Abel Hold, Cawthorne artist.

Born 1815 at Alverthorpe, son of Thomas and Mary Hold.18 Alverthorpe is now a suburb north west of  Wakefield,Yorkshire, England. 
Abel was one of nine children, six boys and three girls .36 Christened Abel Hold, 3rd June 1816 at Wakefield 17. Died 1896, Cawthorne by Barnsley 18 aged 81. He married Sarah Miller, born 1822 Barnsley.35 Abel and Sarah had at least nine children:

1.Tom William born 1843, Barnsley. An artist, game painter, carver and gilder 35.
2.George born 1846 Barnsley. Became a butcher.
3.Hubert Harry born 1852 Cawthorne.
4.John b. 1853 Barnsley. A painter in 1881.
5.Joseph Richard Eastwood born 1857, Cawthorne. A gamekeeper.
6.Florence (see photo 1890's), artistic, born 1861 Cawthorne.
7.Abel Miller born 1864 Cawthorne. An artist in 1881.
8.Ben, artistic flair.
9.Mary.May have drowned when young in well at Brook House. 36
10.Evelyn Josephine. 17 

Tom William Hold married Susannah Midgley eighth child of William Waller Midgley. 34
Joseph Richard Eastwood (J.R.E.) marriedLouisa Milnes of Cawthorne 2nd January


Abel Hold and daughter Florence Abel Hold and daughter Florence Cawthorne Scenery by Abel Hold, 1883.
       Based on a photograph by Warner Gothard                                                                                                                          Source: Cawthorne 1790-1990 Barry Jackson

In his early years Abel was a house painter and later achieved fame as an animal and game painter.18
From 1849 to 1851 he lived at Church Street, Barnsley, moving house in 1852 to the village of Cawthorne where he spent the rest of his life.
Between 1849 and 1871 he exhibited at The Royal Academy in London sixteen times, once at the Royal Institute, Pall Mall, once at The Suffolk Street Galleries and others at Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Wakefield. He never had an entry to The Royal Academy rejected.18
In May 1873 a reporter from the Barnsley Chronicle produced a report which is reprinted in "Cawthorne 1790-1990 A Yorkshire Village Remembers Its Past" pp30-31.
Over a hundred years later Abel was finally given some recognition see:
Barnsley Chronicle
Abel lived in Dark or Black Lane in the 1880's in Cawthorne 12 this is probably Brook House, see photo in 1890's.

Brook House on Dark or Black Lane ,Cawthorne. Abel Holds residence1890's
source: Cawthorne 1770-1990, Barry Jackson.

His last painting  in 1871  was of a "Dead Snipe" 18. Abel was described in 1882 as an artist12.
He was never a rich man, if he had to pay his bills he sent a painting of a starving man to Charles Wemyss the estate agent at  The Cannon Hall Estate Office which always produced the required result.18
The Reverend Charles Spencer-Stanhope befriended Abel.18
As a result of this aquaintance Walter Spencer-Stanhope , the owner of Cannon Hall Estates, became Abel's patron.
Cawthorne Scenery by Abel Hold, 1883. Cawthorne Scenery by Abel Hold, 1883
source: Cawthorne 1770-1990, Barry Jackson.
Abel painted and drew Cawthorne scenery, game life and made his own paints by grinding his own river pebbles for pigment.18 His photographs appear in the 1980 Cawthorne Centenary booklet 7 and also in "Cawthorne A South  Yorkshire Village Remembers Its Past".

*In 1997 Abel's paintings, "birds nest on a mossy bank" were registered for auction at Tennants   of Leyburn North Yorkshire in their Summer Catalogue and on the internet (no image). One (lot 397) was inscribed to Verso (on the back) and dated 1859, oil on canvas and signed (27cm x 32cm). Another  was on offer (lot 396) at 26cm x 31cm.
*Another painting [see link] is described as "A young Girl with a Lamb in a Landscape" signed and dated "Abel Hold/1842", Oil on canvas 108.9 x 86.4 cm estimated value 2002: $U.S. 6000-8000. which was lot 188 sale 939 May 19th 2002 at Sloan's Auction Gallery37

*Other undated paintings are as follows38
A birds' nest on a bank
Dead grouse
Dead grouse [2]
Grouse on the moor
Dead game beneath a tree [attributed to Abel]

Still life of a bird's nest
Waiting for news
Still life of game
Cock red grouse [1]
Cock red grouse [2]
The squirrels[1]
Mallard and drake on her nest amongst reeds [with companion pair]
A brace of grouse
Still life of a teal and a snipe on a grassy bank
A grouse [3]
A fallen pigeon
Still lives of birds nests on a mossy bank
Cock and hen pheasants in a landscape
Grouse shooting
Brace and a half of red grouse among the heather

 A painting believed to have been produced by Abel Hold. The back is inscribed in pencil stating that it was purchased by J. M. Wood, Ironmonger, Church Street, Barnsley from Abel Hold, Cawthorne in the 1880s. This may be the undated 'A birds' nest on a bank' mentioned above:

                                               Nest on a bank by Abel Hold

* Dated paintings in chronological order are:
Partridge shooting 1836
A gundog in a landscape 1847
The Day's bag 1849
The bird's nest 1853 [a pair]
At the end of the day 1860

A study of a dead woodcock 1875
Red Grouse 1876
Cock red grouse and snipe on the moor 1878
A shot grouse 1878
A bird's nest 1879
A grouse 1880
A grouse 1880 [2]
A dead grouse 1880
A pair of grouse 1881
A brace of grouse including a companion pair 1881
A dead woodcock 1882
Feeding the geese 1884
The glorious twelfth 1884
A pair of snipe 1885
A dead grouse in the heather 1887
A woodcock 1888 [1]
A woodcock 1888 [2]
A bird's nest 1888
Still life of a grouse and pigeon 1890
Grouse and a snipe on a moor 1891


There is also a BBC website displaying some of his works

Abel was buried in Cawthorne cemetery

  7 .  Jackson  Barry churchwarden, Cawthorne Centenary Booklet, 1980.
12 .  Pratt  Charles Tiplady Rev., History of Cawthorne, 1882.
17.   I.G.I.
18.  Jackson, Barry, Cawthorne 1790-1990 A South Yorkshire Village Remembers Its Past, June 1990.
34.  Pedigree drawn up for Ina (nee Midgley) Hepworth's estate.
35.  1881 Census for England
36.  According to Ted Collins, Abel Hold's great, great grandson.
37.  Notified by Donna Harting of Maryland, U.S.A.

38.  Information supplied by JJ Smith Gallery <JJSmithGallery@comcast.net>

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Copyright © 1998, Tim Midgley, Revised: 10th February 2019. Acknowledgments have been made wherever the sources could be ascertained.