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Backhouse and Mounsey collection

 Collection
Call Number: MSS 13

Scope and Contents

The collection comprises etchings, lithographs, and drawings by Edward Backhouse, Edward Backhouse Mounsey, and other members of the Backhouse and Mounsey families of Darlington (County Durham) in the early 19th century. The collection demonstrates that a number of family members practiced etching as a hobby. They were also early adopters of lithography, although the quality of the lithographic work is frequently less refined.

Some of Edward Backhouse's etchings present in the current collection appear to have been self-published in the 1840s.

Dates

  • 1819-1856

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is the physical property of the Yale Center for British Art. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired 2009, Paul Mellon Fund.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into three series: I. Albums; II. Etchings and drawing book by Edward Backhouse Mounsey; III. Copper plates by Thomas Mounsey.

Related Material

Pease Family Collection of Sketchbooks and Exercise Books (MSS 6). Yale Center for British Art, Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts. (http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/ycba.mss.0006)

Extent

2 Linear Feet (2 volumes + 1 box)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/ycba.mss.0013

Overview

The collection comprises etchings, lithographs, and drawings by Edward Backhouse, Edward Backhouse Mounsey, and other members of the Backhouse and Mounsey families of Darlington (County Durham) in the early 19th century.

Biographical / Historical

The Backhouse family of Darlington, County Durham, were prominent 18th- and 19th-century naturalists and horticulturists. The Backhouses were also Quakers and important bankers. They aligned themselves with the Pease family--also Quakers of Darlington--to become prominent 19th-century industrial financiers (becoming the principal underwriters of the Stockton and Darlington Railway in the 1820s).

Edward Backhouse (1808-1879) was a Quaker minister and historical writer. He was born in Darlington on 8 May 1808, but lived for most of his life in Sunderland, where he was a partner--but not an active one--in the family colliery and banking businesses. He was a member of the Society of Friends and devoted himself to philanthropic and religious causes. In 1856 he married Katharine, daughter of Thomas and Mary Mounsey of Sunderland; they had no children. He wrote several religious histories, including Biographical memoirs: being a record of the Christian lives, experiences, and deaths of members of the religious Society of Friends from its rise to 1653 (published 1854), and Early Church History to the Death of Constantine (published, posthumously, in 1884) which offers a Quaker perspective of the early church.

A good amateur painter, he was also interested in natural history, and illustrated several works written by his second cousin James Backhouse, including: Narrative of a visit to the Australian Colonies (1843) and Narrative of a visit to the Mauritius and South Africa (1844). In the 1840s, he self-published collections of his own etchings of birds.

Edward Backhouse Mounsey (1840-1911) of Darlington, was the nephew of Edward Backhouse and son of John and Lucy Backhouse Mounsey. In 1878, he married Rachel Ann Fryer. He was a member of the Society of Friends and played an important role in the family banking business.

Thomas Mounsey (1793-1850) was the son of Ann Robson and John Mounsey. He married Mary Capper (ca. 1796-1870) in 1817, and they had four sons and two daughters. According to the Annals of Smith of Cantley, Balby, and Doncaster, County York (1878), Thomas devoted much of his leisure time to fine arts, primarily sketching, drawing, lithography, and etching on copper. He collaborated often with his relative Jonathan Richardson, who eventually became a skilled lithographic printer.
Title
Guide to the Backhouse and Mounsey Collection
Status
Completed
Author
compiled by Fiona Robinson; edited by Francis Lapka
Date
2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Yale Center for British Art, Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

Contact:
Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts
1080 Chapel Street
P. O. Box 208280
New Haven CT 06520-8280 US
203-432-2814

Location

1080 Chapel Street
New Haven , CT 06510

Opening Hours