Exhibition of Local Antiquities and Curiosities, 1888

This exhibition was organised by Arthur Clear, inspired by a similar one held at Tingewick, and was followed by his lecture on A Thousand Years of Winslow Life later in 1888, and subsequently his book The King's Village in Demesne.

Buckingham Advertiser, 7 April 1888

On Monday last an interesting and successful exhibition of the above was opened at the Congregational Schoolroom by the Mayor of Buckingham.  The idea had several times been mooted, and early in the New Year a Committee was formed, of which the Rev. J. Riordan and Mr. A. Clear were the secretaries, and assisted by Messrs. Watson, E. J. French, A. J. Clear, and E. Illing, they got together such a collection of objects of interest as had never before been seen in the immediate locality.  Entering the room, one was struck by its pleasing appearance.  The first articles seen were a collection of stuffed birds contributed by Mr. Watson, with cases of eggs and sea and land shells, collections of moths and butterflies, especially one of Indian moths, &c., contributed by Mr. H. Foskett, minerals, ores, ostrich and emu eggs, stuffed Java cat, and pair young leopards, and other natural history exhibits formed the first section.  Next a trophy of old firearms, long-barrelled fowling pieces, horse pistols, old swords, daggers, &c.  Then a stall of miscellaneous antiquities, blacksmith’s tools (dug up), six tinder boxes, knives, musical instruments, candlesticks, ancient clock without frame, old books, particularly Bibles, of which T. P. Willis, Esq., and Mr. E. Parrett both sent a “Breeches’” Bible of 1599 [The Geneva Bible which preceded the King James Version], Mr. E. Gibbs also sent a folio “Breeches” of 1600.  Mr. A. Clear had also a large number of old works from 1584 downwards: court rolls (Great Horwood), 1677, and other old documents.  The centre of the room was occupied by antique furniture, Chippendale chairs, old hand-painted table, old candle stool, oak tables (carved), Early English chairs, and a splendid assortment of coins, prominent among which were the collections of Mr. Clear, Mr. Sare, Mr. Osborne, Mr. Sellar &c.  On the other side of the room was a row of old oak coffers, a spinning wheel, a man-trap, &c.; a collection of New Guinea curiosities lent by the Rev. S. Macfarlane, L.L.D.; Malagasy curiosities lent by the Rev. J. Riordan; a collection of about 500 pieces of china, delf [sic] ware, old earthenware; a collection of teapots, “spode” ware, a William and Mary dish (rare), earthenware bottle (1646), the principle exhibitors being Mr. R. W. Jones, Mr. W. Neal, Mr. G. Ingram, Mr. J. Hawley, Mr. H. Ingram, Mrs. Richardson, Mrs. White, Mr. W. King (Little Horwood).  A collection of Chinese carved ivory and sandalwood articles from Mr. G. D. E. Wigley; magnificent Chinese screen and needlework from Mrs. G. Roads; Mandarin’s dress from Dr. Benson; Sierra Leone articles from Mr. Thos. Piggott, Leighton Buzzard; elaborate quilt from Miss Woollard, Stony Stratford; a large number of samplers and framed pieces of needle work, glass cases containing ivory fans, silver punch ladles, gold and silver jewellery &c.  Old prints and engravings were capitally represented also caricatures, a supposed painting of Salden House, and an engraving of Old Claydon House (lent by Dr. Newham).  Oil paintings lent by Mr. Robertson, Claydon Park; Mr. Fulks – a fine “Descent from the Cross”; Mr. Warne, Mr. Wigley, Mr. W. H. French, &c.  These comprised the principal items, besides which there were of course many other items – contributed alike by rich and poor, Churchmen and Non-conformists.- G. Harrison, Esq., Mayor of Buckingham, opened the Exhibition at half-past 3 on Easter Monday, in a brief speech declaring his sympathy with the object. – The Rev. J. Riordan thanked His Worship for coming to open the exhibition, and after pointing out some of the chief features of it, said it was only right to remark that the principal credit of originating it, and of the collecting and arranging the exhibits was due to Mr. Clear (applause).

  There was a microscopical and optical department under the management of Mr. F. Corkett, with stereoscopic and electrifying apparatus, which was very successful.  At night an entertainment of music was heard under the direction of Mr. Wm. Turnham, which proved most attractive.  The pieces on the first night were glees, &c., for children, which were immensely appreciated, particularly one piece “Johnny Smoker.”  The flower and refreshment departments under the management of ladies of the congregation, proved most popular.  The following is a summary of the exhibits [only those from Winslow are given here; there were many more from surrounding villages and towns]:-

Elley, Mr. Jno., Winslow – Coins, old engravings, cavalry sword
Sellar, Mr. H., Winslow – Tinder box and steel, guinea (1788), Queen Elizabeth sixpence (1574)
Powell, Mr., Winslow – Two engravings, teapot, stone bottle
Benbow, Mrs., Winslow – Metal letter rack
Colgrove, Miss., Winslow – Satin slippers
Harris, Miss., Winslow – Court Rolls of Manor of Great Horwood (1677)
Wilmore, Mr. F., Winslow – Picture in cork (Windsor Castle), old jug (property of late Dr. Cowley), Bible (1661)
Odell, Mr. J., Winslow – Piece of a ship’s lantern from the bottom of the sea, two teapots
Colton, Mr. Geo., Winslow – Set of blue china, pink ditto, jug, tray
Yeulett, Mr. J., Winslow – Oil painting, three engravings
Sirett, Mr. Wm., Winslow – Two china plates, two jugs, inkstand
Clear, Mr. A., Winslow – Two oak boxes, oak table, oak chair, two Chippendale chairs, sundial, two engravings by Hogarth, two drawings (1794), stone carving (1623), map of Buckingham (1611), 12 engravings, spinning wheel, lace bobbin wheel, 100 gold and silver coins, Jubilee coins, Roman coins, bible (1634), old books (1584 to 1683), old documents relating to Winslow, stand of china teapots, &c., old gun, tinderboxes, &c.- 80 exhibits.
Ingram, Mr. H., Winslow – Two water colours, four plates, teapot, jug, two old books, wooden punch, ladle, snuff-box, flint, steel, and tinder box, bonnet (150 years old), &c., &c.
Smith, Mr. J., Winslow – China teapot, two china cups, two shells, walking stick (made out of one horn), pair horns, Greek silver coin and eight copper ditto, painted snuff box
Neal, Mr. W. S., Winslow – Two black teapots, one ditto cream jug, old book of roads, two carved ivory brush backs, two paintings, old picture of “The Bell Hotel”
Walker, Miss., Winslow – Carved oak chest
French, Mr. E. J., Winslow – Carved oak chest, picture of “Transfiguration” (by Raphael), china centre-piece
Corkett, Mr. John., Winslow – Carved oak chest
Corkett, Miss – Curious hearth rug
Warner, Mr. John., Winslow – Curious drinking jug
Grummitt, Mr. D., Winslow – China plate, black cream jug, &c.
French, Miss S. W., Winslow – Silver and copper coins
Morecraft, Mrs., Winslow – Book entitled “Excellency of a gracious spirit” (1638), piece of old needlework
Hall, Mrs., Winslow – Needlework mat, two portraits, picture of “The Saviour.” Photo of non-conformist ministers, snake skin, teapot, punch-bowl, and sundry china
Foskett, Mr. Harry., Winslow – Splendid collection of Indian moths, beetles and butterflies, two ornamented pincushions, regimental colours in needlework
Viccars, Mr. Geo., Winslow – Four delf plates
Roads, Mrs. G., Winslow – Half-guinea (1797), paper knife, four engravings, five swords, arms of Dayrell Family, very elaborate piece of Chinese needlework, carved box, carved panel, two chairs, old lock, pencil drawing, flint pistol, tobacco box (1759), &c., &c
Clear, Mr. A. J., Winslow – Old “Oxford Journals” and “Northampton Mercuries” 1761-62-57-64, Malagasy spoons, &c.
King, Mr. Thos., Winslow – Flint fowling piece, two cavalry swords
Carter, Mr. Geo., Winslow – Old cutlass
Grace, Miss., Winslow – Glass dish
Perkins, Miss., Winslow – Book (1688)
French, Miss A. A., Winslow – Pair old slippers, four pieces needlework, collection of coins
Hancock, Miss A., Winslow – 1/6 bank token, two ornamented bottles, old bags
Westley, Mr. Winslow – Carved oak chest, two antique bottles
Watson, Mr. A., Winslow – Six pieces of ore, two goblets, curious drinking jug
Jones, R. W., Esq., Winslow – Drawing of old Baptist Chapel, Winslow, engraving by Geo. Moorland, twisted wineglass, &c., fretwork cabinets and boxes, Swiss wooden sugar basin, ladies dress apron, worn by Mrs. Newman Wiliiatt, Mayoress of Buckingham in 1775, point lace (1720), flower vase (1740), oil painting of Queen Anne, &c.
Wigley, G. D. E., Esq., Winslow – Valuable Chinese carved sandal wood cabinet, Chinese junk, carved out of a peach stone, Chinese box, carved ivory tusk, other Chinese carvings, antique verge watch 200 years old, £2 jubilee coin, flint gun, silver punch ladle, head of a stag, 10 delf plates, &c., &c.
Midgley, Mr. A. S., Winslow – Pieces of needlework, four pieces of native African dress, ostrich feathers, venetian beadwork, &c.
Saunders, Miss, Winslow – Piece of old needlework
Burrell, Mrs. Mary, Winslow – Antique mirror and two plates
Forster, Mr. Daniel, Winslow – Oxford Bible (1675), and old pistol
Coxill, Mrs., Winslow – Earthenware and china plates, tripod scent vase, tinder box, &c.
Willis, T. P., Esq., Winslow – Geneva Bible (1599)
Fulks, Mr. Matthew, Winslow – Valuable oil painting of “The Crucifixion,” pieces of needlework, &c.
Saving, Mr. Thos., Winslow – Pair antique brass dog irons, Josephus’ “History of the Jews” (1655), Homilies (1633), ancient clock, firebacks, china, &c.
Walker, Miss S., Winslow – Water colour (“Cottage at Swanbourne”), and two others
Hathaway, Mr. J., Winslow – Six miniatures and curious picture of Shakespeare
Turnham, Mr. W., Winslow – Oak table, old books (1633, 1638, 1658).
Newham, Dr., Winslow – Engraving of “Old Claydon House.”
French, Mr. W. H., Winslow – Oak chest, oil painting entitled “Tantalus”
Gaskins, Mr. W., Winslow – Coins (including spade guinea, 7/- gold piece), old snuff box, &c.
East, Mr. Jas., Winslow – Large delf plate, Indian work-boxes, &c.
Ingram, Mr. Geo., Winslow – Supper service (Spode ware), petticoat and pair of pockets worked by a French Princess at Hartwell House
Thompson, Mr. J., Winslow – Pair young leopards in glass case
Sellar, Mr. W., Winslow – Cutlass, spear, case of copper coins, &c.
Cripps, Mr., Winslow – Goblet and cream jug
Russell, Mr., Winslow – Pewter plates, case of coins, carved work
White, Mrs. A., Winslow – China tea service, brown teapot and goblet, very old earthenware dish, two delf plates, &c., &c.
Lee. Mr. Geo., Winslow – His grandfather’s clock, Chippendale chair
Jones, Mrs. W. J., Winslow – Two teapots, cups and saucers, punch bowl, old Bible, Welsh Testament, &c.
Sear, Mr. Thomas., Winslow - Engraving, Winslow Church, piece of needlework, walking stick, (1671), two punch bowls, silver punch ladle, spiral stem wine glass, &c., &c.
Jackman, Mrs. S., Winslow – Bible (1683), old painted top table
Hurlstone, Mr. H., Winslow – Monster knife
Luxmore, Mr. B., Winslow – Model of Crediton Church cut with pocket knife
Warne, Mr., Winslow – Two paintings
Stonnell, Mr., Winslow – Ivory fan
Osborne, Mr. C., Winslow – Old English clock, picture entitled (“The Village Smithy,”) collection of silver coins
Harding, Jas., Winslow – Old English clock
Watson, Mrs. A., Winslow – Cases of rare English birds
Corkett, Mr. F., Winslow – Collection of land and sea shells, pair horns
Keys, Mr. W., Shipton – Malay boot, ostrich egg, &c.
Benbow, Mr. F., Winslow – Old sword, case of silver and copper coins, four engravings
Lee, Mr. Thos., Winslow - Engraving by Hogarth (“Gin Lane”), candle stool, and glasses
Clarke, Miss, Winslow – South American basket, two pieces of needlework (1723)
Turnham, Mr. John, Winslow – Piece needlework, engraving (“Martyrdom of Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley” at Oxford), china teapot, jugs, &c.
Riordan, Rev. J., Winslow – collection of Malagasy curiosities &c.


Buckingham Advertiser, 14 April 1888

A Visit to Winslow.

  Bent upon gratifying antiquarian taste, one day last week a humble individual wended his way to Winslow.

  A spare hour or two was spent in visiting the beautifully restored church of St. Lawrence and the quaint, hid-away Baptist meeting-house.  Musing upon an imaginative sketch of the scene in Winslow Market Place when Benjamin Keach was pillored and his book burnt, and wondering if the Charter of Henry III, granting the weekly market was still existing, and if any documents are extant illustrating the town’s ancient connection with the Abbey of St. Alban’s, the aforesaid individual reached the Winslow Exhibition of Antiquities.

  On entrance, having contributed a coin of not too antique a character to the collection, attention was arrested by the pictures.  They included a number of heavily-framed oil paintings, among them a large “Descent from the Cross,” said to have been given away by Baron Rothschild – a somewhat sardonic statement.  The lighting of the room did not fetch out the subjects in oil well, but the pictures gave a rich appearance to the general arrangements.  Engravings of Hogarth’s works, a cleverly drawn portrait of Shakespeare, the lines on close inspection being minute but readable writing, some good miniatures and silks were noted, as were also a number of local sketches – the introduction in a drawing of the Bell Hotel of a lady wearing an immense crinoline being suggestive of quiet satire.  As befitted an antiquarian pilgrim, more interest was taken in an old print, showing the once famous dome of a Claydon House, and entitled “The West prospective view of the Right Hon. Earl Verney’s, Middle Claydon, Bucks,” and in some good tracings of brasses – one containing the Ten Commandments and some rhymes thereon, dated 1641, from Little Horwood Church, being unique.  Some extremely well preserved samplers were shown – the oldest “begun by Betty Horn, Ap. 16 1723, and finished Aug. 19, 1723.”  A number of old sabres, rapiers, pistols and blunderbusses were formed into a very effective design, but there was no statement connecting them with local history.  A chased brass candle-holder and snuffer tray, bearing date 1607, from the entrance to the Baptist Chapel, Stony Stratford, formed a good exhibit.  There were also some good carved chairs, chests, coffers, and boxes (one dated 1654).  There was a varied and very interesting collection of pamphlets, books, newspapers, and other printed material, among them being the original “Rules of the Winslow Sunday School,” auctioneer notices for 1800, play bills at the Crown, Winslow (1816), a daily paper named The Star, of four small pages, of November 6, 1817, price 7d, in which the intelligence of Princess Charlotte’s death is headed in large type –
                                    “Lament, Britons, lament !
                                    The idol of your hopes,
                                    The amiable, the beloved
                                    Princess Charlotte,
                                    Ill-fated mother
                                    Of an ill-fated child,
                                    Is no more.”
Among the books were the “Manor of Great Horwood Accounts” (1676 to 1835), Bibles from 1584, a black letter “Garden of Health” (1633), from which is culled the following:-
  “FOR THE AGUE.- Take a piece of Eldern and do the pith out, and put a large black spider in ye same and corke it up, and hang it round your neck and let it come down to your stomach, and the ague will leave you.”

Specimens of early local papers, almanacks bearing a shilling stamp, sermons preached in Winslow, “Working Plans for Construction of Buckinghamshire Railway,” &c., &c., were on view.  The Exhibition was especially strong in ceramics – one side of the spacious room being occupied by them.   There was a host of ancient teapots, cups, bowls, and jugs, many of them being very choice pieces of porcelain.  Among other specimens were some very good Dutch tiles, Delph dishes, and plates, a large pictured William and Mary dish, and a white glazed bottle jar, bearing date 1646.  Ancient locks, clocks, bells, tinder-boxes, knives, dog irons, and firebacks, &c., &c., were well represented; and the large and interesting collection of tokens and coins  merited increased show space.

   As a brother grubber in the records of the past, I heartily congratulate Mr. A. Clear and the Committee upon the interesting character of the antiquarian section of the Exhibition.

  The majority of human beings don’t take much interest in “them old things.”  For these were provided music, singing, tea, flowers, microscopical experiments, entomological, conchological and other exhibits, with a large variety of home and foreign curiosities.


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Copyright 27 April, 2021