Forward to the Bards and Authors of North Yorkshire

George Markham Tweddell 1823 – 1903

The Bards And Authors of North Yorkshire – From 500 AD to 1960 is a new blog in progress. There is a lot to add yet.

Note – This Introduction is Pinned Post and will remain at the top.

The object of this site is to showcase the historical extent of literary activity in the North East between Hartlepool and Whitby. The boundaries and name changes have been many but it encompasses what is now the Tees Valley and North Yorkshire. The area has often been marginalised by literary commentators and not many know the extent or nature of it.

The Birth of English Literature
William Hall Burnett – Poet and editor of Middlesbrough Daily Exchange suggested in his book Old Cleveland – Local Writers and Local Worthies 1886 that “Hereabouts, we may fairly say, that English literature had it’s first beginnings”. He was refering to the likes of Aneurin, the Celtic bard composing his verses about the Battle of Cattreath (Catterick) on our borders, the assertion that Beowulf was buried on Boulby Cliff  (Bowleby – Beowulf’s By) and the ‘Hart’ emblem on Hartlepool’s Coat of Arms, and Caedmon, Whitby. George Markham Tweddell, William Hall Burnett and the Rev Gideon Smales, writing in the 19thC, are the main sources of this huge history of Bards and Authors in our area and more research is needed. It is hoped, therefore that this site will prove interesting to the reader but also provide a starting point and material for further research into the writers and the literary history of the area in general.

Tees On Line 2005

It was ten years ago that i created a site on the Tees on Line server to document the more recent literary / Creative Writing history that I and others have been involved with in the Tees area since 1980. In doing so a wider literary history dating back to the 8thC AD presented itslef and I began to document that too. It was about to get funded into a research project by Tees On Line but then they lost their own funding and the site was wiped! This is an attempt to rebuild that site. There is a lot of material, so it will take a while.

Along the way I discovered stories of  a thriving Printing and Publishing culture in 19thC Stokesley; tales of  Lawrence Sterne and John Hall Stevenson at Crazy Castle (Skelton Castle) in the 1700’s; visitations of the Romantic poets – William Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron and Shelley in Stockton, Hartlepool and Thomas Hogg‘s mansion in Norton Tees. Evidence of  John Gower (Gower the Moral), poet and mentor to Chaucer, living at Sexhow near Stokseley and lots more.This site covers up to 1960 and the associated Outlet site (named after the poetry magazine we ran in 1980’s) covers the modern period.

The main sources of information are by

Tweddell had planned another 3 volumes of his book which never materialised but left a list of  many names he intended to write about. We will try and incude these names with a profile of the wrtier and their works.
Many of  those writers were covered in his various publications, The Yorkshire Miscellany, The North Yorkshire Tractates, his newspaper The Cleveland News and Stokesely Reporter and a talk he gave to the Stokesley Mechanics Institute 1850. John Brewster’s Parochial History of Stockton on Tees 1829 and a later revised edtion has a Stockton literary section, as doews Henry Heavisides – The Annals of Stockton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *