Haymaker's Survey – Our Secret Inheritance

This is the remarkable list of participants of the Blakesware Set.

The famous people to feature in the story were known as ‘The Blakesware Set’. According to Charles Lamb’s journal, they came together at Blakesware Manor in December 1822 and left us a magical ‘secret inheritance.’ This is the celebrated list:

Blakesware Set: Full Members

Field Marshall Arthur Wellesley (1st Duke of Wellington)
Field Marshall Arthur Wellesley (1st Duke of Wellington)

Most famous for his triumph over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.

We were very surprised when he joined the Blakesware Set – to be surrounded by artists, writers and nature lovers. There was clearly another side to the man.

Captain Richard Lewin KB (Host)
Captain Richard Lewin RN (Host)

It seems he was Ben’s double!

He’ll have looked a little like this in his uniform. A bit of a dandy, Richard obviously had a passion for America, making the long trip across the Atlantic more than once. 

Rev George North (Preacher)
Rev George North (Preacher)

He proved a bit of a dark horse, what with his obsession with Royston Cave and the magic stones.  

The crop circle came as no surprise to him.

Charles Lamb (Romantic Poet and Essayist)
Charles Lamb (Romantic Poet and Essayist)

What can we say about Charles?

Obviously without him we’d be none the wiser. Charles made many sacrifices in his tragic life. Aside from leaving us his journal, he saved his sister from asylum, but at the expense of unrequited love.  What a hero!

William Wordsworth (Romantic poet)
William Wordsworth (Romantic poet)

Probably the most famous poet in the world!

His poem, I wandered lonely as a cloud, is our favourite, but Sarah especially likes his poem Lucy! Given everything that happened, it makes sense really.

Samuel Coleridge (Romantic poet)
Samuel Coleridge (Romantic poet)

He and Charles were close friends.

The letters between them make a fascinating read. We really like his Ancient Mariner poem, particularly the bit about the Albatross and the ice! He was addicted to the Justice Chair in the Marble Hall at Blakesware.

Mary Woolstonecraft Shelley (Writer and widow of Percy Shelley)
Mary Woolstonecraft Shelley (Writer and widow of Percy Shelley)

What a woman!

Mary had plenty of tragedy in her life yet she was a brilliant pioneering writer who gave us Frankenstein!  She warned us of the risk of unchecked use of machines and new knowledge.  It was hardly surprising that she and Charles became close.

William Wilberforce (Pioneering Politician)
William Wilberforce (Pioneering Politician)

He was so cool!

Not only did he lead the campaign to bring an end to the slave trade, he also helped set up the society for the prevention of cruelty to animals.  We dedicate this site to him – he achieved so much against the odds, why can’t we!

Richard Westall (Artist)
Richard Westall (Artist)

He painted Nelson and the Bear, one of the paintings in the gallery at Blakesware.  How ironic that the picture shows man eye to eye with a Polar Bear as the ice breaks up about them! Take a look:
Nelson and the Bear

William Turner (Artist)
William Turner (Artist)
One of the most famous painters in the world, mainly because of his passion for sunsets.  His picture, Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps was also on display in the Blakesware gallery.  Here:
Hannibal Crossing The Alps

Albert Thorvaldsen (Nordic Sculptor) 
Albert Thorvaldsen (Nordic Sculptor) 
To be honest, we didn’t know much about him until now. We owe him a great deal – I guess he was part of the magic really. Great at carving, this is what he could do – it’s the Lion of Lucerne.
Lion of Lucerne

Thomas Malthus (Professor in Political Economy and Anglican Parson)
Thomas Malthus (Professor in Political Economy and Anglican Parson)

He was very worried about the growth in the human population and whether the Earth could sustain us all – food, water, shelter, that kind of thing.

The number of people in the world has jumped in the last 200 years. There are now more than 6 billion of us.

John Rickman (English Statistician)
John Rickman (English Statistician)

He’s famed for starting up the National Census – the thing that’s done every few years to find out information on every member of the population. 

We didn’t think he added up to much, but then he was a statistician!

Associate members

Lady Katherine Plummer (Hostess nee Lewin)
Lady Katherine Plummer (Hostess nee Lewin)

Charles’ aunt.

She probably looked a bit like this. A complex and demanding character, but it seems she only had Charles’ best interests at heart

Ralph Waldo Emerson (Son of Rev Emerson)
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Son of Rev Emerson)

He was just a young man when he came to Hertfordshire to take part in the Set. 

An extremely bright man, we believe he was strongly influenced by the visit. When he returned to America he set up a new movement called Transcendentalism, which looked at nature in a new way.  Emma really liked him.

Hans Christian Anderson (Scholar and budding writer)
Hans Christian Anderson (Scholar and budding writer)

Most people have heard of this Danish creative genius – stories like The Little Mermaid  and Thumbelina are famous the world over.  He was just a young boy when he came to England. 

We think the experience fired his imagination.

Emma Isola (Latin Scholar)
Emma Isola (Latin Scholar)

This is an engraving of Emma that appeared in the Illustrated London News in 1891, following her death.

She was Charles’ adopted daughter. He called her the “girl of gold.”  Apparently she used to speak in Latin to Malachi. 

Bill Richmond (Pugilist and Haymaker)
Bill Richmond (Pugilist and Haymaker)

Befriended by Captain Lewin, he was an unofficial boxing champion of the 19th century.

We thought he was brave and inspirational. William Wilberforce was right to praise him.

Thomas Watson (Tradesman)
Thomas Watson (Tradesman)

This isn’t really Tom’s picture – but we thought he might find it amusing.

He was the man who made it easier to get into Royston Cave.  He kept Rev North’s secret all that time.

Elsie Baker (Beloved Housekeeper)
Elsie Baker (Beloved Housekeeper)

Charles obviously had a lot of feeling for the housekeeper at Blakesware.

She did seem a kind old soul.

Friends and family of full members, including David Thoreau and Percy Shelley (the younger)
David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau was only a young boy when he came to Blakesware from America. He was another of those clearly affected by his visit. 

As for Percy Shelley, the younger – he was the only surviving child from the marriage between Mary and Percy. 

Absent Friends

Percy Bysshe Shelley (Romantic Poet)
Percy Bysshe Shelley (Romantic Poet)

William Wordsworth called him the Skylark.

It was nice touch for the Set to honour him.  

George Stubbs (Artist)
George Stubbs (Artist)

Now, he painted Ben’s favourite picture, The Haymakers!

We now know there’s much more to the painting than first meets the eye – take a close look and see if you can make out what it is? Bet you can’t – we couldn’t either. Pity he wasn’t alive when the Set met – still what’s a small thing like death to stand in the way of an artist! 

Lord Byron (Romantic Poet)
Lord Byron (Romantic Poet)

One of the leading British poets – It was a pity he couldn’t join the Set.

He was quiet a flamboyant passionate character. A defender of the Luddites, he would have graced Blakesware Manor.  

John Constable (Artist)
John Constable (Artist)

It’s a shame he was unable to go – probably too busy preparing to paint the Hay Wain.

We guess he painted it in honour of the Blakesware Set, once he’d learnt what they had done. 

The confident unnamed young girl (our Sarah)
We’re trying
to find a
nice
photo!
Well Charles did list her and we assume it was the same girl. Sarah certainly remembers it clearly- maybe the magician has something to do with it!
Lucy Ebbs
Lucy Ebbs

Well, most of us agree, this picture captures her perfectly.

Disrespect nature at your peril - she’s got her unforgiving eye on you. Her wrath knows no bounds!

William Blake (Artist and Poet)
William Blake (Artist and Poet)

We were amazed at how this mystic and creative genius was able to influence us, Charles lamb and ‘The Haymakers Survey’ from afar.

With special thanks

Malachi (mischievous Samoyed puppy)
Malachi (mischievous Samoyed puppy)
We’re guessing that Malachi looked like this when he was a puppy - fun, unpredictable and full of tricks.

We believe Charles should have added Uncle John Plummer to the list too. There is something about him that we really need to figure out. Who was this man?

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