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Hearne, John, 1795 or 6–1849

John Hearne commonplace book.

Physical Description:
1 v. ([28], 292 p., with blanks) : ill. ; 26 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
PN6245.H43 C66 1820
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Archives & Manuscripts
John Hearne was an English merchant at London and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, while also serving as Swedish and Norwegian consul to that country. He was a member of the Zoological Society of London, the Entomological Society of London, and the Numismatic Society. Hearne's obituary appears in the November 1849 issue of Gentleman's magazine.
A complete inventory of pieces in the commonplace book is available upon request.
Bound in contemporary half red roan and marbled boards, with John Hearne's name stamped in gilt on a red morocco label on upper cover.
Manuscript commonplace book compiled by John Hearne from about 1820 until shortly before his death in 1849. Most of the collected writings, copied in pen and ink, appear to be in Hearne's hand, with the notable exception of a number of contributions by Julia Pardoe. The contents are compiled in a lightly ruled notebook with printed title: A common place book, upon the plan recommended and practised by John Locke Esq. ... (Philadelphia: S. Potter and Co., 1819). A 24-page index is found at front, in which the titles to all stories and illustrations are alphabetically listed.
Among its various entries, the book contains copied epitaphs, verse satires, and a prosecutor's closing argument on "Adultery." Hearne's wife, Dorothea, contributes a few drawings and short verses in the book, professing a devoted affection for her husband. Another friend, whose initials were "J.S.," often pens verses that are either copied or written directly into the book. The most frequent and sometimes cryptic contributions, however, are from the hand of Julia Pardoe, poet and author best known for her travel writings on Turkey. Pardoe's writings for Hearne (who includes a page from a letter from Julia in the book as well), show a range of topical interests and a playful, perhaps almost flirtatious style. Pardoe's entries make up a significant portion of the book, with poems occasionally addressed to Mrs. Hearne as well. While her style in writing for Dorothea Hearne is more formal and sentimental, Pardoe's verses for John Hearne tend to be alternately more maudlin and more teasing, and altogether more spirited. Hearne's commonplace book offers a limited reflection of his experiences in Haiti. Notably, and somewhat mysteriously, there is a verse written about an incident in which a group of men attempted to enter Hearne's property in Port-au-Prince, causing a scuffle in which one of the intruders was shot. There is also racist verse written as though from an English ambassador to his Haitian housekeeper.
The writings are interspersed with numerous illustrations, most by Hearne, including: two frontispiece watercolors, the first of a King Charles Spaniel on a red velvet cushion in front of a representation of the present commonplace book, followed by a rendering of John Hearne's armorial, with the motto "Dum Spiro Spero"; a full-page trompe l'oeuil watercolor of playing cards; a watercolor of "Topper", Hearne's "famous hunter, and a perfect charger"; a caricature of Sir Charles Napier; a pen and ink drawing, with watercolor, of a Canadian jumping mouse; a sketch of the latest "Fashions of English Women" at Liverpool, in 1820; and butterflies, and other fauna and flora, in watercolor and cut paperwork.
Two political broadsides are tipped in at the end of the volume. The first, about the coming of "Old Nosey," (the Duke of Wellington, an unpopular and conservative Prime Minister to England during the late 1820s and early 1830s), is a warning about rising taxes. The second is titled "The Political Death and Burial of the Departed Whigs," and pokes fun at both the Tories and the Whigs.
Subject Terms:
Adultery -- Great Britain.
Ambassadors -- Great Britain.
British -- Haiti.
English poetry -- 19th century.
Haiti -- Social life and customs.
Hearne, Dorothea Henrietta, 1792-1870.
Hearne, John, 1795 or 6-1849.
Napier, Charles, Sir, 1786-1860 -- Portraits.
Pardoe, Miss (Julia), 1804?-1862.
Commonplace books.
Ink drawings.
Graphite drawings.
Cut-paper works.
Botanical illustrations.
Hearne, Dorothea Henrietta, 1792-1870.
Pardoe, Miss (Julia), 1804?-1862.
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