piątek, 26 stycznia 2018

«Per crucem ad lucem»
David Tolkien Wotherspoon's coat-of-arms

Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien (b. 1746, Gdańsk, d. 1813, London) and his wife Ann, née Austen had ten children. One of their daughters was Maria whose husband was David Wotherspoon. The Wotherspoons were an English family with their coat-of-arms (in fact the Tolkiens were also the family with noble roots but in the 19th century they didn't remember about their coat-of-arms; see here). David Wotherspoon was a furrier like his father-in-low and he continued Daniel Tolkien's business at Cheapside, London. His first son, David Tolkien Wotherspoon was baptized in the Miles Lane Presbyterian chapel (the same religious community which was close to John Benjamin Tolkien, Daniel Gottlieb Tolkien's brother) and as a young man he emmigrated to Canada. About his family you can read below. And you can see his coat-of-arms (source: Armorial families: a directory of gentlemen of coat-armour, compiled and edited by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies, published 1905:

czwartek, 25 stycznia 2018

«We Meet No More» by J. Tolkien (1839)

From The Lady's Book, vol. 14–15, p. 142–143. The author is most probably John Benjamin Tolkien, the Professor's grandfather.
Oh! no, the spell is broken
And joy's sweet hour is o'er
The last sad word is spoken
We meet, we meet no more.
No longer may I cherish
Of love th' illusive dream

For this, a-las! must perish
With hope's expiring beam
Oh! no, the spell is broken
And joy's sweet hour is o'er
The last sad word is spoken
We meet, we meet no more.

No more from slumber waking,
I hail the eveerful dawn;
No more her smiles partaking,
I pace the verdant lawn –
I pace the verdant lawn.
Life's torch once brightly burning,
Fades like the meteor's ray.

Nor shall its light returning,
Illume my dreary way.
Oh! no, the spell is broken
And joy's sweet hour is o'er
The last sad word is spoken
We meet, we meet no more –
We meet, we meet no more.

George Tolkien
Professor's g-grandfather was a London bass singer!

He belonged to the first Tolkien generation in England (his father and his uncle were born in Gdańsk, Poland). His profession was "a professor of music" in London. When he was born on 20 October 1784 in London, his father, John Benjamin Tolkien, was 32 and his mother, Mary, was 38. He married Eliza Lydia Murrell and they had 11 children together. He died on 7 June 1840 at the age of 55, and was buried in London.

I have discovered today that he was a London singer in many performances because he was a member of the Drury Lane Company by the Theatre Royal where many many years later The Lord of the Rings musical was performed (I saw it personally!). And the member of the same company was the musician William Shrubsole who shares the same grave at Bunhill Fields, London with George's parents!

This is probably why his youngest son Alfred became a London performer, a clown Boleno March (see here) and his sons John Benjamin, William Murrell and Henry became composers (see here and here)!

Tolkien in the Theatre Royal, London (1827)

What a coincidence! In the Theatre Royal on Strand, London where many years ago we could see the musical theatre The Lord of the Rings there was a Tolkien singing as a bass! See here.

John Benjamin Tolkien (1807–1896)
A grandfather, a philanthropist, a religious man

"Certainly the story - typical of the kind of tale that middle-class families tell about their origins - gave colour to the presence of Tolkiens in London at the beginning of the nineteenth century, making their living as clock and watch manufacturers and piano-makers. And it was as a piano-maker and music-seller that John Benjamin Tolkien, Arthur’s father, had come to Birmingham and set up business some years later."

H. Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien. Biography

John Benjamin Tolkien (1807–1896) was one of eleven children of George Tolkien and Eliza Lydia, née Murrell. When he was born on 27 March 1807, his father, George, was 22 and his mother, Eliza, was 20. He received his names after the grandfather from Gdańsk and London, Johann/John Benjamin Tolkien (1752–1819, see here). He was married three times and had seven sons and eight daughters. He died on 1 August 1896 having lived a long life of 89 years. J. R. R. Tolkien in his letter from 1951 to Florence Tolkien (see here) wrote about his grandfather, John Benjamin Tolkien ("III"):
He was once a wealthy man, but not one of business and a rigidly religious Baptist and would not deal with music halls or theatres. He was a dear old and poor man in the nineties when I knew him.
John B. Tolkien's father was George Tolkien (furrier apprentice, dealer of watch and clock tools, a bass singer and finally a music professor) representing the first generation of the Tolkiens born in the United Kingdom (his father, Johann/John Benjamin came to England from Gdańsk). He died in 1840 and his last address was 25 Bidborough Street, Camden Town, London. George Tolkien was buried at St George the Martyr's cemetery, Queen Square, London.

St James, Clerkenwell, London

John Benjamin was his second child and second son of the Tolkiens (their children were: George William, John Benjamin, Eliza, William Murrell, Mary Ann, Henry, Rosina Susanna, Edward, Ellen Martha, Septimus and Alfred). He was born on 27 March 1807 at St John Street, Middlesex, London, and he was baptized at St James (Anglican), Clerkenwell, London on 29 April 1807. 

From the parish books of St James, Clerkenwell

It is my discovery that John Benjamin's first wife was probably Emma Baker (married in 1832 in All Saints, Southampton). She probably died soon after. He then lived at St Mary Abbot Kensington. In 1835 he married for the second time with Jane Holmwood (1806–1854) (see the term "widower") in St George church, Bloomsbury, London:

From the parish books of St George, Bloomsbury
Children of John Benjamin and Jane were: Jane (1836–1847), Loisa (1840–1900), Emily (1838–1921) and John Benjamin (1845–1883, born in Birmingham after the family moved). In 1841 the family of John Benjamin and Jane lived at "Tannter Place", Marylebone, London. John Benjamin was there described as a turner. 

In 1847 he and his family lived alredy in Birmingham. His new business "Tolkien & Co. Music and Musical Instruments Dealer" at New Street, Birmingham was dissolved (his companions were W. Chappell and Th. P. Chappell) in August 1847:

In 1849 he was described as a music seller and lived already in Birmingham, in the parish of Aston, in Portland Villa. The family had even a "maid of all work", Maria Swinbourne. Then the family moved. In the same year 1849 we meet John Benjamin Tolkien as a professor of music at Bristol Road, Hemlingford, Edgbaston.

John Benjamin's wife, Jane, died in 1854. As a widower and music seller from Handsworth, Birmingham, in the age of 48, John Benjamin married Mary Jane Stowe (1833–1915, daughter of John Sutcliffe Stowe, a commision agent from Grosvenor Place, Birmingham, of predobaptist or independent denomination). The wedding ceremony took place in the parish church of All Saints in Birmingham on 16 February 1856:

From the parish books of All Saints, Birmingham

John Benjamin and Mary Jane Tolkien had eleven children: Arthur Reuel (1857–1896), Mabel (1858–1937), Grace Bindley (1861–1904), Florence Mary (1863–1944), Frank Winslow (1864–1867), Marian Esther (1866–1934), Howard Charles (1866–1867), Wilfrid Henry (1870–1938), Mary Tolkien (1871–1904), Lawrence George Hammond (1873–1941), Leslie (1875).

Before 1871 the family moved to 2 Heathfield Rd, King's Norton, Worcestershire and before 1881 to Alcester Rd, Kings Norton. There they had a house servant, Ann Hough and house maid, Phebe Powel. It is good to know that third wife of John Benjamin Tolkien, Mary Jane was only three years older than his oldest daughter, Emily! In the census of 1881 J. B. Tolkien is described as a "Piano Fort & Prussia Dealer", in 1891 as a "pianoforte tuner".

John Benjamin Tolkien seems to be also the music composer:

According to the books about the nineteenth century composers he cooperated with his brother Henry from London:

In the 1860s John Benjamin Tolkien was a supporter of the United Brethren community (about Moravian Brothers or Herrnhuts or United Brethren you can read here). He was mentioned in the Periodical accounts relating to the missions of the Church of the United Brethren established among the heathen, v. 20 (1851/1853), v. 21 (1853/1856), v. 22. (1856/1858), v. 23 (1858/1861), v. 24 (1861/1863) v. 25 (1863/1866), v. 26 (1866/1868), v. 28 (1871/1873). He probably attended the services at the Brethren Chapel of the congregation of the United Brethren Church in Bristol with his daughter, Miss Emily Tolkien:

He was also a known philanthropist in Birmingham:

Modern Birmingham and its institutions: a chronicle of local events,
from 1841 to 1871. Comp. and ed. by John Alfred Langford. v. 2, p. 212
John Benjamin Tolkien had his own business in central Birmingham: "J. B. Tolkien – Music Warehouse", 87 New Street, Birmingham (1875, see here). His oldest son was a member of the local Freemason Lodge No. 573 (Lodge of Perseverence in Halesowen, Worcestershire) as a "S.W.", a Senior Warden:

From The Freemason Chronicle (17 April 1875, p. 247)
Another adresses of his business ("Music And Musical Instruments Warehouse") are New Street 70, Birmingham and 2 Haydn Place, Bristol Road, Birmigham. In the same time his younger brother Edward Tolkien was a "Pianoforte tuner" at Clement St, Birmigham.

In 1891 John Benjamin Tolkien lived in his son-in-low's house of Henry Holden's house, his daughter Loisa's husband. His last address was Bell Lane, Erdington, Aston, Warwickshire (close to Birmingham).

After his son Arthur Reuel died in 1896 he also died of sorrow in his age of 89 in King's Norton on 1 August 1896 and was buried at the Key Hill Cemetery, Birmingham. His grave still exists:

Source: FindTheGrave


środa, 24 stycznia 2018

«My Love's Been Complaining»
Words by W. M. Tolkien (1842)

William Murrell Tolkien (1810–1882) was George Tolkien's son and Johann Benjamin Tolkien's (1752–1819) grandson. His brother was John Benjamin Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien's grandfather. Let us read and maybe even sing William Murrell Tolkien's song. In my opinion its rythm and rhyme is quite similar to J.R.R. Tolkien's poetry.

Concerning Reuel

The name Reuel, so popular now in the J.R.R. Tolkien's branch of the family (almost every descendant of Arthur Reuel Tolkien) has the Reuel middle name, even the women, is a puzzle for the Tolkien biographers. If John Benjamin Tolkien, Arthur's father was a Freemason (a Brother, Senior Warden in the Lodge of Perseverance, No. 573 in Halesowen near Birmingham), then this name woudn't be anything curious. The Freemasons have great attention to Moses who married Zipporah, a daughter of Reuel/Jethro. Also the United Brethren (Herrnhut, Moravian Brothers) community which was supported by John Benjamin Tolkien had great attention to Old Testament.

Moses Meets Zipporah
According to the Bible and the masonic tradition Moses had married Zipporah, the daughter of Reuel, who was the 'Jethro' or high priest or leader of the Kenites. Moses and his brother Aaron had also been initiated into the priesthood of the Kenites and had began the worship of God, Yahweh.

wtorek, 23 stycznia 2018

Tolkienowie herrnhutami i... masonami

Daniel Chodowiecki, Herrnhuci
Okazało się, że coś jest w moich podejrzeniach o herrnhuckie sympatie w rodzinie Tolkienów. Znalazłem dokumenty herrnhutów z Anglii z XIX wieku, gdzie widać, że John Benjamin Tolkien, dziadek Profesora, wspierał finansowo United Brethren, jak nazywają się w Anglii herrnhuci (prawa kolumna, zbiórka Pana E. Sandersa):
Źródło: United Brethren

Trzeba zbadać związki XVIII-wiecznej masonerii z reformami protestantyzmu, z wpływem masonów na powstanie metodyzmu (widzę wiele wspólnych idei, jak na przykład walka z niewolnictwem, walka ze zinstytucjonalizowanym chrześcijaństwem, ruch praw obywatelskich). W XVIII-wiecznym Gdańsku działo kilka loży masońskich, więc... W XIX wieku jeden i ten sam Tolkien jest i masonem (patrz ten wpis), i herrnhutem (chodzi o Johna Benjamina Tolkiena, dziadka Profesora).

Kto wie, czy moi tajemniczy Tolkienowie z Gdańska nie należeli – jak wielu – do tamtejszych loży masońskich, co religijnie wyrażało się wspieraniem "postępowych" ruchów w protestantyzmie? I w samej Anglii obaj bracia Tolkienowie wiążą się z rodzącym się metodyzmem (Daniel G. Tolkien przystępuje do metodystów Johna Wesleya, a John Benjamin Tolkien do kalwinistycznych metodystów hrabiny Huntingdon). A po dwóch pokoleniach widzimy dziadka Profesora jako brata masońskiego i członka Jednoty Braterskiej (herrnhutów) w Anglii.

John Benjamin Tolkien jako mason

Was J.R.R. Tolkien's grandfather a Freemason?

UPDATE (27 Apr 2018): Finally I realized that it was his brother and his son who were the Freemasons. See here.

I have found an interesting information in The Freemason's Chronicle (17 April 1875, p. 247). It suggests that John Benjamin Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien's grandfather (Arthur Tolkien's father) was a Freemason, a "Brother John Tolkien S.W. 573"*:

Humphrey Carpenter and other writers refer the Tolkien family as baptist. But in the sources I couldn't find any traces of John Benjamin Tolkien's Christian devotion. Maybe he was a Freemason? It could explain the Tolkiens' criticism of Mabel Tolkien's conversion into Catholicism in the new light.

* Do you know what "S.W. 573" means? It is probably Senior Warden. And where there was the Lodge No. 573?

Whole text of The Freemason's Chronicle can be seen here:

John Benjamin Tolkien and his friend Gravell

A book about the Gravell family. And by the way about our clockmaker born in Gdańsk, John Benjamin Tolkien (1752–1819):

The Bagginses, the Tucks, the Tolkiens...

The Bagginses and the Tucks existed and they lived in the same places as the English Tolkiens!

This is Mr William Baggins Esq. from London who was buried on 27 December 1618 in the same church of St James, Clerkenwell, Islington, London in which J. R. R. Tolkien's great-great-grandfather, born in Gdańsk John Benjamin Tolkien married Mary Warner on 27 April 1777! Who knows, maybe Baggins' grave was still visible there on that day?

I have found many Bagginses in English records. One of them was Beattrice Annie Baggins from 3 Wordsworth Street Kirkstall Rd, Leeds in 1911.

I have also found the Tuck family on the same Non-conformist Bunhill Fields cemetery on which the first generation of the Tolkien family in England is buried too. See the place-name Tuckborough in the Shire of J. R. R. Tolkien!

poniedziałek, 22 stycznia 2018

Gdzie jest Tolly?
Dom Tolkienów na Zaroślaku?

Ha ha, lubię mnożyć moje teorie. Mam spis mieszkańców Gdańska z 1770, w którym znalazłem tylko obywatela i mistrza kuśnierskiego, Michaela Tolkiena. Nie znalazłem tam śladu Christiana Tolkiena ani jego syna Johanna Benjamina Tolkiena. W miejscu, gdzie spodziewałbym się tego drugiego, znalazłem Benjamina Tolkowskiego, czeladnika rzemieślniczego na ul. Świętego Ducha, a tam gdzie pierwszego,  czyli na Zaroślaku w okolicach ulicy Reinkesgasse, Christiana Schmidta... 

Czyżby ci Tolkienowie ukrywali się przed spisem (o tym spisie pisałem tutaj), który miał na celu wyrzucić z miasta mieszkańców z Królestwa Prus, którzy nie mieli ustalonego statusu? Schmidt to jedno z najpopularniejszych nazwisk (coś jak Underhill w Shire), a Tolkowski brzmi bardzo 'Tolkien-related'.

Ale prawda jest zapewne taka: Christian Tolkien nie posiadał obywatelstwa gdańskiego. Nie mógł zatem kupować na terenie miasta nieruchomości. Dlatego trudno znaleźć go w urzędowych dokumentach. Rzemieślnikami w rodzinie byli jego brat, Michael Tolkien (mistrz kuśnierski i obywatel) oraz Johann Carl Bergmann, zięć, który był rzemieślnikiem-stolarzem. Dlatego Bergmanna widzimy jako właściciela domów przy Reinkesgasse na Zaroślaku, w tym nr 2. Dlatego Michaela Tolkiena widzimy jako właściciela kamienicy przy Grobli II nr 6. Myślę, że starsi państwo Tolkienowie mieszkali po prostu z córkami i zięciem Johannem Carlem w znalezionym przeze mnie domu na Zaroślaku. W jego miejscu stoi dziś ta kamienica:

Źródło: Google Maps

Źródło: Fotomemoria
P. Marcin Stąporek, wielki znawca dawnego Gdańska, napisał na Forum "Dawny Gdańsk" (wpis):
Tam gdzie było Reinkegasse 1 i 2, na początku XX wieku postawiono nową kamienicę - nie wiem czy są jakieś starsze zdjęcia niż te http://fotomemoria.pl/pl/searchquery/spadzista/1/full/5?url=spadzista ale budynek istnieje do dziś, ma adres ul. Spadzista 1-2 i nad wejściem datę 1903.
Kto mieszka w tej kamienicy, może mieć pewność, że na jej miejscu stał dom, który należał do zięcia państwa Tolkienów. Istnieje dość duża szansa, że Tolkienowie mieszkali w tym miejscu już w latach 50. XVIII wieku i że tam właśnie urodził się Johann Benjamin Tolkien (1752–1819), który pochowany jest na cmentarzu Bunhill Fields w Londynie!

sobota, 20 stycznia 2018

Odnalazłem dom Tolkienów na Zaroślaku (! lub ?)

Odnalazłem dom(y) Johanna Carla Bergmanna i jego żony, Eleonory Renaty, z domu Tolkien, córki Christiana Tolkiena i siostry "Londyńskich Braci" (o Bergmannach więcej tutaj i tutaj)! Może to oznaczać, że odnalazłem dom, w którym mieszkali wcześniej Tolkienowie, gdzie urodził się Johann Benjamin Tolkien! Odnalazłem ten dom w księdze gruntowej Zaroślaka/Petershagen (AP Gd. 300,32/46 za lata 1675-1814) pod następujący adresem: Petershagen Innerhalb Reincken Gasse sinistr. lat. [Zaroślak Wewnętrzny, ul. Reincken Gasse, lewa strona].

Strona tytułowa księgi gruntowej ze spisem treści, który świetnie obrazuje, jak dzielił się Zaroślak w XVIII wieku:

Str. 30 i pierwszy zapis na temat Johanna Carla Bergmanna (z 19 czerwca 1784 roku, gdy posiadał on posesje A i B – tę ostatnią w 1814 przejął niejaki Simon Schultz). Z zapisu wynika, że może chodzić o domy przy Reinkesgasse nr 9 i 8 (patrz mapa wyżej):

Str. 34 i jeszcze wcześniejszy zapis na temat Johanna Carla Bergmanna (z 8 lipca 1777 roku, gdy posiadał on posesję B). Z zapisu wynika, że może chodzić o dom przy Reinkesgasse nr 2 (patrz mapa wyżej – jest to dom przy samym zboczu Biskupiej Górki, na którego tyłach znajdują się tereny należące do szpitala św. Gertrudy):

Moja interpretacja tych danych: Johann Carl Bergmann ożeniwszy się z Eleonorą Renatą Tolkien (córką Christiana i Anny Euphrosiny Tolkienów) w 1774 zamieszkał wraz z nią i jej rodzicami w ich domu przy Reinkesgasse nr 2 (84 wg Servis-Nummer). Ponieważ ten dom znajduje się już na zboczach Biskupiej Górki, to może tak go właśnie czasem lokowano (na Biskupiej Górce/Bischofsberg)? Dom ten przejął na własność w 1777, ale być może teściowie mieszkali tam z nim i jego rodziną. W 1784 zakupił kolejne dwa domy przy tej samej ulicy (nr 8 i 9, czyli Servis-Nummer 76-78). Domy w tej części Zaroślaka widzimy na tej grafice M. Deischa (z ok. 1765) w samym centrum, na lewo od wieży kościelnej:

Szukam dalej...

wtorek, 16 stycznia 2018

Tolkien o katolickich Gotach

«Ronald [czyli J.R.R. Tolkien] z wielką żywotnością przekonywał nad naszym obiadowym stołem, że jedną z największych katastrof europejskiej historii było przejście Gotów na arianizm: ich język, gotowy by stać się jednym z języków klasycznych, wzbogaciłaby już nie tylko wspaniała wersja Pisma Świętego [które na gocki przełożył biskup Wulfila], ale też prawa bizantyńskie, lokalna forma liturgii, która mogłaby się stać modelem na wszystkich ludów germańskich, co dałoby im rodzimy katolicyzm, który nigdy nie odpadłby od Kościoła. I wtedy Tolkien wstał i zaczął deklamować Ojcze nasz po gocku.»
 ["A Tribute to Tolkien", The Tablet, 15 September 1973, str. 879–80]

Who is Galadhorn?

Life of Galadhorn Elvellon by Ryszard Derdzinski, source: Gwaith-i-Phethdain
Galadhorn was born in 495 FA in Mithrim as the only son of Galachal and Meleth. His parents were fugitives of Dor-lomin and they found help and rest among the Grey Elves of Mithrim. There Galadhorn met the Elves for the first time and befriended many of them. Other Men called the boy 'Elvellon' that means Elendil in High Elvish. 

Galadhorn's mother-tongue was Mannish that later became the usual language of Númenor, but he loved Mithrim Elvish dialect so much that he began to compose short poems and songs in this language. Later - as will be told - he found out the beauty of Quenya. When Galadhorn was fifteen Gondolin fell and some of the Gondolinrim people escaped to the Mouths of Sirion. There they founded the last Elvish kingdom of Beleriand. Galadhorn's parents were killed in the meantime by the Easterlings and our boy escaped southwards with the other people of the Hador's folk. He found his new homeland in the Sirion's Havens and there he met Pengolodh and the other Lambengolmor of Gondolin. Finally Galadhorn could share his linguistic passion with the others. Pengolodh the Wise was his master and from him the young man learned a lot about Quenya and Sindarin and about the writing systems. Pengolodh was content too, because he could listen the true Northern Mannish dialect in the Galadhorn's mouth. Galadhorn's main interest was Sindarin with all its dialects. He composed a big Sindarin dictionary where he recorded the Grey-tongue of Beleriand. He wrote many poems and histories in Sindarin too.

[His writings were taken to Númenor and later to Gondor (Minas Tirith) and Imladris - Bilbo Baggins found the manuscripts in Elrond's library and in this way they were transported to the Shire. Now I, Frodo G. Maggot, have a copy of one of the Galadhorn's MS] Galadhorn fought with the Feanor's sons where they attacked the Havens and defended Pengolodh - his master. He was wounded in the battle but fortunately survived and could write a lament about the terrible Kinslaying. In 551 Galadhorn being a man in his 56 was killed in the War of Wrath, at the Angband Gates. His sons - Galachal and Galdor - and his son's families emigrated to Númenor in the Second Age.

niedziela, 14 stycznia 2018

How did the early Tolkiens look?

What have they in common? Brown hair, blue eyes, round faces? Or maybe they are not similar to each other. How do you think? Typical English? Or maybe German? And what do you think about them looking East European or Baltic? The early Tolkiens from the line of Johann (John) Benjamin Tolkien who was born in 1752 in Gdańsk (and whose ancestors came from Duchy of Prussia):

Ada Emily Esther Tolkien (1862, Manchester - d. 1937, Florida),
daughter of Alphred John Tolkien, son of George
and grandson of Johann (John) Benjamin Tolkien from Gdańsk

The same Ada E E Tolkien

Ada Tolkien with her siblings

Henry Monteith Tolkien (1854-1938), son of Henry Tolkien,
great-grandson of Johann (John) Benjamin Tolkien from Gdańsk

Arthur Reuel Tolkien, father of J.R.R. Tolkien
and great-grandson of Johann (John) Benjamin Tolkien
from Gdańsk