The Bewick Society

Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) Wood Engraver, naturalist and Northumberland's Greatest Artist

The aim of the Bewick Society is to promote an interest in the life and work of Thomas Bewick and related subjects, especially with regard to wood-engraving. The Society publishes a journal called the Cherryburn Times, normally twice a year. This provides a forum for the activities of the Society and keeps members informed about the latest research into the life and work of Bewick and his apprentices. Members publish articles about their own special interests where relevant to the Society. The Society supports those institutions (museums, libraries, art galleries and archives) that hold Bewick material. The Society arranges visits to special collections, some of which are not normally open to the general public. It encourages the development of facilities for conservation and display of Bewick related materials, including wood-engraving as practised by those following in Bewick’s footsteps. It funds an annual prize for a small wood engraving at the annual exhibition of the Society of Wood Engravers, The Bewick Prize.
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Life and Work

In his own lifetime Bewick was recognised as an important illustrator. Subsequently he was hailed as “a truly original genius” (Howitt). His books are collector’s items today. His art is admired as a key contribution to the study of British birds and wildlife. Read more here.

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Click here for examples of the figures from the major printed works that made Bewick's reputation. A selection of figures from A General History of Quadrupeds, A History of British Birds (Vol 1 on Land Birds, Vol 2 on Water Birds), and The Fables of Aesop are included.

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Listen to Bob Browell (1928-2009) a native of the Tyne Valley reading from Bewick's Memoir . The passages cover Bewick’s childhood and early career. Watch the 2003 film “Thomas Bewick”. The film is hosted by local historian John Grundy and produced by Roger Burgess.

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The works of Thomas Bewick and his followers can be found in collections in the North East of England, the U.K. and globally. This page lists these important institutions. Links to their websites guide the prospective visitor.

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Thomas and Isabella had four children but all died unmarried and childless. Click here for our Family History FAQ sheet. Other research available includes a Checklist of the Library of Thomas Bewick, an Inventory of Vignettes and a Bewick Bibliography.

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Cherryburn Times

The Cherryburn Times started out as the Newsletter for the Thomas Bewick Birthplace Trust, founded in 1987 by a group of interested and committed supporters led by Dr Frank Atkinson. Today it is the Journal of the Bewick Society.