[taken from Chapter 9 Manx Worthies, A.W.Moore, 1901]

THOMAS KEWIN (b. 1755, d. 1821),

commonly known as " Buck " Kewin. We extract the following notice of him from the " Kaleidoscope," vol. ii., " Trip to the Isle of Man, 1822 ":-

He directed me to Mr.Kewn, an adept at the pencil as well as the razor, and whose talent for caricaturing has once or twice put him to the expense of a broken head. On arrriving at his shop, I was somewhat struck with the words " New Bond Street" painted in large characters over the door, while the following invitation was displayed in the window: "Kewn, superior hair cutter from Waterloo." Various specimens of his art in caricaturing, including his own likeness taken by himself, were here arranged. I expected him to be communicative like his brethren of the razor, but he was not so. He rather drew attention to his own drawings; but I learnt from him that the people here are much given to scandal. Mr. Kewn acquitted himself to my satisfaction, and after paying him, I asked to see more specimens of his talent. His portfolio contained some very old and rather clever productions. Among others, a sketch of a Manchester man belabouring a Manks porter, a scene that I had been present at the day before. It was well executed and with considerable truth.

Mr Kewin's talents for caricature upon at least one occasion caused him some inconvenience. The late Deemster Heywood had taken offence with the late Mr. Mark Antony Mills, a member of the bar, who is known to fame as the editor of an edition of the Statutes of the Isle of Man ; and the deemster, sad to relate, administered to Mr. Mills a sound berating in public. Within a day or two of the chastisement there appeared in " Buck " Kewin's shop window a sketch from Kewin's pencil descriptive of the assault, and underneath the drawing was written, " The man who took out a patent for threshing mills." Deemster Heywood, who appears to have been a quick-tempered judge, being apprised of the cartoon, paid a visit to the barber-limner's shop, tore down the sketch, and further expressed his disapproval of the exhibition by horsewhipping Kewin.


Back index next


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 1999