Monday, August 29, 2016


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Carl Ryman

Carl Ryman was born Carl Adolph Reimann Jr. on May 10, 1903, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His birth information is from the California Death Index at Ryman’s birth name was found in his father’s biography from the book, German-American Artists in Early Milwaukee: A Biographical Dictionary (1997).

Reimann, Carl A., b. 3-13-1873 in Milwaukee, d. 12-17-1937 in Milwaukee. Muralist, religious painter, and designer of stained glass windows whose name is sometimes given as Charles A.F. Reimann. The son of a Swiss immigrant father and German immigrant mother, Reimann grew up in Milwaukee and was educated in Lutheran schools. He was a pupil of Richard Lorenz and later studied at the Weimar Art School under Max Thedy (1858–1924)….Reimann’s name appears in Milwaukee city directories from 1891 until his death, his occupation being variously given as artist, designer, and craftsman in stained glass. His church decoration firm, the Carl A. Reimann Company, went under during the Depression….Reimann’s son, who spelled his name Carl Ryman, was a cartoonist and gag writer living in California.
The 1905 Wisconsin State Census recorded Ryman and his parents “Karl”, an artist, and Sarah in Milwaukee.

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Ryman, his parents and brother, George, lived at 844 Fourth Street in Milwaukee. Ryman’s father was producing art glass works.

On September 11, 1918, Ryman’s father signed his World War I draft card which had his address as 914 Island Avenue, Milwaukee.

The 1920 census said Ryman was a Milwaukee resident at 168 Wright Street. Presumably, Ryman was educated at public schools.

Ryman was married with three children in the 1930 census, which said Ryman was 21 years old when he married Edna. The family resided in Milwaukee at 1679 4th Street. Ryman was a designer of art glass.

According to the 1940 census, Ryman’s widow mother was the head of the household which was in Milwaukee at 116 East Wright Street. Ryman was the proprietor and designer of a stain glass studio. He had attended college for three years. Some time after the census, Ryman moved to California and changed the spelling of his surname.

Information about Ryman’s training as a cartoonist has not been found.

According to American Newspaper Comics (2012) Ryman produced the strip, Alfred, for the McClure Syndicate. Alfred debuted October 17, 1949 and ended in 1954. The Alfred character was developed by Foster Humfreville who produced the panel for Collier’s starting in 1942. Several Alfred panels can be viewed here. Additional information about the panel and Humfreville is here. Humfreville was a California resident and may have known Ryman.

The Catalog of Copyright Entries, Third Series, Volume 5, Parts 7–11A, Number 1, Works of Art, etc., January–June 1951, listed three cartoon characters by Ryman. The following year, Ryman and his wife, Edna, received copyrights on two cartoon characters.

Ryman illustrated a BarcaLounger advertisement in the December 1952 issue of Esquire

The Milwaukee Journal (Wisconsin), July 24, 1963, reported the passing of Ryman’s mother and said in part:
…Mrs. Reimann, the former Sarah Geiger, died Monday of a heart attack at St. Mary’s hospital. She lived at 116 E. Wright st.

Her husband, who died in 1938, operated the Carl A. Reimann Co., which specialized in church decoration. Their son, Carl, jr., Peshua Tree, Calif., is a comic strip artist. His strip, “Alfred.” formerly appeared in The Milwaukee Journal Green Sheet….
Ryman passed away September 23, 1963, in San Bernardino, according to the California Death Index.

—Alex Jay


Comments: Post a Comment

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Herriman Saturday

December 9 1908 -- Herriman admonishes folks to shop early for their Christmas presents. Not the most exciting message, but a lovely cartoon, anyway.


I am awe struck dumbfounded and everything in between to describe how I feel after skimming your blog from the beginning to now. I have not read everything but it has been educational, a history lesson, and a trip down memory lane now only about things in my life but things my mother talked about. I absolutely love the posts on Saturdays. I have two books of the editorial cartoons of Geo Fisher. Fisher was the editorial cartoonist for the Arkansas Gazette for many years. Some of my favorite are one from the 80s concerning Bill Clinton. As Clinton was the youngest governor Fisher depicted him as riding a tricycle. Another editorial cartoonist I have done a little research on is Charles H Alston. Alston was hired in WW II by the Office of War Information to draw editorial cartoons for Black newspapers depicting blacks in positive terms. The cartoons were more propaganda and not all black newspaper ran them. One paper that does not appear to have run them was the Defender. If anyone out there has run across a paper that did run them I would like to know. Thanks so much for your blog. Keep up the good work.
Post a Comment

Friday, August 26, 2016


Wish You Were Here, From Outcault

Lately, Friday has been the blog's book series day. However, we're going to put that series on hiatus for awhile. Main reason for that is that I am far, far away from my library, and access to books of interest that have already been digitized has petered out. For the record, I'd like to run Moses Koenigsberg's King News here, and John Wheeler's I've Got News For You. If anyone out there feels like doing a major OCR project, I will of course be thrilled and forever in your debt for sharing.

So I was looking around for a new Friday series idea, and found that I had scanned a whole batch of cartoonist postcards. That was a collecting genre that I long ago abandoned after I realized that a lifetime could be spent concentrating on just that small niche.  The art is often lovely, though, printed very well in general, and sometimes shows a different side of the cartoonists whose newspaper work we know far better. So I think it worthwhile to share. Thus is born the new Friday series I'm titling, perhaps too cutely, Wish You Were Here from the Cartoonists.

In this first installment of the series we have a nice R.F. Outcault card with a witty gag line. Outcault did a ton of cards and they're pretty common, indicating that they were quite popular. Of course Buster Brown was often featured. In this 1904 card, which is numbered 44 and copyrighted to Kaufmann & Strauss Co., Tige makes a background appearance, but Buster Brown is nowhere to be seen. This is an undivided back card, and is set up for the message to be written on the front. Our postcard purchaser used the gag line to start his or her message, and though I can't make out all the words, it certainly gives the impression that the gag line provides an excellent title for the writer's state of mind.

I don't claim to be any sort of expert on postcards, so if anyone would like to fill us in on the companies, series or other background on these cards, I'm sure we'd all be interested to learn more.


Comments: Post a Comment

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Agnes A. Kelleher

Agnes Anne Kelleher was born in Stuart, Iowa, on October 26, 1900, according to the Iowa, Births and Christenings Index at, and The McCarville/McCarbel Family Genealogy, 900 AD to 2002 AD, Volume 1 (2002). The 1905 Iowa state census recorded the Kelleher family in Wright, Iowa. In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Kelleher was the youngest of four children born to John, a farmer, and Mary. They resided in Delaware, Iowa. The Kellehers were Des Moines residents in the 1915 Iowa state census.

The June 1918 issue of St. Mary’s Chimes, a publication of St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, listed students, including Kelleher, who received music certificates.

The Kelleher’s address in the 1920 census was 1116 Ninth Street. A 1921 Des Moines city directory listed Kelleher as a student. In the 1924 Hawkeye yearbook of the University of Iowa, Kelleher was a sophomore and member of the Spanish Club. The 1925 Iowa state census said Kelleher lived with her parents at 665 41st Street in Des Moines.

According to the 1926 Des Moines city directory, Kelleher was a feature writer with the Register & Tribune newspaper. She lived with her parents. Two years later Kelleher was a managing editor. Her occupation was the same in the 1930 census.

Des Moines city directories, from 1931 to 1936, listed Kelleher as a Register & Tribune employee who served, at different times, as department editor, managing editor and sales manager.

Dallas, Texas was Kelleher’s new home as recorded in the 1937 Dallas city directory. She stayed at the Mayfair Hotel. The Iowa Publisher and the Bulletin of the Iowa Press Association, in a 1938 issue, noted Kelleher’s new job and location: “Agnes Anne Kelleher, ’25, formerly of the syndicate department of the Des Moines Register, is now a picture broker in Dallas. Tex.”

Kelleher worked out of the Mayfair Hotel according to the 1938 Dallas city directory. Her occupation was feature broker. Kelleher was joined by her older sister, Margaret, who was a feature editor. Both resided at 4024 Hawthorne Avenue. This was the address for the entire Kelleher family in the 1940 census.

Kelleher handled the syndication, beginning April 11, 1939, of Classie Addie, Classified Ad Fan, by writer Ellen Connor and artist Lorene Rutherford

The sisters were listed in industry directories such as the 1945 Ayer Directory, Newspapers, Magazines and Trade Publications, 1948 Editor & Publisher, 1952 Ayer Directory of Publications, and 1964 Annual Directory of Syndicated Services (below). 

Kelleher, A. A., and M. M. (KEL)
Newspaper Feature Brokers
P.O. Box 2414 Dallas 21, Texas
Telephone: Riverside 7-1414 and LA 8-5916
Agnes Anne Kelleher, Manager
Margaret M. Kelleher, Editor
Kelleher passed away February 5, 1999, in Dallas, according to the Texas and Social Security Death Indexes.

—Alex Jay


Comments: Post a Comment

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Lorene Rutherford

Lorene Rutherford was born Myrtle Lorene Dellinger in Petty, Texas, on September 12, 1908. Rutherford’s full birth name was found in the Texas death index at and in Who’s Who of American Women, 1983–1984 which profiled her daughter Jo Ann. The birth information is from the Social Security Applications and Claims Index, also at

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Rutherford was the only child of Charles Sidney, a bookkeeper, and Pearl. Also in the household was Rutherford’s maternal grandmother, Julia Bruffett. They resided in Roxton, Texas.

Rutherford was the oldest of four sisters in the 1920 census. The family of six lived in Justice, Texas. The Paris News (Texas), May 10, 1942, said Rutherford’s art training began “in the public school classes at Oak Cliff High School in Dallas, taught by Mrs. Nellie Clement.” Rutherford said she inherited her talent from her father.

The Paris News, March 2, 1999 said Rutherford married Newton Franklin Rutherford in Roxton, Texas, on October 17, 1926. The 1930 census recorded the couple in Petty, Texas on Main Street. After the birth of her second daughter, Rutherford started weekly commercial art instruction from A. J. Swindell in Greenville. Rutherford continued her training at the Art Institute in Dallas, where she studied life drawing under Olin Travis and fashion sketching with Mrs. Harriet Grandstaff.

Rutherford’s early commercial work involved drawings for advertising and department stores. Later, she met Ellen Connor, a writer, and they produced Classie Addie, Classified Ad Fan, which ran from December 11, 1938 to May 16, 1940. The panel was syndicated first by Publishers Press Features followed by Agnes A. Kelleher. Rutherford and Connor also produced the strip, Snaggle Tooth and Little Ruth, in 1940.

Freelance artist Rutherford continued to be a Petty resident according to the 1940 census. She, her husband and two daughters, Mary and Jo Ann, lived on Main Street.

During the second World War Rutherford worked at Perkins Brothers store and Camp Maxey. The 1957 Paris, Texas city directory listing said Rutherford was the assistant credit manager at Ayres Dry Goods.

Rutherford passed away February 28, 1999, at the Heritage Care Center in Paris, Texas, according to the Paris News. She was laid to rest at the Forest Hill Cemetery

—Alex Jay


Comments: Post a Comment

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Obscurity of the Day: Classie Addie, Classified Ad Fan


A couple of gal-friends in Paris Texas, one a passable cartoonist, the other afflicted with the jingle-writing bug, decided to combine their talents and offer a feature to their local paper. To sweeten the offer, they made their feature a daily paean to the wonders of the newspaper classified ad. Newspaper editors of the day seemed to just love those features, and the editor of the Paris News was apparently no exception. Thus was born Classie Addie, Classified Ad Fan, a daily cartoon and poem in which classified ads are the one thing that can heal you of all the multiplicity of ills in this life.

The panel cartoon by artist Lorene Rutherford and writer Ellen Connor debuted on the front page of Paris News on December 11 1938. Evidently Paris News thought a lot of it, because they seem to have created a syndicate, Publishers Press Features, to hawk it to other papers. However, they then found Agnes A. Kelleher*, a syndicate out of Dallas, and contracted out the actual distribution of the feature to them starting April 11 1939. The feature seems to have ended up appearing in at most 8-12 Texas newspapers.

Evidently the ladies had bigger dreams than a small client list like that, because they gave up on the daily grind of extolling the virtues of classified ads in pretty short order. The last daily appeared in the Paris News on May 16 1940.

As an aside, this was not the pair's only feature -- they also did a weekly comic strip for the same paper, titled Snaggle Tooth and Little Ruth. That feature only lasted six months.

* the Agnes A. Kelleher syndicate is quite mysterious to me. It was based out of Texas, and my guess is that it was associated with one of the big Dallas newspapers. But who Agnes was, and how she came to be running a newspaper syndicate out of Dallas I have no idea.


Found a few links, but little info. Apparently the A. was for anne and she owned the syndicate with her sister Margaret.,d.dmo

If you have a subscription to, you can probably find out more than I can.
Post a Comment

Monday, August 22, 2016


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Harry Grant Dart

Life 12/9/1909

Harry Grant Dart was born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, on November 3, 1868, according to two passport applications found at The 1870 U.S. Federal Census recorded Dart as the youngest of three children born to George, a life insurance agent, and Anna. The family resided in Williamsport.

Information regarding Dart’s education and art training has not been found.

The 1887 Williamsport city directory listed Dart as an artist at 412 Elmira. In 1888 resided at 203 Market and the following year he was at 341 Pine. In 1890 Dart made his home in Somerville, Massachusetts, at “291 Elm W S”. The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons (1999) said Dart worked briefly for the Boston Herald.

New York City was Dart’s home according to the 1891 city directory. The illustrator’s address was 369 West End Avenue in Manhattan.

On September 10, 1894, Dart married Luella J. Sheets. The couple had a five-year-old daughter in the 1900 census. They resided in Manhattan at 256 West 85th Street. In the 1905 New York state census, the Dart family continued to live in Manhattan but at a different address, 2790 Broadway.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Dart produced comics for the New York World and New York Herald. The Explorigator appeared in the World from May 3 to August 9, 1908. The Herald published Boys Will Be Boys from February 7 to May 9, 1909. Dart wrote Cynthianna Blythe which was drawn by Wallace Morgan. Their collaboration ran from 1909 to 1910 in the Herald. The Sprightly Adventures of Mr. Homesweet Home debuted July 7, 1909 in the World. The strip ended May 25, 1912. Homesweet was published as book in 1914.

Some of Dart’s full-color illustrations for magazines are here. A selection of Dart’s flying machines are here.

Original art for The All-Story, October 1908

At some point Dart moved to Amenia, New York. Dart and his family were recorded there in the 1910 census. Dart was mentioned often in the local newspaper, Amenia Times.

January 8, 1910

Harry Grant Dart, Cartoonist.
The Denver Times of Friday, Dec. 10, has a great article and a nearly half page illustration setting forth the “airship thriller” of Harry Grant Dart, Cartoonist. We can not reproduce the illustration, but reprint the article as follows:

Harry Grant Dart, formerly cartoonist for The Denver Times, has scored one of the hits of the day in the realm if magazine illustration with his stirring imaginative picture, “The Accident to the Transcontinental Flyer” in Harper’s Weekly.

Dart is well known as one of the most successful illustrators of the East. He came West last spring in the capacity of cartoonist for The Times, his work while here attracting universal attention. While in the West Dart absorbed “local color” and acquired the Western flavor in a thorough manner which speaks for itself in the drawing, which shows the “flyer” stranded on the crest of Pike’s Peak. Commenting editorially upon the illustration the New York World says:

“That vivid impression as of an airship age established which Mr. Kipling conveyed through his story of “The Night Mail” is strongly paralleled through a two-page drawing by Harry Grant Dart in the current Harper’s Weekly. In this picture a giant “flyer” of the Transcontinental Air Line is stranded on the tiptop of Pike’s Peak. Beneath is the text of a wireless telegram which tells of passengers and crew safe and a wrecking ship has gone to the scene. The plausibility of the thing is absolute. One feels the very air about the disabled Rocket Limited as it is driven in the Colorado blast. Is not something of real prophecy likely to dwell in such striking veri-similitude of story-writer’s work and artist’s?”
May 7, 1910
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Grant Dart entertained Artist Morgan of the New York Herald and a gentleman friend for the week-end and over Sunday last.
October 29, 1910
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Grant Dart and her daughter, Miss Dorothy, were interested spectators of the serial evolutions at the great aviation meet at Belmont Park, New York, this week.
November 19, 1910
“Blundering Billy,” a farcical comedy in three acts, now actively being rehearsed by well know local talent under the efficient direction of Harry Grant Dart, will soon be presented to the Amenia public for the benefit of the Amenia Fire Company. See bills for date and further information next week.
February 4, 1911
Rehearsals are in active progress for the production of “Blessington Springs” Mr. Harry Grant Dart’s drama under the supervision of the talented author which will be produced at the opera house on the evening of February 22nd.
May 27, 1911
Mr. and Mrs. Paul West were week-end and over Sunday last guest of Artist Harry Grant Dart. Mr. West is the editor of the Metropolitan Section of the New York World. They are looking for a country home for the summer, preferably a small farm, which they would like to acquire.
July 8, 1911
Artist Harry Grant Dart entertained Artist (Fluffy Ruffles) Morgan of the New York Herald staff over the Fourth and they and the other "kids" had lots of sport at the Pratt House with firecrackers and other detonating material.
February 10, 1912
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Grant Dart spent the forepart of the week at the metropolis.
March 23, 1912
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Grant Dart went down to the great Metropolis on Saturday last, and trans-shipped immediately to Larchmont, where they spent the week-end as the guests of honor of the Hit-em-Hard Club, a well-known and exclusive organization of that very exclusive suburb.
April 6, 1912
Mrs. Harry Grant Dart and daughter, Miss Dorothy, have returned home from New York City.
April 20, 1912
Miss Dorothy Dart, who has been spending the Easter vacation with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Grant Dart, returned to her studies at Brearley School in New York City Monday. Mr. Dart accompanied her and returned a few days later.
May 4, 1912
Mrs. W. L. Jacobs, of New York City, is visiting Mr. and Mrs. Harry Grant Dart. Mr. Jacobs, accompanied by Wallace Morgan and Harry Wood, are expected today.
Dart was a regular contributor to Life which profiled him in its August 17, 1911 issue.

The New York Tribune, February 22, 1914, published a drawing by Dart of himself.

Dart returned to New York City and changed residences frequently. In 1914 he was at 15 West 67th Street. The following year Dart made his home at 26 West 8th Street, according to the 1915 state census. The 1917 and 1918 directories listed Dart, an artist with the World, at 345 Edgecomb Avenue. The Chelsea Hotel was Dart’s home in the 1922 and 1925 directory listings. Passenger lists from 1928 and 1930 had Dart’s address as the Hotel White on Lexington Avenue at 37th Street.

A profile of Pop Momand, in the Evening Star (Washington, DC), September 28, 1921, said Momand got his start from Dart.

Dart passed away November 15, 1938, in Laconia, New Hampshire. According to the New Hampshire death records at, the cause of death was cancer.

—Alex Jay


Comments: Post a Comment

Saturday, August 20, 2016


Herriman Saturday

December 7, 1908 -- If anyone can explain this Herriman gag strip to me, I'd be much obliged. It can't really just be that the guys are peeved that they were 'conned' into making some odd noises and motions, right? Right?? That's just ... asinine!


Nope, that's all there is. A joker gets grown men to do something that makes them look foolish, then cuts and runs before they realize how stupid they look. I remember seeing this routine in an old (very old) comedy movie. I don't remember who the comedian was. Somebody who cribbed from Joe Miller's joke book, I suspect.
Post a Comment

Friday, August 19, 2016


The Pictorial Press - Its Origin and Progress by Mason Jackson: Chapter 2 Part 3

Amongst the many publications relating to the victorious career of Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden, there was one entitled the Swedish Intelligencer, printed at London in 1632, for Nathaniel Butter and Nicholas Bourne, both of them names associated with the first establishment of newspapers in England. The Swedish Intelligencer gives very full accounts of the exploits of Gustavus, and it is illustrated with his portrait, a bird’s-eye view of the siege of Magdeburg, a plan showing how the King of Sweden and his army crossed the river Lech into Bavaria, and a plan or bird’s-eye view of the battle of Lutzen, where Gustavus was killed. The portrait, the siege of Magdeburg, and the battle of Lutzen, are engraved on copper, but the passage of the Lech is a woodcut. I have copied the latter, the others being too elaborate for reproduction on a reduced scale. The three last named are very curious as illustrations of war news. Gustavus had crossed the Danube, and his troops overspread the country between that river and the river Lech. Field Marshal Tilly was in front of him, waiting for reinforcements from the army of Wallenstein, in Bohemia, and the junction of fresh levies raised in Bavaria, with which he hoped to drive the invaders back across the Danube. The account in the Swedish Intelligencer of this celebrated passage of the River Lech is too long for quotation, but I give a condensed version of the circumstances from other sources.

The Lech takes its rise among the mountains of the Tyrol, and, after washing the walls of Landsberg and Augsburg, falls into the Danube at a short distance from the town of Rain. The banks are broken and irregular, and the channel uncertain. Nor are there many rivers of the same size in Germany which can be compared with it in the strength and rapidity of its current. The united forces of Bavaria and the League, with this efficient means of defence in front, extended their right wing towards the Danube and their left towards Rain, while the banks of the river, as far as the city of Augsburg, were observed by their patrols, supported by detached bodies of infantry. Tilly had taken the precaution of breaking down the bridges over the Lech, and had thrown up field works at points where he judged the passage might be considered attended with fewest difficulties. That the Swedes would attack him in his main position was a pitch of daring to which, well as he was acquainted with the enterprising spirit of the king, he could scarcely suspect him of having yet attained. Such, however, was the full determination of Gustavus. After he had reconnoitred the course of the Lech for some miles, at the imminent peril of his life, he fixed upon a point between Rain and Thierhauppen, where the river makes a sweep to the eastward, as the spot for carrying his venturous design into effect. The king’s first intention was to throw a floating bridge over the stream, but the attempt was no sooner made than it was found to be rendered hopeless by the rapidity of the current. It was then imagined that tressels might be sunk, and firmly secured by weights in the bed of the river, on which the flooring of the bridge might afterwards be securely laid. The king approved of this plan, and workmen were commanded to prepare the necessary materials at the small village of Oberendorf, situated about half a mile from the spot. During the night of the 4th of April the work was entirely finished, the supports fixed in the stream, and the planks for forming the bridge brought down to the water’s edge. The king had, in the meantime, ordered a trench to be dug along the bank of the river for the reception of bodies of musketeers, and several new batteries to be constructed close to the shore, the fire from which, as they were disposed along a convex line, necessarily crossed upon the opposite side; those upon the left hand of the Swedes playing upon the left of the enemy, and those on the right upon the wood held by the Bavarians. Another battery, slightly retired from the rest, directed its fire against the entrenchments occupied by Tilly’s centre. By daybreak on the 5th, all necessary preparations having been made, the bridge was begun to be laid, and completed under the king’s inspection. Three hundred Finland volunteers were the first who crossed, excited by the reward of ten crowns each to undertake the dangerous service of throwing up a slight work upon the other side for its protection. By four in the afternoon the Finlanders had finished their undertaking, having been protected from a close attack by the musketry of their own party and the batteries behind them, from which the king is said to have discharged more than sixty shots with his own hand, to encourage his gunners to charge their pieces more expeditiously. The work consisted merely of an embankment surrounded by a trench, but it was defended both by the direct and cross fire of the Swedes. As soon as it was completed, Gustavus, stationing himself with the King of Bohemia at the foot of the bridge, commanded Colonel Wrangle, with a chosen body of infantry and two or three field-pieces, to pass over, and after occupying the work, to station a number of musketeers in a bed of osiers upon the opposite side. The Swedes crossed the bridge with little loss, and after a short but desperate struggle the Imperialists were routed. The whole of the Swedish army was soon upon the eastern bank of the Lech, where the king, without troubling himself with the pursuit of the enemy, commanded his army to encamp, and ordered the customary thanksgivings to be offered for his victory.

The account in the Swedish Intelligencer is wound up in these words: ‘And this is the story of the King’s bridge over the Lech, description whereof we have thought worthy to be here in Figure imparted unto you.’ Then follows an ‘Explanation of the Letters in the Figure of the Bridge,’ given below the illustration. The engraving does not appear to have been entirely satisfactory to the author, for on its margin the following words are printed: ‘Our Cutter hath made the Ordnance too long, and to lye too farre into the River. The Hole also marked with R, should have been on the right hand of the Bridge.’



A The King of Sweeden, and the King of Bohemia by him.
B The Bridge.
C A Trench or Brestworke, in which the Kings Musketeers were lodged, betwixt the severall Batteryes of the great Ordnance, which Musketeers are represented by the small stroakes made right forwards.
D Divers little Field-pieces.
E Plat-formes or Batteryes for the Kings greater Cannon.
F The Halfe-moone, with its Pallisadoe or Stocket, beyond the Bridge, and for the guard of it. It was scarcely bigge enough to lodge a hundred men in.
G A little Underwood, or low Bushy place.
H A plaice voyd of wood; which was a Bache, sometimes overflowne.
I A Brestworke for Tillyes Musketeers.
K K Tilly and Altringer; or the place where they were shot.
L The high wood where the Duke of Bavaria stood.
M Tilleyes great Batteryes to shoot down the Bridge.
N A small riveret running thorow the wood.
O Tillyes great Brestworke; not yet finished. Begun at sixe in the morning; and left off when he was shot.
P Some Horse-guards of Tillyes: layd scatteringly here and there all along the river from Rain to Augsburg.
Q The kings Horse-guards, and Horse-sentryes.
R A hole in the earth, or casual advantageable place; wherein some of the Kings Foot were lodged.
S The Hill behind Tillyes great worke.
T The fashion of the Tressels or Arches for the Kings Bridge.’
In 1636 the Sallee Rovers had become very troublesome, and not only hindered British commerce on the high seas, but even infested the English coasts. They had captured and carried into slavery many Englishmen, for whose release a ‘Fleete of Shippes’ was sent out in January 1636. Assisted by the Emperor of Morocco, the nest of pirates was destroyed and the captives released. A full account of this expedition is given in a curious pamphlet, entitled, ‘A true Journal of the Sally Fleet with the proceedings of the Voyage, published by John Dunton, London, Mariner, Master of the Admirall called the Leopard. Whereunto is annexed a List of Sally Captives names and the places where they dwell, and a Description of the three Townes in a Card. London, printed by John Dawson for Thomas Nicholes, and are to be sold at the Signe of the Bible in Popes Head Alley, 1637.’ This tract is illustrated by a large plan of Sallee, engraved on copper, with representations of six English vessels of war on the sea. After minutely describing the proceedings of the voyage, and giving a long list of the captives’ names, the journalist winds up in these words: ‘All these good Shippes with the Captives are in safety in England, we give God thanks. And bless King Charles and all those that love him.’

At the end of the pamphlet is printed the authority for its publication: ‘Hampton Court, the 20. of October, 1637. This Journall and Mappe may be printed.’

There is an illustrated pamphlet of this period which I have not been able to see. It is entitled, ‘Newes, and Strange Newes from St. Christopher’s of a Tempestuous Spirit, which is called by the Indians a Hurrycano or Whirlwind; whereunto is added the True and Last Relation (in verse) of the Dreadful Accident which happened at Witticombe in Devonshire, 21. October, 1638.

The Weekly News, begun in 1622, had been in existence sixteen years when the idea of illustrating current events seems to have occurred to its conductors; for in the number for December 20, 1638, there is, besides the usual items of foreign news, an account of a ‘prodigious eruption of fire, which exhaled in the middest of the ocean sea, over against the Isle of Saint Michael, one of the Terceras, and the new island which it hath made.’ The text is illustrated by a full-page engraving showing ‘the island, its length and breadth, and the places where the fire burst out.’ I have not been able to find a copy of the Weekly News for December 20, 1638, either in the British Museum or elsewhere. My authority for the above statement is a letter in the Times of October 13, 1868. As far as I have been able to ascertain, no other illustrations were published in the Weekly News, so that we must conclude the engraving of the ‘prodigious eruption of fire’ was an experiment, which in its result was not encouraging to the proprietor or conductors of the journal.


When the Irish Rebellion of 1641 broke out, many news-books were published describing the transactions in that country, and several of them are illustrated. I may here remark that the illustrations of events in these pamphlets, as well as many of those contained in the numerous tracts published during the Civil War in England, appear to be works of pure imagination, and were, probably, invented by the artist just as a modern draughtsman would illustrate a work of fiction. Others, again, were evidently old woodcuts executed for some other purpose. A few instances occur, however, where drawings have been made from actual scenes, and sometimes maps and plans are given as illustrations of a battle or a siege. This rising of the Roman Catholics in Ireland began with a massacre of the Protestants, and, according to the tracts published at the time, the atrocities of recent wars in Bulgaria and elsewhere were equalled in every way by the Roman Catholics in Ireland in the seventeenth century. The illustrations in these tracts are very coarse woodcuts. One represents the arrest of a party of conspirators, and another is a view of a town besieged, while a third gives a group of prisoners supplicating for mercy. The best illustration that I have met with of this Irish news is contained in a pamphlet entitled, ‘Approved, good and happy Newes from Ireland; Relating how the Castle of Artaine was taken from the Rebels, two of their Captaines kild, and one taken prisoner by the Protestants, with the arrival of 2000 foot, and 300 horse from England. Also a great skirmish between the Protestants and the Rebels at a place near Feleston, wherein the English obtained great renowne and victory: Whereunto is added a true relation of the great overthrow which the English gave the Rebels before Drogheda, sent in a letter bearing date the 27 of February to Sir Robert King, Knight, at Cecill house in the Strand. Printed by order of Parliament. London, Printed for John Wright 1641.’ The woodcut on the title-page of this tract represents the taking of the castle of Artaine, but there is only the following very short paragraph relating to it:—‘The last news from Ireland 7 March 1641. The 10 of February our men went to Artaine against a castle so called, which had before done some mischiefe, to some of our men, the enemy being in it. But the enemy fled before our second coming, and left the Castle, and a garrison was left in it by us.’ The other news is related more at length, and one of the paragraphs runs thus:—‘On the 13 a man was brought to our City, being taken by some of our scattering men scouting about our City, who confest without constraint, that he had killed an Englishwoman at a place called Leslipson, 6 Miles West of our City, and washed his hands in her bloud, being set on by the popish Priests so to doe; he was presently hanged, but dyed with much repentance and a protestant, which few do.’ The concluding paragraph of this pamphlet shows the writer to have been a man of a commercial spirit:—‘Tis to be feared that a famine is like to be in our City, in that still men come to us and provision is short, and none of yours that come to us bring any vittailes, great taxes are upon us, more than can be borne. He that had Butter, and Cheese, and Cloath, at between 6 and 14 shillings a yard here sent by any out of London might make a good trade of it. Cheshire Cheese is sould here for sixpence a pound already. Some of your Londoners are come hither (acquaintance of mine) that will send for such things, for great profit may be made by them and quicke returne.’

Several other pamphlets relating to the Irish Rebellion are illustrated, but, with a few exceptions, the cuts bear very little relation to the subject, and were probably not executed for the purpose. One gives an account of a victory obtained by the English at Dundalk in 1642, and it has a woodcut of a man firing a cannon against a town, a copy of which is appended.


The description is in the following words:—‘Newes from Ireland. On Monday morning came three Gentlemen to our City of Dublin from Sir Henry Tichbourne, who brought a message to the state of a great and happy victory obtained by the aforesaid Sir Henry Tichbourne with 2000 horse and foot marched to Ardee, and there put 400 of the Rebels to the sword, yet lost not one man of our side; from thence upon the Saturday following, he mustered up his forces against a place called Dundalke some 14 miles northward from Tredath, where the enemy was 5000 strong, and well fortified. At his first approach there issued out of the Towne 3000 of the Rebels who all presented themselves in Battallia, our Forlorne hopes of horse and foot had no sooner fired upon them, but they routed the Rebels. Captaine Marroe’s Troope of horse setting on killed great store of the Rebels who thereupon retreated to the Towne, made fast the gates, and ran out at the other end to their boats beforehand provided: Our Army coming in fired the gates, entred, and killed those within. Captain Marroe followed the flying foe, and slew abundance of them upon the strand, and it is reported by them that if he had known the Fords and the River, he had cut them all off, if he had gained the other side of the River, but being a stranger, could not doe it (wanting a guide) without endangering the Troope. There was slaine of the Rebels in this sudden skirmish not less than 1100 besides what they took prisoners. Sir Philomy O’Neale fled with the rest of the Commanders; but 10 common soldiers were lost of our side. Sir Philomy O’Neale made speed away to a place called Newry, a chiefe garrison of the Rebels. Sir Henry Tichbourne hath sent 600 men more to Dublin, intending that place shall be the next he begins withall, which is granted, and tomorrow there goeth to him 500 men, if not 5000, for whose safety and prosperity in the meantime is the subject of our daily prayers that he may have as good success as in all his other designs from the first till this time; for no man was ever so beloved by his souldiers, that protest to follow him while they can stand. We are in great hope he will recover the Newry very shortly; it is credibly reported, that they got 20,000 pounds at least in pillage at Dundalke.’

In another pamphlet, dated 1642, there is an account of a battle at Kilrush, which is also illustrated with a woodcut. The circumstances are related in detail, but they are sufficiently set forth in the title, without further quotation:—‘Captaine Yarner’s Relation of the Battaile fought at Kilrush upon the 15th day of Aprill, by my Lord of Ormond, who with 2500 Foot and 500 Horse, overthrew the Lord Mountgarret’s Army, consisting of 8000 Foot and 400 Horse, all well armed, and the choyce of eight Counties. Together with a Relation of the proceedings of our Army, from the second to the later end of Aprill, 1642.

Many other illustrated pamphlets relating to current events were published at this time. It would appear that in 1641 there was a visitation of the plague in London, and a tract of that date has reference to it. It is entitled:—‘London’s Lamentation, or a fit admonishment for City and Country, wherein is described certain causes of this affliction and visitation of the Plague, yeare 1641, which the Lord hath been pleased to inflict upon us, and withall what means must be used to the Lord, to gain his mercy and favour, with an excellent spirituall medicine to be used for the preservative both of Body and Soule.’ The ‘spiritual medicine’ recommended is an earnest prayer to heaven at morning and evening and a daily service to the Lord. The writer endeavours to improve the occasion very much like a preacher in the pulpit and continues his exhortation thus:—‘Now seeing it is apparent that sin is the cause of sicknesse: It may appear as plainly that prayer must be the best means to procure health and safety, let not our security and slothfulnesse give death opportunity, what man or woman will not seem to start, at the signe of the red Crosse, as they passe by to and fro in the streets? And yet being gone they think no more on it. It may be, they will say, such a house is shut up, I saw the red crosse on the doore; but look on thine own guilty conscience, and thou shalt find thou hast a multitude of red crimson sinnes remaining in thee.’ I have copied the illustration to this tract, and it will be seen that it is divided into two parts—one representing a funeral procession advancing to where men are digging two graves—the other showing dead bodies dragged away on hurdles. The first is labelled ‘London’s Charity.’ The second ‘The Countrie’s Crueltie.’ This was perhaps intended to impress the reader in favour of the orderly burial of the dead in the city churchyards, a subject on which public opinion has very much changed since that time.

We have already noticed that the vicissitudes of the sea and the accidents of maritime life, which supply so much material to modern newspapers, were not less attractive to the early news-writers. There is a very circumstantial account of the voyage and wreck of a ship called the Merchant Royall in a pamphlet published in 1641. The engraving it contains is the same block used by Thomas Greepe in 1587. It is entitled, ‘Sad news from the seas, being a true relation of the losse of that good Ship called the Merchant Royall, which was cast away ten leagues from the Lands end, on Thursday night, being the 23 of September last 1641 having in her a world of Treasure, as this story following doth truly relate.’ Another illustrated pamphlet, dated 1642, contains a long and minute narrative of how a certain ship called the Coster was boarded by a native of Java, who, watching his opportunity, murdered the captain and several of the crew, but who was afterwards killed when assistance arrived from another ship. There is a woodcut representing the murders, and the title runs as follows:—‘A most Execrable and Barbarous murder done by an East Indian Devil, or a native of Java-Major, in the Road of Bantam, Aboard an English ship called the Coster, on the 22 of October last, 1641. Wherein is shewed how the wicked Villain came to the said ship and hid himself till it was very dark, and then he murdered all the men that were aboard, except the Cooke and three Boyes. And lastly, how the murderer himselfe was justly requited. Captain William Minor being an eye-witnesse of this bloudy Massacre. London: Printed for T. Banks, July the 18, 1642.’ The very full particulars given in this pamphlet show how minute and circumstantial the old news-writers were in their narratives. It will be seen by the following extracts that the story has an air of truth given to it by careful attention to various small matters of detail:—

‘On Friday the 22 of October last 1641 towards night there came aboard an English ship called the Coster, in a small Prow (or flat Boat with one paddle) a proper young man, (a Java, which is as much as to say as a man born or native of the Territory of Java.) This man, (or devill in mans shape) with a pretence to sell some Hews, (hatching mischiefe in his damned minde,) did delay and trifle time, because he would have the night more dark for him to do his deeds of darknesse. At last he sold 6 Hews for half a Royall of 8 which is not much above two shillings. There came also another Java aboard, (with the like small Prow or Boat) to whom he gave the half Royall, sent him away and bade him make haste; he being asked for what the other Java went for, the answer was that he had sent him for more Hews and Goates to sell.

‘Night being come, and very dark, (for it was the last night of the wane of the Moone) this inhumane dog staid lurking under the half deck having 2 Crests (or dangerous waving daggers) and a Buckler, of which he would have sold one and the Buckler with it, and as he was discoursing he took off one of the Crests hefts and put cloth about the tongue of the Blade, and made it sure fast: on the other Crest he rolled the handle with a fine linnen cloth to make it also sure from slipping in his hand; these things he did whilst the Master, Robert Start, Stephen Roberts, his mate, Hugh Rawlinson, Chirurgeon, William Perks, Steward, James Biggs, Gunner, and 3 Boys or Youths attending. At supper they were very merry, and this Caitiffe took notice of their carelessnesse of him to suffer him to sit on the quarter deck upon a Cot close by them.

‘Supper being ended about 6 at night the Master went to his Cabin to rest, the Gunner asked leave to go ashore, (the ship riding but half a mile from landing.) Afterwards Robert Rawlinson and Perks walked upon the quarter deck; and the devilish Java perceiving the Master to be absent, he asked the Boyes where he was, who answered he was gone to sleepe. This question he demanded 3 or 4 times of the Boyes, and finding it to be so, he arose from the place where he sate, which was on the starboard side and went about the Table next the Mizzen Mast (where Roberts, Rawlings and Perks were walking) with his Target about his Neck for defence against Pikes, or the like; and his 2 Crests in his hand, and upon a sudden cries a Muck, which in that language is I hazard or run my death. Then first he stabd Roberts, secondly he stabd Rawlinson, thirdly Perks, all three at an instant. After that he let drive at the Boyes, but they leapd down, and ran forward into the forecastle, where they found the Cooke, to whom the Boyes related what had happened.’

Further details are given at great length, showing how the savage continued his bloody work, and how he was finally overpowered. The narrative thus winds up:—

‘It is observable that of all these men that were thus butchered, the Hel-hound did never stab any man twice, so sure did he strike, nor did he pursue any man that kept clear of his stand under the quarter-deck. So there dyed in all (in this bloody action) Robert Start, Master, Stephen Roberts, his Mate, Hugh Rawlinson, Chirurgeon, William Perks, Steward, Walter Rogers, Gunner’s Mate, and Francis Drake, Trumpeter of the Mary. And after the Muck, Java, or Devill, had ended the first part of this bloody Tragedy, there was only left in the ship, the Cooke, 3 Boyes, and one John Taylor, that was almost dead with a shott he foolishly made. So that 7 men were unfortunately lost (as you have heard) and the Gunner escaped very narrowly through God’s merciful prevention, from the like of these related disasters and suddaine mischiefs, Good Lord deliver us.’

The engraving, like all those belonging to this period, is very rough; but it was evidently prepared specially for the occasion, and some care appears to have been taken to represent the ‘Java’ as he is described. It is a genuine attempt to illustrate the story, and on that account is more interesting than some of the woodcuts in the early newspapers.

The Earl of Strafford, who was executed on Tower Hill, May 12, 1641, forms the subject of more than one illustrated tract of this period. In 1642 was published a curious pamphlet, consisting of an engraved title and eight pages of illustrations, representing the principal events of 1641-2. There are sixteen illustrations, exclusive of the title, two on each page. They are all etched on copper, and are done with some freedom and artistic ability. I shall have occasion to refer to this pamphlet hereafter; but at present I have copied the engraving entitled, ‘The Earle of Strafford for treasonable practises beheaded on the Tower-hill.’


In this example of illustrated news the artist has faithfully represented the locality in his background, but there the truth of his pencil stops. Strafford himself, although his head is not yet severed from his body, lies at full length on the scaffold, and instead of the usual block used for decapitations the victim’s head rests on an ordinary plank or thick piece of wood. There is no one standing on the scaffold but the executioner, whereas history asserts that the Earl was attended in his last moments by his brother, Sir George Wentworth, the Earl of Cleveland, and Archbishop Usher. These omissions, if they were noticed at all, were no doubt looked upon as trivial faults in the infancy of illustrated journalism, and before a truth-loving public had learnt to be satisfied with nothing less than ‘sketches done on the spot.’ What appears to be a more correct view of the execution was, however, published at the time. In the British Museum are two etchings by Hollar (single sheets, 1641), representing the trial and execution of the Earl of Strafford. They both look as if they had been done from sketches on the spot, that of the execution giving a correct view of the Tower and the surrounding buildings, but they are too crowded to admit of reproduction on a reduced scale.

The taste of the time tolerated the publication of satires and petty lampoons even upon dead men. Soon after Strafford’s death a tract was published entitled ‘A Description of the Passage of Thomas, late Earle of Strafford, over the River of Styx, with the Conference betwixt him, Charon, and William Noy.’ There is a dialogue between Strafford and Charon, of which the following is a specimen:—

‘Charon.—In the name of Rhodomont what ayles me? I have tugged and tugged above these two hours, yet can hardly steere one foot forward; either my dried nerves deceive my arme, or my vexed Barke carries an unwonted burden. From whence comest thou, Passenger?

‘Strafford.—From England.

‘Charon.—From England! Ha! I was counsailed to prepare myselfe, and trim up my boat. I should have work enough they sayd ere be long from England, but trust me thy burden alone outweighs many transported armies, were all the expected numbers of thy weight poor Charon well might sweat.


‘Strafford.—I bear them all in one.

‘Charon.—How? Bear them all in one, and thou shalt pay for them all in one, by the just soul of Rhodomont; this was a fine plot indeed, sure this was some notable fellow being alive, that hath a trick to cosen the devil being dead. What is thy name?

‘(Strafford sighs.)

‘Charon.—Sigh not so deep. Take some of this Lethæan water into thine hand, and soope it up; it will make thee forget thy sorrows.

‘Strafford.—My name is Wentworth, Strafford’s late Earle.

‘Charon.—Wentworth! O ho! Thou art hee who hath been so long expected by William Noy. He hath been any time these two months on the other side of the banke, expecting thy coming daily.’

Strafford gives Charon but one halfpenny for his fare, whereat the ferryman grumbles. Then ensues a conversation between Strafford and William Noy, part of which is in blank verse. The tract is illustrated with a woodcut, representing Strafford in the ferryman’s boat with William Noy waiting his arrival on the opposite bank.


No man of his time appears to have excited the hostile notice of the press more than Archbishop Laud. The Archbishops of Canterbury had long been considered censors of the press by right of their dignity and office; and Laud exercised this power with unusual tyranny. The ferocious cruelty with which he carried out his prosecutions in the Star Chamber and Court of High Commission made his name odious, and his apparent preference for ceremonial religion contributed to render him still more unpopular. Men were put in the pillory, had their ears cut off, their noses slit, and were branded on the cheeks with S. S. (Sower of Sedition), and S. L. (Schismatical Libeller). They were heavily fined, were whipped through the streets, were thrown into prison; and all for printing and publishing opinions and sentiments unpleasing to Archbishop Laud, under whose rule this despotic cruelty became so prevalent that it was a common thing for men to speak of So-and-so as having been ‘Star-Chambered.’ No wonder, when the tide turned, that the long-pent-up indignation found a vent through the printing-press. Amongst the numerous tracts that were published after the suppression of the Star Chamber were many which held up Laud to public execration. He was reviled for his ambition, reproached for his cruelty, and caricatured for his Romish sympathies. During the four years between his fall and his execution, portraits of him and other illustrations relating to his career may be found in many pamphlets. I propose to introduce the reader to some of these, as examples of the kind of feeling that was excited by a man whose character and actions must have contributed not a little to bring about a convulsion which shook both the Church and the throne to their foundations. It must have been with a peculiar satisfaction that Prynne, one of the chief sufferers under Laud’s rule, found himself armed with the authority of the House of Commons to despoil his old enemy. Probably a similar feeling caused many others to chuckle and rub their hands when they read, ‘A New Play called Canterburie’s Change of Diet, printed in 1641.’ This is a small tract illustrated with woodcuts, and is written in the form of a play. The persons represented are the Archbishop of Canterbury, a doctor of physic, a lawyer, a divine, a Jesuit, a carpenter and his wife. The doctor of physic is intended for either Dr. Alexander Leighton, or Dr. John Bastwick, both of whom had their ears cut off; the lawyer is Prynne; and the divine is meant for the Rev. Henry Burton, a London clergyman, who also suffered under Laud’s administration. In the first act enter the Archbishop, the doctor, the lawyer, and the divine. Being seated, a variety of dishes are brought to the table, but Laud expresses himself dissatisfied with the fare placed before him and demands a more racy diet. He then calls in certain bishops, who enter armed with muskets, bandoleers, and swords. He cuts off the ears of the doctor, the lawyer, and the divine, and tells them he makes them an example that others may be more careful to please his palate. On the previous page is a copy of the cut which illustrates the first act.



In the second act the Archbishop of Canterbury enters a carpenter’s yard by the waterside, and seeing a grindstone he is about to sharpen his knife upon it, when he is interrupted by the carpenter who refuses to let him sharpen his knife upon his grindstone, lest he should treat him (the carpenter) as he had treated the others. The carpenter then holds the Archbishop’s nose to the grindstone, and orders his apprentice to turn with a will. The bishop cries out, ‘Hold! hold! such turning will soon deform my face. O, I bleed, I bleed, and am extremely sore.’ The carpenter, however, rejoins, ‘But who regarded “hold” before? Remember the cruelty you have used to others, whose bloud crieth out for vengeance. Were not their ears to them as pretious as your nostrils can be to you? If such dishes must be your fare, let me be your Cooke, I’ll invent you rare sippets.’ Then enters a Jesuit Confessor who washes the bishop’s wounded face and binds it up with a cloth. There is also an illustration to this act which is here copied.


In the third act the Archbishop and the Jesuit are represented in a great Cage (the Tower) while the carpenter and his wife, conversing together, agree that the two caged birds will sing very well together. The woodcut to this act represents a fool laughing at the prisoners.

There is a fourth act in which the King and his Jester hold a conversation about the Bishop and the confessor in the cage. There is no printer’s or publisher’s name to this play, only the date, 1641.

The pamphlet previously referred to as containing a picture of Strafford’s execution, has also an engraving showing how the tide of public feeling had set against Archbishop Laud. The powerful Churchman had been impeached for high treason; he was deprived of all the profits of his high office and was imprisoned in the Tower. All his goods in Lambeth Palace, including his books, were seized, and even his Diary and private papers were taken from him by Prynne, who acted under a warrant from the House of Commons. The engraving under notice is entitled ‘The rising of Prentices and Sea-men on Southwark side to assault the Archbishops of Canterburys House at Lambeth.’

In a tract entitled ‘A Prophecie of the Life, Reigne, and Death of William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury,’ there is a caricature of Laud seated on a throne or chair of state. A pair of horns grow out of his forehead, and in front the devil offers him a Cardinal’s Hat. This business of the Cardinal’s Hat is alluded to by Laud himself, who says, ‘At Greenwich there came one to me seriously, and that avowed ability to perform it, and offered me to be a Cardinal. I went presently to the king, and acquainted him both with the thing and the person.’ This offer was afterwards renewed: ‘But,’ says he, ‘my answer again was, that something dwelt within me which would not suffer that till Rome were other than it is.’ It would thus appear that the Archbishop did not give a very decided refusal at first or the offer would not have been repeated; and that circumstance, if it were known at the time, must have strengthened the opinion that he was favourably inclined towards the Church of Rome. At all events, the offer must have been made public, as this caricature shows.

Though Laud behaved with dignity and courage when he came to bid farewell to the world, if we are to believe the publications of the time, he was not above petitioning for mercy, while any hope of life remained. In 1643 a pamphlet was published with the following title, ‘The Copy of the Petition presented to the Honourable Houses of Parliament by the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, wherein the said Archbishop desires that he may not be transported beyond the Seas into New England with Master Peters in regard to his extraordinary age and weaknesse.’ The petition is dated ‘From the Tower of London this 6th of May 1643,’ and in it the petitioner sets forth that out of a ‘fervent zeal to Christianity’ he endeavoured to reconcile the principles of the Protestant and Roman Catholic religions, hoping that if he could effect this he might more easily draw the Queen into an adherence to the Protestant faith. He deplores that his endeavours were not successful, and he begs the honourable Parliament to pardon his errors, and to ‘looke upon him in mercy, and not permit or suffer your Petitioner to be transported, to endure the hazard of the Seas, and the long tediousnesse of Voyage into those trans-marine parts, and cold Countries, which would soon bring your Petitioners life to a period; but rather that your Petitioner may abide in his native country, untill your Petitioner shall pay the debt which is due from him to Nature, and so your Petitioner doth submit himselfe to your Honourable and grave Wisdoms for your Petitioners request and desire therein. And your Petitioner shall humbly pray &c.’


If Archbishop Laud was really the author of this petition he appears to have expected that his long imprisonment would end in banishment rather than death. He was beheaded on Tower Hill, January 10, 1645. There is a woodcut portrait of the Archbishop printed on the title-page of the petition.


[from Allan: reading through the rest of this book, I'm seeing that the author is far more interested in reprinting odd and interesting woodcuts from these ancient publications, along with long extracts from the texts, and the actual HISTORY of the publications and art is getting very little coverage. I thought there was much more meat about publications and techniques than I'm now seeing. Therefore I've decided to cut the book off here, as it is not what I really wanted to showcase here. If you'd like to read more of this interesting book, you'll find it available from]


Comments: Post a Comment

Thursday, August 18, 2016


Ink-Slinger Profiles: by Alex Jay: Harry F. O’Neill

Harry F. O’Neill was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 1, 1891, according to his World War I and II draft cards. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, O’Neill was the youngest of four children born to Michael and Kate. The family resided in Baltimore at 920 York Road.

The New York Times, April 2, 1958, said a teenage O’Neill “toured the country as a circus and vaudeville acrobat.” In the 1910 census, there is a nineteen-year-old “Harry O’Neil”, born in Maryland, who lived in Manhattan, New York City, at 439 West 22nd Street. The column for occupation was blank.

A 1913 Baltimore city directory listed O'Neill as a driver who resided at 3304 Greenmount Avenue.

The Times said O’Neill was a Baltimore Sun reporter. Having studied art by correspondence, O’Neill was made sports cartoonist and advertising layout artist. He also taught cartooning at the Baltimore Institute.

On June 5, 1917, O’Neill signed his World War I draft card. His address was 3014 Greenmount Avenue in Baltimore. O’Neill was newspaper artist with the Baltimore American. He was described as medium height and build with blue eyes and brown hair.

According to the 1920 census, cartoonist O’Neill was married to Edith and had a son, Eugene, who was 21 months old. The family were Baltimore residents who lived at 3014 Greenmount Avenue.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said O’Neill’s first strip was Old Pals which began in 1920 and ran to November 5, 1923. His second series for the International Syndicate was Us Kids, which started November 21, 1921 and ended August 4, 1923. His longest running series was Broncho Bill, originally titled Young Buffalo Bill and distributed by United Features Syndicate. Broncho Bill debuted June 7, 1927. O’Neill’s last strip appeared July 8, 1950. Fred Meagher drew six more strips from July 10 to 15, 1950. The Sunday topper was Bumps.

A 1924 Baltimore directory listed Baltimore Sun artist, O’Neill at 3904 Old York Road. Artist O’Neill’s address was 389 Evesham Avenue in the 1926 directory. Commercial artist O’Neill had moved again, as listed in the 1927 directory, to 703 Hillcrest Drive. O’Neill was not listed in the 1928 directory.

The 1930 census recorded O’Neill, his wife and four children in Manhattan, New York City, at 26 Seaman Avenue. O’Neill was a United Press cartoonist. At some point the family moved to the suburbs.

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, November 1, 1934, published an Abraham & Straus advertisement promoting its Funnies Land event with four cartoonists including O’Neill.

Many newspapers, including the Charleston News and Courier (South Carolina), October 11, 1939, published this item in Charles Driscoll’s column, Day By Day: “Harry F. O’Neill, cartoonist, who has been ill in hospital, is back at his drawing board. His son, Harry, 17, is an art student, draws in his dad’s style, and helps with lettering.”

The O’Neill family were Yonkers, New York residents on Ridge Road, according to the 1936 city directory. The 1940 census said O’Neill was at 1 Prospect Terrace in Yonkers. The household included his wife, four sons and widowed mother-in-law.

O’Neill signed his World War II draft card April 27, 1942. He lived at 142 Alta Avenue in Yonkers and worked for the United Feature Syndicate.

O’Neill passed away March 31, 1958, in Yonkers. The Times said he died in Yonkers General Hospital and lived at 35 Davis Avenue, Rye, New York.

—Alex Jay


Comments: Post a Comment

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


Toppers: Bumps

Harry F. O'Neill evidently loved writing and drawing his long-running western strip Broncho Bill, because I've never heard of him using ghosts or even assistants. What little I've read of the strip (and that is quite little, because I really don't relish westerns) reads like the creator is having a great time putting his cast thorugh their paces. Despite his devotion to it, though, the strip never really caught on in a big way. Which is strange because in 1928 when it debuted it was (as far as I can think of) the first serious western strip, which should have given it a big leg up, and it certainly did serve up the sort of slam-bang, shoot-em-up action that kids loved. It was popular enough, though, that United Feature opted to add a Sunday page to the feature in 1933, debuting it on September 24. In order to do the Sunday O'Neill was faced with the task of coming up with a topper strip to go along with his main strip.

Oddly enough, it would seem, he came up with a topper strip that had nothing to do with cowboys 'n' injuns. Instead he drew on his own younger life, which involved a stint doing acrobatics in circuses and Vaudeville, and came up with Bumps, a humor strip about a young acrobat/clown in a traveling circus. It was a pleasant enough feature, and was another smart choice for O'Neill because kids were crazy for circuses back then. Stories about their inner workings were sure to please, and O'Neill did a fine job of taking his readers behind the scenes, while letting the gags just sort of trail along as sort of a small bonus.

By 1939, though, O'Neill was evidently tiring of Bumps. The artwork was starting to look rushed, and he sent the circus gang on a long sea voyage (!). In every installment of that continuity I half-expect the ship to sink with all hands in the last panel. Well, that didn't happen, but O'Neill did drop the topper on February 11 1939, giving Broncho Bill the whole tab/half broadsheet page. As far as I can tell there never was a full broadsheet page of the strip, so I assume that truly was the end of Bumps.

PS -- in my book you'll find me claiming Bumps lasted until sometime in the 1940s -- oops -- time to get the White-Out!

PPS -- if there are any really devoted fans of Broncho Bill out there, maybe you know when the Sunday changed into reprints? It was definitely reprints from 1938 in 1944, the last year I've found it appearing, but I'm unsure when new material stopped being created.


Comments: Post a Comment

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Edwina Dumm

Frances Edwina Dumm was born in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, on July 21, 1893, according to biographies at the American National Biography: Supplement 2 (2005) and Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Dumm was the oldest of two children born to Frank, who worked in a printing office, and Anna. The family of four lived with Dumm’s paternal grandmother, Sarah, and an aunt, Ella. All of them resided in Upper Sandusky on South Main Street.

The 1910 census recorded Dumm, her parents and siblings, Robert and Sarah, in Columbus, Ohio, at 1012 Dennison Avenue. In the American National Biography, Robert C. Harvey said Dumm’s father was “an actor, playwright, and newspaperman”. He moved from New York City to Ohio to oversee his father’s newspaper business. The Thirty-ninth Annual Report of the Public Schools of Columbus, Ohio (1912) had Dumm’s address (1012 Dennison Avenue) and occupation (stenographer).

Harvey said Dumm decided to be a newspaper cartoonist and used the Landon School correspondence course. According to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, Dumm completed the course then applied for a staff artist position at the new weekly newspaper, the Columbus Saturday Monitor. Dumm was hired and “her work was first published on August 7, 1915”. In 1916 the Saturday Monitor became the Daily Monitor whose last issue was dated July 5, 1917.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Dumm created three series for the Monitor. Dumm produced Spot-Light Sketches from August 28, 1915 to February 12, 1916. It was retitled Meanderings of Minnie and ran from February 19 to July 23, 1916. Dumm’s third series was Human Interest Stories, running from April 15 to July 1, 1916.

With published work and savings, Dumm moved to New York City in 1917. King Features Syndicate’s Famous Artists & Writers (1949) said “When Edwina first came to New York, she roomed at the Studio Club with Helen Thomas, the singer composer….”

American Newspaper Comics said Edwina’s Cap Stubbs and Tippie began in 1918 from the George Matthew Adams Service which syndicated the strip to May 29, 1965. The Washington Star Syndicate handled the strip to September 3, 1966.

Brooklyn Daily Star 2/28/1918

Brooklyn Daily Star 3/2/1918

 Troy Daily Times 2/28/1918

Troy Daily Times 3/2/1918

Dumm illustrated several books including The Diamond Cross Mystery (1918), Two Gentlemen and a Lady (1928) and Sonnets from the Pekinese.

Newspaper artist Dumm, her mother and brother were Manhattan residents in the 1920 census. Their home was at 604 West 115th Street.

The Fourth Estate, May 7, 1921, reported Dumm’s increasing recognition.

Young Girl Cartoonist Is Making a Name for Herself.
Miss Edwina Dumm, who draws a humorous strip depicting the every-minute experiences of a boy and a dog under the name of “Edwina,” is one of the few successful cartoonists of her sex.

When “Edwina’s” identity is revealed to anybody who has studied her comic strip, the usual comment is: “Impossible! A girl couldn’t draw such a good strip about boys and dogs!” “Edwina” has been drawing ever since she was a child. Although she has just passed her twenty—second birthday, she has had a great deal of newspaper experience, as her comic strip “Cap” Stubbs, featuring the funny dog “Tippie,” has been syndicated for several years by the George Matthew Adams Service and has appeared in newspapers all over the country.

“Edwina” started her newspaper career on the Columbus (Ohio) Monitor, a weekly at that time and later a daily, now defunct. At that time she drew political cartoons. She joined the Adams Service in New York three years ago.
New Canaan, Connecticut was the home of Dumm and her mother in the 1930 census. They lived on Jelliff Mill Road. Dumm was a self-employed newspaper artist. Not long after the census enumeration in April, Dumm sailed to Europe. The Norwalk Hour (Connecticut), June 20, 1930, took note of Dumm’s trip, “Miss Edwina Dumm of Jelliff’s Mill road will return to her summer home from a six weeks abroad, in a few days. Miss Dumm visited many points of interest while away.” She returned on June 21, 1930. The passenger list recorded her address as Talmage Hill in New Canaan.

Life 1/10/1930

In 1931, Dumm’s created another series called Alec the Great. It was syndicated first by the George Matthew Adams Service then followed by the Washington Star Syndicate.

According to the 1940 census, Dumm lived in New York City’s Wellington Hotel at Seventh Avenue and 55th Street. Her occupation was artist. The 1942 New Canaan city directory listed Dumm, her mother and brother as residents on Jelliff Road.

Dumm passed away April 28, 1990, in New York City. Her death was reported by the New York Times on May 2. Dumm was laid to rest at an unreported location. 

—Alex Jay


Can anyone tell me how to contact the Dille Family Trust? Also does anyone know anything about the Dom Lavin School of Cartooning? It would have been in Chicago in the early 1930s.
Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]