Letter in the Attic

Letter by John George Bishop (1825-1911) and extracts from souvenir book

About this contribution:


Extracts from a book and a letter by the Brighton historian John George Bishop.

In 1899 the Brighton historian John George Bishop was commemorated by the presentation to the Mayor by Sir John Blaker, with a life sized portrait, paid for by a subscription fund and which now hangs in the Brighton Fine Art Gallery. The portrait was presented in October 1899.

In return he published a book entitled "A Souvenir - Miscellaneous Subjects Historical and Literary". This book was printed in very limited numbers and the copies were presented only to individual subscribers of the portrait fund.

Amongst the subscribers was Beal & Son, a well known local Bookseller and Stationer, who received an autographed, inscribed copy of the book.

In 1907 John Beal Jnr. received the letter (LIA/29/7) from Bishop regarding an enquiry on the origin of the name Brighton, as well as other personal matters.

Biographical information

John George Bishop, local historian, became a celebrated figure in his lifetime by virtue of his long tenure as the proprietor and editor of the "Brighton Herald".

Bishop was born and bred in Brighton and from his humble beginnings as an apprentice on the newspaper in 1839, he was later to be taken as a partner by the proprietor, Charles Fleet in 1864. When Fleet retired in 1880, he left Bishop as the sole proprietor of the newspaper. Bishop's interest in local history extended into writing a number of books on Brighton, the most notable being "A Peep into the Past - Brighton in the Olden Time" (1880 and 1892 editions). His long association with the newspaper, stretching to 62 years, earned him the respect of many of the leading figures in the town. In 1899 he was commemorated with a life sized portrait, which now hangs in the Brighton Gallery of Fine Art. The painting was in oils by Mr. F. Brueton and the frame is inscribed :-

To the Corporation of Brighton. John George Bishop. Historian and Journalist. Brighton Herald, 1839-1899.

He also was personally presented with a tea and coffee service, supplied by the Sussex Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company, the salver being engraved with the following inscription:-

To John George Bishop, Brighton. Historian and Journalist. From his many admiring friends, October 1899.

Name of creator(s)

Bishop, John George (1825-1911)

Dates covered by the material

27 Jul 1907

Extent and form of the material

Set of extracts from a book. One handwritten letter

Access conditions



Digital copies have been donated to the East Sussex Record Office and are listed here; the original letter and the book are in the private collection of A.L. Grant


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