People in North Tawton, Devon, UK


"Tower Wall, Dieppe"
watercolour attributed to John W. Salter, c.1870-80

engravings, lithographs, watercolours, oils...

John b. c.1825 North Tawton, father: John SALTER

The 1802/3 census, for as far as it could be deciphered, has no SALTER family listed (census on GENUKI - Devon, North Tawton page).

John SALTER jnr. went to London and worked for VIZETELLY, becoming a wood-engraver, lithographer; he worked on the 'Illustrated London News'.

VIZETELLY, James, 1817-1897
VIZETELLY, Henry, 1820-1894
VIZETELLY Brothers & Co.
1841: Post Office London Directory
VIZETELLY & Co. engravers & printers, 135 Fleet street, London
(same address: CLARK Henry, brush manufacturer)
(135 was next to Peterborough court, and 130 was next to Shoe lane)

1848: John SALTER, lvg. Charles Street, Hoxton, London

"... The Vizetelly London firm of printers, engravers and publishers was active under various names from ca. 1827-1890. Founded by James Henry Vizetelly with various associates, the firm was reorganized at his death in 1838, by the eldest son James, with his younger brother Henry as associate. In 1849 the firm went into liquidation, the brothers setting up separate businesses. James Vizetelly’s firm remained active until 1855 under the name of Vizetelly and Company (at 135 Fleet Street). ..." Complete text at:

John returned to Devon and became a teacher of drawing.

1851: lvg. Palk Street, Torquay, Tormoham Newton Abbot, Devonshire
John SALTER (unmarried) age 26 b. Northtawton-DEV (Professor Of Drawing)
lodging (and possibly teaching in the school) with:

Thomas G. TEAGUE, Head (widower) age 30 b. Sultash-CON (School Master)
- Mary Jane PITTS (sister-in-law, unmarried) age 20 b. Shobrooke-DEV (School Mistress)
- Emma C. BALL (unmarried) age 28 b. Falmouth-CON (Assistant, School Mistress)
- Louisa RUCK age 14 b. Cheltenham-GLS (Scholar)
- Caroline PUNCHARD age 11 b. Exeter-DEV (Scholar)
- Elizabeth MAY (unmarried) 23 b. Ashburton-DEV (House Servant)
1852-53: Slater's Directory of Berks., Corn., Devon, ___,
Academies & Schools, Torquay &c.
- TEAGUE Thos. Gordon, Terrace road, Torquay (day school)

John SALTER & Family

1856, lvg. 2 Park Crescent, Torquay

2Q 1857 a John SALTER
m. Elizabeth STABB (Newton Abbott 5b/278)
From the IGI:
John STABB b. 1803 Tormoham, Devon
m. Betsey [--] c.1832-3 Tormoham, Devon
b. 1815 Tormoham, Devon
- 2. Elizabeth STABB b. 1833 Tormoham, Devon
- 2. Melina STABB b. 1839 Tormoham, Devon

1876-, lvg. 3 Lower Terrace, Tormoham

1881: lvg. 3 Lower Terrace, Tormoham, Devon
John SALTER, Head age 56 North Tawton, Devon (Artist)
Elizabeth SALTER, Wife age 48 b. Torquay, Devon
- Mary SALTER, Daur U age 22 b. Torquay, Devon (Governess)
  [?b. 4Q 1859 SALTER Mary Jane (Newton A. 5b/125)?]
- Lily SALTER, Daur U age 16 b. Torquay, Devon (Scholar)
- Linwood SALTER, Son age 14 b. Torquay, Devon (Scholar)
  [b. 2Q 1866 (Newton A. 5b/152)]
- Laura SALTER, Daur age 13 b. Torquay, Devon (Scholar)
- Annie SALTER, Daur age 10 b. Torquay, Devon (Scholar)
  [?b. 2Q 1870 (Newton A. 5b/168)?]
- William SALTER, Son age 7 b. Torquay, Devon (Scholar)
  [?b. 2Q 1873 (Newton Abbot 5b/151)?]
- Ernest SALTER, Son age 6 b. Torquay, Devon (Scholar)
  [?b. 1Q 1875 SALTER Ernest (Newton Abbot 5b/150)?]
Martha TURNER (unmarried) age 25 b. Burrington, Devon (Domestic Servant)
Helen LISSAMEN (unmarried) age 33 b. Ansley Man... Ind (Lodger)
Maria SMITH (widow) age 50 b. Ansley Man... Ind (Lodger)

1889: Kelly's Directory of Devon
SALTER John, artist, 3 Lower terrace (Torquay & Tormoham)

1891: lvg. Walnut Road, Romsdal, Newton Abbot-Devon
John SALTER, Head age 66 b. Devon - North Tawton (Artist, Landscape)
Elizabeth SALTER, Wife age 59 b. Devon - Torquay
- Mary SALTER, Dau (single) age 32 b. Devon - Torquay (All Engaged In Teaching)
- Lily SALTER, Dau (single) age 26 b. Devon - Torquay (Engaged In Teaching)
- Laura SALTER, Dau (single) age 23 b. Devon - Torquay (Engaged In Teaching)
- Annie SALTER, Dau (single) age 20 b. Devon - Torquay (Engaged In Teaching)
- Ernest SALTER, Son (single) age 16 b. Devon - Torquay
(RG12/1706-CP+EP: Cockington-En.Dist.30-Fo.128-Pg.14-Sch.68)

John SALTER d. 3Q 1891 age 66 (Newton A. 5b/89)

JWS, Artist

Wood Engraving

The Illustrated London News was conceived to bring news to a wide public by combining text with many images, before the era of photography. A fascinating and detailed history of the ILN, its staff, their skills and working conditions, includes this description of wood engraving:

"Wood for the engravings came from the box tree whose close-grained trunk grew to about seven inches in diameter. Slices sawn across the trunk had the bark removed and were cut into rectangles, the edges squared up and the surface made smooth for the artist's pencil. These blocks, about five inches wide, were then available for engraving."
"... small blocks were drilled and channelled underneath for the insertion of brass bolts and nuts which gripped the pieces of wood together 'without line, speck or flaw', thus making a printing surface of the size required. ... six blocks bolted together ... could be unbolted and distributed to six engravers ... the pieces would be bolted up again, thus saving much time."
"... The block ... steadied by the thumb and fingers of the left hand, lay on top of a leather bag filled with sand. During daylight hours ... on a bench close to a window, but at night, an oil or gas lamp provided illumination. The engraver's head, with a watchmaker's magnifying glass clipped to one eye, would be bent down near to the block while the thumb and fingers of the right hand gently pushed the sharp front edge of the cutting tool - the graver - to shave away narrow slivers of wood so as to leave whites and tints between the darker lines of the picture."
"If we look through a magnifying glass at these magnificent wood-cuts, we must marvel at the skill and patience of those wood engravers and regret that such artistic craftsmanship is now almost lost for ever." Further details of picture production and the story of the evolution of the ILN:
The Early History of The Illustrated London News

On the Torquay Museum site is this reference:

"... John SALTER, whose topographical watercolours of the mid to late 19th century greatly impressed Charles Dickens ... was a trained lithographer and worked on the London Illustrated News ... returned to Torquay in 1850 to teach art and raise a family ... daughter Mary left the collection of around 40 original works to the Museum."
JWS's watercolour "Buckland-in-the-Moor, Devon" painted in 1888 is on the Museum website at:
Torquay Museum, Pictorial Records

Devon Local Studies has some biographical notes on its website:

"... Probably returned to Devon 1849. Exhibited Royal Academy 1848, 1870. ... Produced large lithographs of Torquay area. ..." Sources and several reproductions of JWS's engravings here:
Etched in Devon's Memory

My thanks to John Graves, Jr., at the 'Old Somerset Gallery' for his generosity in allowing me to publish a copy (above) of the original watercolour of 'Tower Wall, Dieppe'.

The work (JWS02) is for sale and can be seen on the Gallery website, together with many other beautiful landscapes by various artists:
Old Somerset Gallery

John SALTER d. 1891


?Linwood SALTER: [NK]
lvg. Wiltshire Swindon:
William SALTER age 27 b. Torquay, Devon (Railway Engineers Draughtsman)
lvg. Tormoham With Torquay, Devon:
Elizabeth SALTER age 68 b. Torquay, Devon (Living On Own Means)
- Laura SALTER age 33 b. Torquay, Devon (Governess)
- Annie SALTER age 30 b. Torquay, Devon (Governess)
- Ernest SALTER age 26 b. Torquay, Devon

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