Notes for a lecture on Benjamin Fawcett

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

A small collection containing photocopies of notes and text for a lecture on the life and works of Benjamin Fawcett. There are also two related letters.

Administrative / Biographical History

Benjamin Fawcett was born in December 1808, in Bridlington and become one of the most prominent nineteenth century woodblock colour printers in England. Apprenticed at the age of 14 to William Forth, a bookseller and printer, he started his own business in 1831 in Driffield. He sold music, books and stationary and was also a bookbinder and printer.

His early works were predominantly children's books. Around 1845, he established a close working relationship with Francis Orpen Morris which would last for the next 50 years. Morris would write the text for the books, on British ornithology, which were financed and printed by Fawcett. The engravings were produced by Alexander Francis Lydon, a former apprentice of Fawcett's.

In comparison to the monochrome engravings of Thomas Bewick, colour printing was a dramatic change. At first wood-engraving illustrations were coloured by hand, but later a system of colouring from multiple wood blocks was employed.

Benjamin Fawcett died in January 1893, a few weeks before Morris.

Conditions Governing Access

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Custodial History

Donated by Brenda Moon, Jun 1974

Related Material

Letters of Rev. F.O. Morris and Rev. M.C.F. Morris [U DP180]

Papers of Rev. M.C.F. Morris and Rev. F.O. Morris [U DX21]

Benjamin Fawcett: Colour printer and engraver by the Rev. M.C.F. Morris [L 760(54) BR]