Christmas Eve in the Olden Time

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Door No. 20

Christmas Tyde poem, pgs 194-195, from ‘Christmas Eve in the the Olden Time’ (Robert White Collection, W245 COL)

Christmas Tyde poem, pgs 196, from Christmas Eve in the the Olden Time (Robert White Collection, W245 COL)

Poem by Walter Scott from ‘Christmas Tyde: A Series of Sacred Songs and Poetical Pieces suited to the season’, published London: William Pickering, 1849, created by Sara Coleridge.

Find out more about the White (Robert) Collection.

Cholera scrapbook – drinking on Christmas Day, 1831

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Door No. 19

Newspaper cutting and handwritten account of the Cholera outbreak, 1831 from ‘Collection relative to the cholera at Gateshead, in the county of Durham Vol I (Rare Books, RB 616.932 BEL)

This page from the Cholera scrapbook details circumstances around George Foster Smith, who sold some of his spirits to people on Christmas Day. It explains that nearly all of those that consumed the liquor from Smith’s establishment were those with whom Cholera first broke out in Gateshead. The Cholera outbreak occurred in Gateshead and lasted from 1831-2.

See another page from Cholera scrapbook Volume I, in Door No. 9 of the Special Collections Christmas Calendar.

Transcription reads;

George Foster Smith, then a considerable linen draper NoG(?)4. side, Newcastle with his spare cash began a cheap spirit shop in Tyne Bridge End Buildings in the last week of November 1831. – to gain custom with cheap spirit drinkers he gave to a number of persons some of his spirits, particularly on Christmas day, and strange to say the whole or very nearly the whole of the persons with whom the Cholera first broke out in Gateshead were proved to have been at, and partaken of this cheap spirit, the day before. – he and his spirits were much blamed. – the expected great trade of the spirit shop became nought, and his large linen drapery concern dwindled down to a Haberdashery shop, when he took himself drinking and died at his house in Leazes Terrace the 22. September 1846 aged 57 years

Find out more about our Cholera scrapbooks here.

The scrapbooks are part of the Rare Books Collections. Find out more about it here.

Christmas Entertainments Prologue

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Door No. 18

Prologue from ‘Round about the coal-fire: or Christmas entertainments’ (19th Century Collection, 19th C. Coll 398.268 CHR)

To get you in the Christmas spirit, here’s the Prologue from ‘Round about our coal fire, or, Christmas Entertainments’ “wherein is described abundance of Fiddle-Faddle-Stuff, Raw-heads, bloody-bones, Buggybows and such like Horrible Bodies; Eating, Drinking, Kissing & other Diversions…” produced in 1734.

Find out more about the 19th Century Collection.

Courier ‘Coping with Christmas’

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Door No. 17

Article titled ‘Coping with Christmas’ from 12th December 2011 edition of The Courier

Sometimes it isn’t always all carolling out in the snow. Here’s what to do when festive spirit runs low, reality takes a bite and there isn’t a treble close at hand…

Article taken from the Courier, 12th December 2011. View the full issue here.

The Courier is Newcastle University’s student newspaper and has always been a voice for students to express their news, views, and opinions relating to campus life and the operation of the University. Its first issue was released in 1948, when the University was still known as King’s College (Kings College later split into Newcastle University and the University of Durham in 1963). The Courier is still being published today.

Find other issues from the Courier Archive online.

Christmas Card from John and Pauline Dower

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Door No. 16

Image from the uncatalogued Trevelyan Collection, CPT Uncat 56/4

This Christmas Card from John and Pauline Dower was sent in the second year of their marriage, and its clean, uncluttered style reflects the fashion of 1930. This card was likely sent to Pauline’s parents, Charles Philips and Lady Mary Trevelyan of Wallington (find out more about Charles Philips Trevelyan here).

The Dowers were both instrumental in the establishment and implementation of National Parks in England and Wales.

Grainger Street Local Illustration

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Door No. 15

Illustration of Grainger Street, Newcastle upon Tyne (Local Illustrations, 030 ILL)

This illustration depicts Grainger Street during the 19th century, showing the hustle and bustle of central Newcastle with horse pulling carriages, looking down towards Grey’s Monument.

Find out more about our Local Illustrations.

Crawhall’s Old Aunt Elspa’s ABC

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Door No. 14

Page 11 from ‘Old Aunt Elspa’s ABC’ (Joseph Crawhall II Collection, CRAW 50)

F
For Fox, Fruit,
and Flower, for 
Fiddle, and Fun.

This item was picked for Door No. 14 as F is for Fun to be had during the festive season!

Old Aunt Elspa’s ABC is an alphabet book containing woodblock printed letters, with associated images, detailing the alphabet, created by Joseph Crawhall II.

Joseph Crawhall II (1861-1913) was the second son of Joseph Crawhall II (a local rope-maker, wood-block engraver, humorist and patron of the arts in Newcastle). Although from Morpeth, Northumberland; he trained in Glasgow and associated with the group of painters which came to be known as ‘the Glasgow Boys’.

Find out more about the Crawhall (Joseph II) Collection.

‘Winter’ from Kate Greenaway’s 1883 Almanack

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Door No. 13

‘Winter’ illustration from Kate Greenaway’s 1883 Almanack (030 GRE)

Extract from the 1883 almanack:

I journey on, and ever bear with me
Much that has been, and much that is to be:
Roses for some, for others thorns: ah, well
Old Time is passing, ring along the bell!

Catherine Greenaway (1846 – 1901), known as Kate Greenaway, was an English children’s book illustrator and writer. Her almanacs ran from 1883 up until 1897, with no 1896 issue being published. Each almanacks included a Jan-Dec calendar, beautifully drawn illustrations and short poems. Her almanacs were sold throughout America, England, Germany and France and were produced with different variations and in different languages.

Greenaway’s Almanacks are from the 19th Century Collection. Find her 1892 almanack and others here.

Shakespeare’s Comedy of Twelfth Night

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Door No. 12

Reproduction print depicting Duke Orsino first seeing Olivia, from ‘Shakespeare’s Comedy of Twelfth Night or what you will’ (Rare Books, RB822.33 SHA)

The reproduction illustration by W. Heath Robinson is from Act I, Scene I; ‘DUKE. O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first’

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is reference to the twelfth night after Christmas Day (6th January). This is called the Eve of the Feast of Epiphany and prior to Shakespeare’s play, had become a day of revelry. Servants often dressed up as their masters, women dressed as men and men as women, and so forth. This Carnivalesque reversal is the basis of the play’s gender confusion-driven plot.

Twelfth Night is a Shakespearean comedy of mistaken identity. Twins, Viola and Sebastian, who are separated in a shipwreck. Viola fears Sebastian is dead and disguises herself as a boy, calls herself Cesario, and takes up service with Duke Orsino, falls in love but can’t do anything about it due to her disguise. Orsino falls in love with a girl called Olivia but rejects him. Orsino sends Viola (Cesario) to Olivia to try and win her round, but Olivia falls in love with Cesario. Meanwhile Olivia’s steward, Malvolio, is trying to keep order in the house but her uncle Sir Toby Belch and his friends have other ideas. They convince Malvolio that Olivia is in love with him and make him look extremely foolish – Olivia thinks her servant has actually gone mad. When she sees Sebastian, who has survived the shipwreck, she naturally thinks he is Cesario and promptly marries him. Orsino is furious when he finds out but once Viola and Sebastian meet and reveal their true identities there is a happy ending – for everyone but poor Malvolio.

Find out more about the Rare Books Collection.

William Brewis Christmas Day, 1843 diary entry

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Door No. 11

25th December 1843 diary entry from William Brewis’ diary (Brewis Diaries, WB/1/9)

Christmas Day diary extract from William Brewis’ 1843 diary,

The Old year wears away and has been the finest autumn, the oldest person living never saw such another, we have scarsely ever had a shower of Rain, since the great fall in May & June, the Harvest proved the finest weather ever known, we never had a lost Hour, the corn was got in so well not a spoiled sheaf, and the small is equally as fair and sound as the very best, only the overwhell rainy wet that fel during the spring, caused the gift to be very bad

The diaries of William Brewis (1778-1850), farmer, of Throphill Farm, Mitford, Northumberland, cover the years 1833-1850 and are a fascinating compilation of information and anecdotes about farming matters and the local Mitford community. Alongside daily notes of the farming year, Brewis has added comments on local and national events of a political and societal nature.

Find out more about the William Brewis Diaries.