Sculpture Journal

‘Mason's work in all its branches’: an introduction to the Earles and the Keyworths of Kingston-upon-Hull

Sculpture Journal (2012), 21, (2), 109–118.

Abstract

Having settled in Hull in the 1770s, the Earles established a working network of carvers, gilders, stuccoists, builders, surveyors and builder-architects that them to provide ‘mason's work in all its branches’. Furthermore, while speculative building played its part in securing the business, they were further assisted when family members began importing Italian marble. The Earle workshop provided training and commissions for successive generations. Moreover, their workshop enabled rival sculptors - most notably Willliam Day Keyworth the Elder - to gain a foothold in the Town. However, opportunities were strictly limited and the more ambitious Thomas Earle and William Day Keyworth the Younger moved to London. Nevertheless, they both maintained strong working links with their hometown and capitalized on prevailing civic pride. Local dignitaries were eager to commission homegrown talent and were anxious that public sculpture should signal the town's distinctive medieval origins. While civic pride played its part in securing commissions, there was one further factor that contributed to their success - freemasonry. Public commissions were ‘managed’ on their behalf and competition ‘assisted’ by fellow lodge members who held influential positions in the town.

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Details

Author details

Mulcahy, G.