Recovering the lost Moravian history of William Blake's family

Davies, K. and Schuchard, M.K., 2004. Recovering the lost Moravian history of William Blake's family. Blake - an Illustrated Quarterly, 38 (1), pp. 36-43. ISSN 0160-628X

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Abstract

This paper seeks to amend and extend Keri Davies’s essay on Blake’s mother published in Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly in 1999. There, he established that Blake’s mother Catherine’s true maiden name was Wright, and that Thomas Armitage, her first husband, was born in Royston, Yorkshire in 1722, the son of Richard Armitage of Cudworth. Davies also produced evidence that contradicted E.P. Thompson’s Muggletonian hypothesis, and speculated upon the identity of Blake’s maternal grandparents. We now link Blake’s mother to a very different religious community, providing further evidence about her first marriage, and correcting the assumptions Davies made in identifying Blake’s grandparents. These latest discoveries about Blake’s mother disclose her place of birth (Walkeringham, Nottinghamshire), the names of her parents and siblings, and her association with the Moravian sect. Documentary and autographic records in the archive of the distinctive and exceptional eighteenth-century Moravian church, some dating from many years before the poet was born, are a vivid indicator of how much of our thinking about Blake’s life and early influences might need to be revised and rewritten in the future.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Blake - an Illustrated Quarterly
Creators: Davies, K. and Schuchard, M.K.
Publisher: University of Rochester
Place of Publication: Rochester, NY
Date: 2004
Volume: 38
Number: 1
ISSN: 0160-628X
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:27
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2015 14:32
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13256

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