Ralph Beilby

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Ralph Beilby (1744–1817)[1] was a British engraver, working chiefly on silver and copper.

He was the son of William Beilby, a jeweller and goldsmith of Durham who later moved to Newcastle upon Tyne to look for better opportunities.[2] Ralph became a silversmith, jeweller, and seal-engraver under his father and elder brothers Richard and William junior. In addition, he became a copper engraver to meet the demand of the then North England market. His plate "Thornton's Monument" in John Brand's History of Newcastle shows his craftsmanship in that field.[3] In 1767 Thomas Bewick was apprenticed to him.[4] They became partners 10 years later.[5]

The texts in Bewick's A General History of Quadrupeds (1790) and History of British Birds: Land Birds (1797) were drafted by Beilby and revised by Bewick. According to Bewick's account, Beilby wanted to have his name appear in Land Birds as the sole author; however, upon Bewick's disagreement, neither of them was named as the author.[6] The partnership came to an end in 1797, after the publication of Land Birds. They were tentatively reconciled in 1800, co-operating again for some projects, including the publication of Figures of British Land Birds. Bewick came to Beilby's defense when the latter had been defamed in a supplement to the third edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica published in 1801.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Discovery Service".
  2. ^ Richardson, Moses Aaron (1843). The local historian's table book, of remarkable occurrences, historical facts, traditions, legendary and descriptive ballads [&c.] connected with the counties of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland and Durham. Historical division. p. 172. Ralph bielby silver copper.
  3. ^ Richardson, Moses Aaron (1843). The local historian's table book, of remarkable occurrences, historical facts, traditions, legendary and descriptive ballads [&c.] connected with the counties of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland and Durham. Historical division. p. 172. Ralph bielby silver copper.
  4. ^ Allon, Henry (1845). "The British Quarterly Review".
  5. ^ http://www.bewicksociety.org/Life%20and%20Work.html
  6. ^ Bewick, pp. 122–23
  7. ^ Uglow, pp. 269–70

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bewick, Thomas (1975). A Memoir of Thomas Bewick. Edited with an introduction by Iain Bain. London; New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Dictionary of National Biography (1917). London: Oxford University Press.
  • Uglow, Jenny (2006). Nature's Engraver: A Life of Thomas Bewick. London: Faber and Faber.