This is the remarkable list of participants of the Blakesware Set.
The famous people to feature in the story were known as ‘The Blakesware Set’. According to Charles Lamb’s journal, they came together at Blakesware Manor in December 1822 and left us a magical ‘secret inheritance.’ This is the celebrated list:
Blakesware Set: Full Members
Most famous for his triumph over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.
We were very surprised when he joined the Blakesware Set – to be surrounded by artists, writers and nature lovers. There was clearly another side to the man.
It seems he was Ben’s double!
He’ll have looked a little like this in his uniform. A bit of a dandy, Richard obviously had a passion for America, making the long trip across the Atlantic more than once.
He proved a bit of a dark horse, what with his obsession with Royston Cave and the magic stones.
The crop circle came as no surprise to him.
What can we say about Charles?
Obviously without him we’d be none the wiser. Charles made many sacrifices in his tragic life. Aside from leaving us his journal, he saved his sister from asylum, but at the expense of unrequited love. What a hero!
Probably the most famous poet in the world!
His poem, I wandered lonely as a cloud, is our favourite, but Sarah especially likes his poem Lucy! Given everything that happened, it makes sense really.
He and Charles were close friends.
The letters between them make a fascinating read. We really like his Ancient Mariner poem, particularly the bit about the Albatross and the ice! He was addicted to the Justice Chair in the Marble Hall at Blakesware.
What a woman!
Mary had plenty of tragedy in her life yet she was a brilliant pioneering writer who gave us Frankenstein! She warned us of the risk of unchecked use of machines and new knowledge. It was hardly surprising that she and Charles became close.
He was so cool!
Not only did he lead the campaign to bring an end to the slave trade, he also helped set up the society for the prevention of cruelty to animals. We dedicate this site to him – he achieved so much against the odds, why can’t we!
He painted Nelson and the Bear, one of the paintings in the gallery at Blakesware. How ironic that the picture shows man eye to eye with a Polar Bear as the ice breaks up about them! Take a look:
He was very worried about the growth in the human population and whether the Earth could sustain us all – food, water, shelter, that kind of thing.
The number of people in the world has jumped in the last 200 years. There are now more than 6 billion of us.
He’s famed for starting up the National Census – the thing that’s done every few years to find out information on every member of the population.
We didn’t think he added up to much, but then he was a statistician!
She probably looked a bit like this. A complex and demanding character, but it seems she only had Charles’ best interests at heart
He was just a young man when he came to Hertfordshire to take part in the Set.
An extremely bright man, we believe he was strongly influenced by the visit. When he returned to America he set up a new movement called Transcendentalism, which looked at nature in a new way. Emma really liked him.
Most people have heard of this Danish creative genius – stories like The Little Mermaid and Thumbelina are famous the world over. He was just a young boy when he came to England.
We think the experience fired his imagination.
This is an engraving of Emma that appeared in the Illustrated London News in 1891, following her death.
She was Charles’ adopted daughter. He called her the “girl of gold.” Apparently she used to speak in Latin to Malachi.
Befriended by Captain Lewin, he was an unofficial boxing champion of the 19th century.
We thought he was brave and inspirational. William Wilberforce was right to praise him.
This isn’t really Tom’s picture – but we thought he might find it amusing.
He was the man who made it easier to get into Royston Cave. He kept Rev North’s secret all that time.
Charles obviously had a lot of feeling for the housekeeper at Blakesware.
She did seem a kind old soul.
Henry David Thoreau was only a young boy when he came to Blakesware from America. He was another of those clearly affected by his visit.
As for Percy Shelley, the younger – he was the only surviving child from the marriage between Mary and Percy.
William Wordsworth called him the Skylark.
It was nice touch for the Set to honour him.
Now, he painted Ben’s favourite picture, The Haymakers!
We now know there’s much more to the painting than first meets the eye – take a close look and see if you can make out what it is? Bet you can’t – we couldn’t either. Pity he wasn’t alive when the Set met – still what’s a small thing like death to stand in the way of an artist!
One of the leading British poets – It was a pity he couldn’t join the Set.
He was quiet a flamboyant passionate character. A defender of the Luddites, he would have graced Blakesware Manor.
It’s a shame he was unable to go – probably too busy preparing to paint the Hay Wain.
We guess he painted it in honour of the Blakesware Set, once he’d learnt what they had done.
to find a
Well, most of us agree, this picture captures her perfectly.
Disrespect nature at your peril - she’s got her unforgiving eye on you. Her wrath knows no bounds!
We were amazed at how this mystic and creative genius was able to influence us, Charles lamb and ‘The Haymakers Survey’ from afar.
With special thanks
We believe Charles should have added Uncle John Plummer to the list too. There is something about him that we really need to figure out. Who was this man?