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  • Early life

    Details of Benjamin’s schooling are so far undiscovered although he is recorded in the 1861 census as being a scholar.  The term however does not mean that he was attending school but that he was of school age.  He was literate but there do not seem to be any records of where or for how ...

  • 1853: Benjamin Creswick born

    Address: ct 8 (probably court 8) Thomas Street, Ecclesall, Bierlow Benjamin born 29th January, registered 8th March. Father registered as spectacle frame maker. Mother Mary Creswick nee Thorpe . Siblings 1. James abt. 1842, 2. Mary Ann abt. 1844, 3. Susannah abt. 1846. 4. Charles abt. 1851, 5 Benjamin 1853, Ellen abt. 1856 all born in ...

  • 1870 – 75

    In 1870  (aged 17), Creswick was living at  Pomona St, Eccalsall, Bierlow, Yorks. 1871 (aged 18), the census lists him as living at 92 Freedom Rd, Nether Hallam, Yorks. Creswick is listed as a knife grinder.  The possibility is that his occupation as a knife grinder did not last very long. We can speculate that this might have ...

  • 1876 – 77

    1876 is the first year in which there was a record of Benjamin Creswick’s attempts to leave his life as a knife grinder behind him.  The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent of 25th May (1), in its report of The Sheffield Society of Arts second exhibition on the section for medallion portraits says ‘Mr Benjamin Creswick, a ...

  • 1878

    In September, there is another report in the Sheffield Independent about Creswick’s work.  This time, surprisingly, it was for stone carving on the newly-opened extension to the Hallamshire Bank in Church Street, Sheffield (1). It remains a mystery, how and where Creswick found time to learn this skill alongside his work and the sculpture classes ...

  • 1879

    Ruskin wrote in May 1879: I have determined to fetch you all to Coniston and have you near me at all events for some weeks in order to put you on your road in work and thought……. I think the lodgings will be ready.  You have two children I think? I hope the air will ...

  • 1880 – 85

    There is a reference in The Works to Creswick being among the ‘young artists’ who stayed with Ruskin at his home, Brantwood. There is no date for this reference but it is in the introduction, covering the period 1878-1882 (1). The fact that Ruskin ‘took pleasure in giving them [the young artists] encouragement’ continues to ...

  • 1885 – 89

    In 1885 Creswick sculpted a Medallion portrait of Thomas Carlyle which C.F.A. Voysey placed at the centre of a decorative panel.  In 1888, the panel was positioned on the wall of Thomas Carlyle’s house now a National Trust property.  Originally number 5 Cheyney Row, the house is now renumbered as 24 Cheyney Row London SW3 ...

  • 1890 – 95

    This section is informed by Alan Crawford’s By Hammer and Hand, the Arts and Crafts Movement in Birmingham, the helpful notes on the B.I.A.D. archive of the Birmingham Municipal School of Art, Simon Ogden’s indispensible work and Quintin Watt’s The Bromsgrove Guild: An illustrated guide. [ Left. Benjamin Creswick, probably in the studios of the Birmingham ...

  • 1895 – 1899

    In 1894-5, Creswick had another commission for a frieze (1). The detail of this commission has been a puzzle for many years as the frieze was described in The Birmingham Magazine as being on an architect’s office in Northampton with no clue as to its exact location. However, the advent of Google images has meant ...

  • 1900 – 05

    In 1900, Creswick exhibited a work entitled The Enchantress, at the Royal Birmingham Society of Arts, Spring Exhibition and ‘multiple exhibits’ at the Birmingham Art Circle (1). In 1901, Creswick exhibited works at the Royal Birmingham Society of Arts Spring exhibition, including a cigar box, and, in the Autumn exhibition, a Sketch model: Bishop Vesey, ...

  • 1905 – 09

    In 1905, Creswick’s bronze memorial to those who gave their lives in the South African War 1899-1902 was erected in Greenhead Park, Huddersfield. The memorial was paid for by public subscription and unveiled by Lieut. Gen. Sir J.D.P. French KCB. KCMG on Saturday May 20th.  This memorial seems imbued with the poignancy with which Creswick ...

  • 1910 -

    The 1910, Mapping Sculpture records in The Eighty-Fourth autumn Exhibition of the Royal Birmingham Society of Arts a work entitled ‘Father’s Hope Mother’s Joy’. (1) Creswick was commissioned to provide another Birmingham Coat of Arms for the Public Baths, Nechells Park Road, Nechells.  This is described in Public Sculpture (2) as being in Buff Terra cotta. ...