Beilby Glass Goblet

Contributed by Beacon Museum

William Beilby Goblet. Copyright The Beacon Museum

The Beilby Goblet commemorates the launch of the slave ship King George in 1763The 'Beilby Goblet' commemorates the launch of the slave ship King George in 1763, built at Whitehaven. It is a fine example of early enamelled glass, made and signed by William Beilby (1740-1819) of Newcastle - a famous glass enameller. One side bears the royal arms of George III and on the other a painting of the ship - which is surmounted by the words 'Success to the African Trade of Whitehaven'. The goblet notoriously survived a famous museum theft - 'shady' deals eventually securing its return.

Whitehaven was a major port at that time - and as important as Liverpool and Bristol. As such, its ships had a major role in the movement of slaves from Africa to the sugar plantations in America - taking goods to Africa from England on the first leg of the journey, and bringing rum and sugar back on the last.

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 12:10 on 23 October 2010, Simon Cottle wrote:

    This text perpetuates a common error. William Beilby was never a manufacturer of glass. He and his brothers, especially Thomas Beilby, and their much younger sister, Mary, were decorators of glass which they obtained for their workshop in Newcastle upon Tyne from the local glasshouses. William and Thomas Beilby were artists and were not responsible for making the glass they both decorated. It is likely that this goblet better known as 'The Whitehaven Goblet' was a collaborative venture. There is another goblet bearing the coat of arms of the Beilby family which is known as 'The Beilby Goblet'.

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