Archiver > CUMBERLAND > 2004-03 > 1078426880

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Subject: [CUL] Cumberland snips - GRAVES & PEEL
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2004 19:01:20 -0000

As we have had a couple of references to John Woodcock GRAVES and John PEEL
I thought the following might be of some interest:

"John Woodcock GRAVES was the only son of a Wigton plumber, glazier and
ironmonger and was born in the year 1795.

Graves went to school in a "clay daubin" in a back yard. He passed through
arithmetic and excelled his teacher in writing. At an early age he was
apprenticed to an uncle, who was a painter of signs for coaches. It was
while he was painting a sign at Cockermouth that Graves met Mr Joseph
Faulder who inspired him with artistic tendancies.

Graves was married twice. Upon leading his second bride to the alter it is
said he scratched upon the window pane of his house at Market Hill, Wigton,
"John Woodcock Graves and Abigail Porthouse, married 8th May, 1821." Later,
Graves resided at Caldbeck, where he was connected with woollen mills. It
was here he became a close friend of John Peel.

During an evening in his snug parlour with John Peel, they heard Granny
Graves humming a tune known as "Bonnie Annie". Graves hit on the idea of
putting words to the tune and so, impromptu and perhaps imperfect, the
world-popular song was created.

The year following the writing of the song he left England for Tasmania and
landed in Hobart Town in 1899 with his family and £10 in his pocket. John
Woodcock Graves died there at the ripe old age of 91."

Taken from "John Peel Jottings" - no 4 Autumn 1954

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