Paul Rowntree


Samuel Begg, his Grandfather

Document relating to 
Samuel Begg 


Firstly I am absolutely certain that my grandfather, Sam Begg, was NEVER a caricaturist, with the Illustrated London News or anybody. He was against untruthful drawing of people. OK he did use models instead of the correct people sometimes but the models were accurately drawn. He was asked to do the political cartoons for Punch but refused for the same reason.

He could not carry a likeness in his memory and. envied a local artist in York who did pictures of actors he had seen on stage.. He did pictures based on eye witness accounts and go drawing till the witness was satisfied (ie. after a ship sinking). His likenesses were very accurate - one he did of every member of the House of Lords (with the death of Nelson in the background) and each member is identified. -and the important ones to the front. I suppose he may have worked from photos sometimes.

Sam Begg went tot Art School in Paris where I think they taught him portraiture.

It is difficult to remember now the golden age of black and white artists who were the equivalent of Press photographers today. But Sir Bruce Ingram Editor for 60+ years preferred artists who could compose the picture to best advantage and not just snap an instant. "Your Grandfather was. a marvel" he said (about 1962) ; he would produce a picture of the London Lord Mayors Banquet in 24 hours showing the building and recognisable principle people.

The Illustrated London News paid for each picture and then. owned the copyright. unfortunately, the originals were lost in the London Blitz leaving them 3 sets of volumes of the weekly glossy magazine. Sam did do water colour and oils as a hobby really.

Taken from a letter to Peter Best in Eketahuna, NewZealand.

Samuel Begg in the middle of the group of Gentlemen from Eketahuna