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Matlock Bath: Engraving, before 1840
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Matlock Bath 1840
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Rayner engraving 1830

Vignette, before 1840

Matlock Bath

Drawn by W. H. Bartlett.
Engraved by J. C. Varrall.
London; published for the Proprietors by Geo: Virtue, 26 Ivy Lane, 1840.

A mid 19th century steel engraving of Matlock Bath, with Cumming's Old Bath Hotel on the left and the pathways of Cat Tor on the right. Temple Walk wends its way past the Old Bath to the Temple Hotel, but goes no further. Green Lane, behind the Museum Parade buildings, seems to have been a fairly prominent walkway around 1840. The Fish Pond hasn't been included, but some of the stable buildings and probably the Ferry House are shown. Below the Royal Hotel is the Old Bath Tap, the Fish Pond Hotel of today[1]. The remainder of South Parade looks rather small in comparison. High up on the Heights of Abraham is the Upper Towers, with Masson Cottage below although Guilderoy and other surrounding properties cannot be seen. It is hard to tell whether this image pre-dates or postdates the vignette of Matlock [Bath] that was published in the same year, but both images were created at least a year before they were published.

So who were the people involved with the engraving?

William Henry Bartlett (26 Mar 1809-1854), who drew the original, has been hard to trace but he is reputed to have travelled to all the places he drew so he was almost certainly out of the country when the census returns were taken[2]. The engraver, John Charles Varrall (10 Oct 1794-1855), was born in St. Pancras and lived at 90, Pratt Street, Saint Pancras, Marylebone[3]. George Virtue (1796-8 Dec 1868) bought Bartlett's drawings; he was the proprietor of the Art Journal and a bookseller and publisher. He lived at Ivy Lane for a good deal of his working life although later moved to 18, Finsbury Square[4] before leaving London and retiring to Oatlands Park, Walton-on-Thames[5]. His business addresses were at 24, 25 and 26 Ivy Lane, Newgate st. (bookseller & publisher) and at 64 & 65 Bartholomew Close (printers)[6]. His son, George Henry, eventually took over the business. George Virtue died suddenly, in the street outside 7 Porchester Square London[7].

Engraving of "Matlock Bath" from the collection of and © Ann Andrews.
Information researched and written by © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.
References (coloured links are to transcripts and information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] The Old Bath Tap appears in the 1851 census
[2] William Henry B was christened on 23 Apr 1809 at St. Pancras Old Church, and was the son of William and Anna Bartlett. See The Dictionary of Canadian Biography for more information about him.
[3] Varrall, the son of Charles and Mary Varrall, was baptised on 3 May 1795 at St. George in the East, Stepney. He was living with his wife and daughter on Pratt Street at the time of both the 1841 census (HO107/68/2 f4 p2) and the 185 census (HO107/1497 f125 p6 s459).
[4] George Virtue was a Scot, born at Coldstream. He and his family were in Finsbury Square in 1851 census (HO107/1523 f129 p27 s114). He was visiting Brighton with his wife in 1861.
[5] Post Office London Directory (Small Edition), 1852. Geo Henry, his son, also advertised in the Directory as Hall, Virtue & Co., booksellers & publishers, 25 Paternoster Row
[6] Obituary Notice published in the "Western Daily Press",11 December 1868. Other reports of his death, ranging from the "Inverness Courier"", 17 December 1868 to the "North Devon Journal" (same date).