Return of the Hunters, Bolton Woods
Research by Jacqueline Arundel & Marjorie Gregson
Jacquard Tapestry, after Sir Edwin Henry Landseer RA (1802-1873), engraver, painter, sculptor and lithographer. He was the great-nephew of Gainsborough, famed for his scenes of animals and as the sculptor of the lions in Trafalgar Square, London.
This image is not of the tapestry in the Collection but a representation of the painting that it was based on.
Bolton Abbey in the Olden Time is the painting's known title, painted in 1814 and held at Chatsworth. It is one of Landseer's most celebrated compositions, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1834. An historical composition, one of only a few history paintings done by Landseer, and unusual in that all the portraits were painted from life. William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire, who at the time of painting owned Bolton Abbey, commissioned the painting. The Duke was expecting a representation of the Abbey and not a romantic vision of the past but was reconciled when the painting achieved great success. The composition emphasises the contrast between the refined secluded world of the abbey and the vitality of the local country folk who have brought a variety of game as an offering.
We have many engravings by Landseer in the Collection; it was due to the dissemination of these engravings that he became popular and well-known. (1)
Miss Burdekin, 'Dean', Preston New Road, Marton, Blackpool.
It is not known which of the two elder Burdekin sisters donated the Jacquard Tapestry Return of the Hunters, Bolton Woods (after Sir Edwin Henry Landseer).
Three sisters were born in Lytham to George William Burdekin (1832-1875) and his wife, Elizabeth, nee Bamber (1843-?). Margaret (1868-1944), Elizabeth (1869-1958) and Edith (1872-1907) resided all their lives on the Fylde and never married.
The 1861 census states that their unmarried brother, George, was living with their mother and two servants in Bannister Street, Lytham. At this time his occupation was recorded as 'architect'. In 1871, although George was still residing in Bannister Street with his mother and sister, Elizabeth, he had now taken a wife, Margaret. Her mother and a servant made up the household. At this time his occupation, although he was only 38, was described as a 'retired architect and landowner'. George died, aged 43, in 1875 and was buried at St Cuthbert's, Lytham. His death was reported in the Preston Chronicle on 27 March 1875.
In 1881 his widow was residing with her daughter at 5 Beach Street, Lytham, living off private means.
In 1891 Mrs Burdekin senior had taken up employment and was described on the census as a 'fancy dealer and outfitter', as were both Elizabeth and Edith. At this time they were living in Park Road, Blackpool.
By 1901 Elizabeth was living on her 'own means' with Edith and an aunt at 15 Park Road. Her elder sister, Margaret, was living at Moorlands, Garstang Road, Preston, a private school, where she boarded as a teacher. In 1911, by which time Edith had died, Margaret and Elizabeth were living at 55 Park Road, Blackpool, with Margaret's occupation still being recorded as governess.
(1) Smith, A & Stewart, A, (1995),
The Harrogate Fine Art Collection, Harrogate Museums and Arts