16 March 2012

Ann Taylor (1782–1866)

Ann Taylor (1782–1866) and her sister Jane (1783–24) were writers of children's poetry, and the representation above is by their father, the Rev Isaac Taylor, also a writer, and an engraver whose own father (also Isaac) had worked with the engraver Thomas Bewick. The Rev Isaac's son (also Isaac) was a writer too, as was his wife (also Ann, née Martin), and they came to be known as 'The Taylors of Ongar', a village in Essex, England.

The Rev Isaac's daughter Ann married the minister Joseph Gilbert in 1813 and they moved to Nottingham in 1825. As her Wikipedia entry (which probably provides more readily accessible biographical information about her than any other site) says: 'She died on December 20, 1866 and was buried next to her husband in Nottingham General Cemetery':

 
 
Most of the inscription is badly flaking off, although 'Joseph Gilbert' is quite clearly visible, 'Minister of the Gospel' a little less so. My thanks to Rowena Edlin–White for putting me straight about the location of this grave.
 
The Autobiography and Other Memorials of Mrs Gilbert, (Formerly Ann Taylor) (London: Henry S. King, 1874), edited by her son Josiah Gilbert, is here. Below is a representation of Ann at 75, by her son.

Her sister Jane Taylor's famous poem of 1806:

'The Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the trav'ller in the dark
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often thro' my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.

'Tis your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the trav'ller in the dark.
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.'


Writers and literary associations in Nottingham General Cemetery:

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Robert Goodacre (1777–1835)
Ruth Bryan (1805–1860)
Sarah Ann Agnes Turk (1859–1927)
Annie Matheson (1853–1924)
Josiah Gilbert (1814–1892)
Anthony Hervey (c. 1796–1850)
Charles Bell Taylor (1829–1909)
James Prior's Parents
Robert Millhouse (1788-1839)
Henry Hogg (1831-74)

3 comments:

Jacquelinesemail63@yahoo.co.uk said...

Thank you, Doctor Shaw. I often wondered, and this afternoon, I wandered around the back of Ongar, just inquisitive, and hey presto, on looking up, I found the plaque on the house where Jane Taylor lived. Thank you, now I know a lot more about the family, and this is the first time I have read the whole of the poem " Twinkle, twinkle" I think it is enchanting, and very clever. Quite a place, Ongar, with the
David Livingstone room in the house just around the corner from Jane's family home. Thank you again, Jacqueline Smith.

Dr Tony Shaw said...

And thank you for this comment, Jacqueline. I wasn't aware of the Livingstone connection, so if I'm ever in the Essex area Ongar sounds like a must!

sadhana bhat said...

dear blogger tony shaw
'twinkil tayler....tony shaw'...
we have wonder with your discover(y)...'
blessings and thank you forever and forever...;