The Twentymans---Info required

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The Twentymans---Info required

Postby dognose » Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:00 pm

Hi,

I’m trying to piece together some information on the colonial silversmiths William Henry Twentyman of Calcutta, India and Lawrence Holme Twentyman of Cape Town, South Africa, and I’m hoping members can help me.
Below is (hopefully) the facts that I have knitted together, but as it stands, despite the unusual surname, the same trade and the fact they were born in the same year, I cannot link them together.

William Henry Twentyman - Born 8th November 1793. Died 20th April 1842 in Calcutta.
Arrived Calcutta, India c. 1810 and served an apprenticeship under John Hunt (who I believe was his uncle) 1810-1815. John Hunt died in 1816 and WHT took over the business.
WHT forms partnership with George Havell Homser as Twentyman & Co. in 1818.
WHT sets up a separate company with Weldon Wheatly Beck in 1821, this is known as Twentyman, Beck & Co. This partnership was short lived and was dissolved in 1823.
The Homser partnership was dissolved in 1829.
WHT married Elizabeth Mary Phipps on the 2nd January in Calcutta, they had six children: William John b .26-10-1815, Henry Phipps b. 28-5-1820, Charles Horatio b. 4-1-1824, George Osborne b. late 1824, Elizabeth Sophia b.20-10-1826 and Mary Ann b. 17-12-1830.

Lawrence Holme Twentyman - Born 5th May 1793 in Liverpool, the son of John Middleton Twentyman and Phoebe Holme who were married 7-8-1785. LHT married Betsey Burrell, they had seven children. LHT died 8th June 1852 in London.
LHT served an apprenticeship as a watch and clock maker in England before leaving for the Cape, South Africa in 1818.
LHT establishes Twentyman and Co. with John Chrisholm in 1820, this partnership lasted until 1843. LHT returned to England in 1832, but returned to Africa to attend to his business affairs in 1835, 1837, 1844 and 1846.
In 1843 he went into partnership with George Warner, who managed LHT’s affairs in Africa which besides a chain of silversmiths shops they also had extensive farming interests, this company was known as Twentyman & Warner.
Some sources have LHT going to Ceylon and India c.1835.

Any additions or corrections would be gratefully received.

Trev.
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Postby admin » Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:37 pm

Hi Trev,
Found a William Holme Twentyman, silversmith born in Liverpool 1802 and also worked in Capetown.

http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/t ... 1174640342

all three of the smiths turn up in this thread at Ancestry
http://boards.ancestry.com/thread.aspx? ... .twentyman

Regards, Tom
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Postby dognose » Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:48 pm

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the information.
In light of what you found, I guess William Holme Twentyman was the younger brother of LHT. All of LHT's sons had the middle name 'Holme', and it looks like his brothers did as well.

Regards Trev.
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Postby dognose » Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:16 pm

It would appear that LHT's business interests went beyond silversmithing and farming. In 1840 he was victim and witness in a trial at London's Old Bailey. He appears there as the owner of the schooner 'Courier'.

http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.j ... #highlight


Trev.
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Postby dognose » Sat Sep 06, 2008 5:18 pm

Hi,

These spoons were made by Twentyman & Co. (1818-1829) The partnership of William Henry Twentyman and George Havell Homser at Calcutta

Image

The top two bear the same tally mark 'M' whilst the bottom one a Nagri? letter, perhaps indicative of a native journeyman.

Trev.
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Postby 2209patrick » Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:27 pm

Hi Trev.

The tally mark on your last spoon resembles one shown in Wynyward R.T. Wilkinson's book with Twentyman, Beck & Company marks.
The books says Twentyman, Beck & Company incorporated in 1822 and dissolved in 1826.

Image

The book also states " The Indian Registers show that Twentyman & Company started activities in Calcutta in 1821. Ceased trading in 1854".

Pat.
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Postby dognose » Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:53 am

Hi Pat,

Many thanks for the information.
I wonder what the set up of these two companies was, they both appear to be working in Calcutta, in an overlapping period and producing, at least some, of the same sort of items.
The quality of these spoons is first class, a good weight and fine engraving, they are 7 1/4" in length.
I have a matching set, somewhat smaller at 6 1/4" in length and with the same engraved initials made by Pittar & Co.

Image

Does your book give the working periods for Pittar, as if these spoons were made in a similar period, it might be possible to reduce the time frame for their manufacture.

Regards Trev.
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Postby 2209patrick » Sun Sep 07, 2008 12:26 pm

Hi Trev.

Pittar & Company, 12, Old Court House Street, Calcutta.
First mention 1831. Last mention 1848.
The book also shows a picture of Pittat & Company's mark with the same tally mark on a Kings pattern dessert fork.

Twentyman, Beck & Company was located at 4, Tank Square, Calcutta.
Twentyman & Company is also shown at 4, Tank Square, Calcutta until 1836.
Thereafter: 3, Hare Street, Calcutta.

The book does not give much information on the partnership.
However it does make an interesting statement. I'm going to quote now so you can draw your own conclusions.
"Tally mark #22, crowned lion passant, maker's mark TB&Co. for Twentyman, Beck & Co., lion rampart holding a crown. The lion rampartmark is a reproduction of the crest of the East India Company, and may have been used in very much the same way as a Royal warrant is used today to indicate official patronage. I have noted a crowned lion passant only with this firm".

Image
Image

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Postby dognose » Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:18 pm

Hi Pat,

Thank you again.
I wonder if Twentyman, Beck and Co. was set up purely to fulfil orders gained through the British East India Company.
As for the tally mark, I wonder if the journeyman moved to Pittar's or was there a connection between Twentyman and Pittar? Or maybe its not a tally mark at all.

Regards Trev.
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Postby 2209patrick » Sun Sep 07, 2008 1:42 pm

Hi Trev.

The book does refer to them as tally marks.
Here's a quote about tally marks from the introduction.

"The meaning of the additional marks found on most Calcutta silver is a little uncertain as some of these "tally" marks are common to more than one workshop while others others are limited to only one. Nor are pieces with the same tally mark always of a similar standard of workmanship or purity.
The most likely explanation is that the marks identify the native workman responsible for finishing a piece. In the case of flatware, depending on the urgency of an order, a set would be farmed out to these native journeyman, each of whom would apply his mark to a piece when he completed it as a method of providing proof of the quantity of work actually done. Without this tally mark the native would have no method of prooving this.
The variety of tally marks on pieces of the same service fortifies the suggestion that they are the marks of different native workmen".

Pat.
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Postby dognose » Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:47 am

Hi Pat,

That explains it nicely, thank you.

Just painting a picture here, this map, made about 1850, shows the part of Calcutta that must have been the centre for silversmithing. We can clearly see Tank Square the location of Twentyman & Co. and Twentyman Beck & Co., Hare Street, the later address of Twentyman & Co., and Old Court House Street the location for Pittar & Co.

Image

Also located on Tank Square were the Customs House and the Export Warehouse. To the right of Tank Square we see St John's Cathedral where WHT's children, Eliza Sophia and Mary Ann were baptised in 1826 and 1830 and also where one Lousisa Twentyman, perhaps WHT's sister was married in 1823.
Further to the right we can see Fort William, the headquarters of The British East India Company where WHT married Elizabeth Mary Phipps in 1815 and where their children, William John, Henry Phipps and Charles Horatio were baptised.

This is the Writers Building on Tank Square it appears to occupy the complete lefthand side of the Square and this may well have been the view from WHT's workshops.

Image

This is Government House to the right of WHT's workshops.

Image

And Esplanade Row with Government House in view on the right.

Image

Trev.
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Postby dognose » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:54 pm

Hi,

William Holme Twentyman (LHT's Brother) who was also a silversmith was born in Liverpool on 31st October 1802. It appears he left the Cape in the 1830's for Mauritius. He was married at the Anglican Church, Port Louis, Mauritius on 2nd June 1832 to Cecilia Rinch (or Pinch) and resided there for at least 2 1/2 years as his son William Lawrence Twentyman was born there on the 12th December 1834 (d. 17-12-1888, Oran, Algeria).
Sometime after this William Holme Twentyman returned to England and took up the position of Sheriff of Middlesex, appearing in this role at many Old Bailey trials.

Trev.
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Postby dognose » Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:04 pm

Hi,

George Osborne Twentyman (WHT’s son) was one member of this extended family that continued in the trade. He was born in Calcutta c.1825 and it appears from internet references that he came to England to attend Oxford University and married one Harriet Ottaway in September 1848 at either Clerkenwell or Headcorn in Kent. The choice of Clerkenwell, the centre of much of the silversmithing industry in London at the time may reflect business contacts with the Twentyman family and their London counterparts and perhaps the service at the village at Headcorn was maybe a Blessing at perhaps the location of the family seat of the Ottaway family.

In 1852 GOT decided to emigrate with his wife and newly arrived son to Melbourne, Australia, continuing the wanderlust of this amazingly well-travelled family.
He set up business at 24 Collins Street West, Melbourne as an Engraver and soon gained a reputation for his quality work most notably for his skill as a seal engraver.

The year 1861 saw exhibitions at Sydney and Melbourne in readiness for the 1862 International Exhibition in London. At Melbourne GOT was awarded a First Class Certificate for his seal engraving and he followed this up by winning the Medal for Seal Engraving at the Australian Intercolonial Exhibition held at Melbourne in 1866-7.

George Osborne Twentyman died in 1895 at the age of Seventy at Footscray, Victoria, Australia.

Trev.
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Postby dognose » Sat Sep 13, 2008 3:10 pm

Hi,

I came across a reference that stated that George Osborne Twentyman's mother's maiden name was Hunt. The possibility maybe that Elizabeth Mary Phipps was a widow when she married WHT and that John Hunt who I thought was WHT's Uncle was in fact his Father-in-Law.

Trev.
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Postby dognose » Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:23 pm

Hi,

This is one of WHT's spoons showing what is thought to be his earliest set of marks as it contains the British East India Company's Lion Rampant mark (kindly indentified by Pat). The second, very worn mark, is a '4'
It is a fiddle pattern desert spoon 6 3/4" (17cm.) in length, of good weight and well made.

Image

Trev.
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Postby dognose » Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:22 pm

Hi,

In light of new information from a later edition of Wilkinson, it would appear that John Hunt's business was taken over by Francis Dormieux and Francis Vrignon, trading as Francis Dormieux & Co. in 1815, and not by WHT as I originally thought.

These forks were made by that partnership in 1818.

Image

Trev.
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Twentyman

Postby empty » Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:53 pm

Hi there

I have no interest in silver, but I do know about the two Twentyman silversmiths.

They are from two completely different families and are not connected by DNA.

William Henry Twentyman's ancestors came from London and although I have not been able to work out how John Hunt was related to him, I presume he came into the trade through this connection.

The ancestors of Lawrence Holme Twentyman are from Liverpool - coopers and sailors, but they originate in Cumberland.

Mary
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Postby dognose » Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:44 pm

Hi Mary,

Welcome to the Forum and many thanks for responding.

I must admit that not long before I started this thread I thought that there was one silversmith called Twentyman, probably from Scotland, that went to South Africa, presumably failed there and went on to India. So you can see it has learning experience for me and one that I've enjoyed.

Can you see any errors in the facts that I have posted? Also can you add anything else to this thread, even the smallest of details would help.

Thanks again for your time, especially as you have no interest in silver, but.... maybe we'll convert you yet!

Regards Trev.
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Postby dognose » Thu Nov 27, 2008 4:33 pm

Hi,

It would appear that in 1841, William John Twentyman (WHT's eldest son) was running Twentyman & Co. according to 'The Bengal and Agra Annual Guide and Gazetteer for 1841'.
WJT was also listed as a Director of 'The Indian Laudable and Mutual Assurance Society', a member of 'The Mechanics Institution' and serving on the committee of the 'Calcutta Trade Association' along with Henry Woollaston of Hamilton & Co.
Incidently the Auditor to the 'Calcutta Trade Association' was Robert John Lattey of Pittar, Lattey & Co. Also listed as members were J S Lattey and Parke Pittar (sounds more like the Calcutta Silversmiths Club).

Trev.
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Postby dognose » Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:03 pm

Hi,

Noted in the 'Deaths' column for 16th January 1834.


Image


Source: The Calcutta Christian Observer 1834

Trev.
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