Samuel Colman (19th Century)
A view of Bullpitts, Bourton and the Hindley factory with the Longpond and Factory pond
signed and inscribed
oil on canvas
73.7 x 101.6 cm (29 x 40 in)
36 x 46 in - including frame

Daniel Maggs' flax mill on the River
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Samuel Colman
A view of Bullpitts, Bourton and the Hindley factory

About

Samuel Colman (19th Century) A view of Bullpitts, Bourton and the Hindley factory with the Longpond and Factory pond signed and inscribed oil on canvas 73.7 x 101.6 cm (29 x 40 in) 36 x 46 in - including frame Daniel Maggs' flax mill on the River Stour at Bourton, Somerset Oil painting on canvas 29 x 40 inches Signed lower left and inscribed “Yeovil” Provenance: by family descent (the ancestors of the last owner are depicted on the left) Samuel Colman was born in Yeovil in September 1780, the son of Robert and Mary Colman. He was baptised at the Independent chapel, Princes Street, on 12 August 1813 at the age of 33 (a legal requirement for Dissenters). Just a few weeks later, at St John's church , he married Mary Cayme, the youngest daughter of James Cayme the elder, a dowlas and ticking maker with a manufacturing facility in Grope Lane, today's Wine Street. Both the local newspapers - the Western Flying Post and the Dorchester & Sherborne Journal - printed marriage notices simply describing Samuel as "Mr Col(e)man, artist". It would appear that Samuel and Mary soon moved to Bristol and in 1816 he was advertising himself as a portrait painter and drawing master in Bristol trade directories. They lived in Paul Street, off Portland Square and about 1826 they had a son, William Scott Colman, who died two years later and was buried in the Quaker cemetery at Friars, Bristol. It is unknown how many other children they had but only two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary, were named in Samuel's will, dated 1841 and inferring that the girls were aged under 21 at that time. Both Samuel and Mary were active members of the Zion Congregational Church (now Zion United Reformed Church) and Samuel was signatory to the letter sent by the Zion congregation in 1835 to Rev David Thomas asking him to become pastor of Zion. By this time Samuel was aged 53 and was clearly a well-respected member of his congregation. Although he exhibited three times in Bristol, with little publicity or apparent appreciation, in 1839 and at the age of 58, he exhibited at the Royal Academy for the first time, showing a Flowerpiece, now lost. The following year he exhibited Sunday Morning, Going to Church. Samuel moved his family to London and in the 1841 census he and Mary were listed living at Claude Cottage, Lambeth, with their daughter Elizabeth and a domestic servant. Samuel listed his occupation simply as 'Artist'. Coleman's painting style is of the Bristol School of Romantic landscapes, and he specialised in apocalyptic paintings, drawing comparison to fellow painter John Martin. As a Nonconformist, his painted works often took aim at the Church of England. He signed his works as both Colman and Coleman. Samuel Coleman died at 20 Cottage Grove, New Peckham, London, on 21 January 1845. The Times simply carried a two-line notice of his death but Samuel was clearly still remembered in Yeovil as the notice of his death was inserted in the Sherborne, Dorchester and Taunton Journal on 30 January 1845. For many years the river Stour had been the centre of the cottage industry which had grown up around the processing and spinning of flax. William Kip’s map of 1610 is not very detailed but even so shows Longlane Myll approximately on the site of the current mill. In the 18th century an industrial spinning process was invented and around the middle of the century Daniel Maggs built a mill for the processing and spinning of flax. This was on the on the site of what is now Bullpits and was powered by a waterwheel driven by the Stour. A few years later William Jesse built another factory, downstream and close to Main Road. This was known as the High Street Factory. Over the next 40 years it expanded and produced Linsey-woolsey a rugged cloth woven from linen and wool. In 1782 it was employing over 250 people and had a large blacksmith’s shop powered by an undershot waterwheel in the river adjacent to Bourton Bridge. There were two rope walks, one was built beside the river between the two factories and the other was associated with the High Street Factory. The Maggs factory also expanded and a new mill, powered by two waterwheels was built slightly down-stream from Bullpits on the present factory site. Around 1800 it absorbed the blacksmith’s shop from the Jesse mill. The engineering side expanded and by 1810 it was producing farm implements. When sand suitable for casting was discovered at Breach Close it allowed the factory to expand into iron founding. In 1820 a complete new factory was built on the Maggs site. It was driven by two waterwheels. in 1821 It became Maggs & Hindley. At this time 140 workers were employed across the two arms of the business. In 1837 the famous 60 foot diameter waterwheel was built to power the flax mill while a year later in 1838, a new foundry was built and was powered by two more, smaller, waterwheels. Towards the end of the 19th century the flax mill closed down and the buildings were used to expand the foundry. At the same time the waterwheels became redundant as the entire works was powered by steam. From 1890 to 1910 the foundry was at its peak and is said to have employed over 200 men and boys. Stationary (i.e. not self-propelled) steam engines up to 100hp were being sold world-wide. During the First World War the production was changed to munitions, mainly casings for Mills Bombs, a type of hand grenade. In the valley above the mill site there are three 18th century dams. On the afternoon of the 28th June 1917 a violent thunderstorm and extremely heavy rain led to the failure of New Lake dam in the early morning of Friday 29th June. There was no loss of life but the damage was considerable. The foundry was wrecked, walls were demolished and heavy machinery uprooted and moved. Over 200 tons of coal was washed away and to all intents and purposes disappeared. In 1918 the big water wheel was scrapped and the metal probably used for munitions. After the war work continued with the production of small specialised units for the shipbuilding industry but in 1927 the business was taken over by Dodmans of King’s Lynn and the Hindleys and some of the workforce also moved there. After Hindley’s closed the factory was taken over by the Farma Cream Co. which established a plant for processing and drying milk. This later became United Dairies, then Cow & Gate and finally Unigate. In 1984 Unigate announced its intention of closing the factory at which point there was a management buy-out under the name of the Summit Food Group. In 1992 the Summit Food group went into receivership and the factory was taken over and operated by Freeman Foods which itself went out of business in 2002.

Details

  • Dimensions
    H 29 in. x W 40 in.H 73.66 cm x W 101.6 cm
  • Gallery Location
    London, GB
  • Reference Number
    LU44633372343
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Located in London, GB
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