Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John Swain

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January 1880.

John Swain (1829-1898) of John Swain and Son, engraving and reprographics company

of Farringdon Street, London.

Draughtsman for The Engineer.

1851 Living at Clifton Street North, Tower Hamlets: Ebeneza Swain (age 62 born Mddx.), General Printer. With his wife Harries Swain (age 59 born Brislington, Somerset) and their children Hepzibah Swain (age 28 born Offiod), Dressmaker; Eliza Swain (age 24 born Offord), Milliner; John Swain (age 22 born London), Wood Engraver; Harriet Swain (age 20 born London}; and their grand-daughter Margaret Swain (age 10 born Walworth).[1]

1881 Loving at 317 Camden Road: John Swain (age 52 born St. Matins le Grand), Wood Engraver. With his wife Matilda Swain (age 51 born Shoreditch) and their children Matilda Swain (age 26 born Shoreditch); Laura Swain (age 22 born Shoreditch); John Swain (age 20 born Islington), Photographer; Jane M. Swain (age 18 born Islington); Nellie Swain (age 16 born Islington); and Amy Swain (age 13 born Islington). One servant.[2]

1898 Obituary [3]

"...of the 12th inst., of Mr. John Swain, at his residence, Broadstairs. Mr. Swain began life as a wood engraver and worked for a considerable period on Punch, with his elder brother. He was thus thrown into the society of many eminent men - Leech, Tenniel, and others who have made names for themselves in literature and art. Leech was celebrated for the dainty feet and hands he gave to his English girls, and John Swain, for a considerable period, was specially employed in (cutting) hands and feet, because Leech said that he interpreted his drawings better than anyone else. To our readers Mr. Swain's name is familiar. While yet a young man be entered into partnership with Mr. H. Rimbault, one of a family of celebrated engravers. In the earliest days of THE ENGINEER these two made its engravings.

The partnership was dissolved, but John Swain continued his connection with this journal..."More.

1898 Estate Details[4]

The value of the whole of the estate of Mr. John Swain, of Burleigh House, Camden-road and Northfield, Broadstairs, the head of the well-known firm of engravers, John Swain and Son, Farringdon-street, who died on September 12 has been sworn at £37,011 8s. 7d., the net personalty being £34.781 0s. 4d.

By his will, dated September 1, 1808, Mr. Swain gave the policies of insurance on his life in the Royal, the Liverpool and London and Globe, and the United Kent Insurance Companies and his furniture and household effects, carriages, and horses at Broadstairs to his wife; £2,000 Debentures John Swain and Son each to his daughters, Mrs. Matilda Capes, Mrs. Alice Brett, Mrs. Laura Brewer, Mrs. Nellie Ward, Mrs. Amy Wigg, and Miss Jane Maud Swain; £100 each to Mr. Edwin Charles Brett and Mr. Andrew Dargavel; and his furniture at Burleigh House to his daughter Jane and wife as joint tenants.

He also gave and devised to his wife all his real estate at Broadstairs. His residuary estate is to be held on trust for his wife for life, and at her decease divided into thirteen parts, one of which he leaves to his grandson John, and the other twelve parts equally divided between his six daughters.

He appointed his wife. Mrs. Matilda Swain, his son-in-law, Mr. Edwin Charles Brett, of 22, Tufiiell-park-road, and Mr. Andrew Dargavel, of 58, Farringdon-street, his executors.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1851 Census
  2. 1881 Census
  3. The Engineer 1898/09/16, p278.
  4. Morning Post - Wednesday 16 November 1898