Tyne and Wear HER(11323): Newcastle, Amen Corner, Beilby and Bewick workshop - Details
Title of image: Amen Corner, Newcastle upon Tyne
Date: circa 1850
Description: The print shows Bewick's workshop adjacent to Amen Corner. Amen Corner was at the corner of the south side of St. Nicholas' Church.
Additional info: Drawing
Location/Collection: Newcastle Libraries/Newcastle Local Studies
Accession number: NCL 003388
Provider: Newcastle City Library
Copyright: All rights reserved, if you would like a printed copy of this image please contact Newcastle Libraries.
Newcastle, Amen Corner, Beilby and Bewick workshop
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