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Tyne and Wear HER(11323): Newcastle, Amen Corner, Beilby and Bewick workshop - Details

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Amen Corner, Newcastle upon Tyne



Newcastle, Amen Corner, Beilby and Bewick workshop




Industrial Building


Post Medieval


Documentary Evidence

The Beilby family (seven children of a silversmith) were born in Durham. William Beilby became one of the world's finest glass engravers. William and his brother rented a flat in Gateshead in 1759 but failed to find work as engravers. In 1760 they moved into the former workshop of Jameson, in Amen Corner in Newcastle. William and his sister Mary engraved for local glass makers and banks, and Ralph Beilby was the businessman. In 1761 William Beilby became the first person to engrave enamel onto glass. He used a small butterfly as his signature. George III commissioned William and Mary to engrave a series of crystal goblets. Thomas Bewick, wood engraver, became Ralph's apprentice in 1767 and a full partner in the Beilby business in 1776. He began a romance with Mary Beilby which caused a rift between himeslf and Ralph. The romance ended when Mary suffered a stroke in 1774. The Beilby's mother died in 1778 and William and Mary moved to London, leaving Ralph in Newcastle to run the business. Ralph died in 1819. William died in Hull in 1819. The Laing Art Gallery owns several Beilby pieces.




P. Winter, D. Milne, J. Brown and A. Rushworth, 1989, Northern Heritage - Newcastle upon Tyne, pages 128-129; Jenny Uglow, 2006, Thomas Bewick - artist and engraver in Tyneside's Finest, 2006, pp 120-121; Gill, M.A.V., 1976, The Potteries of Tyne and Wear, and their dealings with the Beilby/Berwick Workshop, Archaeologia Aeliana Fifth Series, Vol. IV

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