Homepage 'de Luikerwaal' The Diverting History of John Gilpin.
Part 1.


The Caldecott medal for Children’s Book Illustration, designed by Rene Paul Chambellan in 1937, wears a picture of John Gilpin on the obverse of the medal. It shows Gilpin astride a runaway horse, accompanied by squawking geese, braying dogs, and startled onlookers (see >>>).
The Medal is "for distinguished illustrations in a picture book and for excellence of pictorial presentation for children".
“The Diverting History of John Gilpin Shewing how he went Farther than he intended, and came safe Home” is a comic ballad by William Cowper written in 1782.

The ballad concerns a draper called John Gilpin who rides a runaway horse. Cowper heard the story at a time of severe depression, and it cheered him up so much that he put it into verse. The poem was published anonymously in the Public Advertiser in 1782, and was republished in 1878, illustrated by Randolph Caldecott.


The poem tells how Gilpin and his wife and children became separated during a journey to the Bell Inn, Edmonton, after Gilpin loses control of his horse, and is carried ten miles farther. It is too long to print here in whole, but this is how it begins:
JOHN GILPIN was a citizen
Of credit and renown,
A train-band* captain eke was he
Of famous London town.

John Gilpin’s spouse said to her dear,
‘Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we
No holiday have seen.
To-morrow is our wedding-day,
And we will then repair
Unto the Bell at Edmonton,
All in a chaise and pair.

My sister, and my sister’s child,
 Myself, and children three,
Will fill the chaise; so you must ride
On horseback after we.’
*Trainbands: companies of militia in England or the Americas, first organized in the 16th century and dissolved in the 18th.
The term was used after this time to describe the London militia.
 
 
The Diverting History of John Gilpin.
The complete set consists of 15 black and white slides that measure 3.25 inches (8.2 cm) square. The set is made by the well-known manufacturer of magic lantern slides Newton & Co.
 
Ten glass magic lantern slides mounted in a wooden frame that measures 4" x 7" (c. 10 x 10 cm), late 19th Century by an unknown manufacturer.





 
Splendid set of twelve square magic lantern slides. Manufacturer unknown.

Johnny Gilpin.

This time John is called Johnny. A set of 12 slides probably made by York & Son.
1. Mrs Gilpin arranges a holiday. 2. They start in the chaise. 3. The three customers go in.
4. Gilpin gets ready the second time. 5. He is mounted once again. 6. The trot becomes a gallop.
7. Gilpin loses his hat, wig, and cloak. 8. His friend lends him a hat and wig. 9. John meets a donkey.
10. Gilpin arrives at Ware. 11. John loses hat and wig a second time. 12. John arrives safe at home.
 
Magic Lantern Slides John Gilpin in a mahogany frame.
Hand painted. Frames measure 4 inches high and 7 inches (8 x 10 cm) wide. 3 inch (7.6 cm) circular images.
 
 
More John Gilpin.....
 
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Last update: 04-12-2018.
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