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Chatterton Mural.jpg

      Thomas Chatterton Mural Upper Maudlin Street Bristol BS2 8BJ

                                                     May 2021

                                             Painter Identity Not Known

                     2020 - 250th Anniversary of the Death of Thomas Chatterton

                     Prof. John Goodridge - Nottingham Trent University (rtd.)

              Co-Founder of the Thomas Chatterton Society and past Chairman

                                               publishes (on-line):  

                'Rowley's Ghost: A Checklist of Creative Works Inspired by                                 Thomas Chatterton’s Life and Writings, 1770-2020'

                       (draft) scheduled for completion end 2020.

Chatterton Copybook & Stain cropped for

Click on Chatterton Copy-Book  to visit ON-LINE 'Analyst' Journal Research Paper

October 2020

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                     2020 - 250th Anniversary of the Death of Thomas Chatterton

                                           How did Thomas Chatterton Die?

                          New Scientific Study of the Nature of the Brown Stain

                                      on Chatterton's  Memorandum Copy Book

                                         Now Published in the Journal 'Analyst'                   


                                      The Royal Society of Chemistry

                                             Now On-line & In Print (December 2020)


          Research Scientist: Dr Paul Gates - University of Bristol UK

       Project Initiator: Michael Doble - Chairman Thomas Chatterton Society

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Click on the image of Chatterton to go to paper

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December 2020

Click on Chatterton Image  to visit PRINT COPY 'Analyst' Journal Research Paper


                                                DUE TO NHS UK

                                 CURRENT RECOMMENDATIONS



                                                DUE TO NHS UK

                                 CURRENT RECOMMENDATIONS


                                                                                  2020 is ‘Chatterton Year’

                                                                     'Furious, Wild and Young: The Death of Chatterton'  7th - 18th October 2020

Exhibition of Henry Wallis's 'Chatterton' at RWA - Bristol - Click on RWA logo for details: 




RWA logo.png

                             2020 "BRISTOL'S SHAKESPEARE"

                           THOMAS CHATTERTON 1752 - 1770


                                                                                  2020 is ‘Chatterton Year’

                                                                     “the marvellous Boy” – William Wordsworth

                                           “I weep, the heaven-born Genius so should fall,”   – S T Coleridge

In ‘Adonias’ his elegy to the death of Keats, he dedicated a verse to Chatterton – Percy Bysshe Shelley

                                      “The purest writer in the English language” – John Keats

                                           “One of England’s greatest poets” – Oscar Wilde



   The Thomas Chatterton Society will be celebrating the Life & Works Chatterton with the following:


                                                                                          COMMEMORATIVE EVENTS


    The British Library (London) Exhibition and Talk/Recitations/Music (July 2020)


   The British Academy (London) ‘Meyerstein Chatterton Lecture’ on the subject of  ‘Thomas  Chatterton‘ (Date TBD)


   UWE Bristol Faculty of Art/TCS Expressive Art Competition & Permanent Exhibit & Award Ceremony (January to July 2020)


    Chatterton Pocket Handkerchiefs Limited Edition


     Chairman’s Book on Chatterton


     Bristol Festival of Ideas/St Mary Redcliffe Church 'Chatterton Room' Chatterton Society Exhibition of 'Chattertonia' 

      A Short Film (TBD)


      Keats-Shelley Association of America Joint EventChatterton250: A Call for Odes and Elegies  - Poetry Competion

                                                                                                         Click on Link above  (Opens in a new window):

      Open Mic Poetry Reading Chatterton’s Café  (TBD)

Please also refer to Bristol Festival of Ideas 'A Poetic City'- Celebration of Bristol City's Poets and Poetry inspired by Thomas Chatterton 1752- 1770:       Click on Link:

                                                                                                                               (Opens in a new window)


Note: "Bristol's Shakespeare" - is quoted from: ‘The Artist as Original Genius: Shakespeare’s Fine Frenzy in Late 18th Century  British Art’  by William L Pressly Professor Emeritus Institute of Fine Arts of New York University USA 2007.


9th February 2020 with later additions



                                Linda Kelly and "The Marvellous Boy"


Linda Kelly October 1, 1936 - January 12, 2019

‘The Marvellous Boy The Life and Myth of Thomas Chatterton’ 1971 by Linda Kelly

On a beautiful summer’s day in 2016, I had the pleasure of being invited into Linda’s home to film my interview with her about Thomas Chatterton and her book ‘The Marvellous Boy The Life and Myth of Thomas Chatterton’.  The interview encompassed the life, work and times of one of the most enigmatic literary figures.  It became clear why Linda was inspired by this 17 year old boy to write her first book which is still in print almost 50 years after first being published.  Linda answered my questions with great interest and ease and the interview was more like a chat between ‘kindred spirits’ than a formal interview.

Linda Kelly’s book ‘The Marvellous Boy The Life and Myth of Thomas Chatterton’ I first read in 2004, was primarily responsible for my long and probably never-ending journey through the life, times and work of Thomas Chatterton.  Deceptively ‘easy’ to read, yet packed with fascinating insights into the truly extraordinary life and work of this 17 year-old precocious genius.  Her book covered not only Chatterton’s life and work but his afterlife which appeared in the form of the furore surrounding the authenticity of his ‘Thomas Rowley’ writings and his influence on the Romantic poets, who followed in his slipstream.

In our talk, Linda touched upon John Keats’ extraordinary love for Chatterton; a love which was not only for his work, but a love for the very boy himself.  In reading Linda’s book and in interviewing her, I felt that she also had this love for Chatterton, a most pleasurable infliction that is difficult to avoid for those of us who really come to know him.


Michael Doble, Chairman, The Thomas Chatterton Society

11th February 2019

 ‘Resolution and Independence’ - 1802 


I thought of Chatterton, the marvellous Boy,

The sleepless Soul that perished in his pride…

William Wordsworth

         Catcott & Bergum Pewter Inkstand Circa. 1770 Auctioned

Catcott & Bergum Pewter Inkwell Auctioned by Waddington's Auction House in Toronto Canada for $180 on 1st November 2018

George Catcott and Henry Bergum were Bristol Pewterers

and business colleagues and along with William Barrett a

local surgeon and Amateur Antiquarian, were amongst the

first Bristolian's to be acquainted with Thomas Chatterton

and his 'Rowley' masterpieces.



Catcott Ink Stand Dec 2018.jpg

Click on Ink Stand Photograph to view Waddington's Website:

Contributor: Richard Fenlon December 2018

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                             New Chattertonia Cigarette Card circa 1926

          shipped from Australia - 'Fishing Smacks in Brixham Harbour'

 The words are from Chatterton's Magnum Opus poem-play 'AElla'

On the cigarette card the words are 'modernised'. In the original 'Rowley' text they are

(Hurra - Danish invader speaks to AElla's wife Birtha):

The mornynge 'gyns alonge the Easte to sheene;

Darklinge the lyghte doe onne the waters plaie;



Contributor: Richard Fenlon February 2018

                   New Chattertonia Manuscript found in

William Seward's copy of Gregory's 1789 'Life of Chatterton' 

                                        published in

'The Monthly Repository of Theology and General Literature'


Contributor: Richard Fenlon February 2018

Click on Repository Book Cover to view:

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"Bristol's Shakespeare" Chatterton Celebration

The Video Film of the Formal Opening of Chatterton's Birthplace in Bristol England in June 2016 is now available:

visit our Events page - scroll down one page to view the film


Bristol Chamber Choir plays


'Mynstrelles Songe'




Click on flier to view Event Announcement

on Bristol Chamber Choir website:

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                 Bristol Chamber Choir


         Chatterton's 'Mynstrelles Songe'                                         from his poem


The Bristol Chamber Choir is celebrating the birth of Samuel Wesley 250 years ago with a concert in St Monica's Chapel at 5pm on 13th November 2016.  Included in the programme is Wesley's  setting of Chatterton's 'Mynstrelles Songe' - 'O! synge untoe mie roundelaie' - a piece which is believed to have been in the choir's repertoire (as the Bristol Madrigal Society) since 1845.



Chatterton's House has started a Brand New Life!




Click on House photograph

to view Event Announcement

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Over 10 years in the making, Thomas Chatterton's birthplace opposite St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol England is now fully restored and has opened as a Cafe in his name run by a local Bristol family. Officially opened 24th March 2016.


The Thomas Chatterton Society, in collaboration with Bristol City Council and the Cafe proprietor, will be holding

                 "Bristol's Shakespeare"

           Chatterton's Celebration Event

this Summer to mark the historic and literary importance of saving Thomas Chatterton's birthplace and making it a long-term venue available to the public.  Further announcements towards the end of April 2016.



Thomas Chatterton and Neglected Genius, 1760 - 1830 by Daniel Cook




Click on Book Cover to read book review by Prof. Nick Groom

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Rare Artifact: A satirical cartoon from The Tomahawk magazine, published 8th August 1868 showing the death of Disraeli's popularity and power

(in the style of Wallis's 'Chatterton')

Benjamin Disraeli 1804 - 1881 Prime Minister & 1st Earl of Beaconsfield


 ‘POPULARITY’ is in the smoke of the candle floating out of the window; the bottle on the floor has the word ‘OFFICE,’ and pouring from the bottle is his ‘POWER’; the scraps of paper have the words ‘REVOLUTIONARY,’ ‘EPIC,’ ‘DEFENCE OF RADICALISM.’   The smoking cigar in his left hand, has the word ‘HONOR,’  Big Ben (Houses of Parliament) is visible through the open window as counterpoint to St Pauls Cathedral in 'Chatterton' by Henry Wallis.


With thanks to the researcher and provider of the cartoon image: Richard Fenlon           June 2015

BBC4 Thomas Chatterton Documentary 8.30pm Monday 15th June 2015



Image Courtesy of BBC

Click on Chatterton picture

to watch on                     (opens in new window)

This programme may be currently unavailable on BBC TV IPlayer.

It is available for viewing at the British Library archive.



Click on British Library Logo

for British Library

Poet Michael Symmons Roberts explores the mythic afterlife of the 18th Century poet Thomas Chatterton. With access to rare documents and artefacts and featuring a surprising interview with Queen guitarist Brian May, Michael explains how Chatterton’s tragic young death in his London garret aged just seventeen was immortalised by a succession of poets and painters and photographers - most notably by the pre-Raphaelite Henry Wallis in his masterpiece known as The Death of Chatterton – and how these successive images of the young Chatterton have dogged poets ever since with the notion of the doomed young poet suffering and ultimately dying in service to the Muse.



Chatterton's House to start a Brand New Life!


Renovations by Bristol City Council almost completed.  

Follow our wesite for house up-dates.

Chatterton's birthplace, now fornerly named "Chatterton's House" is at Pile Street opposite St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol, England.  It was built in 1749 as a dwelling house for the school master of Pyle Street School and was bequethed to the school by Giles Malpas, a successful pinmaker.  The House is owned by Bristol City Council and the Society has been working with the Council for many years to preserve and renovate the House.  The renovations are now mostly complete. Bristol thomas chatterton society


Click on Chatterton's House picture to visit Press Release page

                                               (opens in a new window)

Chatterton's House 

Courtesy of Bristol Central Library


Image Courtesy of Bristol City Council

Forthcoming this Autumn (2014):

An Exhibition at The British Library 3 October 2014 - 20 January 2015

includes Original Manuscripts by Chatterton, a portrait, his first letter to Horace Walpole, a Chatterton Hankerchief and explanatory texts.


Click on the Terror and Wonder picture to link to the British Library. Bristol thomas chatterton society


Images Courtesy of British Library

In conjunction with the above Exhibition:

BBC Programmes in conjunction with

The British Library Exhibition


The Art Of Gothic: The Shock Of The Old, (working title) BBC Four

In a three-part series, Andrew Graham-Dixon looks back at 19th century Britain and its obsession with all things Gothic.


Includes Chatterton in the first episode BBC4 9.00pm Monday 20th November, subsequent episodes 9.00pm Monday 27th October and 9.00pm Monday 3rd November. Click on the BBC logo to link to the BBC preview.

            Bristol thomas chatterton society


Image Courtesy of BBC

Further this Autumn (2014):

Dr Brian May of rock group 'Queen' and associate Denis Pellerin reveal the wonders of stereoscopic photography at Tate Britain Exhibition 7 October 2014 - 1 November 2015. 

Includes Chatterton:  Henry Wallis's iconic portrait 'Chatterton' has 3D treatment.

Thomas Chatterton in 'Stereo'

taken from 'Chatterton' 1856 by Henry Wallis on permanent display at Tate Britain

(requires special spectacles for 3D) Bristol thomas chatterton society

Image Courtesy of Dr Brian May

 Click on photograph of Chatterton to link to Tate  Britain

Exhibition Associated Book Bristol thomas chatterton society

Image Courtesy of Dr Brian May / Denis Pellerin / The London Stereoscopic Company Ltd

Click on 'The Poor Man's Picture Gallery' book

 to link to publisher London Stereoscopic Company

New Chattertonia Manuscript Found:

Researcher: Simon Nuckley, Chiswick Auctions UK

Chiswick Auctions:  Wednesday 24 September 2014 at 1pm

Lot 21 - see catalogue for full details

[CHATTERTON, Thomas (1752-177)] George GREGORY

(1754-1808) The Life of Thomas Chatterton. London:

Printed for G. Kearlsey, 1789. 8vo (202 x 130mm).


IMPORTANT CONTEMPORARY MANUSCRIPT ACCOUNT OF CHATTERTON. "Chatterton was very stout in his person, but short. His eyes were grey, of a lustre that made them appear almost transparent ... when you looked full in the boy's face his eyes always withdrew from inspection, and he hung down his head....." (contd).

Manuscript written by William Seward (1749-1799).

Estimate £400 - £600


HOT off the PRESS!

This remarkable Chattertonian discovery was successfully sold to a fortunate buyer at the auction. Bristol thomas chatterton society

Images Courtesy of Chiswick Auctions Bristol chatterton poetry society

Top Image is the

William Seward Manuscript Bristol thomas chatterton society

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