Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bewick, Jane

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BEWICK, JANE (1787–1881), eldest daughter and child of Thomas Bewick by his wife Isabella, was born on 29 April 1787, and died 7 April 1881. Miss Bewick's chief claim to recollection is her lifelong veneration for her father's memory, and her store of anecdote respecting his work and ways. In 1862 she edited and issued 'A Memoir of Thomas Bewick, written by Himself. Embellished by numerous wood engravings, designed and engraved by the author for a work on British Fishes, and never before published.' This memoir, prepared at her request in 1822-8, must always be the standard authority for Bewick's personal history, and it ranks highly as a frank, manly, and characteristic piece of autobiography. It gives, however, but a meagre account of his method and technique. Another sister, Isabella, survived Jane Bewick until 1883, dying in the old house, now 19 West Street, Gateshead, where her father, mother, brother, and sisters had died before her. In 1882 Miss Isabella Bewick anticipated a bequest, agreed upon with her sister Jane, and gave to the British Museum a choice collection of water-colours and woodcuts by her father, his brother John, and his son, some of which had been exhibited in London in November and December 1880. Since her death her executors have also presented several valuable portraits, drawings, prints, and other Bewick relics to the Newcastle Natural History Society's Museum.

[See authorities under Thomas Bewick.]

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