.1815) at Tissington Hall (pt2)

D5410/17/6 Letter from Alleyne Fitzherbert (b.1815) at Tissington Hall (pt2)

D5410/17/5 Letter from William Fitzherbert (b.1808) at Charterhouse School, 1819 (pt1)

D5410/17/5 Letter from William Fitzherbert (b.1808) at Charterhouse School, 1819 (pt1)

D5410/17/5 Letter from William Fitzherbert (b.1808) at Charterhouse School, 1819 (pt2)

D5410/17/5 Letter from William Fitzherbert (b.1808) at Charterhouse School, 1819 (pt2)

EYA-poster-story-boxes

D394 Z/Z 49 Apprenticeship indenture of William Smith alias Waterfall of Bakewell, 1812 (pt1)

D394 Z/Z 49 Apprenticeship indenture of William Smith alias Waterfall of Bakewell, 1812 (pt1)

D394 Z/Z 49 Apprenticeship indenture of William Smith alias Waterfall of Bakewell, 1812 (pt2)

D394 Z/Z 49 Apprenticeship indenture of William Smith alias Waterfall of Bakewell, 1812 (pt2)

EYA-poster-poetry-workshop

D5459/1/35 Part of 'Sunday Morning', George M. Woodward.  On the back is written: 'GM Woodward sketches when a child.  These are evident proofs of his natural Genius he used to draw before he could speak plain (W.W.)' - the handwriting is that of his father, William Woodward.

D5459/1/35 Part of ‘Sunday Morning’, George M. Woodward. On the back is written:
‘GM Woodward sketches when a child. These are evident proofs of his natural Genius he used to draw before he could speak plain (W.W.)’ – the handwriting is that of his father, William Woodward.

Explore Your Archive – Get the Ball Rolling

As we await kick-off of the first Explore Your Archive week, here is a vigorous selection of images for sporting ladies and gentlemen.

D5459/2/23/9 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1799

D5459/2/23/9 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1799

D5459/4/32/5 A Cricket Match Extraordinary, Thomas Rowlandson, [1811]

D5459/4/32/5 A Cricket Match Extraordinary, Thomas Rowlandson, [1811]

D5459/3/11 A Mistake at New-Market, or Sport and Piety, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, [1807]

D5459/3/11 A Mistake at New-Market, or Sport and Piety, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, [1807]

The Derby Races advert, Derby Mercury, 29 July 1813

The Derby Races advert, Derby Mercury, 29 July 1813

D5459/2/23/14 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 21, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

D5459/2/23/14 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 21, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

Boxing report, Derby Mercury, 13 May 1829

Boxing report, Derby Mercury, 13 May 1829

D5459/2/23/12 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 18, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

D5459/2/23/12 Image from Grotesque Borders for Rooms & Halls: No 18, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1800

The Football, Derby Mercury, 28 February 1827

The Football, Derby Mercury, 28 February 1827

EYA-poster-story-boxes

Explore Your Archive – On This Day: French Prisoners of War

From the Derby Mercury, 14th November 1811:

On Wednesday the 6th inst. Dominique Ducasse, Captain and Aid-de-Camp to Gen. Dufour, Tugdual Antoine Kerenor, Lieutenant, and Julien Deslories, Ensign, three French prisoners of war at Chesterfield, were conducted from the house of correction there, by a military escort, on their way to Norman Cross Prison, for having broken their parole of honor.  The two former were apprehended at the Peacock Inn, (along with George Lawton, of Sheffield, cutler,) about 10 o’clock on Saturday night, the 26th ult. by the vigilance of Mr. Hopkinson, the landlord, who much to his credit, refused to furnish a post-chaise to carry them to Derby, and dispatched a messenger to the Commissary at Chesterfield, detaining them until the return of the messenger; the next day they were conveyed back to Chesterfield, and Lawton is now in our county gaol to take his trial for assisting in the escape. 

D5459/1/5 French Prisoners, George M. Woodward, 1783

D5459/1/5 French Prisoners, George M. Woodward, 1783

The same escort took another prisoner (Monsieur Bernier, an Ensign) from Newark, where he was recaptured, on the information of the Waiter, at the Saracen’s Head Inn, having also escaped from Chesterfield; and the Transport Board have ordered 15 guineas to be paid for the recapture of these three prisoners. 

In short, that Board have since, in consequence of the great number of escapes of French prisoners of war on parole in this kingdom, ordered that in future, the following rewards shall be paid, for recaptures, viz., 10 guineas for every commissioned officer, 5 guineas for every non-commissioned officer, and 20 guineas for every British subject convicted of assisting such prisoners to escape. 

And we are sorry to find, that this Government have lately been under the necessity of ordering the French aspirants and midshipmen on parole in this country, into close confinement in consequence of the French Government having sent the English midshipmen on parole in France, to prison, and their not releasing them though remonstrated with, by our Government; this conduct of the French Ruler, in the present situation of affairs, is too obvious to need comment.

There will be more about Napoleonic prisoners of war on the blog next Thursday.

explore-flyer (cropped)

Explore Your Archive – Breeches, Bonnets & the Brutus Crop

Miss Ellis respectfully takes the liberty of informing the public, that she has selected a fashionable and elegant assortment of images from the Derbyshire Record Office collection, which are now ready for inspection.

D5459/2/26 Fashion, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1801

D5459/2/26 Fashion, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1801

Female Fashions for November, Derby Mercury, 7 November 1811

Female Fashions for November, Derby Mercury, 7 November 1811

D5459/2/33/1 A Man of Fashion's Journal, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1802

D5459/2/33/1 A Man of Fashion’s Journal, George M. Woodward & Thomas Rowlandson, 1802

D258/50/103 Personal letter from William Gell to Madame Polier de Vernand nee Mary Nicholas, 1814

D258/50/103 Personal letter from William Gell to Madame Polier de Vernand nee Mary Nicholas, 1814

D3580/C/128 Letter from Elizabeth Longsdon to her son John Longsdon, 21 October 1810

D3580/C/128 Letter from Elizabeth Longsdon to her son John Longsdon, 21 October 1810

D5459/1/86/5 [Two women, one in a ball gown], George M. Woodward, [1800]

D5459/1/86/5 [Two women, one in a ball gown], George M. Woodward, [1800]

Advertisements, Derby Mercury, 23 May 1811

Advertisements, Derby Mercury, 23 May 1811

explore-flyer (cropped)

D307/G/1 How To Wash Printed Dresses, [early 19th cent]

D307/G/1 How To Wash Printed Dresses, [early 19th cent]